Change (19)

Kaizen is 'continuous improvement' and is a popular subject among businesses and managers. Kaizen means that the best way to affect significant change in an organization is to encourage lots of small, incremental changes that can improve workflow, profit margins, and everything else. By continually improving in small ways, you can create change throughout your whole business, resulting in much more efficient and effective operations.9410126664?profile=RESIZE_400x

But kaizen works best when it is applied at the individual level. In other words, if you can help your staff work better on their own and improve the way they approach problems and their regular workload, you can make your entire organization more effective. A chain is as strong as its weakest link, and a business is the sum of its employees.

If you try to come from above as management and enforce continuous improvement, then the chances are that it won't go well. Your staff might be resistant to minor changes, and you might be too far removed from the process to see where the problems are occurring or where things need to be improved.

On the other hand, if you encourage your team to improve themselves, they will be far more motivated and be able to make changes that affect what they're capable of and how much they're getting done.

So how do you encourage this continuous change in your team?

The Environment

The solution is to give your staff more space and provide them with the environment and the tools they need to improve continuously.

What this means, first and foremost, is that you should create a blame-free environment. Second, this means that your team should feel comfortable trying new methodologies and systems without thinking that you're going to punish them if their new ways of working don't work as well as they should have.

Giving your staff a sense of ownership over their work is also an important step that will motivate them to be better, as is making sure that you aren't micromanaging them to the point where there is no flexibility.

Finally, get your team to monitor and report on their performance and show you how profits or satisfaction are increasing. Again, this shouldn't be used to apply pressure, but monitoring metrics will get the feedback to see what works and what doesn't.

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Get Rid Of Regrets

Peace is a beautiful thing. There is nothing as satisfying as being at peace with yourself and the decisions that you have made. However, regrets have a way of snatching that peace right from under us and breeding a life of torment and suffering. Regrets usually seep in when we go over our lives and our day, and we begin to analyze the decisions that we have made. We realize that some may not have been the best decisions, and years have gone by, but that gnawing feeling won't leave you alone. "I should not have…" is the statement we all say to ourselves sometimes, and that steals our joy and peace. To live a peaceful life, regrets must be done away with. It is not an easy process but one that can be done.9382284686?profile=RESIZE_400x

Make amends.

We all say things we do not mean or do things we regret at some point one way or another. However, find the person and make amends for the thing you regret. This is the simplest way to get rid of regrets. For example, as a parent, you yell at your child unnecessarily, we have been there, and the guilt and the shame start eating at you. The best way out of the situation is to make amends. Making amends allows you to see things from that person's perspective, and one can be forgiven, and sometimes one may not be forgiven, but the fact that you owned up and made an effort to make amends will bring you peace.

Regret is not only in how we treat people but also in the opportunities we let go of. You are offered an opportunity, but because of fear, you do not take the opportunity. Now you are regretting not taking the chance. Call up that person, you may get a second chance. The challenge most of us face is that we shy away from making the call because it is embarrassing, or that it seems like we are begging and it is somewhat beneath us. This is the reason regrets go on for so long.

The past belongs in the past, but the future is yours to have

The best way to get peace and get rid of regrets is to leave the past right where it belongs, in the past. Make an effort to move on with your life the best way your know-how. Look for other opportunities, meet other people and work on those things. Rehashing the past will not in any way change it. It will just frustrate you more. Thus it is better to leave things as they are and forge a new path going forward. Regrets are usually a thing of the past. The best way to let them go is to focus on the here and the now. Living in the present means actively living out your best life despite what happened in the past. Being at peace or choosing peace does not mean that you do not feel bad if it concerns something you did and regret. Choosing peace means you are willing to give yourself another chance at life and not allowing what you did to steal your joy. This does not negate that you feel awful about your actions. It does not mean that you do not seek forgiveness. It means that you can still feel terrible and seek forgiveness and that you desire a life without regrets.

If you cannot change something, change how you think about it

More often than not, the way we remember things is not always how things have played out. We remember things according to our emotions, the way we see and view things, our belief systems, and so many other social constructs. Ever been there where an issue gives you sleepless nights until you see that person or call them to apologize, and they tell you there is nothing to apologize for because they did not see things the way you did. Well, this is the same with regrets. You may beat yourself up for making a particular decision, yet it was not that big a deal. Instead of beating yourself up for being human, why not choose to think of yourself in a more kind and forgiving manner? Look for the silver lining in the dark cloud. Understand that everything, either good or bad, happens for a reason, and good or bad is only how you see things. If you saw things differently, the outcome may surprise you. 

In closing, peace is good for the soul, and we all deserve to live a peaceful life. Part of being human is that we will all make mistakes at one point, but punishing yourself by carrying the burden of regret does not help any situation. If there is a chance to make it right, do. If not, choose to move forward with your life without the burden of regret. Being regretful is not synonymous with being sorry for your actions. It's a burden that you can put down and still remorseful about your actions. So, do what you can to get rid of regrets and get some peace.

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People tend to dream big and set high goals for themselves. So many of us spend hours fantasizing about what life would be like if we could get the big promotion, lose weight, or learn a new skill. 9046112661?profile=RESIZE_400x

Unfortunately, people also tend to let negative thinking get in the way of working toward their goals. Have you ever talked yourself out of making some significant life changes or trying to meet a goal because you thought it would be “too hard” to achieve? If so, you’re likely allowing negative thoughts to get in your way! 

If your thoughts tend to be negative, never fear–with some practice, you can work toward changing your thoughts to be more positive and supportive. 

  1. Strive toward improvement–not perfection.

A common negative thought that gets in the way of making change and progress is the (entirely untrue) belief that we must seek perfection if we chase after a goal. Perfection is the ideal to strive towards. Every step you make towards perfection will improve your life. You also need to celebrate each step towards the ideal. Not look at the strides you make as failures because you did not reach perfection. If you do not have perfection as the goal, you will settle for what is easy to accomplish. 

Verywell Mind suggests working toward accepting improvement over absolute perfection. Challenge yourself to work a little harder each day. Even giving an extra 10% of effort while working toward a goal will help you move closer to your desired results. Only settling for perfection will lead to big disappointment, but working toward improvement will encourage you to continue, even when things get hard. 

  1. Look into cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) methods to restructure your negative thinking habits. 

CBT sounds intimidating, but it simply refers to a toolkit of strategies you can use to replace negative thoughts with better, more positive ones. 

For example, one method of doing this is called cognitive restructuring. Again, this isn’t as complicated as it sounds. Cognitive restructuring takes some time, practice, and patience to master. Still, it will achieve what its name suggests–you will learn to restructure your thinking patterns to be more positive, motivational, and forward-thinking. 

To do this, you identify a negative thought, identify it, and then replace it with a less distorted version that gives you a clear mental picture of reality. Often, our bad or negative thoughts are fueled by fear or worry–this means those negative thoughts cloud our minds with “what ifs” that can stop us from taking a chance to make a change or try something new. Learning to identify, label, and change thoughts takes quite a bit of practice. Below is an example of what this might look like:

  1. You have a negative thought: “I don’t know why I even bother trying to learn this….I know I’m going to fail my test no matter what.”
  2. You identify the negative thought: “Talking to myself like this isn’t helping my situation. It makes me feel even more worried about my upcoming test.”
  3. You replace the negative thought with a more truthful one: “My teacher told me what I need to review to do well on the test, so I am going to spend time studying it tonight, so I feel prepared tomorrow.”


  1. Practice basic mindfulness. 

Mindfulness is the practice of putting yourself “in the moment.” Mindfulness means you take a moment to assess your current situation, feelings, and environment. It can be used as a tool to quiet a busy mind and bring yourself back to reality, particularly if you struggle with stress management and anxious thinking.

For example, if you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a moment to close your eyes, draw in deep breaths, and focus on the “here and now.” You can take a few minutes to run through these questions to bring yourself back into the current moment: 

  1. What does the temperature of the room feel like?
  2. What can I smell in the room right now?
  3. What does the floor feel like under my feet?
  4. What sounds can I hear?
  5. How do my clothes feel against my skin? 

By focusing on these “right now” questions, you can bring your mind back to focus on the present.

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7 Benefits to Trying New Things

8889766287?profile=RESIZE_710xWhen you make it a goal to try something new, you may not realize why you’re setting out to do something new in the first place. There is a slew of benefits that come along from incorporating “new” into your life; here are 7 of them: 

  1. Learn New Things

How will you learn new things if you never try new things? Think about an activity you’ve never tried before. You probably don’t know much about it. As soon as you put yourself out there and try it out, though, you’ll probably learn a lot more about it. 

  1. Get Rid of Boredom

Boredom is the worst – we all can attest. When you’re trying out new projects, new places, new people, etc., that boredom slips by the wayside. Keep your brain engaged, and you won’t have to deal with monotony creeping in. 

  1. More Stories to Tell

As you try new things and meet new people, you accumulate more stories about your adventures. Whether it’s a funny story or a scary story, your stories become part of who you are. What a great perk!  

  1. Get a New Perspective

Sometimes, you need to sit in another area of the room to change your perspective – similarly, you need to try new things to change your outlook on life.

  1. Self-Discovery

Let’s face it – we spend a lot of time with ourselves—an entire lifetime. So if you do the same thing day in and day out, you probably won’t see many different sides to yourself. Self-discovery leads to many great attributes – confidence, self-awareness, perceptiveness, to name a few. 

  1. Gain Confidence

Why fly when you can soar? You can amount to great things by simply expanding your horizons and trying new things. Time after time, you’ll begin to gain a new sense of confidence in yourself and your capabilities. 

  1. Experience Life to the Fullest

There’s a reason why people say you only have one life to live. If you take this sentiment to heart, you’ll want to get as many experiences out of life as you possibly can. That begins with your habits – your day-to-day life. When you push yourself out of your comfort zone, you’ll gain more of these experiences. Who knows what you could learn about yourself or your life? You’ll have to try to find out!

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Everyone has weaknesses. We’re born with them. We grow with them. We lose them, develop them, and lose them all over again. It’s part of the growing experience.

So, if you’re trying to pass off your life as one with no weaknesses, you may be having a tough time. It takes time to get to a point where you graduate your attributes from weak ones into strong ones, but it is 100% possible. Start with a few tangible ways to weed weakness out of your life.8503078669?profile=RESIZE_400x

  1. Make it a Game

When you zoom out and think about your weaknesses, you can make a list. Write them all down. Then, attack your list as if it were a to-do list. These are definitive attributes that can be improved or changed, so why not go for it?

  1. Learn from Others

You are not alone here. You’re certainly not the only person who will ever have this weakness. You have tons of people to look up to and learn from, so use this to your advantage. Find someone who has overcome weaknesses or similar habits as you. Ask them questions. Learn from them. Then, apply it to your situation. 

  1. Think About What You Cannot See

Have you ever received criticism from someone and been completely shocked? Sometimes we don’t realize our weaknesses until it is brought to our attention. If you’re starting on a self-improvement project, try asking your friends and family what they think you can improve about yourself. 

  1. Take it a Step Further

Weaknesses are not surface level, so they shouldn’t be treated that way. If you have a hard time speaking in public, there is likely a deeper-seated issue causing this character trait. If you don’t like to do your work on time, there’s probably something triggering that. When you analyze your weaknesses, don’t just think about how you want to improve them. Think about why they are there in the first place. Ask yourself questions like “Why do I feel this way?” or “Have I always felt this way?” Get to the crux of your weakness, and then work to crush it.  Educating yourself about the new behavior and practicing it will increase your success.

  1. Recognize that Strengths Always Trump Weaknesses

No matter what your strengths are or what your weaknesses are, the good always trumps the bad. Don’t be too hard on yourself throughout this process. You have so many good things going for you, so don’t let yourself forget about those. When you’re asking your loved ones about your weaknesses, ask about your strengths. When you’re making a list of things you want to improve about yourself, make a list about the things you pride yourself on. Keep up the morale and push through!

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Everybody has character defects. It is how you go about it and how you choose to mitigate or change the bad habits that define you as a person. Life is non-linear and non- stagnant, and nobody is perfect. Keeping that in mind, be gentle to yourself and open your mind as you discover your character defects and work towards changing them.8370778276?profile=RESIZE_400x

What Are Character Defects? 

They are harmful or toxic traits hindering your growth and providing issues for you in your life. It could be a vice, habits, or a way of thinking. It is something that you have possibly recognized as a problem area that you would like to fix.

How To Change My Personality 

Personality changes don't happen overnight. It is a long game. To have a sense of fulfillment, we will spend our lives changing and evolving; the main thing is to acknowledge and work on what you see as an issue in your life and take action to fix it. Personality has to do with your mind and the way you think. Here are some steps and things to think about as you work on overcoming what you believe is holding you back.

5 Steps To Work On Your Character Defects

Progress Not Perfection

Nobody is perfect, and we spend the majority of our lives working to better ourselves. The goal is to start the process chase this idea of making progress, not finding the solution. It is the steps you take towards the solution that count. 

Although time is linear, remember that progress and life are very much non-linear in how and when events in life happen. It's okay if something doesn't work. The goal is to keep trying. 

Replace Behavior

Replace malicious behavior with positive behavior. Instead of doing destructive activities, replace those with the way you want to be. Over time you will reprogram yourself. 

The goal is for it to be less harmful than whatever it is you are trying to replace. This will do one of two things. It will rewire your brain until eventually you won't focus or crave that harmful activity.  


Don't give up. Continuously seek the idea of wanting to change and improve yourself as a person. This isn't something that will be fixed overnight but an ongoing process. We will spend our whole lives improving and becoming better versions of ourselves each time. It won't be perfect, but the idea is to chase progress, not perfection. 

Let Go 

Let go of old negative behaviors from your past—work towards conquering past pain so that you may move forward. Let go of the things that stop you from moving forward, making you bitter or bear a grudge, and in general, anything that is not making you happy. Taking off that bitter edge will allow you to excel forward and give up things in your life that no longer serve you.


Envision what you want for yourself and who you want to be. By essentially making yourself a role model for yourself, you provide yourself something to strive towards. Control your narrative. You can become the type of person you want to be. You have the power to change what makes up you. Not instantly, but over time.

Everybody has something that could be considered a character defect. Nobody is perfect, and we are continually growing and evolving. By identifying where our problem areas are and making a plan towards fixing them, we will be better able to control our narrative allowing us to live longer, healthier lives.

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9 Tips For Changing When Change is Hard

Change is a part of all of our lives. How we deal with change is often a determining factor in how happy and successful we are. Sometimes we get lucky, and change is gradual or even painless. Other times, change is hard, overwhelming, or downright scary. This kind of change will have a serious impact on our lives when we embrace it. How do we do that, though? Follow these nine tips to find out how. 8347521094?profile=RESIZE_400x

  1. Make Change Normal

It would help if you changed your attitude about change in general. If you fear even the smallest change, how do you think you will react when changing is hard? Start fostering a more positive attitude towards change. Get used to embracing the easy changes in your life, so your mind is prepared for the hard ones.

  1. Not Changing Is Just as Hard

Whenever change gets challenging or overwhelming, stop and make a list of what would happen if you didn't change. Quite often, the pain of not changing outweighs the comfort of not trying to change. If you need the motivation to change, imagine what would happen if you didn't. 

  1. Bring a Friend Along

If you are struggling with making a significant change in your life, it can help to bring a friend (or more!) along for the ride. For example, maybe you haven't been able to change to a more healthy lifestyle. You might want to see if any of your friends are also struggling with this change. Doing it together will make things easier, and you will find yourself accountable to each other. 

  1. What Can and Can't You Control?

If you are struggling because some massive change is brewing in your life, take some time to reflect. Think about what aspects of this change you can control and which parts are out of your hand. Once that is done, focus solely on the things you have control over. This way, you aren't wasting energy, and you are making sure this life transition will go as smoothly as possible. 

  1. Keep a Journal

Journaling is an excellent way to deal with change, especially if you have struggled to deal with it. Journaling allows you a safe space to get all your thoughts and fears out. You will find that some of your trepidation dissipates when the concerns from your head are put on paper.

  1. Trust Yourself

A lot of the reason people struggle to change is that they don't believe in themselves. They don't believe they deserve "good change," and they don't think they can handle any negative change. Work on boosting your self-esteem first,  then you will naturally be more open to change. 

  1. Your Basic Needs Still Matter

When dealing with a significant change, or life transition, don't forget to take care of yourself. Some changes are so substantial that they are almost all-consuming, but you can't forget your most basic needs. Sleep, diet, and exercise shouldn't be tossed aside because you are too worried about change. 

  1. Make a Plan

Change is often scary because it is the unknown. You might be comfortable in your life now, and you aren't sure what happens when things change. If that sounds like you, then make a plan. Creating a plan of action to deal with a specific change will make it easier for you to make that change when the time comes.

  1. Failure Isn't The End

A lot of people find making a change hard because they fear failing. The way we feel about failure is because of the way we have been taught. It was all wrong. School rewarded an incorrect answer with a big “Red” checkmark. Is it any wonder that we fear making a mistake after that conditioning. Remember that those “Red” Checkmarks were only a gauge of our memorization skills. Now is the time to stop using a grading method for memorization and start using what does not give you your desired result as information to help formulate the next step towards your goal. Failure isn't an ending. It's merely a signal for you to try something different.

Action Steps:

  1. Define the change. Think about the change that you are struggling to make. Clearly define what that change is. Be as specific as possible.
  2. Why do you want to change? List all of the reasons that you want to make this change. Focus on the positives. What will this change improve in your life?
  3. What if I don't change? Now list all of the negative outcomes if you don't make this change. How will it affect you? How will it impact the people you love?
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The Oxford dictionary defines affirmation as "the action or process of affirming something or being affirmed (he nodded in affirmation), and or, emotional support or encouragement, for example, "I am filled with confidence, I know I can handle anything."

In general, affirmations are used to reprogram the subconscious mind, motivate one to believe such things in ourselves or the universe and our position therein.

Affirmations also allow us to change our present reality into the reality we want — often to construct riches, love, elegance, and happiness. There is another meaning of affirmations of this sort, according to Walter E. Jacobson, MD, "because our subconscious mind is influential in upgrading our lives and voicing our wishes. The outcomes of events may have a huge effect on a subconscious basis."

Affirmations are essentially declarations intended to make the person self-change. They will also help concentrate emphasis on the ambitions that can facilitate meaningfully and sustained self-change all day, both in and of themselves.

You can use affirmations in every situation where you would like to see a positive change.

These might include times when you want to:

  • Raise your confidence before presentations or important meetings.
  • Control negative feelings such as frustration, anger, or impatience.
  • Improve your self-esteem.
  • Finish projects you have started.
  • Improve your productivity.
  • Overcome a bad habit.

Affirmations will be easier if you incorporate them with other constructive reinforcement and targeting strategies.

  • Write down a variety of places or behaviors in which you would like to focus -- Make sure it is consistent with your fundamental beliefs and the things that matter most to you because you are genuinely inspired to do so.
  • Make sure your statement is credible and feasible -- Focus that on a practical, factual test. Think of the income amount you are earning. Does this amount bring security in your life? If not. You could use affirmations to request an increase.
  • Transform negative into positive -- Note the recurring feelings or perceptions that annoy you if you deal with negative self-talk. Then pick an argument that is contradictory to this reasoning and emotion. Go through the disagreement and sort out where you could have communicated better. By acknowledging our own mistakes, this, in turn, lets us try harder next time.
  • Write in the present tense -- Write and tell, as if something was already going on, your affirmation. This helps you to think that the declaration is correct in the present tense. For instance, if you feel anxious about talking in front of a group, write down how you would picture the speech going. Remind yourself that, "I am well prepared and well-read. I am prepared to give a great lecture." 
  • Say with feeling -- Affirmations that bear emotional weight are more successful. Remembering any expression you want to echo is a sentence that is important to you. You might say, for example," 'I am ready to face new challenges at work because I am qualified."
  • Practice affirmations with others – When the mind is calm and content, it shows on our faces. reported that "a sign of happiness is when the lips rise symmetrically. In a genuine smile, the eyelids drop, and eyebrows lower. By complimenting someone, naturally strokes our endorphins.

Remembering what is important

Life seems to run smoother when we feel comfortable and have a good attitude. "Law of attraction" proponents sometimes point to this as an improvement of our vibration to make us magnetically attracted to good things when our vibrations are positive — such as financial prosperity, intimacy, and renovated wellbeing.

As author Dale Carnegie once said, "It isn't what you have or who you are or where you are or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about it.'

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Worry gets into all the crevices of our lives. We worry about our jobs, our kids, our relationships, money, and a million other things every single day. It’s no wonder we feel like we’re not getting things done the way we’d like.5927213461?profile=RESIZE_400x

It doesn’t have to be this way. To change your life and stop worrying, ask yourself these quick questions:

What Are You Really Worried About?

Many times, worry is a mask for something else entirely. A hard look and some pointed questions might be necessary to get to the heart of the matter. On the other hand, once you have a clear understanding of what the real issue is, it’s easier to address the problem and stamp out the worry completely.

Is This Even Possible?

Worry inflates everything to monster proportions. If your worry seems ridiculous, it probably is. Take a step back and ask yourself just how likely this outcome is. Worry can’t stand up under this kind of scrutiny. 

Is This Something I can Control?

We’re very good at worrying about something we can’t change. Seriously, what difference does it make if it snows tomorrow? Nothing we do can keep the flakes from falling. Accept sometimes you’re just going to have to go with the flow and adapt to the circumstances. 

Does this Affect Me Today?

Worries about the future can derail your life today. If you’re worried about something far off, it’s time to take a step back. Ask yourself a fundamental follow-up question if you’re concerned about the future: “Is there something I can do today that will prevent this outcome tomorrow?” If so, now you have a plan of action. Get to it! 

Am I Spending Too Much Time?

Obsessive worry doesn’t help anyone. If you find yourself circling back to the same concern over and over, you might need help breaking out of this cycle. Consider talking to someone, such as a good friend or even a counselor or trained professional, to help you break out of this vicious cycle. 

Why Do I Care What Others Think?

If you’re worried about the opinions of others, why? If you’re concerned about impressing your boss, there are better ways to do this than worrying. More often than not, though, you’re going to find most people’s opinions don’t matter. Don’t let them get to you. 

Once you have the answers to these questions, you’ll find it’s easy to get your thoughts back on track. Worry becomes a thing of the past when we’re mindful of it, and don’t let it become obsessive. Imagine the difference a life without so much worry will make.

Worry moves into your mind and pays no rent for space it takes up.

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Your boss just came over to your desk in the office and told you about a big project that he wants you to start in the next few weeks. After speaking with him, the first thing you thought to yourself was, “I can’t do that!”

You’re playing in your high school’s basketball game and you find out that a recruiter from a big-name college is coming to watch you play. You think to yourself, “Okay, I can do this. I’ve been playing for 10 years.”

Though these are both extremely different scenarios, they both involve the concept of self-talk Now we’re going to go over the benefits of using positive self-talk and how you can apply this new skill to your own life.4641251675?profile=RESIZE_400x

What is self-talk?

In simple terms: Self-talk is your inner voice. It’s the conversation you have with yourself in your head about what’s going on in your life and in the present moment. Depending on your mindset and the situation, self-talk can be either negative or positive.

  • Positive self-talk. This is the best type of self-talk that you can practice in your own life. It’s encouraging, motivating, and makes you feel better about yourself and your qualifications.
  • Negative self-talk. This is the type of self-talk that puts you down. It’ll convince you that you’re not good enough, not fit for a job or task and that there are no positives in a situation.

Obviously, positive self-talk is what’s going to change your life for the better. Plus, it’s actually pretty simple to do!

Using Positive Affirmations

Think about a task or job you’ve been given in life that you didn’t exactly feel qualified for. Maybe you didn’t feel like you were smart enough, pretty enough, or old enough to do in the way it should be done.

This type of situation can cause an overwhelming sense of stress and anxiety. That’s why using positive affirmations can help you to focus more on the positive qualities that you have that prove that you’re actually more than capable of doing what you set your mind to.

To use positive affirmations, select a phrase or sentence that highlights a part of your personality or physical body that you’re insecure about. So, if you don’t feel smart enough for a job, you can say to yourself, “I’m great at learning new things.”

Simply repeat the phrase to yourself when you’re feeling down and, eventually, you’ll begin to believe the words that you’re telling yourself.

Shifting Your Perspective

Affirmations are a great start when it comes to using self-talk to keep you calm. But, for a more permanent solution, you’re going to need to focus on shifting your perspective and mindset to generally being more positive.

Let’s say something happened to you that you perceive as negative. Now, you’re completely allowed to feel sad, angry, anxious, or stressed about what happened, but you can also start to view it in another way.

So, rather than harping on the negatives of something, try to identify at least one positive aspect of what happened. At that point, you can then use your self-talk to remind yourself of the good that came out of it and reduce the stress and anxiety commonly linked to that kind of negative event.

Final Thoughts

Life is full of stress and anxiety. Yet, using self-talk is a beneficial way to help you to remain calm and tranquil, regardless of the circumstances. The best ways to do this are by using positive affirmations to boost your self-esteem and shifting your perspective to focus on the positives.

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Rituals can change the way we view the day and can improve our well-being and quality of life. Having a set routine helps us develop good habits and reach our goals and aspirations, while rituals improve our mood and shape our beliefs. They allow us to keep ourselves accountable and stay motivated on the days we do not want to get out of bed.

Morning rituals are the best way to set our days up for success and stay in control of the day, regardless of outside factors. The way that you wake up each morning will dramatically increase your quality of life and balance your stress levels, allowing you to feel calm and at peace throughout the rest of the day4640297262?profile=RESIZE_400x

What is a Morning Ritual?        

Both routines and rituals are crucial to a positive state of mind and maintaining mental stability. However, it is important to know that they are not the same thing but that they complement one another. A morning ritual takes on a task that may be part of one’s routine and puts meaning and intention behind it.

Rituals are habits that an individual develops to nurture and build a healthy mindset. They allow us to appreciate the benefits that our routines provide to us for our daily lives and provide value beyond completing a task.

Rituals are self-empowering and allow us to change our perspective on reality. They allow us to reinforce habits with the reasoning behind them that can be very effective in improving our mental health and emotions. 

Examples of Morning Rituals


Gratitude reinforces happiness and can set the tone for a positive outlook on the day. It allows you to appreciate the little moments that occur throughout the day and finding ways to be grateful for whatever the day presents.

One way to practice gratitude is throughjournaling. By making a list each morning of the things you are most grateful for, you will train your mind to look for moments of appreciation throughout the rest of the day. Starting your day off with a grateful mind is the best way to stay positive and full of joy each day.

Goals and Aspirations

Writing down your goals and how you will achieve them is the best way to stay motivated and keep yourself accountable. It is easy to say a goal out loud, but writing it down and staying attuned to it each morning will make you more likely to achieve it and stick to it.

Along with your gratitude journal, writing down the ways you will try to achieve your goals and make progress each morning will get you closer and closer to your goals. Goals that you think about every morning will keep you dedicated and committed no matter what obstacles arise.


Meditation is a great practice to keep your mind healthy and productive throughout the day. By clearing your mind for a period of time each morning, you will notice the positive impacts that meditating has on many different components of your life. 

Research has shown that meditation has direct links with happiness, reduced anxiety and depression, balanced emotions, and alertness. When you acknowledge and sit with your feelings, you will notice that they no longer follow you throughout the day and prevent you from completing your daily tasks.

Meditation has tons of benefits that will improve your perspective on reality and your calmness throughout the day. Meditating will also help you realize gratitude and focus on your aspirations while staying as productive and dedicated as possible.

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As kids, we’re told to break bad habits. What we should and should not do become so ingrained in our minds that we get sick of it! We end up rebelling throughout our teen years, discarding many of those childhood lessons.

Then, maybe somewhere on the backside of 25, we come full circle and realize we need to break those habits which once seemed to give life such flare. Now all they offer us are hangovers and regret. The good news is, we’re adults now. We don’t have to do or not do something because some adult told us so. We’re in control!

The following are three everyday habits that should be addressed. Though you may still be in the chaos of your teens and early twenties the sooner you address them, the better. You don’t have to wait until 30 to cut out toxicity and start achieving your goals.

Keeping Bad Company

When you’re younger, accepting and interacting with a large swath of people is the right call. It helps us gain experience, molding relationships, and finding quality friendships. The problem, however, is that many people get stuck in this first stage. They keep seeking many friends instead of quality friendships, and maybe feel like it’s wrong to cut out toxic people in their lives.

It is not your responsibility to fix other people. Many people you need to distance yourself from will do everything in their power to keep you the same. That way, they have no reason to change. They’ll belittle new, healthy pursuits, monopolize your time, and tempt you into bad habits and poor decisions.

Keep supportive people who are going places in life. People who value you and enable you to get where you want to be, those are the ones you deserve.3960819690?profile=RESIZE_710x

Putting Things Off

School teaches us habits, good and bad. Many of us learned that an assignment with a far-off due date means we won’t have to do anything until the last night or two. Several months of college partying for two nights of stress. That’s not a bad deal!

A study at Case Western Reserve University rated college students on a scale of procrastination, then tracked their stress levels, academic performance, and overall general health throughout the semester. ( The procrastinators did well at first, feeling less stressed. In the long run, though, they felt more and more stressed and performed worse than their non-procrastinator peers.

If you’re putting something off, start by asking yourself why. Sometimes finding that more in-depth answer will be the key.

Eating Poorly

It’s hard to show people the benefits of eating right without having them do it for a while. People focus on future benefits, like losing weight or fewer trips to the doctor. Without any here and now reward, though, it’s hard to make it through that stick of celery.

The truth is that eating healthy gives you more energy, makes you happier, and yes, helps you lose weight. Eating poorly does the opposite in exchange for a short-term benefit.

The key is finding a way to enjoy healthy food. For some people, dipping that celery into peanut butter is enough. Many delicious dips spice up a vegetable tray. There are also healthier meat choices like turkey or chicken rather than red meat—baking or grilling rather than frying.

Be Relentless

Habits need to exist to support us, not hinder us. If a habit is making us late to bed, late to work, depressed, or upset in any way, it has to go. Plain and simple. You can’t just post on social media that you’re quitting and hope that works. You need to find a new, better habit to replace it. Don’t settle for anything less!

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10 Ways to Develop Creativity

Creativity is something we all use in some form, but many believe they aren’t creative. But the creative mind can be developed. Developing a creative mindset takes practice. The more you do the things, regularly, that flex your creative muscle, the more you will develop a natural ability to be creative.3855569082?profile=RESIZE_710x

Developing your creative muscles helps reduce stress and improve your problem-solving ability. Begin with these 10 steps to build and enhance your creativity.

  1. Be mindful and observe what others are doing around you. The way we see our surroundings and our environment helps build our creativity. Notice and appreciate everything and everyone around you. This opens your mind to new possibilities while helping you build on the collection of experiences to draw from for inspiration.
  2. Be willing to take risks to develop your creative skills. While you will fail, you will be boosting your creativity and building skills you can use later.
  3. Every time you make progress with using your creativity, you are building your confidence. Reward yourself for your creativity.
  4. When you approach a problem, remember there are multiple solutions. Look for a variety of solutions instead of going with your first one. This helps build problem-solving skills and creative thinking skills.
  5. Start to keep a creativity journal. Use it to keep track of your creative process and any ideas you come up with. Go back and reflect on what you have accomplished. Use it to try to find other solutions to any problems you may have solved already.
  6. Use a mind map or flow chart to connect ideas and look for creative answers to any questions you are facing. For the mind map, write down the central topic or word, then link the related ideas around the center word. This gives you a visual for seeing ideas and how they are connected. The flow chart can be used to track what needs to happen when in a project or event. Mind maps can also be used to visualize the final product and what needs to happen to get to that finished product.
  7. Develop your creativity by changing your environment. The change can be as simple as clearing your desk, painting your walls, or moving your furniture. Or you can try taking your laptop to work in a different setting such as a restaurant or park.
  8. Fight your fear of failing. If you fear you will make a huge mistake or fail when you try doing something new, it can keep you paralyzed from being creative. Mistakes are always going to happen. The trick is not to give up and to learn from them.
  9. Get out of your comfort zone and try new things. Do this regularly to develop your creativity. Changing things and doing things outside your comfort zone boosts creativity. Start with something small if you aren’t ready to climb a mountain
  10. Take time to daydream and let your mind wander. Daydreaming leads to creative problem-solving while boosting your creative thinking. As it wanders, your mind accesses memories and emotions as well as those random bits of knowledge you’ve forgotten. Focus on the area you want inspiration.

Practice is key to developing your creativity. If you don’t do your activities, regularly, whether they are mental or physical, your creativity fades. There are many ways to develop your creativity. Just find the ones that work for you.


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Coping with Difficult People

Everyone has someone difficult in their lives. It could be a family member, a friend, or a coworker. There’s the drama queen - this person lives and breathes drama. Nothing is a simple reaction - everything is an overreaction.3796010814?profile=RESIZE_710x

Then there’s the complainer - the person who is never happy or satisfied with anyone or anything. They never saw a rainbow in their life and continually gripe. There’s the dream killer. Whatever dream you have and are excited about, they’re going to tell you everything that’s going to go wrong and give you case after case of people who tried and flopped.

You may be dealing with a perfectionist, or a know it all - or the sarcastic person who ridicules people. Maybe it is the person who makes snide, hurtful remarks, then brushes it off by saying, “they were joking.”

Regardless of which type of difficult person you have to deal with, the results are the same. They drain your mental energy, and if you’re not careful, you can find yourself being affected by some of their habits.

There are ways that you can have a solid plan for and put in place so that these people don’t get to impact your mental well-being. If someone is spewing negativity, or they’re railing about something that you know has the power to affect you, first, take a deep breath and slowly let it out to center yourself.

Then, ask yourself if there’s any truth to the statements or situation. If there is, decide if it impacts your happiness, finances, relationships, or your job. If not, let it go.

There’s no need to jump into the middle of a drama that’s not yours. If the problematic person is bringing or creating a situation that does have something to do with you, ask yourself if you can change it.

If so, ask what the best way to deal with it is. If there’s no action that you can take, then let it go. Trying to solve the unsolvable is a recipe for success. Recognize that sometimes, there is no closure, and you have to move on, leaving things as is.

Don’t engage with difficult people who are just looking to complain, insult, or tear you down. It’s not your battle. Let them be angry or miserable, and don’t take on that burden.

With proper self-care habits, there should be firm boundaries in place for dealing with difficult people.

You can say that you don’t want to hear something if it’s negative or gossipy, or you know it’s not going to serve a purpose in your life. You can also state that there’s nothing you can do if a difficult person is pressing you for help you don’t have or don’t want to give.

Sometimes, no matter what you do, you can’t help the other person. Walk away from stressful people that are negatively impacting your life. Go and recuperate from the stress by relaxing and rejuvenating yourself with something positive that nurtures you.

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Coping with Change

Life never sits still. Its always moving, always changing. But changing to change is wasted motion. Sometimes, change is good, but sometimes, it’s not. The people in your life may be the motivation for the difference. You may marry or divorce. You may have lost a loved one. It may be a necessary job change, but it could be that you may lose a career that you loved. You may have to sell a house or buy one.3782297374?profile=RESIZE_710x

Change is something that can be easy to deal with, and you might feel excited and ready for it. But sometimes, it wasn’t what you wanted, and you weren’t expecting it. That can be excruciating to handle. 

Finding a way to cope with change and learning how is an integral part of self-care. Remember that you’re not a machine. You have a wide range of emotions, and you will feel them as you implement changes. You might be up one day and down the next. If you’re going through some change, take it easy on yourself. Understand that eventually, things will return to normal, or you’ll get used to your new normal.

If the change that happened was one that you didn’t want, and it involves another person, don’t jump on board the blame train. There’s no happy ending destination when you waste time traveling the blame train. Just accept that this change has happened and go about the business of learning the best way to deal with it. Accept that it will be a while before things turn out the way you’d like them to.

Change can be a long or short process. Just be patient and keep hanging in there. When the change that you’re coping with is not a pleasant one, reach out to people who are supportive of you. Let them know what’s going on. The people who care about you want what’s best for you. They’ll be happy to listen and help with whatever you need. Getting the emotions out can be beneficial when you’re coping with a change so that you don’t keep everything locked within. 

Sometimes, a change is so unpleasant that it rattles you. As long as you focus your attention on what’s wrong, on what’s uncomfortable about the situation, your emotions will settle there.  All you’ll see is the downside of what’s occurring. For example, you might focus on all of the bad that comes with losing a job rather than seeing the good that could come from it - such as now you’re free to start your own business or move somewhere you’ve always wanted to live and start over. 

An uplifting way to practice self-care during a change is to make sure you don’t let yourself get overwhelmed. Take care of what you can today, and don’t fret about tomorrow’s problem that the change may bring. Taking care of yourself needs to be at the top of your list. Keep your focus on your needs. Rest when you need to. Take five minutes to get alone and meditate if you need to. Whatever your mind or body requires, do it.

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Sometimes, you come to a point where you feel as though your efforts aren’t getting you any closer to your goal. You could feel as though you’re working hard, but you’re just not getting any traction or seeing the results that you want to.

This is a frustrating time because you think you’re doing everything correctly, so there shouldn’t be any reason why you’re not getting closer to your goals. The reason behind your lack of progress might not have anything to do with your strategies at their core, but rather bad habits you have that are holding you back.3601412532?profile=RESIZE_710x

There are so many everyday bad habits that can ruin your productivity and keep you back from being successful. One set of bad habits revolves around poor time allocation. People have such a difficult time trying to manage their hours productively, and they end up not leaving themselves enough time to work.

They often waste their time on all kinds of different things, whether it be social media, hanging out with friends, or just doing miscellaneous tasks. There are a lot of distractions out there that can hold you back from doing work, but you have to ignore them.

Another aspect of bad habits pertains to your health. A healthy mind and body are vital if you want to be successful - otherwise, you won’t be able to perform to the best of your abilities.

For example, many people don’t get enough sleep at night, leading to them being, slow, and grumpy in the mornings and during their workdays. Similarly, many people don’t keep up with their diets as well as they should.

Whether it’s about being in shape or not, having a poor diet can mean you’re not getting enough of the right nutrients, which can cause a variety of health problems like headaches and fatigue that can wear you out and prevent you from working at your best.

You must be able to resolve these habits and form new ones as soon as possible - otherwise, you might find it challenging to achieve success. It takes some time to develop new habits, and you have to stick with them.

If you just let these bad habits go unchecked, it could lead to some problems for you down the line. The last thing you’d want is to be held back from success because of something as small as a poor diet.

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Breaking Bad Habits in 5 Steps

Breaking bad habits made simple. We do not go out looking for our bad habits. One day we see the destructiveness of our habits. Some we tell ourselves are harmless, like watching too much tv. Even more serious ones like smoking, drinking, and overeating, we can justify them with social proofing. Over time we see how these behaviors hold us back from accomplishing our dreams. 

Your behaviors, minor or significant these five steps to breaking bad habits will work. You can defeat them and become the person you always wanted to be.

The Five Step Formula

  1. Why does the habit exist? The stage has been set when we either become stressed or bored. Discovering the triggers is invaluable in figuring out how to the best way to change your patterns. Take a week and look hard at yourself. Use a pen and paper to write down when you slip into your undesirable habits. What was going on right before you slipped into the habit? What does this tell you about yourself?


  1. Get motivated. What are the new behaviors you would like to replace the old ones? What are the benefits of changing? These benefits are important. Write them all down. These benefits need to be heartfelt to keep you motivated and on track. Visualizing yourself as a success is a large part of the motivation. Develop a clear picture of how the new you will look. It will be you in short order. You can do this!


  1. Develop an action plan. You have your desired goal written down. Without a plan on how you will achieve the goal, you will fail. Setting goals are great, but you’re going to fail if you don’t also establish how you’re going to get there. Make achievable steps that you can measure. If you want to stop overeating, one action could be to have a list when you go food shopping and only get what is on the list. Then stick to the list.


  1. Check your Progress. Do not drive yourself crazy with how you are doing. Set up regular times to review your progress. Remember, you are breaking bad habits. These patterns have been ingrained over a long period.  When you slip, get back on track. Beating yourself up will accomplish nothing.  Adjust your plan if necessary, but do not quit.


  1. Do not do it alone. Using an accountability partner is a potent tool. You can easily talk yourself into relaxing your goals. Being accountable to someone else give you the strength to stay the course. If you need professional help, then, by all means, get expert advice. How you get the job done is not the important thing. It is breaking bad habits and installing new ones in their place. While these steps are simple, they are not easy. It will take all the discipline you can muster.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

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Importance of Growth Mindset

The importance of your mindset is there are two approaches to your life. They are going to be total opposites. They do not keep company with each other.

You can approach life with a “fixed mindset,” or the other mindset is called a “growth mindset.” It holds that those with a growth mindset when embarking on a venture are more successful than those using a fixed mindset.

If you have a fixed mindset you assume that you are too old to learn a new skill set. Also, your potential and abilities are God-given and can not be changed and improved. The “growth mindset” are continually looking for ways to enhance their skill set.

If you fall into the fixed group, feelings of powerlessness rule your beliefs about changing your skills and talents. While the “growth” group believe they are the ones who make decisions about changing their attitude and competence level.

This is a very broad view of fixed and growth mindsets. Here are a few other differences. 

What is your attitude towards obstacles and mistakes? 

Faced with an obstacle, are you quick to become discouraged and throw in the towel? You conclude it just was not meant to be. Or God knows what is best and this is not it. The growth mindset has an optimistic outlook on the obstacle. They approach the problem with “it is what it is” and look for solutions and move forward.

The differences so far are the fixed mindset sees no room for learning and growth, while the growth mindset has positive and healthier options. The growth group will educate themselves and put to use the experience of others to overcome the obstacle. Thus living with a sense of accomplishment, the growth mindset will not see obstacles just opportunities for solutions.

Mindset Affects Your Health

Your mindset plays a role in our health. If you are discouraged continuously or depressed, your immune system is suppressed. The fixed mindset is more susceptible to illness and has a longer recovery time than the growth mindset.

The growth mindset is healthier and happier. Happier people are sick less often and for shorter periods.

Change Your Mindset

Psychologists and other professionals agree that the individual has control over how they view life.  It does not matter how long you have had a fixed or negative mindset; you need to decide to change and take some action immediately. Making the decision and waiting for the magic wand will not have any effect on your mindset. You need to take action now!

What does this mean the importance of your mindset? It means you are not doomed with a fixed mindset. Your past results are not permanent and you can always develop a growth mindset.

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Struggle is Good!   I Want to Fly!

I was talking to Todd today. This story came to mind. It helped me keep the course and not quit many a time. I thought I would retell it here for you. Maybe it will help you as it did me.

Once a little boy was playing outdoors and found a fascinating caterpillar. He carefully picked it up and took it home to show his mother. He asked his mother if he could keep it, and she said he could if he would take good care of it.

The little boy got a large jar from his mother and put plants to eat, and a stick to climb on, in the jar. Every day he watched the caterpillar and brought it new plants to eat.

One day the caterpillar climbed up the stick and started acting strangely. The boy worriedly called his mother who came and understood that the caterpillar was creating a cocoon. The mother explained to the boy how the caterpillar was going to go through a metamorphosis and become a butterfly.

The little boy was thrilled to hear about the changes his caterpillar would go through. He watched every day, waiting for the butterfly to emerge. One day it happened, a small hole appeared in the cocoon and the butterfly started to struggle to come out.

At first, the boy was excited, but soon he became concerned. The butterfly was struggling so hard to get out! It looked like it couldn’t break free! It looked desperate! It looked like it was making no progress!

The boy was so concerned he decided to help. He ran to get scissors and then walked back (because he had learned not to run with scissors…). He snipped the cocoon to make the hole bigger and the butterfly quickly emerged!

As the butterfly came out the boy was surprised. It had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings. He continued to watch the butterfly expecting that, at any moment, the wings would dry out, enlarge and expand to support the swollen body. He knew that in time the body would shrink and the butterfly’s wings would expand.

            But neither happened!

The butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings.

It never was able to fly…

As the boy tried to figure out what had gone wrong his mother took him to talk to a scientist from a local college. He learned that the butterfly was SUPPOSED to struggle. In fact, the butterfly’s struggle to push its way through the tiny opening of the cocoon pushes the fluid out of its body and into its wings. Without the struggle, the butterfly would never, ever fly. The boy’s good intentions hurt the butterfly.

As you go through school, and life, keep in mind that struggling is an important part of any growth experience. In fact, it is the struggle that causes you to develop your ability to fly.

As instructors, our gift to you is stronger wings…

via Butterfly Struggle Story

Image by smarko from Pixabay

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