My mindset controls my reality.
The mind is a powerful thing. My mind can be my biggest ally, accelerating my desired results, or my worst enemy, hindering my outcome.
My mind is selective in its choices. When I am feeling confident and prepared, my mind advises me to push through, regardless of difficulties, because I have the tools to succeed. However, when my thoughts are driven by fear, my mind convinces me to avoid the risk.
I am certain that my mindset controls my destiny. I can choose to settle for whatever I can get in a timid mindset, or thrive and reach my fullest potential by keeping positive thoughts.
The choice is easy. I choose to reach my fullest potential!
Success is a matter of mindset. Mind over matter is the name of the game! By turning my confidence into high gear, I place my mindset in a positive zone. This allows me to strategically plow through my challenges.
I let go of negative thoughts and consciously maintain a positive mindset. Not only does this give me a confidence boost, but it also allows me to shine in situations where others typically allow their insecurities to inhibit their results.
My positive thoughts motivate me in all situations. Because I am in a nonstop "I can do it!" mindset, I gracefully overcome hurdles that are set in my path.
Today, I remain focused on my goals by maintaining a positive mindset. I believe in myself and I am free from the heavy chains of insecurity.
1. Do I surround myself with positive people?
2. Are most of my thoughts positive or do they revolve around fear and worry?
3. Which far-fetched goals can I confidently chase with the help of my positive mindset?
Module 1 - The Success Brain Mindset Quiz
Choose the correct answer.
1. You’ll get the most from this course if you:
A. Pick and choose lessons at your leisure
B. Study the quiz prior to working through the lessons
C. Read the lessons, skip the activities, and take the quiz
D. Do the lessons in sequential order
2. Success is:
A. Best defined by society
B. Primarily about money and possessions
C. Up to each person to define for themselves
D. Doing as little as humanly possible and still surviving
3. What are affirmations?
A. Statements that are used to hide from the truth
B. Positive statements that activate your mind to change your life
C. A statement that is similar to a compliment
D. None of the above
4. How can one maintain a positive mindset during challenging times?
A. Set exciting goals.
B. Spend time with positive people.
C. Have a positive morning routine.
D. All the above
5. What is one way to think like a winner?
A. Set the highest goals you can imagine.
B. Criticize yourself before anyone else beats you to it.
C. Know your desired outcome.
D. Focus on money.
6. What is the most common fear that impedes personal progress?
A. A fear of success
B. A fear of spiders
C. A fear of strangers
D. A fear of public speaking
7. The most important advantage of having high expectations is a raised performance ceiling.
8. What is a benefit of failure?
A. Failure is a good excuse to quit.
B. Failure is an opportunity to beat yourself up emotionally.
C. It’s a good excuse to look for some pity.
D. Failure provides an opportunity to learn.
9. To achieve success in life, it is necessary to:
A. Become financially independent
B. Define success for yourself
C. Have a fit body
D. Get married and live happily ever after
10. A positive attitude can enhance success by:
A. Giving you more control over your life
B. Increasing your good luck
C. Hypnotizing others
D. All of the above
What Does Success Mean to You?
Welcome to “The Success Brain” course! This course enables you to evaluate your life and goals and formulate a successful plan for achieving those goals.
In order to get the most from this course, please take advantage of everything that’s provided for you. In addition to the lessons with focused activities to help guide you to success, be sure to check the Additional Resources box for each lesson. You’ll find articles, affirmations, worksheets, and other handouts to help you in your journey.
Now, without further ado, let’s jump into your first lesson…
What does success really mean to you? It’s important to clarify your thoughts, goals and desires before you can achieve success! You can’t work towards something passionately when you aren’t sure what the end result will be.
Success means many different things to different people. Unfortunately, the tendency is to view monetary gain as success. However, financial wealth is only a small part of overall success.
Different Areas of Success
Because there are different areas of success, you can be successful in one area and unsuccessful in others. In order to develop a plan for your success, it’s important to make your own list of areas that are relevant to you.
To achieve overall success in life, you’ll want to examine your priorities in each area.
For many of us, there are 3 main components of success. In your personal plan for success, there may be even more. Be sure to include any areas that are important to you.
Consider these three main areas:
Career. Any number of things can be used to measure your success when it comes to your career. In your career evaluation, remember to determine what strengths and weaknesses you have that can help or hinder you from achieving your goal. Contemplate these questions:
○ Are you happy with your career?
○ Do you desire a higher status position?
○ What amount of income would make you happy?
○ Would you simply like to feel appreciated by your boss?
Emotional. These questions can guide you to important considerations for your emotional success:
○ Are you satisfied with your relationships? Why or why not?
○ What have you learned so far that could help you do better in the future?
○ If you have children, do you feel successful in how you’re raising them?
Health. Are you doing everything you can for your overall well-being? Maybe a change in diet and exercise is in order. Take a moment to evaluate whether you’ve achieved success in this area or if there’s room for improvement.
○ If your health can use a boost, make a plan to start implementing changes in your daily routine that lead to a healthier lifestyle.
The Journey to Success
Your journey to success will have highs and lows throughout your life. There will be mistakes and disappointments. You may experience a setback at some point. The beauty is that you can get back on track and move closer to your goals at any time.
You may achieve new levels of success at different times in your life and career. As you progress in your job, start a family, and get involved in giving back to your community, your definition of success may change, as do your priorities. Go with the flow; it’s okay for your outlook on life and your meaning of success to change over time.Love what you do! Life is too short to be stuck doing something you despise. To achieve success in life, work with what you’ve got. Focus on your strengths and interests and do the things that bring those to the forefront of your life.Challenges and obstacles are opportunities for further success. Everyone has setbacks at some point in their lives. If we didn’t, we wouldn’t be human. The successful individual has the confidence that he can and will do better!
Every so often, it’s very important to step back and re-evaluate your idea of success. There are so many changes in life and with each one you’ll find that your priorities change also. Never underestimate the power that comes from persistence and experience. Most importantly, though, remember to enjoy the journey!
In the next lesson, you’ll discover the power of affirmations to help you succeed.
Get Started on the Tips for This Lesson:
Evaluate the different areas of your life. Establish your priorities. What does success look like to you in each of these areas?
I judge my success by my own standards.
Outside influences rarely determine my success because it is driven by my standards. I set my own definitive scale of measurement for how well I do in life.
Society tries to tie me to certain standards for success, but I avoid falling into the trap. I know that the easiest way to feel unfulfilled is living according to the ideals of others. My focus is on living an authentic life that I am able to confidently stand behind.
My peers realize some achievements before me but I avoid feeling less accomplished. I know that there is a time and season for each experience in life.
I give attention to my own goals and work hard to achieve them. The noise from outside influences rarely gets me to lose focus.
The experiences of others sometimes serve as teaching tools. I use their examples to help me to know whether I am on the right track. Even so, I avoid looking at their result as my standard for success.
Today, I commit to remaining focused on my internal standards for success and decide for myself which goals I want to pursue. I am unfazed by the achievements of others, and I avoid comparing myself to them.
How do I arrive at the standards for success that I set for myself?
How do I determine when it is time to adjust my standards or my goals?
How do I react when I am unable to achieve success as planned?
Thinking Your Way to Success
Success begins with the mindset, and to build the most effective mindset, it’s important to understand what success means to you. You’ve completed the process of designing your own definition of success. Let’s move forward with training your mind to help you reach that success. We’ll start with affirmations.
Affirmations can be a powerful pool to keep your mind focused on success. Affirmations can be used to keep your thoughts positive and increase your persistence.
Do you often envision yourself achieving great things, and then follow this up with a negative thought process? Do you talk yourself out of your dreams before you even begin to pursue them? If so, you need to change the way you think.
When you change your thought processes to success thinking you truly can change your life. Positive thoughts enable you to reach out and grasp the success you seek.
Affirmations and You
Wanting to succeed and being able to envision your success is a great place to start. When you can do this, you’re giving yourself permission to change your life, attain your goals, and be a success.
There will be days when it’s more difficult to think in a positive and success affirming way; during these times you can turn to a useful tool called affirmations.
Affirmations have helped a lot of people turn their thinking into positive thinking, propelling them toward their goals in a new and exciting way. Affirmations for success can help you change the way you think about everything.
If you’re honest with yourself, you may find that much of your inner dialogue, how you feel about yourself, and even the way you carry yourself are negative. This destructive thinking sets you up to fail or causes you to give up before you ever really get started.
As with anything new, creating a success mindset will take practice to give you the best results. The good news is: you can get all the practice you need with the help of success affirmations.
What Are Affirmations?
Affirmations are positive statements that activate your mind to change your life, one thought at a time. They enable you to accomplish the things you wish to achieve.
Affirmations work because each word we speak has power, the power to evoke emotions. They work because they allow you to program – or reprogram – your thought processes, replacing negative thoughts with positive ones.
For example, if you find that you’re telling yourself what you can’t do, you can replace these negative thoughts with an affirmation for success, such as, “I am capable of succeeding without feeling overwhelmed or unfulfilled.”
If that statement doesn’t quite fit you, there are many affirmations for success, such as “I am worthy of great success.” All you need to do is want to feel this way, and then every time you say these statements aloud you reaffirm them to your subconscious.
Is It Really This Easy?
Many of the most successful people in the world aren’t much different than you. The key characteristic that sets them apart, though, is that they have a success mindset.
It seems too simple to be true, but when you talk to people who’ve experienced success, you’ll find that they use statements like these to drive them toward their goals and away from negativity. Their inner dialogue is one of success and achievement.
If success came naturally to all of us, we would all be successful. Unfortunately, in this day and time, many people prefer to focus on the negative, rather than embrace success.
With affirmations, you can overcome your limiting, negative thoughts and make it second nature for you to choose success. Success can be a reality for you, so long as you believe and reaffirm your positive thoughts consistently.
Affirmations provide a stepping stone to our next topic, the ways in which a positive attitude enhances your success. Everything becomes a little easier when you’re sporting a positive attitude.
Get Started on the Tips for This Lesson:
Use the power of affirmations to shift your mindset toward success.
Write 10 affirmations that will have a positive impact on your mindset.
Read each affirmation at least five times each day.
Whenever you catch yourself thinking negatively, use that as a cue to repeat your affirmations.
Affirmative self-talk gets in the way of negative energy.
I believe in the power of my own words to make positive changes in my life. I am a high achiever because I tell myself, "I am able." Words like these banish any thoughts of doubt about my talents or abilities.
Each day at work begins with a self-talk session. In the quietness of my office, I take a few moments to reassure myself.
I consider each challenge I face and affirm that I have a specific skill set to counteract it. This exercise keeps me connected to my deep-rooted strengths. My self-belief grows stronger when I take the time to talk to myself about my abilities.
Positive reinforcement keeps negativity away from my life.
Whenever I feel doubt coming on, I retreat and meditate. Those moments renew my determination because I focus on my potential. When I remind myself of the force that I am, doubt quickly subsides.
I avoid taking others' negative opinions of my abilities to heart. Giving too much consideration to external perspectives can cause negativity to fester.
In order to continue to be successful, I celebrate my talents and innate gifts. Giving those talents the authority to shine makes me a winner.
Today, positive energy thrives in my life when I pat myself on the shoulder. I am a firm believer in embracing my true strengths. I am committed to using affirmative self-talk to drive me to achieve greatness.
What are some positive, uplifting things I can tell myself to feel courageous?
How do I maintain a positive mindset after being discouraged by others?
How often do I turn to others for encouragement when I feel doubtful?
My mindset controls my reality.
The mind is a powerful thing. My mind can be my biggest ally, accelerating my desired results, or my worst enemy, hindering my outcome.
My mind is selective in its choices. When I am feeling confident and prepared, my mind advises me to push through, regardless of difficulties, because I have the tools to succeed. However, when my thoughts are driven by fear, my mind convinces me to avoid the risk.
I am certain that my mindset controls my destiny. I can choose to settle for whatever I can get in a timid mindset, or thrive and reach my fullest potential by keeping positive thoughts.
The choice is easy. I choose to reach my fullest potential!
Success is a matter of mindset. Mind over matter is the name of the game! By turning my confidence into high gear, I place my mindset in a positive zone. This allows me to strategically plow through my challenges.
I let go of negative thoughts and consciously maintain a positive mindset. Not only does this give me a confidence boost, but it also allows me to shine in situations where others typically allow their insecurities to inhibit their results.
My positive thoughts motivate me in all situations. Because I am in a nonstop "I can do it!" mindset, I gracefully overcome hurdles that are set in my path.
Today, I remain focused on my goals by maintaining a positive mindset. I believe in myself and I am free from the heavy chains of insecurity.
Do I surround myself with positive people?
Are most of my thoughts positive or do they revolve around fear and worry?
Which far-fetched goals can I confidently chase with the help of my positive mindset?
8 Ways a Positive Attitude Enhances Success
Now that you know how to direct your thoughts in a more positive direction, you’re beginning to develop a mindset that welcomes success and supports your goals. This lesson will demonstrate the value of a positive mental attitude. A positive mental attitude avoids many of the pitfalls that may await you.
It’s easy to underestimate the power of having a positive attitude. However, that would be a mistake. A positive attitude shapes your perspective, enhances health, increases productivity, and benefits those around you. It’s surprising how much a change in attitude can impact the results you’re producing!
Your attitude is under your control, so you can use it to your advantage.
See how a positive mental attitude benefits you and enhances your success:
An optimistic attitude leaves a positive impression. Your attitude doesn’t just impact the way you view the world. It also changes the way the world views you. It’s easy to pick those people that view the world from a positive perspective versus one that’s negative. When others view you in a positive light, you’ll be presented with more opportunities in life.
○ Go through life leaving a positive impression and you can expect your successes to come more easily.
You have more control over your life. Those with a positive mental attitude are more likely to believe that they can influence the direction of their lives. People with a negative attitude believe they are stuck with few options to make life better.
○ Happiness is correlated with the number of options you believe are available to you.
A positive attitude strengthens your relationships. Would you rather spend time with someone who’s positive or negative? It’s an easy question to answer. Positive people are uplifting and make others feel good. Positive people are energizing.
○ Successful relationships are easier to create and maintain if others enjoy spending time with you.
You enjoy better health when you have positive thoughts. There are countless studies that show the link between attitude and health. You’ll also save a lot of money by making fewer trips to the doctor. It’s much more challenging to be successful if your health is poor.
Your productivity will soar. Do you have a hard time getting things done? An upgrade in your attitude will help! Think about how little you get accomplished when you’re feeling down and negative. If your productivity is suffering at work or at home, take a look at your attitude.
It’s easier to persist during challenging times. Things don’t always go according to plan. If you expect a negative outcome, you’re likely to give up and go home. On the other hand, an enthusiastic, optimistic attitude will help you to stay in the game.
○ Many success experts believe that persistence is the most important quality a person with big goals can possess. Persistence is easy when you have positive expectations. Set big goals. Be positive. Persist.
Self-confidence and a positive attitude go hand in hand. By ridding yourself of negative thoughts, you create an ideal environment for self-confidence to grow and flourish. How can you have self-confidence when you expect the worst? A negative attitude suggests a lack of confidence in your ability to handle the situation.
Peace of mind. We all have a limited ability to handle stress. When life becomes too stressful, our ability to be successful is hampered. The tranquility that a positive attitude provides gives you the mental space necessary to be at your best each day.
There is no downside to uplifting your attitude. A positive mental attitude has a positive influence on your outlook, health, relationships, and overall happiness. In turn, these improve your ability to be successful. Work hard and stay focused, but be positive during the process. You’ll feel better and enjoy the results.
In the next lesson, we’ll explore how you can maintain your new-found attitude in the face of adversity. A good attitude isn’t worth much if it’s fragile.
Get Started on the Tips for This Lesson:
Gratitude is one way to shift your attitude in a positive direction. Make a habit of listing five things each day that fill you with feelings of gratitude. You might feel gratitude for having a job, your children, a home, friends, or good health. Make your own list.
Say “Thank You” more often! Spend today thanking others. Notice how this simple act uplifts both you and the person you thanked.
A Checklist for Keeping a Positive Attitude
A positive attitude doesn’t happen on its own. A positive attitude is the result of your beliefs, expectations, habits, and focus. A positive mental attitude can have a positive impact on your relationships, creativity, career, and overall enjoyment. You’re more capable when you feel good and have high expectations.
Use a checklist to help you maintain your positive attitude:
__ Take a smile with you everywhere you go. Smiles are free, feel good, and can lift your mood. Science has shown that your physiology and body can lead your emotions. Smiling can enhance your mood and your outlook regarding the future.
__ Create a morning routine that focuses on happiness. You have a morning routine to get yourself cleaned up and out the door on time. Build a routine that boosts your attitude too. Consider the things that fill you with feeling of positivity.
○ Take a walk.
○ Read something inspiring.
○ Eat a healthy breakfast.
○ Listen to inspiring music.
__ Ask yourself optimistic questions. Questions change your focus. Ask positive questions and you’ll receive positive answers.
○ What’s great about this situation?
○ How can I use this to my advantage?
○ Whom do I love?
__ Spend time with others that have a positive attitude. It’s challenging to maintain a better attitude than the people you spend time with. Seek out others with a positive attitude and spend as much time with them as you can.
__ Create a gratitude list. It’s easy to focus on what you don’t have in life. Change your focus and remind yourself of all the great things you already have. Each morning and evening, rattle off a list of the people, things, and experiences that make you feel grateful.
__ Think happy thoughts. Left to its own devices, your mind will run wild. It’s so random, that you’re bound to think negative thoughts some of the time. You can control your thoughts. Keep them positive.
__ Make exciting plans. It’s easier to be happy with a few exciting things planned for the near future. Planning a trip to Paris would be nice, but simple things work well, too. A planned trip to the movies or the spa with a friend can make the week more enjoyable. Have something you can look forward to each week.
__ Remember happy memories. When you’re feeling down, remember some of the good times you’ve had. Spend a few minutes remembering your senior prom or the first time you bowled 300. Five minutes remembering positive experiences can get your attitude back on track. What is your happiest memory from childhood? What about the last five years?
__ Enjoy the simple things. Many of the simple things are the most meaningful. Playing with your child or enjoying an ice cream cone can be as enjoyable as making a million dollars or scuba diving in Hawaii. Enjoy the simple things you do each day.
__ Change your expectations. Part of unhappiness comes from unreasonable expectations. Life isn’t supposed to be easy. Sure, you’ll have many easy days. But you can decide to find happiness in the challenging days, too. What you consider to be a “good” day or a “bad” day is influenced by your expectations.
__ Do something nice, anonymously. It’s thrilling to do something nice for someone without their knowledge. You feel like a superhero. Mow your neighbor’s grass or send someone flowers. Give a gift card to the elderly couple down the street. Do something and keep your involvement a secret.
Go over this checklist each day and check off the items you accomplished. Soon, these activities will become a habit – and so will your positive attitude!
How to Maintain a Positive Mindset When You Don't Feel Like It
In the last lesson, you learned about the importance of a positive mindset and used gratitude as one way to affect your mindset in a positive way. However, a positive attitude can be more challenging to maintain on some days than on others. You can maintain your positive mindset even when you don’t feel like it.
When you face challenges, or feel overwhelmed by your responsibilities, it can be difficult to maintain a positive attitude.
Try these techniques to uplift your mood and experience the inner peace you deserve:
Start your day with something positive. Decide each morning that you'll start the day headed in the right direction. Instead of waking up on the wrong side of the bed and setting the stage for a grouchy day, resolve to experience something positive first thing in the morning.○ Develop a morning routine that you can repeat daily to ease into your day's responsibilities. Determine what activities help lighten your mood and put you on the path to positive thinking. Find two or three things you can do each morning that'll set the stage for a successful day. As these become habit, add to the routine little by little.
○ A routine will help your body and mind settle in and focus on what you need to accomplish. Instead of rushing around or forgetting important details, your plan will guide you through a peaceful set of steps that calm your mind and create unstoppable momentum.
Set exciting goals. If you wake up each morning with nothing to look forward to, your mind may quickly latch onto negative feelings that can last throughout the day. Give your life focus by setting goals that motivate and excite you. Write those goals down and review them every day. Each day, take some small action that brings you closer to attaining your goal.○ Set aside a few minutes this week to write down all the reasons why each goal is important to you. How will you feel when you reach the goal you've set? How will your loved ones be affected? How will your quality of life improve?
○ Spend a few minutes each day reading through this list. A big enough "why" can help you to overcome obstacles that are in your way.
Surround yourself with positive people. If you want to feel better about your life, hang around people that encourage you and bring out the best in you. Spend more time with people that make you feel good about yourself and less time with those that complain about everything.○ Every cloud has a silver lining and it's easier to find that silver lining when you hang around people that help you to see it.
Remember that bad days happen. When you have a bad day, don't beat yourself up or dwell on it. Remember that tomorrow is a new day with exciting possibilities and challenges. Your next victory is right around the corner if you resolve to start with a fresh perspective.
These suggestions will only help if you put them into practice. Pick one or more of them and decide that your happiness is worth small changes that lead to a big payoff. Begin to experience the happiness you deserve by taking positive steps today that will lead to a bright future.
You’ll learn how to harness the mindset of a winner in the next lesson. Combining a positive mindset with the mental habits of a winner is an unstoppable combination.
Get Started on the Tips in This Lesson:
Tomorrow, add one positive action to your morning routine that will enhance your mindset. Attempt to add three things to your morning routine by the end of the week. Keep track of your compliance. This is the first step toward creating a morning routine that empowers you and your mindset.
My trials are blessings in disguise.
Hardships can enrich my life. It all depends on how I rise to the challenge. I can turn any set of circumstances to my advantage.
I look for the silver lining when dark clouds surround me. I know that any situation can be a golden opportunity.
I accept that there are ups and downs in life. I manage stress so my mind remains calm and peaceful. I think clearly and weigh my options. I consider the consequences before taking action.
I develop compassion. I empathize with myself and others for the discomfort and struggles that we experience.
I share encouragement and support with my friends. I recognize the value of teamwork. I lend a sympathetic ear and a helping hand. I accept assistance from others, and let them know how much I value them.
I turn to my faith.
Meditation and prayer protect me from becoming angry or bitter. I remain grateful for the blessings in my life. I look at the big picture. I accept responsibility for how my behavior contributes to any predicament. I consider the positive changes I want to make.
I persevere. I am willing to work hard for what I want. I remember my initial purpose, and deepen my sense of commitment. I consider myself a winner as long as I refuse to give up.
Today, I look for meaning in adversity. I know that I have the ability to triumph over any obstacle. I greet challenges head-on so that I can learn and grow.
Why is it important to stay calm during a crisis?
What would my life be like without any trials?
How can I develop relationships that will hold up during tough times?
Prepare Your Mind for Prosperity: 10 Ways to Think Like a Winner
You’re now better able to weather adversity and keep your head up. Knowing the value of your mindset and the use of positive thinking has made your mindset even stronger. Winners have a different mindset than the rest of the population. By adopting a similar mindset, you can expect more spectacular results.
Have you heard the saying, “Attitude is everything”? This adage reveals a great truth: the perspective you take in any situation ultimately determines the outcome. So if you’re hoping to bring prosperity into your life, it’s important to learn to think like a winner.
How can you acquire the mindset of a winner?
Try these strategies:
Acknowledge that you’re human. You’re fallible because you’re human. Rather than seeking perfection, strive to attain the abundance that presents itself to you.
Know what you want. Be specific about what you’re trying to accomplish. For example, if you’re running a marathon, perhaps your goal is to complete the race or to finish and not be in last place.
Aim high but not too high. Using the marathon example, if you’re running a marathon for the first time, you could aim to finish in the top half of the group.
Refuse to set yourself up for failure. Setting unrealistically high expectations is strategically not the best plan. If you lack experience or expertise in something, rather than saying, “I’m going to be number one,” say “I’m so proud of myself for going after my dreams. As long as I complete this task, I’m a winner.”
Embrace compliments from others. Do you shrug off kind words from others? If so, it’s time to recognize that most of us don’t go out of our way to praise another unless we’re quite impressed with something they did.
○ When you prosper, people take note of it and often comment about it. Accept praise and compliments from others with open arms and keep up the great work!
Do a personal inventory. Take stock of when you’ve been the most prosperous in your life.
○ What are your major successes?
○ What have you done well?
○ What are you the most proud of?
Remind yourself of your positive character traits. Spend some time making the connection between who you are and the abundance you’ve already received in your life.
Recognize prosperity comes in all “flavors.” Although money is a nice way to show notice of your stellar performance, you can also prosper in other ways. You might get more perks at work. Maybe you’ll be recognized in your field by getting an award. Perhaps you’ll become the “go to” person whenever people are facing a challenge.
See the power you have in your own life. When you take responsibility to traverse life’s challenges on your own terms, you’ll truly feel your own strength. You will prosper when you step up and make the decision to prosper.
Find the successes in your daily actions. However a situation concludes, consider your actions and what you did well. After a particularly challenging event, take some time to determine the positive aspects of the experience.
○ For example, if you submitted a project plan to your boss, that, in itself, is something to feel good about.
○ Even if your boss ultimately went with a different plan, you gained work experience in the process. You stuck to something and followed through. Your boss will remember those things. Ultimately, you’ll prosper in some way from the experience.
What you believe about yourself and a situation before it occurs determines whether you’ll reap the benefits of that situation. So, prepare your mindset for prosperity by thinking like a winner. You’ll live the prosperous life of your dreams!
Do you expect a lot from yourself? You will after the next lesson. We’ll explore the power of raising your expectations.
Get Started on the Tips in This Lesson:
YouTube is full of useful information. Think of a three famous and successful people and find videos on their tips for success. Watch a few of them and think about ways you can incorporate their ideas into your own life. Notice the similarities in philosophy between the three people you chose.
Developing a positive attitude results in positive experiences.
Each day, I see the benefits of maintaining a positive attitude. I realize that being positive results in better outcomes for me. When I am optimistic, it is easier for me to find solutions to challenges.
My mind is ticking with creativity because I am positive. I realize that when I look on the bright side, I can think clearly and accomplish more.
My relationships with those around me are stronger when I keep an open mind. I take the time to listen to their points of view. This approach results in better collaboration and mutual respect.
Keeping a positive outlook ensures that I avoid getting frazzled. When I feel frustration mounting, I remind myself that I am free to choose how to respond.
Being positive helps me to be patient. It helps me prepare to meet my long term goals.
I avoid allowing my lack of experience to prevent me from applying for new jobs. Even when I have less experience than other candidates, I believe in my abilities.
Every positive experience affirms that being positive is the best way to move forward.
Today, I vow to live a life full of positivity. I attest to the power of positive thinking because I see its impact on my life. I commit to encouraging others around me to live the same way.
Why do disappointments sometimes cause me to lose hope?
When the outcome to a situation is unfavorable, how quickly am I able to find an alternative?
How does having a positive attitude help to develop other positive traits in me?
How to Raise Your Expectations of Yourself
With your winning mindset, you’re ready for anything now. Did you complete the assignment of investigating your favorite famous, successful people? One of the important aspects of success is having high expectations for yourself. The more you expect of yourself, the more you can accomplish.
Raising your own personal expectations can enable you to accomplish more than you ever thought possible. The trick is to learn how to push yourself to greater heights without pushing yourself over the edge.
Why Raise Your Expectations?
If you're perfectly happy with your current situation in life, you might be wondering why you'd want to raise your expectations. Well, when you expect more, you'll drive yourself to achieve that much more.
Think about a time when you've expected nothing out of a situation. Chances are you weren't unhappy with the results because you didn't really care, but at the same time you probably weren't driven and fulfilled either.
While having greater expectations opens you up and makes you more vulnerable to failure, there are also big rewards too. It's worth it in the end because a negative experience is still an experience that you can learn from. A positive experience may provide you with one of those life-defining moments that make you happy to be alive.
Here are some excellent ways to raise your expectations of yourself:
Do difficult things. Pushing your limits can only be achieved by doing difficult things. You might not find success right away, but when you do, it can be the starting place for doing even bigger and better things in the future.
Expand your comfort zone. Staying comfortable is another way of continually playing it safe. When you expand your comfort zone, you open yourself up to new and exciting things. You'll then come to expect more from yourself just because you're comfortable with more.
Challenge yourself. Set yourself up with a specific challenge or make a dare with yourself. If you're dared to do something, you pretty much have to do it!
Take a survival course. Taking a survival course can show you how to get back to the basics. These courses are not just about basic survival, they can also teach you about yourself. You can learn more about your abilities and strengths, and then continue to challenge yourself in the future.
Learn new things. Work on being a more open and adaptable person. When you do, you may find that new experiences and situations simply fall into your lap. It's an easy way of broadening your horizons, and with new knowledge and skills under your belt, you'll be able to raise the expectations of what you can do.
Higher expectations for yourself also raise your self-esteem. What you think you can achieve is very important because it decides what you will achieve. When you raise the bar, you enable yourself to do more and be more than before.
Remember that your thoughts are very powerful. When you make the effort to raise your expectations, you're also strengthening your self-worth and abilities. You'll see yourself in a positive light and be better able to achieve your ultimate goals.
Try these strategies to help you raise your expectations of yourself and enjoy the pride and fulfillment that come with doing great things!
Sometimes, we’re uncomfortable with the prospect of significant success. Are you sure you want to be successful? Think again. We’ll find out in the next lesson.
Get Started on the Tips in This Lesson:
Give yourself a challenge that will stretch your comfort zone. Introduce yourself to a stranger while you’re out in public. A “stranger” at work or at a party doesn’t count. That’s too easy. Choose a person a store, bar, or out on the street. You could even choose a neighbor you’ve never met.
“I Can” Handbook
Successful people often say that it was their desire to keep on going and NOT quit that drove them to successful heights in their business or careers. That sentiment perfectly sums up the “I can” attitude.
In other words, even though the odds may be against you, keeping a positive mindset can give you the mental push and energy to stick to your plan and build your business or career the way you intended.
If you develop a negative “I can’t” attitude, it can pervade any situation you’re in. It can affect your business plans, career track, or even personal family or social situations.
If you keep telling yourself you can’t do things, eventually you’ll believe yourself and will lose the desire to even try new things.
Have you ever wanted to take part in a new social activity, but chose not to go because you didn’t know anyone? Is there a business conference you want to attend but are afraid of not knowing anyone else?
These are the exact situations in which you should face your fears and attack that negative attitude, especially if there are distinct benefits that could help your business or personal life.
Don’t be discouraged by set-backs or failure. Think about your abilities and strengths and push ahead!
Understanding What “I can’t” Really Means
When someone says, “I can’t,” what they’re really saying is “I’m afraid to fail, so I won’t try.”
If there’s a breath in your body and a means with which to do your work, why wouldn’t you want to keep moving on? If there’s a way to improve your life, career, or business, why wouldn’t you want to take that risk?
The answer is exactly that...trying new things involves a certain amount of risk and not all of us are risk takers. Most new situations don’t involve a life-threatening risk, but the simple fact of not knowing the outcome can paralyze people with fear.
Being fearful will prevent you from trying anything new and it’s often difficult to break this catch-22 cycle.
“I can’t” are the words that come out of someone’s mouth when they’re crowded by the doubters, plagued by low self-esteem, and stopped believing in their goals and aspirations.
A strong support system comprised of friends and family members who believe in your goals can help change your mind set, provided you’re comfortable sharing your goals with them. If you don’t have a good support system, you can look for support online in social media groups or business communities.
“I can’t” is a way to deny yourself success because you’re uncertain that you’ll be able to achieve it and you’re afraid to disappoint. But in the end, the only one you’ll disappoint is yourself if you don’t at least make an attempt.
Strong leaders don’t have this attitude – or if they do encounter it, they know the steps needed to combat those negative thoughts and continue with their plans. Sure, it’s human nature to doubt your ability or expertise, especially when faced with something brand new.
The difference between a leader and others is how each one handles the new task. Those with leadership skills or a “go getter” attitude know how to turn their negative thoughts into positive actions. Rather than dismissing themselves from contention, they welcome the challenge to learn something new.
Here are some steps you can take to combat self-doubt and become action-oriented:
Don’t take criticism or mistakes personally. No idea is perfect. Learn from the experience and prepare to have a great idea the next time.
Find ways to improve your skills. Take continuing education classes, e-courses, or read e-books to gain confidence in those skills you think are lacking.
Think about past successes. Success is sweet and words of praise can do wonders for self-esteem. Think about the times when you were successful and find ways to regain that feeling.
Think about the problem or task logically and break it into pieces. This can be overwhelming, so tackle smaller goals one at a time to avoid confusion and added stress.
Delegate what you can to other qualified experts. Use the resources around you to help complete the job rather than tackling the entire thing yourself.
The next time you’re faced with the chance to try something new, take a deep breath, think about the benefits you could experience from this, and learn how to prepare yourself for success.
The Automatic “I can’t” Response
When challenges or road blocks get in our way, as they inevitably will, the automatic response for those who are weak in their resolve to succeed is “I can’t.” Rather than taking the time to explore how to overcome a specific hurdle, many people prefer to say “I can’t.”
After all, it’s much easier and less stressful to just not try something rather than to put forth the effort and still possibly fail. However, think about all that you could be missing!
Did you pass on the single’s club event because you were nervous? Maybe you would have met a new friend.
Did you pass up the chance to make a presentation to your local Chamber of Commerce simply because you’re afraid of public speaking? You might have developed some new business contacts.
Have you thought about owning your own company but talked yourself out of it because you don’t have enough experience? Maybe you would have increased your income enough to get your family out of debt.
Do you want to lose weight but get frustrated at all the calorie counting and need for exercise? You might miss out on being heart healthy and medication free.
All of these scenarios are conscious decisions we make regarding our work, social life, or health. Every day we’re faced with decisions from the moment we wake up to the second our head hits the pillow at night.
Do you really want to live with regrets about any of your decisions, all because you were too scared to try something? That “I can’t” attitude can be very harmful to your psyche.
Even when others try to encourage and boost you while you’re still in that doubting phase, the automatic “I can’t” is a ready and willing response designed to shut down their attempts.
The people who care and support you the most can’t force you to take action. They can offer advice and provide the steps you need to take but it’s up to YOU to take action.
Without action, your thoughts remain daydreams and never come to fruition.
The Media’s Mind Trap
Every day we spend at least a dozen hours in front of some form of media: television, internet, radio, magazines, and newspapers. We live in the land of instant information and it’s enough to make your brain go into overload.
Have you ever thought about how all these media messages play a role in our negative attitudes? It stands to reason that, with so many media images hitting our senses everyday, we’d be influenced to some extent. After all, why would companies spend millions of dollars each year on advertising if we weren’t influenced?
For example, let’s take a look at the health and beauty market. Airbrushed super models grace the covers of magazines in skimpy bathing suits or dresses. Multiple television shows showcase plastic surgery. The paparazzi torment the celebrity crowd because we’re obsessed with the “beautiful people” and their lifestyles.
Then, every year cosmetic companies unveil the latest and greatest concoctions that promise to be the fountain of youth.
What does all this ogling do to our minds? It causes us to revisit those negative “I can’t” thoughts every day:
- “I can’t” get that supermodel body because “I can’t” afford the personal trainer.
- “I can’t” get my picture perfect body without surgery.
- “I can’t” be happy without millions of dollars and expensive cars and toys.
- “I can’t” get old so I’ll fight the natural signs of aging, no matter what the cost.
- “I can’t” afford this trendy gadget, but my favorite celeb is wearing it, so I’ll just add it to my insurmountable credit card debt.
What happens when people try to achieve those unrealistic expectations put into their minds by the media? Sure enough, when they realize they can never achieve those results, they decide that they aren’t good enough. It’s a vicious cycle.
What can You do to Change Your Mind?
Now the mind games begin. You’ve told yourself and anyone that will listen that you can’t do the activity needed for your success. Yet in the back of your mind, you still want success. You’re just afraid to go after your dream.
- Maybe you’ve had one too many disappointments and you aren’t ready to experience another.
- Maybe you’re just physically tired of trying.
- Maybe you think the competition is just too great and you’d rather stop now than be embarrassed later on.
Whatever the reason for your latest “I can’t” attitude, the reasons why “You can” still remain strong.
Here are some actions you can take to help change your negative mind set:
1. Avoid exposure to negative images when possible. If your mood plummets when looking at the perfect bodies in fashion magazines, find another magazine of interest or read a book instead.
2. Pull out your action plan and examine your goals. Are they realistic? Have they changed from when you first wrote them down? Are these actually YOUR goals, or are you trying to live up to other people’s expectations?
3. Examine your strategy for achieving those goals. Is it still valid? Can you delegate any of this work to others to help you achieve these goals?
4. What are you lacking in your life? How can you fix this? Write out small short-term goals – or baby steps – to make your goals more achievable.
5. Lean on your support groups. Share your concerns and determine if your chosen support people can give you what you need.
Once you’ve identified an area that needs support, improvement, or fixing, make that your focus with new action steps to aid you in your quest.
When You Need Something More
If, after reviewing your plans, you discover that the stumbling block to your success is simply that you need to learn something, your path is then straightforward again. Determine what you can do to gain this knowledge.
See? The steps to success now seem a little more achievable and less complicated!
Isolate what needs to be done, the time you need, and the resources you require, and then go after it. To give up now has to be considered a non-option.
If financial resources are an issue, dig down and look at what’s really available. Can you save the funds needed? Can you push back your goals just long enough to raise the funds required? Is there a less expensive alternative that’s just as good? That is a far better alternative than to quit at this stage.
Learn what you need to know and implement it.
These are actually two steps listed here but they work in tandem with each other. Yes, you can learn all there is to know about your chosen subject, but it does no good just sitting in your head. You must do something with that knowledge in order to be successful.
On every college campus there are the “career students” who study for hours on end in hopes of earning every degree possible. They might start off being a teaching assistant, which does qualify as “doing something,” but it could also be a glorified gopher’s position.
Are they really using their knowledge wisely? Or do they stay in school because they don’t think they can be successful in their chosen career?
The same holds true for those who start internet businesses. All the hype tells us how easy it is to earn money from home; there are thousands of “gurus” who charge hefty sums to teach their students how to find this “easy money.”
You can pay millions of dollars for all this training, but how will you make that money back? What’s the next step after learning all these different internet marketing strategies?
Take action. Learning is wonderful but you must put that knowledge into action in order to reap the rewards of your learning. Sure, it’s risky, but there’s also a risk in not taking action.
The smart business person will want to earn back the money they spent on their education and that requires action. Taking that first step toward success can be enough to get your “I CAN” attitude back again.
Having an “I can” attitude supports the notion that there’s always something you can do when you reach an obstacle – it’s just a matter of going after your goal again, and again, and again…
Once you change your attitude from one of resignation to one of hope and confidence, you’ve won half the battle. Keeping a positive attitude in your business and personal lives can be difficult; very often it’s a mind game and a test of wills.
So many business owners quit just days or months before they would have realized success. They put 2 or 3 years into building a business and then quit just when they’re about to reach their stride.
Or worse yet, many potential business owners never take that leap of faith and start their businesses. Instead, they continue daydreaming about what it would be like to be their own boss. This is a result of the “I can’t” attitude.
Life is challenging because it may be hard to see when that successful part of your journey is straight ahead of you. It’s easier to quit than to trudge on.
If your outlook is positive and you continue to believe in the abilities that got you this far, your journey will become easier and within reach.
By continuing your education and training and pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, you’ll consistently be challenged. But once you meet that first challenge successfully, working to meet the next challenges will become easier.
Try the following tips to find your positive attitude:
1. Be thankful. Rather than always seeing the negative parts of a situation, think about the positive benefits. Even if you’re in the midst of a struggle and stressed about a particular challenge, take the time to notice the nice weather, your comfortable home, your good health, or even that special picture from your child.
- Life is good but sometimes we forget when we focus on the stressors.
2. Be flexible. Routines are great for improving productivity, but you can avoid unnecessary stress if you learn to be flexible when complications arise. Take some deep breaths and learn to go with the flow.
- If something isn’t turning out the way you expected, take a break and focus your efforts on another project.
3. Journal your thoughts. Personal journals can help you sort out your feelings and help you relieve stress.
- If you’re mad at someone, write them a scathing letter in your journal. This can be a cathartic experience to get all those feelings out.
- Use a journal for business, too. Frustrations with a client seem more trivial once you write it all down. It also helps you see solutions more clearly.
4. Use a personal mantra or positive affirmation daily. Keep a favorite positive quote in your office or in a place where it’s noticeable so you can see it and remember the quote throughout the day.
- When you feel your blood pressure getting high, focus on your affirmation, take a deep breath, and walk away from your desk for a few minutes.
If you have dreams you’d like to reach, you have every right to go for it. No one should be talking you out of realizing your dreams – not even you.
Changing your negative mind set into a positive one won’t happen overnight, but if you work these tips one at a time, one day soon you’ll wake up in a good mood and with the self-confidence that “I CAN” brings.
Are You Uncomfortable With Success?
Having high expectations for yourself raises your success ceiling. With a higher ceiling, you’ve created the possibility of greater levels of success. But are you comfortable with success? That might seem like an odd question, but a hidden fear of success can be the ultimate form of self-sabotage.
Many people are uncomfortable with the prospect of success. It’s seems hard to believe but it’s true. Who wouldn’t want to be more successful? Failure might not be ideal, but it can be more comfortable than the possibility of something more. Eliminating your fear of success could be all you need to do to take your life to the next level.
You may not even be aware that the thought of success makes you uncomfortable.
Consider these facts and strategies about success to become more comfortable with choosing success as a way of life:
The fear of success can manifest itself in different ways. Procrastination, self-sabotage, and an inability to concentrate on important tasks are signs of discomfort with success. Do you suddenly feel tired when performing a task that could take your career to the next level? These are signs that your subconscious is derailing your efforts.
○ Notice signs of self-sabotage in your work and relationships. Ask yourself why you engage in those behaviors. Look at your past objectively. You’ve been sabotaging yourself for years.
Attack your negative beliefs. Make a list of your negative beliefs regarding success. Question them.○ How do you know this belief is true?
○ Where did this belief originate?
○ Could you be wrong?
○ What are a few counter examples to this belief?
○ What is this belief costing you?
Success is more complex than failure. It’s can seem easier to deal with your life as it is than to become successful. The more successful you become, the more visible you become. You’re more exposed to criticism. You have more responsibility. You may have to live with more pressure.
○ Remind yourself that you’ll have access to more resources if you’re successful. An excess of resources results in more comfort. When you have plenty of money and influence, life becomes easier.
You might worry about having to become a different person. Success requires change, but you can still be the same person. Someone that wants to lose weight will have to change their eating and exercise habits, but they are fundamentally the same person. There are changes to be made, but you’ll become an enhanced version of yourself.
Have a vision of success that appeals to you. Are you afraid that massive success will result in a loss of free time? Build a vision of success that allows you to work on the beach for a few hours each day with your laptop. Success won’t happen if your vision of success is unappealing. What is your ideal version of success?
List the advantages of success. Make a personal list that excites you. Consider all the advantages that success can bring: influence, money, social status, comfort, contribution, and so on. Use logic to motivate yourself.
Enjoy the process. Success can seem like a lot of work. If you view the work as misery, no success will be attractive enough to motivate you. Find a way to enjoy the process of becoming successful. You might choose to value what you’ll learn or the people you meet along the way. Sometimes, it’s just the adventure in finding the right path.
It feels counterintuitive that anyone would fear success. However, this is one of the primary reasons everyone isn’t more successful. Avoid underestimating how much your negative impressions of success can sabotage your future.
Build a vision of success that motivates you to be successful. Eliminate the negative. Question your current beliefs. And enjoy the success you deserve.
Along with the fear of success, the fear of failure is one of the most common fears. Luckily, you’ll discover how to overcome this fear in the next lesson!
Get Started on the Tips in This Lesson:
This is such an important topic that you have two tasks to complete for this lesson:
Make a list of the times you’ve sabotaged yourself in the past. Include your education, career, relationships, and finances. Ask yourself why you were self-sabotaging.Create a vision for a successful life. Throw caution to the wind and don’t worry about being practical. Keep making alterations until it’s as positive and exciting as you can stand. Write it down.
A Quick Guide to Removing Resistance
Resistance can prevent you from being successful in your quest to live the life you desire. Your challenging circumstances could be attributed to two things: either you’re indecisive about what you want or you’re too uncomfortable to make it happen.
Use these steps to lessen the level of discomfort associated with an action:
By removing your resistance, you’ll free yourself to move forward toward the life of your dreams!
Eliminate Your Fear of Failure and Soar to Greater Success
You have some understanding of ways in which you sabotage your efforts. When you’re uncomfortable with the idea of being successful, you’re getting in your own way. That discomfort is the result of fear. The most common fear in those that want to be more successful is the fear of failure.
Fear of failure can alter every choice we make. This fear can be helpful. Some of us are able to use the fear of failure as motivation to do our best work. However, most of us are influenced by this fear in a negative way. We often change our plans altogether and find an alternative that feels safer. This is a sure way to limit your results and experience feelings of regret.
Put the fear of failure behind you:
Understand that failure is part of the process. You’re very lucky if you figure out the right way to do something with your first effort. Short-term failure is much more common. Anytime you want to accomplish something significant, you can expect failures to be part of the process. Keep improving your process until you’re successful.
Realize that failure is only a temporary condition. A single failure isn’t a permanent condition. Failure is like a rainy day. Sunny days always show up again.
Find something meaningful. With enough motivation, fear isn’t an issue. For example, if you’re feeling overly bashful at work, maybe you aren’t working in the right field or with the right company for you. When you have enough passion for something, fear is much easier to overcome.Failure isn’t personal. Failing only means that your approach wasn’t the best option. It doesn’t say anything about you as a person. Even the most talented people deal with failure on a regular basis. A wrong choice isn’t indicative of a fatal flaw.
Stay present. You can’t worry if your mind isn’t living in the future. It’s only when you project a negative outcome that you become anxious. Reality is happening right now. The future is only a daydream. If you’re going to think about the future, imagine success. At this very second, you’re okay. You’ll be okay in the next second, too.Learn to enjoy fear. If your life isn’t in danger, being afraid is a sign that you’re doing something new. Only new behaviors will change your life. No one wants to live the same day repeatedly. That uncomfortable feeling is a sign that something amazing might happen.
Minimize fear by taking action. The people that are most afraid tend to be the most paralyzed, but they didn’t start out that way. You weren’t born afraid of the things that you fear today. But by giving in to fear, you teach your brain that fear is an effective way to control your behavior. It will continue ratcheting up the fear because it knows it works.○ Ignoring fear and taking action has the opposite effect. You can teach yourself that fear doesn’t impact your behavior. In time, the amount of fear you feel will decrease.
Look ahead. If you continue to allow fear to dictate your behavior, what will your life look like in 20 years? How would your life be different if fear didn’t control your actions? Would you rather be a little uncomfortable now or be filled with regret for the rest of your life?View failure as an opportunity to learn. Failure might provide a small sting, but the information you gain is invaluable. A few, small improvements are often enough to turn a failure into a success. Look for the lesson and apply it to your next attempt.
Has the fear of failure had a negative impact on your life? Dealing with the fear of failure is something everyone faces. Avoid allowing fear to dictate and limit your life. Remember that the fear is self-created. You can choose to have an attitude that supports your success.
That just about wraps up your first module. Good work! The final lesson in this module contains a summary and reflection that will tie everything together for you.
Get Started on the Tips in This Lesson
Embrace your many failures. Look back at every failure you’ve accomplished in your life. That’s right – accomplished. Look at each of those failures and decide what you could have learned from each of them. How could you have applied them going forward from that point?
Can you see how much you’re able to learn from your failures if you embrace them?
My failures are just stepping stones to my success.
Like everyone, I make mistakes and experience failures. However, I embrace these experiences because they help me get closer to my goals and achieve success.
My past mistakes guide me without defining me. I understand that mistakes are the bridge between inexperience and wisdom. Mistakes are the portals to my discoveries. I am getting to know myself through my mistakes.
I know that as long as I am making errors, I am out in the world contributing. My missteps are proof that I am putting forth effort and trying.
The mistakes I make today are my lessons for tomorrow. I reflect on my errors in order to avoid repeating them in the future. I learn more through my failures than through my simple successes, since they are gained without a challenge.
Having faith in myself and in my abilities is a reward to my soul. I can only reward myself if I look beyond my mistakes. I can only move forward once I look beyond my failures.
To remain positive, I view mistakes as only small set-backs. I understand that it is human nature to make mistakes. I achieve success with the knowledge that I gain from my failures.
Today, I remind myself that the biggest blunder I can ever make is letting fear of a mistake stop me. Experience is the name I choose to give to my mistakes. My failures are just stepping stones on my road to success.
How can I use failures in a positive way?
What lessons have I learned from my mistakes?
What can I do daily to make my mistakes useful?
Spread Your Wings and Try
A story about believing in yourself and facing your fears.
Robbie and Josh Robin both wanted to fly - until Josh saw what happened to Robbie…
Although deep down he was afraid of falling and wondered if he would ever be successful, Robbie Robin wanted to fly. So determined was he to fly that every day, after his morning worm, Robbie took a deep breath, flapped his wings, and stepped over the edge of the nest. Each time, Robbie Robin ended up in the bushes below.
Each morning, Josh Robin, Robbie's friend, watched Robbie bungle his daily attempt. Even though Josh also dreamed of flying, he thought Robbie was silly for trying when he knew that he would fail. Josh decided he was not going to try to fly.
After all, why make a fool of yourself when you can just wait until you're old enough to fly? Then you'll fly perfectly without hurting yourself, Josh thought as he settled in to watch Robbie's daily mishap.
"Hey, Josh, come over so we can practice flying," chirped Robbie.
"No way, that's stupid," answered Josh Robin as he drummed the limb with his beak.
"Aw, c'mon, it'll be fun," Robbie said moving spritely to the edge of his nest.
Without hesitation, Robbie Robin dove out of the nest with great conviction. His wings flapped fervently, but instead of going up, Robbie tumbled towards the ground rapidly. He landed awkwardly, coming to rest on a pile of maple leaves.
Josh Robin scoffed, "Ha, ha, ha. That was terrible!"
Robbie Robin slowly rolled to his feet, flapping dust from his wings while energetically shaking his head. Smiling gleefully, he looked up at Josh and chirped, "Was that great or what? I can almost fly! Mom, come down and get me. I want to try again. And this time, I'm going to soar high in the sky!"
And he did!
Moral: Although you may fear failure, believe in yourself, and you, too, can soar like an eagle.
Spread Your Wings and Try Reflection
Robbie and Josh wanted to fly and they both felt fear from knowing what could happen to them if they failed. However, Robbie and Josh approached their fear differently.
Josh's fear overtook him. He avoided learning to fly, putting it off until he was older.
But Robbie refused to let his fear prevent him from flying. He believed in himself even though he'd never flown. Robbie kept trying with a focused intention to succeed.
Just like Robbie and Josh, you may face situations with uncertainty. You might feel fear about whether you can succeed.
How do you respond to that fear? Do you spread your wings and try? If you don't succeed, do you keep at it like Robbie?.
If you respond like Josh, you allow your fear to prevent you from trying new things. You avoid making an effort because of your fear of failure.
Ask yourself, "What's the worst that could happen if I tried?" The reality is the more you try, the more you learn. Eventually, you'll succeed. Success will come only through your efforts.
To achieve success in life, feel your fears and trudge through them. The act of trying can be a triumph in and of itself. Overcome your fear of failure, put forth your best efforts, and you'll get the best results!
Just spread your wings and try!
Do I allow fear to overcome me and prevent me from following through with trying something new?
What are some things I want to do that I'm avoiding because I'm afraid to fail?
What is the worst that could happen if I tried these things?
How can I give myself credit and recognition for making an effort in the face of my fears?
Module 1 Summary and Reflection
The first step to becoming successful at work and in life is to develop an effective mindset. Your mindset is the foundation from which everything else evolves. Without the proper mindset, all of your efforts will be affected negatively.
Your thoughts, attitudes, and self-talk are all important components of your mindset. Just as important is your comfort level with success. Not everyone is comfortable with the idea of great success.
Eliminate your fears of failure and raise your success ceiling. You can accomplish more when you aren’t afraid of failing.
A positive attitude can make all the difference. A positive attitude affects your efforts in numerous ways.
With a success-oriented mindset, any goal becomes a possibility.
What does success mean to me? How do I know when I’ve become successful?
How does my current thinking affect my success? Can I see how my previous level of thinking has contributed to my successes and failures?
What can I do to maintain a positive mindset when everything seems to be going wrong? How have I handled this situation in the past? How successful was my strategy?
Who is my favorite “winner”? What can I learn from them that I can apply to my own life?
How would I rate my comfort level with the idea of being highly successful? Is it standing in my way?
To what degree do I fear failure? How would my life evolve if I were free of this fear?
Moving forward, your next module will enable you to effectively deal with limiting beliefs. Learn how to overcome them and work around them to achieve the success you deserve.
An abundant future awaits me.
Today's successes are the icing on my cake of abundance! I get excited when I open my eyes each morning because I know great things await me. I am a blessed child whose story is to achieve all I set my sights on.
Life's obstacles are only temporary roadblocks, so I avoid letting them change my resolve and focus. I use my talents and abilities to find a way around each challenge so I can continue on the path to success.
There is nothing to stop me from reaching the pinnacle in both my personal and professional exploits.
On days when I might tire, I allow myself to rest. I recognize that rest is an essential element to building my endurance.
I know an abundant future awaits me because I see every situation as an opportunity to do or achieve something great. I embrace even the most understated opportunity and try to find the worth in it.
I figure that even if an experience yields results other than what I expect, it can teach me which path to take the next time around.
Today, I avoid wasting my time worrying about what I have yet to accomplish. I remind myself of what I already have under my belt and use those achievements to propel my drive. I live without regret because every experience serves a purpose.
How do I plan for the great things that are to come?
Am I committed to achieving my goals?
Are there times when I feel weak and unable to keep going? How can I motivate myself to persevere?
Top 6 Excuses That Limit Your Success
You’ve established an impressive success brain mindset with the first module. The next step is to aggressively deal with any limiting beliefs you may have. These are like anchors that you drag along with you. They sap your motivation and resolve.
It’s common to make excuses for your lack of success. The excuses are comforting in their own way. The end result is to justify to the world, and yourself, why you’re not doing better.
Many of us have a series of excuses that we can pull out of a hat at a moment’s notice. There’s always one that seems to fit the bill perfectly. This is done largely to protect ourselves and to justify our current circumstances.
Are any of these excuses holding you back from success?
“I don’t know how.” This common excuse gives you permission to not even try. However, this excuse simply doesn’t hold water. At no time in the history of mankind has there been so much information available. Want to start a charity? There are hundreds of books on the subject. Need to lose 100 lbs? There are thousands of resources available.
○ One of the best ways to figure out how to do something is to find a qualified mentor. Another effective option is to simply try and then adjust your approach based on your results.
“I’m afraid.” This is perhaps the most socially acceptable answer. Who hasn’t been afraid? But there is very little to legitimately fear in our modern times. In most circumstances, you’re not in danger of being eaten by a lion or falling off a cliff.
○ Most of our fears are socially based and have no real consequences. Being afraid isn’t a valid excuse 99% of the time.
○ Would you rather be successful or protect your ego?
“I don’t have enough time.” Do you really believe this? Nearly all of us waste time on activities that provide no real value, including watching TV, internet surfing, and a host of other time wasters.
○ You know in your heart you could make the time for something that was truly important to you.
“I don’t have enough money.” This is another common excuse, but there is usually a way to work around a lack of financial resources. For example, if you’d like to learn to play the piano but can’t afford one, you could:
○ Find a free piano on Craigslist
○ Pick up an inexpensive digital piano in a pawnshop
○ Ask a local church or school to use their piano after hours
○ Locate a piano you can use at your local college
“It’s too late for me.” It’s too late? A person climbed Mount Everest in his 80’s. People have gone back to medical school in their 60’s. What would you like to do?○ Getting a late start might be less convenient and more challenging, but there’s nothing wrong with that. It means that you’ll only take on the challenges that are really important to you. That could be a good thing.
○ To be fair, there are a few things that require an earlier start than others. You’re not likely to play in the NBA if you take up basketball in your 30’s. But you could be a coach or work in the front office.
“It’s too hard.” Some endeavors are certainly more competitive than others. But claiming that something is “too hard” is really just another way of admitting that you’re afraid.○ The truth is that people with limited resources and talent can still be extremely successful.
○ We tend to imagine the competition is much tougher than it really is. The average person doesn’t have a lot of control over himself. He’s not truly committed. Those with motivation and stamina are really the ones who succeed.
People that are successful on a regular basis tend to have the fewest excuses. How could it be any other way?
Those with excuses are able to justify not taking action. However, no action equals no results. So put aside your excuses and go after what you truly want. You’ll be glad you did!
Do you have limiting beliefs that influence the results you achieve in life? The next lesson will address these beliefs and begin to remove the impact they have on your life.
Get Started on the Tips in This Lesson:
What are the excuses you use to justify not taking action or setting larger goals? What do you tell yourself when you think of chasing after a big goal, but then decide against it?
Make a list of the excuses you use that prevent you from being more successful.
Examine how these excuses have limited you in the past.
Consider the damage they will consider to cause in the future.
Find evidence to prove to yourself that those excuses are inaccurate.
Take one action that gets you past one of your excuses and moves you toward a goal.
I am free of self-limiting beliefs.
Although my parents and society impressed their beliefs on me as a child, I have the final say over what I believe as an adult. The only beliefs that I entertain are those that are self-nurturing.
I know that beliefs can drive behavior. Therefore, I critically analyze my thoughts. I see the world in a positive light. I only entertain ideas that are in line with who I truly am.
I nurture my self-esteem. I deserve success and happiness, and I have the tools to achieve them. I can easily recall times when I have been successful. I hold the feeling of winning close to my heart.
I know that I can achieve greatness just by being myself. There are many things that I can do better than anyone else. I cultivate and nurture my talents.
I am confident because I know my strengths. I am insulated against self-doubt.
I choose to believe in myself, even during challenging times. My sense of self is anchored in my knowledge that I am worthy of love and success. It comes from within.
Like anyone else, I make errors, but I turn them into learning experiences. Although I look to the future, I also take time to recall my past successes.
Today, I choose to release any lingering self-doubts. I realize that my performance can soar higher and higher as I continue to believe in myself. I take full advantage of life's many learning experiences.
When has the fear of failure kept me from trying?
What bearing does my past performance have on my present potential?
How would my life change if I constantly visualized success?How Limiting Beliefs Affect Your Life
In the last lesson, we examined how excuses are justifications for remaining stuck in your current circumstances. The excuses you use are a form of limiting belief. You’ll soon have a high-level understanding of how your various limiting beliefs impact your attitude, actions, and results.
Limiting beliefs probably have more of a negative impact on a person's life than any other factor. After all, most of us are pretty reasonable; we're not going to spend a lot of time on something that we believe is doomed for failure. Why would you even try to lose weight if you genuinely believed that everyone in your family was destined to be overweight?
We all carry around numerous limiting beliefs. They come from a variety of sources as well as from our own interpretation of the world around us. Humans can't help but learn, but sometimes we learn things that are inaccurate.
Fortunately, you can eliminate limiting beliefs and replace them with beliefs that empower you. Imagine replacing a limiting belief with one that makes life easier and enables you to be more successful.
It's important to follow a plan or process. Most things in life are like baking a cake. If you do all the right things when you're making a cake, in the end you'll get a cake. It's impossible to have any other result. Similarly, by following a process, you can banish your limiting beliefs.
Processes can be wonderful things. For example, if you have an effective process for getting up and getting ready in the morning, you'll never be late. If you have a healthy process for deciding what to eat, you're likely pretty healthy.
What is a limiting belief? For our purposes, we're going to define it as:
- A limiting belief is one that causes life to be less than completely satisfying.
You might believe that you can't be a doctor, but if you have no interest in becoming a doctor, what's the harm? There's no point in dealing with a belief like that, because eliminating it isn't going to have a positive impact on your life.
Focus your energy where it can have the greatest impact. The belief that you can't be a doctor is not a limiting belief based on our definition. So, limiting beliefs are those beliefs that restrict desirable options or your happiness.
Consider that if all of your beliefs were 100% accurate, you would be able to have nearly anything you've ever wanted. Believing the right things has a huge impact on your level of success.
Limiting beliefs affect our lives in so many ways, and none of them are good. If you can eliminate the 5 most limiting beliefs you possess, your life would forever change for the better.
One of the main ways that limiting beliefs have a significant negative impact on our lives is that they short-circuit the success process that follows:
1. Decide clearly what you want. It's tough to accomplish something meaningful if you don't identify it first.
2. Do something to make it happen. It takes action to attain any goal. Some people claim that you can practically wish a Porsche into your driveway without lifting a finger, but the real truth is that some action is required. You'll have to do something to accomplish anything meaningful.
3. Adjust your approach as you gain new expertise. You might not know enough at first to realize the perfect path. If it's not working, do something else. Adjust your approach based on your results.
4. Keep going until you're successful. If you kept improving your approach and you never gave up, how could you possibly fail? It's a simple process, but frequently, the simple processes can get you where you want to be. We spend too much time figuring ways to work around our faulty beliefs.
If you have a limiting belief, you're probably not going to complete step 2. As was stated earlier, most people won't take an action they think is doomed to fail. Why bother? This is one significant way that limiting beliefs get in our way.
Frequently, people are unable to complete step 4. Most of us decide too quickly that something won't work. As soon as you believe it won't work, you're unlikely to continue trying.
There’s a man in the real estate community who makes a great living buying and selling houses. He frequently has to make over 100 offers to get one accepted. How many offers would you make before you decided (incorrectly) that it wouldn't work?
Achieving big things usually requires time and effort. Frequently, that effort needs to be intelligent and calculated effort, as opposed to the lower-your-head-and-plow-ahead type of effort. It takes time and experience to put forth the proper effort. You can't do this with a limiting belief in the way.
Besides preventing your success, limiting beliefs also negatively affect your life in other ways, too, such as:
Limiting beliefs taint your experience of living. You will do fewer things over the course of your life when you’re constricted by your limiting beliefs. Imagine what your life would be like without any limiting beliefs. Surely a fuller, richer life is more appealing to you, no matter how great your life is right now.You unintentionally harm those around you. Even with the best of intentions, you affect others with your limiting beliefs. You’ll likely teach your children false ideas that limit them and even affect your friends with erroneous advice.
You fail to grow fully as a human being. It can be useful to view life with the purpose of eliminating your limiting beliefs and experiencing everything in the world that appeals to you. If you could do those 2 things, what kind of life would you have lived over the course of your lifetime? What path are you on right now?
You'll be inefficient. Limiting beliefs cause us to find an alternate path, if we look for one at all. If we don't believe the best route will work for us, we spend a lot of time following a less direct path in an effort to work around our limiting belief. Save some time and deal with the limiting belief instead.
Now that you understand how devastating limiting beliefs can be, it only makes sense to discover your unique set of limiting beliefs. The next lesson will lead you through that process.
"Beliefs have the power to create and the power to destroy.
Human beings have the awesome ability to take any experience of their lives
and create a meaning that disempowers them or one that can literally save their lives."
- Tony Robbins
Get Started on the Tips in This Lesson
Begin to understand the limiting beliefs you have rattling around in your brain. Make a list of all your unachieved goals, particularly those goals where you failed to even get started. If you failed to make a dent in a goal, there’s a good chance a limiting belief is to blame.
I believe I can do anything.
I am limited only by my own beliefs and I believe I can do anything. What one person can do, another can do too.
I know that anything worth getting in life takes hard work and perseverance. However, I can make such tasks look easy because I have an excellent work ethic. I think that if something is worth doing, it is worth doing well, so I naturally work hard at it.
When I focus on positive thoughts, everything seems to fall into place.
I remind myself of my amazing feats and realize that I am immensely capable. I possess unique talents that the world desperately needs to see, and I am willing to share them.
I look forward to achieving even more. My future is headed in a positive direction. I am so excited to see where I end up.
I am pushing away any limiting beliefs about myself. I am free of all self-doubt and criticism. I am looking forward with only positive expectations.
I have goals and know I can achieve them. I have the ability to do and be anything I want. I have great plans and know that I can be successful. Great things are inside of me. I am capable of working hard and becoming a better version of myself.
Today, I choose to focus on my amazing capabilities. I am moving forward and claiming my future. I am full of confidence. I believe I can do anything.
How would I feel if I knew I could be free of failure?
What would change if I had more belief in myself?
What impressive accomplishments have I already achieved?
Discover Your Limiting Beliefs
Did you complete the exercise on identifying your unachieved goals? Was it uncomfortable? Good! Discomfort is a sign that you’re doing something that can make a difference. Though you have begun the process of discovering your limiting beliefs, we’re going to delve deeper into the topic in this lesson.
How Do You Acquire a Limiting Belief?Limiting beliefs are pervasive in our lives. You probably are aware of many of them. Limiting beliefs come from a variety of sources. Some of these sources might surprise you. Many of these sources were actually trying to help you, so don't blame them. They simply believed the wrong things, too.
Here are but a few:
Family. Most of our family means well. Regardless, many of our limiting beliefs come from familial sources and our suggestibility to comments from our families can vary. Maybe your mom told you that you couldn't run track in high school because you're too heavy; now you believe that you could never be a runner.○ Maybe your dad said that no one in his family ever went to college, so you believe it's not a possibility for you.
○ Maybe you grew up in a lifestyle that was economically challenged, so you decided that being wealthy was impossible for you.
Friends. Much like our families, friends can do and say things that lead us to believe we're less capable than we are. Keep in mind that many of our 'friends' don't want to see others do a lot better than they themselves are doing. Also, people tend to unintentionally push their limiting beliefs on others.
Teachers. Teachers can have a lot of influence over us. When we're younger, they're almost like parents. Later, they're almost like our boss. Teachers are people too. Some of them have their stuff together; some do not.
Our own interpretation of events. In many ways, this is probably the only real source of our limiting beliefs. For instance, it's not really what your parents said to you, it's your interpretation of what was said to you.
○ For example, if your parents said, "You'll never be able to get into college." You could believe that what they've said is true or you could believe, "They don't know what they're talking about. I can do it if I want to do it."
Anyone or anything else that comes to mind. Other people, books, the internet, the news, movies, and more all have the opportunity to give us pause and doubt. Consider all the sources of information and opinion in your life. They all have the opportunity to steer you in the wrong direction.
"If you develop the absolute sense of certainty that powerful beliefs provide,
then you can get yourself to accomplish virtually anything,
including those things that other people are certain are impossible."
- William Lyon Phelps
Discovering Your Limiting Beliefs
To change anything, you first must identify it. It's important to stay relevant. We all have tons of limiting beliefs, but the truth is that many of them are irrelevant. Only worry about the limiting beliefs that are going to have the greatest impact. When you've dealt with those, you can deal with the others.
Part of being successful is focusing on the most important issues in your life. Remember to keep that in mind as you go through the process of discovering your limiting beliefs:
Make a list of the areas in your life where you feel challenged. If you have an area of your life that displeases you and you're not actively doing something to fix it, then it's a pretty good bet that you have a limiting belief. Otherwise, doesn't it make sense that you'd be doing something to rectify the situation? Your behavior is an indicator of your beliefs.○ Consider how you're doing in the following areas:
➢ Finances. Are you feeling financial pressure in your life? Do you have all the things you need or really want? How much money do you have in your savings? Do you have the income you desire? Is that income secure?
➢ Relationships. Are your relationships satisfying? Consider your intimate relationship as well as your relationships with your family, friends, and co-workers.
➢ Health. Are you taking good care of yourself? How is your weight? Do you go to the doctor regularly for checkups?
➢ Fun / Adventure. Are you doing the things you really want to do? Do you dream of going to Europe but haven't been? Do you want to learn to play the piano but never have?
➢ Any other aspect of your life in which you're experiencing dissatisfaction. Think about any other areas of your life where you're less than thrilled. If you're not pleased with your life, a limiting belief could be the cause.
Identify the beliefs that are contributing to your challenges. Make a list of all of your beliefs, good and bad, regarding the challenges you identified above. Don't attempt to filter them as positive or negative while doing this process; just get them all listed as you brainstorm and examine them later.
○ Here’s a short example around money:
➢ Making over $100k a year is really hard.
➢ I'll never be wealthy.
➢ Rich people are dishonest.
➢ I'll never have enough money to have a nice house.
➢ If I'm rich, people will try to steal from me.
➢ My friends will treat me differently if I have a lot of money.
○ Can you see why it would be difficult to make a lot of money if you believe these things?
Identify the beliefs that are holding you back. Think about which beliefs are having the greatest negative impact on your life. One way to do this is to consider how your behavior would change if that belief were eliminated from your life.
○ Don't just guess which beliefs are the most damaging. Really examine it and consider the change that your life would experience if you weren't held back by that belief.
Put those negative beliefs in order. Start with the limiting belief that you feel is creating the most challenge in your life. Put them all in order from the belief having the greatest negative impact to least. It makes sense to spend your time where it's going to do the most good. Prioritizing your time is always a valuable strategy.
Now that you have a list of your limiting beliefs and have them in order, it's time to start dealing with them.
How Can You Tell if a Limiting Belief is False?Obviously, there are some things that are essentially impossible. A 50-year-old man that's never played basketball won't become a professional basketball player, for example. So, some limiting beliefs are accurate, and it would be silly to argue otherwise. However most of our limiting beliefs are inaccurate.
A limiting belief could be false if:
It's not based on experience. If your belief isn't based on actual personal experience, it's likely to be false. To a large extent, you don't know what you can and can't do until you've tried. Many times, you might have to make 100 attempts or more to know the truth.
It's not based on a physical limitation. Just like our basketball example, there are things that we physically just can't do. You can't lift 50,000 pounds over your head. You can't flap your arms and fly to the moon.
The next lesson will teach you how to eliminate a limiting belief. You’ll be amazed by how much lighter and more capable you feel.
Get Started on the Tips in This Lesson
Choose one part of your life where you’re facing the greatest challenges. Identify the limiting beliefs in that part of your life. Rank them in order from most damaging to least.
Then determine if those beliefs are false.
I live in prosperity and abundance.
Each day, I choose to live with the belief that everything I need is always provided. The universe is generous to me. The amount I can receive is only limited by my beliefs.
Prosperity is an option available to us all. I can have anything that I focus on with expectation. As time goes on, I experience increasing abundance.
I constantly find new opportunities that enrich my life. The opportunities presented to me can be subtle, but I notice them. I take advantage of these opportunities to the fullest. I am enhancing my life each day.
I find myself worrying less about meeting my basic needs. What I need to live flows to me effortlessly. As these basic needs are met more easily, I am free to expand my life in other areas. My life is complete and satisfying.
Each day is a gift that I enjoy unwrapping. I am pleasantly surprised by the unfolding of the day.
I receive many blessings and feel thankful for each of them.
Today, I am allowing more abundance and prosperity in my life than ever before. I am completely open to receiving every opportunity and possibility. I live in prosperity and abundance.
How am I currently limiting the abundance in my life?
In what ways would my life be enhanced if my level of prosperity increased?
What are some examples of prosperity and abundance that I have enjoyed?
How to Eliminate a Limiting Belief
How many limiting beliefs did you discover in just one area of your life? Identifying limiting beliefs isn’t fun, but now you’re going to learn how to get rid of them for good. Eliminating a limiting belief is challenging, but doable. You’ve been carrying many of them for years.
Remember, where there’s a will, there’s a way.
Follow this 7-step process to banish a limiting belief:
Read the belief aloud and ask yourself, "Do I really know that this is true?"
○ Have you experienced this yourself enough times to be confident that it is true? Remember: you can't accurately draw conclusions from a limited number of experiences.
○ Do you really know that this belief is true without a shred of doubt?
Where did you come up with this belief?
○ For example, did your limiting belief about money come from your mom? Was your mom a wealthy person? If she wasn't at that time, then she's not a reliable source of information. After all, an expert on money would be able to have a lot of it.
If someone hasn't had a lot of money, then they don't really know how to accumulate it or what it means to have it. Consider whether or not the source of your belief is a valid source.
○ Your beliefs should come from your own personal experiences and from the advice of experts. That's it. If your dad wasn't a great college student, you can find a better source of information about what it takes to be successful in college. Any other source of information you should consider suspect.
Rely on experts. They are easy to find and there's no reason to take stock tips from a homeless man, which is what you're doing when you take advice from people that haven't been extremely successful in your area of interest.
Simply state to yourself, "I choose not to believe this anymore. It's not true."
○ It might sound trite, but stating your intention has a profound effect.
○ Look for supporting evidence. Find some reasons and examples why this limiting belief is false. For example:
The person that told me this doesn’t really know.
I've never actually tried it for myself.
iii. I've seen others that are less capable than me be successful at this.
○ At the very least, you should feel a sense of doubt about that limiting belief. If you don't, then keep coming up with more reasons. Get online and read some articles by someone that you feel is truly an expert on the topic of your belief. Search for examples that the belief is false.
○ Imagine how much your life would change if you didn't have this belief in your life.
Create a new belief that serves you. This will be the opposite of the limiting belief or at least something along those lines. Create a belief that will improve your life and support your ability to take action to make your life better.
○ Find examples to support this new belief. Any belief will be more stable if it has supporting information and evidence.
○ Really try to prove that it's true. Imagine that you had to prove to someone else that your new belief is accurate. That should get you where you need to be.
Measure yourself. Each day, check yourself. How do you feel about your new belief? How do you feel about your old belief? Check your gut; it's a direct link to your subconscious.
○ Is your behavior changing? If your beliefs change, the way you act and/or feel will change, too. Our lives and feelings are a manifestation of our beliefs. If your beliefs have really changed, your life will change as well.
Go back to your list of limiting beliefs. Keep working on your list of negative beliefs. Work through those items and continue to add new items to it. You'll find that you'll discover new limiting beliefs as you start making progress in your life.
○ As you experience new things, new limiting beliefs will show up. These are beliefs that you didn't know you had until this point.
○ As you set new goals, new challenges will present themselves. As you learn and experience more, your objectives change, so the limiting beliefs you have will change, too. Maybe you’ll decide 10 years from now that you want to be a doctor; any limiting beliefs you have about being a doctor would then have to be addressed.
○ Continue examining your life for limiting beliefs and eliminating them. It’s like pulling weeds. No matter what you do, some weeds always pop up over time. Simply recognize them and get rid of them.
Repeat all the steps on a regular basis. As you set a new goal or have new challenges in your life, repeat the process. It would be a great idea to sit down once a week and make a new list of limiting beliefs. You would be unstoppable.
Take the time to put this 7-step method to use with your limiting beliefs. Understanding the process provides little value. You must actually apply it to see any results.
Your limiting beliefs aren’t the only self-created obstacles you must face. We all suffer from self-limiting thought patterns, too. You’ll learn how to take control of your thoughts and create new, empowering patterns.
Get Started on the Tips in This Lesson:
Choose one limiting belief each day for the next week and apply the steps listed in this lesson. Notice how you feel about the belief before and after the process. Notice how your behavior begins to change, too. You must work the process to receive any benefit!
7 STEPS TO BANISHING A LIMITING BELIEF
Break Away from Self-Limiting Thought Patterns
Hopefully, your limiting beliefs are becoming a thing of the past. The 7-step process in the previous lesson is effective if applied consistently. Old beliefs can be stubborn, so decide to be even more stubborn!
In this lesson, we continue our rebellion against limiting beliefs by examining how self-limiting thought patterns impede success.
Have negative thoughts ever hindered your efforts to live, learn, and grow? Your personal beliefs about yourself and your life matter more than you realize. In fact, those beliefs become the very foundation upon which you build your life.
Why not recognize your own self-sabotaging thoughts and learn how to correct them?
Some common self-limiting thoughts are:
“I’ll never be able to save any money for retirement.”
“I guess I won’t ever fall in love again.”
“Why can’t I find any trustworthy friends?”
“I’ll be fat forever.”
“I'm sure Pat will get that promotion over me.”
“I wish I could take a vacation to Europe, but I know I could never afford it.”
“How will I ever live the life I want earning what I earn now?”
If you identified some of your own limiting thoughts while reading the above examples, take steps to break your cognitive ties to those thinking patterns.
Focus on these strategies to start thinking in a new direction:
Refrain from labeling yourself. If you see yourself as “poor” financially, then you might unconsciously strive to match that label. Or if you think of yourself as “fat” you may be unable to imagine yourself as beautiful and thin.
Take baby steps. When you continually move towards your goals, you’ll gain the momentum to keep on going. Rather than think you’re unable to achieve success, decide on the steps to take to ensure you do.
○ Let's use the example of the European vacation. Instead of believing you’ll never get there, establish a small weekly savings goal of $20, and keep putting the money aside until you have enough.
Learn to be your own best friend. Love yourself enough to be your own best friend. Do this by giving yourself the benefit of the doubt. Think positive thoughts such as, "I can do this." When you practice this, you’ll reject self-limiting thoughts.
Believe in yourself. Instead of insisting you’ll “never” do something, say that you can, and then do it. If you turn those negatives into positives, it boosts your self-esteem. Trust that you can accomplish, succeed, and prevail.
Assess the truth. Ask yourself, “Is what I’m thinking really true?” For example, is it an absolute reality that you'll NEVER be able to save ANY money AT ALL for retirement? It doesn't have to be true, unless you strive for that.
○ Change your mindset by beginning your "retirement fund" today. At the end of the day, put all your change into a jar. Do this at the end of each day to ensure it isn’t true.
○ Question your self-limiting thoughts. When you realize they’re unrealistic, untrue, and within your power to change, you’ll be able to break away.
Recognize how powerful your negative thoughts are. You create who you are by what you think about yourself. Why not turn that power into positive energy that drives you towards the things that you want in life?
Learn from prior errors. Instead of using your past against you, think about the knowledge you have gained from each experience. Maybe an important relationship dissolved a few years ago. The loss of that relationship doesn’t mean you’ll never find another partner again.
○ Rather than getting bogged down with self-limiting thoughts, reflect on the shortcomings of your previous relationship. What part did you play? If you proactively learn from your past mistakes, you’ll make healthier choices in the future.
When you apply these strategies to your life, you’ll see the possibilities that are all around you. You can do anything you set your mind to. Extinguish those self-limiting beliefs right now so you can start embracing the good life that’s yours for the taking.
The next lesson will wrap up this module and provide you with a useful reflection process to solidify your enhanced mindset. You’ve come a long way since the beginning of the course. You have the right to be proud of yourself!
Get Started on the Tips in This Lesson:
Make a list of the ways in which you label yourself.
Create a new list of labels and create affirmations that support these new labels.
Read your affirmations at bedtime each night for 10 minutes.
I believe in my own abilities.
I am capable of so many things!
My talents and skills combine to help me do good things for myself and others, and I am proud of what I have to offer the world. Whatever comes my way, I can accomplish what I set out to do. I believe in my own abilities.
Each day of my life, I grow in some way. I put my best foot forward and learn from everything that comes to me. Because I can grow from even the most challenging situations, I know that I can rise to any occasion.
I am capable of more than I can even dream of today, and I look forward to seeing those abilities manifest.
If I ever feel like I am doing less-than-fabulous work, I give myself a breather. Sometimes a little time away is enough to give me the perspective I need to approach a task in a new light.
During this time, I think about my past successes. This helps me remember my own capability, so when I return to work, I feel good about myself.
I have accomplished so much in my life. This is due, in no small part, to my innate talents. But I have also learned many skills that help me achieve my goals. Whether working on my own objectives or being of service to others, everything I do helps me to do even better tomorrow.
Today, I am thankful for all of my skills and talents. I am confident in my ability to reach my goals. Each day, I remind myself of what I do well, which encourages me to move forward with positivity.
What are three things I do very, very well?
What challenges am I most proud of having overcome?
How can I continue to increase my confidence in my own abilities?
Module 2 Summary and Reflection
Limiting beliefs really do put our lives in a stranglehold. They can lead us to believe that we have limited options to deal with our challenges or that we’re limited in doing new things. These beliefs have profound negative consequences and eliminating them is one of the best things we can do for ourselves.
Our limiting beliefs come from a variety of sources: friends, family, teachers, neighbors, religion, the media, and our own interpretation of the world and the events in our lives. In many cases, the source of the limiting belief truly had our best interests at heart. The people around us have a significant effect on us.
By examining those beliefs and asking ourselves some key questions, we can eliminate them. Unless we've experienced something numerous times or we have the advice of an expert, we don't really have the knowledge to make accurate judgments about something. Be selective about whom you believe.
Installing a new empowering belief is similar to installing a limiting belief, except that the process has intention behind it. A new belief needs evidence to support it before it can be believed. A new belief will leave clues in the form of new behaviors and different results.
Measuring yourself and your life is important. This measurement process is critical, both to see if the new belief is in place and if it is indeed an empowering belief.
By systematically going through all of your limiting beliefs, it’s possible to dramatically improve your life. Always remember that new limiting beliefs will occur over time, and it's important to check yourself for these new limiting beliefs.
Life can be relatively easy and simple. Deal with your mental obstacles and you'll see those are essentially the only obstacles you have. Look at your limiting beliefs today. Your life will never be the same.
Please download, print, and complete the Worksheet, “Are Limiting Beliefs Holding You Back?” from your Additional Resources Box.
Now that you understand how important your mindset is to your success, the next module gives you a process you can follow to achieve your goals.
Are Limiting Beliefs Holding You Back?
Answering the following questions will help you along the path to identifying, eliminating, and replacing your limiting beliefs.
What are the most challenging situations in my life? If I could overcome these challenges, which one would have the biggest impact on my life?
With reference to this challenging situation, what beliefs are keeping me stuck?
Are these beliefs true? How can I be certain that they’re true?
Where did I get these beliefs? Is that person or source an expert?
How would my life change if I eliminated these beliefs?
What would be a positive belief that serves me better?
What evidence supports this new belief?
Discover Your Power by Knowing Your Intentions
There are multiple skills needed to create a “Success Brain.” The previous module was primarily focused on dealing with limiting beliefs. Once you have gained the ability to move beyond your limiting beliefs, it’s important to know what you’re moving toward.
This lesson will provide the information you need to find and declare your intentions. This is the next step in moving rapidly toward success.
Although we’re all trying to make it through life, it’s interesting to contemplate how conscious we are about what we’re doing and the direction we’re headed. Reflecting on what you’re going to do next helps you plan for and accomplish your goals.
When you intend to do something, you’re much more likely to do it.
Do you know your intentions?
Here are some reasons why you might want to figure yours out today:
Intentions are powerful. When you intend to do something, you begin to set up your time and situations so you can make it happen. In essence, when you know your intentions, it brings you power that you cannot obtain by any other method.
Your intentions keep your plans in the forefront of your mind. Whenever you’re thinking about what you intend to do, you’re reminded of your goals. If you intend to lose weight, for example, you’ll catch yourself thinking about what you’ll do today to lose weight—what you’ll eat and how you’ll burn extra calories.
○ Your intentions set you on a path to excel because they are on your mind consistently.
You can have short-term intentions and longer term intentions. A short-term intention might be going to work every day and excelling in some small way.○ A longer term intention might be doing your best work consistently so you can earn a promotion.
○ Ensure you have both levels of intentions in place to keep you progressing in a positive direction.
You’re in control. When it comes to having intentions, it’s up to you to decide what you want in life and what you’ll do to achieve it. A wonderful thing about an intention is that you make a conscious decision to accomplish something. You might reach your goal that day, week, month, or sometime later during your lifetime.
○ Intentions are a fascinating paradox because you control having intentions and your intentions, in a sense, drive (control) your actions. Ultimately, you’ll prosper because of them.
Having intentions gives you confidence. When you intend to do something, you’re optimistic because you know deep inside that you will do it. As a result, you become quite confident in your quest for the good life. You have a plan and you’re going for it.○ Your intentions bring self-assurance to galvanize your efforts to live your dreams with passion.
Others may view you as a role model. We’re all looking for someone to look up to, to receive guidance from, and to set a clear, positive example for us. Your intentions say a lot about you and enable you to be the one that others look up to.○ As a role model, you’re more likely to rise to the occasion and continue setting up powerful intentions in your life to take you where you hope to go. Everybody wins when you know your intentions.
Your intentions bring you great power over your future.
You’ll live a life you truly want when you know what you’re going to do with it. Your intentions provide powerful guidelines, bring you confidence, and spark your motivation to live your best life each day!
Living your best life each day is dependent on your habits. With an effective set of habits, nearly anything is possible. Habits are the topic of the next lesson.
Get Started on the Tips for This Lesson:
Create one long-term intention.
Create three short-term intentions that support that long-term intention.
Take action today on one of your short-term intentions. Do one thing that moves you forward.
For example, you might have the long-term intention of finding a more lucrative job. One of your short-term intentions might be to call your previous bosses and co-workers for any leads or advice.
My goals in life are clear.
When establishing goals, I take a look at my priorities. My career, children, partner, and health are all at the top of my list. In each of these arenas of my life, I am clear about what I want. Therefore, setting goals is easy for me.
I find that when I put down my desires on paper, they become real. When I read the words, I become energized by the idea that I can achieve my goals. I know that my aspirations are within my reach.
I realize that in order to be successful in life I need to know very specifically what I am striving toward. I am then compelled to work on each of my goals, one by one. Recording my aspirations on paper helps me to stay focused, centered and moving toward them.
I live each day with those goals in the front of my mind. As I take my morning walk, I take the time to reflect on my intentions: I think about what I plan to do that day to be one step closer to a specific goal. I allow myself to feel the excitement that comes naturally to me when I achieve one of my aspirations.
Today, I choose to clarify my life plans and write them in a special journal or notebook. Reviewing them each day reminds me to allocate time for fulfilling my most important desires.
Are my goals in life clear to me?
Have I written down my heart's deepest desires?
How can I make time to work toward my goals?
Form Empowering Habits to Create the Life You Desire
When you intend to do something, the likelihood of getting it done goes up dramatically. Knowing your intentions is key. Forming habits to encourage those intentions only makes sense. Your life becomes what you consistently do. This lesson focuses on habits.
How you go about your daily life ultimately determines the life you live. Think about it—if you eat more than your share of high fat, high sugar food and spend your spare time watching television, you’re creating the life of a sedentary person who carries at least a bit of extra weight and has a sparse social life.
On the other hand, if your daily life is filled with healthy choices and activities you do each day, it stands to reason that you’re a healthier, more active person. Applying this idea further, if you don’t choose to do your own homework regarding your work or career, you might be the type of person who just does what he has to do to get by at work.
After all, you’ve got other things you’d rather do like watch sports on television or hang out with your friends.
If you‘re interested in advancing your career, you probably spend at least some time daily engaging in reading, tasks, projects, and activities that focus on your career development. The results of your behaviors most likely are that you’re high-achieving in your work, well-respected at the office, and have done quite well in your career.
How can you fill your life engaging in activities with people and study that bring richness and fulfillment to you? How can you create the life you truly desire? The answer? Form empowering habits that ensure you live the life you seek.
What is so important about Forming Habits?
When you think about it, your life is all about the habits you have.
Your habits=your life. What you do every single day over and over again combines, over time, to become the very foundation of your life.
Habits are automatic behaviors. When you develop a habit, it takes that action out of the realm of having to make a conscious choice every time you do it. You don’t have to think about it or make yourself do something once it’s a habit. You just do it automatically.
Habits can be empowering or inhibiting and even unhealthy. This same information applies to both forming empowering, positive habits that help you get what you want or negative habits that hold you back from fulfilling your potential.
Positive habits create the life you want. If you form positive habits, you’re more likely to enjoy the riches and fulfillment of the good life you want.
Your habits are the most basic elements of your life. Whether you look at your day-to-day routines or your overall life, it’s made up of all the behaviors you do. Those actions practiced consistently are your habits. If you establish positive empowering habits, you’ll live the life of your dreams.
“I never could have done what I have done without the habits of punctuality, order, and diligence, without the determination to concentrate myself on one subject at a time.”
The Science of Habit Development
Over the years, you might have read a lot about how long it takes to develop a habit from repeating new positive behaviors that you exhibit. If you ask around or even search the internet, you’ll hear that it takes anywhere from 10 to 28 days to establish a habit.
However, some new research by Phillippa Lally and others at University College London have truly shed light on the science behind habit development. Take a look at some of Lally and her fellow researchers’ findings and some additional suggestions based on the research:
A behavior must be repeated 66 times consecutively before it forms a habit. If you’ve ever tried to establish a habit by performing a behavior every day for say, 14 or 21 days, it probably didn’t work because you didn’t do the behavior enough times in a row in order to successfully develop the habit.
Repeat the behaviors in the same setting/situation. You’re more likely to form a habit when you keep doing a behavior in the same place and/or situation. Where you are affects habit formation.
○ The researchers determined that where you are whenever you’re trying to form a habit has something to do with how successful you’ll be. In essence, if you’re in the same place when you’re doing the new behavior over and over, you’re more likely to successfully form a habit.
Forming a new habit is “cue-dependent.” Whether you form a habit depends somewhat on cues in your environment and behaviors. There are 2 types of such cues, according to Lally and the other researchers: situational and contextual.
○ Situational cues originate from your environment or location while contextual cues are other behaviors you do in conjunction with or related to the new behavior you wish to perform to start a habit.
○ An example of a situational cue is what you see in the morning when you first enter your kitchen: you see your coffeemaker and therefore decide to make some coffee. Your coffee maker is therefore, something that triggers you to make and drink your morning coffee, which you do every morning (possibly out of habit).
○ An example of a contextual cue in this case of morning coffee is that as soon as you shut off the alarm and put on your robe, you head to the kitchen to prepare your morning fix. Getting up and getting on your robe trigger you to go make and drink your coffee.
Consistency is an important key to establishing habits. Results of the research also emphasize the importance of consistency of doing a behavior when trying to form a habit.
○ Although researchers found you could skip a day when trying to establish a habit, it’s unknown how many total days you could skip during the 66 days and still successfully end up forming a habit.
Avoid skipping the behavior if you want it to become a habit. Plan to repeat a behavior 66 times in a row without skipping to ensure you develop a habit. After consistently doing the new behavior 66 times, you’ll likely discover you’re automatically performing the behaviors. You will have formed a habit.
○ Focusing on what you really want it life and developing habits leading to those goals will ensure you live the life you seek.
In particular, be 100% consistent in the initial process of establishing a habit. Another factor that researchers found to be important is that early on in the process of performing behaviors, be absolutely consistent.
○ Research revealed that those who skipped days initially during the 66 day period were less likely to successfully establish a habit. One could theorize that you’re setting up your brain to become accustomed to a habit early on in the process.
Be in the same place/room when doing a behavior you want to become a habit. Ideally, perform your behavior in the same room when you do it.
Pair the new behavior with one you already do regularly. For example, if you want to start flossing your teeth, lay the package of floss right by your toothpaste tube or even on top of it to be reminded to do it just after you brush your teeth for the night. Be consistent about flossing your teeth each time you brush your teeth.
Apply the info gained from this valuable research when you’re attempting to form positive habits.
Let’s take a look at negative habits and their consequences, substituting positive habits for negative habits, and developing new, empowering habits.
Just as positive habits can shape the course of your life in positive ways, negative habits can have the opposite effect. You’ll understand how to deal with negative habits during the next lesson.
Get Started on the Tips for This Lesson
Take a few minutes to list the new habits you’d like to develop. Keep your intentions from the previous lesson in mind.
Choose one of those habits and work through the process in this lesson. Note your results. New habits are challenging to develop and old habits are challenging to break. The sooner you begin perfecting these skills, the more quickly you can achieve success.
10 Habits of the Happiest People
Why are some people happy all of the time? The happiest people have habits that raise the odds of feeling happy. Unhappy people have habits that result in less desirable feelings. It can be that simple. If you're not as happy as you'd like, take a look at your habits.
Those that are happy share many qualities. Adopting these same qualities will yield positive results.
Habits that lead to happiness are enjoyable to implement:
Optimism. Obviously, if you believe good things will happen, it's much more likely that you'll be happy. Expecting the worst does nothing to improve your mood! Realistically, it's not even important to expect a positive outcome, only to believe that everything will be okay.
* Optimism is also a form of belief in yourself. If you believe that you can handle any outcome, you can be optimistic and have the mental freedom to be happy.
Altruism. Doing things for others provides multiple benefits. You can see firsthand that you have a lot to be grateful for. You can feel good about yourself for assisting others. You have a good reason to get out of the house. You also feel useful.
* Make a list of at least three ways you can help others that will also fit into your schedule.
Gratitude. Do you realize how many great things and people you already have in your life? By maintaining focus on the things you don't have, you're making yourself unhappy. Experiencing gratitude helps to create feelings of happiness.
An exciting future. Maximum happiness requires that you have something to look forward to. It can be graduating from college, having a baby, retirement, a vacation, or a hot date on Saturday night. Have a few goals that give you a reason to be excited. Have goals that are both short-term and long-term.
Success. Spend some time doing things that you're good at. It feels good to do well at something. It doesn't have to be a competitive event. You can hit golf balls at the range or play the guitar and feel great about yourself.
* Make of list of the things you excel at and try to spend at least a little time each day doing one of them.
Resilience. It's impossible to avoid challenging times. Sooner or later, something will happen that threatens your progress, success, or happiness. Resilience is the ability to continue forging ahead. Some people have a knack for making obstacles seem bigger than they really are. Others are able to maintain their composure and continue making progress.
Reasonable expectations. When your expectations are overly optimistic, you'll routinely experience disappointment. When your expectations are consistently low, you won't feel very optimistic. Neither is a recipe for happiness.
Forgiveness. How can you be happy while holding a grudge? Forgiving others quickly and easily make happiness possible. You might feel that some people don't deserve forgiveness, but what is the alternative? Making yourself unhappy.
Authenticity. Spending your time pretending to be something you're not is a challenge to your self-esteem. Happiness is allusive if you don't feel comfortable being yourself. Allow your uniqueness to show.
Presence. Thinking about the past leads to regret. Thoughts of the future lead to anxiety. Keep your mind in the present if you want to experience happiness on a regular basis.
There's nothing complicated about happiness. Forgive others, be yourself, give of yourself, and be grateful for the things and people you already have. Having an effective set of habits will result in feeling more happiness.
Negative Habits and their Devastating Effects
How well did you do with the process of beginning a new, positive habit? Keep at it. There are few skills more valuable. Imagine the difference in your level of success if you could develop new habits whenever you wanted.
Negative habits can be devastating to your overall quality of life and your success. It’s important to understand how negative habits can create serious challenges.
Consider now all the habitual behaviors you exhibit that eventually lead to unwanted, negative situations in your life. Negative habits can produce results that are completely contrary to what you desire.
You wouldn’t consciously choose to keep yourself from what you truly want. But you keep repeating those habits anyway just because they are what they are: habits.
Honestly evaluate how what you’re doing is affecting your life. Maybe you have not achieved your work goals or your health is not as good as it could be because of your habits. Although it might be a challenge, take a long look at where you are now in life and how your habits have gotten you here.
Subconsciously or even consciously, you apparently experience some type of benefit from continuing to perform these negative habits. If you didn’t, you wouldn’t be doing the habits in the first place. Think about how you’re getting reinforced to continue repeating your unsavory habits.
Consider this example:
Tom wants to play basketball with the men in his neighborhood who get together every Saturday at 10 a.m. He used to love shooting hoops in college and for a few years afterward when he first started working. Of course, he was in a lot better physical condition then even if he didn’t have a six-pack.
Even though he talks all the time about wanting to get back into shape, the fact is that now, he can only dream about reaching that goal. Tom is 30 pounds overweight and already fights his high cholesterol. After work during the week, Tom’s just too tired to do anything. And he loves to sleep in on Saturdays.
Tom feels entitled to stay in bed on Saturday mornings after getting up at 7:00 a.m. to go to work all week. So, he sleeps late—until around 9:00 a.m. Then he has his favorite breakfast—sausage, gravy, and biscuits with 2 glasses of milk, a glass of orange juice, and a banana. By the time he prepares and eats his breakfast, he’s in no condition to play basketball.
In this example, what are the benefits to Tom to keep repeating these behaviors, which are a negative habit, on Saturday mornings? How is he being reinforced to continue the behaviors that are actually keeping him from what he truly wants?
He gets to lie in bed longer, which he apparently longs to do.
Tom loves the tastes of his breakfast. It feels decadent to him to eat a breakfast so full of fat, calories, and flavors. Frankly, it just tastes good.
There are no real demands on him during this time. He doesn’t have to get dressed, go out, and accomplish anything.
Tom deserves it. He’s convinced himself he deserves to lie in bed as long as he pleases, eat his unhealthy breakfast, and choose not to play basketball. Emotionally, he sends himself the message that after working all week, he can behave however he wants, regardless of the consequences long-term.
The fact is that Tom’s Saturday morning habits of sleeping late, eating a breakfast loaded with calories and fats, and choosing to avoid playing basketball sets the tone for his entire week and maybe even his life!
Tom has consciously convinced himself he’s doing what he wants. But is he really? After all, he’s repeating a series of bad habits—he just keeps doing unhealthy behaviors every single Saturday of his life.
Which would he truly choose—being in good physical condition by playing basketball and hanging out with the guys on Saturday morning or continuing to stay in the shape he’s in?
Take a minute or two to ponder the situations in your life you’d like to change. Are you like Tom—engaging in negative habits from which you consciously or unconsciously derive benefits? How are you negatively reinforcing your own unsavory habits?
What do you say to yourself that encourages you to continue repeating the unacceptable actions?
If you see a bit of Tom in yourself, you might want to begin consciously focusing on the things that are more important to you to obtain a different, more pleasing result. You’ll benefit even more from establishing a positive habit than you derive from repeating a negative habit.
Creating good habits and eliminating bad habits are both highly effective. But, what if you could replace a negative habit with one that’s positive? That would be even more powerful. Pay special attention to the next lesson.
Get Started on the Tips for This Lesson:
Make a list of your habits that are counter to your long-term intentions. Consider everything. Even your tendency to watch TV when bored or stressed might be a negative habit. Examine your tendencies.
8 Negative Habits That Prevent Happiness
Nobody consciously chooses to be unhappy, but you can cause yourself a lot of misery by engaging in negative mental habits. The outcomes we experience in life are often the result of our habits.
Eliminating counterproductive habits from your life is the first step to experiencing true happiness.
Make an effort to eliminate habits that negatively impact your happiness:
Having unreasonable timelines. Nearly any goal is reasonable. Unfortunately, it's common to overestimate what can be accomplished in a certain amount of time. Interestingly, most individuals underestimate what's possible over longer stretches. Be sure your timeline is reasonable.
* An overly optimistic estimation will leave you feeling defeated when you're unable to attain your goal on schedule.
Holding a grudge. Focusing on negative events creates unhappy feelings. Taken to the extreme, a grudge can lead to engaging in negative actions to get back at someone.
* Holding a grudge has been described as drinking poison and then expecting your enemy to suffer. Let go of your negative feelings toward others!
Spending too much time in the past or future. It's challenging to be happy if you're regretting the past or fearing the future. Learn from your past missteps and avoid dwelling on them. Avoid worrying about the future.
* If you foresee potential challenges ahead, calmly prepare solutions. If you live in the present moment, being happy becomes much easier.
Embracing a victim mentality. It's common to search for excuses for our negative experiences. We often try to justify staying in our current circumstances. You may very well be the victim of some unfortunate situation, but it's your responsibility to work your way out of it.
* Taking responsibility for the happenings in your life is powerful. Countless individuals have overcome incredible odds. You can certainly be among them!
Comparing yourself to others. Everyone starts with a unique set of talents, skills, and experiences. Avoid comparing yourself to others. If you want to make a comparison, compare yourself to your recent past.
* Are you heading in a positive direction? If so, you probably have a good reason to be excited. If not, it's time to get busy making some changes.
Failing to learn from failure. Failure is rarely enjoyable, but it can be a useful experience. Learn from your failures and apply the knowledge to your future attempts. Failure can be a great tool for moving toward success. Repeating the same errors will provide the same results. View failure as a learning opportunity.
A lack of gratitude. Things are rarely as bad as they seem. Regularly reminding yourself of this can demonstrate that your life might be more wonderful than you realize. Use spare moments to mentally list the things that fill you with feelings of gratitude. It will allow happiness to enter your life.
Settling for low standards. It's possible to become comfortable with poor results. On one hand, you might be unhappy with where you are. On the other hand, trying for more seems scary.
* You're unique and capable. You can have a wonderful life. Increase your expectations. There's no reason to settle for less.
Certain habits make it more challenging to experience happiness. Identifying and eliminating these counterproductive habits can create the necessary space for happiness to enter your life. Enhance the quality of your habits and you'll experience a more positive perspective on life. After all, everyone deserves to be happy.
Success-Hindering Habits to Kick Out of Your Life
Does it seem like success is eluding you? Success is only as close as you allow it to be. Surprisingly, it's something that you have complete control over and can easily will into your life. If it's so easy, you might wonder, then why don't you have more of it? Have you stopped to think about why that is?
Start your analysis by looking within. Reflect honestly on your life - your behaviors, habits and attitudes - to determine if there might be some things you may be able to do differently to achieve different results. There's a strong likelihood that there's some tweaking you can do in your quest to achieve success.
Your tweaking might include banishing the following success-hindering habits that are surprisingly common, yet insanely integral, in preventing you from being successful.
Success-Hindering Habits You Ought To Let Go
Assess yourself. Give some thought to whether you're guilty of any of the following habits, and you'll likely be very surprised to realize that you are!
Self-doubt. By far, lacking self-confidence is the most damaging habit when it comes to your bid for success. The worst thing you can do is doubt your worthiness for a successful outcome. That particular mindset makes achieving anything very challenging. So instead of doubting yourself, affirm that you can do it:
* Believe that you're capable of doing anything you set your mind to doing.
* Know that you're worth every ounce of positive outcome.
* Avoid closing the door on an opportunity because you don't feel you'll do well at it.
Procrastination. Putting off getting tasks done will likely result in a less than favorable result. When opportunity knocks, answer the door! Instead of waiting until later, try the following tips:
* Prioritize your tasks.
* Aim to complete tasks within the time you've allotted for them.
* Jump at every opportunity you get to complete a task.
Disorganization. Setting daily goals for yourself is probably something you already do, but you're likely wondering why it is you haven't been able to meet those goals. A big hindrance is disorganization. Sometimes goals seem so attainable, but because there's no real plan in place to attain them, you end up missing out.
Lost focus. Losing focus of what you really want to achieve is a sure way to end up under-accomplished. Success doesn't come just because you want it. Your mission should be to maintain focus on your goals so they don't slip away unnoticed. Take an action each day, even if it's small, to move you forward to your goal
* Be serious about the success you want to achieve. Make it one of your priorities.
* The commitment you have to building successful relationships is the same commitment you should have to achieving goals.
So now that you have a look at what could possibly be hindering your ability to succeed, it's time to make some very real changes in your life and how you approach your targets.
There's nothing that can get in the way of you being a success story! All you need to do is adopt an attitude for success. Start with throwing away any negative habits that hinder your journey to success.
Substitute Positive Habits for Your Negative Habits
You learned about the negative effect that poor habits can have on your success. Imagine being able to replace those negative habits with new, empowering habits. In this lesson, we’ll find out how to accomplish that. You take the express lane to success when you can simultaneously eliminate poor habits and build effective habits.
To interrupt a negative habit, you could substitute a positive habit. Those positive actions will aid you in achieving the results you want in life. Considering Tom’s scenario in the last lesson, let’s apply this information.
Tom’s best hope is to realize the effects these habits are having on his entire life and health. Once he consciously connects with the damage he’s doing to himself by practicing these habits and that he truly wants to change his physical self, he can then begin work to build the health and life he truly seeks.
He can replace his negative habits with positive ones.
To do this, Tom can:
Set his alarm on Saturdays for 8:30 a.m. He’ll still get an extra hour and a half of sleep.
Choose to eat a smaller breakfast of one piece of sausage, one biscuit, and one egg to experience the flavors he truly enjoys.
Show up to play basketball with the guys on Saturday mornings at 10:00 a.m.
Allow himself a couple of hours to rest after he shoots some hoops.
Repeat this behavior every Saturday consistently for 66 times. At the least, Tom should avoid skipping Saturdays during the first months of his new behavior.
Ensure he’s home on Friday nights so he’s in his own home (the same location) on Saturday mornings.
Establish situational cues to trigger him to perform the positive behaviors that will lead to habit formation. For example, Tom can lay out his basketball clothes and shoes so they’re the first things he sees when his alarm sounds.
Apply this type of thinking in your own case. Read the next hypothetical vignette and review the steps to changing behavior from a negative habit to a positive one.
Case Vignette #2
Maybe you want to be healthier and lose a few pounds. But for the last several years, you’ve taken the no-fuss, easy way out at breakfast time. You started your day with a cinnamon roll or doughnut. Let’s face it, it’s an easy breakfast and you can just reach for it and go.
How can you change this continuous loop of starting your day off all wrong just because of a negative habit to doing something that leads to your good health—a positive habit?
Acknowledge to yourself that your cinnamon roll/doughnut habit is a negative habit. It’s something you do over and over again, even though you feel you shouldn’t.
○ Somehow, you’ve got to consciously connect what you’re doing to its negative effects, which in this case could be high cholesterol, excess pounds, and late morning headaches due to a lack of protein and overload of fats and carbs in your morning “meal.
Consider ways you can replace your negative habit with a more positive habit. Ask yourself, what could I do instead?
You could stop buying cinnamon rolls and doughnuts. If they’re not in the house, you won’t engage in this unhealthy eating habit
Try purchasing fresh fruits of your choice that are quick and easy: bananas, pears, and apples, for example. When you substitute “positive” foods that could help reduce your cholesterol and help you manage your weight better, you’ll eventually develop a positive habit that takes the place of your negative one.
Place fruits in the area where you used to keep your cinnamon rolls and doughnuts to set up your situational cue, which is the sight of the fruit. Also, you can’t perform your negative habit (grabbing a doughnut or roll) if the source of it is gone.
Choose a fruit to eat every morning. Good for you—you’re getting starting on a healthy habit.
Keep eating fruit for breakfast day after day, week after week, and month after month.
Continue this behavior every day without deviating from your new plan for at least 66 days in a row. If you do, you’ll form a positive habit that replaces your old, negative one. At the very least, skip no days of eating fruit for at least the first half of the 66 day period.
You can successfully replace a negative habit with a new, positive and empowering one. Apply!
Perhaps you’re fortunate enough to not have any negative habits in the way of your intentions. But you might be stuck and not doing anything at all. The next lesson will deal with the subject of forming new, desirable habits.
Get Started on the Tips in This Lesson:
List five negative habits you now engage in.
List five positive habits you can substitute.
Attempt to install one of those positive habits and discover how successful you are.
I replace my old habits with new, empowering habits.
My life is created by my habits. The better my habits, the better my life becomes. I choose to replace my old habits with new, empowering activities.
I realize that my habits are important to my quality of life. Each day, I strive to replace old habits that are unsupportive of my goals. I am developing new habits, so I can take my life to a higher level.
Habits can be difficult to change, so it is important to be patient. I remain upbeat, positive, and confident, even during times of great challenge. I am able to relax and develop positive habits that move my life forward.
I know which habits to develop. I know what I need in my life to feel happy and fulfilled. I am taking positive steps toward implementing new habits and reaching my goals. I like to review my progress on a regular basis. It encourages me to continue on my journey of self-enhancement.
I embrace change and the challenge that often accompanies it. I get excited, almost giddy, when I think about all the great things I can accomplish once my new habits are in place. I am unstoppable.
Today, I let go of my old habits. I release myself from their grasp. I am trading in my old habits for better ones that support my dreams and future. I replace my old habits with new, empowering habits.
What habits are creating challenges in my life?
What new habits would I like to adopt?
How would my life change if I dropped these negative habits and replaced them with positive habits?
Develop New, Empowering Habits
Swapping a negative habit for a positive habit is a powerful success skill. However, there are times when installing a new habit is necessary, even if there isn’t a negative habit to replace. You’ll have a better understanding of how to create new habits by the completion of this lesson.
There may be times when you don’t actually have a negative habit that thwarts you from living the life you desire. Instead, you just don’t do anything to actually work to achieve the goals and success that you want. During these times, you could develop new, empowering habits.
Once a positive action that you decide to do becomes a habit, you’ll do it automatically without even thinking about it. So positive habits you develop on your own make it easier for you to create the life you desire.
Case Vignette #3
Here’s another hypothetical case vignette to illustrate how you can develop a positive habit:
You want to get more promotions at work so you’ll make more money and become one of the resident experts in your field. But for some reason, you’ve never really invested any of your personal time in your work. You don’t read journals, trade magazines, or even brief articles on the internet about your career.
The thing is, you really like your job and love it when your supervisor gives you projects that really challenge you. How can you set up your life so that you invest a bit of your personal time to expand your professional knowledge and horizons?
Examine these suggestions:
Subscribe to a professional or trade journal in your field. To excel in your work, you must have tangible evidence of your career. Place books and journals on a coffee table and your bedside table. These are your situational cues to devote time to your study at home.
Schedule time in your day to read about your profession and explore trending topics related to your job. Even 30 minutes a day consistently will whet your appetite to delve more into your profession and the specific areas that interest you. If you can, establish your study time to occur at the same time each day.
Join a local business organization that addresses your type of work. Attend the meetings consistently, whether they’re weekly or monthly. Remind yourself you’re working to establish the habit of cultivating your work interests to be more successful and achieve your goals.
Engage in activities to cultivate your special interests. Check out library books, meet co-workers for coffee to discuss work for an hour a week, and surf the internet to see what’s going on in your profession.
Starting new behaviors that you want to develop into a positive habit takes a certain amount of self-motivation, focus, and effort on your part. However, it’s worth the effort because, ultimately, you’ll establish positive habits that will lead you to the life you dream of.
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” ~Aristotle
In the next lesson, we’ll put it all together and apply all the lessons in this module.
Get Started on the Tips in This Lesson
Forming new habits requires motivation. You wouldn’t go to the trouble of creating a new habit if you didn’t care in some way. One of the challenges to creating habits is that there is little to no reward in the short term. The benefits only come down the road.
Pick new habit you’d like to develop and imagine all the benefits you’ll receive if you’re able to consistently perform that action. Notice how much more motivated you are after this exercise.
Take action to start making your new habit a reality.
Each day is a new opportunity to practice good habits.
I am excited by each day. Whatever I did yesterday is gone and no longer has any hold on me. Who knows what might happen tomorrow! Therefore, all I have is the present and I plan to make the most of it.
Part of making the best out of today is taking every opportunity to create habits that I want to have in my life. And habits do take practice to form. With each behavior I reinforce repeatedly, I start or continue a pattern. I want to only engage in actions that serve me, so I stay conscious about each thing I do.
With each intentional act I make, I gain confidence in my ability to effect positive change in my life. No matter what, I know that I can learn to make the best decisions possible, regardless of my circumstances.
If I find myself engaged in behaviors that are less than supportive of my highest vision of myself, I choose to take different actions next time. And as long as I am alive, there is always a "next time."
Today, I am thankful for my good habits. I joyously put myself into every chance I get to make new ones. This is a daily practice for me, since each day is a new opportunity for me to practice good habits.
What are some good habits I already engage in daily?
What is one thing I would like to change in my life that I can take action on today?
How do my good habits support my sense of self?See the Strategies in Action
You have an idea of how to drop a bad habit and how to create a good habit. You also just learned how to develop new, empowering habits in the absence of any bad habits.
Let’s consider a detailed example that puts all the pieces together. No two situations are exactly the same, but a reasonable example can serve as a guide.
Our protagonist, Mary, wants to stop drinking coffee at Starbucks each morning and save that money for a family vacation.
So, Mary’s goals are to:
Drop the habit of spending money on expensive coffee.
Add the habit of saving $150 each month ($5 x 30)
Mary attacks her negative financial habit and creates her new financial habit intelligently:
Find a replacement behavior. Mary has decided to make her own coffee at home and take it to work with her.
Mary gets her mind in the right place. She makes a list of what she’ll gain by dropping her old habit and adding the new one. She imagines her family enjoying a trip to the gulf coast of Alabama. Her husband and kids are happy, and she’s proud of herself for making the necessary changes that made it possible.
She considers her obstacles and develops a plan to deal with each one.
○ Getting up on time to make coffee each day: Mary finds a coffee maker with a timer. She can set everything up the night before and her coffee will be waiting for her when she wakes up.
○ Driving by Starbucks each weekday morning: Mary thinks she can handle the temptation. But there’s a new route to work that she has been thinking about trying. There are no Starbucks stores on her new route. She’s going to give her new drive a chance for the next week and see how it works out.
○ She’s worried about spilling her coffee on her suit and new car: Mary knows that she doesn’t have a suitable travel mug, so she purchases two. That way she’ll always have one that’s clean. She’ll also be covered if she leaves one at work.
○ She doesn’t believe she’ll remember to transfer $35 each week from her checking account to her savings: She sets up an automatic transfer with her bank. She was able to set up the transfer online in just a few minutes.
Mary decides to make incremental improvements. Eliminating one cup of coffee each morning for another seems like an easy change, but Mary wants to make sure.
○ She normally gets the largest size coffee. She decides to bring a small amount of coffee from home and purchase the smaller size at Starbucks. Her total coffee consumption will remain unchanged, but she’s weaning herself off the expensive coffee.
○ She also alters her saving plan to only transfer $15 the first week.
○ Over the next few weeks, she’ll continue the trend. It won’t be long before the transformation is complete.
Mary examines her triggers. Mary has triggers that stimulate her coffee habit. The first is driving by the Starbucks store. She’s taken care of this with the new route to work.
○ Her second trigger occurs during her morning shower. That’s when she starts thinking about how great it’s going to be to have that first sip of her café latte. She decides to combat that trigger by thinking about her future vacation and the satisfaction she feels while drinking her homemade coffee.
Mary is prepared for slips. She knows that there’s a chance she’s going to break down during a stressful morning, dump her homemade coffee out the window, and pull into Starbucks. She figures if she’s compliant 90% of the time, she’s doing well enough to consider herself successful.
Mary has a reward in mind. If she can make it 30 days without a slip, she’s going to reward herself with an espresso machine. She loves the idea of the shiny machine sitting on her kitchen counter and she’s sure she can make better coffee than she can currently make at home. It’s within her budget, and she considers it an exciting reward.
Mary does have the occasional slip, but she’s eventually able to purchase her espresso machine and take her family on that vacation. It wasn’t very challenging because she was prepared, proceeded slowly, and found suitable substitute behaviors that provided the same benefits at a lower cost.
Putting smart, effective habits in place ensures that you’ll live the life you desire. Changing any habit can be a challenge, but you can use these same strategies to change any type of habit.
Find a substitute behavior that delivers the same benefits without the negative aspects. Predict the likely obstacles and develop a plan to deal with them. Change slowly and expect a few setbacks. Look at your triggers and find a way to work around them.
The same process can be used to change your eating habits, adopt an exercise program, quit smoking, or get yourself to practice the cello each day.
Start creating new, more effective habits that truly support you. Begin slowly, but begin today. You’ll be glad you did!
You now have an excellent grasp of what it takes to set and achieve goals – effective habits! The next module puts habit creation under the spotlight.
Get Started on the Tips in This Lesson:
Please download, print, and complete the “Systematic Approach to Goals – Workbook” in your Additional Resources box to get you started with habits that support the life you desire.
The Systematic Approach to Goals – Workbook
Because your life is filled with habits, why not ensure those habits are leading you to the life you truly want? When you include positive actions in your day-to-day routines, those actions become positive habits. As you practice positive habits, you’ll live the life you’ve dreamed of.
Why are habits important to you?
The Science of Habit Development
How many times in a row must you repeat a behavior before it forms a habit?
How does your location affect habit development?
What are 2 types of cues as they relate to your habit development? Give examples of them.
Is it okay to skip a day when you’re working on forming a habit? Why or why not?
How can you ensure a positive behavior you’re doing becomes a habit? Include everything you can think of.
Negative Habits and Their Devastating Effects
What negative habits would you like to change?
Pick the top negative habit that bugs you the most. Take an honest look within yourself. What are the benefits to you of doing the negative habit?
What has been the overall, long-term effect of this negative habit on your life?
Substituting Positive Habits for Your Negative Habits & Establishing Empowering Habits
Now, instead of doing that negative habit, what positive behavior/habit would you prefer to do instead?
Answer these questions about your chosen positive behavior:
○ Where will you perform the new behavior?
○ How many times in a row will you initially complete the action to form a habit?
○ What cues will you use to help trigger the new behavior? __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
○ What other things can you do to set it up so you’ll complete the new positive behavior when you want? __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
○ What are the obstacles you’re likely to face when starting your new, positive habit? What is your plan for overcoming these obstacles?
○ How will you handle setbacks when they occur?
○ How can you reward yourself after a successful 30-day period?
Select your next most negative habit and follow this same process to replace it with a positive habit that helps guide you to the life you want.
“Each year one vicious habit rooted out, in time might make the worst man good throughout.”
Module 3 Summary and Reflection
The primary idea of this module is to approach your goals in a systematic fashion. There are countless theories of how to set and achieve goals. Many of them are ineffective. Systemization streamlines the process and cuts out the speculation.
Know your intentions. It’s not possible to create a positive future without determining for yourself what that future will entail. Choose your future rather than allowing society to decide for you.
Habits, both good and bad, are the daily rituals that move you either closer to or further from your goals. Managing both is critical. Avoid underestimating the power of positive and negative habits. Over the long haul, both are extremely powerful.
Negative habits are most easily eliminated when a positive habit can be put in its place.
There are times when a new, positive habit must be created, even in the absence of a negative habit. This skill is just as important. The ability to create empowering habits from scratch can all but guarantee success.
Have you started yet on a new habit that supports the life you desire?
If so, are you performing this habit consistently?
If not, why not? Reanalyze your process. Are you forgetting some of your triggers?
Are you feeling just a bit overwhelmed? Stay tuned! The next module will give you more action tips to help you with your habits.
I have the power to change myself.
I am confident in my ability to effect change in my world. When I want or need something, I am capable of producing it in my life. Of course, this ability extends to me, too. I have the power to change myself.
The ways I naturally am and how I choose to operate in the world suit me just fine. However, sometimes I find a better means of accomplishing things in my life. When this happens, I move to make changes.
Whether my progress comes slowly or quickly, I notice change taking place and congratulate myself for my diligent work.
To support myself in altering my habits, I nourish all areas of my life. I get plenty of rest, exercise to keep my mood up, and eat foods that invigorate me. Also, I set aside a little time just for myself each week. All of these practices give me the strength to make the changes that I desire.
Each day, I am thankful for my belief in myself.
This self-confidence supports my ability to make changes. Whether these modifications are small, such as choosing a more efficient route to work, or big, like maintaining a more positive perspective, I know I always have the capability to reshape myself as I like.
Today, I am thankful for my self-confidence and ability to make changes in my life. I seek out opportunities to continue to change myself to more closely resemble my highest vision of me.
What are some positive changes I have made in myself in the past year?
What are some things I have become good at by practicing?
How can I cultivate my self-confidence and ability to effect change in my life?
Are Your Habits Helping or Hurting You?
Now that you’ve completed the third module, you’ve greatly increased your awareness of how to develop a brain that knows how to be successful. You’ve learned a fair amount about habits, both good and bad. It’s time to learn even more and take your knowledge to the next level.
A habit is described as something you do over and over again, automatically, without thinking about it. We’re all profoundly affected by the habits in our lives. At times, we mindlessly repeat behaviors related to our home lives, work personas, and relationships. When a certain situation occurs, you do the familiar behavior.
Since your life is largely made up of habits, it makes sense those habits can be supportive of your personal wants, values, and relationships. They can also thwart your efforts to live the life of your dreams. Do your habits help or hurt you?
Ponder these points to determine whether your habits support or sabotage you:
Link your habits to your goals. When you establish ways of behaving that are aligned with your goals, then your habits are helpful.
○ For example, you floss daily and brush your teeth three times a day because your goal is to have the prettiest smile possible.
Keep track of a new routine to help make it a habit. For example, maybe you’ve decided you’d like to lose twenty pounds and have fitter body tone. So, you plan to walk thirty minutes five days a week and do twenty push-ups or twenty crunches three days a week. How can you keep track of your habits from day to day?
○ To ensure you’re working on your fitness goals, write a “W” on your calendar when you walk and place an “X” on the days you do calisthenics. Then, once a week, weigh yourself and jot down your weight on the calendar.
○ Visuals help establish good habits. In this case, one glance at your calendar keeps you up to date on your progress toward your goal.
Figure out why you have certain habits. Maybe you eat a doughnut or other high-fat snack when you’re at work. You see the treat, pick it up, and eat it. You rarely pay attention to the motivation behind this habit.
○ Are you hungry? Maybe you skipped breakfast. Perhaps you’re snacking simply because the co-worker you’re taking a break with is snacking. Maybe it’s because you rarely keep unhealthy snacks at home so when you see them, you grab one.
○ If one of your habits isn’t doing anything positive for you, consider that it’s sabotaging you in some way.
Eliminate habits that are making you feel embarrassed or angry. If feelings of negativity surround one of your habits, it’s likely hurting you. To illustrate, consider the habit of smoking. As much as you’re driven to do it, you recognize that it isn’t positive or helpful.
○ Do you feel ashamed and frustrated with yourself because you engage in the behavior? If this is the case, investigate your habit further. How do you really feel about it? Would you like to disengage from the behavior and stop it?
○ An automatic behavior that leaves you feeling negatively about yourself is interfering with your efforts to live a happy life.
Replace one habit with another. Remember, rather than trying to stop a negative habit, it may be easier to replace it with a positive habit. Ask yourself how you can change or replace the targeted behavior.
○ Referring back to the smoking example, think about what else you could do instead. You could have a piece of sugarless gum or candy. Maybe you want to try nicotine patches to curb your desire to smoke.
When you become more conscious of your habits, you can decide whether they’re helping you or keeping you from moving forward and living a healthy, prosperous life. Make the decision to fill your life with as many positive habits as possible, so you can move closer to achieving the life you deserve.
There are negative habits that can completely smother your dreams. We’ll tackle that crucial topic next.
Get Started on the Tips in This Lesson:
Which of your current habits embarrass you or make you feel angry? Why do they make you feel this way?
Bonus: Ask someone close to you to list your negative habits. Do you agree? Why or why not?
Develop Greater Confidence With These Easy, Everyday Habits
Confidence affects every part of your life. Your boss and coworkers feel more admiration, trust, and respect for you when your confidence is high. You're also more attractive to others. Even though you may not feel confident, there are steps you can take each day to grow your confidence.
In time, feeling more confident will become a habit. Greater confidence is one habit that you'll never want to break!
Make confidence a priority in your life:
Ensure your grooming is top notch. You can't feel confident if your hair is still matted to your head after a long night of sleep. Take care of the basics each day. You might think that others don't notice when you skip these basic grooming steps, but you'd be mistaken:
* Bathe or shower.
* Brush your hair and teeth.
* Take care of any unruly eyebrows, nose hairs, or ear hairs.
* Use deodorant.
Dress in a way that makes you feel confident. Dress appropriately for the day you have planned. Choose your clothes the night before. Wear clothing that is clean, free of wrinkles, and in good repair. If you require help matching your clothes, enlist the help of a stylish friend or neighbor.
Have a plan for the day and follow it. It's easier to be confident if you have a plan. Living a random existence creates uncertainty and doubt.
* Make a list of things to do the night before and get those items accomplished. A successful day will grow your confidence. The feeling of a wasted day can result in feeling less capable.
Look ahead and be prepared. Be prepared for everything on your schedule. Are a few of your coworkers carpooling with you tomorrow? Ensure your car is clean, gassed up, and ready to go. Plan for any presentations or other work responsibilities.
* One of the most effective ways to feel confident is to be well-prepared.
Keep your self-talk positive. There's a constant dialog going on between your ears from the moment you wake up in the morning until you fall asleep at night. You even experience it during your dreams. Fortunately, it's possible to control the content of this incessant banter.
* Positive self-talk can change your mood and your belief in yourself. Be kind and supportive while talking to yourself.
Do one thing you're good at. Whether it's shooting free throws in the driveway, playing Space Invaders, or playing Mozart on the piano, spend a few minutes doing something that makes you feel like an expert. Success breeds confidence.
Be assertive. Let people know what you think and need. Assertiveness and confidence go hand in hand. You'll have more control over the outcomes in your life. When you can control your life, you'll feel more confident. Others might not comply with your requests, but make your desires known.
Practice confident body language. Stand tall and walk proudly. Keep your head up and avoid looking at the floor. Smile. Act confident and you'll feel more confident.
* Watch movies with confident characters and notice how they stand, move, and interact with others. Adopt a few ideas into your own mannerisms.
Start today by putting a few of these ideas into action. You can overcome your current lack of self-confidence. Growing your self-confidence will result in advances in multiple areas of your life. When you're more confident, you make others and yourself feel better. No one else will do this for you. Decide today to become more confident.
4 Steps to Freedom: Eliminate Habits That Smother Your Dreams
Habits can make your goals happen more quickly or slowly. With poor enough habits, your goals might never come true. That’s why it’s so important to manage your habits.
This lesson deals with the important topic of habits that can make your dreams an impossibility. Many of these habits are procrastination techniques.
Why is it so difficult to break our bad habits? This is especially frustrating when it comes to the habits that stand in the way of accomplishing our dreams. The best of intentions seem to be defeated on a regular basis. Life doesn't have to work this way, however.
Nearly everyone has a behavioral demon. Whether it’s eliminating our debt, getting healthier, or to stop drinking or smoking, there's always that one challenge we can't seem to beat.
In many cases, the answer is quite simple, yet most people lack awareness of it: We simply don't handle our stress and boredom in an effective and healthy manner.
Many of our bad habits are simply ways that we've learned to deal with being stressed or bored. It would be great if someone had taught us how to deal with these negative feelings, unfortunately, most of our parents weren't taught either.
How many of these essentially worthless behaviors do you partake in on a regular basis?
Eating junk food
Watching TV more than a couple of hours a week
Biting your nails
Playing video games
Shopping when you don't need anything
Posting non-relevant items (like what you’re having for dinner) on social media sites
All of the items on this list have something in common: They are easy to do, make us feel better, yet do nothing to solve the source of our stress or boredom.
Do you recognize any of your bad habits on this list? Can you see how that habit doesn't really accomplish anything other than making you feel better temporarily?
The solution is to replace these habits with something healthier and more productive. What would your body look like if you chose to go for a run every time you were bored instead of eating junk food? What would your bank account look like if you could find something better to do than go out and buy things you don't really need?
What if you could jump right on a project instead of procrastinating? What would your life look like then?
Try this easy plan to change your bad habits:
Choose one habit at a time to change. You can work on the other habits after you eliminate the first one. Tackling one at a time will greatly increase your odds for success.
Start small. Even turning to the new habit for just 5 minutes is progress that you can build upon. This time can be expanded each day or week. Simply try to improve gradually over time.
Be aware of what precedes the bad habit. If you can notice what happens immediately before you feel the urge to engage in the bad habit, you can use that trigger as a sign to start doing your new habit. Become an expert on your patterns.
Find a new habit that you enjoy. If you don't like going for a walk, it won't be very effective to try to use that as a new habit. Find something that you enjoy doing and you'll have a much better chance. Brainstorm for as long as you need to find a suitable substitute.
Learning how to deal with stress and boredom effectively is key to becoming more successful and accomplishing your goals. Bad habits are not only a waste of time, but they also take us further from our desired destination.
Get started immediately and replace one bad habit with one better one. Getting started is always the hardest part. Find a more effective way to deal with your emotional discomfort, and the quality of your life will improve dramatically.
Negative habits can be addressed one day at a time. The next lesson will teach you several simple techniques for breaking your negative habits one day at a time.
Get Started on the Tips in This Lesson:
How do you currently deal with stress and boredom? Are those healthy and useful strategies? What are some new habits that would be even more effective?
I am capable of giving up a bad habit with the support of friends.
I know it is time to give up a bad habit, and I am happy I have the support of my friends during this challenging episode.
It may be difficult to quit my bad habits, but I know I have the power to overcome them.
I have the self-control necessary to make changes in my life. I can stop doing this bad habit forever and not return to it.
Luckily, my friends are ready to help me through every step of the process. With their help, I can manage my impulses and desires, so the bad habit becomes a memory of the past.
My friends encourage me to make positive changes and share helpful advice. They are my allies in this transition as I work on eliminating the bad habit.
I am making detailed plans to work this habit out of my daily experience. I can make the necessary adjustments in my thoughts and feelings as I follow my plan.
Today, I intend to make a positive change in my life by giving up a bad habit.
How can I permanently give up one of my negative habits and ensure it does not return?
What can I do to distract myself from returning to my old ways?
How can I replace the bad habit with a positive one that will last?
Newlyweds and Money
Essential Financial Information as You Begin Your Life Together
Getting married is an important step in your life. Money and financial matters might be the furthest things from your mind right now, but this topic is crucial to a bright and secure future together.
Talking about money early in a marriage is important because it allows you to get started on the right track and it will help you avoid conflicts and stress in the years to come. Making money talks a habit will make your family stronger and help you prepare for any kind of crisis that could arise in the future.
Talking about finances is also important in order to achieve some goals as a couple, such as starting a family or buying a house.
“Money is only a tool. It will take you wherever you wish, but it will not replace you as the driver.” - Ayn Rand
Setting Goals Together
Your goals and priorities probably changed when you got married. Discussing long-term goals is important because these goals will help you pick a general direction for your life and finances. You might set some long-term goals such as buying a home, having children, or maybe launching a family business.
A lot of young couples have some clear goals for the long-term but fail to talk about short-term goals. The larger picture, which probably includes buying a home and starting a family, is important, but there are some priorities you can set for the more immediate future that support your long-term goals and help make them possible.
Consider these important short-term goals and priorities:
Save money for emergencies. An emergency fund will ensure that you have money to cover insurance deductibles and other emergencies. Create a joint savings account and put a portion of your paychecks aside every month.
Think about upgrading your insurance. You might find that you need more extensive health insurance coverage before you have a baby. Getting married also changes your needs for auto or home insurance.
Buy a life insurance policy. This is especially important if one spouse provides for the other. A lot of young couples feel that life insurance is not a priority, but now is the perfect time to secure a low rate.
Manage your debt. Do you have student loans or other debts? Getting married means that your debts are now combined. It’s important to discuss how much money you owe and how the payments will be made.
Talk about living arrangements. If you’ve been living together for a while, discussing living arrangements isn’t necessary. However, if you’re moving in together for the first time, finding an affordable place will definitely be a priority.
Discuss your career goals. Talking about your career goals early in your marriage will give you an idea of the kind of income you can expect to earn. You can make plans together for both of you to further your careers or take career breaks as needed.
Your credit is another crucial matter. Check your credit reports and plan how you can raise your credit scores together.
“Don’t tell me where your priorities are. Show me where you spend your money and I’ll tell you what they are.” - James W. Frick
Merging Your Finances
How do you and your spouse want to combine your finances? Do you want to maintain some separate accounts? Even though you’re married now, there are many variations of combined and separate accounts that you could choose from.
Consider these points together:
Open a joint checking and savings account. This will make managing your finances easier and having joint bank accounts is a good way to start communicating more about money matters. You can still have separate accounts, too, but the joint accounts will provide an opportune way to handle joint expenses.
Figure out how getting married will affect your taxes. You have the option of filing jointly or separately. Filing separately sometimes makes sense, for example, when a spouse’s tax return can be confiscated to cover child support payments or other obligations.
Add your spouse’s name to your insurance policies, or purchase new coverage together. You should be able to get a better rate as a married couple.
Talk about your debt. Getting married means that you become responsible for some of your spouse’s debt, such as student loans. Using your joint account to make payments makes sense once you both become responsible for this type of debt.
Consider getting a joint credit card. You can also add your spouse on an existing credit line.
Add your spouse as a beneficiary. If you have a will, a life insurance, or any other similar financial product, you may want to change your beneficiary designations or add your spouse as a beneficiary.
Talk about your lifestyle. Now that your finances are merged, it’s important to figure out a budget and adopt a lifestyle that corresponds to what you can afford.
“A successful marriage is an edifice that must be rebuilt every day.” - Andre Maurois
What About Your Credit?
Most young couples haven’t had the time to work on raising their credit scores, might have a limited credit history, or might have adopted some bad habits when it comes to using credit cards or paying bills on time. Raising your credit score will make obtaining financing for your big projects, like getting a house, easier.
Getting married doesn’t mean that your credit histories merge. Since a credit score is tied to an individual’s social security number, you and your spouse will have separate scores and credit histories. The best way to raise both credit scores is to open a joint credit account.
However, joint credit accounts are not always easy to get, since most credit card companies will not approve you unless you meet some requirements. Opening a joint credit line could be a goal for the long term.
Meanwhile, you can add your spouse to an existing credit line as an authorized user. The spouse who is added as an authorized user isn’t legally responsible for the debt, but the history on this credit line will impact their credit score. So a credit line with a history of late payments could have a negative impact on the credit score of the authorized user.
Some couples make the mistake of opening all their credit lines in one spouse’s name. These credit lines will help only one spouse build their credit history and improve their credit score as long as they make payments on time and carry a reasonable balance from one month to the next.
It might be best to open two different credit lines so that both spouses can build a positive credit history. Having two strong credit scores will definitely make things easier for you once you need to finance a large purchase like a new car or a home.
Communication is crucial when it comes to managing credit and debt. Talk to your spouse about any credit lines and debts that exist prior to the marriage, be upfront about how much you charge to your credit cards, and agree on how the monthly payments will be made.
“Frugality includes all the other virtues.” – Cicero
Create a Budget
Newlyweds often face the same issues regarding budgeting. For starters, a lot of couples spend too much on their wedding, which can lead to some difficulties as they begin their life together while having to pay for these expenses.
The other common issue is that talking about money and budgeting without fighting is not always easy. One spouse might be spending too much or not taking responsibility for helping out with paying bills.
Regardless of your situation, remember that communication is very important and follow these steps to create a budget that works for you:
Figure out how much you’re earning as a couple and list your sources of income. Ask yourselves how your income is likely to change in the near future and plan accordingly.
Assess your recurring and flexible expenses. Make a list of all the bills you have to pay on a monthly basis and calculate how much you usually spend on flexible expenses such as groceries and entertainment.
Establish financial priorities. Putting some money aside for an emergency fund or making your student loan payments are examples of priorities you might want to set.
Talk about impulse spending. It’s very easy to get carried away and overspend on fun activities and entertainment. Establish a weekly budget for your activities and look for inexpensive things to do together to save money.
Review your budget regularly. Schedule weekly or monthly money talks to go over your budget and make improvements.
Set some goals as a couple and some individual goals as well. For instance, one spouse might want to work on reducing their impulse spending while another might have a challenge with paying bills on time.
Find ways to cut down on your expenses. You might want to think about switching to a vehicle that is more affordable in terms of insurance and gas, transferring your credit card balance to a more affordable one, cooking more meals at home, or making other changes to your lifestyle.
Saving should be an important part of your budget. Both an emergency fund and long-term savings are important.
Sticking to your budget will be easier if you put it in writing or use an app or another tool to track your spending and set reminders to pay bills. Find a way to stay on the right track and remember that you’ll usually enjoy better results when both spouses are involved in the budget creation process and in keeping track of expenses.
“The person who doesn’t know where his next dollar is coming from usually doesn’t know where his last dollar went.” – Unknown
Essential Money Discussions
Getting married is the first of many important steps you will take together. When you plan together, it makes it easier to be financially stable in the future and able to achieve your goals together.
Talking about budgeting is a great start, but there are also other important money topics:
Establish a budget for your wedding and honeymoon. Ask for help from your families, avoid overspending on things you don’t really need, and ask for gifts that will help you save money if you decide to create a registry.
Which items will you purchase for your new place if you’re just moving in together? Establish a budget for appliances, furniture, and other items you might need.
Are you thinking about having children soon? Raising a baby is easier if you already have some money put aside for medical bills, diapers, baby clothes, and other baby supplies.
Credit cards. Agree on what credit cards will be used for and where the money for credit card payments will come from.
Do you wish to purchase a house soon? Make a plan to save for your down payment.
Make plans for retirement. Talking about retiring can seem premature, but making plans now makes sense since you will have plenty of time to save and make your money work for you.
Investments. Investing your money means taking risks, but this is the best way to improve your financial situation over time. Agree on the kind of investments you’re both comfortable with and plan a workable investing schedule.
Borrowing money is another important topic. Ask yourselves under which circumstances you would consider borrowing money and how you would manage this debt.
“If you would be wealthy, think of saving as well as getting.” - Ben Franklin
Common Mistakes to Avoid
You might feel that you know enough about money and how to manage it as a couple, but this doesn’t mean you won’t make mistakes. In fact, young couples tend to make the same mistakes.
Being aware of these common mistakes will help you avoid stress and achieve your goals:
Avoiding money discussions before you get married. It’s important to know about each other’s spending and saving habits if you’re planning a life together. Equally important are discussions about your financial goals, both individually and as a couple.
Not talking about money once you’re married. A lot of couples avoid the topic altogether because they cannot talk about money without arguing, which makes adopting good financial habits difficult.
Expecting things to remain the same after your get married. Among other things, getting married also means you might become responsible for some of your spouse’s debts or that you’ll have a common budget to plan together.
A lot of young couples feel that the next milestone in their lives is still far away. The next milestone, such as having a child or buying a home, will come a lot faster than you think, and making plans for the future will help you prepare for these milestones.
Hiding financial information, especially about debt. Talking openly about your finances will enable you to find solutions together for any challenges and make concrete plans to deal wisely and effectively with any situation.
Overspending on your wedding. It’s normal to want to celebrate this event, but sticking to a budget will help you enjoy a more secure start together. Failing to acknowledge money challenges. You might be tempted to avoid bringing up an issue such as your spouse’s overspending in order to avoid a fight. However, challenges like debt or overspending only become worse if you ignore them.
Not understanding or acknowledging your differences. Money is perceived differently from one culture or background to another. There might be some differences in how you spend money, how you feel about handling financial issues, and expectations for your lifestyle.
Trying too hard to share responsibilities equally. Each couple has its strengths and weaknesses. It’s important to find a way to manage your finances that works for you, even if the result isn’t a 50/50 partnership.
Assuming that you can manage all your financial challenges yourself. If you are in over your head, seek help from relatives, friends, or a financial advisor.
“Happy is the man who finds a true friend, and far happier is he who finds that true friend in his wife.” - Franz Schubert
Starting a life together is a very exciting time! Don’t let bad financial habits or a lack of knowledge regarding money get in the way of your dreams. Be proactive! Adopt positive financial habits and take responsibility as a couple for your financial situation. Planning for a bright financial future together will benefit you for the rest of your life.
Breaking a Negative Habit One Day at a Time
When you have poor habits for dealing with stress, anxiety, and boredom, your life is headed in the wrong direction. These habits can derail your success. These habits are challenging to change, so this lesson is especially important. There are small and simple steps that can be utilized to attack your negative habits one day at a time.
Unless you’re perfect, you probably have a habit that drives you or others nuts. The conflicting nature of bad habits makes them difficult to overcome. What is your bad habit?
Typically, the top bad habits we indulge in are eating unhealthy foods, smoking, using chewing tobacco, lying on the sofa instead of exercising, and nail-biting.
The good news is, however, that whatever negative habit you have, you have the power to change it if you want to.
Consider these strategies for inspiration to break your negative habit now:
Avoid getting overwhelmed. Realize your goal now is to simply decrease the occurrence of the negative behavior. As you endeavor to gradually reduce the behavior, you’ll feel better and more in control. Eventually, you may be able to stop the habit.
Focus on a daily mini-goal to help you make small adjustments. Let’s say you typically eat more breads and carbohydrates than recommended. You have two bowls of cereal for breakfast and eat two sandwiches for lunch. You think you could reduce your daily carbs. But you’re caught in a vicious cycle and keep eating the same things each day.
○ Set a specific mini-goal to reduce carb intake by making one small change daily. You’ll be motivated to turn around your negative habit. In this example, a daily goal to reduce breads at lunch strengthens the resolve to eat fewer carbs.
○ At lunch, rather than eating two sandwiches, add extra meat, cheese and vegetables to your sandwich. You’ll still have a filling lunch but you’ll reduce your bread intake by half.
○ After you’ve persevered in altering your habit for six weeks to two months, then you can set another mini-goal to replace your second bowl of cereal with a bowl of fruit instead. You’ll feel optimistic and ready to tackle another mini-goal in your quest to reduce carbs.
Use time intervals to control your negative habit. Maybe your negative habit is smoking. The first thing you should know is how many cigarettes you smoke in a day. Perhaps you smoke 20 cigarettes. If you’re awake 16 hours a day, you’re smoking slightly more than 1 cigarette per hour.
○ Allow yourself to smoke one cigarette per hour. During the first day, you’ll reduce cigarette intake by four cigarettes. That’s progress! By the end of the week, you’ll have smoked 28 cigarettes less than you normally do. Now that’s real motivation to continue the path to a smoke-free life!
○ After smoking one per hour for 10 days to two weeks, extend the time interval between cigarettes from one cigarette every hour to every 1-1/4 or 1-1/2 hours. Continue increasing time length between cigarettes until you’re smoking one cigarette every 4 hours—four cigarettes daily.
○ At this point, decide either to further reduce cigarette intake or to quit smoking completely. Your one-day-at-a-time method is working.
Reward yourself for your successes. Daily, document on a calendar how you did. For example, if you met your mini-goal, record “MMG” for “met mini-goal.”
You could also jot down the number of times you did the negative behavior that day—this method works well for those working to reduce smoking, chewing tobacco, or nail-biting behaviors.
Use your calendar information at the end of the month to determine if you were successful 75 percent of the time in reducing your negative habit. If so, allow yourself a reward of some type to strengthen future efforts to break your bad habit.
You might enjoy an afternoon of fishing or taking part in a favored hobby. Maybe a new nail polish or set of golf balls will suffice.
Although getting rid of a bad habit is a challenge, you can break your negative habit using these one-day-at-a-time techniques. Be patient and vigilant. Consistency is paramount.
Have you been stymied on coming up with positive habits you can create to substitute for your bad habits and support your success? If so, then the next lesson is for you! You’ll learn about eight habits that guarantee your success!
Get Started on the Tips in This Lesson:
Choose a negative habit and use this process to begin eliminating that habit from your life:
Stay relaxed. It’s common to feel anxious when reducing the frequency of any habit.
Set mini goals to make each day more successful.
Use time intervals. Expand the time between occurrences of the unwanted behavior.
Give yourself a reward when you’re successful.
I am able to conquer destructive habits.
Like everyone, I occasionally experience urges to take a negative path. However, I am immediately conscious of them and refuse to allow them to rest in my mind. My inner desire to always feel at peace wins in all circumstances.
If I ever feel frustrated or inadequate, or I think I may want to give up, I throw my hands up in praise to the Creator instead. I acknowledge that my challenges serve as fuel to keep me moving forward. I know that success is my destiny - today, tomorrow, and the next day.
When I am tempted to combat negative actions with negative reactions, I stop in my tracks. I recognize that fueling the fire only encourages unpleasant feelings and contributes to broken relationships. Because I enjoy positive relationships, I do what I can to nurture them.
I acknowledge that whatever angers me, conquers me, so instead I choose to conquer any desire I may have to react negatively. When I feel my brow knit and hear my tone deepen, I recognize that destructive behavior may follow if I stay on the same course.
Therefore, I dispel the urge to shout, curse or say unkind words. I replace those behaviors with soft answers and patient understanding. I realize that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. That law of physics dictates how I react and respond.
Today, I firmly put aside any destructive habits that may tempt me. I bid them farewell because I know from experience that healthy, beneficial behaviors feel much better. I like the results I get from being positive and strive to cultivate that experience in all situations.
How much influence do my loved ones have on my destructive habits?
In what ways can my example of constructive behavior help others around me?
How do I feel when I take the high road?
8 Habits That Guarantee Success
In the last lesson, you became acquainted with strategies to help you break bad habits one day at a time. Even if you only attack one habit a month, that’s 12 habits in a year. That’s enough to make a monumental difference in your life.
Now we’re going to put the focus on positive habits. There are several general habits that will aid any adult regardless of their goals.
We have far more habits than we realize. It’s been said that successful people merely have successful habits. Success takes time, and habits repeat themselves over time. Your individual habits each serve to move you closer to success or make success more challenging.
There are only 24 hours in a day, so it’s not possible to have an unlimited number of habits. Choosing the most effective habits is a big responsibility!
Add these habits to your life and increase your success:
Make a to-do list each night. Start the day with a bang by having carefully chosen your activities and priorities for the following day. You’ll sleep better by having one less thing on your mind. You’ll get more done by not spending your morning trying to plan your day.
Ruthlessly prioritize your activities. No matter what your goal might be, there is one action that is more important than the rest. Determine that action and make it your focus until it is complete. After making your to-do list, chisel it down to the most important activity and start your day there.
○ While others are focused on doing what’s easiest, you’ll be working on what’s most effective. The difference is considerable.
Get 7-8 hours of sleep. Many claim to do just fine on 4-6 hours of sleep, but recent studies have shown that no one is as effective with 6 hours of sleep as they are with 7. If you’re getting less than 7 hours each night, you’re under-performing.
Meditate or pray each day. Getting in touch with your spirituality is important to your creativity and the overall balance in your life. Fifteen minutes a day provides a nice break and the opportunity to regroup.
Review your goals at least once per day. Continue to remind yourself of your objectives. Your brain is wonderful at finding solutions, so keep reminding it of the primary challenge in your life. Reviewing your goals creates and maintains a target.
Review your day each night. Imagine how much easier life would be if you avoided making the same mistakes. Reviewing your day and acknowledging your successes and failures is an effective way to avoid making the same errors over and over. Start with the morning and work sequentially through your day.
○ Ask yourself, “What could I have done better?” Establish a more effective alternative for the next time.
○ Also be sure to review your successes. Labeling them as such will increase the likelihood of them happening again.
Exercise daily. Exercise not only strengthens your health, but it also improves your alertness and self-esteem. The vast majority of successful people report exercising each day, rain or shine. It doesn’t matter when you exercise, but most high-achievers make time in the morning.
Practice mindfulness. Mindfulness is all the rage today, but the idea has been around for at least 2500 years. Mindfulness is detached awareness of your surroundings and thoughts. It’s keeping your mind on the task at hand. Avoid worrying about the future or regretting the past. Your day will be more productive and enjoyable.
Take control of your habits. Your habits are behaviors that are repeated over and over without requiring willpower. You likely brush your teeth every night without any mental turmoil. The same ease can be accomplished with other tasks, like exercise.
Start small and with only a single habit. Build and expand as each activity becomes ingrained.
Consider your current habits. Are they bringing you closer to success or making success less likely?
Next, we’ll learn how to develop positive habits the easy way.
Get Started on the Tips in This Lesson:
Choose one, and only one, of these eight habits and begin implementing it. When you feel ready, add a second habit.
Healthy Habits to Start Your Day Off Right
If you're striving to live a healthier life, starting the day off right can make the difference in achieving your goals for the day. It's not always easy to live a healthy life, but if you incorporate changes gradually, you'll affect your lifestyle in positive ways. Starting your day with healthy practices helps establish a healthy mindset for the rest of the day.
Implementing these healthy habits in the morning will invigorate you all day:
Get plenty of sleep the night before. Experts advise 7 to 8 hours of sleep nightly for your health.
* It's widely known that caffeine can cause sleep disturbances. If you're having trouble getting to sleep or staying asleep, consider stopping your use of caffeine. Switching to decaffeinated beverages, for example, might improve your sleep.
* If you get a good night's sleep, you'll be ready to get out of bed at a reasonable time. For best results, arise at the same time each morning and retire at the same time each night.
Establish a routine to take care of your skin. Clean your face with facial soap or cleanser, apply a toner or astringent, and finish with your facial moisturizer.
* Apply lotion to the rest of your body in the mornings as well. Many free radicals in the environment assault your skin throughout the day. Providing a protective layer of lotion over your skin every morning is an excellent healthy habit.
Drink plenty of liquids as a healthy start to your day. Hydrating your body and skin for the day is a habit that will pay off in many ways. It helps your body and mind all the way down to the cellular level for peak performance.
Have a good breakfast. The possibilities for a healthy breakfast are varied:
* Fat-free yogurt with blueberries and strawberries with a bit of granola
* Oatmeal with bananas and skim milk
* A boiled egg with a slice of toast and some fruit
Remember your vitamin! If your doctor recommends a vitamin supplement, after breakfast in the morning is usually an opportune time to take it. Taking your vitamin ensures you're doing what you can to get adequate vitamins and minerals.
Consider taking a morning walk either before or after breakfast. Exercising in the morning brings vitality to your day.
* In addition, psychologically, you'll feel pleased with yourself because you accomplished something, and feeling good about yourself contributes to good mental health. When you start your day feeling so positively, the rest of the day is less stressful.
Write a shortlist of tasks you hope to accomplish. Being organized is another healthy way to start your day. Make it a ritual to sit down for a few minutes in your morning to gather your thoughts and make a plan for the day.
Take care of your teeth in the morning. So important to healthy living, brushing your teeth thoroughly is integral to good health and a great start to your day.
If you're trying to live a healthier life, you would do well to incorporate these habits into your mornings. Making changes in your lifestyle are best when introduced gradually. Keep your health goals foremost in your mind and these healthy habits will automatically have you starting your days with a smile.
Develop Positive Habits the Easy Way by Using Choice Bias
The eight positive habits in the last lesson can have a huge impact on your life if you apply them. They’re nearly universal. Regardless of your goals, those habits can be helpful. Incorporate them into your life.
This lesson will wrap up this module. Choice bias is a useful tool when developing positive habits.
Choice bias is the reason why the same sandwich tastes better when you order it off a menu compared to when someone else picks it out for you. It’s also an effective tool for teaching yourself good habits.
Studies have shown that our preference for making our own choices can be used to reinforce learning.
Changes in brain activity make us more likely to repeat actions that lead to rewards. This is especially true when we’re in charge of the prizes. Learn how to use choice bias in your everyday life and get the results you want.
How to Use Choice Bias in General
Pick your own rewards. Use what you love and turn your virtuous actions into habits that will become ingrained in your character. You might be motivated by a special dessert or an extra hour of sleep on Sunday morning.
Be flexible. On the other hand, now you know that choice bias is basically an illusion. That gift certificate your boss is offering you for working on a holiday is just as valuable as the one you’d select for yourself.
Recognize your own power. Even if you feel powerless, there are choices available to you. You may be unable to change your circumstances, but you can change your response.
Limit your options. As much as we love choices and rewards, you can have too many of them. Trim your list down to avoid feeling overwhelmed.
Act quickly. Strengthen your lessons by acting quickly. It’s okay if you treat yourself to both a pedicure and a car wash. Prompt reinforcement helps your brain make more powerful associations.
Repeat and repeat. Forming new habits requires sustained effort. Fortunately, that means you’ll get to enjoy even more rewards.
How to Apply Choice Bias in Specific Situations
Step up your parenting. You may remember your mother asking if you wanted to eat your carrots and broccoli, or just your broccoli. Choice bias works with children as well as adults.
Advance your career. There may be long stretches of time between raises and promotions. Give yourself a pat on the back with fresh flowers or a new book each time you complete a training course.
Reinvigorate your job search. Maintain your spirits if you’re currently unemployed or underemployed. Start looking for your dream job today! In the meantime, you can show yourself a good time on a limited budget with free movies from your local library or a walk through the park.
Make housework more fun. Do you procrastinate when it comes to cleaning the toilet or mowing the lawn? You’ll start looking forward to your least favorite tasks when you know that there’s a reward afterward.
Stick to your diet. Snacks are easier to resist when you have a variety of nutrient-dense foods in your meal plan. Try vegetables from every color group to help you get all the required vitamins and minerals.
Quit smoking. Giving up tobacco is the most important health decision you can make. Studies show that multiple strategies can increase your chances of success. Wear your nicotine replacement patch and attend support groups while you entice yourself with attractive rewards for staying away from cigarettes.
Exercise regularly. Are you having a hard time talking yourself into climbing on the treadmill each afternoon? Your workouts will seem more pleasant if you alternate among yoga, running, and swimming. Variety is the key!
Channel the power of individual choice and make it work for you. What could be better than strengthening positive habits while you reward yourself for making smart decisions?
In the next module, you’ll get to apply what you’ve been learning in this course and start living the best year you’ve ever had! But first, we’ll end the current module with summary and reflection.
Get Started on the Tips in This Lesson:
Make a list of rewards that you can choose from when you engage in a positive behavior or avoid negative behavior. Give yourself no more than three choices that appeal to you.
I create new habits to help me reach my goals.
When I set a new goal, I try to think of anything I can do consistently, on a daily basis, to help me achieve it. Then I use mental cues, affirmations, and meditation to help me create that habit.
If the new goal is a positive character trait, like greater confidence, I strive to exhibit that attitude daily. I create affirmations that remind me that I am a winner and I visualize conquering challenges with ease.
Soon enough, I realize that my habits have led me to my goal.
If I wish to become a philanthropist, I share my good fortune daily with those less fortunate, even if it is in very small amounts. The habit of automatically exhibiting this generosity catapults me to my goal.
If I wish to fund something like a new car or a vacation, I get in the habit of automatically putting away bits of money daily, like dropping all my change into a jar or strictly paying cash for my purchases to avoid overspending. These thrifty strategies become habits in a short time that help me reach my goal.
I use this strategy for every goal I set. Every time I reinforce the habit, I strengthen it, which brings me closer to my goals!
My goal, today, is to create a new habit to help me maintain an optimistic attitude, no matter what. Every time I find myself with a negative thought, I can repeat a positive affirmation to replace it.
Do I rely on habits to give me an automatic push toward my goals?
What can I do consistently to help me achieve my latest goal?
What strategies can I use to help me reinforce those actions into a habit?
Module 4 Summary and Reflection
This module further expands one of the topics in the previous module – Habits. Most people acknowledge they have both good and poor habits. Few understand the long-term implications of those habits.
The Colorado River formed the Grand Canyon by making a habit of running over the same path for millions of years. Your personal habits can have equally significant consequences.
It’s important to determine if your habits are benefiting you or causing harm. Most habits have consequences that appear positive in the short term. It’s only when examined from a long-term perspective that the truth is revealed. Bad habits are positive in the short-term but detrimental over longer periods of time.
Good habits take time to create. Bad habits take time to remove. With diligence, you can be well on your way to accomplishing either.
There are some universal habits that can assist with the accomplishment of any goal, and we discuss eight of these habits to move you forward to the success you desire. Many parts of your life can benefit from adopting these habits.
Choice bias is the phenomenon of enjoying choices that you make for yourself over the choices that others make for you. This is an important concept to use when creating new habits.
What are my negative habits related to my goals or my health? How do these habits impede my progress or health? If I could change only one of these habits, which would it be?
What are five new, empowering habits I would like to have that would improve the odds of achieving my goals?
How can I implement habits that bring success into my life?
How can I apply the concept of choice bias to create new, helpful habits?
Now that you’ve seen how important your habits are and how to encourage habits that support your goals, the last module, coming up, will help you put everything together and start living the best year you’ve ever had!
I abandon my old habits and implement new, more positive habits.
Old habits are a crutch for dealing with the world. I am ready to boldly face the world and develop new and improved habits that serve me. Making changes is the key to enhancing my life. Old habits can be a little challenging to break, but I am committed to breaking those chains. I am able to change my habits quickly and easily.
My negative habits are in the past. They no longer affect my future.
I adopt new habits by making small, but significant, changes. These small changes are easy to implement and to maintain. I avoid the urge to change a habit all at once. I know this is a much more challenging method with little chance for success. I am satisfied with small, incremental changes.
When I change a habit, I am filled with excitement. I know I will begin to see significant changes in my life. Once my habits change, my life changes, too.
I reward myself whenever I experience a positive change in my behavior. I know this increases the likelihood of future success. I accept that the road to change will be bumpy at times.
Today, I am beginning the process of altering one old habit. I find this process easy and comfortable. I avoid clinging to behaviors that impede my progress and happiness.
Which three of my current habits create the greatest challenges for me?
What are three more constructive behaviors I do instead?
If I stopped performing those three negative habits, what is the logical outcome for my life?
Living the Best Year of Your Life
This is the last module. You’ve undoubtedly made some great strides if you’ve put the lessons into action. This final module is built around readying yourself to have your most successful and exciting year ever.
You may have tried to change your life before without much success. However, with the right process, it’s possible to achieve more in a single year than most manage to achieve in a lifetime.
Most New Year’s resolutions are little more than wish lists with no chance of success. In fact, the average person forgets all about their resolution within a few weeks.
Setting goals is a powerful process, but only if done correctly. There’s much more to be done than making a list of desires and then waiting passively for them to be delivered.
Your current life situation is a combination of several factors: Your beliefs, past, habits, expectations, and resources are all factors.
A spectacular life requires balance. Wealth isn’t a substitute for poor health. A great relationship isn’t a substitute for having sufficient financial resources.
Making the next year the best year of your life is within your control. But there are several requirements. You have to know what you want, develop the right habits, drop the wrong habits, deal with obstacles, and stay the course.
Review Your Past
Common wisdom suggests that you should keep looking forward and leave the past in your rearview mirror, but this can be a mistake. The past has much to reveal. At the very least, you can learn where you’ve made mistakes. This is important, because you’ve been making the same mistakes over your lifetime.
The reason your last relationship ended is likely to be the same reason your next relationship will end.
Financial challenges repeat themselves.
Your past challenges with work will be your future challenges at work.Your diet and exercise plans will fail for the same reasons they’ve failed in the past.
Failing to examine and address the challenges of the past is choosing to repeat your challenges and failures throughout the rest of your life.
The past also includes some pretty great things. Failing to identify these things is an obstacle to enjoying similar success in the future.
While answering the following questions, consider all part of your life:
Reviewing the past is a critical component of creating the future:
What were the highlights from last year? Create a list of at least five positive experiences from the last year. Go with your gut. Anything that fills you with positive emotions can be a highlight. It might have been something as simple as spending a perfect afternoon at the park with your child.
○ Avoid relying on society's values when defining your own success. It’s a success if it feels like a success. That may or may not align with conventional measures of success. Decide for yourself.
What were the low points and how could they have been avoided? It wasn’t all good. There had to be a few days or experiences you don’t want to repeat. Make a list of them and consider how this experiences could have been avoided. Minimizing the low-points in life is more important to your happiness than adding high points.
○ Should you have been able to foresee the occurrence of these experiences?
○ How can you prevent a future recurrence?
What were the best decisions you made over the last year? You undoubtedly made some shrewd decisions last year. What were they? How can you apply this information in the future?
What were your worst decisions from last year? Everyone makes mistakes. What were yours? When you look even further into the past, have you made similar bad decisions? Why?
What are five positive habits you’d like to add this year? Consider the long-reaching characteristics of habits. What are a few habits you can add that will make a big difference over the long haul?
○ Diet, exercise, financial, and relationship habits can alter your future considerably. Keep this fact in mind.
What are five habits you’d like to eliminate this year? Bad habits can ruin your life. Which of your negative habits would enhance your life the most if you were able to eliminate them.
What are the most important relationships in your life and why? We’re all limited by our personal resources. Good relationships require time and mental effort. It only makes sense to spend those resources on the most important relationships. Also think about past relationships you’d like to renew.
○ It’s also useful to determine why those relationships are important. Why do you receive from these relationships what makes them important?
Which relationships should you consider ending or minimizing? Just as you’ve accumulated possessions that now clutter your life, you have relationships that need decluttering, too.
○ Consider all of your relationships, personal and professional. Which of these no longer serve you?
○ Relationships are never static. It’s common for a relationship to change significantly over time.
Are you aware of your past? Take advantage of your past experiences. Examine your past and apply that information to the future. You’ll find that it’s common to make the same mistakes over and over. End the cycle by thoroughly reviewing your past.
In the coming lesson, you’ll consider the type of life you want to live. Remember, having an intention is the first step to success.
Get Started on the Tips in This Lesson:
Examine your past intimate relationships.
Why did each of them fail? Were the reasons for failure consistent?
Is your current relationship on the same path?
What changes can you make now to prevent a repeat performance?
Enjoy Healthy Therapy From Writing Your Life Story
Have you ever thought of writing your life story? Getting your story down on paper is a process that can bring you much insight and peace. You'll learn a lot just by doing it. This is a case in which the journey really is more important than the destination.
You may not believe your history is particularly interesting or full of adventure. However, your life story is important because it's uniquely yours. Nobody else could write it - only you have access to your unique cornucopia of thoughts, feelings, and experiences!
Consider these reasons why this activity can be therapeutic, restorative and healing:
Writing helps you remember. When you reflect on what has happened in your past and start putting facts on paper, you'll be surprised to see that you'll recall more and more details over time.
* At first, you might feel like you can't remember enough specifics to write your story. However, as soon as you begin, you'll find that more memories pop up and just keep coming. In a sense, just by starting to write, you've "primed the pump."
You'll reflect back on your childhood with adult eyes. You can use your adult knowledge and maturity to "review" your childhood. Processing these experiences now will change how your see those early situations. This can bring healing, hilarity, or even just a sense of peace.
Gain insight and correct errors. Remembering now how you felt as a child will bring insight into your own feelings. New light is shed on your past when you write your story. You'll experience some "aha" moments when you reflect on your past and record it.
* For example, you might realize that even though you were afraid of your Aunt Sally, she was a kind and considerate adult in your life. It was simply her size and loud voice that frightened you. With this new insight, you may be able to re-connect with people from your past.
Realize a fresh understanding of your history. When you reflect on your life and write things down, you begin to understand more about your family, what your parents were experiencing, and what you were going through as a youngster.
* Feelings of confusion about your past might dissipate and be replaced with deep understanding.
Renew relationships with family members by asking for help. You may want to tap into their memories to fill in details of past situations.
Let go of old hurts and fears. Using your adult mental and emotional skills to "go back" and see what happened in your life can help you resolve an old hurt or fear. You'll accept that you cannot change what happened and that it wasn't your fault because you were only a child at the time.
Re-discover childhood loves and topics of interest. Recording your memoirs will spark memories of how much you loved a certain hobby, idea or person.
* For example, maybe you loved painting and yearned to be an artist. Recalling and writing about those experiences might re-engage your love of art. You might visit art museums or take painting lessons to again enjoy one of the early loves of your life.
Putting together your life story can be a powerful experience with enormously positive results. Consider writing your memoirs to bring clarity to your life. You deserve to live a life filled with insight, self-discovery and passion, and writing your history can usher in all of those experiences.
Design Your Life
Your past is a gift you can use to determine your future. The clues your previous behaviors and results provide can be used to create the future of your dreams.
Now, let’s take a look at designing a life that will put a smile on your face when the alarm clock wakes you up each morning.
Before deciding that you’d like to be a billionaire with a private jet and a set of 6-pack abs, determine the type of lifestyle you’d like to live. Your goals should support the life you’d like to live. Think about a perfect workday, weekend, and holiday. Ideally, your goals will help to make those a reality.
Determine the lifestyle you’d like to live:
How do you want to make money? With few exceptions, every adult needs to earn money to survive. The ways of earning money are only limited by your imagination.
○ Do you want to make money by being altruistic?
○ Do you want a corporate career?
○ Do you want to be creative?
○ Be a doctor? Astronaut? Real estate investor? Consultant?
○ Work with children?
○ Work with animals?
What working conditions do you prefer? Some people like to work in an office setting. Others like to work at home.
○ With others or alone?
○ Required attire?
○ What time do you want to be home each evening?
○ Are you willing to travel? Do you want to travel?
○ Do you need your own office or is a loft-type setting preferable?
How are your finances? You don’t need a 7-figure salary to be happy, but it’s also not easy to be happy with a 4-figure salary. Are you able to maintain your budget? Do you even have a budget? How much debt do you have? Is your income acceptable? Is your money invested wisely for your situation? Will you be able to retire at a reasonable age?
Intimate relationships are important. Do you want to be married or single? Play the field or keep things monogamous? What do you need from a romantic partner? Consider the following characteristics a potential romantic partner might have.
○ Available free time
○ Sense of humor
○ Interest in having children
○ And so on.
○ If you currently have a relationship, what is missing? What could be better? Are you satisfied with the relationship as it is?
Your free time affects your happiness and satisfaction. How much free time do you have each week? How much of it do you spend with your family? How much time do you spend on hobbies or with friends? How much time do you dedicate to spiritual activities and development?
○ Do you have enough free time and are you spending it wisely?
Avoid underestimating the value of good health. Is your diet acceptable? Are you getting enough sleep? Enough exercise? Do you visit your doctor regularly? How is your current health? What needs to be improved?
Spirituality. Do you meditate or pray regularly? Are you living life according to your beliefs? Are you aware of your beliefs? Do you regularly study spiritual materials?
How is your social life? Do you get out of the house as much as you’d like and spend time with people outside of your immediate family? How many friends do you have? How many would you like to have?
If you’re aware of your desired lifestyle, choosing goals becomes easy. Give this careful consideration. There’s no reason to have a goal of being worth $500 million if your ideal lifestyle only requires $2 million. Start with the end in mind and go from there.
Life is more enjoyable if you have a sense of balance. For example, if you’re obsessed with work, your health and family life are likely to suffer. The next lesson addresses this important topic.
Get Started on the Tips in This Lesson:
Take an evening and go through the process listed in this lesson. Notice if the life you designed matches what you previously thought you wanted for yourself.
I am the architect of my life.
I am ultimately responsible for the life I experience. I can change nearly any aspect of my life, so I create the life I desire.
I am free of the belief that circumstances control my life. Circumstances simply provide a starting point. The direction of my journey is the same. Some circumstances might make changes more difficult, but I am up for the challenge.
I choose goals and activities that move my life in a positive direction. I have a vision for my life that supports my dreams and the people closest to me. I put plans into place and review those plans each week.
I see the opportunities around me and leverage those opportunities to the best of my abilities. When I do this, my life gets better. The more my life is enhanced, the more control I feel I have over it.
I am very confident in my ability to design my life and to make that vision come to fruition. I realize that it takes a little bit of effort each day to achieve any substantial results. I am happy to put forth that effort. The best things in my life usually require the most work.
My life is my masterpiece. I take full responsibility for my past, current, and future circumstances.
Today, I renew my commitment to designing my life. I am working harder and more efficiently at making my life exactly the way I want it to be.
What can I do immediately that would enhance my life the most?
Do I have goals in place so I can stay on track?
What resources am I underutilizing?
Strive for Balance
After creating the ideal vision for your lifestyle, it’s important to consider the importance of balance. You can achieve your dreams and still manage to make a mess out of your life if you’re not careful.
Unless you’ve intentionally put your life in balance, it’s unbalanced. Having balance among the various parts of your life is necessary for happiness and well-rounded success. Focus on the areas of your life that you would consider low-rated.
If your life is out of balance, you could:
Be financially successful at the expense of your social life.
Be successful at your career at the expense of your relationships.
Be successful at your spiritual interests at the expense of your career.
Without balance, you’ll be suffering in at least one aspect of your life.
This can be tricky. We live in a society that worships those that have accomplished amazing things, often at great expense. While it’s easy to admire these people, many of them are very unhappy. By giving too much attention to any single area of your life, other parts of your life will suffer.
Set Goals That Increase the Level of Balance in Your Life
After assessing your life, you should have a good idea of where your weaknesses lie. Time is a limited resource, so ensure that you’re spending it on the areas of your life that will provide the greatest returns. Seek balance and contentment will follow.
You can have multiple goals covering several areas of your life, but divvy up your time intelligently.
Find balance by choosing your goals intelligently:
Create one goal for each area of your life. You can create your own categories, but limit the number to 6-8. Set bigger goals in the areas of your life that are lagging or are the most disagreeable to you.
○ It’s not a bad idea to rate each part of your life on a 1-10 scale. Set smaller goals in the higher-rated areas and more significant goals in the lower-rated areas.
○ Choose goals that can be achieved within 12 months and are measurable. Being “healthy” isn’t a suitable goal. “Weigh 150 lbs. or less” is suitable.
○ Be bold. You can accomplish much more in a year than you currently believe.
Determine the new habits you need to develop for each goal. While we enjoy the stories of those that are successful, the truth is that path to success is quite boring. Losing 50 lbs. is exciting, but 300 days of eating well, exercising, and avoiding snacks isn’t that thrilling. But that’s exactly what success is: performing the right habits over an extended period of time.
○ Make a list of at least 10 habits that will ensure your success.
○ Now choose the three habits that will make the biggest difference. Forget about the rest.
Determine the old habits you need to drop. Habits can make your goals easier or more challenging to achieve. Identify your current habits that are obstacles to your success.
○ Those habits might be direct obstacles, such as wasting money or eating too much chocolate. Others can be subtler, such as procrastinating, wasting time, or having a negative attitude.
Excess and happiness aren’t well correlated. A balanced life is enjoyable and minimizes the low spots. Having enough money, love, friends, and health is preferable to having an excess in three of them and a lack in the other. Create a solid foundation before attempting to achieve something outrageous.
Meeting any goal requires resources, even if the only resource you require is time. When you have the proper resources in place, you have what you need to be successful. Gathering your resources is the topic of the next lesson.
Get Started on the Tips in This Lesson:
Determine the lowest-rated area in your life. This is the area of your life that seems to be behind the others.
Create one goal for that area of your life.
Create one habit that will help you to reach that goal.
Make the habit a true habit, where you do it daily without forcing yourself.
I balance my personal and professional life.
I am a firm believer that the healthiest lifestyle is one that is balanced. Imbalance can create untenable situations in my life and cause things to break down, while balance helps me to achieve peace of mind.
I place significant importance on both my personal and professional life. Both aspects of my life play a great part in making me who I am. I recognize that there is a time and place for everything, and I strive to listen to my gut instincts when they tell me it is time to shift focus.
I love my job and what it allows me to achieve. I spend much time dedicated to excelling in my craft, and feel rewarded when my hard work pays off. I know how to take that success in stride and also when to take a break from work and focus on my personal life.
My personal life helps to balance the efforts, dedication and hard work in my professional life. Spending time on non-work activities makes dealing with work stress a lot easier. Plus, the important people in my personal life appreciate my efforts to spend time with them.
Today, I commit to focusing on finding that fine balance between my personal and professional pursuits. I feel happier when I allow elements of both sides of my life to take priority at the opportune time.
Do I work equally as hard on my personal life as I do on my professional life?
Can situations around me teach me how to balance personal and professional concerns?
How do I react when people tell me that I am not giving enough in one aspect of my life?
Gather Your Resources
The previous lesson was about the importance of balance in your life. When your life is out of balance, it’s easy to be unhappy.
This lesson deals with resources – determining your resources and gathering them together. Any plan requires resources to execute. Ensure that you have what you need in place.
For most goals, you’re going to need more than just yourself with your current level of knowledge and expertise. You’ll often require other people, advice, education, and new skills. The internet makes it much easier to find the people and other resources you require.
Get the help you need:
Determine what you need to learn. Do you already know everything you need to know in order to be successful? Most importantly, do you know enough to get started? What do you need to learn to take the first step? Remember all the potential resources available to you.
○ Online courses
○ Local educational facilities
○ Audio programs
○ YouTube and other videos
A mentor can be the most valuable resource. Imagine having access to someone that’s accomplished what you’re trying to accomplish. Unless your goal is highly unusual, someone else has already done it. Seek out these people and ask for assistance.
○ You’ve probably had a golf coach, piano teacher, or other type of mentor in the past. in the past, so it makes sense to have a coach for losing weight or launching an online business, too.
Time. Do you have the necessary time available? Some goals don’t require any more time than you’re already spending. Sticking to a budget might actually save time since you won’t be out spending money as much.
○ However, most goals require time. Unless you currently have free time to spare, you’ll have to steal time from other activities. Surfing the internet, playing on your phone, and watching TV are the most common time-wasters. You may have to drop some more meaningful activities, too.
○ If you can’t make the time for your goals, you might need better, more inspiring goals.
Other resources. If you’re going to be a guitar player, you’ll need a guitar. Do you have everything you need? Computer? Soccer ball? 3-piece suit? Office space? Reliable transportation? Business cards? The ability to cook healthy meals? Make sure you have everything you require.
○ You many need financial resources to meet many of your goals. If that’s true, one of your goals might need to be financial in nature.
There are few things you can do completely on your own. You’re likely to need new information, skills, advice, or money to achieve your goals. Identify the key resources you will need and acquire them. Avoid underestimating the value of a great mentor.
With a plan and the proper resources, you’re almost ready for action. But, it would wise to look ahead and identify your potential obstacles. Identifying obstacles is the focus of the next lesson.
Get Started on the Tips in This Lesson:
Choose one of your goals and carefully determine the resources you’ll require to achieve it. Consider if a mentor would also be helpful. Who would you choose to guide you to success?
I come prepared.
I want to maximize my opportunities. Being ready for challenges and setbacks allows me to accomplish more. I plan my strategy and set my priorities. I think positive while I lay the groundwork to deal with delays and obstacles.
I gather my resources. I draw upon my education and training. I strengthen my skills. I stock up on the equipment and tools required for any task.
I build connections. Collaborating with others extends my capabilities. As my personal and professional network grows, my options expand.
I take care of my health. Eating a nutritious diet, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep give me the energy I need to work hard.
I prepare myself financially. I create a household budget so I can track my income and expenses. I save for my children's college education and for my own retirement.
I prepare myself psychologically. Anticipating changes keeps me flexible and resilient. I feel more at ease when I rehearse for job interviews or keep my pantry stocked for snow days. I encourage myself to take risks by focusing on what I have to gain.
I prepare myself spiritually. I know that I can rely on my faith during tough times. By praying and meditating each day, I train myself to see clearly during stressful events. My peace of mind remains stable during job lay-offs or hospital stays.
Today, I show up prepared. I know what I want to do and how to do it. I set my plans into motion and make conscious choices.
How does being prepared boost my confidence?
How do I balance being prepared and being spontaneous?
What can I do today to prepare for tomorrow?
Identify Potential Obstacles
In the last lesson, we looked at the importance of gathering resources. Without any available resources, you can’t change anything. Though, sometimes, time is the only resource you need.
Obstacles can require additional resources. This is one of the reasons they’re important to identify.
Without any obstacles, achieving your goals and living the best year of your life would be easy. All you’d have to do is make a few decisions. But it’s not that easy. Life is full of obstacles that will derail your efforts if you’re not prepared. Unsuccessful people are easily dissuaded by obstacles.
Identify the obstacles that can stand in your way:
People. Interestingly, the people in your life can be the biggest obstacles you’ll face. There are very few people in your life that will be 100% supportive of your efforts. The remainder can directly or indirectly sabotage your efforts.
○ Some people will try to help, but do the opposite. Some of the people in your life will have the best of intentions, but hinder your efforts. They may caution you to be realistic or remind you of past failures.
○ Your overweight spouse might be threatened by your efforts to lose weight.
○ Your brother might be upset if you make more money than he does.
○ Keep your eyes open and pay attention. Most people want to see you do well, just not better than they’re doing themselves.
Yourself. We all sabotage ourselves on a regular basis. We do so with our thoughts, habits, beliefs, and fears.
○ It’s easy to determine if you’re getting in your own way. When you think about your goal, do you feel anything other than excited and enthusiastic? If so, you’re in danger of being your own worst enemy.
○ Monitor yourself daily by reviewing your goals and noticing your emotional response. Any negative feelings about achieving your goal must be managed if you want to be successful.
○ Your beliefs about yourself can be highly limiting. For example, the belief, “I’m bad with money” will be an obstacle to financial success. If you identify with being a shy person, your social life will have challenges.
Momentum. It’s tough to get started. It’s even a law of physics. It takes more energy to get something moving that it takes to keep it moving. Expect resistance early in the process of making changes to your life.
Randomness. Life itself presents obstacles. You can argue whether the universe is challenging you or if it’s simply bad luck. However, there’s no disputing that random things will get in the way during your pursuit of your best year ever!
Anticipate the things that can go wrong. Be prepared for the most likely obstacles. Expect resistance while you’re changing your life. Things won’t go smoothly 100% of the time. Get started and strive for consistent progress.
“If you're trying to achieve, there will be roadblocks. I've had them; everybody has had them. But obstacles don't have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don't turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.”
- Michael Jordan
Obstacles are a part of life. The question is, do you have what it takes to become the type of person that overcomes obstacles and achieves success? You’ll find out in the next lesson.
Get Started on the Tips in This Lesson:
Consider all the people in your life. Which of them are obstacles to your objectives? What can you do about it?
When I need perspective, I climb a mountain.
It is easy for me to get caught up in the troubles and challenges of the day. I become so immersed in my surroundings that shaking off the workday often becomes its own challenge.
I actively search for ways to gain a new perspective. If standing on a desk grants me a new perspective of a room, then standing atop a mountain grants me a new perspective of the world.
In the same way that I identify challenges in my life, I seek a mountain to climb, and commit to the task.
The mountain bears physical challenges and obstacles, and I bring some as well. I begin the hike optimistic and exhilarated, but my legs soon grow weary. The more I become physically tired, the greater the mental hurdles become. I endeavor to push doubt from my mind. I remain focused on achieving my goal.
I am physically and mentally exhausted when I reach the peak. However, when I look out upon the world, I am awestruck. The feeling of exhilaration returns. I have achieved my goals, and this unique viewpoint above the treetops-above the fray-is my reward.
Today, I perceive every challenge as a mountain. I set my mind to conquering each of them, one step at a time.
Is it easier to climb a mountain alone, or as a member of a team?
How do I overcome mental fatigue?
What positive characteristics are being developed when I climb a mountain?
Do You Have What It Takes?
When you’re aware of the obstacles you’re likely to face, you can prepare yourself and gather the proper resources before you need them. That’s a good start, but it’s not enough if you want to be successful consistently. It’s also important to be willing to transform yourself.
Attaining your goals isn’t just about having goals and doing the right things. That will work in the short-term, but you won’t have lasting success. It’s necessary to become a person that’s successful in the areas addressed by your goals. You can’t just change your behavior and expect long-lasting results.
For example, if your goal is to become a millionaire, you must become a person that deserves to be a millionaire. It’s necessary to have the belief system of a millionaire and the thought process of a millionaire. You have to be the type of person that takes intelligent risks and manages money well.
Cultivate the attributes that guarantee you’ll achieve your goals:
Make a list of attributes necessary to deserve the achievement of your goals. Take each goal individually and consider the type of person that would achieve that goal. What attributes do you need?
○ More cautious or less?
○ More self-esteem?
○ A different attitude?
○ A new set of beliefs?
○ More outgoing?
○ More health-conscious?
○ More active?
○ More proactive?
Create a plan for developing these characteristics. Find the resources you need to become a new version of yourself. The apply those resources each day to make the necessary changes. When you change yourself, everything in your life will change, too.
○ Some people allow their ego to get in the way and declare, “I’m fine just the way I am. I shouldn’t have to change.” You are fine the way you are – if you’re happy with your life! But taking your health more seriously, going back to school, or learning to speak French doesn’t fundamentally change who you are.
○ Be brave enough to discover what you’re capable of.
Visualize the person you want to become. Once you can believe it, everything else will fall into place. Start convincing yourself that you have the new mindset and attributes by visualizing yourself with them.
Become the person you need to be. It’s important to be open to the idea of changing yourself and not just your behavior. When you change yourself, everything around you changes, too.
“No one is in control of your happiness but you; therefore, you have the power to change anything about yourself or your life that you want to change.”
- Barbara de Angelis
We’re nearing the end of this module. Only one more lesson remains until the Summary and Reflection. The next lesson will take everything you’ve learned in this module and show a complete example of the strategies.
Get Started on the Tips in This Lesson:
Identify a characteristic you need to develop to attain the lifestyle you want and create a plan for its development.
I change my life by transforming myself.
Changing myself is the most effective way to change my life. I have control over who and what I am. I create my life and my world. Changes within myself lead to changes in my environment.
I believe I have the power to create and control my destiny. I am free from the belief that forces outside my control dictate my life. We are all creators and destroyers with the ability to choose our experiences.
There are times when doubt creeps into my mind, but I am able to remember the truth. By transforming myself, I can turn any situation around. I can easily remember many challenging situations I was able to overcome. These memories give me the courage to transform myself in useful ways.
I keep a list of my attributes. I review the list daily and imagine myself already possessing any missing characteristics. I am surprised by how I can quickly evolve into a more effective version of myself.
I am free from limitations. I am evolving.
Today, I am taking the necessary steps to transform myself in positive ways. Transformations are the key to creating positive change in my life. The life I desire is quickly coming to me. I am prepared for its arrival.
What changes could I make in myself that would create more joy and fun in my life?
In what ways have I been resisting change?
If I had more control over my ability to transform myself, how would my life be different?
Putting It All Together
Becoming the person you need to be was the topic of the previous lesson. It was a logical conclusion to the topic of having your best year ever. You’ll have to change yourself in some meaningful way to have a significantly different year than you’ve been living.
You now have all the parts necessary to create a comprehensive plan. Let’s use an example of someone that wants to lose 50 pounds in the next 12 months in a healthy manner. We’ll consider everything we’ve discussed up to this point.
Matt is single, 35 years of age, 250 lbs., and 6 feet tall.
Review the Past
Matt was a healthy weight until he graduated from college. He then gained a few pounds each year until reaching his present condition.He has a history of making poor food choices. In his younger days, these poor choices didn’t affect his weight.
Matt eats when he’s bored or stressed. It’s his primary coping mechanism. As a result, he keeps a lot of unhealthy comfort food in the house.
Matt doesn’t mind exercise, but getting out of the house is a problem for him. He has good intentions, but can’t seem to make it out the door for the drive to the gym.
Matt views himself and the “funny, chubby guy that everyone likes.”
Matt knows he’s an all-or-nothing kind of guy. There’s no middle ground. His past attempts at diet and exercise have been extreme, leaving him extremely hungry, sore, and ultimately injured. These attempts have failed spectacularly.
Matt doesn’t have everything he needs right out of the gate. The world is full of resources, many of them free. Ensure that you have the resources you need to be successful.
What does Matt need to learn? Matt remembers the food pyramid from high school, but her realizes that was a while ago. He knows he needs to update his knowledge regarding healthy food choices.
○ He also needs to brush up on his knowledge regarding getting into shape. He was a high-school athlete, but he’s not sure how to get into shape from his current starting point.
○ Matt knows he needs to learn how to control his impulses regarding his eating habits. He believes that finding other ways to deal with his boredom and stress will make sticking to a healthy eating plan much easier.
Matt finds his resources. Matt searches Amazon.com for a few books regarding health, weight loss, exercise, and self-discipline. He chooses a few Kindle books for each topic. Kindle books are less expensive and easy to return if he doesn’t like a book.
○ He also finds a few blogs that seem to mirror his situation. The authors started in the same place as Matt and have managed to create the results that Matt desires.
○ Matt has a friend that would also like to lose weight. They’ve agreed to hold each other accountable and exercise together.
Find a mentor. Matt contacts the blog authors and asks if any of them would like to serve as his mentor. One of them responded positively. Matt also knows a coworker that successful lost a lot of weight several years ago.
Time and other resources. Fortunately, Matt has plenty of time to adopt an exercise plan. He has all the basic resources he needs, but lacks financial resources. A gym membership and fancy food probably aren’t options.
Matt has several bad habits that stand in his way:
Matt has poor coping skills. He doesn’t do drugs or drink, but he uses food as an emotional crutch.
Matt eats a large percentage of his calories after dinner while watching TV.
Matt drinks high calorie beverages. This is one habit that really makes it difficult to lose weight. Non-calorie drinks take up the same amount of physical space. It’s easy to drink a lot of calories.
Matt has little self-discipline. Even the smallest of obstacles can derail Matt’s efforts.
Eliminating these bad habits will be half the battle. In fact, Matt can probably come close to reaching his goal just by eliminating these habits. Deal with your bad habits.
Matt needs to develop a few new habits:
Coping skills. Matt develops a few ideas for dealing with his anxiety and boredom. When he’s faced with emotional eating, Matt has decided to:
○ Meditate for 15 minutes.
○ If that doesn’t work, he will then take a 15-minute walk.
○ Matt will then call a friend or his accountability partner.
○ Matt also decides to take up a hobby to occupy his mind and his time while he’s home alone.
Matt has decided not to eat after dinner. He knows this will be challenging, but his new coping skills will help. He’s also decided to add fiber to his evening meal to keep himself feeling full. A few glasses of water will help, too.
Matt is replacing his high-calorie drinks with water or other non-caloric drinks. He knows this will make a huge difference. He realizes that he might not have to cut his food intake very much if he can eliminate calories from his beverages.
Matt finds a couple of books to address his self-discipline issues. He decides to do one thing each day that he doesn’t feel like doing. He knows he needs to learn how to ignore his negative feelings and take action any way. The books have a detailed program for increasing his self-discipline and Matt schedules this activity into his life.
Matt knows he needs to make exercise a daily habit. Exercise will help with his hunger and speed his progress.
Better food choices. Matt decides to implement a new decision process at meal times. He will now ask himself a series of questions:
○ Am I actually hungry? If not, he will use his new coping strategies.
○ Will this food take me further or closer to my weight-loss goal?
○ Matt will also avoid purchasing any unhealthy foods. He knows that if it’s in the house, it will eventually be eaten.
He will review his goal and his progress each day. Matt revisits his goal in the morning and the evening. He also weighs himself each day. He knows that his weight can fluctuate from day to day, so he takes the average weight for the week to track his progress.
It’s okay to start slowly. A few smaller changes can provide sufficient results in the early stages.
Matt identifies his potential obstacles:
Matt’s mom. Matt lives close to his mom, whom has always encouraged him to eat. His mom thinks men should be well-fed and look that way. He knows that she will start nagging him as soon as he loses 10 lbs.
○ Matt knows he needs to grow up and stop worrying about his mother’s opinion. He pays for one hour of counseling and receives several tips for dealing with her effectively while preserving the relationship.
His finances. Matt doesn’t have a lot of money to spend on losing weight, but realizes that he will be spending less money on food and beverages. He’s confident he can overcome this obstacle without any problems.
His friends. Matt’s friends love to go out and eat. Cheeseburger, chicken wings, and other traditional pub food. His friends will give him some good-natured ribbing and tempt him with his favorite foods.
○ Matt knows that his friends eat first, and then spend time talking. He decides to eat at home, show up late, and then order a diet soda. He can still spend time with his friends socializing while avoiding temptation.
Matt creates a list of personal attributes that will facilitate reaching his goal:
Patience. Losing 50 lbs. will take time. To reach his goal in a year, he must average one pound of weight loss per week.
Persistence. While the work won’t be too difficult, the changes won’t be enjoyable in the beginning. Persistence will be an important quality.
Having an emphasis on health, diet, and exercise. People that are lean, fit, and healthy emphasize these things. When making decisions, these items are always in the back of their minds.
Matt knows that losing one pound each week should be easy, especially for someone of his weight. Only small changes are required to meet his one-pound per week goal. He doesn’t need to make any drastic changes.
For example, cutting out a couple of sugared drinks each day and taking a leisurely 15-minute walk each night would be sufficient to lose a pound each week for the next several weeks. When those changes stop working, it’s time to add another change or two. Small habit changes can be enough to make continuous progress. Avoid believing that painful change is required.
With enough patience and persistence, even large goals can be achieved comfortably.
Now you have a complete picture of how to apply the information in this module. The final lesson is the Summary and Reflection lesson.
Get Started on the Information in This Lesson:
Please download, print, and complete the “Live the Best Year of Your Life Worksheet” from your Additional Resources box.
This worksheet will help you plan an exciting, successful year and start living it!
Live the Best Year of Your Life Worksheet
You can enjoy the best year of your life, and there’s no reason to wait. Create a life that you love to live. These self-reflection questions will help you start your journey of joy.
What can I learn from my past that can be applied to my future?
In what ways is my life out of balance?
What are my goals for the next year?
What good habits do I need to develop to support my goals?
What are my bad habits that impede my success?
What obstacles am I likely to face?
What resources do I require? How can I obtain them?
How can I measure my progress toward my goals?
Module 5 Summary and Reflection
There’s a lot to do to create the best year of your life. But none of it is particularly challenging. Determine the lifestyle that would appeal to you most. This is the starting point.
Then look to your past for clues about yourself and your mistakes. What do you do well? Where do you have challenges? What are the changes you need to make?
Gather the necessary resources and make small changes to your habits. Evaluate your progress and go from there.
Remain aware that you’ll need to make some personal changes. Your current collection of attitudes, beliefs, and knowledge has led to your current situation. You must change your mindset and habits to seek lasting change in your life.
Have I finished creating my plan for the next year?
What can I do today to start putting my plan into action?
Congratulations! You’ve completed the course!
Now you can live your best year ever! Get started today!
I am living my dreams.
I live my dreams every day. I wake up each morning with a great sense of enthusiasm and expectation. I know that each day brings me closer to realizing my full potential. I am filled with hope and positive energy.
I refrain from allowing doubt to enter my mind. I focus my thoughts on creating the future I desire. I am a creative force in the universe, and the universe provides me with everything I want and need. The world is on my side; I can feel it.
When I lose focus, I remember my goals and quickly get back on track. I review my goals daily because my goals are my path to my dreams. My goals excite me and fill me with a sense of power and joy.
My life is wonderful and gets better each day. To be on the Earth is a gift, and I enjoy it immensely. I take time every day to remind myself just how awesome my life is.
I am more than average. I am a conqueror of all challenges. I know that living my dreams requires dedication and effort.
I enjoy the challenges that life provides because they are the stepping-stones to achieving my dreams. As I overcome each challenge, I grow, and I am pleased that I am capable of more every day.
Today, I renew my commitment to living my dreams. I am grateful for what I have and the blessings to come. I am unstoppable. I am living my dreams more and more each day.
What goals have I recently achieved?
What am I grateful for?
What aspects of my dreams can I start living today?
Copyright Yes Education