Creative Visualization is a fantastic way to achieve goals and improve your life more quickly.  There are lots of ways to practice creative visualization. In this article, I have identified the best ways and combined them into a powerful creative visualization exercise.

You will discover what creative visualization is, how it works and the benefits of doing a creative visualization exercise regularly.

I will then uncover a powerful 4 step creative visualization exercise that will help you make rapid changes in your life. Use this exercise to improve a skill, change a habit, or improve your ability to manifest with the Law of Attraction. You choose the goal and then with practice, creative visualization will work its magic!

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What Is Creative Visualization?

Creative Visualization is using your imagination to picture goals and things you want to achieve in life. It’s also known as mental imagery or mental rehearsal. It’s a wonderful way to reprogram your subconscious mind.

Your brain and nervous system cannot tell the difference between a real experience and one that is vividly imagined.  This is the reason Creative Visualization works so effectively. When you vividly imagine the things you want in life, your brain and nervous system will believe that they already exist and will act accordingly.

Why Use Creative Visualization?

There are so many positive benefits to using Creative Visualization. It helps increase motivation and desire. When you visualize and take action, you will achieve your goals more quickly. Remember, taking action is important too.

It activates the creative part of your subconscious mind.  This floods your mind with fresh ideas and other ways to achieve the goal. Ideas that you wouldn’t have thought of otherwise.  I call this the “ideas machine”.

It influences the Reticular Activating System. This is the part of your brain that notices people, resources, opportunities and circumstances that help you achieve your goal.

You have already seen the reticular activating system in action. For example, when you buy a new car, drive it home and notice many other people with the same car.  To learn more, read this article on the reticular activating system and goals.

Creative visualization helps you feel motivated and take inspired action, with less reliance on willpower. As a result, you achieve far more. Also, it’s much more enjoyable when you take inspired action.

It positively influences your thoughts about what you’re good at, bad at, and what’s possible and not possible for you. Creative Visualization influences the actions you take both consciously and unconsciously.

When you use creative visualization to change your self-image and sense of who you are, this influences your beliefs, values, actions, and behaviors.

Now, I reckon you’re already using creative visualization without knowing it!  A superb example is planning your next holiday. You take action by booking your flights and accommodation. Perhaps you book some tours or activities too.

You then look forward to your holiday. You do this by imagining or visualizing it. Perhaps you imagine the destination, what the accommodation might be like and the places you might visit. I’ve done this many times and often when I arrive, the destination and hotel is very different to what I imagined!

So you’re already using creative visualization. This article will help you develop a skill that you already have. This is the power of your imagination.  

Related Article: 10 Steps to Transform Your Creative Visualization Skills

The Basics

So you now know what creative visualization is. You also know the amazing benefits of doing it. So, let’s cover how to do it.
Find a quiet, relaxing space where you won’t be disturbed for a few minutes. Then think about an area of life that you want to change. Identify a goal or outcome for this visualization session. What would you like to be different or better?

I recommend choosing one specific goal for each visualization session. If you have multiple goals in different areas of life, then use a separate visualization session for each.

Goals where creative visualization can work its magic include:

  • Developing a new skill. For example, being confident in social situations or presenting.
  • Improving a sport.
  • Having more money or success in business.
  • Overcoming a health challenge, perhaps by visualizing your body healing.
  • Intimate relationships. Meeting someone new or improving your existing relationship.

So as you can see, the sky is the limit in terms of what you can use this for.

Once you have decided on the goal or outcome for your creative visualization session, set a timer for 5, 10 or 15 minutes.

The 4 Step Creative Visualization Process

This visualization process incorporates two fundamental visualization techniques. These are association and disassociation.  More on these shortly.

Step 1: Relax Body and Mind

When you relax your body and mind, this slows down your brainwaves from the Beta state to the slower Alpha state.  The Beta state is normal waking awareness. People with high levels of anxiety will have a faster brainwave speed towards the top of the Beta range.

The Alpha state is a relaxed, meditative state where your brain can focus more on one idea or concept. In this brainwave state, you can influence your subconscious mind much more powerfully and effectively than in a normal waking state. 

Here are two ways to relax your body and mind

  1. Use my rapid relaxation exercise to relax completely in 6 minutes. You can download this here.
  2. Take a long slow deep breath in, followed by a long slow deep breath out.  Repeat this for 2 to 3 minutes until you feel relaxed, calm and centered.

Step 2: Visualize on a Movie Screen (Disassociated)

This is seeing yourself in the visualization, rather than seeing it through your own eyes.  The technical term for this is disassociated. It’s visualizing yourself in a movie where you are the major character. 

You can imagine being in a cinema and watching yourself on this enormous cinema screen. Or watching yourself on TV from the comfort of your own couch.
Or you could watch a movie of yourself on a computer, tablet or smartphone. Use whatever feels right for you. For this creative visualization exercise, I will use a movie cinema.

Imagine yourself going into a movie cinema. You sit in the seat with the best view of the screen. You see the lights dim, and the movie begins. Visualize a gigantic movie screen. The bigger the better.

On this movie screen, see yourself doing the skill perfectly. See yourself having achieved the goal or outcome. Make it vivid and incredibly detailed. The more detailed the better.

When you first start visualizing, it will be a little hazy, but like any skill, it will get better with practice. Your imagination is like any muscle. It gets better and stronger with practice.

As you see yourself in the movie, notice your facial expression. Notice yourself smiling. Observe how you hold yourself, that confident posture. Then notice other people in your movie.  See them smiling at you. Notice their positive response to what you say and do.  

Now bring in other senses. Listen to what other people are saying to you. However, remember that you are still visualizing disassociated, so see yourself and the other person communicating perfectly on the movie screen.
Perhaps the other person is giving you positive feedback, some brilliant advice or words of appreciation or gratitude.  Notice other sounds. Perhaps there is music.

If you’re visualizing being an amazing presenter, hear the audience cheering, clapping and see them smiling. Then notice how this feels in your body as you watch the movie. I’ll explain this a little more. When you watch a blockbuster movie, you experience a wide variety of emotions.  These could include excitement, suspense, inspiration or sadness. You experience these emotions in your own body in response to the movie.

So notice the feelings and emotions in your body as you watch yourself in your own movie.  Perhaps its excitement, inspiration or motivation. It’s how you feel as you watch yourself.  If you’re still confused, then I promise this will make more sense when you read step 3 below!

Also, visualize the movie as if it’s happening right now. Notice a calendar on the wall with today’s date. Visualize yourself having the skill and already achieving the goal.

Step 3: Visualize Through Your Own Eyes (Associated)

In this step of the creative visualization exercise, you repeat the visualization. However, this time, it’s through your own eyes. The technical term for this is associated.

So instead of watching yourself on a movie, TV, computer, tablet or smartphone screen, you see it through your own eyes.

You can switch from visualizing on a screen to visualizing through your own eyes in two different ways.

The first way is to imagine floating out of your seat and towards the screen. See it getting larger and larger until you float through the screen and become the principal character in your movie and see everything through your own eyes. 

The second way I learned from Jack Canfield. It works best when you visualize being in a movie cinema. You imagine yourself getting out of your seat and walking towards the cinema screen.  Just below the screen is a door.  You open the door and go through it. On the other side of the door, you become the movie and see everything through your own eyes.

So you are now the principal character in your own movie. You are the actor.

Now repeat the visualization and make it vivid and detailed. Visualize yourself performing the skill or activity perfectly through your own eyes. See yourself having achieved your goal or outcome.

Notice other people.  See them smiling at you, admiring you or giving you the thumbs up. Hear them cheering, clapping, congratulating you and giving you positive feedback. This time you’re hearing this through your own ears.

Now add positive self talk. Notice what you think or say to yourself as you achieve this goal or perfect this new skill.  This will add a whole extra dimension to your visualization.

Become aware of the sensation of your best clothes on your body. Notice your relaxed and confident posture. Observe the positive feelings and emotions that you experience. This could be feelings of success, accomplishment, happiness, joy or fulfillment.

Step 4: Multiply and Integrate

The last step of this powerful creative visualization exercise is to multiply and integrate. Now there are a few ways to do this. I’ll cover two of them right now for you.

Both these methods may seem wacky or strange.  That’s okay. Try them out with an open mind and see what happens. Also, what might seem weird or strange to you often makes perfect sense to your subconscious mind

Small Holographic Image

This also comes from Jack Canfield. You start by returning to the movie cinema in your mind and sit back in that same seat that you were in earlier. You then imagine grabbing the movie screen and shrinking it down to the size of a cracker. You put this cracker in your mouth, chew and then swallow it.

Then imagine the little pieces of this cracker in your body. However, each piece is a hologram.  Each piece is your entire visualization movie as a small holographic screen. Imagine these little holographic screens in your stomach, your bloodstream, and feeding every cell in your body. Notice your entire body light up with these little movies, just like a TV shop with 50 TVs all displaying the same channel.

Floating Future

This method comes from Ben Harvey at Authentic Education. You imagine putting this visualization in your shirt or trouser pocket. Then imagine floating out of your body and towards the sky. You look down and see your life as a timeline. 

Notice where the past is and where your future might be.  Then float above this timeline towards your future to the exact time when you want this visualization to happen.

When you get to this future time (or have a sense of it), take the visualization out of your pocket and drop it at that point. Then notice everything between now and this future point automatically change.  Observe all the decisions and actions happening automatically.

Also, as you take this visualization out of your pocket and drop it, imagine it multiplying and filling the entire sky between the present point and this future time.

Then float back down into your body, knowing that you will automatically make the decisions and take the actions to achieve the goal that you’ve been visualizing.

Practical Creative Visualization Exercise Tips

To finish, here are some practical tips to help you master this creative visualization exercise.

First, remember that it takes repetition to impress deeply on your subconscious mind. So you want to visualize regularly, every day for one or two months to get the best results.

Second, it takes practice to master this creative visualization exercise. It’s just like learning a sport, musical instrument or any new skill. The first time you do it, you won’t be very good at it. You’ll find it hard to concentrate, and your visualizations will be hazy and lack detail. As you continue to practice, you’ll get better at it. That’s when the results will become more noticeable for you.

Third, incorporate this creative visualization exercise into a daily morning routine.  This is one or more things that you do as soon as you get out of bed and before doing anything else.  This will ensure that you practice it consistently.

Finally, watch out for cognitive dissonance. This is when part of your brain (often that nagging internal voice) questions whether this will work or whether you deserve the goal you’re visualizing. This is completely normal and quite common.

However, as you visualize consistently each day, you’ll notice cognitive dissonance reduce.

Related Article: 10 Steps to Transform Your Creative Visualization Skills

To Conclude

Now you understand what Creative Visualization is and the benefits of doing it. And you have a powerful 4-step creative visualization exercise at your fingertips.  Enjoy using this exercise and experiencing the powerful benefits of visualizing regularly.

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.

To help you improve your creative visualization skills, I encourage you to download my guided creative visualization MP3 by clicking the button below.

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

Paul

Have you ever wondered which limiting beliefs hold you back?

The ones that prevent you from having the wealth, health, love, and happiness you desire. What is the top list of limiting beliefs that hold most people back?

In this article, I share my top list of limiting beliefs. I’ll cover the 12 most important ones and explain each of them in turn.  I’ll also give you some tips, techniques and strategies to help you change them.

Some of my list of limiting beliefs are core beliefs that apply to almost all areas of life. Others are more specific to health, relationships, or money. But first, I will introduce you to 3 categories of limiting or unhelpful beliefs:

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The 3 Types of Limiting and Unhelpful Beliefs

Before getting into my limiting beliefs list, I want to cover the differences between limiting beliefs and unhelpful beliefs. Limiting beliefs are usually negative. Unhelpful beliefs are often positive or neutral, but can result in negative consequences or get you into trouble.

Both limiting and unhelpful beliefs can be about you, others or the world in general. Here are some examples.

1. Limiting beliefs about you.

These could include:

  • I’m a loser.
  • I’m a failure.
  • I’m not liked or popular.
  • I’m not good enough.
  • I’m not worthy enough.

2. Limiting beliefs about others.

These could include:

  • Other people are untrustworthy.
  • Other people are manipulative.
  • Other people are always against me.

3. Limiting beliefs about the world in general.

These might include:

  • The world is too competitive.
  • Too many terrible things are happening in the world.

As mentioned earlier, believing something positive can sometimes get you into trouble. It depends on whether that positive or neutral belief is helpful or unhelpful.

Here are some examples of positive beliefs that could have unhelpful or negative consequences.

1. Unhelpful beliefs about you.

Positive, but unhelpful beliefs often arise when your level of confidence is higher than your level of competence. 

Imagine you are a new therapist. You’ve just completed your training. You’re excited and super confident that you can help anyone that comes through your door. However, you have very limited experience and your initial training is unlikely to be sufficient to help everyone.

Your high confidence encourages you to use techniques and processes that may not be appropriate for some clients. It might even make things worse!

2. Unhelpful beliefs about other people.

If you believe that everyone is trustworthy and kind, you might get walked over or ripped off. Sadly, there are people that are not trustworthy and kind. So it’s important to accept this and develop beliefs that reflect the reality of life.

3. Unhelpful beliefs about the world. 

This is believing that the world is perfect, that everything is fine and will work out okay. If everyone held this belief, we would ignore the world’s problems and take no action to solve them. I personally believe that this would have devastating consequences!

So, you can see that even positive beliefs can be unhelpful and cause harm. So besides watching out for limiting beliefs, keep a look-out for unhelpful beliefs too.

The Top 12 Limiting Beliefs

I will now share my list of 12 limiting beliefs that hold most people back.

1. It’s hard to change.

I see this all the time in the personal development world. Maybe you know someone that reads loads of self-help books, attends lots of seminars. Someone that is a “seminar junky”, that has invested a small fortune in personal development, but has little or nothing to show for it.  Nothing has changed in their life or about them as a person.

So why is this? It’s because they have a core belief along the lines of “It’s hard to change” or “I can’t change”. Therefore, they take little or no action. They don’t consistently apply what they’ve learned. They get fired up with brilliant ideas, but after that, nothing changes.

Many years ago, I was a member of a Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) group in London. I saw many people there that embodied all the principles, changed as a person, and changed their lives. But I also saw other people that didn’t change. I asked myself, “Why is that?” Well, I now know that it’s because of having a core belief that it’s hard to change.

This limiting belief also manifests itself in business. I reckon it’s the reason people stay in the same career for many years. Or why a business stays static and doesn’t grow. It’s that unconscious core belief that it’s too hard to change.

It also applies to health. Perhaps you know someone that is overweight or has a chronic health condition that’s been going on for years. It’s because they believe they can’t change it or that it’s too hard or painful to change. As a result, the person takes little or no action.

Take Action

What’s the solution? It’s simple! Take lots of action, even if you don’t believe it will help. Things change when you take action! They have to. Sometimes it can take a while, but they will change.

Seeing positive changes from taking action will increase the belief that you can change. You’ll realize it’s easier than you thought. This creates a virtuous circle where you see change happening, which increases your belief and this fuels greater action.

Related Article: How to Change the Four Core Beliefs that Keep you Stuck

2. I don’t have enough …..

This is a very common limiting belief. Here are some examples:

  • I don’t have enough time.
  • I don’t have enough money.
  • I don’t have enough education.
  • I don’t have enough skills.
  • I don’t have enough experience.
  • I don’t have enough friends.
  • I don’t have enough contacts.
  • I don’t have enough connections.

I wonder which of these apply to you?

Let’s delve into the more common ones in greater detail.

I don’t have enough time.

We all have 24 hours in a day. We all have the same amount of time. What do you currently spend your time on? What could you do less of or stop altogether to give you more time for those important life-changing activities?

I don’t have enough money.

Identify how you currently spend money. Where does it go? Are there ways to save money, so you can put it towards something that’s important to you? Sometimes, it can take time to save money, but with strong intention and focus, you can do it.

I don’t have enough education, skills, or experience.

The best way to banish these limiting beliefs is to disprove them! That’s what I did. Back in the year 2000, I changed my career and became an IT Trainer. I decided to apply for IT training jobs for 3 months even though I had no relevant skills or experience. I had some public speaking skills, but nothing in the technology area.

I applied for many jobs. After 6 weeks, I got a marvellous job as an IT trainer in a law firm.  If I hadn’t landed an IT training job within 3 months, then I would have obtained a qualification. However, I didn’t want to invest the time or money in a qualification if I could avoid it!

If you believe that you don’t have enough skills or experience, give yourself 3 months to prove yourself wrong. Only after that time, invest in gaining qualifications or additional skills and experience. You could save yourself unnecessary time and expense.

Also look for success stories. People that achieved what you desire and didn’t have the skills you believe are necessary. Look for contrary evidence. This is evidence that goes against your limiting belief and disproves it. This is an excellent way to deal with any limiting belief.

3. I am not ….. enough.

The next one on my list of limiting beliefs is similar to the previous one. However, it’s not about the lack of external things like time, money or qualifications. Instead, it’s more about a lack of internal qualities or personality traits.

Here are some examples.

  • I am not good enough.
  • I am not smart enough.
  • I am not intelligent enough.

A great question to ask is “How do I know?” This is a tough question to answer because, in reality, you don’t know. You don’t know that you’re not good enough, smart enough, or intelligent enough.

Think about the qualities you have. Maybe you are highly motivated, great with people or a deep thinker. Ask yourself, “What skills or qualities do I have that are important for achieving success?” This is a superb way to knock out this limiting belief.

4. I am not worth it.

This limiting belief causes issues in many areas of life. It makes it harder to ask for a pay rise or charge what you feel your services are worth.  It’s behind feeling unworthy of love or to a particular person. This can negatively influence your love life.

It can lead to not being assertive. Not asking for what you want or need in life. It can cause you to procrastinate and not take action. You might avoid dating or asking for a pay rise. So, taking action is a super way to smash this limiting belief! 

Another brilliant way is to write down all your strengths and the things you’re good at. Focus on what you can give to others. Remember that everyone has unique skills, qualities, and personality traits that are valuable to other people.

With this limiting belief, go back to childhood, and identify where it came from. Sometimes it comes from a childhood experience. Once you know what that is, you can reframe it and that can help you overcome this limiting belief.

5. There is never enough money.

I included this on my list of limiting beliefs as it applied to me for many years. When I was a child, my parents were both teachers. They didn’t have a lot of money and their bank account was always a little overdrawn by the end of the month. They would do extra teaching in the evenings to bring in more money.

As a child, I formed a belief that there was never enough money to go around. That continued into my student days. The first couple of years in employment were a little better. However, I was still inexperienced and on a low salary.

Many aspects of life (especially when you’re younger) can easily support a limiting belief that there’s never enough money. However, when you hold this belief, you’re unlikely to do anything to change it.

Instead, you’ll keep doing what you’re doing. You might earn more money by getting a promotion, but that’s not guaranteed. And often comes with longer hours.

Instead, be creative and look for alternative and proactive ways to become more valuable and earn more money. It comes down to mindset.

In reality, there is an abundance of money. It’s just wrongly distributed. I have some very wealthy hypnotherapy clients. I could charge them double and they would happily pay. So it’s about getting a slice of the money that they already have.

Think about how you can offer more value. Embrace the belief that there is enough money to go round. When you do that, you’ll notice different opportunities and ways to make money.

6. I will never find love.

On my list of limiting beliefs, this one was very strong in my 20s. For women, I came across as Mr. Nice Guy and was put in the “friend zone.” I found it very difficult to find a romantic partner. This is one reason I got into personal development. I wanted to improve my social confidence and be more comfortable on dates. I believed there were strategies that other people used to get the results I desired. I wanted to learn and apply these, so I could meet the right person.

The reality is that there is someone, in fact, many people, that will love you. It’s a case of becoming a better version of yourself, taking action, going on dates, and enjoying the journey. Also, letting go of feelings of frustration or desperation is also helpful. These were the things I did that helped me find my perfect partner.

7. All the good ones are taken or gay.

I have heard this one so many times, especially from women. Challenge this limiting belief by asking “How do I know that?” You’ll find this question very difficult to answer. In reality, especially if you live in a larger town or city, there are new people becoming available all the time. They either move into the area, or separate from existing relationships.

This limiting belief is an excuse to not take action. If you believe that all the good ones are taken or that no one is available, then you’re unlikely to even look for dates! It seems pointless.

The solution is to take action! Prove that this limiting belief is wrong for you. Do you see a common theme appearing here?  Taking action is key to smashing many of these top limiting beliefs.

8. It’s difficult to make money doing something you love.

This can be true to a point. It often requires a lot of hard work over an extended period to make a good income doing what you love. But it’s definitely achievable. I’ll give you a few examples to expand your awareness of what is possible.

Examples of people doing what they love

A few years ago, my wife and I traveled to Darwin, the top end of Australia. We both love wildlife and wanted to go on a birding safari with a local birding expert. Someone that could find the unusual birds that would be virtually impossible for us to find ourselves in the brief time we had there. He charged $200 per person, so $400 for both of us. That’s good money for a day doing what you love. He had the expertise, provided incredible value, and we were willing to pay for that. It was worth every cent!

A train enthusiast in the UK created a website that helps people plan rail journeys around the world. He goes into incredible detail, including the exact seat number to get the best view of the scenery.  On many trains, the seats don’t always line up with the windows, so this is very useful to know. He makes good money through sponsorships, advertising and perhaps some affiliate commissions when people book via his recommended websites.  To check him out, go to seat61.com.

In Australia, a person who loves bushwalking, hiking and nature created a website that provides details of hundreds of different bush walks and hikes. His directions are very thorough with maps that you can print out and take with you. He also has a mobile app that you can download to find walks on the go. He makes money through sponsorship from local outdoor and hiking shops, from people purchasing the mobile app and from advertising. To see what he does, go to wildwalks.com

It’s not all good though

Even when you make good money doing something you love, there will be parts of your job or business that you don’t enjoy. If you’re a therapist, you may not enjoy marketing your services or writing up session notes. If you’re an actor, you may need to do commercials (which pay a lot better) to pay the bills and allow you to do other acting work that you love. Or accounting and bookkeeping which no one enjoys doing, except perhaps accountants! Sometimes it’s necessary to do a few things that you don’t enjoy, even when you do what you love for a living.

You want to be flexible and creative, but it’s certainly possible to make a good income doing something you love.

9. Making money is hard.

This is important on my list of limiting beliefs. It’s similar to “There is never enough money”, that I mentioned earlier and often comes from our childhood too. If your parents worked hard and long hours to make ends meet, it can reinforce the belief that making money is hard. Then in your 20s when you start working, you naturally take on the belief that making money is hard.

As a student, you won’t have much money. When you find a job, your wage will be low because you lack experience. You probably have student debt too. You may be in your early 30s before things change.

Perhaps some of your friends have become lawyers or doctors and are working incredibly long hours. It seems like everything in our culture and environment supports the belief that making money is hard.

Whilst working hard plays a part, working smart and doing the right things is more important. So how do you do that?

Understand the difference between passive and active income.

Active income is spending time to earn money. That’s an income from a typical job or a business. You put a certain amount of time in, and you get a certain amount of money back.

How do you make more money? You increase your value by getting promoted or by providing a higher quality service that allows you to charge more. The more value you provide, the more you can charge. There may still be an upper limit to what you can charge because of what people will pay.

Passive income is not directly dependent on your time. Examples include rental income from properties or income from investments. Many online businesses generate passive income because the internet is doing a lot of the work for you. 

With all these passive income examples, there is still time invested in setting these up.  However, the key difference is that you can take a break and the money will continue to come in.

I encourage you to find wealthy people that don’t work very hard. They definitely exist. I know some of them! Look out for contrary evidence. It’s out there! You just need to look for it.

Related Article: Wealth Mindset | The 8 Factors That Predict How Wealthy You Will Be

10. I have little or no control over my health.

There is overwhelming evidence that what you eat, how much you exercise, the quantity and quality of your sleep, and how well you deal with stress can have a dramatic effect on your health. Most chronic diseases can be avoided by focusing on these 4 aspects of your health.

One reason people believe they have no control is because health changes take time. It takes several months of eating healthily and exercising regularly to notice the benefits. However, many people are inconsistent or they give up too soon, before they see any noticeable or meaningful results.

Related Article: 12 Great Ways to Improve Your Health and Reduce the Risks of Getting Chronic Diseases

11. I am addicted to …..

Examples of this limiting belief include being addicted to a certain food, drink, drug or even a person.

Behind this limiting belief is the idea that you need a certain external thing to cope with stress, life’s problems, or pain. In reality, you are rarely addicted to something. Let me give you an example.

Let’s say you’re on a 12 hour flight. You’re a smoker and believe you are addicted to cigarettes. However, you know that you can’t smoke on a plane, so you don’t think about it. You forget about it. Once 12 hours has gone past, and the plane is about to land, you may think about having a smoke.

Let’s say that next to you is a heroin addict. Would that heroin addict be able to think about not having their heroin fix for 12 hours? Highly unlikely. Or what about someone with Type 1 Diabetes? Would they be able to think about not having their insulin injection for 12 hours? Probably not. These are real addictions. In most other cases, it’s just a habit that you believe is an addiction.

I also encourage you to remove your sense of identity from the habit. When you say things like, “I am an emotional eater”, or “I am an alcoholic”, you make the habit part of your identity.

Think about all the other significant things that you are. Maybe you’re a great parent, salesperson, accountant, friend, or spouse. When you notice your other identities, this habit will be a far smaller part of who you really are.

Related Article: How to Overcome Any Addiction

12. Only after I have ….. I’ll be happy. 

This is the last one of my list of limiting beliefs. It can include things like:

  • Only after I have found my soul mate, I will be happy.
  • Only after I get promoted, I will be happy.
  • Only after I earn a 6-figure salary, I will be happy.

The problem with this limiting belief is it prevents you from being happy right now. Remember that happiness is ultimately a feeling. Of course, finding your soul mate or earning a 6-figure salary will make you happy. However, if it becomes familiar and you take it for granted, your level of happiness will reduce over time.

This is called the Law of Familiarity. When you experience anything for enough time, it becomes familiar. You take it for granted and you appreciate it less.

So to be happy, focus on the good in your life, and don’t compare yourself with other people. Be grateful for what you already have and enjoy the small things in your relationship and in life too. Also, develop healthy habits. Eat well, exercise regularly, and get plenty of sleep. Your body will appreciate you for that. You’ll feel better, have more energy and be naturally happier.

To Conclude

This was my list of 12 limiting beliefs that prevent you from living a happy and successful life. I hope you related to my examples and feel empowered to take action to smash the limiting beliefs that are holding you back.

Choose a limiting belief that is keeping you stuck, challenge it, change the meaning of it and take action to disprove it.  You’ll be glad you did!

Finally, I encourage you to read my related article on how to permanently change your limiting beliefs.

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

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

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

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

Paul

Questions are powerful.  When you give your mind a question, it will always try to answer it.  We do this all the time with questions like “why is it always my fault?” or “why do I never have enough money?”.  The problem is that these questions are often negative, so the answers are negative too.  The solution is to use Lofty Questions.

I first came across the concept of lofty questions after watching a Mindvalley seminar featuring Christie Marie Sheldon and Vishen Lakhiani.

In this article, I’ll cover the benefits of Lofty questions, how they work and the 4 keys to creating powerful lofty questions. I’ll then share with you 18 fantastic lofty questions to help you change your life for the better.

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What are Lofty Questions?

Lofty questions are positively phrased questions that encourage helpful answers, insights or solutions. Lofty questions are posed by you and are answered by you.

And an example of a lofty question is, “why am I always happy and positive?”

Your brain loves to answer questions. Give it a good question and you’ll get a wonderful answer. Give your brain a poor question and you’ll get an answer that keeps you stuck.

Benefits of Lofty Questions

Lofty questions encourage your subconscious mind to make a positive identity shift. They help you get out of stuck emotional states and manifest more effectively with the Law of Attraction.

They allow your subconscious mind and the universe to find creative answers to the question posed. They encourage intuition, insight, and a shift in focus. This leads to more positive life experiences.

They help you take action, solve problems and create a higher vibratory frequency. Lofty questions encourage you to discover new and exciting possibilities. They help change your meaning and perspective on certain life situations and replace unhelpful negative questions such as:

  • Why am I always broke?
  • Why am I so unlucky?
  • Why does this always happen to me?
  • Why is life so hard
  • Why do I seem to be unable to live the life of my dreams?

The answers to your lofty questions will give you a roadmap and a way out.  The answers will show, help and guide you towards living the life of your dreams.

How the Subconscious Mind Works

To understand how the subconscious mind works, and why questions are so effective, I encourage you to do this exercise right now.

Imagine a pink elephant in your room. Notice where it is, how big it is, how cute it looks. Is the pink elephant smiling at you?  

Now don’t think about the pink elephant in the room. I really want you to not imagine that pink elephant in your room. Don’t notice how big it is, where it’s located or whether it’s smiling at you.

Could you do that? – It’s pretty tough right?

When I asked you to not think about the pink elephant, your brain had to think about and imagine the pink elephant first.  It has to think about it in order to not think about it.  Or to put it another way, your subconscious mind cannot understand negative words such as “don’t” or “not”.

When you think or say “I’m not anxious”, your subconscious mind has to think, feel and imagine being anxious first. 

What about “I’m not scared”?  Again, your subconscious mind will think about being scared or imagine a scary situation first.  This all happens incredibly fast. In less than 1 second.

This works with positive phrases too.  When you think or say “I am relaxed”, your brain thinks about the word relaxed and the feelings associated with this word.  It may imagine a relaxing situation. 

The same principle applies to any positive statement or affirmation such as “I have courage” or “I am peaceful”

When you feed your mind with positive phrases and positive lofty questions, your subconscious mind will give you empowering answers because that’s what your mind is focussing on. To get this at a deeper level, read my article on why you get what you focus on.

The 4 Keys to Powerful Lofty Questions

I will now cover the 4 keys to creating and using powerful lofty questions.

1. Phrase Question in the Positive

The first key is to phrase the question in the positive. As you now know from the pink elephant example, the subconscious mind cannot deal with a negative question or idea.

So, “Why am I always peaceful and relaxed?”, rather than “Why am I always anxious?”

2. Start with the word “Why?”

Starting with the word “Why” turns your statement or affirmation into a question. This tricks your subconscious mind and reduces cognitive dissonance. This is the internal voice in your head that questions or challenges new positive ideas. 

The affirmation “I am always peaceful and relaxed” may be challenged with an internal voice that says things like “Oh no you’re not” or “you can never be peaceful and relaxed”, or “the last time you were peaceful and relaxed this happened”

Turning it into a question that starts with the word “Why” tricks this internal voice into submission.  It shuts this voice up or reduces its intensity.

3. Include the word “always” or “at all times”

Using the words “always” or “at all times” tells your subconscious mind that you want this consistently and forever more.  It’s something that becomes part of you.  This kicks your Reticular Activating System into action.

This is the part of your brain that notices people, places, and situations that can help you. It identifies opportunities and resources that match the lofty question.

4. Relaxed Meditative State

Before asking lofty questions, get into a nice, relaxed and meditative state. If you’re new to this, use my rapid relaxation exercise to guide you.  Otherwise, any relaxation or meditation technique that you are familiar with can be used.

18 Powerful Lofty Questions

I will now share 18 great lofty questions with you. I’ve categorized these into a few different areas.

Lofty Questions about You

These lofty questions are about you.

  • Why am I surrounded by joy and happiness at all times?
  • Why am I always able to learn positively from any experience?

The phrase “any experience” includes any difficult or challenging situations that you might be going through right now.

  • Why is my life always so amazing that it exceeds all my expectations?
  • Why am I always the person that amazes the world?

You could make this more specific by changing it to “amazes my partner”, “amazes my boss” or “amazes my clients”.

  • Why do I always use what is happening in my life to become a better person?

What I love about this question is how it helps you identify the positive benefits from negative situations that may have occurred in your life.

  • Why do I always do the right thing for my mind, body, spirit, and relationships?

Lofty Questions about Relationships

Here are 3 lofty questions to help you with relationships.

  • Why am I always surrounded by love and incredible people that I feel a deep bond with?
  • Why am I always surrounded by people that love, support and respect me at all times?

If you’re single:

  • Why am I always so good at attracting the perfect person for me?

Lofty Questions for Money and Abundance

Here are 2 lofty questions for money and abundance.

  • Why do I always have more than enough money to pay my bills, save for the future, and have some leftover for fun activities?

A shorter lofty question could be

  • Why am I always so good at making, keeping and multiplying money?

Lofty Question for Productivity

A great lofty question for productivity is:

  • Why am I always able to do so much during the day?

Lofty Question for Health

Here is a powerful, lofty question for health.

  • Why am I always so good at looking after my health and knowing exactly what my body needs from me?

Lofty Questions for Achieving Goals

Here are 2 lofty questions to help with goal achievement.

  • Why do my goals and dreams always come to me so quickly, easily and effortlessly?
  • Why do I always take effective action to achieve the life of my dreams?

This question can help guide you to live the life of your dreams. It also counteracts the common negative question that is “why can’t I live the life of my dreams?”

Lofty Questions for Guidance

Finally, here are 3 fantastic lofty questions to help you with guidance.

  • Why am I always so brilliant, so clever, and so able to develop creative ideas through my intuition or through something greater than myself?
  • Why does the universe always guide and look after me?
  • Why does the universe always give me more than enough health, vitality, and energy to reach my goals?

To Conclude

These are my 18 powerful lofty questions. Did your emotional state change just by reading these questions? It certainly did for me.

So I encourage you to ask these lofty questions regularly. Use the most relevant to you right now.  Feel free to change them. The best questions are the ones unique to you. Just remember the 4 keys to creating lofty questions. To recap, these are:

  • Keep them positive
  • Start with the word “Why”
  • Include “always” or “at all times”
  • Be in a relaxed, meditative state when you ask these lofty questions

I hope you enjoyed learning about lofty questions. Take the time now to create your own empowering questions. Then use your lofty questions regularly and consistently.  The results will surprise you!

To dive deeper into Lofty Questions and learn directly from Christie Marie Sheldon, I encourage you to check out the two links below.

Heal your Past and Clear Your Blocks Mindvalley Masterclass

Christie’s Lofty Questions video on YouTube

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

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

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

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

Paul

For most people, a perfect life is a balanced life.  It’s when you satisfy your wants and needs in all areas of life.  In this article, I will cover the 8 key areas of life. This will provide a foundation to help you design your perfect life.

You will learn why it’s important to set goals in each area of life and what could happen if you don’t!  I’ll then cover each of these 8 life areas in detail. I’ll also give you some ideas and suggestions to help you improve each of these areas of life.

I also score myself for each of these 8 life areas. You might find my scores interesting and revealing! I encourage you to score yourself too.  This is an important first step to creating a balanced life.  A life where you feel happy and fulfilled.

I’m a big believer that you’re either improving or going backwards in all the major areas of life. You never really stand still.

Also, you will be happier when you’re intentionally focussing and working on all the key areas of your life. It helps you put yourself first rather than other people. It ensures that one area of your life such as your career does not take over.

These 8 areas of life work best for me. However, you can change these slightly, to fit in with your culture or values.

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Career or Business

So the first area of life is career or business. You will probably work in a career or business for 40 or more hours a week. So you want to make sure it’s something that is fulfilling, enjoyable, and that challenges or stretches you.  You want a career or business that meets your values, interests you and helps you become a better person.

Ideally you want to have a great company culture, wonderful people to work with that may become your friends too. This includes a supportive and understanding manager that stretches and challenges you.

I’ve had jobs in the past that have not been enjoyable. Jobs where I struggled to relate to my work colleagues. For me, this negatively influenced my friendships, intimate relationship and my mindset when I wasn’t at work. So when your job or career does not meet your needs, it can affect other areas of your life too.

If you’re running a business, you want to ensure that the business is growing and improving and that you’re getting better at being the business owner and entrepreneur.

Regularly check key metrics to ensure that you are on the right track and that your business is growing in the way you want it to. You want to have a great reputation and feel proud of what you do.

My Score: 8

I put a lot of time, energy and focus into my career and business. However, I value other aspects of my life and make time for them as you’re about to find out.

Health & Fitness

I believe that health and fitness are significantly different, so I’ve split this area of life into 2 sub-areas.  You can look very fit on the outside but have poor health. Or you can be healthy on the inside, without being strong, flexible and in great shape.

Health

Health is about what you eat, drink, the quality of your sleep and how you deal with stress.

Do you have any destructive habits in this area? Perhaps it’s comfort eating, or drinking too much alcohol.

When destructive health habits go unchecked, they gradually affect your health in subtle but very predictable ways. The effect of a poor diet on your health over a 10 or 20-year period is very certain and predictable.  Chronic health conditions such as heart disease and diabetes are very likely to happen when you have poor health habits that continue for years. Anything you do (or don’t do) consistently will have predictable results on your health. 

Long-term continuous and prolonged stress can dramatically affect your health. Your body is very well equipped to deal with short-term stress, through the fight-or-flight response.  However, when this stress continues unchecked, this can put your health at risk.  For some great ways to reduce stress, I encourage you to read this article.

Fitness

This falls into three categories.  First, cardiovascular fitness, which increases your energy. It’s good for your heart, circulation and it forces you to breathe fully. Second, strength or weight training to help you become a stronger person.  Finally, stretching, yoga or pilates to increase your range of movement and become more flexible. 

My Score: 6

My diet is pretty good. I eat mainly whole foods. I drink some alcohol, but not much. I normally get 8 hours of good quality sleep most nights.  Fitness is more challenging for me.  My cardiovascular fitness is good as I walk a lot. However, I struggle with strength training and flexibility.

Partner or Intimate Relationships

If you’re single, this is about getting a partner. If you’re in a relationship, this is about keeping your partner. So let’s start with finding a partner.

Finding a Partner

This isn’t completely within your control. However, there are lots of things you can do to increase your chances of finding the right person. Start by knowing what you want in a partner. What would your ideal partner look like? What would their values be? What mental, emotional and spiritual qualities would this person have? Write this all down and visualize it regularly. I did this in my twenties, and it really worked for me!

Then take action. Go on dates, join clubs, go to places where your ideal person might hang out. Use internet dating. Practice talking to new people daily. The more people you meet, the sooner you’ll find the right person for you.

Keeping Your Partner

If you’re in a relationship and you want to keep your partner, then prioritize quality time together. This could be a weekly date night, or a weekend away once a month.

Remember the romantic things you did when you first met and start doing these again. Buy flowers, surprise presents or treats.

Communication is super important in a relationship and you can always improve the way you communicate. Ensure that you’re always communicating as effectively as you can.

Dream together. Think about your future life together and how you would like that to be. Be grateful and never take your relationship for granted. Appreciate the little things your partner says and does. Say “I love you” regularly and enjoy being with your partner right now.

If you feel that your relationship is going backwards, then this great quote will help you get back on track. It is, “if you were to treat this person as if it was the beginning of the relationship, then there would be no end”.

My Score: 7

Hopefully, my wife agrees!

Money and Wealth

One of the fundamental reasons relationships end is a lack of money and the stress that comes from financial difficulties. So you can see how one area of life can influence another. Being in debt is hugely stressful, and that can negatively impact your relationship and your health.

To improve your financial situation, you want to earn more, spend less or do both! Personally, I find it easier to spend less money than make more money.  I think that’s the case for most people.

Budgeting

To get ahead financially, you want your living costs to be around 60% of your total income after tax. This leaves you with 10% for guilt free spending (for example nights out, restaurants and other treats) and 10% towards longer term purchases (for example vacations, a new TV or new furniture).

You save the final 20% for unexpected financial costs and for investing.  Unexpected financial costs include losing your job, serious illness, going through a divorce, a recession or a coronavirus health pandemic. Did you see that one coming?  These are all things that are unexpected and difficult to predict.

I cover these budgeting concepts in greater detail in my article on how to spend less than you earn.

Wealth

This is having an income stream that comes in regardless of whether or not you are working. This includes interest from savings, dividends from shares or rental income from an investment property. It could also be income from an online business where you’re selling physical or digital products on the internet.

Related Article : The Difference Between Rich and Wealthy People

My Score: 4

I am debt-free. However, my income is relatively low, and that’s a lifestyle decision. I’m reducing my expenses. I also believe that I have a good roadmap in place to improve my financial situation in the future.

Personal and Spiritual Development

Like health and fitness, I’ve broken this area of life into multiple sub-areas.

Personal Development

As you know, personal development helps you become a better person and be more effective and successful. You can do this by meditating, journaling, using creative visualization, repeating affirmations, reminding yourself of your goals, reading, learning and many other methods or techniques.

This also includes investing in courses and seminars that give you fresh information, insights and inspiration to better your life.

It’s essential that you apply what you learn consistently.  One of the best ways to do this is to have an empowering daily morning routine.  Before you do anything else, dedicate 15 mins, 30 mins or even 1 hour to your personal development.  You’ll feel so much better for it and your day will be much more productive and fulfilling.

Spiritual Development

This could include prayer, meditation, keeping a gratitude journal and expressing gratitude.  It’s about connecting to a higher power in whatever way that works for you.  This will depend on your religious or spiritual beliefs, so do what is right for you.

Community Activities and Volunteering

You may wish to include any community or volunteering activities in this area of life.  These activities often help you become a better person and increase your sense of connection with humanity.

My Score: 6

I learn and research personal development topics to share with you or to help my hypnotherapy clients. When I come across fresh approaches, I try them out on myself first. 

However, I don’t have a consistent personal development or spiritual practice at the moment. This is primarily due to my focus on helping others, growing my business and being in a good place mentally and emotionally right now.

Family, Friends and Social

I’ve also broken down this area of life into multiple sub-areas.

Family

Most important is your immediate family such as your parents, siblings and any sons or daughters. This is about spending time with them, resolving any conflicts and improving your relationship and connection with them.

However, you can also include uncles, aunts, grandparents, nephews, nieces and other extended family members here too.

Friends

For me, this is about connecting and reconnecting with good friends and spending quality time with them. I do this by having a weekly friend ritual. Once a week I spend an evening with a good friend that I haven’t seen for a while and we share experiences about life and catch up.

If some of your friends are a long way away, then why not meet up via Skype or Zoom? You can still share experiences and have a drink together. You’re just doing it virtually!

This might also be about making new friends by joining clubs and going on activities where you can meet like-minded people.  Personal development seminars can be great for this!

Social

This is connecting with groups of people, such as your work colleagues, school or college friends. It could also be social or activity groups.  I highly recommend going to meetup.com and finding groups in your local area. It’s free. 

When I first moved to Sydney, Australia 10 years ago, meetup.com was the way I met most of my friends. There are hundreds of meetup groups covering a wide variety of common interests.

My score: 5

Whilst I’ve been busy developing Self Help for Life and my hypnotherapy business, meeting up with friends has been on the back-burner for a while.  However, I’m redressing this now through my one-on-one friend ritual.

Recreation and Hobbies

These are the fun things that make you happy and help you relax.

Recreation

For me, this is day trips, weekends away and longer holidays or vacations. It’s experiencing other countries, cultures, seeing unique wildlife or tasting different foods.

When I was a child, my parents always took us into the country for a few hours each weekend.  It was lovely to go hiking and get some fresh air.

None of my other friends at school did this.  They were stuck at home whilst their parents were doing chores. I’m lucky that my parents valued the importance of recreation.

Hobbies

Hobbies could include playing or watching different sports, going kayaking, sailing or playing golf. You could play a musical instrument or listen to music. Perhaps for you it’s art or crafts, or playing computer games.

Whatever it is for you, take some time to cultivate a hobby.

My Score: 7

My major hobby is walking. I love walking in nature and make time to do that. Also weekends away, holidays and vacations. I also love music and use my Sony noise-canceling headphones to listen to music whilst walking and on public transport.

Home, Environment and Things

Home

Home is about the place you live in. Is it large enough, well designed, comfortable and peaceful? Do you like the color scheme and the overall feel of your home?  This area of life would include doing any home renovations.

Environment

This is the area you live in. Is it a safe area where you feel comfortable walking the streets? This would also include access to shops, cafes and public transport if this is important to you.

It also includes the weather. Is it a hot or cold area? Do you get lots of sunshine or many gray, cloudy or wet days? 

People that live in the far north (for example, in Scandinavia) often suffer from S.A.D. This stands for seasonal affective disorder and is common in the winter months when daylight hours are typically 6 hours or fewer. This can have a major effect on the mental health of people in these areas.

So do winters affect you? Do you feel down and depressed in the winter? If so, consider the influence of S.A.D.

What is the air quality like where you live? Is the air clean and fresh or polluted?

Environmental influences often take time to change.  However, consider these when you next move house or decide on a new town, city or country to live in.

Things

This is buying things that are not related to a hobby. For example, a new car, TV, computer, smart phone, or other gadget. This would also include clothes.

My Score: 8

We live in a very safe and beautiful part of Sydney in Australia.  We have views of Sydney Harbour from my apartment and it’s very safe to walk alone at night.

However, this wasn’t always the case.  Just over 10 years ago, we lived in London. The crowds, packed public transport, icy winters with short daylight hours bothered us, so we hatched up a plan to move to Australia. It was a massive undertaking, but we will never look back.  It took a lot of time and commitment to make it happen, but we did it!

In Conclusion

Now you know the 8 major areas of life.  Awareness is the first step to change, so I encourage you to score yourself for each of the 8 areas.  Discover the areas that are strong for you and the ones that require more attention. 

Some areas will be more important to you than others. That’s okay.  The most important thing is that you strive to live a life that makes you happy and fulfilled right now, but also in the longer term too.  Regularly checking in and scoring each area of your life will help you do that.

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

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

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

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

Paul

Last year a few people came to me for hypnotherapy to help them reduce unwanted or intrusive thoughts. So I thought this would be an interesting topic to write about.

In this article, I will explain what unwanted thoughts are and who gets them. I will also cover the different unwanted thoughts that many people experience and 10 highly effective ways to help you get rid of unwanted and intrusive thoughts.

You can learn to control your thoughts. You are in the driving seat! Unwanted or intrusive thoughts no longer need to be a part of who you are. Let me help you get rid of unwanted thoughts today!

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What Are Unwanted Thoughts?

Unwanted thoughts are any thoughts that are not helpful. These are typically negative thoughts. These thoughts lead to some kind of uncomfortable or bad feeling. For example:

  • I can’t do it.
  • This is too hard.
  • People don’t like me.

Unwanted thoughts can also be about other people. When you have an argument with a friend, a colleague, or a loved one, and keep thinking and ruminating about it in your mind later, that’s an example of an unwanted thought.

These could also be naughty thoughts or dangerous thoughts about harming others, or doing something that is socially unacceptable.

Who Gets Unwanted or Intrusive Thoughts?

Everyone! I get them, and probably you do too. It’s a part of the human condition. Knowing that everyone has them can make you feel better right away because you realize that there’s not something wrong with you. However, it is useful to know how to deal with unwanted thoughts, minimize them and where possible, get rid of them.

The 10 Ways to Get Rid of Unwanted Thoughts

I’ll now cover 10 of the best ways to help you get rid of unwanted and intrusive thoughts. These methods are very powerful, especially when you apply them consistently.

1. Realize that you can’t directly control your thoughts

Thinking is spontaneous. It’s the subconscious mind expressing itself consciously. You can’t easily choose or control the thoughts that come into your mind.

Imagine you’re in a park and you’re sitting on a park bench. It’s a busy park and many people are passing by. Most of them seem pleasant and nice, but one odd person looks unsavory. As they pass by, you feel uncomfortable but you don’t try to push them away. You just let them pass. 

When we have a thought we don’t like, we try to push it away. It’s like trying to push this undesirable person away from our park bench. And that just makes things worse.

According to researchers, the average person has around 60,000 thoughts a day. That means we are already ignoring the vast number of thoughts that come to our mind. You can choose the thoughts you will pay attention to and react to. You can also decide which thoughts to ignore or let go.

2. Don’t resist the thought or push it away.

When you have a thought that makes you feel bad, there’s a natural tendency to resist it. You probably know the saying “What you resist, persists”. This certainly applies to thoughts. The more you resist a thought, the more your brain engages in it, and the more thought power it requires.

Instead, let that unwanted thought come and go. Experience unwanted thoughts as clouds in the sky and calmly watch them go. Allow them in and let them move on. All thoughts naturally come and go. They never stay in our consciousness for long.

3. Write unwanted or intrusive thoughts on a piece of paper.

When you write these thoughts down, your unconscious mind sees it as more permanent. This helps your brain to stop thinking about it. Writing out unwanted thoughts helps you acknowledge and accept them. Your brain concludes that it no longer needs to dwell on them.

Do this when unwanted or intrusive thoughts prevent you from sleeping. Write them all down on a piece of paper. You’ll find that your brain will let go of them and you’ll get a better night’s sleep.

4. Don’t judge the thought.

The unwanted or intrusive thought is not the problem. It’s paying attention to it and judging it that causes the thought to affect you. Judging is deciding whether the thought is right or wrong. Or if it’s about something you want or don’t want. It’s not the thought that creates an issue, but the positive or negative meaning that you give to it.

Stop judging and paying attention to the thought and let it go. Remember, a thought is just a thought, nothing more. It’s just an idea. When you notice yourself judging thoughts, repeat to yourself “It’s just a thought”.

5. Have the unwanted or intrusive thought intentionally.

An unwanted thought usually leads to an uncomfortable feeling. Over time, you notice greater anxiety or fear around this uncomfortable feeling and the unwanted thought behind it. So you naturally want to resist this, but as you now know, what you resist, persists.

Consciously thinking the unwanted thought enables you to deal with the fear and anxiety head-on!  

Also, when you think this thought consciously for a few seconds, it will naturally drift away. It’s very hard to focus on anything for 15 seconds or more without your mind wondering.

By doing this, you’re teaching your brain that it can switch intrusive thoughts on and off by choice. This is a great way to control and get rid of unwanted thoughts.

6. Change the thought.

Change the unwanted negative thought to the opposite positive or to a completely different and unrelated thought.

To help with this, create some affirmations in advance that you can rattle off without thinking. Whenever you have an unwanted thought, start repeating positive affirmations. This will help you to think differently.

7. You are not your thoughts.

It is so important to realize and understand that you are not your thoughts! You are the person behind them. You are the observer of your thoughts. You can question and challenge them. To understand this at a deeper level, read my article on how to tame your negative internal voice.

Also know that behavior never lies. What you do is much more important than what you think. I’ll give you an example. Last year I was attending a hypnotherapy workshop by Sheila Granger. She is a bubbly, positive, lively person, and I was surprised when she mentioned that 80% of her thoughts were negative. However, she knows how to keep these thoughts at bay and act positively in spite of them.

I reckon this is the same for most people.  As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, everyone has negative and unwanted thoughts, even the most successful and positive people in the world.  It’s our brains way of protecting us from danger, and psychologists call this “negativity bias”.

So to overcome this, act confidently, positively and intentionally even when you have unwanted or intrusive thoughts.  Often your thoughts will change when you act differently.

Another thing that can help you realize you’re not your thoughts is practicing mindfulness. Being in the present and noticing what’s around you can help you feel more like being the observer behind your thoughts.

8. Meditation.

Meditation is a great way to reduce the number of thoughts, but it takes some time to get good at it. Practicing meditation helps you realize that you are the observer and allows you to notice your thoughts and let them pass by naturally.

It also helps you choose your thoughts. Most forms of meditation will encourage you to focus on something specific. This could be an object in the room, your breath or a certain word or phrase which is known as a mantra.

When you notice your mind wandering off (and it will often), you consciously and gently return to the focus of the meditation (the object, breath or mantra).

The act of spotting the thoughts that arise when your mind has wondered off and then bringing your mind back to the present (and the focus of the meditation) can be very beneficial.

The more you meditate, the more you will be able to get rid of those unwanted and intrusive thoughts when you notice them.

9. CBT Thought Record Technique

CBT stands for Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy. It’s a very common psychotherapy approach. The idea behind it is that situations create thoughts, thoughts create emotions, and emotions lead you to doing or not doing things.

So the solution is to identify an alternative positive thought to replace the unwanted thought. This then leads to more positive feelings and behaviors.

Here is how to do it. Take a sheet of paper and create a table with 5 columns. The first column is the situation. The second column is your thoughts about the situation. The third column is the emotions that come from the situation and your thoughts about it. The fourth column is your behaviors (in response to the situation and your thoughts and feelings about it), and the last column is to identify alternative positive thoughts.

SituationThoughtsEmotionsBehaviorsAlternative Positive Thoughts
The situation itselfYour thoughts about the situationYour emotions that come from the situation and the thoughts about itYour behavior in response to the situation and your thoughts and feelings about it.Alternative positive thoughts that challenge, change or reframe your perception of the situation. This then fuels positive emotions and positive behaviors

Let me give you a couple of examples of how this works.

Example 1: Fear of Injections

Situation: Back in the year 2000 when I first met my wife, she wanted to go on holiday to Malaysia to join her Australian friends there. I was keen to go, but I had not had a vaccination or injection since I was a child. I hated the idea of having an injection.

Thoughts: I was thinking that injections were painful and uncomfortable.

Emotions: Thoughts about injections gave me a feeling of fear and anxiety.

Behavior: Only going to places in the world that didn’t require vaccinations.

Alternative thoughts: I really want to go to Malaysia and meet these lovely people from Australia that my wife has been telling me all about. I also want to experience different parts of the world.  I can be brave, have the vaccinations and then be free to travel to these places.

Changing the thoughts to being brave, free to travel and focusing more on the benefits of going on this holiday reduced my anxiety feelings. The result?  Having the vaccinations and an amazing holiday that I will always remember fondly!

Example 2: Fear of Public Speaking

Situation: Public speaking.

Thoughts: I’m not a very good public speaker. I’m afraid that I will mess up my words. I’m afraid that I don’t have the knowledge to deliver this presentation, and people might laugh at me or look bored.

Emotions: Anxiety and fear of rejection.

Behavior: Avoid presentations. Or, you’re nervous when presenting, so you mess-up your words or come across poorly.

Alternative thoughts: I have prepared for this presentation. I know my subject matter. The people in the audience are my colleagues, so they will enjoy and appreciate what I’m sharing with them.

These different thoughts allow you to experience different feelings that will boost your confidence and result in a successful presentation.

The whole idea behind the Thought Record Technique is that you identify alternative thoughts that challenge the original thoughts. To help you do this, think about the unwanted thought and ask questions like:

  • What’s not true about that thought?
  • What do I want instead?
  • Is there any evidence for it?

10. Talk to someone.

Share your unwanted thoughts with another person. It has to be the right person – a good friend, colleague, or maybe a therapist. That person can take a different perspective on your thoughts and give them different meanings. Maybe they can challenge your limiting ideas and help you change them.

You can challenge your own thoughts, but when someone else challenges them, this can be very powerful. Talking it over with someone is definitely a good method to help you gain a different perspective. It can help you feel better about yourself. You may realize that your unwanted thoughts are not so important and can have less meaning in your life.

These were my 10 ways to help you get rid of unwanted or intrusive thoughts. I hope you found this article useful and practical. If you are struggling with unwanted thoughts, apply this information today and banish the thoughts that prevent you from leading a 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.

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

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

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

Paul

In this article, you will learn about the Law of Familiarity.  Most people do not understand this law.  As a result, they strive for happiness by pursuing the wrong things.  This law also has the potential to ruin your life if you don’t understand it or treat it with respect.

When you truly understand the Law of Familiarity, you will understand where true happiness lies. You will live a more balanced life and experience more variety. You won’t take things for granted.

You have already experienced the Law of Familiarity without knowing it. As you read this article, you may well get an “a-ha” moment as you realize how this law has influenced your life.

Take the time now to get to grips with this law, so you can live a happy, fulfilling and meaningful life.

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What is the Law of Familiarity

When you experience anything for enough time, it becomes familiar. You take it for granted and you appreciate it less. This could be a person, place or thing. Here are some examples of the Law of Familiarity in action.

New Relationship

You’ve met someone new. This time it’s your soulmate. It’s so exciting!  Like a new adventure. There’s that spark, passion and all you see are their good points. You’re having a lot of fun, whilst learning and discovering more about this new special person in your life.

A few months or years go by and it seems like the spark has gone.  Life seems a little dull now.  You take this person for granted. You know them inside out, you know everything about them. You’ve run out of things to talk about.

Perhaps you ignore some of their good points and notice more of their bad points instead. That’s the Law of Familiarity in action. The more time you spend with that person, the more familiar they become and the more you take them for granted.

New Car

You decide to buy a brand new car. You do your research, choose the brand, model and color. You hunt for the best price. You buy it and experience the thrill of driving this new car home.

It’s got that lovely new car smell. It’s all shiny and new. Over the next few weeks, you take your new car along all your favorite roads. You really enjoy learning how all the new technology and functionality works. You’re driving along, and you’re thinking life is good! You wash it twice a week and keep it clean and tidy inside.

Six months later, you haven’t washed the car for weeks! There are cobwebs on the wing mirrors and lots of junk and clutter inside. Well, that’s the Law of Familiarity in action. You have this nice new car and then over time it becomes familiar and you take it for granted.

Holidays or Vacations

You plan your next holiday, deciding where to go and researching different destinations. You book your flights, accommodation and perhaps some tours.

Two weeks before you depart, you’re so excited about it. You’re imagining this wonderful holiday! You can’t wait to leave the office. You notice that the excitement leading up to your holiday is almost as intense as being on holiday!

You then arrive at your destination and are getting into the holiday spirit.  Over the first few days you try out many new and exciting activities and explore the surrounding area. Life is great, and you’re really enjoying being on holiday,

Then after a few days, time seems to go more quickly. You become familiar with your surroundings. It feels more like a normal experience. It’s still far better than being at work, but it’s becoming more normal. Perhaps you miss your friends or some of the creature comforts you have back at home. That’s the Law of Familiarity kicking in again.

It works the other way around too!

The Law of Familiarity applies when you lose something or someone too.  For example, the loss of a loved one. Initially, you naturally go through a grieving process where you really miss this person. However, over time it becomes a little easier until eventually, you gain a feeling of acceptance over the loss.

Another example is a chronic health condition. Perhaps one of those annoying conditions that is not life threatening. However, it’s something you now experience that wasn’t there in the past. It might take a while to get used to that health condition, but over time it will become more familiar to you and the new normal. 

So with the two examples above, the Law of Familiarity helps you gain acceptance for something that you can’t change. So when you’ve experienced sadness or loss, the Law of Familiarity helps you heal and recover.

The Biggest Problem with the Law of Familiarity

So the biggest problem with the Law of Familiarity. The one that can really ruin your life, is complacency. Here are some examples.

Career

You get a great new job. It’s a promotion and a significant step-up. The first few months are great. You’re really focussed, you work very hard and challenge the status quo. You come up with new ideas, change things for the better and get to know your colleagues really well.

Two years go by and your job has become very familiar. You’re more complacent. Perhaps you come in later or leave earlier. Maybe you take some of your colleagues for granted. You appreciate them less.

Meanwhile, one of your colleagues is champing at the bit for greater responsibility. He really wants a promotion and a new challenge. He believes he can do your job better than you! So who is more motivated? Is it you, or your colleague that wants your job? Of course, it’s your colleague! So you’ve really got to watch out for complacency in your career, especially in more senior roles.

Back in 2008, I was working in the IT department of a law firm in London. They made a few of my colleagues redundant as part of the economic downturn that was starting to bite. Some of these people had been with the firm for many years and had become very complacent in their roles. So it wasn’t a complete surprise to me when I found out that their roles had been affected.

So in your career, it’s important to challenge yourself, move things forward and evolve in your role.

Relationships

Another area where the law of familiarity and complacency could ruin your life is intimate relationships. Let’s say you’ve been with your partner now for a few months or years and you begin to take them for granted.

Other things in life have become more important, such as your career. You have stopped doing all those romantic things that you used to do in the early days, such as date nights, buying flowers or little treats for your partner.

Perhaps you’re spending less quality time with them. Meanwhile, your partner gets attention from someone else at work. You can see where this could lead to!

Law of Familiarity and Happiness

Any new person, place, thing or experience can bring us joy and happiness. My earlier examples of the new car, relationship or being on holiday show how this is the case.

The problem is that it doesn’t last. Why? because it eventually becomes familiar. So thinking your happiness can only come from something that you don’t have right now is a recipe for misery!

So why is that? Well, because you’re believing that your happiness is outside of your own control. Believing that your happiness depends on some future event, keeps you out of the present moment.

It can also be an excuse for not taking the steps to be happy right now. Let’s say you’re chasing a promotion at work. You believe that the only way to do this is to work long hours and be totally committed. However, while you’re doing this, you’re missing out on all the other activities that you could do in your spare time that make you happy. 

Or you’re studying hard to get a new qualification such as an MBA. You want to get this as quickly as possible because you believe it will really help advance your career.

Now it’s true that you might need that qualification to get ahead. But studying super hard could mean that you’re missing out on things that make you happy right now.

When I first moved to London in my early 20s, I was very lonely.  I hardly knew anyone.  I had one very good friend from university that had also moved to London.  However, we would rarely meet up because he was working in the evenings to make more money or he was studying. He was so focused on improving his future that he missed out on spending time with his friends right now.  Do this for long enough and your friends will drift away.

So the key here is balance. It’s good to work hard in the present, to make the future better.  However, don’t put your happiness on hold to do this.  Continue to spend some time with people and on activities that bring a smile to your face.

How to stop the Law of Familiarity from Ruining Your Life

So how do you stop the law of familiarity from ruining your life?

Gratitude

The first way is gratitude. Appreciate all the things that you currently take for granted. These could include your partner, family, career, health, your home or where you live. It could be being grateful for being alive.

Act as if it’s still new and exciting

The second one is to act as if it’s still new and exciting. This is great for relationships. Treat your partner like you did at the beginning of the relationship. Start doing those fun, romantic things that you used to do.

If you feel that your relationship has gone a little stale or turned sour, then here’s a great quote to help you get back on track. It is, “if you were to treat this person as if it was the beginning of the relationship, then there would be no end”.

Pay more attention to the important areas of your life

Also pay more attention to the most important areas of your life. These are typically your career, partner and health. Start being proactive and make positive changes in these areas of life. Remember that you rarely stay still in any area of life.  It’s either improving or declining. Getting better or getting worse. 

If you don’t pay attention to these important areas of life, you could lose them. You could lose your job or career, your partner or your health. Everything of value requires care and attention. Remember that.

Seek Variety

Another great way is to get uncomfortable and seek variety. The Law of Familiarity breeds comfort. Do something different with your partner. If you normally go out for dinner, go to the theater instead.

You could take on a new diet or exercise routine to improve your health. This will add variety to your life and this will make you happier. And you’ll get that feeling of aliveness back! When you take on a new challenge that takes you out of your comfort zone, you get that wonderful feeling of aliveness. It’s the complete opposite of the Law of Familiarity.

So now you know more about the Law of Familiarity and how to stop it from ruining your life. I encourage you now to check in on the main areas of your life. Make sure you’re grateful for those areas and are not taking them for granted. Pay attention and do something today to ensure that you are growing in each of the main areas of your life.

Add some new activities to spice up your life so you feel alive!  This will give you more happiness and joy too.

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

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

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

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

Paul

The ability to feel hopeful is so important! Many people fail to realize the importance of hope. Besides helping you feel better when times are tough, feeling hopeful will increase the chances of things working out for you.

In this article, I will explain what hope is and isn’t and why it is important.

I’ll cover the benefits of hope and how to know when you’re feeling hopeful (and when you aren’t). You will get a clear understanding of the importance of hope. I’ll finish with some practical tips and strategies to help you become more hopeful as a person.

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What is Hope?

If you watch or read the news regularly, you often hear about crimes, disasters, failures of governments, health systems, banks or companies. All this can create a feeling that you have no control over your life, that there is no hope.

Hope is wanting a goal or an outcome that will improve your life and make it better. It’s about being optimistic, looking on the bright side and seeing challenges as opportunities. It’s hoping for the best and having a desire for things to change for the better.

Hope is also believing in something that you cannot see yet. Or as Napoleon Hill says, “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve”. In a spiritual context, it is believing that good things will happen to you through faith in a higher power.

What Hope Isn’t?

Hope can sometimes get a bad rap because some people misunderstand what hope really is. To help you with that, I will explain what hope isn’t.

Hope isn’t being so positive that you ignore potential danger. Let’s say you get a pain in your body, maybe a chest pain, and you hope or believe that it will heal by itself. As a result, you don’t bother seeing a doctor. However, what if it doesn’t heal and you don’t get the medical treatment you need? You could end up potentially much worse off with devastating consequences.

Hope is not traveling to a part of the world that requires vaccinations with the belief that “Nothing bad will happen to me”, so I won’t bother getting vaccinated”. That’s not hope. That’s taking an unnecessary risk!

Hope is not running a marathon with little or no training because you believe you will be absolutely fine. Sometimes your level of confidence can be higher than your level of competence. Having hope in that situation is not helpful. That kind of hope is blind or false hope.

Why is Hope Important?

Hope will help you get through a tough time and make it much more bearable. It will help you improve your future by thinking, feeling and imagining the life you want. It will motivate and inspire you to take action.

Having hope is of crucial importance for your future. Hope helps you identify how you want your life to become. Hope encourages you to stay focused on what you want.

You also need hope to set realistic goals. Without hope, you either don’t set goals. Or set goals that are very easy to achieve or extremely challenging. With a good level of hope, you are more likely to set realistic goals.

Hopeful people are better at school, college, or work. They have better ideas, more initiative, and creativity. As a result, they are more successful and happier.

Martin Seligman says that “hope reduces stress and the feeling of helplessness, boosts happiness and improves the quality of your life”. Well known psychologist Shane Lopez was quoted as saying “hope has the power to make bad times temporary”.

Benefits of Hope.

The benefits of hope include:

  • Being more positive.
  • Better health and an improved immune system.
  • Better emotional control.
  • Less stress and anxiety. Anxiety comes when you negatively imagine your future. Feeling hopeful creates positive thoughts and images about the future. This naturally lowers stress and anxiety.
  • Higher levels of self-esteem and self-worth. 
  • Better social life and relationships because you are more fun to be with.
  • Healing quicker from injuries because of higher levels of dopamine, endorphins, and other neurochemicals that help the healing process and also give you more energy.
  • Being more creative, productive, and better at your work.

Now that you can see the importance of having hope in your life. Let’s see if you are already hopeful.

How to Know if You Are Hopeful?

When you are hopeful,

  • You believe in the present and have fewer regrets about the past or worries about the future.
  • You are more creative, and better at solving problems.
  • You have a positive view of your problems and challenges, and your ability to deal with them.
  • You appreciate yourself and others more, and you are grateful for the things you already have.
  • You are willing to try new things and find out what works for you and what doesn’t.
  • You see failure as feedback and as a learning opportunity, a chance to do something different and change your approach.

How to Be More Hopeful?

Now that you know the importance of hope, here are some ways to help you become more hopeful.

1. Do something that excites you.

For me, getting out in nature and exploring new walks is always exciting. It also gives me a sense of perspective on things. Find out what excites you and do more of it.

2. Surround yourself with hopeful people.

When you surround yourself with hopeful, positive people, it will rub off on you and you’ll learn what they do to be more hopeful.

3. Remember times when things went well.

There were certainly times in your life when you achieved something amazing, something that you didn’t hope or believe you could. Notice those times.

What are they for you? Perhaps it was getting a certain job, maybe your first job. Perhaps it was a change of career or finding your soulmate and getting married.

There are lots of things you achieved in life. Go back and look at them. It will help you feel more hopeful about your current challenges and the future.

4. Set goals and create a plan.

The act of setting goals and creating a plan will increase your level of hope because you are doing something about it.

The great thing about having a plan is that you can measure your progress and tick things off as they are done. This will boost your hope. It’s almost like a compounding effect – as you achieve more things, your level of hope increases.

5. Have a gratitude list.

List everything that you’re grateful for. List what is going well in your life. If you don’t know how to start, my article on gratitude will help you.

6. Keep taking action and be patient.

Be persistent and don’t give up. Have the patience to see things through to their logical conclusion.

7. Research other people that have overcome similar adversities.

Some people have already overcome the challenges you are experiencing right now. See how they developed their hope, and what they did to improve their life.

Seeing other people already achieving what you want to achieve will dramatically increase your level of hope. You may also learn some actionable steps that you can do to change your life situation.

I hope you found this article on the importance of hope useful, helpful, motivating, and inspiring. Don’t underestimate the importance of hope. It could be key to changing your life for the better.

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

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

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

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

Paul

A lot of us fail to succeed in life because we don’t think we have what it takes or we are afraid of getting rejected. We miss opportunities and allow doubts and criticisms to take over our decisions because of our low self-esteem. In this article, I will explore the characteristics of high self-esteem and provide tips on how to have it.

Self-esteem is like a continuum from low to high. Rather than having low self-esteem or high self-esteem, it’s often somewhere in the middle. Your level of self-esteem can also vary in different life situations and with different people. However, if you want to be successful in life, high self-esteem is always better. Knowing the characteristics of high self-esteem is the first step to increasing your level of self-esteem.

Most people settle for mediocrity and let opportunities pass them by because they are afraid of taking risks or making bold actions. Don’t allow yourself to become one of those people! Act now and start putting plans in place to boost your self-esteem!

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Here are the characteristics of people with high self-esteem:

1. Leaders with a Clear Vision

People with high self-esteem are leaders. They create their own path in life. They make their own choices and trust their judgment. If someone doesn’t agree with what they want to achieve in life, they don’t feel guilty. They refuse to follow and enjoy carving out their own path in the world.

If you feel that you’re more of a follower than a leader, ask yourself, “What do I really want?” Establish a clear vision in your mind of what you want in each area of your life. Once you have that vision, you will notice more resources and more opportunities to help turn that vision into reality.

2. Guided by Strong Principles

People with high self-esteem are guided by a set of strong principles and values. Some of these values might be honesty, trust, integrity, openness, transparency, or giving value to others. These principles and values provide a roadmap for their life. They believe and act on those principles and values, and they are ready to defend them.

3. Goal-Oriented

People with characteristics of high self-esteem set and achieve short-term and long-term goals. Their goals are aligned with their principles and values. If you are not already doing this, then read my article on how to effectively set and achieve goals.

When they set goals, people with high self-esteem aim high but stay realistic. If you set goals that are not achievable and too challenging, you will not achieve them. And if you do this repeatedly, it will take a knock on your self-esteem. Make sure that the goals you set are realistic but also aim high.

People with high self-esteem have an inner drive to succeed. They know what they want or need, and they focus on getting it. 

They live life on their terms and create an action plan. They believe that when you set goals and create a plan for your life, you’re carving your life in the direction you want. If you don’t create a plan, you can easily and unwittingly become part of someone else’s plan.

It’s crucial to take action and consistently move towards your goals. When you take action, your confidence improves, and your self-esteem increases.

People with high self-esteem are not lazy and don’t procrastinate. They work hard and get things done because they don’t get bogged down in doubts or complaints. They realize that the more they focus on getting things done, the higher their level of self-esteem.

Low self-esteem people often procrastinate. They waste energy thinking about all the work they have to do rather than just getting it done.

4. Believe in Themselves

People with characteristics of high self-esteem see themselves as valuable, self-worthy and know that other people will enjoy spending time with them. They believe that they are equal to others, even if their financial and personal success is lower or higher than other people. They focus on their strengths and don’t compare themselves to others.

They trust their judgment and don’t feel guilty if someone disagrees with them. They don’t criticize themselves and avoid internal negative self-talk.

If you would like to increase your level of self-belief, get rid of limiting beliefs and replace them with positive, empowering beliefs, then this article will show you how.

Another great tip is to focus on your strengths. What are your strong points? What are you good at? Also, notice what your weaker points are. Set small goals to address them and take action. As weaker points improve, your level of self-esteem will increase.

5. Problem-Solvers

People with characteristics of high self-esteem know that obstacles are a necessary part of the road to success. They deal with obstacles by focusing on them as little as possible, but just enough to resolve them.  Their main focus is still on the goal, the vision and their guiding principles and values.

They enjoy self-solving problems. And to quote Marie Forleo, they believe that everything is “figureoutable”. So, whatever the problem, challenge or obstacle, people with high self-esteem will find a way to figure it out.

People with high self-esteem naturally believe that they can do it. They take calculated risks, adjust to failure if it happens, and ask for help if it’s necessary. They’re also not afraid of rejection. Rejection is a part of life, and they don’t take it personally. If you take rejection personally, that can mean that you are avoiding the risks you need to take to get ahead in life and become successful.

6. Take Care of Themselves

People with characteristics of high self-esteem know how to take care of themselves – physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. They are very resilient, emotionally strong, and able to recognize the role of negative emotions. They are not afraid of anger, guilt, or fear. Instead they look into the reasons behind these emotions and then address them.

They are comfortable looking at themselves in the mirror, and they have a high degree of self-love and self-respect. Their self-talk is positive, empowering and energizing.

I encourage you to energize yourself with positive and encouraging self-talk. Remember that you are what you think you are and what you say to yourself. When your thoughts and actions are positive, your body will respond with more energy, strength, and drive.

7. Great with People

Among other characteristics, people with high self-esteem don’t try to please everyone and they avoid gossip.

They can also separate emotion from a message. When someone’s angry with them or upset, they can insulate themselves from the emotion and focus on the message that this person is trying to communicate.

They’re also sensitive to other people’s feelings and their needs. They are fine with accepting and indulging compliments. When they are struggling with something, they are not afraid to ask for help.

They have effective communication and influencing skills. When something’s important, they do their best to influence others to see their point of view.

There are 2 types of people in the world – people that radiate energy and people that drain your energy. They are radiators rather than drainers.

Here is a tip to help you develop higher self-esteem and get better with people. Surround yourself with positive and successful people to gain some of that energy and motivation. When you’re around people with high self-esteem, you become more positive and feel better about yourself.

8. Transparent

High self-esteem people are open, honest, and transparent. They speak the truth and embrace honesty with no fear of rejection or any intention to harm another person.

If they do something wrong, they are happy to be responsible, take any blame, and own up to their failings. They are accountable for what they say and what they do.

They can also laugh at themselves and see the funny side. Not taking themselves too seriously, they live with an attitude of humility.

9. Flexible

People with characteristics of high self-esteem are comfortable with change and know when it’s time to try a different approach. They’re not set in their ways, and they can adapt to new technology and new ways of doing things.

10. Live in the Present

They know that the past is the past and that they can’t change it. They have a positive view of the future and the confidence in making that future happen. They don’t worry about the future, and they avoid negative “what if” questions. If they notice them, they come up with a strategy and a plan to address and resolve them.

They understand the difference between the past and the present. Their motto would be “My past doesn’t equal the future”. They won’t think their future depends on their past and see the future as something that they can change and influence right now.

A tip here is to put your past into perspective. Remember that you cannot change it. You can only change how you look at it and the meaning you give to it. You can also draw strength from your past. Notice the victories, successes, and obstacles that you overcame in the past and make good use of the present to prepare for a successful future.

These were my 10 characteristics of high self-esteem and a few tips to increase it. Remember that the higher the level of self-esteem, the more you will achieve in life and the happier you will be. Take time to study these characteristics of high self-esteem and put some plans in place to apply them in your own life.

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

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

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

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

Paul

I believe that everything we do, every relationship we make and every goal we set is driven by one ultimate goal – to be happy and content.

What makes you happy? Is it more money? Is it success at work? Or great relationships? Believe it or not, these are just external factors that may give us a temporary high and short-term happiness. However, to be happy and content consistently is a state of mind – it comes down to our thoughts, attitudes, behaviors and lifestyle choices.

Genuine and long-term happiness and contentment come from a deeper and longer-lasting feeling of satisfaction and gratitude towards our lives. This is something that we can all do. In this article, I will share 10 habits to help you become more happy and content.

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1. Develop Close Friendships

Close friendships are great for your mental and physical health. They improve your mood, boost your self-esteem, reduce stress and the chances of getting sick. Spending time with close friends leads to a happier, more fulfilling life, and increases your sense of belonging and purpose.

There was a study that showed that 94% of adolescents saw their friends pretty much every day. The same study also showed that 91% of retired people saw their friends almost every day. Something seems to go wrong in the middle years. Whether it’s because of work, family, or kids, many of us spend very little time with our friends.

Friendships are important in difficult times. When you’re going through a divorce, a job loss, serious illness, or death of a loved one, a great circle of friends can help. Friends make life happier, more fulfilling, colorful, and exciting. I recommend having a weekly friend ritual where you take the time to meet up with a close friend once a week.

2. Take Responsibility

This is the first step towards any improvement in life, and it includes taking responsibility for your emotional state and happiness.

As soon as you blame the economy, someone else, your upbringing, lack of skills or intelligence, you become powerless. You take away your ability to change and you feel like a victim. Feeling like a victim and powerless will make you unhappy.

If you want to be happy and content, take responsibility and change things that make you miserable or sad. Think about your life and ask yourself:

  • Can I take responsibility for this situation?
  • What can I change about this?
  • What can I do to not feel that I’m being a victim?

3. Become a Happiness Detective

If you want to be happy and content, try focusing on the good things in your life – the good things about your health, work, where you live, or your family and friends.

We usually focus on what we don’t want and what we don’t have in our lives. A great way to change this is to practice gratitude. Notice and appreciate what you already have in your life. Appreciate everything that is going well. To learn how to do this more effectively, read my article about gratitude.

Remember that there’s good in almost everything. If you’re often unhappy, it will take time and effort to focus on the good before it becomes a habit. It’s like building a physical muscle. You’re building a mental muscle by focusing on what you already have and appreciate. The more you do it, the more your unconscious mind will pick up on it, and the more it will become a positive habit.

4. Set and Achieve Goals

Happy people set goals. If you look at your main areas of life – your work, relationships, and health – you’ll find that you’re either improving or declining. We rarely stay still in any area of life. To ensure that all areas of your life are improving, it’s good to set goals. Many people don’t set goals because they are afraid of not achieving them. However, it’s far better to set goals and do your best to achieve them. If you miss some of them, use this as a learning opportunity.

There is a virtual cycle that goes on here – you set goals, then create a plan. That increases your self-discipline, and then you achieve the goal. When you achieve it, you feel good about yourself. That increases your self-esteem, self-worth and your happiness. Then you set more goals, and the process continues. We are goal-directed individuals, so setting goals is very important if you want to be happy and content.

5. Realize that Happiness is an Inside Job

Long-term happiness doesn’t come from achieving things in life. Why is that? Because the Law of Familiarity kicks in. Let’s say you get a significant promotion at work or a new job. You enjoy that increased responsibility and recognition. You probably have more money and a better lifestyle. That feels great and makes you happier. But over time it becomes normal and familiar.

Then you may think, “Well, there’s something else I need to do to be happy. I’ll go and live in another part of the world”. That feels very exciting. I did that 10 years ago moving from London to Sydney and it was great for the first few months. But then it became familiar and normal. The Law of Familiarity means that anything new and significant you achieve in life will eventually become familiar and normal.

Also watch out for “I will be happy when…” thinking. For example, when you’re at school and you don’t like discipline, you may think “I’ll be happy when I go to university”. At university you have freedom, but you are broke. So you think, “I will be happy when I get a job and get some money”. Then, you get a nice job and money comes in, but you face other challenges – routine, stress, or pressure from other people. Maybe you think, “When I get married, I’ll be happy and content”. And when it happens, it feels great. But over time, it becomes the new normal.

You can see how easily this can increase to “When I have kids I’ll be happy” and then ultimately “When I retire I’ll be happy”. “I will only be happy when…” is a kind of thinking you need to stop. Happiness is not a deferred payment plan! You can be happy and content in this moment. There’s almost like a limiting belief that I need to do this or have that to be happy. Remember that that’s not true. Happiness is something you create from the inside and you can be happy right now.

It’s often the smallest and most basic things that can make you happy and create memorable moments in your life, such as:

  • Being grateful for what you already have.
  • Smiling and having an uplifting posture.
  • Listening to some great music.
  • Quality time with your partner and close friends.
  • Getting out in nature for a few hours.
  • Having a lot of variety and doing lots of different activities.

6. Release Resentment

When you have resentment or a grudge towards another person, it’s you who feels it, not the other person. That person is probably not even aware that you’re thinking about them or having any of those feelings. A resentment or grudge is something that you hold inside. You are the victim. It’s you that feels violated and it’s you that feel someone else is stopping you or holding you back.

It also means that you are not taking responsibility because you are blaming someone else for your unhappiness and inability to succeed in life. Forgiveness and being able to let go is crucial for your happiness. When you do this, you will feel joy, peace, and calm. You can learn more about ways to release negative emotions in my article about the Sedona Method.

7. Cultivate Faith and Peace of Mind

Unhappy people worry a lot. Happy people have faith that everything will turn out fine. Here are 2 great ways to develop this attitude:

Use positive and soothing self-talk.

Having a positive and soothing internal voice means saying things like “You’re doing your best”, “We’ll work it out” and “Everything is okay”.

Welcome and accept all emotions.

Let all emotions flow through you – the good and the bad ones. When you resist emotions, they tend to stay. When you experience them or express them, they move on. Emotions are like clouds in the sky. If you just let them pass, they will move on.

8. Face Your Fears

Facing fears and taking risks is crucial if you want to be happy and content. When you don’t deal with stuff, it festers inside. Taking risks, facing your fears, and overcoming them feels great. That takes you out of your comfort zone and you get the sense of aliveness that comes from achieving something that you thought was hard or even impossible.

I encourage you to do one thing every day that is a bit uncomfortable. You could try a different food at lunchtime, tackle a difficult issue at work that you’ve been putting off, or deal with a difficult person.

Whatever risk you take, make sure it is calculated. Weigh up all the options first. And remember that behind every risk there is a reward – the satisfaction and the feeling of aliveness that comes from tackling challenging and difficult situations.

9. Develop Hope

A lack of hope and a feeling that there is no way out is the main reason people get depressed. Developing hope is key to getting out of any kind of depression. Hope can be built on a conviction that:

  • You will find an answer or a solution to a problem.
  • You are doing the right thing.
  • You are being guided by a higher power that will help you through this.

Your nervous system responds to your perception rather than the circumstances. Hope makes all situations possible and tolerable. Some helpful ways to develop hope include:

  • Working out the steps from where you are now to where you want to be.
  • Looking for role models that have already overcome the adversity or challenge you’re facing.
  • Doing kind things for others – a great way to get out of your head and forget any problems for a while.
  • Practicing mindfulness – letting your mind focus on one thing at a time. When you focus completely on one thing, anxious thoughts will subside. You’ll then feel more present, calm and happy instead.

10. Don’t Compare Yourself to Other People

Comparing yourself with others always leads to unhappiness. It’s a recipe for misery because it gets you focused on what you don’t like about yourself and your life. Here are some tips to help you not compare yourself with others.

Compare yourself with who you want to become.

Ask yourself:

  • What can I improve?
  • How can I become more loving?
  • How can I become more successful?
  • How can I become a nicer person today than I was yesterday?
  • How can I improve in all areas of my life?

Be okay with your past.

You may regret some things that happened in your past. Maybe some events in the past were very difficult for you, or even unfair. That’s okay. Remember that your past has helped you become the person you are today.

Take a break from social media.

Social media highlights all the great things that are happening in other people’s lives. It’s the opposite of the news. The news always tells you what’s going wrong in the world. Social media tells you all the wonderful stuff that’s happening. The reality is somewhere in between.

Take a break from social media if you feel it makes you feel inadequate or lacking something. Remember that when you look at people who seem to have it all, they might not be happy inside. You never know what someone is feeling inside. Although they may seem to have all that success on the outside, it doesn’t mean that they are happy.

So these are my 10 habits that will help you be happy and content. I encourage you to apply these into your life right now.

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

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

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

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

Paul

I have been on this planet for nearly half a century and a lot has happened during that time. Most of it was good, but I also experienced some difficult and challenging times.

In this article, I would like to share 10 brutal truths about life based on my experience. I hope it will help you make wiser decisions and have a better perspective about your life.

So here are my 10 brutal truths about life:

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1. Life is not fair.

We’re not born equal. When I was at school, I was the skinny, weak, and short kid. I was very poor at sports. The kids who were more athletic were the popular ones. I wasn’t so much.

My interests and passions were around music, so I played the French Horn. But there was a very gifted kid in the orchestra who played French Horn better than me. He was also proficient on 3 instruments while I could only play one. I found that very annoying, especially as he seemed to practice less than me!

Last year a friend of mine died of brain cancer. He was in his early 40s and leading a healthy life. He didn’t smoke or drink excessively. Why was it him that died of brain cancer rather than someone else? Children also die of cancer every day. What’s fair about that?

At work, people get promoted even though they have fewer skills and less experience than you. And you think, “Why them? Why did they get the promotion and not me?”

The reality is – life is not fair. Fairness is a human invention. We created the concept of fairness or the idea that life should be fair.

2. Behavior never lies.

What you say you do and what you actually do is totally different! Or as Gary Ryan Blair says “behavior never lies”.

Let’s say your friend is talking about becoming super fit and healthy and how they will make that happen. But then you see them in McDonald’s eating junk food. That’s going to give you a mixed message because they are saying one thing and doing another. This reduces trust.

Or you’re a manager at work, and you are lazy and relaxed about things. It’s not surprising if you find your employees acting the same because they will follow what you do much more than what you say. This can also work positively. If you’re proactive and you look after your staff, you’ll find that your employees will do the same. It’s what you do that matters, not what you say you will do.

So one of the brutal truths about life is that behavior never lies. Always focus much more on what someone does rather than what they say and make sure that your behavior never lies too.

3. Sometimes you’ll never know the answer.

Two things happened in January 2016 that I’ve been trying to grasp and make sense of ever since. The first was the friend I mentioned earlier. He was diagnosed with brain cancer in his early 40s during this month. He died 2 years later.

In the same month, a neighbor suddenly committed suicide. She was retired and living a great life, traveling 3 or 4 months of the year, and had loads of friends. She was bubbly, positive, always a joy to be around.

We have 2 people here – one that desperately wanted to live and died of cancer and the other who seemed to have it all, but must have been suffering excruciating mental pain that she couldn’t go on with life. In both cases, I asked myself “Why”? and I agonized for hours over the answer.

I always felt that there was an underlying reason that causes cancer to happen. It can be poor diet, lack of exercise or unresolved emotional issues and stress. But I began questioning that. I thought, maybe that’s not the case. Maybe it just happens and there is little you can do to prevent it.

Sometimes you’ll never know the answers to some things that happen in life. This is one of the brutal truths about life that you just got to be okay with it and learn to let some things go without finding a reason.

4. You never know exactly what someone else is thinking and feeling.

When our neighbor committed suicide, it came as a complete shock to me, my wife, other neighbors, and everyone else who knew her. From the outside, she was bubbly, fun, energetic, friendly, and was living the lifestyle that I would dream about. But none of us, except perhaps her partner, knew exactly what was going on inside her head.

And here is a less extreme example. When someone passes you in a corridor at work and doesn’t smile, what does that mean? You may think they are ignoring you, but you don’t really know what they’re thinking or feeling. Perhaps they’ve got an important deadline, and they’re concerned. Perhaps there had an argument with their partner in the morning and they’re ruminating about that. Perhaps they’ve had a lack of sleep, so they just feel tired.

You just don’t know what someone is thinking or feeling. Instead, we create our own meaning regarding other people’s behavior or actions, and it’s often negative.

5. Happiness is an inside job.

Think about the things that make you happy. Going on a vacation makes me happy – the enjoyment of visiting new places and exploring different parts of the world. In the past, getting a new job made me happy because it felt great to meet new people and do different things and have that added variety.

Coming to live in Sydney, 10 years ago, made me thrilled. We felt like we were on a vacation as we explored the city and the surrounding areas each weekend. The weather is wonderful, and our lifestyle is more relaxed than in the UK.

All these things are great and they give you happiness, but it is a short-term pleasure, joy, and gratification. Why? Because The Law of Familiarity kicks in when you’ve been around anything new and different for long enough. You take it for granted. It becomes familiar and the new normal. This wonderful weather and all the other things we experience in Sydney become familiar and the new normal.

Achieving things in life won’t make you happy long term. Many people feel they go through life never achieving happiness. They think, “When I leave school I’ll be happy”. Then they go to college or university and they find that that’s not it. So they think, “Well, when I leave university and I have some money and a job, then I’ll be happy”. When they find a job, they realize that that’s not it either.

So they think, “When I get into a relationship and when I get married, I’ll be happy”. They do that, but again, it becomes familiar and the new normal after a while. Then, maybe they think, “When I buy a house I’ll be happy, or when I have kids”. And then logically it goes to “When I retire, I’ll be happy”.

Everything in life will eventually become the new normal. One of the brutal truths about life is that happiness is an inside job and you can choose to be happy whenever you want.
Happiness is not something you chase from achieving things on the outside.

You can choose to be happy right now by:

  • being grateful for what is working in your life and all the things you have.
  • developing a happy posture (for example, by lifting your head up) and smiling.
  • listening to some uplifting music that will change your mental state.
  • doing something you enjoy right now.
  • having quality time with your partner and close friends.
  • going out in nature.
  • escaping the Law of Familiarity by having variety in life.

6. Time is more valuable than money.

One of the 10 brutal truths about life is that you can replace money, but you cannot replace time. Time depreciates. Once that minute or day or month is gone, you can never get it back. So it’s important to use time wisely.

Research has shown that you need a certain amount of money to live a reasonably good life so that all your basics are covered. And that is around $60,000 to $70,000 a year. Anything above that is great because it allows you to afford the luxuries or to have other people do things for you, like cleaning, to save you some time.

However, if you’re working crazy hours to fund a lavish house or a posh car, or to have your kids at private school, then perhaps it’s time to think about the value of your time. Most people don’t value time and do things they hate just to have the money. They end up wasting their life away and then regretting it later. Make sure you use your time to do what matters to you, what gives you meaning and makes you happy. Use time wisely because you can never replace it.

7. You will die one day and so will all your friends, family, and loved ones.

This is one of the most brutal truths about life. We don’t know when this will happen. It could be today, tomorrow, next week, or next year. Hopefully, it will be a long time from now, but we often forget that this day will come.

You’ve maybe heard this saying, “Live every day as if it was your last because one day it will be”. I don’t completely buy into that. If I did, I would be on vacation 365 days a year, traveling the world, exploring and having adventures. However, I would also run out of money very quickly! For most of us, we need to work, so it’s important to be realistic here.

However, there are things that you can do. If there is something you’ve been putting off that can be easily dealt with, definitely have a sense of urgency to do that. Maybe it’s changing a job or career you’ve been putting off for a while. I like Gary Ryan Blair’s quote “We are all playing a high stakes game of one and done” We’re not on this planet for long”.

It’s important to have a sense of urgency about the things we do in life and we don’t put off for too long the things important to us. Often, it’s fear that stops us from doing what really matters. If you knew you would die next week, there would certainly be some things that you would do right away without hesitation.

Death can be a reminder to enjoy life and make the most of it and to have a sense of urgency around that. Remember that your friends, family, and loved ones will also die at some point. So it’s important to spend quality time with them right now while you still can.

8. Some people won’t like you.

They will judge and criticize you. It’s impossible to please everyone. Whatever you do in life, whatever you say, you’re likely to upset some people. Don’t go out of your way to get everyone to like you. It’s just not worth it.

Some people are naturally negative and difficult to please. Some will always focus on what’s wrong and will not be grateful. There’s nothing you can do to change that. When you’re walking on the street, people will notice and judge you based on what you’re wearing and how you’re holding yourself.

People naturally judge other people. It’s part of the human condition. And when you step out of the crowd, when you do something that other people won’t do, they may feel a little afraid. They see that you’re taking responsibility and doing things to change your life, and they may feel that you’re a threat to them so they will criticize you.

The more you do different things and strive to become your own person, the more that certain people, even loved ones in your life, will criticize you. And they’re not doing that to help you. They’re doing it because they’re afraid you will become something or someone different from what they’re familiar with. Also, people judge, criticize and put you down to help them feel better. It’s a way of temporarily enhancing their self-esteem.

9. It won’t just happen now like it used to.

When I look back at my parents’ life, it seemed easy and predictable. They went to school, then to university, where they met their partners. They got jobs in their early 20s, often staying in the same job or career for many years. They would get married in their 20s, have kids young and they’d be able to buy their own house because houses were cheap then. Now they’re living a very happy retirement because pension schemes were a lot better as well.

Things have changed now. Most people in their 20s and 30s haven’t met their partners. Many people are renting into their 30s and 40s, even with kids. It seems like things were easier in the past, compared to now. Nothing is guaranteed.

People that are earning 6 figures now have to work hard over many years to get to that level. People now require degrees, even multiple degrees to get into careers that didn’t require these qualifications in the past.

People in great relationships put in a lot of effort to make it great, and continually work on keeping it great.

Why is this? Well, I believe that people have much higher expectations now. In the past, people settled for less.

So don’t think important life events are just going to happen. Life doesn’t work like that anymore. Think about what you want to achieve and by when. Then take proactive action today.

Don’t assume that things will happen. And don’t take them for granted when they do. Take the steps to achieve them. One of my favorite inspirational quotes is “You will be rewarded in public for the thousands of hours you practice in private”. You can apply that to so many areas of life, especially studying, gaining qualifications, or starting and developing a business.

10. You are 100% responsible for changing your life.

Whenever you blame the economy, your level of intelligence, your family, where you live, your genetics, your weight, your looks, or anything else, you take away your power to change.

Bad things happen. But you have complete control over the meaning you give to those things. I don’t buy in to the idea that you create all these bad or good things in your life. But I do believe that if something devastating or bad happens, you have a 100% control over the meaning you give to that and the actions you take to get over it. There have been so many stories of people that were almost entirely crippled, and when they continually visualized their bodies moving, they regained their mobility.

In my hypnotherapy practice, I’m always helping people to take responsibility for their life, helping them get back to the cause rather than being at effect. The effect is when you’re blaming other people and other situations for your life. Being at cause is taking 100% responsibility. It’s important to take responsibility for your happiness, unhappiness, successes and failures.

So, these are my 10 brutal truths about life that no one wants to hear based on my experience of life so far. I may have gone on a bit of a rant at times, but I hope you still found this article informative, inspiring and motivating.

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

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

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

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

Paul