52 Weeks of Positive Change – Week 13: Get Unstuck By Releasing Fear

Unstuck

The first step toward getting somewhere is to decide that you are not going to stay where you are – Unknown

Well this quote appeared perfect since my blog has been at a standstill for a few weeks despite the promise that I would do a weekly update. As the weeks were breezing by I had periodic internal thoughts that told me I was behind and that I was not keeping my word. But excuses or fatigue kept me from moving forward. These are things we all experience. Maybe you have a lot going on in your work or personal lives that set you off track somewhere. It may not be happening at this moment but it will happen in your lifetime.

I am glad to bring a part of my own life to this blog as a way to demonstrate that we all have challenges. That does not stop me from living a positive life or thinking in a positive manner. Though, it is about improving and perfecting a strategy. Whether you are playing a sport, at the office, with the kids or on a vacation your state of mind and how you think about particular situations come down to your approach. Evaluate your internal thoughts – are they commonly negative or can you find the one bit of hope in a terrible situation. Unless you have been taught through positive parenting or some other source of positive living then likely your thought processes have some negative connotation.

Recognize when your thoughts are negative and work toward finding a gleam of hope is a challenge, but possible. Such as – Oh my I am not writing in my blog, I am so far behind, I failed by giving others my word and now all I have done will fail. Instead think of the situation in a clear and positive manner – Wow it has been two weeks without a posting, I know I have been tired and started a new job but I will wake up in the morning and give it my best shot.   Once I began thinking like the latter well here we are, I am writing.

Self-exploration is vital to curing the stuck-in-the mud feeling. You will remain stuck unless you explore why you are stuck or what the fear is of moving forward. Yes, here I go again you may think, but change takes a lot of trial and error and correcting what once worked but is now broken. Think about what may be holding you back from taking that step forward. Avoidance always has a hidden message and agenda. When you are avoiding something, fear is at the center of the decision making process. Again, fear is what robs us from happiness.

Using myself again as an example, my fear about writing the next blog included the fear of letting others down, not keeping my word and the lack of follow-through, which equated to being unreliable. After I was able to identify those fears I could effectively challenge them. Yes I did not keep my word and failed with follow-through, however, I showed my human side and openly shared what others may also experience. Recognizing my setbacks allowed me to rationalize my fear and overcome what was holding me back. You have sole control over the correct timing to make a move and only you will know when the stagnation of staying where you are is no longer effective. Listen to the internal cues and when faced with fear challenge irrational thoughts to help overcome judgments that will keep you stuck.

Today is the day to challenge the fears you have comforted and nurtured. When you feel that pit in the bottom of your stomach, sit down and evaluate its origin. Write down all those thoughts that are rummaging through your mind. Once they come to life in front of you, stare down their untruths in an effort to overcome the lies that have held you down.

Take out a piece of paper and think about a decision that has been on your mind. Jot down the negative aspects about that decision. Canceling out those thoughts could be obvious for some but for others may be a more difficult process. Using the positive people in your life could lend the helping hand that you need.

For example:

Negative thought: I want to start my own business but I don’t have what it takes.

Counteracting thought: Well I have been a manager for 5 years, I know how to be in charge.

Positive People: I remember my last 3 evaluations and my supervisor said “you are a self starter, the company has grown since you have been a manager.”

I hope this blog post was helpful when considering how to challenge fears. Get out there and make some changes and move forward. If you would like to get a notification to stay in tune with this blog please subscribe.

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Motivational Monday’s

Things work out best for those who make the best of how things work out. ~John Wooden

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Wow what a powerful quote.  It is inevitable that negative things in life will happen but perspective becomes a choice.  Can you take a bad situation and find the positive part of the scenario.

For example, you get a flat tire on the freeway and are late to work.  This is the beginning of a disastrous morning – can anything get worse you add.  Well the towing company comes and fixes your tire and you are off to work.  When you get there all your co-workers were worried frantically as they heard there was a pileup on the freeway and a few people were seriously injured.  You turn on the news to find out that you were on that same freeway broken down and the mile was a mile ahead of you and happened just about the same time you travel through that area every day.  The ending of that scenario is – yes you had a flat tire but that may have been the universes way of preventing you from being in serious pileup on the freeway. 

Being able to put things into perspective and envision a lighter side of life is easier to carry than all the negative burdens experienced on a daily basis.  No matter how much you believe to be in control of things, true control is only a mirage.

The Self-Made Path To Success

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Monday’s quote got me thinking. Well it is true that paths can be made and that taking the road less traveled will certainly open opportunities, but what exactly does that look like?
First, believing that something is possible becomes first and foremost. One will not have the courage to even look out of their peripheral eye at the unpaved path unless you can believe that a path can be made. I don’t mean like a wholehearted belief just one big enough that will motivate you. Something like believing that you can one day win the lottery. Well that is only true for those that play the game.
However, there is a warning when trekking untraveled territories. Be prepared for the slithery serpent or the covered sinkhole that may appear. There is usually no warning and can really cut the trip short if allowed. Yet if you know they will at one time or another pop up then you can kindly sidestep and continue on. What I mean is be prepared for the person that doesn’t believe in your mission, they are irrelevant as long as you believe. And those big sinkholes that pop up are the worst. To explain those would be easily difficult.
The sinkhole is usually in the path you have set out for yourself. Rather than falling in learn to go around. What that looks like in real life is somewhat like changing a short-term goal into something feasible while keeping your eye on the long-term endeavor. So the end never wavers just what is in the middle.
Creating a tool large enough to carve the path is also significant. That tool is better known as motivation. The more motivated you are to complete your journey then reality becomes that much more real. If you are really crafty be motivated enough so that the path is large enough to carry others through. Being successful is no fun unless you can pass on the knowledge.
So get to carving out your own success with a belief and a tool.

Using Positive Affirmations To Improve Your Mood

An affirmation is the assertion that something exists or is true (dictionary.com). Therefore a positive affirmation is the previous statement done in a positive way. When a statement or phase is asserted toward oneself then in time it becomes solidified in that person’s mind as the truth. Something to the effect of the self-fulfilling prophecy or reaping what you sow. One true way countless people become all they dreamt is by practice and taking on a “fake it till you make it” persona. So for example, if you tell yourself that you will fail repeatedly then it is no wonder when you actually fail. Yet the opposite is also true.

Setting time aside for positive affirmations may not be an easy task and may feel weird when first indulging in these self-perceived thoughts. But in time it will become second nature and more affirmations will likely come to mind.

Some really good examples of positive affirmations include:
• I deserve ________.
• I am a good person.
• I like the way I look.
• My friends like me.
• I can achieve __________.
• I am a good __________.
• I speak well.
• I am reliable.
• I am smart.
The list can go on but those are a few to choose from and feel free to adjust to fit your own life. Also if you are struggling with finding positive attributes then use some of the above examples until you can begin believing in yourself enough to create your own.

When thinking of some of the examples it may not be evident why affirmations work. Well think of it like this, if you are so used to negative self-talk and say horrible things about yourself then you probably won’t know what it feels like to say something nice. Once using positive affirmations and truly working on believing them then your mood will probably change.

If you don’t believe me then do a quick exercise. Sit in a chair and position yourself in front of a mirror. Begin saying negative things about you directly in the mirror. Concentrate on looking at yourself and saying some horrible things you have thought at one time or another. Now take a deep breath and give yourself a moment. Doing the same thing now but say positive things to yourself directly in the mirror again concentrating on yourself and how you look. Once you have completed both parts of the exercise recall your body language and what was going on inside for you. How were the two parts different? Did you notice a difference in your tone of voice, eye contact, and body language? Now what was the internal process like? Was your heart beating faster, did you feel shame or guilt.

Just like the exercise positive affirmations work in the same way. If a negative outlook is relied on then internally you are likely to cringe, reduce self-esteem and mood. Contrarily positive affirmations help one to sit up tall and feel more aware and assured about self. Positive affirmations create positive moods and perceptions, which in turn increases one’s mood.

Get Positive