The process of achieving big goals in your life consists of several crucial steps. As the benefits and rewards from achieving a big goal do not come immediately, a different approach is required.

When achieving big goals, you need the motivation and desire to stick at it for several months or even years. It involves cultivating success habits and following success principles. It is important to combine this with consistent and effective action that continues until you achieve your big goal.

In this article, I cover the 7 secrets to achieving big goals. You will also learn what a big goal is and why it requires a different mindset to other goals in your life.

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What is a big goal? I would define a big goal as something like starting a new business, changing career or losing a significant amount of weight. It could also include gaining a new qualification, especially if you’re doing this part-time whilst maintaining a job or career. It’s any goal that is going to be life-changing for you and is probably going to take months or possibly years to achieve.

So here are 7 ways to help you achieve your big goals.

1.  Measure your Progress

With a big goal, the reward doesn’t come until you’ve either completed the goal or you’re close to the finish line. This could be quite a while into the future. In the meantime, you will want to break the big goal into smaller steps so that you can measure your progress. You can then check whether you are achieving the smaller steps or not.

That’s how you will measure your progress and check that you are getting closer to achieving your big goals. Also, give yourself a small reward when you complete each step. What gets rewarded gets repeated.

2. Perseverance

Perseverance is the ability to keep going when the results are not immediate.  This is often the case with larger long term goals. To create and fuel perseverance, get a clear vision of the end result and remind yourself of it regularly.  This will really help you do the work involved to achieve this goal.

Also by measuring your progress (as mentioned in step 1), you will enjoy seeing the completion of the smaller steps.  This will confirm that you are on the right track and will help you to keep persevering.

3.  Flexibility

This is the flexibility to change tack. If you continue doing the same thing, you’re likely to continue getting the same result. Now it’s important to do the same thing consistently for a while because it can sometimes take time to get results. I feel that 6 months is a good timeframe to evaluate if what you’re doing is working. Measure your progress and be prepared to change when a different approach is required. Your Why can stay the same, but sometimes the How needs to change. So it’s important to be flexible and to do different things whilst always keeping your end goal in mind, so you don’t go off track.

There is a balance here between being flexible and dabbling. When being flexible you give your approach a reasonable chance to succeed before changing tack. You can then make an objective decision on whether to try a different approach or not.

Dabbling, on the other hand, is trying something for a couple of months until something that seems better comes along. This happens a lot with diets, exercise programs, and online business opportunities. Doing something new is exciting, it gives you hope, a dopamine hit or adrenaline rush! This motivates, inspires and gives you the energy to take action. But it doesn’t last. You need to keep going long after these feelings disappear to determine objectively if what you are doing is working. So make sure you don’t dabble!

4.  Quieten the Noise

When attempting something new, or that stretches your comfort zone, your subconscious mind will try and protect you.  It does this through negative self-talk. Or by questioning why you’re doing this big goal or the work involved. Negative thoughts and self-talk then lead to negative feelings such as doubt, fear or a sense of not being good enough or worthy enough.

When this happens, remind yourself that this is okay and quite normal. It happens when doing new things, challenging yourself and striving to be more.

Here are some other great strategies to quieten the mental chatter. Use these when negative thoughts and self-talk continue to dominate your mind.

  • Mentally say the word “STOP” when you notice a negative thought. You can even say “STOP” out loud if you prefer.
  • Put a rubber band on your wrist. When you notice a negative thought, pull the rubber band and let go, so it snaps on your wrist. It will hurt a little. But it will force your mind back into the present moment.
  • Imagine turning down the volume of a negative thought. Visualize using a volume control knob or remote control device to reduce the volume of the self-talk.
  • Replace any words such as “should”, “have” or “must” with softer words such as “could”, “can” or “choose”.
  • Ignore the thoughts and take action anyway. This works great with negative feelings too, such as procrastination. Simply ignore the feelings and take action anyway. Act and the feeling you want will come.

I also encourage you to focus more on your goal and your dream. This is key to achieving big goals. Your brain then has less time to think about worries, fears, and doubts. And the same for when you experience negative feelings such as procrastination or a lack of motivation. Again, just ignore these feelings and take action anyway.

Remember, you have a choice over which thoughts and feelings to listen and pay attention too.

5. Daily Habits

This is a big one!  It involves taking consistent action on your goal every day. First thing in the morning can be a great time.  You’re fresh and there are fewer distractions.  That’s when I take the most action on the big things in my life. It’s a great way to start the day. I love the feeling of having done something towards the most important goals in my life early in the day.

Most people tend to overestimate the number of things they need to do in a day and underestimate what they can achieve in 2, 3 or 5 years. Take consistent action for months or even years at a time and amazing things start to happen!

Initially, you need qualities such as motivation, perseverance, and tenacity to get going. However, as you keep going, it will become a habit. Once you get into the habit of working on a particular goal it becomes easy to do the work involved consistently.

Related Article: How to Set and Achieve Your Goals

6.  Patience

Big goals rarely go to plan and sometimes they take a bit longer than you would want them to take.  I struggle with this one because I like things to happen fast! However, it is important to accept and be grateful for where you are now and the progress you have already made. 

With patience comes calmness and clear-headedness, two things you really want when you’re working on achieving big goals.

7.  Never Give Up!

I’m sure you’ve heard this many times before. Never give up on your ultimate goal or dream. This can be the single difference between someone that is successful and someone that’s not.  The people that fail simply give up, often extremely close to achieving the goal.

Sometimes you will need to make a dramatic change in direction to achieve your ultimate goal. That’s okay. If you have given something a fair shot, sometimes a dramatic change in approach is necessary. You will always retain the learnings, experiences, and how the previous approach helped you develop as a person. You can never lose that. So change your approach if you need to, but never give up on your ultimate goal or dream.

So these are my 7 tips for achieving big goals. I hope you found these useful. I wish you every success in applying these strategies to the big goals that you have in 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.

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At certain points in our lives, we strongly feel the need to make some changes. What would you like to change in your life right now? What would make a significant difference for you? What would improve your lifestyle? Maybe, getting a great new job. Or, a change in your career. Perhaps, falling in love or losing 20kg or 45lb. Maybe, overcoming anxiety or depression.

Whatever it is for you, I’m going to share with you a process that will help you significantly change your life in 100 days or less.

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How I Have Changed My Life in 100 Days

Reflecting on my life, I’ve noticed that I am pretty good at making significant life changes in 100 days or less. My first life change happened when I went to university. At school, I was a quiet, shy kid. I had a couple of friends. I didn’t do the social things that most people my age were doing.

Then, the time came to go to university. Since it was located in another city, I had to move. I saw that as a wonderful opportunity! I was going to be in a different place with entirely new people. So, I decided to change my life. I was determined to become a more confident, extrovert, and sociable person. During my first 100 days at university, I changed a lot as a person. I really came out of my shell.

Then in my late 20s, I went from being single with no dates to regular dating and meeting my wife. Then from a boring job at London Underground to becoming a software trainer in a top 10 law firm.

A few years later, I moved from London to Sydney and achieved this in 100 days as well.

More recently, setting up my hypnotherapy practice was part of a 100-day challenge. In another 100-day challenge, I launched my Self Help for Life website, YouTube channel and Podcast.

Intense Desire and a Plan

In all of these significant life changes that I did in 100 days or less, there were always two things present. First of all, an intense desire. I really wanted that change to happen. And secondly, a plan. I had a detailed and worked out plan.

So, do you want to change your life in 100 days or less but don’t know where to start? If so, keep reading.  I will lead you through a process that will help you achieve your goals in 100 days or less.

The Initial Steps – Setting Yourself Up for Success

1. Set Clear Goals

Get clear on what you’re aiming for. Is it a change of career or an increase in income? Is it falling in love or losing weight?

Ensure that you set a SMART Goal.  SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-bound.  Click here to learn more about setting SMART goals.

My Change of Career Challenge

Here is an example from my own life. Back in 2000, I wanted to change my career and become an IT trainer. I didn’t have any training qualifications at the time, just a little bit of experience. I could get a qualification, but that required time and money. My goal was to get a job as an IT trainer within 3 months without getting a qualification. It was a very specific goal.

Within 3 months, I did get a job as an IT trainer in one of the top 10 law firms. I had to take a bit of a salary drop, but I didn’t mind. Enjoyment, fulfillment, and satisfaction were much more important to me. Because I enjoyed the job, I got very good at it. So within 3 years, I moved to another law firm, and I got a better salary.

When you change your career to start doing something you enjoy, you get enthusiastic. That enthusiasm helps you provide a lot more value. Consequently, you get rewarded financially for that.

Phrase Your Goals as Affirmations

I find it very helpful to phrase my goals as affirmations. For example, I will easily lose 20kg or 45lb, I will easily increase my confidence, or I will easily find a new job. Repeat them every day. If you want to learn more about goal setting, check my article on how to set and achieve your goals.

2. Set Specific Non-negotiable Deadlines

To change your life in 100 days, you need to know what your goal is and then decide when you’re going to achieve it. In this case, its within 100 days.

You might also want to set some deadlines for smaller tasks you need to do to achieve that goal. Deadlines are very important because they spur you into action. Think back to the exams and assignments at school and how they motivated you to study. We also have deadlines at work. We do our best to achieve those deadlines because we don’t want to let people down. So, it’s essential to set your own non-negotiable deadlines.

Deadlines Spur You into Action

Here is an example of how a deadline spurred me into action. In 2009, my wife and I decided to move from London, UK to Sydney, Australia. I resigned from my job in London. I had to give 3-month’s notice, so that kicked off the process.

Then there were other things to do. I wanted to get a job in Sydney before we got there. We had to get rid of all the things that we didn’t want to take to Australia. We also had the ultimate deadline – the flight we booked for Sydney.

We set a date to move out of our apartment in London that we linked to that ultimate deadline. We had to have everything shipped by that time. When I look back, it’s just amazing how much we got done. Those deadlines spurred us into action.

3. Know Your Why

Get clear on your Why. Why do you want to achieve that goal? What’s the benefit? Having more money? Finding love? Or, maybe gaining confidence?

When I changed my job and became an IT trainer, my Why was clear. I wanted a job that would be satisfying, fulfilling, and enjoyable. Think about the reasons you want to achieve your goals.

4. Create an Action Plan

We know the What, the When, and the Why. Now let’s focus on the How.


First of all, brainstorm all the different things you can do to achieve this goal. Write everything down, however bizarre or weird it seems to be. Once you’ve done that, decide on the action steps that look realistic. Then work out which steps to do when.

What action steps can you complete in the first 20 days, then 40, 60, 80, and finally – 100 days. This will be your roadmap of what you need to do to change your life in 100 days.

Brainstorming My Hypnotherapy Business

My first brainstorming for my hypnotherapy business was during my hypnotherapy training. I did this together with my group. We all jotted down the things that we would need to do to get our business off the ground. After that, we worked out the most important things. I realized I needed to find a consulting room and get a business bank account. I also had to get my professional membership with the Australian Hypnotherapists Association. And I needed to create a website and do some advertising. For all these goals, I set up deadlines or final dates to achieve them.

I now had my road map. Apart from making my 100-day challenge easier, it also helped me check my progress. I could easily see whether I was on or off track.

5. Decide and Commit

The next initial step is to decide when you’re going to work on achieving your goals. Set aside time and stick to it. Maybe, early in the morning before you do anything else. Perhaps a couple of hours in the evening. I have personally always found mornings to be the best time. I love the feeling of getting things done before breakfast or before going to work.

The important thing is that you’re consistent. You should work on your goal 6 days a week for at least 30 minutes. Ideally, it should be more if you want to get the very best results. Remember that this is a life-changing goal. So you want to make it a priority in your life.

6. Accountability

Find a Mentor

It’s much harder to miss a goal when someone else knows about it. It could be a professional, like a coach, mentor, or a personal trainer. Professionals know how to motivate you and inspire you. They can see your blind spots and teach you crucial things. Most importantly, they can hold you accountable.

If you’d like me to be your coach or mentor, then go here to find further details.

Find an Accountability Buddy

The other option is to find a friend that you can be accountable to. Pick the right friend, someone who believes in you. But who can also hold you accountable, follow up on you and make sure you’re making progress.

Post on Social Media

You can also put your goals and your action plans on social media. Then, they’re out there for the whole world or your followers to check up on you and make sure you’re accountable.

Let’s recap. We’ve set a clear goal, we’ve set our non-negotiable deadlines, we’ve created an action plan. We decided when we’re going to commit and take action on this goal, and we’ve got some accountability. Let’s move on to the weekly steps.

Your Weekly Steps To Success

1. Create a List of Weekly Tasks

What are the things you need to do this week to get closer to achieving your goal? Create weekly tasks that will help you change your life in 100 days. These tasks should be things that are under your control. For example, if you’re looking for a new job, it could be to send off your CV or resume to 10 companies. It could be to run or walk for 30 minutes, 5 times a week, if you’re trying to lose weight.

I usually set these weekly tasks on a Sunday. I keep it really simple. I make a to-do list in Evernote. One of my current 100-day challenge goals has been to have a greater balance in life. So some of my weekly tasks have included getting in touch and meeting up with 1 friend per week. The other is doing weight training 3 times a week. Also, doing some self-development or a morning ritual, 4 times a week, for 30 minutes.

2. After-Action Review

The next weekly task is to do an after-action review. The first part of this review is to score yourself. 1 is not productive, 2 is poor, 3 is average, 4 is good, and 5 is exceptional. It’s a bit like doing a school report, except you are both the teacher and the student.

Next, write down all the things that you achieved that week. Write down your actions, strategies, and lucky breaks that led you to success. Then identify the actions, attitudes, and obstacles that negatively affected your progress. Once you’ve done that, come up with your future actions. You now know what didn’t go so well last week. What are you going to do next week to get back on track based on that?

I believe that the weekly after-action review is crucial to your success in changing your life in 100 days. It will prevent you from going down a rabbit hole, which is doing a task for far longer than you need to. Or even worse, doing a task that is not helping you towards your goal. The after-action review enables you to identify what’s working and what’s not working.

I do this religiously every week now. After recent weekly after-action reviews, I have identified that I’m super consistent and focused on creating content for Self Help for Life. But also that I’m spending very little time on my own self-development.

3. Check-in with Your Accountability Buddy or on Social Media

If you have an accountability buddy, a mentor, or a coach, send them your after-action review. Ask for their input. Or, post it on social media. It’s important for two reasons.

Firstly, it makes sure you do the after-action review in the first place. You’re accountable for doing that. And secondly, it allows you to explain to someone else where you came up short and how you’re going to change that.

4. Celebrate Your Wins!

Your final weekly task is to celebrate. Remember that what gets rewarded gets repeated. So, celebrate what you did well and give yourself a little treat. That will inspire and motivate you to achieve even bigger things in the next week.

Your Daily Steps to Success

There are some things you will want to do every day to change your life in 100 days. The first thing, ideally as soon as you get out of bed, is to spend 15 minutes getting inspired, motivated, and educated. Watch a motivating video, listen to a motivating podcast, or read a few pages of a self-help book. You need to feel motivated. You need the inspiration to take action. You also need education to know what to do. It’s essential to have a success mindset. Remember that if you want to achieve something amazing in 100 days or less, you can no longer do what you used to do. You’ll need to develop different attitudes, skills, and behaviors to what you normally do.

1. Review the 100-day Challenge Goal

One of the initial steps you did right at the start was to set a SMART goal. You need to review that goal, read it out, read it out loud if you can, maybe even write it down. Make sure to review it every day. Also, examine the tasks and actions you did the day before. Think about what you achieved yesterday and what you didn’t achieve?

2. Review Your Weekly Action Plan

The action plan consists of tasks that you set after you did your after-action review. Decide what you’re going to do today. Write it down as a to-do list. I usually do this in Evernote. You’re going to end up with a list of things that you will commit to doing today. That’s very important. Don’t write too much down on that list. You want to be confident that you can do all those things today.

3. Take Action!

Make sure that you accomplish all the tasks that you set yourself for the day. Dedicate at least 30 minutes every day to these tasks, ideally a lot more. But if you can commit to a minimum of 30 minutes, that will keep the goal in your mind. There will be days when you won’t feel like taking action. I have days like that. I’m sure you do, too. The key here is – to just do it, to get the work done. That will lead to the feeling that you want it. Remember that the alignment with your goals is much more important than how you feel at the moment.

Ready to Make a Change in Your Life in 100 days?

These are the most important steps you have to do to change your life in 100 days. If you are determined to make a huge change in the next 100 days, check out the 100-day challenge. I’ve been doing the 100-day challenge now for the fourth time. This time I doubled the number of hypnotherapy clients that I see weekly. I highly recommend and really believe in this program!

I hope you are now ready to change your life in 100 days. Follow the steps, be determined, and keep going! If you need any help, feel free to reach out to me. Good luck!

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.

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What do you think holds you back in life? Is it a lack of skill or ability?  More often than not, it is a limiting belief.  In this article, I’m going to cover how to identify and change limiting beliefs, so that you can move forward with your life.

Limiting beliefs often develop in childhood.  They suited us then, but as we become adults, these beliefs start to get in our way and hamper our progress.  This is why it is so important to learn how to change limiting beliefs that now hold you back.

In this article, I cover a 9-step process to help you change limiting beliefs in all areas of life.  This is a very easy and structured process that you can apply to any belief that you feel limits you in some way.

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What Are Beliefs?

Beliefs are psychological rules that influence our thoughts and filter our experience of reality. We filter information by deleting, distorting, and generalizing things about our experience.

Beliefs are assumptions about ourselves and other people. They are also our expectations of how the world should be. They help us understand and make sense of the world by providing meaning and certainty.

Beliefs are our interpretation of the things we see, feel, hear, taste, or smell. They are not facts, so they are not true or false. However, they can be mistaken as facts if deeply rooted. Beliefs are conclusions drawn from life experiences, especially those from childhood and younger years.

As we become adults, our life changes, but many of our beliefs don’t change. They start to get in our way. These past beliefs can create limitations on what you believe you can do right now.

How Are Beliefs Created?

Beliefs are created and then ingrained due to repeated situations or events. At first, they are just thoughts. They are based on facts, evidence, reference experiences, or other people.

Over time, thoughts become opinions. You keep thinking about them repetitively and keep taking the same action.

Opinions then turn into beliefs. Beliefs are stronger, more stable, and more robust than opinions.

Beliefs can then turn into convictions. They become so ingrained that they can’t be changed even if all the evidence is to the contrary.

A Baby Elephant and a Flee

I’m now going to give you two examples of how a belief created earlier in life becomes less useful later on.

In India, baby elephants are tied to stumps of trees by ropes. The baby elephant realizes it’s bound to the tree. It can’t move much, so it doesn’t. Then the baby elephant grows. This grown elephant has the strength to take the tree stump down easily. Or break the rope. But it doesn’t because it believes it can’t.

Another example is the flea experiment. A flea is put in a jar with the lid off. Naturally, it jumps out of the jar. It is put back into the jar, but this time, with the lid on. The flea jumps and hits the top. That hurts, so it jolts back down. Over time, it starts jumping less high because it doesn’t want the pain of hitting the lid.

When the lid is taken off, the flea keeps jumping but not quite to the top of the jar. It associates pain with jumping higher. So, it jumps to the height where it feels comfortable. The flea can jump out of that jar anytime and become free. But it won’t because it doesn’t believe it can.

Remove The Emotional Superglue

In both examples, the belief created was useful at first. And it was supported by relevant evidence. There were also some emotions involved, especially in the case of the flea. Hitting the top of the lid was an uncomfortable feeling. So, to break a limiting belief, the first step is to get rid of any emotions.

Imagine a negative belief is like a tabletop. Its legs represent experiences and evidence that back up that belief. The superglue holding those table legs to the tabletop represents the emotions. So to change limiting beliefs, you need to remove the emotional superglue. Then knock out the legs (the evidence that formed the belief). The table will then fall over.

The 9 Step Process to Change Limiting Beliefs

Now, I’m going to cover my 9-step process to help you change a limiting belief.

1. Identify the Limiting Belief

The limiting belief could be an “I am” statement. For example,

  • I am disorganized.
  • I am bad at public speaking.
  • I am a procrastinator.

It could also be about the world in general. For example,

  • I’ll never be able to afford to buy a house.
  • It’s so competitive I can’t keep up.

Remember, these beliefs are not true or false. They’re just helpful or unhelpful. 

2. Examine the Belief

Create a list of what is helpful and not helpful about this belief. Then decide if that belief helps you or is more of a hindrance to your life.

Let’s use exercising as an example. I’m bad at working out and keeping fit.

What is helpful about this belief?

  • It can help me avoid pain and discomfort.
  • Instead of exercising, I could do other useful things.

What is unhelpful about this belief?

  • If I don’t work out, I could get sick later in life.
  • Working out could give me more energy.
  • I could get more things done.
  • I used to be bad at lots of things, but I’ve improved with practice.

Based on the above evidence, decide whether that belief is worth changing or not.

3. Identify the Core Belief Behind It

Behind every belief, there is a fundamental core belief. Here are the main core beliefs.

  • I am not good enough.
  • I am not worthy enough.
  • I don’t deserve this.
  • The world is not a safe place for me.
  • I am powerless.
  • Love and relationships equal pain.

I wonder which of these core beliefs could be behind your limiting belief? By identifying the limiting core belief, you can work directly to change the core belief that drives this and other limiting beliefs. This can be very powerful and enables you to smash other limiting beliefs at the same time.

In the case of my exercise example, the core belief is probably something like I’m not good enough. So, I’m bad at working out and keeping fit because I’m not good enough.

4. Choose a More Useful Belief

A key step to change limiting beliefs is to identify a more useful belief. This is often the opposite of the old limiting belief. Also include the opposite core belief as well. These would be:

  • I am good enough.
  • I am worthy enough.
  • I deserve this.
  • The world is a safe place for me.
  • I am powerful and can influence my world.
  • Love and relationships equal pleasure.

Here are some examples of new empowering beliefs that also incorporate a new positive core belief.

  • I can find a partner that is perfect for me and have a pleasurable and happy relationship. 
  • I deserve to earn as much as I want and I have the mindset, skills and abilities to do that.
  • I am powerful and can influence my world by making small changes every day.

5. Identify The Emotional and Other Payoffs

We usually have some emotional benefits in keeping the limiting belief. These hold the limiting belief in place.

I Can’t Make Money

Let’s take the belief I can’t make more money and become rich, as an example. The emotional benefits or payoffs could be:

  • I can commiserate with friends who also say that they are poor.
  • I can give up trying to make more money and have an easy life instead.
  • I can avoid the extra perceived stress of becoming rich.

I Can’t Talk to the Opposite Sex

What about the limiting belief I can’t talk to the opposite sex? Some of the emotional payoffs could be:

  • I can enjoy going out with my mates.
  • I don’t need to embarrass myself again.
  • I can avoid the complications of being in a relationship.

I’m Bad at Exercise

For the example of being bad at exercise and fitness, some of the emotional benefits could be:

  • It feels comfortable not doing it.
  • I don’t have to put in the work and experience the pain.
  • I don’t need to worry about accidentally injuring myself.

6. Decide If the Emotional Payoff Is Still Worth It

Look at the emotional payoffs that you’ve identified in step 5. Decide whether the limiting belief is worth keeping. If it is, that’s fine. You can stay with that belief.

But if you decide that it’s not, then it’s time to change that belief right now. The act of deciding will start to dissolve that emotional superglue that’s keeping the limiting belief in place.

7. Reframe Existing Evidence

Remember, a belief is our best interpretation based on the evidence we had at the time. But things change. So it’s time to look at the evidence and interpret it in a new way.

Play devil’s advocate! Go and find a different meaning to the existing evidence.

Money Example

Here are some reframes for the money example.

  • Commiserating with friends who are also poor is going to get boring after a while, and it won’t help me.
  • Having an easy life could be nice, but I would never feel truly happy. I would have this nagging doubt in my mind that I could have achieved more.
  • Having a lot of money makes life so much easier.

You can see how I’m reframing the existing evidence here and giving it a new meaning.

Exercise Example

Let’s reframe the evidence around a limiting belief of exercise.

  • If I take things steadily and sensibly, the risk of injuring myself is minimal.
  • I could hurt myself more in the long term by not being active.
  • Anything new feels uncomfortable. Doing what’s uncomfortable builds up mental and physical resilience, and will help me reduce stress.

8. Find New Evidence to Support the New Belief

We’ve already reframed existing evidence. Now we’re going to look for new evidence.

Beliefs focus your mind on certain things. You ignore other evidence that does not match that belief. For instance, if you believe you’re unattractive, you’re more likely to notice funny looks from others. You’re more likely to look at the bits that you don’t like in the mirror. You’re more likely to ignore the smiles, greetings, and compliments. Or you’ll discount them as not relevant. You filter out any information that’s not in line with that limiting belief. This is why limiting beliefs tend to get worse over time.

You have to find new evidence to prove that the old evidence and old beliefs are wrong. You have to knock out those table legs that are behind the limiting belief. Go hunting for new proof and new evidence. Google it, read books, articles, find information that supports that new belief. They’re going to be new legs for the table of your new belief.

Money Example

Let’s take the example of I can earn as much as I want to. New evidence could be:

  • There are people out there with less intelligence, knowledge, and experience that make more money than me.
  • There are plenty of rich people out there that are happy and relaxed.

Exercise Example

In the exercise example, my new belief is exercise is a skill that I can get good at, enjoy, and reap the health benefits. New evidence to support that belief could include:

  • There are people in far worse health than me that have massively improved their health by exercising regularly.
  • All the successful people that I know do regular physical activity and make it a priority in their life. So, to be successful, I need to be physically active.

9. Use Affirmations Correctly

The final step to change limiting beliefs involves using affirmations correctly. If the affirmation is not believable, you’re going to get a conflict. So it’s good to use stepping-stone affirmations. Let me give you an example.

Let’s say that you want to change the belief that you don’t deserve success. You decide to replace this with I deserve to be successful. You keep saying this to yourself over and over again. But something happens that you didn’t expect. You experienced some emotional resistance. Why? Because the affirmation was not believable. It was too much the opposite of the old belief.

The solution is to use stepping-stone affirmations. For example, I want to feel that I deserve to become a good mom, dad, tennis player, or whatever you want. Or, when I do my best, the success that I feel I deserve is on its way. I am putting it under my control.

Once you say those affirmations often enough, you get to a point where you can say, I deserve to be successful. You feel that congruently in your body.

Let’s go back to my exercise example. Stepping-stone affirmations could be, every day, I get a little bit better with my exercise routine. Or, the more I exercise, the more I notice improvements to my health.

Take Action!

I hope you found this article on how to change your limiting beliefs useful. Now, identify one, two, or three limiting beliefs you want to change, and go through all these steps yourself. It’s one thing to know something, but it’s much better to do it and experience it. I wish you luck in changing your limiting beliefs and making your life better!

The inspiration and much of the information for this article came from a great YouTube video on Changing Beliefs by Teal Swan. Feel free to watch this video here.

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.

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I believe that Anxiety is not a condition.  Instead, it’s something that arises from a series of learned behaviors that become habitual over time. Anxious people do certain things that relaxed, calm and confident people simply don’t do! Getting good at anxiety is a skill, albeit one that you don’t consciously develop.

In this article, you will learn the top 7 things that anxious people do. Awareness is the first key to change, so just knowing these may be all it takes to change them. However, I will also provide some tips, techniques, and strategies to help you become a calmer, more relaxed and peaceful person.

Reduce your anxiety feelings and physical symptoms by making a few changes to your mindset, mental focus, and behavior.

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1. Anxiety is Not You. It’s Something You Do!

When you think or say phrases to yourself such as “I’m anxious” or “I’m an anxious person” repeatedly, then these phrases will become part of your identity. These are negative affirmations that your subconscious mind will pick up on and start acting on.

However, anxiety is something that you do. It’s not something you are. It’s not part of your identity. Now that you know this, you will find it easier to separate that anxiety feeling from the sense of who you are. This will help you feel less anxious.

When you notice yourself saying “my anxiety”, change it to “that anxiety” or “this anxiety”. This will also help you detach anxiety from being part of you. It then seems more like a behavior that you can change, which is what it really is anyway.

Another way to remove anxiety from your sense of identity is to think about all the other things that you are. Perhaps you’re a mother, father, wife, husband, teacher, doctor, IT professional, or a kind, intelligent or organized person.

When you recognize all the other things that you are, you will realize that being that anxious person is actually a very small part of you. It no longer defines you.

2. Negative View of the Future

Anxious people tend to have a negative view of the future. They think (or even believe) that things are not going to work out well.  They start to imagine the situation turning out badly and think about the worst-case scenario.

A good way to change this is to look back at situations in your life that made you anxious in the past. Then remember what happened AFTER the situation had taken place.  Chances are that the situation turned out OK (or even went brilliantly) and all that worrying was over nothing.

When a similar (or even different) situation arises in the future, you can remember how it turned out last time. Then remind yourself that this is how it is likely to turn out this time too.

3. Don’t Like Change or Uncertainty

Anxious people tend to not like uncertainty or change.   This can be tricky as we live in a rapidly changing world and this isn’t likely to change anytime soon!

So it’s important to become reasonably comfortable with change. If you can accept that change is the only constant, then you will find it easier to accept and deal with the changes that affect your life.

Uncertainty can be exciting! Imagine watching the replay of a soccer match on TV after your friend has already told you the final score. That wouldn’t be the same. Why? because your friend has removed the uncertainty (and excitement) by telling you the score! Imagine how boring life would be without any change.  If every day was exactly the same, then life would soon become very dull.

If your life is quite mundane at the moment, then use this as an opportunity to get out of your comfort zone and make some changes.  With change comes excitement!

4. Overthinking

Anxious people tend to “overthink” things. They’re not necessarily thinking negatively. They’re just thinking too much about whatever it is that’s making them anxious. Often these thoughts are about the process of fixing things, solving problems or the different options available. A more relaxed person would think more about the benefits and satisfaction of achieving the outcome and have less focus on how it will happen. They have the confidence to know that the right people, things and approaches will come to them naturally.

So how do you know when you are overthinking things? Well, if your thinking is leading you to a solution or course of action, then that’s the right amount of thinking. If it’s keeping you stuck in the problem (with no way out) and it’s making you feel frustrated or overwhelmed, then that’s an excessive amount of thinking. That’s not helpful.

When you notice yourself overthinking (or thinking negatively), say “Stop”, “Delete”, or “thanks for sharing” mentally to yourself.  Then switch to a thought about the positive outcome.

You can also reduce overthinking by physically relaxing.  You can do this through Meditation. Alternatively, my Rapid Relaxation Exercise is a wonderful way to do this quickly. Once your body relaxes, you will notice that your thoughts quieten down as well.

5. What If Questions

Anxious people tend to ask a lot of “What If” questions. That’s not necessarily a problem. It’s great for planning.  The anxiety is created when the “What If” questions are NOT ANSWERED.

So the solution is to answer these “What If” questions when you notice them arise.  By doing this you will develop a plan to deal with any worst-case scenarios that may arise. You will then feel more prepared and better able to cope with these worst-case scenarios if they did happen.

When you ask, but don’t answer “What If” questions, your mind tends to blow things out of proportion.  Answering “What If” questions will give you a reality check and that reduces the feelings of anxiety.

6. Ineffective Compartmentalization

Ineffective Compartmentalization is thinking or worrying about things at times when you cannot act on them. For example, thinking about work problems when enjoying a night out with your partner or close friend.  This takes you out of the present and reduces your enjoyment of relaxing, fun and pleasurable experiences.

When this happens, it can be hard to switch off and relax mentally and emotionally, especially when trying to sleep.

To overcome this, start by becoming more aware of your thoughts. Notice when you are thinking about something at a time when it’s not useful. Then mentally (or even out loud) say “Stop”, “Delete”, or “thanks for sharing”. Then change your focus to the present.

Another good exercise is to imagine putting all your thoughts and worries for one area of life into a locker (like a gym locker) and then locking it. Then take another area of life and put all your thoughts and worries into another locker and lock it. Keep repeating this for all the areas of life that are causing you anxiety. These areas might include work, family, health, partner or kids.

This is a great exercise to do just before bed or when you’re very relaxed.  At these times, you will be sending a clear message to your unconscious mind that it’s time to switch off and relax.

7. Overestimate Risk

The world is not perfect and bad or even terrible things do happen occasionally. Just read the news and you’ll find out about all the terrible things that are happening around the world. A great tip for reducing anxiety is NOT to read the news!

Remember though that in most cases the worst-case scenario is highly unlikely to happen. A plane could crash into the cafe that I’m writing this blog post in! However, it’s highly unlikely!

The key is to think about what is possible but not probable. If something is possible, but highly unlikely then you will naturally feel more relaxed about it. The key is to have an accurate risk assessment of the likelihood of that thing happening.

In Conclusion

If you identified with one or more of the above, then start applying these strategies right now.  By changing your thinking, you can have less anxious moments in your life. It’s worth taking some time now to reduce anxiety and live a more peaceful and happy 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.

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If you want success, it’s essential to have a burning desire. All success gurus out there will tell you that. And they are right! But what if you don’t have it? Very few of them will show you how to develop it.

Can you Develop a Desire for Success if you don’t have it?

This has bugged me for years. I was determined to find out whether a desire for success was a learnable skill or not. I discovered two things. Firstly, yes, it is a learnable skill. Secondly, you need to fuel that burning desire. All successful people are adding fuel to their desire to keep it burning, whether it’s consciously or unconsciously.

When you come up with a new idea, you naturally get that burning desire. Maybe you want to lose weight or gain muscle. Or you are ready for a new career or business direction. It’s exciting because it’s new, and you have that initial inspiration. You enjoy the learning side of it.

Over time, it starts to fade. If you want to continue, you’ve got to keep that desire burning. Why does that happen? Because eventually, you’re going to hit some obstacles. If you don’t have enough passion, those obstacles will cause you to quit. Or, be inconsistent with the activity necessary to achieve success.

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What is a Desire for Success?

A burning desire for success is a 100% commitment to achieving the goal. It’s going from hoping to knowing. It’s when you want it so badly that quitting is not an option. It’s when you will do whatever it takes to achieve it. You will find a way or make a way. In your mind, you already see that goal happening. It’s a continual creative drive. Ask yourself now, am I really driven towards the goal that I want to achieve?

I’m now going to cover the 7 best ways to create a burning desire for success. This will help you achieve your goals and the life of your dreams.

1. Have a Very Specific Goal and Action Plan

To come up with a really specific goal, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What do I want to achieve?
  • When do I want to achieve it?
  • Where do I want to be when I achieve it?
  • Why do I want to achieve it?
  • How am I going to achieve it?
  • With whom am I going to achieve it?

Some of these questions may not be relevant to every goal, but they will help you get really specific. I’ll give you a couple of examples. Let’s say you have an online business. Your goal is to make $5,000 a month of passive income. You can commit to it 20 hours a week. You want to achieve it by the end of 2020. That is a highly specific business goal.

For a weight-loss example, it could be how much weight you want to lose. Specifically, how much body fat or what body fat percentage? Do you also want to gain muscle? When do you want to achieve it? Within the next three months? Or six months?

Whatever the goal, be as specific as you can. But don’t get too perfectionistic. The main thing is that you have a goal. Write it down. Over time, add the details as they become more obvious.

Create a Plan

You’ve set the goal. Now you need to create a plan. You may not know how you’re going to achieve that goal right away. Just start with some steps. Your plan doesn’t have to be too precise. You can develop it over time, but it’s essential to have a game plan.

People that have a strong desire for success are always setting goals and creating plans. The more specific your goals and plans are, the higher your desire will be. Keep developing the plan over time and notice how the desire for success increases.

2. Focus on Your Goals Daily

You need fuel to keep the fire burning. Review your goals every day. That will keep fueling your burning desire. Successful people do this, consciously or unconsciously.

Think about falling in love. What’s it like? You’re constantly thinking about that other person. The more you think about that person, the more you feel love. That feeling gets stronger and stronger. You feel the burning desire.

People stay in love because they keep thinking about that person for years and decades. Sometimes people seem to fall out of love because they stop thinking about that person. They stop caring. If you’ve ever been in love, you can use that experience to achieve that burning desire in other areas of your life.

How to focus on your goals

The simplest way to focus is to read your goals out loud. Or, to create and read positive affirmations that are relevant to your goals.

Another great way is to visualize having achieved the goal in great detail. Details are very important. Make the image bright, vivid, and colorful. If you can, make it in 3 dimensions, panoramic, and animated. Make sure that you’re visualizing through your own eyes, not seeing yourself in the image. You could listen to inspiring music while you’re doing that to add an extra effect to it.

You could use a vision board. Have a board and post images of your goals. Look at that daily. You could put screensavers on your computer or your mobile phone. These are all great ways.

Whatever you do, the key thing is to incorporate feelings. That’s important because your subconscious mind really picks up on feelings. This will help your unconscious mind start believing you’ve already achieved that goal. Feelings are super important. Make sure you incorporate feelings when you focus on your goals daily.

3. Know What You’re Willing to Give or Sacrifice

You might need to give your time, effort, or money. Maybe you’ll have to study or learn how to achieve your goal. Perhaps, you’ll need to let go or give up a few things, such as time with friends or nights in front of the TV. You must know what you’re willing to give up or sacrifice.

If it’s a business goal, focus on what you’re going to give to other people. The more value you can give to other people, the more successful you’ll be in the long term. This is a good one because it can get you out of your own head. If you think more about how to help other people, you’ll focus less on the time and effort that you’re putting into it.

4. Take Immediate Action

I have found this to be very important. When I’m taking action consistently, I continue to fuel that desire for success. When I take a few days off, I start to see doubts coming into my mind. My desire seems to reduce, and I feel less motivated.

So, if you have a new goal, ask yourself, what is the first obvious step? What’s the first obvious thing you need to do? Here are some examples. If you want an online business, the first obvious step would be to buy a domain name for your website. If you’re looking to lose weight, the first obvious step would be to go into the fridge and clear out all the junk food. If you want to change your career, the first obvious step would be to update your CV or resume. Or research some courses that could help you gain new skills.

You could spend 3 or 4 hours coming up with a grand plan for achieving your goal. Instead, I recommend that you perform or act on the very first step. Do that and then make a plan. That will help you create and maintain that burning desire.

5. Make the Pleasure Outweigh the Pain

Focus on the benefits of achieving your goal. Think less about the effort, time, or money involved. Focusing more on pleasure will help you to fuel that desire for success.

When you focus more on the pain and the work involved, you begin to procrastinate. Motivation reduces. You start taking less action. When you take less action, that desire for success starts to fade. So you must keep focusing on the benefits.

6. Replace Negative Energy with Positive Energy

It can be tough to stay motivated and positive when there are lots of negative sources of energy around you. These can include the news. Instead of reading the news or watching it on TV, watch educational programs.

Maybe you have negative people around. Sometimes it’s hard to keep these people out of your life. Especially if they’re family or close friends. What you can do is try to minimize their influence as much as you can.

For some people, watching horror movies or reading horror books can lead to a negative state. If that’s the case with you, avoid that for a while.

Also, simple things like having a clean and tidy desk with no distractions could be helpful. Or, laughing more. Watch funny programs on TV or funny YouTube videos. Get that nice positive feeling.

Think about this. Are you achieving things to be happy, or are you happily achieving? This idea comes from Steve Pavlina. Most people feel that they must achieve things to be happy. For example, I will be happy when I leave college, get married, become a senior manager or buy a house. But what would it be like to be happy during the process? To be happily achieving rather than achieving to be happy.

7. Burn the Boats!

If all else fails, use this method to create a burning desire. What does “burn the boats” mean? Let me give you a little bit of history.

Back in 1519, Hernan Cortes led 600 Spaniards in 11 boats to Mexico. His goal was to capture the magnificent treasure that was believed to be in Mexico. Upon arrival, Cortes ordered the ships to be burnt and destroyed. Why did he do that? Because it meant that he and all his troops were going to win or perish. They had a much higher burning desire to win because their whole life was at stake. Two years later, they conquered Mexico.

A point of no return

So the story about the burning boats represents a point of no return. It’s a psychological commitment. You have crossed a line, and you’re never going back. In today’s modern world, we don’t need to do something as extreme as that. But there are some things that we can do. The trick here is that there’s no hedging. There’s no looking back over your shoulder. Everything, all your thoughts, and efforts are now directed towards achieving your goal. You cannot go back; you’ve crossed that point of no return.

I deliberately left this one to last because it is the hardest one to achieve. I recommend you work on the others first. But, if this is what you need to get yourself going, then do it. Here are some of the ways you can burn your boats in the modern world where it’s not a life-or-death situation.

Make your goals public

You can do this by telling your friends or having an accountability partner. You could post them on social media. That gives a psychological commitment because you’ve told someone else, and they’re accountable. You’re going to feel bad if you fail to achieve your goals because you’re going to have to explain to them why. That is an excellent psychological way of burning your boats.

Write your resignation letter

If you’ve got a business goal and you plan to quit your day job, then you could write a resignation letter. Give it to a friend and get them to post it or email it to your manager on a specific date. That point of no return means you’ve got to be at a stage where you can earn a full-time income by that date.

Place a bet

Here is another way of burning your boats. You could place a bet. You will lose money if you don’t achieve the goal. As there’s money at stake, this is likely to be very effective!

In Conclusion

Doing these 7 things will help you create a greater belief in achieving your dreams. Your faith in your plans will grow stronger. Most importantly, you will create and maintain that burning desire for success. Good luck!

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.

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Most people think that being rich and being wealthy is the same, but it is not. There is a massive difference.

Rich or Wealthy?

What is being rich? It is having lots of money right now. Earning a six-figure income is typically regarded as being rich.

What is being wealthy? It is having lots of money right now and in the future. Wealthy people can live for months, years, or even decades without working. The reason is, they have achieved financial freedom. They’ve developed residual or passive income sources. Whether they’re working or not, they make money or money comes to them.

When your passive income is greater than your cost of living, you’re financially free. If your cost of living isn’t high, you can achieve financial freedom at a fairly low level of wealth. Robert Kiyosaki points out that the rich have lots of money, but the wealthy don’t worry about money.

Wealth can also be much broader. It can include things like your health, fitness, and family. Or, the quality of your relationships and having a sense of inner peace.

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The Difference Between Rich and Wealthy People

Let’s see what the key differences between rich and wealthy people are.

Celebrity Look vs. Modest Look

Rich people have the celebrity look. They have flash cars, Rolex watches, Gucci belts, designer clothes, and expensive jewelry. They can have all that because they’re making a good income right now. However, that income is temporary because they have no wealth. They’re just giving off the appearance of wealth. That appearance could disappear at any moment. They live from a big paycheck to a big paycheck. Or even worse, that celebrity lifestyle is financed by being in debt.

Wealthy people often have a more modest look. They don’t always go for those fancy things. They would instead save 10, 20, or 30 percent of their earnings. By doing that, they will have more in the future. If a financial crisis happens, like a recession, wealthy people will be in a better position. Why? Because they’ve already built up some money reserves. The crisis would not affect them as much – financially, mentally, or emotionally. They know that they’ve got the financial reserves to get through difficult times.

Less Going Out, More Coming In

If you earn $500,000 a year, and you spend $540,000 a year, are you rich? Well, you might look rich, but I would say you’re not. Why? Because it’s not about how much you earn, it’s about how much you keep. On a month-by-month basis, wealthy people might be earning less. But the crucial thing is that they’re saving a lot more.

Wealthy people usually have a lot less money going out than they have coming in. As a result, they don’t need to worry about money. If a short term expense comes up, they can easily afford it. They’re not spending as much as they’re earning, and they’re building up their wealth over time. Also, if something happens in the economy, they can handle it. They don’t need to worry about that.

Money-Making Knowledge

Rich people have money. Sometimes the way they made that money was a bit of luck. They were just in the right place at the right time. Wealthy people know how to make money. Rich people work for money. Wealthy people know how to make money work for them.

Often, the difference between rich and wealthy comes apparent in a recession. Both the rich and the wealthy can lose money. But, the wealthy have the knowledge. They know how to make money. So they bounce back again. There are so many examples of wealthy people that have bounced back from recessions. They knew how to make that money back again.

Is It Sustainable?

How sustainable is their money? Is it easy or hard to lose it? If you think of Bill Gates, he has so much wealth that it would be extremely hard for him to lose it. So a wealthy person has sustainable wealth.

Compare that to a rich person, for example, rich celebrities. They have lots of money now, but there’s no guarantee they’re going to have that money in the future. What if they lose their popularity? What if someone else comes along who’s more liked than they are? Or, more successful than they are?

These celebrities, even if they are successful for a while, often have a fear that they could lose it all in the future. They have that fear of losing, and they’re only rich until the money dries up. That’s often in the back of their minds. Sustainability is a crucial difference between rich and wealthy people.

Active vs. Passive Income

What is an active income? An active income is where you trade your time for money. People working a conventional job are earning an active income. Many self-employed people – like therapists, plumbers, electricians, or personal trainers – earn an active income as well. They’re providing a service, and they get paid for it.

What’s a passive income? With passive income, money is not related to your time and effort. A good source of passive income is earnings from interest on savings. Or, dividends from shares. These are excellent forms of passive income. If you write a book and get royalties from it, that’s a passive income. Or, you can buy a property and have tenants that are paying you rent. You get money from those tenants. It doesn’t matter whether you work or not, you’re getting that rental income.

Quite a lot of people make passive income through an online business. They create products that they sell online. There’s a bit of effort involved in creating the product. But once it’s done, sales come through even when they’re asleep. That’s a key difference. A passive income is a way of making money that isn’t dependent or utterly dependent on your time and effort. It means that you can take a break for a month or two, and that money will still come in.

It’s More Than Money

Rich people tend to focus on money too much. They could be working extremely long hours to make that money. Think about people like stockbrokers, lawyers, and doctors. They are rich, but they could be working 50, 60, maybe even 70 hours a week to sustain their rich lifestyle.

Wealthy people value time. Time is often the most important thing for them.

They also value friendship. That’s very important to them, too. They’re the kind of people that will help you out if needed. There’s a great saying that is “your network is your net worth”. Wealthy people are aware of the value of networks, friends, and family. This is a key difference between rich and wealthy people.

Assets vs. Liabilities

Liabilities cost money to maintain or fix them. Assets don’t. That’s the crucial difference. Examples of assets are stocks and shares or interest on a bank account. A lot of people think that a house is an asset, but it’s not. A house needs maintenance. You could buy a house for $100,000, do it up, and sell it for $200,000. That would seem like a good investment.

But, don’t forget the cost of the work involved. Unexpected costs, like leaks or roof repairs, can happen. You might still make a profit when sold, but it’s still a liability, not an asset until you sell it. You need to put money into it. There’s always a risk that you’ll need to put some money into it in the future. You have to be prepared for that.

Social Media Fascination

Wealthy people are less preoccupied with social media than rich people. I’m sure you’ve experienced this. You’ve seen someone’s new car on Facebook or exotic holiday photos on Instagram. The problem with social media is that it distorts reality. You only see the highlights of someone’s life.

It’s almost like it’s the opposite of the news. The news tells you all the bad stuff that’s going on in the world. Social media shows you all the great stuff that’s happening to other people. This can really distort reality.

What I recommend with social media is that you take it with a pinch of salt. Don’t let what other people are doing on social media distract you from your own financial goals. You can see other people traveling, having beautiful houses, or having kids in private schools. Think if they can really afford that. Are they just living paycheck to paycheck? Or, even worse, borrowing money to achieve that lifestyle?

Nothing Is More Valuable Than Freedom

You now know the difference between rich and wealthy people. Think about what being wealthy means to you. Could it be time with your family and friends? Could it be some time just for you? Perhaps, owning your own home? Maybe, having a cleaner? Or, being able to travel a lot more, and having the time to do it.

I’ll finish off with a few points from the book Simple Path to Wealth by J. L. Collins. Spend less than you earn and invest the difference. Avoid debt at all costs. Money can buy you many things, but nothing is more valuable than your freedom. So ultimately, having money will set you free. When you can live on four percent of your investments per year, you are truly financially independent.

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.

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Energy, much more than time, is what you need to achieve your goals and dreams. The number of hours in the day is fixed, but the quality and quantity of your energy are not. How would it feel to be able to do far more in the time available? In this article, I’ll introduce you to 4 types of energy and help you learn how to manage and master your energy.

Don’t Run Out of It!

Every thought, emotion, and behavior affect your energy either in a good or a bad way. The lack of it will negatively affect any activity. It could be studying, public speaking, working, exercising, or playing a sport. It is essential to be aware that your energy is finite!

So what can drain your energy? Relationships, certain situations, activities, habits, or obligations. If you want to perform consistently at a high level, it is crucial to use your energy more consciously, so you never run out of it.

Most successful people know how to engage fully whenever they need to. They also know when it’s time for rest and renewal. If you take no rest, your energy will start to deplete. It’s probably the most obvious with physical energy. When you exercise, you eventually get tired. You need to slow down or take a break. The same applies to the other 3 types of energy.

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Get to Know Your 4 Types of Energy

Most people think that there’s only one type of energy – physical. Actually, there are four!

When you experience different highs and lows, it is due to different types of energy. These different energies work together, and one affects the other. If you are aware of this, you’ll know what to do when you feel down. You will know how to master your energy.

Now, let’s learn about the 4 different types of energy.

1. Physical Energy

When we talk about energy, most people think of physical energy. Mastering this type of energy implies healthy living. Are you eating healthy food? Do you exercise? What is the quality of your sleep?

The lack of exercise, proper nutrition, and sleep will negatively affect your physical energy. Fresh air and sunlight will increase it. The one thing that is also important is your breathing. If you breathe deeply, you’ll have more energy.

What are the things that currently rob you of your physical energy? What are the things that are stopping you from living at your physical peak? Very likely, these will include some of the things I’ve just mentioned.

2. Mental Energy

How well can you focus or concentrate, and for how long? It depends on your mental energy, which is vital for studying, learning, or working. When you do a long stint, your focus and concentration will eventually start to wane. You become less productive. Why is that? Because your mental energy is finite as well. That’s a clue that it’s time to take a break.

What Is Robbing You of Your Mental Energy?

Ask yourself, what are the things that you currently do that rob you of your mental energy? What are the specific things that rob you of your time and focus? What is undermining your productivity in any area of your life?

Things that can negatively affect your mental energy and focus might be as simple as an untidy desk! Or notifications on your computer. You can be distracted by other people – friends, family, or work colleagues. Inefficient systems, such as a slow computer or internet, can also affect you.

Master Your Mental Energy

When you get distracted, it can take up to 10 minutes to get back to the level of concentration that you had before! So the vital question is, do you have control over distractions, and what can you do about them? Sometimes they are not entirely under your control, and you can’t change them immediately. But here are a few things that you can do.

Pomodoro Technique

This is a great technique! The way it works is that you focus on one thing for 25 minutes, and then you take a five-minute break. Then you do another 25 minutes, and then you take another five-minute break. You do this for four cycles, and then you take a longer break. There are helpful Pomodoro apps you can get on your phone, or you can use a timer.

Doing one thing at a time

Some people think that we can multitask. But it is much better to focus on one thing to the exclusion of all others. Avoid distractions as much as possible. Turn off notifications on your computer. It definitely helps!


Meditation is excellent for improving your focus and concentration. Doing just a little bit of meditation each day can really help improve your mental energy.

3. Emotional Energy

This type of energy is about how happy you are. Your emotional energy gets drained when you’re stuck in the past. Ruminating over and over again about past events is exhausting. Emotional energy also gets depleted when you have arguments with other people, especially prolonged ones. If you keep going over that argument in your mind, that doesn’t help either. Internal conflicts or hard decision making can also deplete your emotional energy.

What Is Robbing You of Your Emotional Energy?

Did you ever feel your body was fully awake, but you were emotionally drained? That was a clue that your emotional energy needed some attention. Ask yourself, what are the things that rob you of your emotional energy? What are the specific people, places, and things that prevent you from being happy and more joyful in life?

Master Your Emotional Energy

Above all, reduce stressful situations if you can. Find the things that continually seem to drain your energy and life force. The following tips might be helpful.

Focus On What You Want & Set Goals

One of the ways to improve and increase your emotional energy is to start thinking about what you want. Set your goals. It will help you change your center of attention. Your brain will have less time to think about past events and will focus on the future instead.

Deal with Unresolved Negative Emotions

Start focusing on any high-maintenance drama-filled relationships. Deal with people that have been upsetting you. Express how you feel! Releasing emotions is beneficial, especially resentment and anger.

A fantastic way to release emotions is the Sedona Method and you can learn how to do this in this article.

Counseling and therapy might be necessary if you’ve got some quite deep-rooted resentments or other emotional issues.

Imagine a Protective Bubble

Another great way is to imagine a protective, emotional bubble around your body. Imagine that nothing from outside can get to you through this protective bubble. Use this bubble to shield yourself from the negative emotions from the outside.

Highly successful people do this unconsciously. They have a way to prevent negativity from getting in. So, they maintain high emotional energy when things get tough.  You can do this too, now that you know how!

4. Spiritual Energy

The last type of energy is spiritual energy. This type of energy is all about what you see as your purpose in life.

When you have high spiritual energy, you have lots of creative ideas. You get answers to your problems. You have intuitions that lead you through life. You feel connected to nature and other people. Or God, universal consciousness, or some other form of spirituality. You’re really in the flow, and everything seems easy. It’s when the Law of Attraction really starts to work.

When you have low spiritual energy, you pretty much get the opposite. Spiritual energy is also finite, and it’s very hard to be on a spiritual high all the time.

What Is Robbing You of Your Spiritual Energy?

What are the specific people, places, and things that prevent you from fulfilling your highest purpose in life? Maybe it’s your self-worth or self-belief. Certain habits, behaviors, temptations, and weaknesses also take spiritual energy away from you.

Master Your Spiritual Energy

To increase your spiritual energy, focus on positive feelings. Send these out to the world, out to the universe. Remember that the universe picks up on feelings much more than anything else.

Focus more on providing value to others. This is a great way to get you out of your own head and connect you with a higher power, whatever that higher power is for you.

In Conclusion

In reality, these four different types of energy work together.

Since you now know them, you can try and boost each one in turn. Remember that it’s essential to lead a balanced life. You must balance your energy. Learn when you need to take a break and when you need to recharge. This will help you master your energy over time. You will be ready to successfully pursue your dreams and goals.

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.

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Any thought that makes you feel unhappy, frustrated, sad, angry or guilty will almost certainly fit into one of the 12 common thinking traps that I cover in this article.

We take in information from our five senses and it goes through a mental filter. This distorts some incoming information, deletes other bits and then generalizes the remaining information so that it makes sense to us.

This happens all the time, but sometimes the information gets filtered through one of the 12 common thinking traps. When this happens, you can feel negative, pessimistic and stuck.

In this article, I cover the 12 common thinking traps in detail. I also provide some great information to help you steer clear of these thinking traps so that you feel happier, less anxious and more at peace with yourself and others.

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What is a Thinking Trap?

A thinking trap is when you perceive your experience differently to how it really is and that results in you feeling negative and pessimistic. The technical term for this is “cognitive distortions”.

Cognitions are your thoughts, perceptions, beliefs, and values. They represent how you interpret the world. They can also be called TFB loops, which stands for thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. We have a thought that generates a feeling and that in turn generates a behavior or action.

So let’s get into these 12 common thinking traps or cognitive distortions so that you can identify the ones that you do and start making changes to address these.

1. All-or-Nothing Thinking

This is also known as black and white thinking. It’s about thinking in extremes. Either something is really good or absolutely terrible. There’s no middle ground, only extremes.

Here is an example that came from one of my hypnotherapy clients. She said, “I am a complete failure as a mother”. Deep inside, she believed that she was responsible for her son’s behavior. Now, in reality, there are lots of factors that influence how a child grows up. These include the father, teachers, friends and other kids at school.

Other examples include saying to yourself “I’m a total loser” after making a mistake or saying “my diet is completely ruined” after being tempted by a little bit of chocolate. How about “nobody likes me” after one person took a dislike to you.

So what is happening here? One experience or just some small part of life is creating a negative belief that is very black-and-white.

How do you overcome this? Start by noticing that your experience is not black or white, right or wrong, it’s shades of grey. Most things are good or pretty average with the occasional negative experience thrown in every so often.

When you find yourself falling into this all-or-nothing thinking pattern, simply say “really?” This will force your brain to think of counter-evidence. For example, if you hear yourself saying “I’m a total loser”, then say to yourself “really?”. Your thinking might then change to – “Well, I made that mistake just now, but I’ve already done these things correctly today”.

2. Catastrophizing

Catastrophizing is imagining the worst-case scenario without any assessment of how likely that worst-case scenario really is. It’s also about believing that you won’t be able to cope if this scenario did happen.

This cognitive distortion is also called magnifying because you are magnifying errors, fears, and imperfections. Here are some examples to help you understand this cognitive distortion better.

You’re a child at home and you hear your mom and dad arguing. You instantly think they are going to get a divorce and then you wonder how you’ll cope if they do.

A student might say “if I fail this test, my life is over”. The reality is that failing a test is not the end of the world. You can normally re-sit the test or use this as a reason to move your life in a different direction. Failures also help you learn and become better over time.

To overcome this common thinking trap, look at the likely reality. Ask yourself: “How likely is this event to happen?”. In most cases, it’s very unlikely. Also, look at the unexpected things that have happened to you in the past and how you’ve successfully coped with them. This will help you feel that if the worst-case scenario did happen, you would find a way to cope, just as you have done so in the past.

3. Negative Brain Filters

Negative brain filters are about noticing and focussing on negative experiences only and ignoring the positive ones. This is one of the most common thinking traps.

Examples of this include beating yourself up for eating chocolate whilst ignoring all the salads and other healthy foods that you have eaten recently. Or flunking a golf shot and then spending the rest of your golf round focussing on that duff shot, whilst ignoring all the great shots.

To overcome this thinking trap, become consciously aware of the entire experience and notice both the good, average and bad aspects of any activity. Also, focus on gratitude. Think about how well your life is going and all the good things that are happening. This will shift your focus towards what is working in your life and less on what is not working.

4. Mind Reading

Mind Reading is assuming that you know what other people are thinking about you, when there is no real evidence to back that up. You might say: “I know she hates me”, after seeing a certain facial expression in another person or after something they said. However, it is impossible to read the mind of another person. You do not know what is going on in the other person’s mind and their life. Perhaps that person that seemed unfriendly had just been through a major argument with her husband or is currently dealing with a life-threatening illness.

Another example of this common thinking trap is “Others think I’m stupid”. Again, this could be based on a comment someone made, or on a feeling you have around certain people. You might also think “I know they are talking about me behind my back” based on noticing someone saying something to another person and assuming it’s about you.

To overcome this, begin to understand that you are not a mind reader. It is impossible to read someone else’s mind. You get an idea of what others are thinking, but you can never be completely sure.

Instead, test the evidence. So when someone says something negative about you, ask yourself “what else could this mean?” Your answer might be that this person is having a bad day or has a habit of being negative to lots of other people besides you due to their own insecurities or low self-esteem.

5. Fallacy of Change

One of the key common thinking traps is the fallacy of change. This is about wanting or expecting other people to change to make you happy.

The underlying belief behind this is that your happiness depends on someone else. A great example of this thinking trap is “If you really loved me, you wouldn’t spend every Saturday on the golf course”, or “If you really loved me, you would buy me flowers every week”.

You need to realize that happiness is not dependent on other people and their actions. Remember it can be hard for other people to change. If you’ve struggled to change, then its highly likely that other people find changing difficult as well, especially if they don’t have an awareness of self-development.

To overcome this, realize that someone else changing is NOT within your control. You can influence their behavior by what you say and how you act. However, you cannot directly control their behavior. Also, realize that your happiness depends on you and the decisions that you make each day.

6. Fortune Telling

Fortune Telling is thinking or predicting that things will turn out badly. An example of this common thinking trap is “I’ll never be able to change” or “I know I messed up my interview” or “No one is going to talk to me at this party”. It’s basically telling yourself what is going to happen. It’s attempting to predict the future and in a very negative way.

In reality, we cannot predict the future. In fact, thinking about the future in a negative way is more likely to result in the negative thing happening, because that is what you’re mind will now focus on. So it’s totally pointless to think in this way, especially when there is no concrete evidence that this negative experience will actually happen.

The solution is to ask yourself: “What’s the evidence that I’m going to flunk this interview or that I’ll never be able to change?”. When you start asking yourself these questions, you’ll discover that the evidence behind this thinking trap is quite flimsy.

7. Always Being Right

WARNING! This common thinking trap can ruin relationships.

Always being right is constantly proving that your thoughts and actions are the correct ones. You go all out to prove that you’re right, even if you upset others, especially the ones you love. It’s when you think or say “I know I’m right, I’m going to prove I’m right, I’m going to do this at all costs”. It comes across to the other person as not really caring about what they think, or displaying a lack of interest in them.

A great question to ask in this situation is: “Would I rather be right or would I rather be happy?”. When you ask this question, it’s pretty easy to answer. Most people would rather be happy than right, especially if it helps someone close to you feel that you are listening to them and that they have a voice too.

When I overcame the need to always be right, the number of arguments I had with my wife reduced dramatically! I realized that I didn’t need to prove whether I’m right or not and that trying to be right would simply cause more harm. Instead, I now just let go and be happy instead. If you really want to be happy in your intimate relationship (or relationships in general), then this is a really good cognitive distortion to let go of.

Of all the common thinking traps, this is one of the best ones to work on if you want to improve your relationships and how you interact with other people.

8. Labeling

Labeling is describing yourself or your sense of identity with just one word such as “stupid”, “fat” or “disaster”. This is one of the most dangerous common thinking traps, because all behavior stems from your sense of identity. So, if you see yourself as a stupid person (and that becomes part of your identity), then you’ll start doing more stupid things more often.

In reality, we are far too complex to be summed up in a single word. Choose positive phrases and words that are believable and more realistic instead.

9. Overestimating

This is exaggerating the chance that something bad will happen. This cognitive distortion is a little bit like catastrophizing, but it’s more exaggerating the possibility of something bad happening, rather than completely believing it will happen.

For example, if I forget to lock the front door at night, it is very likely that my house will get burgled, even if I live in a low-crime area. The reality is that, if you forgot to lock the front door, you probably wouldn’t get burgled and you would be perfectly safe.

The belief here is that if I forget to do something, then something bad will happen. This is a fundamental belief that is behind people that suffer from OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder).

What about “The next plane that I fly on is going to crash!”. Now we know that in reality, you are far more likely to win the lottery than to be on a plane that crashes. Nevertheless, if a person really believes that the plane that they are on is going to crash, then they won’t enjoy the flight and have a high level of anxiety instead.

The way to deal with this is the same as for catastrophizing which is to realize that the situation is extremely unlikely to happen. More importantly, if it did happen, you would find a way to cope or deal with it.

10. Overgeneralizing

This is making sweeping judgments about yourself based on one or two experiences. It is often characterized by the use of the words “always” and “never”.

This is not helpful, because it takes one or two experiences and applies them to all situations and events. For example, let’s say that you flunk a few words in a presentation. You then think or say “I’m never going to be good at public speaking.” Did you notice the word “never” in there?

Here is another example. Your boss criticizes you for one specific task, so you say to yourself “I always make mistakes”. Notice the word “always” in there.

The way out of this common thinking trap is to realize that you can’t judge yourself based on one or two negative experiences. Look for counter-examples, such as times and situations where you performed well and had good experiences.

11. Blaming

This is refusing to accept your part in a situation or outcome, and instead blaming others. When you blame others, you are not taking responsibility for the situation and how you react to it. When you don’t take responsibility, you have no control or influence, so you feel powerless.

In a business situation, you might say: “It’s not my fault that we lost out on this opportunity”. However, the reality is that it usually takes several people for something to go wrong in a business environment.

To overcome this cognitive distortion, you need to take responsibility for your own mistakes. Understand that you can change your approach and have a part to play in influencing the outcome of any situation.

12. Should Statements

This is when you tell yourself that you “should”, “ought”, or “must” do something, feel something or behave in a certain way. However, this is not how you actually feel and it goes against what you really want to do. It’s thinking about what you should be doing, rather than being true to yourself. Also the words “should”, “ought”, or “must” indicate a lack of choice.

As a result, you feel anxious, frustrated and disappointed with yourself and feel that you are being pressurized by other people or things you “should” do. It can also cause you to have an unrealistic expectation of yourself.

Getting around this simply involves changing your language. Instead of the word “should”, use the word “could”. This makes you feel like you have a choice. You don’t have to do something, you can choose to do it instead.

Other words that give you a feeling of having choices and options are, “choose” and “will”. For example, “I choose to” or “I will do”.

So these are the 12 thinking traps or cognitive distortions that steal your happiness and success in life. These thinking traps are a core component of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). An important part of CBT involves challenging these thinking traps or cognitive distortions.

When you challenge and then overcome these thinking traps, you’ll be able to attain more success in life and start living each day to the fullest.

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.

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Stress is something we all have to deal with almost every day. But do you really know what stress is? Or where it comes from?

Before I introduce you to 10 natural ways to reduce stress, let me answer these questions first.

What is stress?

Stress is a gap between something external and your ability or confidence to deal with it. It can also come from needing something to happen.

When you get stressed, your body answers with a chemical and emotional response, along with negative thoughts. Those thoughts create negative emotions that trigger more negative thoughts. So, you end up trapped in a vicious cycle of stress.

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4 Types of Stress

There are 4 major types of stress:

  • Time stress. This is caused by not having enough time to do all the things you need or want to do. We’ve all experienced this at some point in our lives.
  • Anticipatory stress. This is anxiety about something in the future. It could be money, health, or simply a presentation or interview coming up.
  • Situational stress. This is caused by an uncomfortable situation that you can’t control. It could be an emergency, getting laid off or making a mistake in front of your team.
  • Relationship stress. This is stress coming from relationships. This would include your husband, wife, family members, friends or colleagues.

What Is the Real Cause of Your Stress?

Is it your boss, your kids, money, business problems, bad clients, legal issues? No, it’s none of these. These are all external situations. The stress comes from how you react to those situations.

Let me give you some examples. Two employees could work for the same difficult boss and express a different reaction to that boss. Or, two people could have the same money problem, but a different response to that problem.

So it’s not the external event that causes you stress. It’s how you respond to it. Stress comes from your reaction to the situation, not the situation itself. This is extremely important!

The Stress Is Coming from You

Stress is a gap between the situation or something external and your ability to deal with it. A calm person thinks, visualizes, and imagines things differently from an anxious person. The key thing is that the stress is coming from you. It is self-created. It’s your reaction to the circumstances, not the circumstances themselves.

So ask yourself, how are you responsible for the stress that you’re experiencing? Are you creating it or allowing it into your life? Taking responsibility and control is key to long-term success in reducing stress.

Your Confidence Is Crucial

Why do some people get stressed and others don’t? It partly depends on your belief about whether you can deal with the situation or not. If you feel confident, you’re less likely to feel stressed.

Those beliefs come from your past experiences. If a certain event was stressful in the past, then you may well believe that it will also be stressful in the future. If it was easy and comfortable in the past, then you’re less likely to feel stressed about it. You will probably think it will be easy again.

Yet, many things that have stressed you previously, might not be a problem now. For example, delivering a presentation was very stressful the first time you did it. But since then, you have done it many times, and it became routine. Your confidence and competence improved, and the stress was reduced.

Excessive Stress Causes Problems

There are many problems caused by excessive stress. Here are some of them: difficulty concentrating, weight loss or weight gain, sleeping problems, negative thoughts, loss of sex drive, procrastination, aches and pains, short temper, depression, unhappiness, and increased use of artificial things to help you relax, such as alcohol, drugs, or cigarettes.

Manage Stress Symptoms!

To reduce stress, you need to work on two things. First, deal with the causes and your reactions to them. Second, manage the stress because sometimes it can take time to resolve the causes.

There are good and bad ways to reduce stress. Good ways include exercising, meditation, spending time with family and friends, or having a hobby. These are healthy and empowering. Bad ways, like gambling, drinking, taking drugs, or overeating, give you short-term benefits. But, they have long-term negative effects on your health and that will create more additional stress later in life.

The 10 Natural Ways to Reduce Stress

Now, I’m going to cover my 10 natural, helpful and efficient ways to reduce stress. They will help you manage and eliminate it.

1. Identify the things that stress you out

Is it your work or is it a relationship? Is it money or is it health? Is it uncertainty about the future? Before you can manage or eliminate the stress you must know where it comes from. Get really specific and into details. What is it about the work that’s stressing you out? What is it about your relationship that’s causing your stress? What is triggering that stress response?

2. Eliminate stress

If you can, eliminate stress now! Maybe a friend or a co-worker is causing you stress. Take some time away from that person. Even just for a while.

If you can’t eliminate stress now, make a plan to eliminate it in the future. For example, if you hate your job, you will probably have to find another one before you quit. That might take some time. If it’s money that’s stressing you, create a plan to make more money. Do more training, get new qualifications, or find a better job.

If it’s a lack of time, then slow down. Take on less, say no more often, and give yourself more time and room to grow. Just be more patient with yourself.

If it’s relationships, remember that you can’t control other people. You can only influence them. This mind shift alone may be enough to help you reduce or eliminate stress around other people.

3. Decide to do it or let it go

Ask yourself: Can I deal with this right now? If yes, go on and do it. If no, let it go. It’s pointless to stress about things that you can’t do anything about.

Are you one of those people who often check their emails on the phone? Let me give you one little tip. Before you do that, ask yourself: Can I deal with what I might see in my inbox right now? If you can’t, if you don’t have the time, don’t check your emails. Otherwise, you’re just creating additional stress.

4. Know what you can and what you can’t control

You can’t control other people. You can’t control the economy. You can’t control changes that might happen in your workplace. There’s no point in blaming someone or something else. Accept it the way it is. That’s not an easy thing to do in practice, but dealing with things that you can’t control is the key. Accept what you can’t change. That gives you the energy to focus on the things that you can change.

5. Watch funny YouTube videos

This is a great stress reliever. There is a saying, which you probably heard, that laughter is the best medicine. What about laughter is the stress medicine? Laughter is one of the best ways to reduce stress.

A good laugh forces you to take in lots of oxygen, and it decreases stress hormones. It increases your immune cells and also your infection-fighting antibodies. It improves your resistance to disease. It releases endorphins which are your body’s natural feel-good chemicals. It can even help relieve pain.

Find funny YouTube videos, watch comedies, play jokes, or listen to funny podcasts. Anything that’s going to make you laugh.

6. Talk it over with someone

Talk about your situation with other people and get their advice. That could help you gain a different perspective. It could also be a chance to release your emotions. Once you talk it through with someone, it might not seem as important as it once did. You can also learn how others dealt with things that are stressing you.

7. Consider the worst-case scenario

A lot of stress comes from asking but not answering “What If” questions. Think about the worst-case scenario. Ask yourself how would you cope if that worst-case scenario actually happened. If you messed up that presentation, what would be the consequences? Probably not as bad as you would think. Most likely, you would not lose your job.

8. Repeat positive affirmations

Positive affirmations help change negative thoughts that cause a stress response. They also ease stress symptoms.

Here are some great affirmations for you:

  • It always works out well in the end.
  • Whatever happens, I’ll handle it.
  • All challenges in life have a solution.
  • The solution or resolution will come to me.

I hope you find these useful. There are many other affirmations as well, but these four are really good at helping you relieve stress.

9. Meditate

Stress reduction is the most common reason why people meditate. Meditation reduces cortisol – the stress hormone. It helps in controlling anxiety and experiencing more positive emotions. Meditation also enables you to get behind the thoughts that are causing your reaction to a stressful situation. Any kind of meditation can help because it slows down your busy mind by focusing on one thing.

10. Exercise

Exercise reduces the stress hormone cortisol. It also releases endorphins that make you feel happier. Think about the last time you did some exercise. How did you feel afterward? Most probably, pretty good and in a better emotional state. After exercise, some of the issues that you were concerned with, might seem less important. Moving your body is a great stress reliever.

These are my 10 natural and efficient ways to reduce stress, manage it, and even eliminate it from your life. As always, do put these into practice! You will be surprised by the results!

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.

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The human brain is fascinating in so many ways!  It has lots of different parts. In this article, I focus on the ones that are most important from a psychological perspective.

You may have heard of terms such as prefrontal cortex, amygdala, hypothalamus or hippocampus before, but do you understand what these parts of the brain do?

In this article, I will cover 5 different parts of the brain in detail and explain how these different parts of your brain work together to keep you safe.

Knowing this information will help you understand why you sometimes act emotionally or instinctively. You’ll also discover why you forget things when you’re stressed or anxious.

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It’s so important to understand how your brain works so that when you have an emotional experience or fear response, you know which area of the brain it stems from. When you forget something important, like your lines during a speech or presentation, you will begin to understand what is happening within your brain that causes this to happen. Knowing this gives you more choices and helps you find better ways to control your brain.

So, I’ll now cover the different parts of the brain that affect your mindset, emotions, and psychology.

The Prefrontal Cortex

The Prefrontal Cortex is the very front part of the brain, located just behind your eyes and forehead. When we think or become aware of our thoughts, it feels like they come from this area. It’s the part of the brain that is often described as the “conscious mind”

The Prefrontal Cortex is part of the Frontal Lobe, which is the larger front part of your brain. Together, they are part of the Neocortex, which is the whole of the top part of your brain.

Prefrontal Cortex functions

The Prefrontal Cortex is responsible for thinking, goal-setting, and prediction of outcomes. It helps us work out what we want to achieve. It’s used to plan our time, our life and how we organize things. It also determines what is good and bad or right and wrong, based on our beliefs. It helps us to evaluate options and make decisions and predicts the future consequences of our actions and how they affect other people and our life. The ability to make decisions is a key function of the Prefrontal Cortex.

The Prefrontal Cortex also controls personality expression and how we act in public by moderating social behavior. It allows us to suppress emotional urges and unhelpful thoughts to better fit in during social situations. This is why your behavior often changes when you are interacting with others.

Limbic System

The Limbic System is the center for emotional responsiveness. It is where motivation and memory formation happen. It also houses the mechanisms that keep us safe. These include things like sensory perception, time perception, attention span, and consciousness.

The main parts of the Limbic System are the Amygdala, Hippocampus, and Hypothalamus. These areas are all very closely connected to the Prefrontal Cortex and carry out functions simultaneously.

Practicing meditation and mindfulness helps to strengthen the connections (or neuropathways) between the Prefrontal Cortex and the Limbic System. So there is real scientific evidence as to why meditation and mindfulness are so good for you!

The Amygdala

The Amygdala is the emotional processing part of your brain. It receives incoming sensory inputs and provides an emotional response. It’s the early warning system for either perceived or actual threats and is a much more unconscious part of your brain.

The left side of the Amygdala deals with both positive and negative emotional responses. The right side deals mainly with negative emotional responses.

Amygdala functions

One of its most fundamental roles is directing your attention and focus to the most important sensory-stimuli, whether it is good or bad. Other unnecessary surrounding stimuli is blocked out and ignored.

This explains why you can be extremely focused on one specific person or thing, such as when in love or extremely engaged in a conversation.

When experiencing fear, your Amygdala will focus your attention on either dealing with or getting away from the threat. It activates the stress response so that you respond effectively to dangerous stimuli.

The Amygdala also evaluates facial expressions and sends this information to the Prefrontal Cortex. When you notice someone smiling at you, the Amygdala picks that up first and then triggers thoughts about that person.

Another useful function of the Amygdala is the release of hormones that can alter the cognitive processing of the Prefrontal Cortex. When under stress, blood flows away from the Prefrontal Cortex into the more emotional parts of your brain and body. Less blood in the Prefrontal Cortex is the main reason why you forget an important phrase in a speech when you’re feeling stressed. These hormones also activate the body via the Hypothalamus, which we will discuss further later in this article.

Fight, flight or freeze

The Amygdala is especially activated by surprising, ambiguous or uncertain situations. When these situations occur, it accesses memories from past experiences (and your beliefs behind these) to determine whether the incoming sensory input is a stressor or not. If it is, it will then activate an emotional response. This is typically known as the “fight, flight or freeze” response. You either attack the threat head-on (fight), run away (flight) or stand still in shock (freeze).

In a fight, flight or freeze response, the Amygdala hijacks the Prefrontal Cortex, by taking blood away from the Prefrontal Cortex and redistributing it to the Limbic System. It also activates your instinctive survival responses without you having to think about them.

The Amygdala processes information milliseconds earlier than the Prefrontal Cortex. So if a memory matches an incoming stimulus, it will act automatically and instinctively without involving the Prefrontal Cortex. If it is a new experience, the Amygdala will look to the Prefrontal Cortex for direction.

Depression and the Amygdala

Depression is linked to an enlarged Amygdala. The more frequently the Amygdala is activated, the larger it becomes. As the Amygdala gets larger over time, it increases the symptoms of depression. By examining the Amygdala and other areas of the brain, depression can now be measured scientifically.

The Hippocampus

The Hippocampus is responsible for the formation of memories. It creates structured interactions between the Hippocampus and the Prefrontal Cortex, which happens during slow brain wave sleep. This is part of the process of consolidating long-term memories while we sleep. This is one of the reasons that we have dreams.

You can think of the Hippocampus as like your brain’s Google search engine. It allows fast and efficient memory searching from the Prefrontal Cortex and other parts of the Neocortex to help assess and plan. This is important for learning, especially for physical tasks. The Hippocampus tracks your conscious steps so over time they become unconscious or second-nature.

Chronic stress negatively affects the Hippocampus. Depression can reduce the volume of the Hippocampus by between 8% and 19% as well as enlarging the Amygdala as mentioned earlier.

So the consistent thoughts and feelings that you have can cause real physical changes in your brain.

The Thalamus

The Thalamus is the central hub of your brain. It receives outside information from your senses and forwards that to other areas of your brain like the Amygdala and Prefrontal Cortex. It also helps to manage motor and cognitive functions.

The Hypothalamus

The Hypothalamus takes input from your senses via the Thalamus. It is closely connected to both the Amygdala and Hippocampus and helps control and monitor numerous vital processes.

These include your metabolism (how quickly you digest food), your circadian rhythms (what makes you feel sleepy or wide-awake) and the quality of sleep, especially the amount of deep sleep.

Your Hypothalamus also controls your body temperature and lets you know when you’re thirsty or hungry. These are a bit more unconscious and influence your body more than your mind. However, the Hypothalamus also takes psychological input from what you perceive through your senses.

Final Thoughts

The parts of the brain that control our psychology, mindset, and emotions are fascinating to learn and very useful in understanding how and why you think, feel and behave in certain ways. With this greater understanding, you will be able to tackle issues in your daily life with more clarity and focus.

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