When I look at past struggles in life there is a common theme: fear. When I feel overwhelmed, when I feel stress, when I think too much- there is my old friend fear. Fear is behind boredom, complacency, discontent. My fear likes to whisper the worst case scenario in my ear; sometimes I even believe it. Fear warns me of all the things that could go wrong. It tells me to keep doing what I’m doing. It tells me change is a bad thing.
Fear is a liar.
The things I fear most are unlikely to come to pass and even when they do it’s never as bad as I feared. Fear’s power lies in anticipation, it lies in my mind. When I face my fears I find I am capable and competent. I can handle this. I can do this! If I don’t know how, I will learn. Oh, and by the way, I rock! Suck on it, fear! Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out!
My one word goal for 2013 is FEARLESS.
This year I will fear less. I will trust myself. I will trust the process. I will relax and enjoy the ride. I will trust that a positive outcome is just as likely as a negative one. I will believe that all things are working together for good.
As I embark upon a year of living fearlessly, I will rock these 10 steps to be fearless:
01. Don’t believe everything you feel.
Emotions are information, not real world situations. I can be aware of my feelings and let them be just that- feelings. Just because I feel fear doesn’t mean I’m danger, unless you count the danger of dying unfulfilled and unhappy.
02. Don’t believe everything you think.
Perspective is everything and my thoughts are often an extension of past experiences but I’m embarking on a new experience! I can choose to act on thoughts that encourage a happy, healthy life and let go of thoughts that don’t.
03. Stop trying to figure it all out.
I’m sorry to break it to me, but I don’t know everything. I never have and I never will. It’s not up to me to figure it all out. Trying to figure it out invites my fear to set up camp in my head as I go over and over and over every possible scenario. I’ve got to get off the merry-go-round and stop over-thinking!
04. Do the work.
Productive activity exercises my heart, my body, and my mind. When I get stuff done I enjoy a sense of accomplishment and set the stage for an awesome tomorrow! I have to stop dreaming, stop wishing, stop thinking and do something!
05. Do what you can do today.
What happens tomorrow is not a problem for today. I don’t even know what will happen tomorrow. What I can do today is my best for this day only. I can be my best today. My best today may be just getting through the day, and that’s okay. Other days my best today will be amazing!
06. Be kind.
Kindness is a simple and powerful act that restores my faith in the goodness of life. I can do something nice for myself like take a walk or enjoy a good book. I can do something nice for someone else like smiling at a stranger or telling someone I love them. Kindness fills me up with good stuff so there’s less room for fear.
07. Be grateful.
Gratitude is the cure for all that ails me. Gratitude cheers me up when I feel down. Gratitude puts life in perspective. Any time I can write a short gratitude list and change my attitude. Gratitude washes my fears away.
08. Be honest.
I am most often tempted to be dishonest when my fear tells me bad things will happen if I am truthful but the truth is honesty honors me. When I am honest with myself I can do the things I think I cannot do and say no to the things that aren’t right for me. When I am honest, I am free to be the person I want to be.
09. Just do it.
Sometimes I just have to do it. It doesn’t matter how it works out. It does matter that I tried.
10. Believe in yourself.
When I look back at all I have overcome, I am awed. When I see all I have accomplished, I am powerful. I AM POWERFUL. I can do this. Oh, yeah!Join the Conversation
When was the last time you tried something new? Variety is, indeed, the spice of life and trying new things is a great way to learn and grow and enjoy yourself doing it! Life is more interesting and more satisfying when you challenge yourself and experience new things. All you have to do is take the leap!
What I tried: Public Speaking
In the interest of writing from my experience, just this week I did something entirely new- I spoke at Ignite Fort Collins. That’s right, I got up in front of a crowd of strangers and talked for 5 whole minutes. That doesn’t really sound that scary, right? (It was a little scary! And totally fun! What an amazing experience!)
As a member of Toastmasters it’s fair to say I have some experience speaking in public, though I have thus far only completed two speeches. Two speeches- I’m practically an expert, right? Okay, maybe not an expert. But my Toastmasters club is warm and friendly, and they are hardly strangers.
Fortunately for me the Ignite Fort Collins audience was just as warm and friendly as my Toastmasters club. In fact, the audience included friends, family, and some of my fellows Toastmasters who came out to support me.
What are you going to try? 5 Things to Try Today
I look forward to sharing video of my speech with you soon. In the meantime, I invite you try something new today. You don’t have to speak in public to try something new. Taking a small step is always the first step getting the most out of your life. I’ve made it easy for you, here are some ideas of things to try that are sure to improve your day!
1. Strike up a conversation with someone you don’t know very well.
2. Be friendly towards someone you don’t like.
3. Smile at every person you encounter!
4. Compliment a stranger.
5. Take 15 minutes just for you!
Whatever you do, try one new thing and have fun doing it!
I love your comments! What new thing have you tried recently? What are you going to try today?Join the Conversation
Self motivation is a powerful practice of happy and successful people. No matter what your goal, motivating yourself to progress is the key to living a satisfying and purposeful life.
My goal is, simply, to live my best life! To be healthy, happy, and love life. Of course doing so is easier said than done. To live a great life I must be motivated to make daily choices that support my goals every day. Not only do I have to make the choice to take action, I have to take it.
Some days I wake feeling energized and motivated, and other days it’s easier to take the path of least resistance, which is usually not the path to greatness. Even when pursuit of my goals means enjoying a relaxing day, it’s often tempting to get sucked into some mindless activity (Facebook, anyone?) that I don’t necessarily enjoy, it’s just a way to pass the time. (Just me, then? Oh, you too?)
Another example of living my best life involves working on my blog. I love blogging, and yet some days I spend my writing day doing nothing of consequence with little to show for it.
If I want to live my best life I must first be motivated to do so! When my motivation doesn’t not come naturally, I can practice self-motivation to align my behavior with my intentions.
So how do I motivate myself when I’m feeling distracted, bored, and avoidy? Here’s how!
Picture your goal
A great way to motivate myself is to picture my goal in my mind. A vision board helps me visualize my goal regularly and focus on the life I really want to live. When considering how I want to spend my day I look at my vision board and ask myself, “does this belong in my vision?” When a behavior or action aligns with my goals, I feel a rush of motivation!
I keep a Pinterest board of inspiring quotes and messages. I share favorite quotes on Twitter and Facebook. I stick inspiring thoughts on notes around my home and office. I read inspiring blogs. I surround myself with inspiration to keep me inspired.
Take care of you
Often when I’m feeling unmotivated it’s because I’m hungry, angry, lonely, or tired. I recognized these cues it’s time to HALT and take care of me. I can eat a healthy snack or enjoy a small indulgent treat! I can journal or talk out a problem I’m holding on to or just let it go. I can spend time with family or friends. I can take a nap or get to bed early. Taking care of my basic needs comes before happiness.
Take one step at a time
Sometimes I feel unmotivated because the task in front of me seems too daunting and it feels as if I’ll never get it done! (That’s never happened to you, right?) When I feel overwhelmed I can focus on doing one thing at a time. Instead of fretting about the end result, I focus on the task at hand. I ask myself, “what’s the next step?” and tackle just that step until it’s time to take on the step after that.
A great way to waste time is to spend it doing something that isn’t meaningful or valuable to me. Every moment of my life doesn’t have to be filled with activity, but when I’m not enjoying whatever I’m doing- even if I’m doing nothing- then my life doesn’t feel very great. (This is absolutely the point I step away from the computer when I’m mindlessly internet trolling.) Being present in this moment, enjoying and engaging myself in whatever I do, is a great way to get motivated to do what I really want to do.
When I accept responsibility for the awesomeness of my life and creating more awesome, I find motivation I didn’t know I had! Yeah! Come on, awesome life! Today I’m going to be awesome!
Image courtesy of Mike Speed.
I love your comments! How do you self-motivate? Which, if any, of my tips are you going to try?Join the Conversation