The Myers-Briggs personality types were created by Katherine Cook Briggs and her daughter Isabel Briggs Myers. It was introduced during World War 2 to help women find the best war-time jobs. The ones that suited their personality type. It builds on the previous work of Carl Jung and makes it more practical.

To identify your Myers-Briggs personality type, you would complete a Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI) test under the supervision of a qualified MBTI practitioner.  There are also free tests available on the internet.

When you know your Myers-Briggs personality type, you’ll understand why you like and dislike certain things. It will reveal your strengths and weaknesses and why you naturally get along with some people, but not others.  It can also help you understand the types of careers that you would be great at and enjoy the most.

Myers-Briggs Preferences

Video and Podcast

There are 4 preferences that underlie the 16 Myers-Briggs personality types.  Each of the 16 personality types is a different combination of these 4 preferences.  Each preference has 2 options. These are indicated by a single letter. So the combination of 4 preferences, each with 2 options, add up to 16 different Myers-Briggs personality types.

As you learn about these preferences, I want you to realize that you are not totally one or the other. We do both. In the same way as you prefer using your right-hand, you can still use your left-hand.

Introversion (I) v Extroversion (E)

This is about where you direct your energy.

Introverted people are often quieter and enjoy time alone and meaningful one-on-one conversations.  They direct their energy inwards towards ideas, information, explanations or beliefs. They like to understand concepts and ideas and are often deep thinkers.  They feel recharged after spending some time alone.

Extroverted people enjoy company and being the centre of attention.  They are lively and sociable.  They direct their energy outwards towards people, things and situations. Their focus is on the external or outside world.  They feel energized after spending time with other people.

Sensing (S) v Intuition (N)

This is about how we perceive and observe the world.

Sensing is about obtaining information from your 5 senses. Sensing people like to deal with facts and what they know to be true. They want to see specific evidence, data and numbers that back up an idea.  They like getting hands-on experience.

Intuitive people are more interested in ideas, patterns, meanings and concepts. If you like to look beyond the 5 senses, delve into the unknown, or anticipate things that aren’t obvious, then you are more on the intuition side. This includes a preference to visualize or imagine the future.

Intuition uses the letter “N”, as “I” was already taken for Introversion.

Thinking (T) v Feeling (F)

This is about how you make decisions based on the information gathered from sensing and intuition.

If you lean more towards thinking, you’ll base your decisions on logic and whether it makes sense. You’ll ask questions such as “will this work?”, “is this true?” or “does this make sense?”  You’ll be more analytical and detached.

Feeling can include making decisions based on emotions.  But it goes beyond that. It includes the value you give something.  Do you perceive it as good, bad, right or wrong?

You’ll make decisions based more on something feeling good, or on what you like doing, or because you feel it will benefit other people. It’s also making decisions based on what you believe is important.

Judgement (J) and Perception (P)

This is about how people deal with external events and the outside world.

It’s about the need for structure or planning versus going with the flow. It can also influence decision-making and how you handle information.

You lean towards judgement when you prefer your life to be planned, organized and structured.  You’ll look to others before deciding. They want to know what other people think, before deciding themselves.

When taking in information, they feel that less is more.  They don’t get bogged down or overwhelmed with a wide variety of information.

If you prefer to go with the flow, be flexible, spontaneous and deal with things as they arise, then you lean more towards perception. Your day will be less structured and planned.  They can seem disorganised, but are often enjoying life and having fun!

Decisions are made primarily with an inward focus. They will question what is the right decision for them and rarely involve others.

When it comes to information, more is better.  They want lots of it and will rarely feel overwhelmed when dealing with lots of information.

Related Article: The Four Main Personality Types | Personality Types A B C D

The 16 Myers-Briggs Personality Types

When you do a Myers-Briggs test, your result will be one of 16 Myers-Briggs personality types based on the 4 preferences outlined above. 

Each personality type consists of a combination of 4 letters that represent their preferred choice from each of the 4 preferences.

The Inspector (ISTJ)

These people are serious, formal, ethical and traditional.  They are loyal, dependable, realistic and responsible.  When life is chaotic, they feel unsettled.

These people work steadily and consistently. They decide logically what needs to be done and work persistently towards it. Ignoring distractions is easy as they maintain a continuous focus on their important tasks.

Following rules, laws and traditions is paramount to inspectors. They value ethics highly. They have no desire to reinvent the wheel or try a novel and unusual approach to solving a problem.

They can be judgemental, insensitive and have a tendency to blame others.

This is the third most common personality type overall, representing 11.6% of the population. It is the most common Myers-Briggs personality type for men at 16.4%. For women, it’s 6.9%

Famous people with the Inspector (ISTJ) personality type include:

  • Henry Ford
  • Queen Elizabeth
  • George H.W. Bush
  • Robert De Niro

The Crafter (ISTP)

Freedom, new experiences, lots of variety and taking action are very important to the crafter Myers-Briggs personality type.

These people are thrill-seekers! They love adrenalin sports, hobbies and even careers. They relish independence and the freedom to work at their own pace and on their terms.  They don’t like routine and can be afraid of commitment.

In a crisis, the ISTP keeps a cool head and thinks objectively. They often ignore their own feelings until they become overwhelming. The Crafter is self-confident and easy-going. 

They represent 5.4% of the population. It’s much more common for men at 8.5%. For women, it’s 2.3%

Famous people with the Crafter (ISTP) personality type include:

  • Tom Cruise
  • Michael Jordan
  • Bruce Lee

The Protector (ISFJ)

The Protector is reserved, reliable, practical, warm-hearted and responsible. They like structure and order and are introverted observers that focus on the needs of other people.

These people are excellent at empathizing with others and understanding their feelings and emotions. However, they often keep their own feelings inside, so not to burden others with their problems.

They prefer to learn by doing and appreciate new ideas that can solve a specific problem. They don’t like abstract concepts.

The Protector takes longer to adapt to change.  They want lots of time to think before making a big life change.

This is the most common of all the Myers-Briggs personality types, representing 13.8% of the total population. It’s also the most common for women at 19.4%. For men, it’s 8.1%.

Famous people with the Protector (ISFJ) personality type include:

  • Mother Teresa
  • Prince Charles
  • Tiger Woods
  • Beyonce

The Artist (ISFP)

People with this Myers-Briggs personality type are kind, friendly, sensitive, quiet, peaceful and easy-going. They accept people as they are.

Being introverted, they are likely to have fewer friends, but the friendships are more meaningful.

They find it easy to focus on the present and not regret the past or worry about the future.  They value practical “hands-on” learning and dislike abstract concepts, unless they can see a practical use for them.

The Artist holds their beliefs and values in high regard. They are very aware of their environment and other people.  They have a strong need for personal space and dislike conflicts and arguments.

This is the fourth most common of all the Myers-Briggs personality types, representing 8.8% of the total population. For women, it’s 9.9% and for men, it’s lower at 7.6%.

Famous people with the Artist (ISFP) personality type include: 

  • David Beckham
  • Michael Jackson
  • Brad Pitt

The Advocate (INFJ)

The Advocate is creative, idealistic, has high moral standards and is focussed on the future.  They are deep thinkers, often contemplating the meaning of life. However, they can turn this into action and help make the world a better place. 

These people are gentle, caring and reserved.  They are very sensitive to the feelings of other people. They enjoy helping others and making strong and meaningful connections and friendships.  However, they need their own space too.

The Advocate has deeply held beliefs and values that guide them to bring positive and lasting change. They also act decisively to get what they want or do what’s right.

These people can be overly sensitive, stubborn, and have very high and perhaps unrealistic expectations. They also dislike conflicts, arguments and confrontation.

This is the rarest of all the Myers-Briggs personality types, representing only 1.5% of the total population. It’s 1.6% for women and 1.2% for men.

Famous people with the Advocate (INFJ) personality type include:

  • Martin Luther King
  • Peter Gabriel

The Mediator (INFP)

Mediators have a strong sense of purpose.  They want to use their talents, skills and abilities to help others and make the world a better place.  Understanding themselves and how they fit into the world is important for this Myers-Briggs personality type.

The Mediator is most interested in the big picture and gets bored with the details. High values drive them and influence their decisions. These people are introverted, quiet and reserved. They prefer a few close friends to large social gatherings.

Other positive aspects of this personality type include creativity, being able to work well alone and being sensitive to other people’s feelings. They can take things personally and be too idealistic.

4.4% of the total population have this personality type with 4.6% being women, and 4.1% being men.

Famous people with the Mediator (INFP) personality type include:

  • Princess Diana
  • William Shakespeare
  • Bob Marley
  • Chris Martin

The Architect (INTJ)

Also known as the “Strategist”, people with this Myers-Briggs personality type are analytical and logical. They make decisions based on objective information, rather than emotions or intuition.

They are self-confident, hard-working and deal well with criticism, seeing it more as feedback. These people like to plan things out in advance and prefer life to be controlled and orderly.

Like the Mediator, the Architect is creative and likes the big picture, and enjoys working alone. They are also good listeners.  These people enjoy theoretical and abstract concepts.

The downsides of this personality type are perfectionism, being judgemental, and sometimes coming across as insensitive.

At 2.1% of the total population, this is one of the rarer Myers-Briggs personality types.  It’s more common in men at 3.3%. For women, it’s the joint lowest with ENTJ at 0.9%.

Famous people with the Architect (INTJ) personality type include:

  • Arnold Schwarzenegger
  • Isaac Newton
  • Mark Zuckerberg

The Thinker (INTP)

As the name suggests, this Myers-Briggs personality type enjoys thinking about how things work and finding solutions to problems. They are abstract thinkers and are more focussed on their internal thoughts and less on the external world.

They are quiet, independent, analytical and flexible.  Although they are abstract thinkers, they prefer to use logic and objective information when making decisions.

Thinkers are flexible and good at “out of the box” thinking. They don’t like too much structure or planning. 

These people are quiet, enjoy time alone and have a few close friends. They are more likely to break the rules or experience moments of self-doubt. Thinkers can be insensitive too.

INTP’s are less common, only representing 3.3% of the total population. They are more common in men at 4.8%. For women, it’s 1.7%.

Famous people with the Thinker (INTP) personality type include:

  • Albert Einstein
  • Charles Darwin
  • Abraham Lincoln

The Persuader (ESTP)

These people are sociable, outgoing, gregarious, funny and have a wide circle of friends, colleagues and acquaintances.

As the name suggests, they are highly persuasive and influential.  They are action takers and use objective information rather than feelings when making decisions. They are also extremely observant and pick up on details that other people never notice.  These people are adaptable, flexible and resourceful.

The Persuader does not like abstract theories or concepts. Instead preferring practical and straight-forward information that they can think about rationally and act on immediately.

These people live in the present. They don’t plan things too much, instead preferring to improvise, react in the moment and keep their options open.  They can be impulsive and do things they later regret. The Persuader is competitive and can get bored easily.

Around 4.3% of the population have this Myers-Briggs personality type. It’s more common in men at 5.6%. For women, it’s 3%.

Famous people with the Thinker (ESTP) personality type include:

  • Donald Trump
  • Madonna
  • Jack Nicholson

The Director (ESTJ)

The Director is your natural leader.  They are self-confident, have strong convictions and like to take charge and put plans into action.

You can rely on the Director to be reliable, stable, committed and honest. They are logical, practical and predictable. These people follow the rules and like things to go smoothly.

With other people, the Director is assertive, frank and will openly share their opinions. This can come across as harsh or overly critical to some people, especially if they don’t live up to the Directors high standards. They value tradition, rules, laws and security.

However, the Director can be bossy, argumentative and insensitive.  Their need to follow rules and procedures can make them inflexible at times.

This is the fifth most common Myers-Briggs personality type, representing 8.7% of the total population. It’s much more common in men at 11.2%. For women, it’s 6.3%.

Famous people with the Director (ESTJ) personality type include:

  • Michelle Obama
  • Frank Sinatra

The Performer (ESFP)

The Performer is outgoing, optimistic, gregarious, spontaneous, fun-loving and enjoys being the centre of attention. 

They are very resourceful, practical and learn through direct “hands-on” experience, especially if that learning involves other people too.  They struggle with theoretical concepts and traditional classroom learning.

The Performer likes to live in the present and do what feels good right now.  They often fail to think about the consequences of their actions on their health and their life in the longer-term.

These people enjoy new experiences and are on the lookout for a new adventure. They will rush into new situations and figure them out as they go along. Not surprisingly, they dislike routine and can get bored easily. 

Performers are fantastic with people.  They are warm, easy-going, sympathetic and understanding when interacting with other people.  They are also very perceptive. The Performer can sense what another person is feeling and respond accordingly.

Around 8.5% of the total population have this personality type. It’s more common in women at 10.1%. For men, it’s 6.9%.

Famous people with the Performer (ESFP) personality type include:

  • Elvis Presley
  • Richard Branson
  • Marilyn Monroe

The Caregiver (ESFJ)

As the name suggests, the Caregiver derives great pleasure from helping others and looking after them. They are very sensitive to the needs and feelings of others. They help, support and encourage other people to be at their best.

Caregivers are outgoing, gregarious, loyal, warm-hearted and kind. Their natural desire to help others, means that other people are often drawn to the Caregiver.

However, they also have a need for approval. They want their kind and giving ways to be noticed and appreciated by other people. There is an inner need to be liked by others.  This makes the Caregiver very sensitive to unkindness, indifference, or when their kind gestures go unnoticed. 

The Caregiver will often find it hard to notice or believe anything that is negative about the people close to them.  They will tend to gloss over or accept their bad points.

Organising, planning and scheduling helps the Caregiver feel more in control.  This also makes them very dependable.

This is the second most common personality type overall, representing 12.3% of the total population.  It’s much more common in women at 16.9%. For men, it’s 7.5%.

Famous people with the Caregiver (ESFJ) personality type include:

  • Andrew Carnegie
  • Elton John
  • Whitney Houston
  • Mariah Carey

The Champion (ENFP)

Enthusiasm, charisma, energy, creativity and charm are key characteristics of this Myers-Briggs personality type. They are also independent and like to have the freedom to innovate.

Excellent people and communication skills are the hallmark of the Champion. They are genuinely interested and care about others. They like to understand how others feel. These people are warm, emphatic and caring.

The charisma, charm, creativity and people skills of Champions, make them great leaders. They also like to dream up new ideas and focus on the future.

The Champion does not like routines and can get bored easily if work is uninspiring. They can be disorganised and will often procrastinate on important tasks.

Whilst they love dreaming up new ideas, they are not so good at finishing them! Once their initial interest and desire wains, so does their motivation

These people are fun, spontaneous and flexible. They like to keep their options open and are very adaptable to changing circumstances.

Although Champions are great with people, they sometime seek approval from others. They can be overly emotional and easily stressed. Champions also have a tendency to overthink things.

8.1% of the total population have this personality type. It’s more common in women at 9.7%. For men, it’s 6.4%.

Famous people with the Champion (ENFP) personality type include:

  • Charles Dickens
  • Robin Williams
  • Walt Disney
  • Bruce Springstein

The Giver (ENFJ)

The Giver is highly extroverted and likely to have the best people skills of all the Myers-Briggs personality types. These people are warm, affectionate, supportive, sensitive, outgoing and loyal.

They can forge friendships with all the other 15 Myers-Briggs personality types, even the most introverted ones.

These people can sense what others are feeling and change their behavior accordingly. They have a strong desire to help others be the best they can be.

The Giver thoroughly enjoys spending time with other people.  They love to encourage others and get immense personal satisfaction from helping others.

However, their desire to help others, means that they sometimes neglect their own needs. They can be too hard on themselves as well. This might include blaming themselves when things go wrong, or not giving themselves a pat on the back when everything is going well. 

Their fantastic people skills can help gain agreements, consensus and decisions between diverse groups of people. This makes them outstanding leaders. Also, their enthusiasm and ability to motivate and inspire others is very helpful in leadership roles. They are also very organized.

Whilst the Giver loves being with people, they do need some time alone to assimilate and organize their own thoughts. 

The Giver can be overly sensitive, indecisive and sometimes requires the approval of others to help them feel good.

This personality type is less common, only representing 2.5% of the total population. It’s 3.3% for women and 1.6% for men.

Famous people with the Giver (ENFJ) personality type include:

  • Barack Obama
  • Bono

The Debator (ENTP)

The Debator loves interacting with a wide variety of people and is a brilliant conversationalist. These people enjoy debating. For them, it helps them explore and understand, by discovering other people’s beliefs, opinions and points of view. They may sometimes play devil’s advocate to help others view things from a different angle or perspective. 

The Debator is clever, intelligent, innovative and loves generating ideas and theories.  However, they are not so good at putting these ideas into action. They often start projects, but don’t finish them.

They tend to be focussed on the future and prefer the big picture to specific details.

The Debator is fairly laid-back and easy going. They are curious about the world and want to understand it. These people are continually taking in new ideas and information and will quickly arrive at conclusions.  They value knowledge and find it easy to understand new information.

The Debator finds it hard to make decisions. They prefer to wait and see what happens.

They can be argumentative and don’t like to be controlled. The Debator dislikes routines and schedules. They can also be unfocussed and insensitive.

This personality type represents 3.2% of the total population. It’s 4% for men and 2.4% for women.

Famous people with the Debator (ENTP) personality type include:

  • Thomas Edison
  • Tom Hanks
  • John Cleese
  • Frank Zappa

The Commander (ENTJ)

The last Myers-Briggs personality type is the Commander.

The Commander is very organized. They thrive on having a plan, schedule or course of action.  This gives them a sense of control, certainty and predictability.

These people are assertive, confident, self-assured and have strong communication skills. They enjoy spending time with other people.

The Commander is good at making decisions that are based on logic and objective information. They are also great at identifying and solving problems.

Their focus is on the future, and they connect better with abstract and theoretical information.

The Commander can be stubborn, outspoken or impatient.  They may also be aggressive and intolerant too.

This is the second rarest of all the Myers-Briggs personality types, representing just 1.8% of the total population. It’s also the joint lowest for women at 0.9%. It’s much more common in men at 4%.

Famous people with the Commander (ENTJ) personality type include:

  • Margaret Thatcher
  • Bill Gates
  • Steve Jobs
  • George Clooney

Which one am I?

My Myers-Briggs Personality type is ESTJ or “The Director”.  I’m practical, realistic and enjoy organizing projects and people to make things happen.  I like to create systems to do things efficiently, and I remember the important details.  I like to follow rules, procedures, rather than reinvent the wheel.  I enjoy working with other people and making things happen.

When I completed the Truity Type Finder Myers-Briggs personality test, these were my results for each of the preferences:

Introversion (I) – 45%Extroversion (E) – 55%
Sensing (S) – 51%Intuition (N) – 49%
Thinking (T) – 54%Feeling (F) – 46%
Perceiving (P) – 24%Judging (J) – 76%

So except for Perceiving v Judging, I’m fairly middle of the road for the other preferences, especially Sensing v Intuition which is almost neck and neck. This makes me very close to the ENTJ or “The Commander” personality type too.

Which one are you?

If you already know, then share this in the comments below.  If you don’t, click the link below to complete the free Truity TypeFinder personality test and find out.

https://selfhelpforlife.com/myers-briggs

I looked at a few different free Myers-Briggs tests, and this was the best one.  It has 100 questions and will take about 5 to 10 minutes to complete. Remember to share your personality type in the comments below after completing it.

To Conclude

The Myers-Briggs personality types are very well known and popular.  However, they have been criticized for not being reliable or entirely accurate. The results can also depend on who created the personality test. Some are better than others.

However, it is a fascinating way to discover more about who you are and your strengths and weaknesses. It can help you choose jobs, careers, hobbies, friends and relationships that align with your personality type.

Finally, your personality type is not set in stone.  It can change over time as your beliefs and values develop.  Life experience also has a huge part to play in how your personality evolves over time.

If you don’t like aspects of your Myers-Briggs personality type, then you can use the articles, videos and other resources on this website to help change your personality.

Sources

https://www.personalityclub.com/

https://www.verywellmind.com/the-myers-briggs-type-indicator-2795583

https://www.careerplanner.com/MB2/TypeInPopulation-Males-Females.cfm

This video by Frank James

The Law of Vibration is always working in your life, whether or not you realize it.  It’s the Law of Vibration that drives the Law of Attraction. After reading this article, you’ll understand what the Law of Vibration is, how it works and how to use it to your advantage.  I’ll keep it simple, so you can understand it easily.

In the past, spirituality and science were polar-opposites. Most of the spiritual philosophies could not be “proved” by science. However, with quantum physics, many spiritual concepts can now be explained scientifically. 

This makes it much easier to understand, believe, and use these spiritual principles to improve your life. The Law of Vibration is no exception.

Watch the Video Below:

Listen to the Podcast

Everything is Energy

The first principle of the Law of Vibration is that everything is energy and energy is everything. Quantum Physics states that everything is energy too.

The chair you’re sitting on is energy, a table is energy. You are energy, trees are energy, animals are energy.  Even light and sound are energy.  If everything is energy, then ideas, thoughts and emotions are energy too.

Related Article: The 4 Types of Energy and How to Master Your Energy

If you looked at your body through a powerful microscope, you would find that your body is made up of cells. Zoom in a little more and you’ll see that the cells are made up of tissues, atoms and molecules. Keep zooming in and you’ll discover that these atoms and molecules are pure energy.

Energy is Always Moving

The second principle of the Law of Vibration is that energy is always moving. It never stands still. It never rests. Instead, this energy moves in waves that go up and down. These waves are known as frequencies or vibrations.

Every object has its own frequency or vibration. A chair is pure energy vibrating at a certain frequency that makes it look like a chair.  The same with a table, plant or animal. 

Anything that is solid (including you and I) are a series of cells, atoms and molecules that are continually moving. It’s this movement (or vibration) that makes the object appear solid. We perceive it as solid, because our eyes cannot see the movement or vibration because it’s so fast.

The same energy can vibrate at different frequencies.  A brilliant example is radio waves.  Radio waves are energy and they are all around us.  However, the same radio wave energy has different frequencies.  Therefore, you can use your radio to tune into several different radio stations depending on whether you want to hear the news, the latest hits or classic rock.

Human beings are also energy that vibrate at a certain frequency. However, just like radio waves, we don’t all vibrate at the same frequency. A person that is good with money has a certain energy vibration.  Someone that always gets into terrible relationships has a different energy vibration.

Your vibratory frequency also influences your health.  A healthy human body has a frequency of between 62 and 70 Mhz. When the frequency drops to below 62 Mhz, cells begin to mutate. People with a cold or the flu have a frequency of around 58 Mhz. When the frequency drops below 42 Mhz, cancer can appear.

This explains why you might have a friend or family member that has constant health issues. They seem unrelated, but their vibrational frequency is the common link.

We naturally have a vibratory frequency range that we rarely go outside of.  This is known as a set-point or paradigm. This is controlled by our consistent, habitual and predictable ways of thinking, feeling and acting. As this is subconscious, it requires some effort to change. 

Now your energy and vibratory frequency vary each day.  Therefore, you might have “good” days when everything flows and seems effortless. Or bad days, when everything seems to go wrong.

You cannot see this vibratory energy, but you can sometimes feel it. When you enter a room after 2 people have had an argument, you can feel that energy. It influences how you think and behave. You might decide to tread lightly or leave the room.

Also in social situations, you’ll feel the energy of different people.  Some people radiate energy and light up the room.  They’re positive, enthusiastic, and full of life.  Other people drain your energy by complaining, moaning or thinking and talking negatively. 

So you now know that everything is energy and that all energy is moving or vibrating. That’s interesting, thought-provoking and could make an interesting talking point at parties! However, if you want to transform your life, then this next bit is crucial!

Like Energy Attracts Like Energy

The fundamental idea behind the Law of Attraction is that like energy attracts like energy.  So energy vibrating at a certain frequency attracts other energy that is also vibrating at the same frequency.

To explain this, I will talk about tuning forks for a moment. Tuning forks are used to help tune pianos and other musical instruments.  They have two prongs. When struck, the prongs vibrate and make a sound.

If after striking the first tuning fork, you place a second tuning fork close by, then it will pick up the vibration and make the same sound automatically.

So similar vibrations work in harmony with each other, and we call this resonance.

It’s exactly the same with people.  If you have an abundance mindset, you will attract abundance. A lack or scarcity mentality will attract more lack and scarcity. 

You don’t get what you want; you get what you are. This is super important to understand!  It’s who you are that truly makes the difference. 

But what are you? You are energy that is vibrating at a certain frequency. At the very core, this is who you are.  Your sense of identity, core beliefs, consistent thoughts and feelings can change your energy and vibration.

Energy is Never Created or Destroyed.

How often have you said that you want to create something in your life?  Perhaps it’s a new car, house, relationship or career. Well, the truth is that we don’t create anything!

According to quantum physics, energy is never created or destroyed. It just changes vibration. So anything that you want is energy that is vibrating at a frequency that you cannot see yet.

To understand this further, think about how a dog whistle works.  The sound from a dog whistle is at a pitch and vibratory frequency that is beyond what human ears can hear. However, the dog hears it because their ears are more sensitive to very high sounds. So the dog whistle exists even though we can’t hear it.

Whilst we can’t improve our hearing, so we hear the dog whistle, we can change our vibration in other ways, so we pick up or tune into things that are vibrating at a higher frequency.

So rather than thinking about creating things, focus on changing who you are, so that your level of vibration increases. You then resonate more with the things you desire.

You Can Change Your Vibrational Frequency

Physical objects, plants and animals cannot consciously change their vibrational frequency.  However, we can by changing our thoughts and more importantly feelings and emotions!

The most effective way to influence your vibrational frequency is to change your emotional state.

When you choose to feel happy, you create an energy vibration that is in harmony with happy feelings.  This then attracts more people, situations and opportunities that bring happiness to you.

If you are regularly upset, angry or feel inferior or worthless, then this will send out a different energy vibration and you’ll attract further situations or people that make you feel upset, angry, inferior or worthless.

It all starts with awareness.  Notice how you feel as you go through the day.  What situations or people trigger negative emotions?  What tasks or activities are you doing that don’t feel good?  How you feel is the best way to determine how your vibrational frequency changes from high to low.

How to Increase Your Level of Vibration

Now that you understand the science and the benefits of operating at a higher vibrational frequency, let’s look at some practical ways to raise your vibratory frequency.

Meditation

When you feel stressed, anxious, overwhelmed, frustrated, impatient, angry (or any other negative emotion), it’s important to stop this in its tracks.  The best way to do this is to meditate.

Meditation will help you observe the limiting thoughts behind these negative emotions and let them go.  Relaxing the body and mind will also reduce the emotions and put things into perspective.  It will help you achieve more positive emotional states such as joy, happiness, peace or gratitude.

Meditation is also a superb way to get better at stopping old negative thoughts and replacing them with new positive thoughts.

Release Negative Energy

Many people hold negative emotions inside.  They believe that feeling or expressing these emotions is uncomfortable or not helpful. The Law of Vibration responds to long-term negative emotional states, so a good cry, or bashing some pillows is totally fine!

Journaling is also a brilliant way to release negative emotions. Just the act of writing down how you feel can help you release the emotions and gain a fresh perspective.

Eat High Frequency Foods

Every food has a vibrational frequency.  Therefore, eating foods that have a high vibratory frequency will increase your level of vibration.

Here are some examples of the types of foods based on their vibrational frequency:

  • Processed Foods = 0 MHz
  • Meat = 2 MHz
  • Fresh Herbs = 20-27 MHz
  • Fruit and Vegetables (especially the green ones) = 65-75 MHz
  • Green cold-pressed juice and spirulina = 170 MHz
  • Essential Oils – from 52 MHz to 320 MHz

Source – http://www.naturalawakeningssa.com/super-charged-high-and-low-frequencies-in-foods-in-our-bodies/

So what you eat has an enormous influence on your vibrational frequency.

High Frequency Emotional States

Positive emotional states influence the Law of Vibration far more than positive thoughts.  So the more you can experience positive emotional states, the better. Examples of high frequency emotional states are unconditional love, gratitude, joy, forgiveness and enthusiasm. 

You can get into a high-frequency state right now by:

  • Putting on some uplifting music and dancing!
  • Exercising
  • Performing random acts of kindness
  • Expressing gratitude
  • Keeping a gratitude journal.
  • Finding funny videos on YouTube (or other things that make you smile or laugh)
  • Reading inspirational books.

Choose High Vibration Situations and People

Spend more time with people that make you feel good. Those people that emit a higher vibratory frequency. I like to call them “radiators”, as they radiate positive energy.

Also, choose situations and places that make you feel good.  Nature has a high vibrational frequency, so getting out in nature will help raise your vibration.

Positive Thinking

How you think affects how you feel.  Consistent and persistent negative thoughts will lead to negative emotional states.  Consciously choose thoughts that make you feel good, empower you and move you towards your goals and dreams.

When you notice a negative thought, mentally say the word “STOP” and choose the opposite positive thought. 

Also think of those negative thoughts as coming from another person.  This will help you separate those thoughts from your sense of identity.

Become the observer of your thoughts.  Don’t judge them, just notice them.  This is easier to do when meditating, but can be done at other times too.

Related Article: How to Tame Your Negative Internal Voice

To Conclude

When you believe in the things that you cannot see, you open yourself up to a whole new world of possibilities.  The Law of Vibration is invisible, but it’s all around us and ready to be tapped into.

Just remembering that everything is energy vibrating at different frequencies will change your perception and belief about what is possible.  When you apply some of the ways to raise your vibrational frequency, you’ll realize that the Law of Vibration is real. You’ll then find it easier to attract the things you want into your life and experience the “good life”!

If you enjoyed reading this article and found it useful, please leave a comment or question below.  I would love to hear what you think!   Please also click on the stars below to rate this post. Also, feel free to share this article with other people or on social media.

Have you ever wondered what the most successful people do? The ones that are truly happy, fulfilled and prosperous? Well, I reveal this in my 10 Strategies for Your Success eBook. It’s a great read and as a treat for reading this article, it’s yours for free!

Just click the button below and I’ll send this eBook to you right away.

Thank you for reading this article.  I hope you are having a wonderful day!

Paul

You may have heard about the importance of taking inspired action.  But what is inspired action and how do you know when you have it? 

In this article, I will cover the differences between inspired, regular and forced action.  They are all useful, but inspired action feels better, is less stressful and more fun!

I’ll cover how to identify an inspired idea and the importance of acting on it immediately.  I’ll then explain how to take inspired action and how to get inspired when you don’t feel like it.

Watch the Video Below:

Listen to the Podcast

Guidance, Action and Manifesting

It all starts with a goal, intention or desire. You think about this often, perhaps visualize it. This sends a coherent message to the universe. The universe then provides guidance to help you make it happen. 

This guidance involves taking some action.  It may be a small or big step. But it will be the next logical step, even if it doesn’t seem logical right now. Think of it as the universe opening the doors to your success in sequence. Each door requires some action. This action then opens the next door.

Each time you take action, you tell the universe (and your subconscious mind) that you’re serious. The universe responds by showing you the next step and opening the next door.

Taking action and ideally inspired action is crucial to your success.  It’s the most important step when manifesting with the Law of Attraction.

How to Identify an Inspired Idea

To take inspired action, you first need an inspired idea.  How do you know if it’s an inspired idea or a normal one? Here are some clues.

You have a strong inner urge to take action.  It’s a gut feeling or intuition. The inspired idea will come with powerful emotions and these emotions are normally (but not always) positive.

You may not know why you are guided to take this action, but it makes sense and you feel you need to do it.

It’s impulsive rather than planned. It comes from the heart rather than the head. You know that when you act on this inspired idea that it will make you happy.

Why Is Taking Inspired Action Important?

The Law of Attraction is not magic.  You can use all the techniques such as visualization, vision boards, hypnosis or affirmations. However, without action, and ideally inspired action, your goals and dreams will not happen.

The universe and your subconscious mind will give you ideas, signs and signals. You might attract new people, situations and other possibilities into your life.  You might have an epiphany. This is a moment of sudden and great realization. 

However, unless you act on these ideas, situations and opportunities, then it’s unlikely that your life will change.

Types of Action

There are 3 types of action. These are inspired action, neutral action and forced action. All are useful.  However, inspired action is always best. It’s the holy grail of action taking! 

Inspired Action

When you are taking inspired action, you find that you cannot wait to get started. And when you do, work just flows! You can’t type fast enough. The ideas flow naturally and you’re in the zone. You’re in alignment with the universe. Time flies and you find it easy to lose track of time.

You feel inspired, elevated, energized and enthusiastic. You’re highly productive and it doesn’t feel like work.  You experience happiness and joy. More luck and good fortune comes your way.  It feels like the action is coming from your soul.

Your inspired action is taking you closer to reaching your goals. It often leads you to the next important step too.  Your action has a clear goal or intent behind it.  It’s not taking action to keep busy.

Inspired action does not always feel good.  It can be scary and take you out of your comfort zone.  It’s not always easy or fun.  However, once you have taken inspired action and conquered the fear, you will feel wonderful and know that you’re on track.  You’ll still feel energized at the end of the task.

Neutral Action

Neutral action comes with little or no emotion. It feels mundane or downright boring! Neutral action is often repetitive.

It’s following the status quo. You’re taking action because you’re supposed to, and without questioning it. And it feels like you’re on auto-pilot.

Neutral action is essential for staying alive!  Activities such as working, household chores, cooking and eating are fundamental to our health and survival.

Many neutral actions develop into success habits. For example, exercising regularly, saving each month or preparing healthy meals. These actions compound over time to give you an impressive body, fantastic health and a secure financial future.

Neutral actions can sometimes act as stepping stones to more inspired action.  You take an action that seems mundane, and this leads to the next exciting adventure! 

So don’t under-estimate neutral action. It has an important place and is essential for long-term success.

Forced Action

Forced action comes from the head, rather than the heart. The logical mind is at play. It’s taking action based on what you think or believe is possible.

There is often a negative feeling or fear behind forced action.  This would be a fear of losing someone, a fear of rejection or a fear of failure.

You feel out of alignment with the universe. It’s like you’re walking up the down escalator. You’re desperate to figure things out, rather than allowing them to happen.  And you’re very attached to the goal.

When taking forced action, you’ll feel stressed, miserable or tired.  You’ll feel like your life is not moving forward or in the direction you want it too. Forced action doesn’t feel good when you do it repeatedly. 

Perhaps you’re sitting at your laptop, staring at an empty screen. Hours go by and you achieve very little.  You have writer’s block. It’s frustrating and you lack joy and inspiration.  You’re confused or bored and feel drained at the end of the task. 

These are all symptoms of taking forced action.  The solution is to take a break, recharge, and then these tasks will feel more like normal or even inspired activities.

Can Inspired Action Change to Neutral or Forced Action?

The quick answer is yes!

Let’s say you start a new job. It’s exciting! You have interesting work, lots of variety, fun new people to hang out with and a chance to make a fresh start. You’re taking inspired action.

A few months or years go by, and it feels more like your last job. You’re still doing great work and meeting or exceeding your targets. However, it doesn’t excite you anymore.  You’ve moved from inspired action to regular action.

Then eventually, your job becomes a real drag. Every action you take seems forced. If you can get out of something or bunk off you will! That’s forced action.

When I launched Self Help for Life, I had an incredible amount of inspired action!  Now it’s a mix of inspired, regular and occasional forced action.  It varies depending on what I’m doing, how I’m progressing and whether I run into unexpected problems or setbacks.

Forced action is not all bad though. It will often lead to a decision to change. Many months of forced action in your job will lead to a decision that enough is enough. You’ll then take inspired action to look for fresh opportunities or perhaps change your career completely.

When my action becomes forced, I take a break and look at different or better ways of doing things. It gives me a chance to question what I’m doing and get back in alignment with my goals, dreams and my why.

How to Take Inspired Action

Here are some ways to help you take more inspired action.

Connect with Your Inner Guidance System

It’s easy to miss intuitive hunches, flashes of inspiration, or inner urges or nudges. To ensure that you don’t miss out, keep a journal.  Write down all your intuitive thoughts, gut feelings, ideas that come in the shower or when walking in nature.  Include things you hear in a conversation.  Note those “aha” moments.

This is your inner guidance system working for you.  It’s very subtle and easy to miss, especially when you pack your day with a multitude of things to do.

Take Action Now

The best time to act is as soon as you come up with the inspired idea.  You want to act whilst it’s exciting, and the idea fills you with energy and enthusiasm. 

The longer you leave it, the less you will feel inspired to do it.  Inspiration wanes with time.  Leave it for 6 months and you will feel less inspired, the idea will seem less fresh, your energy will wain and you’ll feel less enthusiastic

When you don’t act immediately, it’s easy to question the idea with your logical mind and find reasons it won’t work.  Remember, inspiration comes from the heart, not the head.

Taking action straight away keeps the emotional fire burning.  It increases your inspiration and enthusiasm.  You then naturally take more inspired action going forward. It helps you get in alignment with divine timing and seize the wonderful synchronicity that comes with inspired action.

Not every inspired idea will be successful.  So, the sooner you take action, the earlier you’ll discover if it will work or not.  One reason successful people achieve so much is because they fail often and they fail fast.

Having said that, ensure that your inspired idea is not foolish or creates an unacceptable level of risk.  Examples of foolish inspired ideas include:

  • Spending all your life-savings on buying lottery tickets.
  • Quitting your uninspiring job when you have no other income sources or savings to support you.

Another reason for taking action now is that the timing will never be perfect. It never is. So many people wait for the perfect time, rather than taking action and getting the rewards sooner.

When you take inspired action, it might seem scary or fearful. That’s okay.  Sometimes, it requires doing something outside of your comfort zone. This shows you’re serious and ready to take the next step. 

How to Get Inspired When You Don’t Feel like It.

If you wait until you are inspired before you act, you could wait a long time!  However, there are practical steps that you can take now to feel inspired, motivated and ready to take action.

Do a task for 15 minutes

Do the task you want or need to do for 15 minutes and notice what happens. Most times, your inspiration and motivation increases after you take action.  I’ve seen this happen frequently.

Reconnect with your Why

If you used to feel inspired and this has gone, reconnect with your why.  What are the reasons for following this path?  If you’re losing weight, focus on the end goal and the reasons this is so important for you.  If it’s building a business, reconnect with why you’re building it and the long-term benefits it will give you.

Take a Break

It’s hard to feel inspired if you’re tired, burned out or have been working too hard.  Take some time out to rest, recover and do other inspiring fun activities that will help you recharge and regain your motivation and inspiration.  Getting out in nature is a wonderful way to do this.

Consume Inspirational Content

Reading inspirational books or watching motivational videos can help you develop a positive emotional state.  They can reignite the inspiration that was inside you all along.

Find Success Stories

Find other people that have achieved what you desire.  It’s so easy to find success stories on the internet.  Listen to their stories, how they overcame the obstacles, adversities and struggles that you may be facing right now. This will really fuel your inspiration.

Personal Development Activities

Journalling, visualization or meditation can help you develop a more positive emotional state. Expressing gratitude is very helpful too.  I cover these and other personal development activities in this article.

Exercise and Movement

Exercise and movement are powerful for changing your emotional state too.  A few minutes of jumping jacks or dancing to uplifting music can rapidly change your state.

To Conclude

Taking action is the most important step to manifesting your goals, dreams and desires.  Inspired action is the most effective and enjoyable.

However, don’t wait for inspiration to flow.  Take action anyway and the inspiration will follow.  If it doesn’t, or you feel that the action is forced, then take a step back and look for another way.

If you enjoyed reading this article and found it useful, please leave a comment or question below.  I would love to hear what you think!   Please also click on the stars below to rate this post. Also, feel free to share this article with other people or on social media.

Have you ever wondered what the most successful people do? The ones that are truly happy, fulfilled and prosperous? Well, I reveal this in my 10 Strategies for Your Success eBook. It’s a great read and as a treat for reading this article, it’s yours for free!

Just click the button below and I’ll send this eBook to you right away.

Thank you for reading this article.  I hope you are having a wonderful day!

Paul

We all desire greater abundance in our lives. We want to have more money, great health, superb relationships and plenty of time to enjoy them. Perhaps you know some lucky people that seem to have it all.  Well, these people have become experts in manifesting abundance, whether they realize it or not.

In this article, you will learn what manifesting abundance is. I’ll explain what an abundance mindset is and how to know when you have it. You’ll then gain an insight into what manifesting abundance looks like when done successfully.

I’ll then cover my 10-step process to help you become a master in manifesting abundance and prosperity.

Watch the Video Below:

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What is Manifesting Abundance?

Let’s kick off by defining what manifesting abundance is.

Abundance is when things are plentiful.  There is an over-supply.  There is more than enough to go round.  When most people think of abundance, it’s about having more money.  However, abundance could also mean great health, many positive relationships or success in all your endeavors.

Manifesting is about making it appear or happen in your life. It’s making it come true for you.

In the past, scarcity was the reality for most people.  There were famines, a lack of resources and an uneven distribution of wealth and land ownership.  For the vast majority of people, life was hard back then.

This is not the case now for most people.  If you can read this article, then you have access to an abundance of information, knowledge and wisdom. It’s also likely that you have your basic needs met.

What is an Abundance Mindset?

A key component to manifesting abundance is having an abundance mindset.  But what does this look like?

An abundance mindset is a way of thinking that makes it easier to attract abundance and the things you desire.

Some people naturally have this abundance mindset. These are the people that seem to become successful with less effort.  They appear to have natural talents.  This abundance mindset is something they do unconsciously.

For most of us, it requires some conscious work and effort to develop an abundance mindset.  It may not be a natural skill yet, but it will come with practice.  The key thing to know is that manifesting abundance and developing an abundance mindset is a skill that you can learn.  This article will teach you how.

Some characteristics of an abundance mindset include:

  • Believing that there is more than enough to go around.
  • Being an optimist.
  • Being happy for other people’s success.
  • Thinking big.
  • Being proactive.
  • Embracing change.
  • Learning constantly.

How to Know When You’re Successfully Manifesting Abundance

The most obvious way is when money or the thing you desire becomes a reality.  This can take time, so here are some other things to look out for.

  1. Synchronicity. You notice coincidences. Things naturally coming together. You find you are getting more of what you want and less of what you don’t want.
  2. Opportunities. There are 2 parts to this.  Firstly, you will see opportunities that were always there, but you hadn’t noticed them until now.  Secondly, you will feel more inspired and motivated to act on all opportunities as they arise.
  3. A more natural state of being.  Life becomes fun, rewarding, fulfilling and meaningful. Doing the work involved seems effortless. You have plenty of energy, a clear head and you feel calm.

10 Steps to Manifesting Abundance & Prosperity

You now know what manifesting abundance is and what an abundance mindset looks like.  So I’ll now cover 10 ways to help you become a master at manifesting abundance.

1. Visualize and Create a Vision Board

The first step to manifesting abundance is to know what you want and make this very clear in your mind. 

A wonderful way to do this is to use Creative Visualization.  See yourself having abundant money, health, relationships or success.  Bring in other senses too, such as hearing, feeling, taste and touch.

You can make this more real by creating a vision board.  Find photos of your dream house, dream car or dream job on the internet.  Print them out and put them on the board. You could even create a vision board on your computer that contains these photos and perhaps videos too.

It’s super important that your brain thinks and imagines your manifesting goals frequently.  This is why vision boards work so well.  If it’s prominent in your home, then you’ll see it every day.  This activates a part of your brain called the Reticular Activating System (RAS). The RAS then notices people, places and opportunities that can make this goal a reality.

If vision boards aren’t your thing, put photos of what you want in prominent places around your home, so you see it every day. The fridge, wardrobe doors and bathroom mirrors are excellent places.

2. Get Specific

The Universe loves specificity. The more specific you are about your goals and intentions, the better. 

Write down precisely what you want to bring into your life.  This is fundamental to manifesting abundance.  Identify the things, people, places, situations and experiences that you want to manifest.  Get into all the juicy details!

When manifesting money, decide on the precise amount and exact date that you want it.  If it’s manifesting your perfect partner, what will this person look like and what personality traits will they have.  If it’s abundant health, how will you know when you have it?  Will it be more energy, feeling more vibrant or being able to run 5K without stopping.

It’s important to be specific and precise about what you want. However, you want to be open and flexible about how it will come into your life.  Be open to possibilities and options that you may not have thought of. 

3. Look Beyond the 5 Senses

You’ve probably heard people say “I’ll believe it when I see it”. This is an unhelpful lie! Would Thomas Edison have created the light bulb If he thought this way? Of course not!  He was thinking and imagining the light bulb in his mind, long before it became a reality. 

When manifesting abundance, you want to bring in 3 invisible yet critical components.  These are thoughts, imagination and positive feelings.

Thoughts

Anything you want to manifest in your life begins with a positive thought. You want to ensure that your thoughts are about what you do want, not about what you don’t want. 

For example, “I want to have enough money to pay my bills, save for the future, and have some leftover for fun activities”, is much better than “I don’t want to be broke and struggling to make ends meet”. 

Why?  Because your subconscious mind cannot process a thought about what you don’t want. It has to think about and imagine being broke and struggling whenever you think this thought.

Imagination

This is vividly imagining your goal or desire.  The imagination is powerful in manifesting abundance.  However, like thinking, ensure that you are imagining what you do want, rather than what you don’t want.

Feelings

How you feel right now influences the level of vibration that goes out to the Universe.  This explains why everything seems to go wrong when you’re having a foul day. Or why activities seem effortless and natural when having a wonderful day. 

When manifesting abundance, feelings are often overlooked. I’ll go into the importance of positive feelings later in this article. 

4. Deal with Limiting Beliefs (Money Blocks)

Your beliefs about money and abundance have a massive influence on your ability to bring all the wonderful things into your life.  You might have heard of the term “money blocks” or “abundance blocks”. These are limiting beliefs that hold you back.

Beliefs are simply repetitive thoughts that define what you can and can’t do. They define what is possible for you and what isn’t.

Here are 2 common limiting beliefs about money and abundance.

There is Never Enough. 

This is believing that there is a limited or finite amount of money available.  That if one person has more, someone automatically has less.

It’s also believing that you will never have enough money. It can go deeper to believing that you are not enough as a person. 

Basing Your Self-Worth on Money

This is believing you need a certain amount of money to feel good in society. Or that people with more money have greater intelligence, are better with people, or can work crazy hours.

When you lack money, this belief system can make you feel inferior.  This is because you base your success and self-worth on money.

When you have lots of money, you fear losing it, because you tie your self-worth to it. This fear can prevent you from enjoying the money that you have.

Dealing with Limiting Beliefs (Money Blocks)

I encourage you to become very conscious and self-aware of your thoughts, feelings and energy around money. Notice the stories you tell yourself regarding money and abundance. 

As soon as you notice a negative or limiting thought, change it immediately.  The thought “I can’t afford to pay the rent or bills”, could be changed to a thought of gratitude.  This could be being grateful for what you already have, such as your career, health or relationships.

Do this every time you notice a limiting thought.  It’s simple, but it takes consistency and persistence.

Related Article: How to Permanently Change Limiting Beliefs

5. Develop Positive Emotional States

With manifesting abundance, I believe that developing positive emotional states is absolutely essential.  The influence of emotions on manifesting is often over-looked and this will be to your detriment.

When I feel frustrated, impatient or overwhelmed when I’m working, I’ll find that my computer crashes or the printer stops working. When I’m desperate to complete a task, the phone will ring constantly or I’ll be interrupted in other ways.  I’ve seen this happen so many times now, that I know that the negative energy that I’m giving out is influencing what happens around me.

So when you’re in a negative emotional state, you’ll attract problems! You’ll worry more and perhaps blame other people.  You might say things like “nothing works!”, “it’s all too hard”. Tasks seem like a chore and you’re in a funk.

Why is this?  Well, you’re energetic vibration is low, so things seem harder.  And you attract other situations that match this energetic vibration. 

Of course, it works the other way too.  When you’re on an emotional high, everything flows naturally.  That emotional high comes from accomplishment and success. However, this is a catch-22, because you need positive emotional states to achieve things and be successful.

So the solution is to consciously choose these emotional states. You can choose to feel happy, confident, successful or joyful whenever you want.  This is not easy and it takes some practice.  Think of times in the past when you experienced these emotions and then notice your energetic vibration increase. An immediate change in your vibration will influence what comes your way. 

Here are two other ideas in relation to money and emotions

Firstly, money will go up and down throughout your life.  Economic cycles and other factors influence the amount of money you have.  However, your happiness and emotional state is constant and is within your control.  As long as you have enough to live on, avoid basing your happiness on money.

Secondly, spend money wisely and intentionally. Avoid spending money recklessly or emotionally.  If you feel like some retail therapy, look for other ways to develop positive emotional states that don’t involve spending money on things you might regret later.

6. Increase Your Self-Worth

This is feeling worthy and entitled to the things you want to manifest in your life.  You realise that manifesting abundance requires some work and effort.  However, when you have high self-worth, you know that when you put in the work, you’ll get positive results, because you are a good person.

So it’s believing that you are worthy of abundance and capable of attracting, creating and manifesting abundance.

Do you feel worthy of abundance? Or do you feel that this is for other people and not you?

If you feel that your self-worth requires a boost, here are some ways to help you do that.

  • Identify and focus on your strengths and what you’re good at.
  • Make time for you. Spend that time doing something that you love.
  • Do things that get you out of your comfort zone.
  • Be willing to ask for help (and accept help) from other people.
  • Have goals and a clear road-map of where you want your life to go.
  • Be grateful for all the wonderful things in your life and for what is working well for you.

7. Develop a Positive Attitude

When you have a positive attitude and an optimistic outlook on life, you’ll find it easier to attract the things you want.  You’ll see the silver lining in every situation.  You’ll smile more and complain less.  And give more with no thought of reward. 

Self-denying and self-defeating thoughts prevent you from noticing and experiencing the abundance available to you.

Here are a few ways to develop a positive attitude

8. Take Inspired Action

A crucial component to manifesting abundance is taking inspired action.  This is acting from a place of love, rather than a place of lack.

You can also take inspired action by acting as if you have manifested the abundance already. A wonderful way to do this is by dream building.  This is a lot of fun and works best with material goals.

Examples of dream building are visiting million dollar properties that are for sale.  Or going to luxury car exhibitions or showrooms and sitting in your dream car, or taking it for a test drive.  If you do this, remember to take some photos to add to your vision board.

Inspired action is doing more of what makes you feel good and less of what feels bad to you.  So how do you know when you are taking inspired action?  Here are some clues:

  • You’ll feel excitement, energy, motivation and joy.
  • It seems effortless and not a struggle.
  • You’re in the zone.
  • It doesn’t feel like work.
  • You lose track of time.

9. Play the Prosperity Game

Abraham Hicks developed the prosperity game. It’s a mental game of receiving money from the Universe.  This game will help you to:

  • Create a positive energy shift. This will then increase your energetic vibration.
  • Expand your awareness of what is possible.
  • Stretch your imagination.
  • Help replace limiting beliefs with positive ones.
  • Release any resistance you have around money.

Here is how to play it.

  1. Decide how much money you will receive from the Universe today.  If you can’t decide, start with $1000.
  2. See yourself spending this entire amount of money in your imagination. What would you spend it on? 
  3. The next day, double the amount of money you receive from the Universe.

You can see how this can quickly become an enormous amount of money to spend!  This is what will stretch your imagination and change your belief about what is possible.

Like any game, there are a few rules. These are:

  • You must spend all the money each day.
  • You can’t give money away to charities. You want to have the mindset that unlimited abundance is available to everyone, so charities have all the money they need.
  • You can’t give money to others, unless it’s their birthday.  Remember, everyone else has all the money they need too.
  • You can’t save it. Saving implies that you might not have enough in the future. 

10. Express Gratitude

Everything happens in the non-physical world, before it manifests in the physical world. So you can express gratitude and appreciation before it appears. 

You can thank the Universe for creating this in the non-physical world. You then know that it’s just a matter of time before you see it for real.

Expressing gratitude and thanks also removes any resistance to having it appear in your life.  It helps strengthen your belief in manifesting abundance.

Also, feel gratitude and appreciation for what you already have.  Especially the struggles and difficult people. These are your greatest teachers.  You need the lows to appreciate the highs.

Being grateful for what you already have results in more positive emotions and energy.  As you learned earlier, positive emotions, increase your energetic vibration. This then allows more wonderful things to be manifested and attracted into your life.

Related Article: The 11 Benefits of Gratitude and How to Practice it Daily.

To Conclude

Now you realize that manifesting abundance is something that you can master by incorporating the above 10-steps to your life. Take some time now to apply these steps and notice your ability to manifest skyrocket!

If you enjoyed reading this article and found it useful, please leave a comment or question below.  I would love to hear what you think!   Please also click on the stars below to rate this post. Also, feel free to share this article with other people or on social media.

Have you ever wondered what the most successful people do? The ones that are truly happy, fulfilled and prosperous? Well, I reveal this in my 10 Strategies for Your Success eBook. It’s a great read and as a treat for reading this article, it’s yours for free!

Just click the button below and I’ll send this eBook to you right away.

Thank you for reading this article.  I hope you are having a wonderful day!

Paul

In this article, I will provide a summary of the 7 habits of highly effective people. I’ll cover each of the 7 habits, so you can apply these to your life, without reading the complete book first!

The 7 habits of highly effective people by Stephen Covey has sold over 15 million copies.  I bought this book over 25 years ago and the ideas in this book are still highly relevant in today’s fast-paced digital world.

My summary of the 7 habits of highly effective people will reveal the key principles and success habits that are the backbone of this book.  However, to master these 7 habits, I highly recommend that you grab your copy of the 7 habits of highly effective people after reading this summary.

In this book, Stephen Covey groups the habits into 3 parts.  These are:

  1. Private Victory (Habits 1 to 3). Improving You.
  2. Public Victory (Habits 4 to 6). Dealing better with other people.
  3. Renewal (Habit 7). Learning, improving and becoming more efficient.

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Habit 1: Be Proactive

Let’s kick off my summary of the 7 habits of highly effective people with the first habit which is to be proactive.

An important part of this habit is choosing how you respond to the events that happen in your life.

Stimulus and Response

Thousands of times a day, we are bombarded with stimuli. This could be events, situations and other people. We respond to these stimuli unconsciously, automatically and predictably. You might respond with a certain thought, feeling or action. It’s very habitual, and the response is often based on memories or experiences of similar situations or events that happened in the past.

However, Stephen Covey explains that there is a gap between the stimulus and your response.  This is crucial to understand!  When you change what you do in this gap, you change your response.  Do this repeatedly and you develop new subconscious and automatic responses.

To change how you respond involves:

  1. Self-awareness. You need self-awareness to notice the gap and pause before you react.
  2. Imagination and Creativity. This will help you choose different and better responses.
  3. Conscience. You want to know that the new response is ethical and good for you and others. It’s knowing the difference between right and wrong and acting accordingly.
  4. Independent Will. This is choosing your response. It’s coming from you, rather than being influenced by other people such as family, friends or colleagues.

The word “responsibility” is a combination of the words “response” and “ability”. So it means the ability to change your response.

Another important component of this first habit is knowing what you can and can’t control. This consists of two parts. These are circle of influence and circle of concern.

Circle of Influence

This is what you can control or influence. It includes your direct actions. You have complete control over those. It also includes indirect actions. This is influencing others to take action; through something you say or do. This is a skill that gets better with time. When you work on improving your communication skills and abilities, you will get better at influencing others.

Circle of Concern

This is what is outside of your control or influence.  It includes your past. You can’t change your past, only how you view it and the meaning you give to it. This also includes political decisions, recessions and world events. We have no direct control over these.

It’s also the actions of most other people. We can’t directly control other people. We can only influence them.

When you focus or worry about the things you can’t control, this is a waste of your time and energy. This is so important! If you remember one thing from my 7 habits of highly effective people summary, this would be it!

So know what you can control, what you can influence and don’t waste time or energy on the things that you can’t control.

Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind

This habit is about defining your What and Why. It’s about designing the life you want to live.

When you don’t have a plan for your life, you drift and become part of someone else’s life plan. If you are not clear on your values and what drives you, then you end up in a career that doesn’t excite or fulfill you.  Stephen calls this “climbing up the wrong ladder”

Many people climb the corporate ladder. They work and study hard to obtain good money, status, and corporate success.

Once they get there, they realize that their life feels meaningless and lacks passion. They have been climbing the wrong ladder.

Think about where you want to be in 5, 10 or 15 years’ time? Are you climbing the right ladder or is it time to change to a different one?

Stephen Covey also talks about visualizing the end point. Visualize where you want to be in 5, 10 or 15 years’ time in precise detail. Does this excite you? Is it really what you want? Are you climbing the right ladder?

Knowing your purpose will help you climb the right ladder. To help you identify what your purpose is, think about how you would like to be remembered?

At the end of your life, how do you want people to remember you? Are the things you’re doing consistent and in alignment with how you want to be remembered?

This habit is also about knowing your values. Your values determine who you are right now and who you want to be in the future. They drive the decisions you make and also the actions you take.

Stephen Covey introduces the personal mission statement. This need not be elaborate or require weeks of thought!  Will Smith had a very simple mission statement, which is “I want the world to be better because I was here”.

This habit is also about setting goals.  I cover goal-setting in the related article below.

Related Article: How to Set and Achieve your Goals

Habit 3: Put First Things First

You know what you what and why from habit 2.  So habit 3 is about the how. It’s how to make this awesome life happen for you.

Productivity is a huge part of this habit of putting first things first. Stephen Covey has a wonderful quote which is “the challenge is not to manage time, but to manage ourselves”.

Time Management Matrix

Stephen Covey introduces the time management matrix. This is not a new idea. Eisenhower, who was the 34th US president, originally created the time management matrix. However, it was Steven Covey that made this popular.

The fundamental concept behind the time management matrix is classifying tasks by importance and urgency.  This is done by using 4 quadrants.

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Quadrant 1: Important and Urgent

Tasks in quadrant 1 are important and urgent. These are your top priority.  Often these tasks are outside your direct control. They include dealing with a crisis, a pressing problem, or an unexpected task or setback. It can include important deadline driven projects if you leave them to the last minute. More on this in a moment!

Too much time in quadrant 1 is stressful! You’re fire-fighting and playing catch-up. This can lead to anxiety and burnout. It also impacts your longer-term goals and your daily productivity, because you’re constantly reacting.

If you are organized and manage your time effectively, then most of the tasks in quadrant 1 will be from other people.  You have already completed important tasks within your control before they became urgent.

Quadrant 2: Important but Not Urgent

Tasks in quadrant 2 are important, but not urgent. These are your important projects and assignments. Your major pieces of work that have deadlines in the future. These are often tasks that require planned blocks of time over several days or weeks. You drive these tasks.

Quadrant 2 tasks include your performance objectives at work. Managers often base your performance and potential pay rise on these objectives. So that’s important to you!

This also includes activities towards your longer-term personal goals. Or activities that align with your mission and values. The ones mentioned in habit 2 earlier.

Here are some examples of quadrant 2 activities.

  • Important longer-term projects (with deadlines in the future)
  • Building relationships
  • Long-term planning
  • Exercise
  • Things good for your mental and physical health.

You want to work on quadrant 2 tasks immediately after completing quadrant 1 tasks. You drive and control the activities in quadrant 2. This is where you want to spend most of your time.

Tasks in quadrant 2 include all the things we “should” be doing, but rarely do because they never feel urgent. Exercise, meditation, healthy-eating or looking after your physical and mental health are good examples.

Keeping Tasks out of Quadrant 1

Here is a key takeaway from my summary of the 7 habits of highly effective people.  This is to prevent any tasks within your control from getting into quadrant 1.

Spending the majority of your time working on activities in quadrant 2 will prevent these tasks from becoming urgent and moving to quadrant 1. 

If you are organized and effective in managing your time, you will complete these activities before they become urgent. 

If you are disorganized, procrastinate and leave things to the last minute, then these tasks will become urgent and move to quadrant 1.  You then need to deal with these tasks, and any unexpected urgent tasks, and this becomes stressful.

To prevent important projects from becoming urgent, you may need to learn to say “no” to some urgent activities or delegate these to others. This is not always easy, but is necessary to ensure that your most important projects get done before they become urgent and move to quadrant 1.

Quadrant 3: Urgent but Not Important

Tasks in quadrant 3 are urgent, but are not important.  Other people drive these tasks.  They are urgent and important to them, but not to you.

Quadrant 3 tasks don’t contribute towards your goals, objectives or things your performance might be measured on.  They are not in alignment with your mission or values.  However, they do keep you busy!

Here are some examples of quadrant 3 activities.

  • Interruptions
  • Some meetings
  • Some reports
  • Checking emails (too often)

Quadrant 3 tasks have short-term benefits, but contribute very little in the longer-term. When you spend too much time in quadrant 3, you can feel out of control. Work has little meaning.

Many people complete all their urgent tasks first (the tasks in quadrants 1 and 3) before embarking on their more important longer-term projects. 

The time management matrix helps you allocate time to the important longer-term projects in quadrant 2 before tackling urgent activities that are less important or valuable.

Quadrant 4: Not Urgent and Not Important

Tasks in quadrant 4 are not urgent and not important. They are your lowest priority tasks.  If you have tasks in quadrant 4, question whether they need to be done at all.  If they do, see if you can delegate them to someone else. 

Here are some examples of quadrant 4 activities.

  • Trivia
  • Busy work
  • Some emails and phone calls
  • Other time-wasting activities

You or other people can drive tasks in quadrant 4.  If I have a request from another person and I feel it’s not important or urgent, I’ll often wait until they follow-up before doing it.  Interestingly, in most cases they don’t!

When you spend too much time doing quadrant 4 tasks, you are adding little value to the organization. You’ll eventually get noticed and could get fired! Also, because you haven’t done the important tasks required to gain the key skills, you’ll be more reliant on other people to get things done.

Habit 4: Think Win Win

This is seeking agreements, solutions, products, and services that are beneficial and satisfying to both parties.

To think win win requires several essential character traits. These are:

  • Integrity
  • Maturity
  • Honestly
  • Being ethical
  • Being trustworthy
  • keeping promises and commitments.
  • Abundance mindset

It also requires having a balance between courage or toughness, and consideration or respect for other people.

It’s about being a leader and making the right decisions, even if they are tough decisions to make. And it’s about bringing people with you, because they see the benefit in your decisions. They feel that you made them with their best interests in mind.

Another character trait for win-win is having an abundance mindset. This is believing that there is enough for everyone. That another person’s gain is not someone else’s loss.

Another key takeaway in my 7 habits of highly effective people summary is that if you can’t get a win win, then there is no deal.  No deal is far better than a deal where one person wins and someone else loses.

Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then Be Understood.

This habit is about listening first and then speaking. Most people don’t listen properly. Instead, they rush in and try to give good advice, often interrupting the person. Perhaps you’ve done this yourself? I know I have!  

Stephen Covey explains that most people are not really listening. Instead, they are either speaking or preparing to speak.

When we speak, we typically respond with our autobiography. This is our view or map of the world. What you want to do instead is understand their autobiography.  It’s grasping and appreciating their view of the world.  

For me, it’s far more fascinating to understand another person’s autobiography as I know mine already! So I encourage you to listen intently and truly understand other people’s values, opinions and their reality. 

To help you become a better listener, Stephen Covey introduces the skill of empathic listening. This is listening with the intent to understand. There are four parts to this.

  1. Mimic their words. Repeating or feeding their words back. To do this, you have to really listen to the other person.
  2. Rephrase their words. Repeating what they said, but in your own words. To do this, you must think about what they’ve said, as opposed to just repeating it back.
  3. Reflecting their feelings. Focusing more on how the other person feels rather than what they’re saying. This helps you empathize with them.
  4. Rephrase their words and reflect their feelings. Using your own words to rephrase what they said and the feelings and emotions behind it.

Habit 6: Synergize

This habit is about working together with other people. It’s based on the idea that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. A team that works together effectively can achieve far more than each team member could achieve on their own.

It’s about understanding and valuing differences and looking for the good in others. It’s viewing things from another person’s perspective and putting yourself in their shoes. Seeing things from their eyes, from their belief system, and with their values. It’s also understanding and valuing other people’s opinions.

Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw

The last habit in my summary of the 7 habits of highly effective people is about continuous self-growth, improvement and learning. It’s about investing time to get better and quicker at what you do.

In this book, Stephen Covey talks about this man that has been trying to saw down a tree for 5 hours. He’s exhausted!  Someone comes up to him and suggests he takes a break to sharpen his saw. He says, “You’ll get the job done much faster with a sharper saw”.  The man says, “I haven’t got time to sharpen the saw, I’m too busy sawing!”

So the analogy behind sharpening the saw is taking time out to learn, become better, more effective and do things quicker.

This habit of continuous self-improvement makes the other 6 habits possible. 

Steven Covey talks about the four dimensions of self-growth. These are:

  1. Physical. Staying healthy by eating well, getting plenty of rest and exercising regularly,
  2. Spiritual. Achieving inner peace and calm, through meditation, prayer or reading. It’s connecting with something larger than yourself, whatever that is for you.
  3. Mental. This is education, learning and personal development.  When this book was written in 1989, most learning was by reading books.  Now you have a wealth of other options including videos, podcasts, blogs and online courses.
  4. Social and emotional. This includes spending time with family and friends and living habits 4 to 6 in everyday life.

So this is my summary of the 7 habits of highly effective people by Stephen Covey.  To check out this book or grab your own copy, click the link below.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey

If you enjoyed reading this article and found it useful, please leave a comment or question below.  I would love to hear what you think!   Please also click on the stars below to rate this post. Also, feel free to share this article with other people or on social media.

Have you ever wondered what the most successful people do? The ones that are truly happy, fulfilled and prosperous? Well, I reveal this in my 10 Strategies for Your Success eBook. It’s a great read and as a treat for reading this article, it’s yours for free!

Just click the button below and I’ll send this eBook to you right away.

Thank you for reading this article.  I hope you are having a wonderful day!

Paul

Compassion is vital to helping people get through a tough time.  However, being compassionate is hugely beneficial for you too.  In this article, you will learn why compassion is important in so many ways.

I’ll start by defining what compassion and self-compassion are. I’ll then cover why compassion is important, and the hidden benefits that being more compassionate brings to you and others.

I’ll then reveal several ways to help you become more compassionate, so you reap the benefits too. Being compassionate is the perfect win-win. It’s fantastic for you and wonderful for the people that you support and interact with.

Watch the Video Below:

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What is Compassion?

Compassion is helping to relieve another person’s suffering through acts of kindness, caring, and support. It includes empathy, but it goes beyond that.

Empathy is being present to another person’s suffering. It’s feeling and sensing their emotional experience. It’s being non-judgmental. This is not judging how another person is dealing or not dealing with a difficult situation.

Compassion is being more concerned with the wellbeing of others, rather than yourself. It’s a natural skill that many people have forgotten in the busyness of modern life. However, you can relearn it and this article will show you how.

As you practice compassion more regularly, it becomes an attitude and a way of life. You understand why compassion is important and naturally identify yourself as a compassionate person. It’s part of who you are.  

What is Self-Compassion?

Self-compassion is a vital component of compassion that is often over-looked. It’s key to understanding why compassion is important.

Self-compassion is being proactive in relieving your own suffering. It’s putting yourself first and being gentle and kind on yourself. It’s avoiding situations and people that could create suffering for you.

It is so much easier to be more compassionate with others when you’ve developed self-compassion first.

Why Compassion Is Important and Beneficial for You

I’m sure you already know the benefits of being more compassionate on others. However, there are so many reasons why compassion is important to you too.  Here are a few of them.

Less Anxiety

Being more compassionate helps reduce anxiety by taking your mind off yourself. It gives you a break from your own problems and worries.

When you grasp and understand what someone else is going through, you appreciate your own life more.  You realize that your life is okay. You gain a different perspective on your life.

Less Fear

I believe that compassion is the opposite of fear. It’s almost impossible to experience fear when you’re expressing compassion. This is because your mind and heart are totally connected with what the other person is going through.

Less Stress

Being compassionate reduces stress, especially when you practice self-compassion. You’ll drive yourself less hard and develop a sense of perspective around your own issues and deadlines. They will seem less important to you.

Self-compassion helps reduce burnout. You’ll look after yourself better and take more breaks.

Greater Happiness

This is a big reason why compassion is important. It makes you happier for 2 reasons. Firstly, as mentioned earlier, you’ll be less stressed, anxious or fearful. Secondly, the genuine desire to help others naturally brings out happiness and fulfilment in you.

The following quote from the Dalai Lama explains this beautifully!

“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.”

Meaningful Relationships

Being compassionate helps you understand other people at a deeper level. You develop better connections with other people. This leads to stronger friendships and more meaningful relationships that can last a lifetime.

Understand Yourself and Others More

When you practice compassion, you gain a richer experience of what other people are going through.  This helps you understand yourself more and develop greater self-awareness.

Better Health and Wellbeing

A key reason compassion is important is that it’s good for you!  It’s fantastic for your own health and wellbeing. I won’t go into all the reasons right now as this is well documented elsewhere. 

Speed up Recovery from Diseases

Being more compassionate can speed up the recovery from diseases and promote healing. This includes yourself (especially when practising self-compassion), but also the other people that you express compassion to.

This is one reason compassion is vitally important in the medical industry. Medical practitioners that are compassionate have noticed patients healing faster and regaining their health more quickly. I believe this is because the patient feels valued, understood and important.

Also, the patient is more likely to return to this practitioner for further consultation.

Conversely, a medical practitioner that is very cold and scientific can leave a patient feeling helpless, misunderstood and overwhelmed

Most medical practitioners receive little or no training on how to be compassionate with their patients.  I hope this will change as compassion is such an important component to healing and physical recovery.

It’s Contagious!

When you act with compassion, others that you interact with are inspired to act more compassionately too.  It lifts them up and puts them in a higher emotional state. Compassion can spread like wildfire!

Less Road Rage

Imagine this slow driver in front of you. He looks lost, confused and forgets to signal before stopping. When you think and act with compassion, you will be more patient with this person.  You’ll realise that this person is having a difficult day, or is a nervous driver. 

This is a far better way to respond than becoming angry, frustrated or impatient with this driver.

Other Benefits

Being compassionate is pleasurable and feels good. It creates more meaning and fulfilment in your life. It’s like giving a present to a loved one. You gain equal pleasure from giving and receiving.

How to Be More Compassionate

So now, you know what compassion and self compassion are. You have learned why compassion is important and the benefits of being more compassionate.

Let’s now cover some ways to help you develop more compassion.

Be Totally in the Present

A brilliant place to start is to develop the ability to be totally in the present. You’re completely in the moment when you’re not regretting things that happened in the past or worrying about things that might happen in the future. You’re totally in the here and now.

To get better at this, practice mindfulness. Focus on your senses. Notice what you see, hear, feel, and perhaps taste and touch too. When your brain focusses on the external senses, it has less brain power and capacity to pay attention to your thoughts, worries and concerns.

Let Go of Judgement

Your mind loves to make judgements, especially about other people! It’s the ego coming out to play! To be more compassionate, let go of judgement as much as possible and become non-judgemental. 

This can be challenging to do, but it gets easier with practice. Whenever you notice yourself making a judgment about another person, immediately let go of the judgment and the meaning you created in your mind.  Then switch to a caring, curious or compassionate thought instead.

It’s impossible to know how someone got into a difficult or challenging situation. It may be completely outside of their control. We can make judgements about how they got there, but we don’t know for sure.

And it’s also impossible to know how you would deal with the same situation yourself. You can’t determine how you would deal with it, unless you had experienced the same difficulty, upset or challenge.

Instead of judgment, focus on connection. Whenever you notice yourself making a judgment about another person, switch to making a better connection with them instead.

Practising mindfulness can help too. What I encourage you to do is notice what’s happening externally (using your senses). Then let go of any meaning or judgment that you give to what you see, hear and feel.

Practice Gratitude

Another wonderful way is to practice gratitude. Notice what is good in your life, what is working out well and the things you appreciate.

When you’re being grateful for what you have, you’re naturally more compassionate to those people who are less fortunate than yourself.

Related Article

The 11 Benefits of Gratitude and How to Practice it Daily

Be Kind on Yourself

When you’re hard on yourself and focusing on all your mistakes, this benefits no one. Also, if you’re ruminating excessively, or self-loathing, then you’re not in a good emotional space to be compassionate with others.

So instead, practice self-compassion. Start with acts of self-love. Then reward yourself, notice your good points more and forgive yourself.

Think and Act from the Heart

Another marvellous way to develop compassion is to think and act from the heart rather than the head. The head is the place for logical reasoning, analysing and decision making.  It’s very hard to be compassionate when you’re thinking from your head.

The heart is your emotional center. This is where all the positive emotions such as joy, love and compassion come from. 

When you put your attention on your heart, rather than your head, you’ll be naturally more compassionate. Try it and see this for yourself!

Be Authentic

This is being yourself and acting naturally, it’s thinking, saying, and doing whatever comes naturally. Often, we believe we should say or do certain things to help another person.  However, when you think from the heart and become aware of your intuition, you can often help people more effectively and compassionately.

We naturally have compassion. It becomes lost with the stresses and anxieties of modern daily life. When you take some time out to relax and unwind, you can regain your authentic self and the compassion that comes with that.

Volunteering

This can either be volunteering your time or donating some money towards an important and meaningful cause. This is a wonderful way to display compassion.

A study found that retired people who volunteered regularly lived longer than those that didn’t. So volunteering is good for you!

To Conclude

You now know what compassion and self-compassion are. You understand why compassion is important to you and other people. You’ve learned the benefits of being more compassionate and discovered several ways to develop more compassion. It’s now time to apply this to your life and reap the rewards.

If you enjoyed reading this article and found it useful, please leave a comment or question below.  I would love to hear what you think!   Please also click on the stars below to rate this post. Also, feel free to share this article with other people or on social media.

Have you ever wondered what the most successful people do? The ones that are truly happy, fulfilled and prosperous? Well, I reveal this in my 10 Strategies for Your Success eBook. It’s a great read and as a treat for reading this article, it’s yours for free!

Just click the button below and I’ll send this eBook to you right away.

Thank you for reading this article.  I hope you are having a wonderful day!

Paul

In this article, I will help you overcome social anxiety for good.  Connecting with other people and forming loving and trusting relationships can bring us immense joy and happiness. However, for some people, talking to new people, asking for a date or speaking in public creates fear and anxiety.

In this article, I will explain what social anxiety is and cover the typical symptoms. I will also uncover the 4 components to social anxiety.  Knowing and understanding these 4 components is key to how you overcome social anxiety.

I’ll then cover 8 of the most effective ways to help you overcome social anxiety. Keep reading as you learn how to be socially confident and develop wonderful friendships and relationships.

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What Is Social Anxiety?

It’s a fear of social environments and your ability to perform well in those environments. This includes anxiety about being judged, watched or negatively evaluated. It’s also the fear of being rejected, embarrassed or scrutinized in social situations.

Symptoms of Social Anxiety

The symptoms of social anxiety include:

  • Being afraid to ask questions.
  • Difficulty talking to people that you don’t know.
  • Believing that people don’t like you.
  • Believing that other people are better than you.
  • Avoiding social events.
  • Avoiding crowds.
  • Feeling uncomfortable talking to authority figures such as your manager at work.
  • Making more mistakes when other people are watching you.
  • Being silent in meetings.
  • Not wanting to be the center of attention.  For example, on your birthday.
  • Avoiding tough phone calls. For example, sales calls, following up on an interview or asking someone out on a date.

Where Does Social Anxiety Come From?

Thousands of years ago, when we lived as part of a tribe, our survival depended on being in the tribe.  If the tribe rejected you and forced you to live on your own, you wouldn’t survive.

Although being rejected is no longer a life or death situation, your brain is wired to believe that survival depends on being accepted by others.

How Many People Suffer with Social Anxiety?

About 12% of people experience social anxiety that significantly impacts their life. It affects their happiness, their ability to do things and hampers their career.

Many more people suffer from social anxiety in certain interpersonal situations, but are fine in others. So whether you have a mild case of social anxiety or one that is more severe, this article will help you.

The 4 Components to Social Anxiety

Social anxiety (and other types of anxiety) are created and maintained by 4 components. These are physiological, cognitive, emotional and behavioral.

Physiological

This is the physical symptoms of social anxiety. These symptoms include:

  • A racing heart.
  • Sweaty palms.
  • Butterflies in your stomach.
  • Shaky hands.
  • Shaky voice.
  • Feeling faint.
  • Blushing.

As these symptoms are physical, other people could potentially see them.  However, you will notice them far more than other people will.  Most people will be totally unaware of any physical symptoms you’re experiencing.

These physiological symptoms happen during the social anxiety situation.  You may notice some minor physical symptoms when thinking about it beforehand. However, it’s much more pronounced during the social situation.

Cognitive

Cognitive or cognitions is the technical term for thoughts. It’s about what is going on in your mind. This includes negative thoughts, excessive thoughts, and thinking the same thoughts repeatedly.  This is called rumination.

The cognitive component also includes how you imagine the social situation in your mind. Are you imagining it going badly? Imagining flunking a presentation or being rejected by another person?.

Unlike the physical symptoms that only happen during a social anxiety situation, these cognitive components can happen both before and during any social situation. So you can experience the cognitive components of social anxiety long before a social situation takes place.

This is crucial to understand!  If you can reduce the amount of thinking and negative imagery about a social situation before it happens, then you will be more calm, relaxed and confident in that social situation.

Emotional

The cognitive components (how you think and imagine) will generate distinct feelings and emotions. These include feeling very self-conscious in social situations. Or feeling afraid of being watched, judged, or embarrassed.

The emotional components can also occur before a social situation. You might worry about a specific social event long before it happens.

Behavioral

This is doing or not doing a certain behavior that other people might notice.

Social anxiety behaviors could include avoiding eye contact, fluffing up certain words, being quiet in meetings or making mistakes when others are watching you.

Just as important is NOT doing a certain behavior or action. For example, not attending a party, avoiding presentations or not making tough phone calls.

This component also includes using alcohol or drugs to calm your nerves, so you feel better and act more confidently in social situations.

The behavioral component only occurs during the social anxiety situation.  The only exception is using alcohol or drugs beforehand to get the desired state by the time the social situation arises.

How to Overcome Social Anxiety

To overcome social anxiety effectively, it is essential that you address the physiological, cognitive, emotional and behavioral components.  The ways I’m about to cover will help you do that.

1. Slow and Deep Breathing

Breathing slowly and deeply will reduce the physiological symptoms such as rapid heartbeat, sweaty palms or shaky hands that I mentioned earlier.

When you’re feeling anxious, you breathe more quickly. This causes higher levels of oxygen to flood your body. This can throw it off balance. Your body will compensate by increasing your heart rate, tensing muscles and displaying the other physical symptoms of anxiety that I mentioned earlier.

So breathing slowly and deeply will help regain the balance between oxygen and carbon dioxide in your body and reduce the physical symptoms of social anxiety. 

Here is a simple and effective deep breathing exercise.

  1. Place one hand on your stomach and the other hand on your chest
  2. Breathe in for 4 seconds, noticing your hand on the stomach rising, but not the hand on your chest.  This ensures that you are using your diaphragm to breathe.
  3. Hold the breath for 2 seconds
  4. Breathe out over 6 seconds, noticing the hand on your stomach moving inwards, rather than the hand on your chest.
  5. Repeat for a few minutes until you feel calmer and more centered.

Deep breathing is a highly effective way to reduce social anxiety in the moment.  It’s a “band-aid” as it doesn’t address the causes. It merely reduces the symptoms. The other ways that I’m about to cover will help address the causes of social anxiety. However, deep breathing is very effective and a great way to calm your nerves.

Related Article

Rapid Relaxation Exercise

2. Change Negative Thoughts

This and the 2 ways that follow will help you overcome social anxiety by addressing the cognitive component.  This is the way you think and imagine social situations. Changing the cognitive component will indirectly influence the emotional component too.

Negative thoughts lead to uncomfortable feelings, and this causes social anxiety. Therefore, identifying and changing these thoughts is a great place to start for long-term positive change.

It starts by knowing what these thoughts are.  The best way to do this is to write out the negative thoughts on paper. Getting those thoughts out of your head and onto paper will help you see these thoughts much more clearly.

 Here are some examples.

  • I don’t know what to say,
  • What if they don’t like me?
  • What if they find me boring?

You can now analyze these negative thoughts, challenge them, and identify alternative positive thoughts. 

For “I don’t know what to say”, you can identify and memorize some basic questions to ask whenever you need too. Questions about their career, hobbies, holidays or kids work well.  People love talking about these things.

The thought “What if they don’t like me?” could be changed to “If they don’t like me, I’ll congratulate myself for trying and move on to someone else.”

You could change “What if they find me boring?” to “I know that I’m interesting and that will come across to other like-minded people”.

The alternative thoughts don’t have to be super-positive. However, they should give you more options and possibilities.

3. Challenge Unhelpful Thinking Styles

This is similar to changing negative thoughts, but it goes a little deeper. It involves identifying and then changing the underlying thoughts and beliefs. The ones behind the specific negative thoughts that occur in different social situations.

Behind all these negative thoughts are some underlying ways of thinking.  These are known as cognitive distortions or thinking traps. There are 3 cognitive distortions that influence social anxiety.  These are mind reading, fortune telling and catastrophizing. Let’s look at these in greater detail.

Mind Reading

Mind reading is knowing what other people are thinking when there is no evidence to prove it. Here are 2 examples.

  • She hates me.
  • Others think I’m stupid.

It’s impossible to read another person’s mind. We have no way of knowing exactly what someone else is thinking. We may get clues from their facial expression or what they say, but we don’t know for sure.

The solution is to be a detective and disprove these thoughts by asking questions.  A good question is “how do I know?  For example, “how do I know she hates me?” or “how do I know that others think I’m stupid?” 

Or ask “what did this person say or do that makes me think that?”

In most cases, it will be very difficult to answer these questions.  That’s a good thing! Not being able to answer them is proof that these thoughts are not an accurate reflection of what is actually happening.

When you know that these thoughts are not true or accurate, it’s much easier to let them go.

Fortune Telling

Fortune telling is predicting the future negatively. It’s believing that the future will turn out badly. Here are 2 examples.

  • I know I’ll mess up my interview.
  • No one will talk to me at this party.

Being a questioning detective is great for disproving these thoughts too.  For example, “How do I know that I will mess up this interview?”

You could challenge the second example by saying “No one?”  How do you know that no one will talk to you at this party? It’s impossible to predict that.

Catastrophizing

Catastrophizing is thinking or imagining worst-case scenarios. It’s magnifying errors, fears and imperfections. For example, “If I flunk this presentation, my life is over”.

As with the previous cognitive distortions, the solution is to question it.  You could simply say “really?” and see what new thoughts arise.

Or ask, “what exactly will change in my life if I flunked this presentation? It’s unlikely you would lose your job over it. What would change, if anything?

How about asking the opposite positive question?  For example, “what would happen to my life if I did an amazing presentation?

Questioning and challenging any thoughts within these thinking traps will help you overcome social anxiety by dealing with the underlying thoughts. 

There are 12 thinking traps or cognitive distortions in total. The others are less relevant to social anxiety. However, if they interest you, then this article covers all of them.

Related Article

The 12 Common Thinking Traps that Steal Your Happiness

4. Change Your Internal Self-Talk

What you say to yourself and how you say it, influences the energy you give out. Other people pick up on this energy unconsciously.

Changing What You Say

Common phrases that people think or say to themselves during social situations include:

  • People don’t like me.
  • People don’t think I’m interesting or funny.
  • I can’t wait to get out of here.
  • This is uncomfortable.
  • This is really terrible!

How do you think self-talk like this will influence the energy you give out?  Certainly not in a good way. Imagine the most socially confident person who you know.  Would they say these things to themselves? Highly unlikely!

How you change negative self-talk is similar to how you change negative thoughts. So the information covered earlier in this article will help you. This includes analyzing any negative self-talk, challenging it and replacing it with new positive self-talk.

Here are some examples of positive self-talk to replace the examples mentioned above.

  • I’m a good person and I know that some people will like me.
  • I know that I’m interesting and this will come across to other people.
  • I’ll enjoy this social situation and I’ll make new friends and I’ll stay here until the end.
  • I have felt uncomfortable before, but I know that when I take action it feels great.

“This is terrible”, might require a question to challenge and change it. For example, “how exactly is this terrible and what could I do to make it better?”

So if you can’t come up with alternative positive phrases, then ask questions to challenge the negative self-talk instead.

Changing How You Say It

As important as what you say is the tone and volume used to say it. Although this self-talk is in your own head and no one actually hears it, there is a tone and volume that you can change.

Negative self-talk often sounds very authoritarian. It sounds like a teacher or parent. If that’s the case, make the tone more friendly.  Change the voice to your best friend, your favorite celebrity, a comedian or even a naughty French waitress! Try it now. It will feel different!

Although self-talk is silent, your perception of how loud it is varies immensely.  When you’re relaxed, chilling out, any self-talk seems very quiet in your mind.  When you’re in a social situation that feels uncomfortable, that voice in your head will seem very loud. 

However, you can change the volume and it’s easy to do. Let’s try it now. Imagine you have a remote control and you’re pressing the button that reduces the volume. Notice the self-talk getting quieter in your mind as you do that.

You can change the tone and volume of positive self-talk too.  Make it sound like Tony Robbins is saying it! Now make the positive self-taught louder and more exciting.

Using positive self-talk regularly and especially during social situations will increase the belief in your ability to overcome social anxiety. It increases the belief that you are confident and comfortable in social situations.

You then radiate positive energy. You have a distinct presence and more confident body language. Other people pick up on this. They will naturally want to talk to you and will feel good in your company.

I highly recommend using positive self-talk before and definitely during any social situation. I’m confident it will make a tremendous difference in helping you overcome social anxiety.

Related Article

How to Tame Your Negative Internal Voice

5. Creative Visualization

Creative Visualization is a powerful way to help you overcome social anxiety. It’s part of the cognitive component, but focuses on your imagination rather than your thoughts. 

Are you aware of imagining certain social situations going badly? This is very common and unconscious to many people.  However, it’s a big contributor to your feelings of social anxiety. 

To turn this around, imagine or visualize each social situation going perfectly. Imagine your presentation going really well. Or having a wonderful conversation with a new person. How about imagining going to your manager to ask for a pay rise and getting it!

When visualizing, bring in other senses such as hearing and feeling. When imagining a great presentation, hear the audience clapping or cheering. Also notice your positive self-talk and how you now feel. If relevant, bring in taste and touch too.

Finally, make your visualization as big as possible.  Imagine watching this on an enormous cinema screen.

Related Articles

10 Steps to Transform Your Creative Visualization Skills

A Powerful Creative Visualization Exercise for Rapid Change

6. Focus More on Other People

We have addressed the physical symptoms of social anxiety with the deep breathing exercise. I then shared 3 ways to help deal with the thoughts that create this anxiety in the first place. I’ve also covered creative visualization to combat imagining social situations going badly.

The next 3 ways will focus on how to overcome social anxiety by changing your behaviour. These are about taking different actions in social situations.

The first one is focussing more on others.  When you do this, you take the focus off yourself and get out of your own head. Your brain cannot think about you and someone else at the same time. Focussing on others also quietens the internal dialogue or self-talk in your head.

To focus more on others, become curious and genuinely interested in what they want to say. An effective way to do this is to ask questions.

As I mentioned earlier, come up with a list of basic questions that you can ask. Include questions about their career, family, hobbies or holidays. People love talking about their favorite subject, which is themselves! 

Be careful not to overdo it with the questions. Otherwise it will seem more like an interview or interrogation exercise! I’ve done this myself in the past. Instead, share a little about you, but make the primary focus of the conversation to be about them.

You want to be totally present with the other person.  This is not thinking or worrying about what to say next. It’s not feeling annoyed about, or regretting something that you’ve just said. It’s listening intently and being totally engaged with the other person.

Anything you can do to help the other person feel better will be beneficial to both of you.  Giving compliments is a wonderful way to do that. 

With around 12% of people experiencing social anxiety regularly, this means that every 9th person you speak to is likely to feel the same way as you.  Giving compliments and helping them feel relaxed in your company will help them feel more comfortable with you.

7. Set Goals and Intentions

Most people go into social situations with no specific goal in mind. They then feel anxious and the social event is a disappointment. This happens time and time again and you feel that you are not making any progress in your efforts to overcome social anxiety.

Setting some goals and intentions before each social situation can help you change things for the better.

Here are some simple goals for an office party.

  • I will talk to 5 new people at the office party.
  • I will talk to 4 people that I already know and find something new about them.
  • I will enjoy myself and feel good, regardless of what other people say or do.

And two examples for other situations

  • I will ask a question in the next meeting.
  • I will always say hi to people in authority, when I pass them in the corridor.

When you achieve these simple goals, reward yourself! If it’s at the office party, get another drink or some food.

8. Face Your Fears

Ultimately, its fear that drives social anxiety, It’s the fear of being rejected, judged, negatively evaluated or embarrassed.

The solution is to confront the fear.  To feel the fear and do it anyway! When you take action despite fear, you’ll get a wonderful feeling of elation and aliveness after you’ve conquered the fear.  This has happened to me many times.

Facing and overcoming your fears is key to achieving success in overcoming social anxiety. When you don’t face your fears, you’ll get feelings of regret later on. You’ll regret lost opportunities and things you didn’t accomplish because of fear.

When you don’t confront your fears, they become scarier in your mind. Your perception of the fear gets bigger and bigger. This feeds into social anxiety and can cause it to get worse over time.

If tackling your biggest social anxiety fears head-on seems daunting, then break them down into baby steps. This will make an enormous difference and make any fears much smaller and more manageable.

Every time you take action to accomplish one of these baby steps, your confidence will improve and you will find it easier to take on the next step.

Here is an example of baby steps to help overcome a fear of talking to new people.

  1. Talk to someone new when accompanied by a friend or colleague.
  2. Talk to the person next to you at a corporate dinner function or in a meeting or seminar.
  3. Talk to someone that is not talking to anyone. I’m sure they’ll appreciate your company.
  4. Join a group of 2 people that are already talking. Say nothing, just listen and smile.
  5. Join a group of 2 people that are already talking and add to the conversation.
  6. Talk to someone from the opposite sex (if that’s a fear for you).

I encourage you right now to identify your biggest social anxiety fear. Then break it down into manageable steps, then act on each step in turn. You’ll then overcome smaller fears one by one. This will really help you overcome social anxiety.

To Conclude

Overcoming social anxiety takes time, so be gentle with yourself and implement one step at a time. In this article, I’ve covered 8 ways in detail.  However, I encourage you to start with 1 or 2 of these methods. Once you’re comfortable and seeing results, add another approach.  When you act consistently, it’s amazing how quickly you notice the differences and benefits.

If you enjoyed reading this article and found it useful, please leave a comment or question below.  I would love to hear what you think!   Please also click on the stars below to rate this post. Also, feel free to share this article with other people or on social media.

Have you ever wondered what the most successful people do? The ones that are truly happy, fulfilled and prosperous? Well, I reveal this in my 10 Strategies for Your Success eBook. It’s a great read and as a treat for reading this article, it’s yours for free!

Just click the button below and I’ll send this eBook to you right away.

Thank you for reading this article.  I hope you are having a wonderful day!

Paul

What are the best self-development activities?  The ones that work consistently, reliably and give you the results you desire.  In this article, you will learn 12 of the best activities to improve yourself quickly and effectively.

I start by explaining what self-development is and what it isn’t. I’ll then briefly share my self-development journey with you.  This will help you understand what is possible when you consistently apply self-development activities to your life.

I’ll then uncover the 12 best self-development activities for an awesome life.  Don’t feel you have to do them all! Just pick the activities that resonate with you. The ones you feel are most helpful right now.

Watch the Video Below:

Listen to the Podcast

What Is Self-Development

Self-development is about becoming more and wanting more in life.  It’s having greater success, happiness, or being more effective and proficient. It’s about developing your talents and potential and achieving your goals and dreams.

A key part of self-development is becoming more self-aware. This is understanding yourself and why you do things. It’s knowing your strengths and weaknesses. It’s being clear on your life’s purpose, mission and values.

So self-development is developing yourself by yourself. But perhaps with the help of other people, through coaching, therapy, reading books or watching videos.

The self-development industry in the US is worth $11 billion. Every year $500 million is spent on personal development products, courses and seminars. It’s a vast market!

What Is Not Self-Development.

Self-development is not being “fixed” by someone or something else. The power to change ultimately lies within you, not someone else.

It’s not learning personal development without applying it to your life. It’s not a dopamine hit. This is consuming self-development content purely to feel better now. This often leads to becoming a personal development junkie.

If you want self-development to be more than a hobby or entertainment, then it’s essential that you apply what you learn.

Would you like a step-by-step formula for success? Or to learn the rules that successful people follow? If so, click the button below to discover this for yourself.

My Self-Development Journey

My first experience of self-development was attending a seminar on stress management whilst at university. This was fascinating and encouraged me to learn and practice meditation.

When I moved to London, I became interested in Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and was actively involved with the NLP practice groups in London.

There were three books that I read that had a massive impact on me.  There were.

At this time, I wanted to improve my social confidence and dating skills. I used self-development activities to help me do that successfully.

I had a wonderful life in my 30s. I got married, had many friends, a brilliant career and lots of opportunities to travel. So, I lost interest in self-development. 

In 2010, we moved to Sydney Australia and continued to have a wonderful life. However, I didn’t feel happy or fulfilled in my career, despite changing jobs several times. Now, in my 40s, I also had some niggling health issues that influenced my state of mind.  I became more interested in natural health. That then led me back into self-development and especially mind-body healing.

I decided to make self-development my career, so I invested in training to become a qualified clinical hypnotherapist and also launch the Self Help for Life online business and brand.

The 12 Best Self-Development Activities That Will Change Your Life

So now you know what self-development is, lets dive into 12 of the best self-development activities that have changed my life and I’m sure they will do the same for you too.

1. Affirmations

Affirmations are short, positive statements about what you want in life. You repeat these statements as often as you can. Repeating them out-loud is most effective, but silently to yourself is good too.

Affirmations help replace those repetitive negative thoughts that keep you stuck. You’re already saying negative affirmations to yourself, so you’re simply replacing these negative affirmations with positive ones.

Related Articles

How to Create Affirmations That Work Extremely Effectively

How to Write Affirmations that are Believable and Get Results

An alternative to affirmations is Lofty questions. You can learn about these here.

2. Meditation

Meditation is highly effective for reducing stress and anxiety. Meditation helps you gain a greater awareness of your thoughts and feelings. And when you’re meditating, you can change those thoughts and feelings, or let them go.

The easiest way to meditate is to focus on your breathing. Close your eyes and focus on breathing in and breathing out.  Whenever your mind wanders (and it will frequently, especially if you’re new to this), then accept that this is fine.  It’s completely natural.

Then as soon as you notice your mind wandering (and this could be a few seconds after your mind wondered), gently bring it back to your breathing.

Another option is guided meditations. This is listening to a recording of someone giving you relaxing suggestions. You then focus on the words being said. There are thousands of guided meditation recordings available and also guided meditation mobile apps.

3. Creative Visualization

We naturally use our imagination. However, it’s typically for worst-case scenarios or things we are afraid of. Just like thinking negatively, we imagine negatively too.

Creative visualization allows you to counteract negative imagery by vividly imagining what you want instead. It’s seeing situations and activities going the way you want them to go. Creative Visualization is often known as mental rehearsal, especially in sports and athletics.

Creative visualization is much more than seeing the positive outcome in your mind. It includes hearing and feeling it too. You want to engage all the senses, even smell and taste if you can.

Olympic athletes use creative visualization all the time. It’s an essential part of what they do to become the best in their sport.  They might not consciously use creative visualization, but they definitely do it unconsciously. 

Related Articles

A Powerful Creative Visualization Exercise for Rapid Change

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4. Self-Hypnosis

Self-hypnosis is like guided meditation.  However, it’s more goal oriented. People use self-hypnosis to increase motivation or confidence. Or to stop a bad habit such as smoking, overeating or drinking too much alcohol.

The easiest way is to listen to a self-hypnosis recording. There are thousands of those available and some are more effective than others.

I use and recommend the self-hypnosis recordings created by Uncommon Knowledge. Their website is https://hypnosisdownloads.com

You could learn how to hypnotize yourself without using self-hypnosis recordings. I cover this in one of the related articles below.

Related Articles

How to Hypnotize Yourself | A Self-Hypnosis Tutorial

Self Hypnosis and Meditation – What’s the Difference?

5. Journaling

When we keep thoughts in our head, this can lead to overwhelm and confusion.  It’s very easy to blow things out of proportion. To make it much bigger than it really is.

Journaling is writing your thoughts on paper (or in a computer file). When you do this, you gain a fresh perspective, a calmer mind and greater clarity. Writing can help release emotions too.

For the best results, write your thoughts on paper. However, if you prefer to type your thoughts on your computer, tablet or smart phone, that’s fine too.  The most important thing is to do it!

6. Setting and Achieving Goals

Most people use self-development activities to improve or change their life.  This starts with setting goals, so you’re clear on what you want to achieve and by when. Goals provide a focus for all the other self-development activities.

When you set goals, this gives you the desire and motivation to consistently work on self-development activities. You have a specific reason and benefit to work on yourself.

I encourage you to set SMART goals. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-bound.

Start by setting goals for this year, and then smaller quarterly or monthly goals.  Equally important is reviewing your goals regularly, at least monthly. Check that you’re on track and make any adjustments to maximize your chances of achieving these goals.

Related Article

How to Set and Achieve Your Goals

7. Coaching

A one-on-one coaching session is a highly effective form of self-development. An excellent coach will ask you direct, dedicated and personalized questions to help uncover your blind spots.

They will help you expand your beliefs about what is possible for you. A professional coach will also identify and help you change any limiting beliefs.

An important benefit of coaching is goal setting with accountability. It’s much harder to wriggle out of a goal that you have shared with a life coach.  You are accountable to the coach. If you fail to achieve the goal, you will need to explain your reasons (and excuses) to your life coach.

In the same way as a Personal Trainer will drive you to do 30 push-ups, when you only feel like doing 20, a skilled coach will spur you to achieve your goals faster and expand on what is possible.

8. Therapy

Therapy differs from coaching. It helps heal past events that stop you from moving forward in your life right now. Therapy helps you deal and resolve traumatic events. Or childhood events that shape your beliefs about what is possible for you right now.

There are different types of therapy.  These include counseling and various forms of psychotherapy. If you see a psychologist, they will often use Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT).

There is also hypnotherapy, which is what I specialize in. Hypnotherapy can help deal with, heal and resolve past events. Or it can be more solution focused, which makes it similar to coaching.

If you would like me to be your therapist or coach, then this page provides further details.

9. Overcoming Fears

One of the best self-development activities is overcoming your fears. I believe that fear is the biggest barrier to success. It’s fear that keeps people stuck. One of the fastest ways to grow and improve yourself is to overcome fears.

Do things that scare or frighten you, especially those that won’t affect you physically. For example, public speaking, talking to strangers, tough phone calls or recording videos.

Perhaps it’s having that difficult conversation with your partner or boss that you’ve been putting off for weeks.

Rather than tackling your biggest fears head on, you can start gently.  Break down your biggest fears into smaller action steps. As you complete each step, your confidence and experience will grow and you’ll feel more able to overcome the bigger fears.

Another way to strengthen your fear muscle is to do something new, unfamiliar or a little uncomfortable each day.  This could include going to a new café, trying a different food or exploring a more efficient way of doing a task at work.

10. Completing Challenges

A challenge is when you invest a significant amount of time and energy to achieve something monumental in a relatively short space of time. Here are some examples.

  • Training and then running a marathon
  • Starting a business
  • Changing jobs or your career
  • Losing a significant amount of weight.

When you set challenges, it forces you to step up and become more.  Challenges help you prove that you can do something, that you thought was difficult or even impossible.

Challenges are fantastic for overcoming habits and for achieving the more important and meaningful goals in your life.

For challenges to work effectively, you want to specify an exact amount of time.  This could be 30, 60, 90 or 100 days.  For me, 100 days works incredibly well.  I started Self Help for Life and my Hypnotherapy business in 100 days.  You can achieve so much in 100 days when you put your mind to it. It’s also long enough to make it a habit.

I do a 100 Day-Challenge every year and I use Gary Ryan Blair’s 100 Day Challenge program to motivate me, inspire me and keep me accountable during that time.

Related Articles

How to Change Your Life in 100 Days

100 Day Challenge Review | Gary Ryan Blair

11. Taking Action

I touched on this earlier, but it’s so important! Learning a new self-development activity, tool or technique is useless if you don’t apply it to your life. Or a Stephen Covey says “to know and not to do is not to know”.

So here are some examples:

  • Reading and learning the most effective dating techniques versus going on dates
  • Researching the most effective ways to speak in public versus speaking in public
  • Learning all the different ways to make money on the internet versus starting an internet-based business.

Knowing is easy. You can gain the knowledge by going to university or surfing the web. All the information you need is readily available.

Doing is applying what you’ve learned and testing it out.  You’re not fully committed at this stage.

Living is taking consistent action on what you’ve learned. You improve through repetition. This leads to consistent and predictable results.  The action becomes a habit and perhaps even part of who you are.

12. Expressing Gratitude

The key reason for doing self-development activities is to achieve something that we don’t already have.  It’s easy to become focussed (even obsessed) about achieving goals and major life changes.  This can lead to unhappiness and frustration, especially if the goal takes much longer than you intended.

It’s easy to forget what you have now and the good aspects of your life. Therefore gratitude and appreciation are so important.

Take a few minutes to be grateful for what you already have. Write all the things you’re grateful for and that you appreciate. Create a gratitude journal and list additional things each day.

Focus on simple things such as having enough food, good health, a safe and comfortable place to live or enough money. Be grateful for waking up and experiencing another day of your life.

Related Article

The 11 Benefits of Gratitude and How to Practice it Daily

To Conclude

So now you have a list of the 12 best self-development activities, including many of the ones I do regularly. If you want to crush your goals, be happier more fulfilled and more successful, then apply some of these self-development activities to your life and reap the benefits.

If you enjoyed reading this article and found it useful, please leave a comment or question below.  I would love to hear what you think!   Please also click on the stars below to rate this post. Also, feel free to share this article with other people or on social media.

Have you ever wondered what the most successful people do? The ones that are truly happy, fulfilled and prosperous? Well, I reveal this in my 10 Strategies for Your Success eBook. It’s a great read and as a treat for reading this article, it’s yours for free!

Just click the button below and I’ll send this eBook to you right away.

Thank you for reading this article.  I hope you are having a wonderful day!

Paul

Overwhelm is becoming a major cause of stress and anxiety for many people. In today’s fast-paced world, we have access to so much information at the touch of a button. We are never far away from an email, SMS, or social media notification. So it’s important that we learn effective ways to overcome overwhelm.

We also have higher goals and aspirations than ever before. So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed, relax! Take a deep breath and let’s get started in learning how to overcome overwhelm.

In this article, I will cover what it’s like to be overwhelmed, the 2 fundamental types of overwhelm, and the difference between overwhelm and burnout. I’ll also cover the 6 key components of overwhelm.

I’ll then cover the 10 best ways to help you overcome overwhelm.  I cover many of these ways in depth and some may surprise you!

Watch the Video Below:

Listen to the Podcast

How Do You Know If You Are Overwhelmed?

You are experiencing overwhelm if:

  • You’re not enjoying what you are doing, and your mind is busy thinking about other priorities.
  • You find it difficult to concentrate.
  • You can’t make the best decisions, because your anxiety levels are too high.
  • Your life is unbalanced, as a result of spending too much time in one area.
  • You no longer enjoy activities you found pleasurable and fulfilling in the past.
  • You feel stressed.

The 2 Types of Overwhelm

There are 2 types of overwhelm. These are:

1. Having too much on your plateYou have too much to do. There are many competing activities and priorities. You are not sure where to start.

2. Having too much information. Because of the internet, even simple things, like booking a holiday, can feel overwhelming. There are so many review sites to check before you book. With an abundance of information (often conflicting), it can feel like you don’t know where to start.

Overwhelm or Burnout

What is the difference between overwhelm and burnout?

Overwhelm is having too much to do or too much information right now. It’s short term.

Burnout occurs when you’ve been working too hard for too long and you’re exhausted. Your body and mind need a break, so it’s crucial to take some time to rest and recover.

The 6 Components to Overwhelm

To help you better understand how to overcome overwhelm, I will cover the 6 components to overwhelm.

1. Unrealistic expectations.

When you have high and strict expectations or you set very challenging goals, this puts unnecessary extra pressure on yourself. This creates additional stress and if you don’t achieve your goals, you feel like a failure.

2. Taking on too much.

This means saying “yes” to everything. Saying “no” feels bad for many people. You could be rejected if you say “no” and feel guilty. But saying “yes” to many unimportant things creates frustration and resentment. You realize that you are not following your dreams, achieving your goals or following your own path. This doesn’t feel good inside. It’s often worse than the feeling of guilt when you say “no” to people.

3. Putting too much pressure on yourself.

This often comes from listening to negative self-talk such as:

  • What am I doing wrong?
  • I’m not good enough.
  • Why does it all have to be done right now?

This internal critical self-talk creates extra pressure that you don’t need.

4. Perfectionism.

Trying to make something perfect will always take more time than making it good enough. You then have less time for other things on your to-do-list and you’ll feel even more overwhelmed.

This perfectionism tendency often comes from the critical self-talk I already mentioned. Challenge that inner voice. Listen to it less or ignore it completely. This will reduce or stop the need to do things perfectly.

5. Being unable to relinquish control.

This is wanting to do everything yourself. Perhaps it’s because you don’t trust others, or you believe that no one else can do the job as well as you. As a result, you struggle to delegate things to other people. This leads to a mountain of tasks that only you believe you can do.  More tasks equal greater overwhelm.

6. Identifying yourself as an overachiever.

Being an overachiever, especially in the Western world, makes many people feel special and proud. Your extensive list of past achievements and future goals makes you stand out from the crowd.

But if living up to this makes you feel stressed and overwhelmed, then it’s time to let go of identifying yourself as an overachiever. This will help reduce overwhelm, and you will feel more relaxed and happier.

The 10 Ways to Overcome Overwhelm

Now that you understand what it is, I will cover 10 ways to help you overcome overwhelm.

1. Brain Dump

When you feel overwhelmed, there is a lot going on in your head. Your mind is cluttered, and you can’t think clearly. I call this “cloudy thinking”. 

The solution is to get this all out of your head and on to paper or your computer. Write or type everything down. No need to order or prioritize. Just do a brainstorm or brain dump.

This will have a cathartic effect. It will help you release emotions, get things off your chest, and clear your mind.

2. Prioritize

There are a few ways to do this. One is to use the “3 Ds” method.

The 3 Ds Method

The 3 Ds stand for Delete, Delegate, and Delay.

1. Delete

Ask yourself:

  • Is this task necessary?
  • Do I need to do this task at all?

You won’t always know the answer to these questions. You may need to try something without knowing if it will help or work. For example, a specific health supplement that might help with a chronic health condition. Or a specific business idea or strategy.

However, if you can, decide if a task is really necessary before you do it.

2. Delegate

Ask yourself:

  • Do I have to do it?
  • If it needs to be done, do I need to do it myself?

I’ll cover delegation later in this article.

3. Delay

Ask yourself:

  • Does this task need to be done today?
  • Could it be delayed or postponed to a later date?

This will help you with prioritizing.

The Tim Ferris Method

To prioritize efficiently, Tim Ferris uses 3 questions:

1. What are the 20% of activities, responsibilities, or people that will give me 80% of the results and positive emotional states that I want?

I love the fact that he includes positive emotional states in here. It’s not only about results, it’s about feeling good too.

2. What are the 20% of activities, responsibilities, or people that are creating the pain and negative emotional states in my life?

This is about identifying anything that drains your energy.

3. What would this be like if it was easy?

Let’s say you’re writing a book and you think it will take you 3 months. What if you could write it in one week? To write a book in one week, you might need to involve other people or pay to get some work done. This question challenges your thinking and opens your mind to doing things more effectively or quickly.

Some other questions to help you with prioritizing could be:

  • What is the most important thing for me?
  • What is the most important thing that will make me more fulfilled and happy?
  • What do I enjoy doing?
  • What intuitively feels like the right thing to do?

3. Plan Your Day Effectively

To overcome overwhelm, it’s important to set realistic goals and plans for the day. It’s good to aim high and stretch yourself, but don’t overdo it. Having many unfinished tasks on your to-do list at the end of the day increases stress and makes you feel like a failure. Ask yourself, “Does this really need to be done right now?” and be brutally honest with your answer.

Create time blocks. Allocate chunks of time for your daily tasks in a calendar. After each of the major time blocks, you can include 10-15 minutes of reset-time for meditation, a brief nap, or for a quick walk.

Schedule some catch-up time later in the day – 30 to 60 minutes to deal with tasks that overran. Or for phone calls that disrupted your schedule. You can use this time later in the day to recover and get back on track. This safety buffer will help you overcome overwhelm.

4. Pause or Take a Break

When you feel overwhelmed, your mind is full of stressful thoughts and this can create a vicious cycle. Thinking about those thoughts and all the things that must be done, creates more stress and anxiety. You can’t think clearly.

Taking a break allows your mind to reset. You only have a finite amount of mental and emotional energy available. Even if you allocated 15 hours a day to get everything done, you will find that your energy wains and you’ll become less productive as the day progresses.

Taking breaks will help recharge and replenish your mental and emotional energy. When I have an entire day available, I start with great intentions to get a massive amount done. However, after 4 or 5 hours, I lose concentration and focus and feel like I need a break.

When you pause or take a break, you want to slow down your mind. Reading the news, checking in on sports, or randomly surfing the internet, will keep your mind active. Activities such as meditation, taking a nap, or going for a walk allow your mind to slow down and rest. This recharges your mental and emotional energy.

The “Pause Exercise”

Here is a wonderful exercise to do in your breaks. It’s called the “Pause exercise”. I learned this from Patrick Buggy at Mindfulambition.net. It comprises 5 steps:

  1. Meditate. Start with a 5-minute meditation to calm your mind and regain mental clarity.
  2. Observe emotions. Observe your emotions with a sense of curiosity and non-ownership. Realize that these are purely emotions. They are not you.
  3. Write them down. Write all your emotions down. If you know why you’re experiencing them, write that too. This will create a sense of separation between you and the experience, so you can see it more objectively.
  4. Acknowledge that your feelings are temporary. See them as clouds in the sky. Imagine that the blue sky is the real you and the clouds that are passing are your emotions. Acknowledge these emotional clouds, with a genuine sense of curiosity. This will help them pass more quickly.
  5. Plan your next steps. Ask questions such as “What am I going to do about it?” Then write down all the answers and options. Consider all these options rather than the path you feel you must take. Often when you’re overwhelmed, you’re thinking is very rigid and focused on one solution or way out. Planning your next steps, whilst in a relaxed state, will provide you with options you hadn’t thought of.

5. Change Your Mental and Emotional State

When you’re overwhelmed, your primary focus is on getting all the work done as quickly as possible. You’ve got so much to do and you feel the easiest way to overcome the overwhelm is to get the work done. But you want to resist that temptation. Why? Because the overwhelmed mind is closed, frantic, and reactive. It’s not the place to do your best work.

Your mental and emotional state affects your productivity. You get so much more done when you’re in a positive emotional state.

So, how do you change your mental and emotional state? How do you regain that open, creative, and confident mind?

Well, the best thing is to stop working and get your body moving! Physical exercise will change your mental and emotional state. If you have the time, do a full 45 to 60 minute workout. Otherwise some jumping jacks, pushups, or yoga poses can help. Going for a quick walk or a run is also an excellent idea.

If exercise isn’t your thing, call a friend or watch some funny videos on YouTube. Have a good laugh! This will change your mental and emotional state.

6. Change Overwhelm-Inducing Thoughts

An important way to overcome overwhelm is to deal with overwhelm-inducing thoughts. These are typically negative or uncertain thoughts. It’s thinking that you:

  • lack control.
  • can’t work fast enough.
  • aren’t doing the right thing.
  • aren’t good enough.

These thoughts form the backbone to overwhelm. The solution is to question them.

Ask yourself, “Are these thoughts reasonable and realistic?” If not, change them. Remember, you are not your thoughts. You are the person behind your thoughts. You can ignore or challenge them. You wouldn’t blindly accept criticism from another person. So don’t do that with your thoughts either.

To deal with challenging and overwhelming thoughts, ask yourself 3 questions:

  • Is this thought accurate?
  • Is it reasonable?
  • Is it helpful?

Example 1 – “I will never get this done.”

Is this thought accurate? No, it isn’t. It includes the word “never”. The reality is you will get it done.

Is this thought reasonable? Probably not. It would depend on what the task is and your ability to do it.

Is this thought helpful? Definitely not. It will not help you get this task done.

Now you have answered these questions, it’s time to come up with alternative thoughts that are accurate, reasonable and helpful.  Here are some examples:

  • I’ll do as much as I can today and I’ll ask for help or an extension if I need to,
  • If I split this into smaller chunks, it will seem more doable and I’ll be able to measure how I’m progressing.
  • If I take a break, I’ll be able to think more clearly. I’ll be more productive and I’ll do the right thing”.

Example 2 – “I don’t know the best option to choose.”

Is this thought accurate? No. there could be several options that could be equally effective.

Is it reasonable? No. It’s unreasonable to assume there is only one best option, when several great options might exist.

Is it helpful? No. “I don’t know” is an unhelpful thought because it doesn’t give you any choices or solutions.

You could change this thought to “I’ll research and decide the best option for me, knowing that I can change it later if I need to. Besides, I’ll learn from this experience anyway.”

So challenge overwhelm-inducing thoughts and change them. The new thoughts will lead to positive emotions and behavior.  This is a very effective way to overcome overwhelm.

7. Be Conscious of Time Spent

When you don’t have any immediate time pressures or deadlines, it’s very easy to coast through the day and achieve very little. This is especially true when you don’t plan your day in advance.

The solution is to decide how long certain tasks will take and then block out that time in your calendar. Then use a timer to track how much time you spent. I use TogglDesktop to track my time. It’s free.

What happens if you get to the end of the time block and haven’t finished the task? Well, for starters, don’t beat yourself up! Instead, either make a conscious decision to continue the task right now. Or create a new time-block to complete it later. It’s important that you make this a conscious decision.

Many people are unaware of how much time they spend on certain tasks. And then they wonder why they feel so overwhelmed with all the things they didn’t do.

8. Consume Less Information

If you feel overwhelmed by the amount of information available, then consume less of it! This seems like a simple way to overcome overwhelm, but it’s easier said than done. The internet makes it so easy to go into information overload.

When planning to purchase a product, there are many review sites to help you make the right buying decision. Same with researching holiday destinations or accommodation. It’s so easy to spend hours reviewing all the information and then feel overwhelmed.

When researching different therapies, diets, marketing techniques or pretty much anything else, you will find an immense amount of information and paths to follow. And the information, advice and suggestions are often conflicting.

When I was getting ready in the mornings, I used to listen to marketing podcasts. However, I soon became overwhelmed with all the different and conflicting information. So, I decided that I knew enough for now. This significantly reduced the feelings of overwhelm that I had around growing Self Help for Life at the time.

It’s very important to be selective and strategic with the information you’re consuming. It might seem like a good idea to listen to podcasts when you’re doing other things, but if that makes you feel overwhelmed, then perhaps it’s time to turn them off!

Also, don’t blindly assume that other people’s advice (especially from experts), is right for you. There have been many times in the past where I’ve followed certain advice for business, personal development, or health and found that it was not right for me. It’s hard to avoid this sometimes. 

The key message here is to consume enough information to take action.  Once you take action, be aware of how this feels in your body.  Does it seem like the right approach?  Often your intuitive or gut feeling can be very helpful here. 

9. Ask for Help

One of the best ways to overcome overwhelm is to get help from other people. There is a great saying which is, “You can do anything but you can’t do everything”. It’s impossible to do everything yourself, so enlisting the help of others is so important.

Why I didn’t delegate or ask for help

For the first 18 months of Self Help for Life, I did everything myself. This included designing and creating the website and learning about Search Engine Optimization (SEO), so I could rank my content higher on Google. I produced image quotes for social media, researched and wrote articles, recorded and edited videos, and published content on many different platforms.

I was very busy and needed help. But I was reluctant to outsource some of these tasks to other people for several reasons.

Firstly, Self Help for Life wasn’t making any money at that time. I didn’t want to spend money when I wasn’t making any.

Secondly, I felt I could do everything better myself. I had a fear that someone else wouldn’t do as good a job as me.

Thirdly, I believed I would have less control over the process. I didn’t want to give up control. Perhaps you can relate to that?

Lastly, I knew it would take more of my time in the short-term to train another person to do some of my tasks.  This is often a challenge. You might need to work more hours now to train someone else up, so they can take work off you in the future.

These reasons stop many people from delegating tasks or getting help from others.

Getting help from others

I encourage you to ask the following question. “What am I doing that someone else could do instead?” Ask this question for all the different areas of your life.

Maybe it’s chores around the house. Perhaps your partner could help you more. Or you could get your kids involved in return for extra pocket money.

If it’s at work, perhaps you can talk to your manager and renegotiate your workload. Managers are not always aware of how much you have on and will keep giving you work. Sometimes, you have to tell them politely.

Some people are reluctant to ask for help or talk to their managers because of fear. They’re afraid of looking like a failure or seen as unable to cope. However, it’s simply being assertive and honest about what you can do. It’s about knowing your limits and asking for help when you need it.

10. Set Boundaries

To overcome overwhelm, you want to remember that time is your most precious resource. You cannot replace time. You only have 24 hours in a day. So you want to spend it wisely. Learn to say “No” nicely to other people’s requests.

Resist saying “yes” if you know you will regret it or feel resentful later. When saying “No”, offer other alternatives or solutions. Perhaps there is someone else that can help or another way of meeting their request.

Set time limits for different areas of your life. I limit Self-Help for Life activities to 3 to 4 hours a day, so I can also spend time on my hypnotherapy business in Sydney. Ensure that you’re scheduling time for the gym, family, relaxation, and hobbies.

As much as you can, focus on your own wants and needs first. It’s not always easy, but you can do it.

“Wants” are your goals, desires, and aspirations. “Needs” are more around relaxation, self-care, and having a sense of connection with others.

Understand what your needs are. Then find activities that will support those needs. Maybe you need a certain amount of time alone or for certain hobbies or creative tasks. Perhaps you crave social connection, so time with friends is an important need for you.

Finally, email and social media can be huge time-wasters. Set limits on how much time you spend checking emails or on social media, especially if it’s overwhelming for you.

So these were my 10 ways to help you overcome overwhelm. I hope you found them useful and I encourage you to apply these into your life right now.

If you enjoyed reading this article and found it useful, please leave a comment or question below.  I would love to hear what you think!   Please also click on the stars below to rate this post. Also, feel free to share this article with other people or on social media.

Have you ever wondered what the most successful people do? The ones that are truly happy, fulfilled and prosperous? Well, I reveal this in my 10 Strategies for Your Success eBook. It’s a great read and as a treat for reading this article, it’s yours for free!

Just click the button below and I’ll send this eBook to you right away.

Thank you for reading this article.  I hope you are having a wonderful day!

Paul

Taking personal responsibility is one of the key principles of self-development.  If you’ve read a few self-help books, you will have come across this idea already. 

All successful people know the importance of taking personal responsibility.  It may be a mindset trait that they have developed or one they do naturally.

In this article, I will cover what taking responsibility is and why it’s important.  I’ll then cover 10 ways to help you know if you are taking personal responsibility or not. 

You can use these as a road map to assess how well you take responsibility in your life.  I cover many personal examples of how I took personal responsibility to help me get to where I am today.

Watch the Video Below:

Listen to the Podcast

What is Taking Personal Responsibility?

It’s being responsible for how you think about, deal with, and react to the events in your life. It’s not (in my view) being responsible for the actual events themselves.

At the time of writing this article, we were in the middle of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.  I believe that I am not personally responsible for this pandemic coming into my life and the health and financial consequences of this.  This is clearly outside of my control.

However, I can take personal responsibility for how I think about it, deal with it, and how I react or respond to it. I can choose the meaning that I give to this event.

Taking personal responsibility is something you continually work on. You always have an opportunity to take more personal responsibility.

Would you like a step-by-step formula for success? Or to learn the rules that successful people follow? If so, click the button below to discover this for yourself.

Why Is Taking Personal Responsibility Important?

It gives you more choices for how you think about a situation or event, and more options on how to respond to it.

It gives you more control over the situation. When an unexpected or negative event happens, you may feel a lack of control over it.

However, when you take personal responsibility, you regain some control. This gives you greater personal power. You feel you can influence or change the situation.

It helps you focus on what you can do, rather than what you can’t do. It enables you to go from victim to victor.

Taking personal responsibility allows you to go from effect to cause. You realize and understand that these things are happening for you, rather than to you. They are happening for a reason.

I want you to understand that where you are today is largely based on the decisions and actions that you took in the past. It’s essential to take responsibility for where you are now, even if it’s not where you want to be.

Taking personal responsibility is understanding that the positive decisions and actions made today will lead to the future you want.

10 Ways to Know If You Are Taking Personal Responsibility

So what do people that take personal responsibility do?  Well, I’ve identified 10 specific mindset and behavior strategies that let you know when you are taking personal responsibility. These are the ones I use, along with many other successful people.

1. Setting and Achieving Goals

If you don’t set goals, you will be part of someone else’s goal! Here is a personal example.

About 12 years ago, I worked in a law firm in London as a software trainer. Several colleagues left the company at the same time. This created a lot of extra work for me to keep things going until we replaced them.

Week after week, I left the office at 7pm. On my way to the tube station, I would walk past people relaxing and having fun in pubs and restaurants. I felt sad and despondent as I walked past them.

At that time, I didn’t have any meaningful goals. I enjoyed the job and was happy to put in the extra hours. I regret that now though. If I had other goals, I would have worked more efficiently and made those other goals happen.

So when you don’t set goals or have a plan, it’s easy to get sucked in to someone else’s goal or plan.  If you’re an employee, this will often be the company’s goals or plans.

Setting and achieving your goals is an important component to taking personal responsibility. I encourage you to set big goals. Then work your way down to smaller goals and then daily goals or habits.

This will help you set the direction of your life, rather than unconsciously following a direction created by someone else.

Living Intentionally

Besides setting goals, you want to live intentionally. Be intentional about how you spend your time and the activities you do. Here is an example.

You’ve set a goal to drink less alcohol, and tonight you are going to the pub. Being intentional is deciding in advance how many drinks you will have and sticking to that. If you’ve decided on 2 drinks and a friend offers to buy you a 3rd drink, then you can make an instant decision to have another drink or not.  Even if you have the 3rd drink, this is far better than not being intentional, and having 3 or more drinks without even thinking about it.

You can also be intentional about how much time you spend watching TV or Netflix. Or about who you spend time with.

And when you don’t set goals or live intentionally, years go by with little or no change. You remain stuck in the same dead-end job. You are not where you want to be financially. Or you go backwards. This is especially the case with health when you don’t look after it.

Many people that don’t set goals go through a midlife crisis in their 40s or 50s. This is when they regret the things they did or didn’t do when they were younger.

If you are in your 20s or 30s, it’s so important to take personal responsibility. To set goals, live intentionally, so you don’t have regrets later in life.

2. Overcoming Fears

You are taking personal responsibility when you are regularly overcoming fears. Fear is the biggest barrier to success. It’s what causes you to live an average life. A life where you settle for what is, rather than what you really want. Overcoming fears is your gateway to a fantastic life.

What are the specific fears that stop you? Here are the major ones.

The 3 Types of Fear

The first is fear of the work involved. Is it too difficult, painful, challenging or time-consuming?

Second is fear of success. If I am successful, how will people think of me?  What additional responsibilities will I have?

Third is fear of rejection. This is big!  It’s fear of what other people might think or say when you venture out on a fresh path. Especially if that path differs greatly from what most other people do.  It’s rarely other people that stop you, it’s you!

Fear Acronym

Fear stands for False Expectations Appearing Real.

We blow things up in our mind and make it much bigger than it really needs to be. We then believe it’s real and don’t take action. You’ve probably experienced times in the past where you took action to overcome a fear. You then asked yourself “what was all that about?” or “why was this such an enormous deal in my mind?”

Personal Examples

In the 90s when I was dating, I had 2 big fears. These were:

  1. Talking to women and getting their phone number (there was no internet, email, social media or online dating apps back then).
  2. Picking up the phone and asking for a date (for those lucky times when I got a phone number!)

When I confronted these fears by taking action, I felt a sense of elation and aliveness afterwards, like a positive dopamine hit. This feeling would drive me to do more scary or uncomfortable things. When I focussed more on how I would feel afterwards, it was so much easier to do anything that took me out of my comfort zone.

I also realized that these 2 fears were stopping me from relationships and love.  This made me more motivated to take action and confront these fears.

At school, when I was 11 or 12, I could swim. However, I was afraid of jumping into the deep end of the swimming pool.  This went on for months and the fear got bigger and bigger.

When I finally jumped (with a little help from a teacher, but that’s another story), I felt wonderful with an amazing feeling of elation. I also realized that I had made this far bigger in my mind than it needed to be.

So taking action is key to overcoming fears and being responsible for your life.

3. Responding Positively to Life Events

You know you are taking personal responsibility when you positively deal with life events. As I explained earlier, you cannot control everything that happens to you, but you can control your response.

Jack Canfield created a formula for this.  It’s:

E + R = O (Events + Responses = Outcome)

Unsuccessful people blame the event for the lack of results or outcomes.  They don’t understand how their actions or responses (or lack of them) led to this.

Successful people change their responses to the event until they get the outcome or result they want.

So what responses could you change? You could start with communication. How could you communicate differently to get a better result? How could you influence other people more?

Then change how you think about and imagine this event in your mind.  This will then change your feelings and influence the actions you take.  You have complete control over how you think and imagine.

As I’m writing this article, we are in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic. It’s been fascinating to see how people and organizations have responded positively to this. Over the last few weeks, there have been online church services, virtual choirs, entire companies working from home and therapists running their sessions online.

Sometimes it takes a crisis to motivate people to think creatively and implement unique solutions quickly. It forces you to step up and do things you believed you couldn’t do.

4. Making Your Own Decisions

You are taking personal responsibility when you make your own decisions. It’s deciding about what you want, rather than basing your decisions on what someone else wants.

Let’s say your parents want you to become a lawyer or doctor. However, you want to be a musician or internet entrepreneur. It’s very easy to get pushed into what your parents want you to do, especially when making these decisions in your teenage years. You take personal responsibility when you stand up to them. When you follow your heart and your passion.

It’s also about the small decisions that you make every day. Decisions about what foods to eat or whether to exercise. It’s deciding to make regular time for your own personal development and mental health, rather than letting work and other priorities get in the way.

Every daily decision you make will compound over the years and dramatically affect your life in 5, 10 or 15 years’ time. If you make poor food choices every day, your future health will suffer in negative and predictable ways. If you make daily decisions to work on your mental health, you’ll be a much more positive and resourceful person in the future.

Don’t underestimate the power of making the right decisions consistently every day. They will compound and add up over time.

5. Not Blaming Other People

When you blame the government, spouse, parents, friends, boss, or anyone else, you are not taking personal responsibility.

As soon as you blame someone else, you take away your power to change it. You’ve surrendered your power to someone else.

You feel like a victim and believe you have no control. You miss out on learning what you could do differently next time.

If your boss says or does something that makes you feel angry, then you could blame your boss for your anger.  Or you could do some inner work to find out what triggered this anger. Ask questions like:

  • What precisely did my boss say or do that made me feel angry?
  • What was I doing (or not doing) that may have caused my boss to act this way?

So you can see how taking responsibility can lead to thinking and acting in more positive ways.

Also realize that it’s not someone else that makes you feel a certain way. They may trigger it, but the feeling comes from within you.

6. Not Complaining

To complain about anything, you need to believe that something better exists.  Otherwise you have nothing to compare it against. So complaining is comparing what is with how you think it should be.

Complaining is a choice. People complain to feel better temporarily. Others may take pity on you, and that makes you feel better. Complaining can be a way of releasing anger too.

However, complaining is an excuse for not taking action and not taking personal responsibility. Complaining is an alternative to facing the fear or risk you need to take. It distracts you from taking action.

Complaining solves nothing, and it keeps you stuck.

7. Taking Charge of Your Thoughts and Feelings

The average person has 60,000 thoughts each day and we ignore most of them. It’s essential to understand that these thoughts are not you! You are the observer of your thoughts. You can decide the thoughts to pay attention to and the thoughts to ignore or challenge.

If you identify strongly with your thoughts and feel that they are part of who you are, then this article will help you learn how to become the observer of your thoughts instead.

Do you put things off when you don’t feel like doing them?  People that take personal responsibility rarely do that. They take action despite how they feel. So when you don’t feel like doing something, and procrastination sets in, take action anyway!  This is what successful people do.

I often record videos and write articles when I don’t feel like doing them. However, once I start, I feel more motivated and inspired and it’s easy to keep going. So feelings follow action.

It’s important to know when to stop too. Listen to your body. Are you feeling tired or burned out? Know when it’s time to stop and take a break.

8. Not Making Excuses

This is like blame, especially if another person is your excuse.  Perhaps you blame your parents for not giving you certain opportunities when you were younger.

However, most excuses are about you lacking a skill or personality trait. Here are some examples of common excuses.

  • I’m not smart enough.
  • I’m not intelligent enough.
  • I’m not outgoing enough.

Time can also be an excuse. For example:

  • I’m too busy to start an exercise program right now.
  • It’s not the right time to start an online business.

Or it can be other external factors like the weather!

So why do people make excuses? 

First, it allows them to relinquish power and control. You can say “it’s not my fault”. However, this also removes the ability to change the situation. It becomes outside of your control.

Second, excuses make you temporarily feel better. You don’t have to do something that is difficult or challenging. But feeling better doesn’t last. Soon it changes to feelings of regret. 

Finally, making excuses provides an alternative to facing the fear. It’s much easier to make an excuse than confront something that is scary. This could be a fear of rejection, failure or even a fear of success!

The problem with excuses is that you know they’re not true or helpful when you first make them.  However, as you continue to make the same excuses, they form a belief. The excuses become true for you. You then act as if they are true.

So making excuses takes away your power to change the situation.  You relinquish personal responsibility and the ability to take effective action.

9. Know What Brings Happiness

Understand that happiness is not linked to a future goal. It’s a habit that you can cultivate daily. Happiness comes from helping, caring and serving other people. You’ll feel happy when you’re living to your values, doing what is important to you and feeling that your life has purpose and meaning.

Happiness is about being grateful for what you already have.

As I write this article during the COVID-19 pandemic, I’m grateful for many things that I previously took for granted. I’m healthy, I’m making some money, my family and friends are all safe and well.  I get to experience another day of my life. You can always find things to be grateful for, when you look for them.

10. Put Yourself First and Help Others

The last way to know that you are taking personal responsibility is when you put yourself first, but help others as well. It’s when you understand that you can’t help other people effectively when you don’t feel good about yourself. Or when you don’t take time out for yourself.

You can still help others, but it won’t be as easy or enjoyable when you don’t look after yourself too.

To help you understand this, remember why you always put on your own oxygen mask on a plane, before helping others.

So this is about taking time for your own personal development. It’s creating time to learn and look after your own health and fitness. This gives you the knowledge, skills, health, energy and vitality to help others more effectively.

When you help others, do this with a sense of gratitude and not as a chore. You’ll feel much better as a result. The people you help will feel better too.

To Conclude

Use this article as a roadmap for taking personal responsibility. Look at each of the 10 ways and assess the ones that you do well, and the ones that you could improve. Be totally honest. 

As I mentioned earlier, you can always take more personal responsibility. It’s something that I constantly work on. Your brain finds it very easy to blame and make excuses. So find opportunities to take personal responsibility every day. You’ll then feel empowered to change and create the life that you truly want and deserve.

If you enjoyed reading this article and found it useful, please leave a comment or question below.  I would love to hear what you think!   Please also click on the stars below to rate this post. Also, feel free to share this article with other people or on social media.

Have you ever wondered what the most successful people do? The ones that are truly happy, fulfilled and prosperous? Well, I reveal this in my 10 Strategies for Your Success eBook. It’s a great read and as a treat for reading this article, it’s yours for free!

Just click the button below and I’ll send this eBook to you right away.

Thank you for reading this article.  I hope you are having a wonderful day!

Paul