What would you do if you weren’t afraid of failing?

fear

What would you do if you weren’t afraid of failing? That’s a question I like to ask people I know. It’s a question that gets to your core passion. Fear however has a way of paralyzing us. Fear causes us to shrink back…to doubt…. and in many instances, not even try.

Fear is a part of life, and some fear is helpful. You’re afraid to stick your hand into a fire or to jump off a cliff. If you weren’t afraid of anything, you wouldn’t live long. But most fears are crippling and influence your decisions in negative ways.

Imagine you’re walking through the woods and get a thorn in your arm. You would likely remove it and go about your life with little thought of that mild injury. But imagine if you didn’t deal with it.

Eventually, that thorn would affect many of your decisions:

  • It would become infected and sore.
  • You would be careful not to bump anything.
  • You’d avoid most sports.
  • You would protect yourself anytime someone walked to close.
  • Eventually, you might even develop a special cover to tape over it.
  • Then you must worry about finding clothes that fit over it.
  • You couldn’t swim because the tape might come off.
  • It would affect your sleeping position, and so on.

 

Fears are the same way. A fear of talking to strangers affects the decisions you make in your social life and career. We avoid all types of things to ensure we don’t stir up the negative emotions caused by our fears.

The more fears you have, the less freedom you enjoy.

Try these techniques to transcend your fears and claim the level of freedom you deserve:

  1. Become more aware. There’s a big world out there with a variety of perspectives. Yours might not be the best perspective. You might believe that a fear of public speaking is totally normal and justified. But is it? What is the worst that could happen if you make a mistake? No one is going to stone you.
  • Look at all your fears and make a list of them.
  • Decide which are causing your life the most grief. Which fears do you spend the most time working around? Which are the most limiting?
  1. Determine why you’re afraid. What are the possible consequences that cause you to be afraid?
  2. Deal with your fears a little at a time. For example, if you’re afraid of public speaking, try giving a speech to your child, nephew, or niece. Then trying giving it to three of them. Build up your tolerance until you can speak to thousands.
  3. Use techniques to lower your fear. There are many tools for dealing with fear:
  • The Emotional Freedom Technique is popular.
  • So is the Sedona Method.
  • Hypnosis and meditation are also options.
  • You can also use a psychologist if you’re not making a lot of progress on your own.
  1. Use a journal. Writing can often be more helpful than thinking. We take the things we write more seriously than our self-talk. You talk to yourself constantly throughout the day. What will one more thought accomplish? Use a journal to record your thoughts, fears, and your progress.
  2. Develop a new understanding of failure. Many of the silly fears we have are related to a fear of failure. Ask yourself what can happen if you fail? Failure can be a great thing if you learn from it and apply it to your life.

Imagine a life without any irrational fears. Now let me ask you the question: What would you do if you weren’t afraid of failing?

You have a choice. You don’t have to keep your fears. Spend some time each day dealing with your fears and reclaim your life.

Live life to the full!

Stop being afraid!

Just do it!

No pain … no gain.

No risk… no reward.

If you don’t get over your fear, at the end of your life the words “If I only _____” or “I wonder if I ______” will leave you with a feeling of regret.

25 Reasons to Be Grateful Today

It’s sometimes hard to look around us and find something to be grateful for. But there are so many little blessings that make our life worthwhile! Looking for them will help us develop a grateful heart and increase the joy of our blessings tremendously. Need something to be grateful for today? Consider these…

  1. Life itself – The blessing of being alive, of breathing and thinking. Never take it for granted!
  2. Health – This one becomes more precious only when you lose it. But good health is truly a blessing to give thanks for.
  3. Family – Our children, grandchildren, parents, siblings and spouse. Even extended family make life worthwhile and worth living.
  4. Your five senses – hearing, touch, sight, taste and smell. Can you imagine a life without these blessings? Even losing one of them is a heartache. Combined, they fill our lives with… life!
  5. Work – While we sometimes fuss and wish we didn’t have to work, the blessing of a job to provide for our family is definitely something to be grateful for in these uncertain economic times.
  6. Sunshine – Think of the joy of walking outside and letting the sun kiss your face… hmm… can you feel it?
  7. Rain – Although it seldom comes at what we consider the “right” time, rain is so necessary to our very survival. Thank goodness we have it!
  8. Food – So many in the world don’t have enough to eat. What a blessing it is for those who do!
  9. Loving relationships. The old song says, “love makes the world go ’round.” How true it is! Be thankful for the love in your life.
  10. Friends – Friends are the family we choose to love. And how wonderful they are!
  11. Hugs – A loving touch can remove sadness, uplift a spirit and heal a heartache. Definitely something to be grateful for.
  12. Freedom – The freedom to live and breathe and think your own thoughts is one of the greatest joys in the world.
  13. A home. It doesn’t have to be large or even impressive, but a home filled with love and laughter is a comfort for the soul. Give thanks for yours!
  14. Your education. Many people underestimate the value of education but those who’ve acquired it know what a blessing it is.
  15. Kindness – Only when faced with the opposite—unkindness—can we truly appreciate the kindness we’re shown by others.
  16. The future. Hope for the future is what gives us strength for the day. Be thankful for what the future may hold.
  17. Memories – While we certainly don’t want to dwell in the past, an occasional visit down Memory Lane can be a good thing.
  18. Laughter – There seldom seems to be enough laughter in our lives so enjoy it where you find it and give thanks that it touched your life.
  19. Honesty – Truth is hard to come by in the world we live in. That’s why it’s such a blessing when we do find it.
  20. Nature – The trees rustling in the breeze, a gentle stream, squirrels and rabbits scurrying around the yard. Give thanks for the beauty and comfort nature brings.
  21. Music – The sound of music (no pun intended) has an almost mystical, supernatural affect on the human psyche. Think about how good the music you enjoy makes you feel. That’s something to be thankful for.

Living life with gratitude will help you find contentment and comfort no matter what the day may hold. Search for your own reasons to be thankful today… your whole attitude and demeanor will be changed!

How to Make a Fresh Start in 2017

By Jeff Hoglen

fresh-start-2017

So, here we are on the brink of another new year. The resolutions of years past seem like a distant memory. You either started and stopped or never even took the first step. This year you have determined in your heart that something must change. You’re ready for a fresh start. While your current situation may be challenging, the intention of making a fresh start is a good sign. It’s much better than giving up! Smile… take a deep breath and let’s look at a few things that can help you start and stay on track this new year!

So, what do you need to change? Is it just one area of your life or do you need a complete makeover?

You can make a fresh start in any area of your life:

  1. HOME: Consider giving your living arrangement a makeover. Instead of moving or knocking down walls, let’s start simple:
  • Move the furniture or purchase new furniture.
  • Paint the walls a new color. Maybe even just paint one room, rest and then repeat J
  • Convert a spare room into a room with a purpose. It could be dedicated to music, arts and crafts, or meditation.

2. FINANCES: Look at your current financial challenges and finally address them with a detailed, step-by-step plan you can stick to.

  • Plan for your retirement.
  • Address your debt
  • Find a job with a higher salary.
  • Talk to a financial advisor.
  • Work a second job.
  • Create a budget.

3. SOCIAL LIFE: It’s time to say goodbye to the people in your life that drag you down and replace them with those that provide a boost to your life. Remember: You become like the top 5 people you are around the most.

4. HEALTH: Sheesh….. I’m preaching to myself here.

  • Hire a personal trainer and join a gym if you can.
  • Find a diet that works for you.
  • Address any health issues you might have.
  • Visit the doctor and the dentist.
  • Try a new sport. You never know, you may like hiking or kayaking. Fun + health = win win!

5. CAREER: Here are a few suggestions 🙂

  • Ask for a raise or change jobs.
  • Grab your career by the horns and learn new skills that will make a difference.
  • Consider going back to school.
  • Take a webinar! You wont believe how much you can learn online!
  • Make yourself indispensable. Do so well at what you do…and know more than everyone else… and possess skills that others don’t and you will an asset the company or organization cannot afford to lose.

6. FAITH: Search for truth.

I have found that Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth and Life. Until I discovered my faith, I had no real purpose or sense of direction. Search for truth, ask good questions and find someone who you can discuss faith. I’m here if you need me. My contact info is below.

These are just a few ideas. You can also address your current relationships, attitude, or fears. It isn’t necessary to change everything at once. In fact, addressing one area at a time will yield better results.

Useful tips for changing your life:

  1. Develop systems that support your desired change. For instance, if you want to meditate daily, create a schedule that ensures you’ll be compliant. Use a timer so you won’t worry about spending too much time or falling asleep.
  2. Visualize the change. See yourself with a healthy body or bank account. Allow yourself to feel successful and proud. Project yourself into the future and enjoy the changes you’ve made.
  3. Be willing to fail from time to time. It’s not easy to change. In fact, your brain is highly resistant to change. You’re doing well enough to be alive, and that’s good enough for your brain. It views any change as potentially dangerous, so it’s not going to allow you to change easily. Expect that you’ll struggle during the process.
  • Commit to persevering. Success will be yours. 
  1. Be kind to yourself. Celebrate each victory, no matter how small. Give yourself a pat on the back when you deserve it. Any progress is great news, so enjoy it.

Making a fresh start can result in a new and exciting experience and even a whole new life. Aim high and be diligent. You’ll be glad you did.

7 Tips to Brighten a Day

7-tips-for-brightening-a-dayA little act of kindness goes a long way. Consider giving one of these tips a try. They are sure to brighten someone’s day!

  1. Send a quick note. It can be a note slyly placed or an actual card sent through the mail.
  2. Make a quick call. It’s enough to simply say that you were thinking about them.
  3. Hold the door open for someone. Instead of asking yourself, “Are they close enough that I should hold open the door?” just hold the door open. I bet you will get a smile.
  4. Send a text.  You’re sure to make someone happy with a simple “Thinking of you!” text.
  5. Give away a copy of your favorite book. You could even leave it on a vacant desk at work with a note, “Thought you’d like this.”
  6. Run an errand for a friend. When someone is busy, any help is greatly appreciated.
  7. Say something encouraging to someone. A little support is always appreciated. In a world that is so negative, encouragement is rare commodity.

Not Reaching Your Goals?

6-reasons-for-not-reaching-your-goals

Have you ever asked, “Why do some people seem to get what they want out of life while others do not?” When I look at those who are successful and compare them to the frustrated, I can see some vast differences. My hope is this short blog post will help you navigate some of these common mistakes when it comes to reaching your goals and living your life to the fullest.

 Here are some common pitfalls:

 1. You don’t know what you want. Just because you’re unhappy with your current situation doesn’t mean that you know what you want. It only means that you don’t want what you have.

  • What is the Solution? It’s that simple. Make a list of what you want and structure your life around creating that life and attaining those things. Don’t just make the list in your mind. Write it down!

2. You need to prioritize. Do you really want to reach a financial goal, get physically fit or grow closer to God? (Whatever your chosen goal may be) Or would you rather watch Seinfeld reruns and eat Cheetos at night?

  •  What is the Solution? We all have 24 hours in a day. Maybe the real issue isn’t what you want, but what you’re willing to give up. Getting in shape requires giving up certain foods and giving up some free time. Growing closer to God also requires some self-discipline and time management. How much are you willing to give up to get what you want? Answer that question and you’ll know how much it means to you.

3. Your focus needs more focus. (Great quote by Mr Myagi in the Karate Kid movie) It’s never been easier to get distracted or sidetracked than this day that we live. Modern life is full of digital distractions. Our ability to focus has never been lower.

  •  What is the Solution? Remind yourself of your goals at least twice each day. Read and visualize your goals while you lie in bed, once in the morning and once at night. Keep your intentions fresh in your mind by reminding yourself of them daily.

4. You can’t handle the truth. (Another great movie quote haha) You need a good work ethic! Even the most prestigious accomplishments are a grind 99% of the time. Consider a professional basketball player like Kobe Bryant. There are plenty of stories of Kobe staying after a Friday night game and working with a coach all night long until practice time on Saturday morning.

  • What is the Solution? Regardless of the size of your aspirations, it won’t be exciting 99% of the time. Those that know me, know that I’m not the biggest sports fan. But I do know this: Throwing a touchdown like Tom Brady is fun. Watching thousands of hours of tape all year long is not.
  •  Accept that much of your goal requires actions that won’t be fun or exciting.

5. You’re not focused on processes. Obsessing over your weight isn’t the key to getting slimmer. Everything in life has a process. My youngest son once said – “Dad not everything is a process!” My reply was simply, “Everything is a process whether we realize it or not.” From driving a car, to making breakfast and yes, even using the bathroom has a process.

  •  What is the Solution? Define the process needed to reach your goal. Create a list of “steps” that point you toward success. Make steps toward your goal ever day!

6. You’re impatient. Success at anything takes time. Depending on your objective, you might find that your sixth month provides more results than the first five months. It’s not unlike trying to roll a boulder down a hill. It can take a lot of energy to get it moving, but it quickly picks up speed with minimal effort after that.

  •  What is the Solution? After making a plan… work the plan….and then trust the process. If you’re doing effective things each day, you’ll eventually get to where you want to go. Avoid giving in to your frustration. Be patient.

Life can be frustrating and challenging. It can be especially frustrating when nothing seems to go your way. Know what you want and have a logical plan to achieve it. Have the patience to wait for the results to arrive. You can do it.

Discover Your Life Purpose

There life-purposeare many avenues to explore when it comes to discovering your life purpose. Unfortunately, though, nobody else can find it for you. Since your life purpose is unique from anyone else’s, it’s a mission that you – and only you – can complete.

In your quest for passion, concentrate on enjoying the journey itself. Sometimes when you stop stressing about your life’s purpose, it falls into your lap!

Here are some ways you can discover your life purpose:

      1. Write about how you feel. Try journaling with a pen and paper, or grab your laptop and just start writing. Write about how you truly feel and what you want out of life. Remember that no one is going to read this other than you, so don’t be afraid to express your thoughts.

* Go back and reread your entries every so often. Many times this process can bring you new insight that you didn’t think of when you were writing it in the first place.

  1. Pursue your passions. If you’re passionate about a certain subject, maybe you can make a career or hobby out of it so that you can engage in activities that are personally meaningful to you. This way, each day of your life will feel like it matters and you will have a life purpose.

 

  1. Consider your gifts and talents. Think about the areas in which you naturally excel and see if you can turn these skills into something meaningful for you.

* Many people are drawn to a life purpose that makes them feel like they’re making a true difference in the lives of other people. You may find it fulfilling to be using something you’re good at to help others that are in need.

* For example, if you find that you’re good at comforting people, perhaps you can consider a career as a counselor.

* On the other end of the spectrum, if you are tone deaf… you may not want to pursue a career as a singer. If you cant clap to a simple rhythm, you are probably not destined to be the next great drummer – just saying 🙂

  1. Converse with inspiring people. Strike up a conversation with someone who inspires you. While you might not be interested in the same things, you can talk about how they discovered their life purpose. Their triumphs and struggles will make good lessons for you in your journey to your purpose.

* Dont shy away from speaking to people whom you look up to. Afterall, they are simply people. If they push you away or reject you, they arent the person you thought they were and press forward. Chances are though, they will be humble and have a chat. You never know, some of my favorite authors are now friends and mentors of mine.

 

  1. What brings you joy? Reflect on the moments in your life when you’re most happy. What are you doing at these times? You can start the quest for your life purpose by using what already makes you happy.

 

* Maybe you’re most happy when you’re just sitting at home with your family. That’s a wonderful gift!

 

* Remember that you’re not necessarily searching for something exotic! After all, your life purpose may already be under your nose.

 

  1. Embrace change. Sometimes the thing that holds you back from self-discovery is a fear of change. There’s comfort and safety in not taking risks, but you also may never discover your life’s true purpose. Learn to embrace change because life is constantly changing around you.

 

  1. Hold  your core values close to your heart. Everyone has a set of core values that they tend to adhere to in life. For me, it’s the Bible. You can use your values as a starting point to discovering you life purpose. Make a list of your values with your most important ones at the top. Think about what you can do to honor those values in life every day and you may find your purpose.

 

Finding your purpose in life may not be as hard as you think. Use these strategies on your journey and one day soon you’ll realize that you’ve found the one feature of your life that makes everything worthwhile.

Till next time… PJ