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Don’t leave your sense of worth and well-being in the hands of others.

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Excerpt from: Likability. Being liked and unliked.

If you want to reach your full potential, then you must learn to accept yourself for who you are & who you want to be and take personal responsibility for your life and how you feel.

And along the way to self-actualization, you must be prepared to be unpopular. Don’t leave your sense of worth and well-being in the hands of others.

Those who achieve greatness in life don’t let others dictate how they feel about themselves — and neither should you.

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Keys to self-confidence

One of the keys to self-confidence is recognizing those things that make you feel vulnerable or self-conscious and then accepting them.

Because when you accept yourself for who you are — flaws and all — you leave people far less capable of adversely affecting your sense of self-worth.

One of the byproducts of a stable sense of self-worth is self-confidence.

When you truly know who you are — and who you are in the process of becoming — you will no longer live in fear of what people say or think about you.

Take the time to get to know yourself.

Learn to know the difference between what you can change about yourself and what you can’t.

Understand that you are a work-in-progress and that the things about yourself that you have power over — such as your attitude, diet, fitness, habit, and skills — can and will change for the better over time if you work on them.

Regardless of where you are in your journey, accept yourself as you are at this time.

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If you create goals with confidence, but sometimes suffer from self-doubt…

Excerpt from: Setbacks and self-doubt

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If you create goals with confidence, but sometimes suffer from self-doubt, realize that it’s a sign that you’re on the right track, not the wrong one.

Because if your aspirations don’t push you beyond your comfort zone, you’re not aiming high enough.

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Beating yourself up & tearing yourself down.

“My life sucks.”
“I’m a failure.”
“I’m not where I want to be.”

It should be obvious, but even if you’re not exactly where you want to be in life — or you’re unsatisfied with your current situation — beating yourself up over the fact that you aren’t where you wish to be only serves to make things worse.

Rather than help, this kind of negative thinking puts the one person most capable of fighting for your well-being at a disadvantage. It turns you into your own enemy.

You wouldn’t tolerate a friend belittling your accomplishments, rubbing your mistakes in your face, or trying to put you down. So why would you accept that kind of behavior from yourself?

You don’t win an award for seeing how low you can go or how miserable you can make yourself feel.

If you have a tendency to do this, it’s time to stop. It’s time to take note of when your line of thinking is leading you in a downward spiral. It’s time to remind yourself that making yourself feel worse about whatever situation you find yourself in isn’t helpful or necessary and no good will come of it.

“This isn’t helping me. I need to stop thinking this way. I need to stop revisiting these thoughts. I need to focus on something else. I need to remember that, ‘This, too, shall pass’.”

While you may not be able to immediately change the situation you find yourself in, you can change is your attitude about it. And rather than focus on your problems, you can focus on solutions to your problems. Even if the most immediate solution is to stop beating yourself up — because that’s a problem you can solve.

It’s important to remember that success in anything is often comprised of many failures. And comparing your life to others isn’t fair. We are each on our own unique journey. No two people are following the same exact paths in life.

And not only do people rarely make their struggles known, they often don’t highlight their failures either. What you see when you look at others’ lives is often only a fraction of a complete picture.

The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind the scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.” — Steve Furtick

If revisiting the past in your mind makes you miserable or comparing yourself to others makes you feel like a failure, stop doing it. Because no amount of thinking about these things in this way is going to help you. No matter what you do, you cannot change the past.

The only thing you have complete control over is your attitude and how you choose to act in this moment. This moment matters.

Rather than waste time and energy tearing yourself down, use that time to focus on what you want to achieve. Taking steps to stop yourself from feeling worse is a start.

You, more than anyone, have the ability to be your own best friend, it seems a shame to waste that opportunity by becoming your worst enemy.

Retire those tired old dysfunctional thoughts. Push forward with new ones. Be thankful for what you have and work with it and take positive action.

You can be the hero of your life and the champion of your well-being, but first you have fully commit to the role.

And that transformation will only take place after you stop beating yourself up & tearing yourself down.

Don’t give power to your unfriendly thoughts.

*This isn’t about positive thinking or negative thinking. This is about stopping the barrage of unfriendly thoughts that lead one down a debilitating downward spiral that often leaves one feeling helpless and hopeless.

Negative thinking can actually lead to positive change, but it requires that one be in a mental state capable of finding the motivation to initiate that change. There is a huge difference between focusing on self-abuse that makes one’s self miserable and using negative thinking to initiate positive changes.

As I’ve written before, it’s ok not to be happy.

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Don’t fill in the blanks for things you don’t know the true answers to…

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Excerpt from: Filling in the blanks

Don’t fill in the blanks for things you don’t know the true answers to with negative things that you convince yourself are the truth.

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“I shouldn’t…”

“I shouldn’t…”

  • I shouldn’t talk to that person because I don’t want to bother them.
  • I shouldn’t ask anyone for help because it makes me seem needy.
  • I shouldn’t feel proud of my accomplishments because I haven’t done anything original or noteworthy.
  • I shouldn’t draw attention to myself because I don’t deserve it.
  • I shouldn’t contribute to a conversation because I might say something wrong.
  • I shouldn’t express my affection for someone because it probably won’t be reciprocated.
  • I shouldn’t show vulnerability because it will make me appear weak.
  • I shouldn’t offer advice because I don’t have a degree in the subject.
  • I shouldn’t express my opinions because someone may disagree.
  • I shouldn’t act a certain way because it isn’t considered adult behavior.
  • I shouldn’t stick my neck out because I might get my head chopped off.
  • I shouldn’t use profanity because it might offend someone.
  • I shouldn’t try to help people because my own life isn’t exactly where I want it to be.
  • I shouldn’t even try because it probably won’t work or turn out the way I want it to.
  • I shouldn’t publish a post or piece of art until it’s perfect — and it never is.

And that’s just me.

If I listened to everything I told myself I shouldn’t do, I wouldn’t ever do anything worth doing.

Sometimes you just have to tell the voice in your head to SHUSH! And then remind yourself that if it turns out that whatever you want to do is a mistake, you’ll learn from it.

[ DISCLAIMER: I am not recommending law breaking, bad, abusive, or negative behavior. Please use common sense. ]

Everyone feels anxiety at times. Everyone gets nervous. Everyone occasionally wonders if what they want to do will be a mistake.

And that’s ok, but you don’t ever let that stop you from living your life on your terms. Who are you living your life for anyway? You — or everyone else on the planet?

Live. Try stuff. Make mistakes. Learn. Improve. Repeat.

Because being afraid of doing something you truly want to do isn’t a good enough reason not to do it.

Live life fully while you’re here. Experience everything. Take care of yourself and your friends. Have fun, be crazy, be weird. Go out and screw up! You’re going to anyway, so you might as well enjoy the process. Take the opportunity to learn from your mistakes: find the cause of your problem and eliminate it. Don’t try to be perfect; just be an excellent example of being human.” — Anthony Robbins

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Fear of self-expression is a form of self-imposed slavery

If you do the best you can to be a decent human being, show tolerance and kindness to others — and still live in fear of what people think of you, your possessions, your opinions, or your beliefs, and then alter your behavior to be “approved” by as many people as possible, that isn’t freedom, it’s a form of self-imposed slavery.

You become a slave to the idea that what other people might think is more important that exercising your ability to express your true self.

Have you ever avoided something as simple as clicking a “like” button or commenting on a post on social media because you were afraid of what people would think if they saw it? If so, then you’re doing it.

If your relationships are so fragile that something like a single like, share, or comment could end them (or cause an unfollow or other equivalent), then perhaps those are not the kind of relationships that are really adding any kind of value to your life.

And perhaps it’s time to ask yourself what the point of “collecting people” in your life is, if the sorts of people you’ve collected will judge you “unworthy” of their friendship and leave you the moment you truly express yourself.

This is an issue that goes far beyond how people act on social media, it’s a real-life problem as well.

Changing who you are to be liked by people may result in more people “liking” you, but it also means that those who “like” you are liking someone who is pretending to be someone or something they’re not.

And, ultimately, you’re sacrificing yourself (and your life) to do it. You’re sacrificing your freedom to express your true self in order to gain “friends” who don’t even like you for you.

In the end, this really makes no sense. Life is not a popularity contest. It’s not about collecting as many “friends” as possible. And no matter what you do, not everyone is going to like or agree with you anyway. That’s life.

Do you respect people who water themselves down, live in fear of being disliked, or pretend to be someone they’re not in order to gain favor? If not, then how can you expect to respect yourself if you do the same things?

When you are brave enough to be yourself, you give others permission to do the same.”

Be your genuine self and you will find that those who stick around in your life are those who appreciate and respect you for who you truly are. They may not agree with everything you say, do, or believe, but they are far more likely to forgive you for your mistakes or lapses in judgement and stick by you not only during the high times in your life, but also the lows.

And you can live knowing that you’re not being judged by those who matter to you — and if you are, you still don’t live in fear of it, because it’s not your problem. When people judge you, it says more about them than it says about you.

And, in the off chance you suck as a human being and few people like you, then that’s perhaps a sign you have some things to work on to be a better person in an authentic way — and not someone who simply pretends to be one.

To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

As far I’m concerned, if you’re tolerant and open-minded, I like having you in my life, regardless of your beliefs or some opinions you have that I don’t agree with (and vice-versa). Because ultimately, we help each other grow.

I’ve said it before, you don’t have to agree on everything to get along. And some of the best relationships are formed by people who don’t.

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Empower yourself

Yes, there are a lot of problems in the world. And the media is happy to share them with you.

One of the most deceptively easy ways to start feeling bad about things is to start focusing on all these problems — and/or your own — without putting in quality time to focus on solutions and ultimately taking action.

The chances of miraculously solving all of your own or the world’s problems by focusing on how bad they make you feel are next to none.

Casually or subconsciously focusing on problems is one of the quickest ways to feel overwhelmed — and many times you won’t even realize why you suddenly feel miserable, only that you do.

If you’re not willing and/or able to commit to action and taking steps to change something for the better, then simply acknowledge your negative thoughts for the time being and move on to something more productive, more positive, more empowering.

Especially if you’re prone to depression.

It is totally ok not to start a project when you don’t have the strength, focus, or tools necessary to complete it.

Gather your tools and the right mindset, and have a strategy. Then you can tackle your problems with intention.

Einstein said, “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”

Along those lines, I say we can’t solve life’s toughest problems from a state of mental or emotional weakness. Rather than make things better, attempting to do so often makes things appear worse. That’s when you, instead, focus on something else.

And if you ever find yourself stuck having to take action, and you have neither the tools or the strength necessary to do it, then reach out to someone who at least has the potential to help you.

There are always people out there willing to help you in any way they can. Even when they, too, have their own problems.

One of the greatest ways to feel empowered and valuable is to find a way to help someone else.

And by doing so, you might just find someone willing and able to help you solve your own problems. Or together, problems you weren’t capable of solving alone.

Student says, “I am very discouraged. What should I do?” Master says, “Encourage others.” — Zen Proverb

Synergy is a wonderful thing.

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