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Self-Love Act: Write Yourself A Love Letter

It is easy for us to express our love to others. We dedicate time and effort to be with our beloved family, friends, and special ones. But most of the time we forget to show our love to ourselves. Take this as a reminder and a sign that you need to dedicate some effort to love and take care of yourself. The simplest way to start? Write yourself a love letter.

Yes, writing yourself a love letter might sound weird to some of you. Honestly, it was strange to me at first. It is because we got used to treating ourselves as expendable. And it took courage and much support for me to start practicing self-love fully. But however strange the idea of writing ourselves a love letter is, it is an effective way to start focusing our attention on ourselves, appreciating, and loving ourselves more. If you have never written a love letter to yourself before, I have few tips here to share with you.

Get Comfortable

The first step is to dedicate some time and set up a comfortable space to write. Being in a comfortable setting is important as it allows your mind to be at ease. You will be professing love to someone special with words, so pick a lovely place where you can slow down all the other thoughts and focus on this special someone (P.S.: it's you!). It can be a comfy corner of your favorite cafA(c) and you can order a delicious sweet cake that reminds you of your sweet notions. If you love nature, you can have a little nook deep in the woods or sit under the palm tree on a warm sandy beach. For me, it was on my sofa, lighting a floral-scented candle, and with my blue pea flower tea on my side. When choosing the space to write this love letter, think of it as a date: where would you take yourself to?

 

Writing The Old-Fashioned Way

Writing the letter to yourself needs to be done with full attention and love, so always go the old-fashioned way: handwriting. Typing, especially on digital devices, will take the personal connection and intention out of the letter. Instead, with the old pen and paper way, we get to slow down and be more intentional in expressing our love. Go above and beyond, choose the best paper you have ever touch, and write with the greatest pen you have ever had. Here you may exercise in acknowledging what you like and your favorite things: imagine the best love letter you will ever receive and take this as a chance to gift yourself just that. My very first self-love letter was on a 160-gram ivory paper, written with a brown gel pen. The goal here is to impress this special someone who you are writing to, so put out all of your best moves.

 

Profess Your Love And Admiration

Don't forget, you are not writing an evaluation sheet. It is a love letter, so think about all the things you admire about yourself and express all the love you have for yourself. Start with a sweet salutation, you can call yourself in a way that makes you smile. 

The first part of the love letter can be about the loveliest moments. You can write them out by recalling the beautiful memories in your life, your proudest achievements, and the best choices you have made. Write yourself the praises you have been wanting to hear, don't wait for someone else to say it to you, you can say it to yourself.

The next part is the cheering section. There may be some things about yourself that you are not so happy about or things that you are scared of and worried about. Notice them and write them down, but with all the encouragement that you deserve to hear. Compliment yourself for doing your best so far and give yourself the motivation to overcome them all. And remember to celebrate the unique traits that make you, you. Let it all out because you deserve it all!

For the last part, close your love letter by declaring your love and encouraging yourself with positive affirmations. Be sure to include a lovely salutation that will always make your day whenever you will read this love letter.

Safe & Within Reach

When the love letter is all written down, it is time to "send" the letter. Keep the letter somewhere special but not hidden, in a treasure box on the shelf or a dedicated space in your drawer. Treat the letter with tenderness as it is a love letter from a very special someone. Whenever you feel like you need support and love, don't wait for someone else to give it to you, you can gift yourself just that by reading your love letter.

There you have it, how to write your first love letter to yourself. When you are ready to level up on self-love and self-improvement, you can find many tips and even guided exercises that you can do in groups. Eventually, all the self-improvement exercises will lead you to healthier well-being and happier life.


Written by Fergie Verantianes, Self-Growth Advocate atA UlooA - the app that guides people to learn new things, build better habits, grow with support from others, and improve their life.

The post Self-Love Act: Write Yourself A Love Letter appeared first on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement.


One Day Iall Fly Away, COVID Permitting

With Fall in full swing, many of us are asking awhen will I begin to live my life again?a Life involves traveling, yet 2020 was the worst year in tourism history, with 1 billion fewer international arrivals than 2019. And now, after an optimistic summer, travel bookings for Labor Day were down 15% from 2019, indicating that the Delta variant dissuades people from traveling. Still, getting away is a human need, and an economic need. In a recent press release, the U.S. Travel Association urges everyone to vaccinate, for their own protection, and ato help put us on the path to full recovery.a Why then are people, including the fully vaccinated, staying put?

I blame learned helplessness. Eminent psychologist Martin Seligman coined this term as he noticed that aa|uncontrollable events can significantly debilitate organisms: they produce passivity in the face of trauma, inability to learn that responding is effective, and emotional stress in animals, and possibly depression in man.a For more than a year we stayed at home, schooled online, wore masks outside of home - and COVID did not stop. No wonder we are helplessly giving up on things that we could still do, like air travel.

For me, coming from the world of psychology and behavioural economics, the matter of air travel is settled with four questions. The first questions are answered with data, facts and figures. But the last two, only with emotion.  

First, thereas the question of: Is flying anywhere even a possibility? As long as airplanes are in operation, you can go visit your college buddy in Idaho. And as long as foreign countries admit US citizens, you can fly, say, to Germany, even if it involves being fully vaccinated, and proving that you have a justifiable reason to visit. To find out whether theyall let you in, check the State Department website, and hit the arefresha button on the travel restrictions at your destination, as they constantly shift. Recently, the European Union has removed the USA from its asafe lista of countries, and every country is interpreting it as it sees fit. Norway is closed to US travellers, Finland will only admit them if vaccinated, and Germany will admit, but quarantine, unvaccinated Americans, according to Forbes. The answer here is a yes, but.

Then, thereas the question of a is it safe to fly. NPR says that the risk of catching COVID during a flight comes almost solely from fellow travellers, and it is greatly reduced if everyone is masked. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warn: aDo not travel internationally until you are fully vaccinated.a Yet, they caution that even fully vaccinated travellers might be at an increased additional risk for getting and possibly spreading some COVID-19 variants if they travel internationally. 

I respect that. But I also know that safety is destination-dependent, which makes the blanket assertion of ainternational travel bada moot. Consider what Worldmeters tells us about the numbers of COVID deaths per million residents. On September 4th, 2021, the USA had 1,996 such deaths, Greece had 1,324, Germany a 1,104, Belize 894, and the Ivory Coast had 17. Or we could use the Centers for Disease Control and Preventionas list travel restrictions by country. Mali, Hungary, and Slovakia feature in yellow, indicating the lowest COVID risk, at level 1. Mexico and Canada are dark orange, at level 3 of high risk. Guess what country features in ominous claret, at estimated risk level 4, very high risk? Itas the land of the free and the home of the brave. So, are we really safer if we stay at home? 

A personalized risk assessment could help: If youare older, suffering from hypertension, have a history of falls or fragility factors, or type 2 diabetes, you are at a greater risk for being hospitalized or dying from COVID. And letas not forget your vaccination status, because even young, restless, and initially healthy individuals can get hit fairly hard by COVID if unvaccinated.

Then we can gauge the risk level of a destination by vaccination rates: These are 1.1% in Mali, 56% in Greece and 60% in Germany. aInternationala isnat necessarily dangerous. And letas not forget that the US (53.6% overall) includes Vermont, with a 68% rate fully vaccinated, and states like Idaho, with only 44.41%. aDomestica isnat necessarily safe: hugging your unvaccinated college buddy and his wife, or even stepping into a supermarket in Idaho might be putting you in greater danger than lying under a parasol on a Greek island. The second questionais it safe to fly?acan be answered with a number estimate, taking into account what age and physical condition you are in, how protected you are, where you come from, and where you are heading.

At this point we depart from objectivity and rely on subjective measures. This is how most of us decide most of the time anyway. Welcome to the emotion zone, and to where the plot begins to diverge, depending on you, the would-beaor wouldnat-beatraveller. 

Fittingly, the third question is a does it feel safe to travel. Well, does it feel safe to you? Prof. Jay Bhattacharya contends that aThe emergency phase of the pandemic is over. Now is the time to undo the sense of emergency.a Still, different feelings and different levels of risk tolerance for different folks. Your sense of safety might be very different from your partneras, your employeras, or your college buddyas, who does not understand why you wonat visit. 

The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) shows that, when it comes to the COVID pandemic, female respondents and Democrats are less willing than their respective counterparts to tolerate risk. Accordingly, women reduce every manner of traveling, and Democrats reduce non-work trips, making for marital disputes, and no right or wrong answers, because our feelings cannot be wrong. 

We come to the fourth, and even more subjective question: Is it worth it? Are the pre-and post-testing, the quarantine, if needed, and the reproaching looks from those whose risk tolerance is lower than yours, worth the chance to ride your bicycle in the paved streets of Prague, dip your toes in a faraway ocean, or roam Namibiaas red sand dunes.  

At the end of the day, experience is a vital part of life, so you must ask yourself: What are you giving up in the name of risk, and what are you just giving up?


Dr. Talya Miron-Shatz (Ph.D. in psychology) is an author (of YOUR LIFE DEPENDS ON IT: What You Can Do to Make Better Choices About Your Health), consultant, speaker, and researcher, who studies medical decision-making in a humanistic way. She was a researcher at Princeton University and taught at the University of Pennsylvania. Now sheas a visiting researcher at Cambridge. Dr. Miron-Shatz is the CEO of CureMyWay, an international health consulting firm. 

The post One Day Iall Fly Away, COVID Permitting appeared first on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement.


Donat Try to Eliminate Self-Doubt. Do This Instead.

Are you afraid to fail? Do you worry that you donat have what it takes? Are you unwilling to put your ideas out there with the fear that others may not like it? Do you feel apprehensive when stepping out of your comfort zone?A

Most of us do, including those who are highly successful. People who appear highly confident on the outside often deal with a lot of self-doubt on the inside. They arenat confident because they were born with it, but because they have learned to embrace their feelings of self-doubt. They are less worried about looking bad in front of others and more about losing an opportunity to contribute. They care less about being criticized and more about not having the feedback they need to move forward. 

They are successful not because they donat have to deal with feelings of self-doubt but because they choose to act despite feeling those feelings. They practice courage to let their guard down, to be seen, to accept what they donat know, and to acknowledge their mistakes. Most importantly, they lead with the belief that they are not perfect. They are always a work in progress. 

Some form of self-doubt is good for our growth and learning. After all, it's part of being curious. However, left unhandled, self-doubt can lead to:

  1. Debilitating levels of stress and anxiety 
  2. Analysis paralysis / inaction 
  3. Overthinking leading to mental health issues

Before we jump into strategies to channel your feelings of self-doubt into constructive action, itas important to understand whatas causing them in the first place.  

Whatas causing self-doubt?

Self-doubt can come from 3 reasons:

  1.  Doing something new and challenging

Itas natural and healthy to engage in self-doubt when expanding and working outside your boundary of comfort. You may feel like an imposter and worry that others will find out that you are a fraud. 

Such feelings are not pleasant, but they inspire you to question your choices, doubt your knowledge and your methods and lead with better solutions. 

  1. Negative self worth

If you have been told in the past that you are not good enough or that you canat achieve something, these limiting beliefs can become an unconscious truth for your brain. They can turn challenges and setbacks into proof of your incompetence or that you simply donat have what it takes to achieve something. 

Viewing yourself as incompetent or not worthy of achieving something creates the mental barrier to pursue your dreams. 

  1. Fixed mindset 

In a fixed mindset, you value talent over effort, determination, and perseverance. You believe that irrespective of how much effort you put, you can never build the skills required to succeed in your goals.

This makes you give up without trying hard enough. Instead of building new skills, you stick with what you know. Instead of trying new strategies, you assume nothing is going to work. The belief that you cannot achieve limits your potential.  

Once you have identified whatas causing these feelings of self-doubt, start with wholehearted acceptance that thereas nothing wrong with these feelings. Tell yourself that you want to be someone who can channel these feelings to push you forward instead of letting them pull you down. 

9 strategies to turn self-doubt into excellence

  1. Get rid of labels

What labels do you identify yourself with - smart, not smart, shy, outspoken, introvert, extrovert, not good at public speaking, terrible at problem-solving, etc? List them down. 

Getting rid of these labels is the first step to challenging your beliefs. Your beliefs are a creation of your mind and you can change them. Instead of taking certain actions thinking athis is who I ama and resisting others with the notion athis is not me,a getting rid of labels will open you to explore opportunities that didnat seem possible earlier.  

  1. Shift from negative self-talk to positive self-talk 

The language that you use plays a crucial role in how you experience certain things, the emotions you feel and finally, it influences how you act.

As Ryan Holiday writes aYou will come across obstacles in life -- fair and unfair. And you will discover, time and time again, that what matters most is not what these obstacles are but how we see them, how we react to them, and whether we keep our composure. You will learn that this reaction determines how successful we will be in overcoming -- or possibly thriving because of -- them.a 

Take a note of your emotions and whenever you sense going down a negative path, reframe it using a more positive tone. 

  1. Practise self-compassion instead of chasing after high self-esteem

Seeking constant approval and external validation to determine your self-worth can be damaging. Instead of working to keep your self-esteem intact, practice self-compassion. 

Self-compassion is the ability to face your mistakes and failures with kindness and understanding instead of judging yourself harshly or acting defensive with the goal to protect your ego. Itas having the same sense of warmth, empathy, and positive regard for yourself as you would have for another person when they are dealing with a difficult circumstance. Acknowledging that life is sometimes messy and imperfect. After all, to err is human. 

Kristin Neff, a pioneer in the field of self-compassion research describes it as aInstead of mercilessly judging and criticizing yourself for various inadequacies or shortcomings, self-compassion means you are kind and understanding when confronted with personal failings a after all, who ever said you were supposed to be perfect?a

  1. Put one foot in front of the other

Instead of taking one giant leap towards the goals you wish to achieve, practice taking small steps consistently in the direction of goals.

Small consistent changes turn off your brainas alarm system that resists and fears change. These small steps may seem trivial at first, but when practiced over long periods of time, they turn into habits. What was once daunting becomes second nature. Soon the new behavior becomes a part of your being, who you are. You will no longer need to put effort into thinking this way. Slowly this is how you will think and act. It will be a habit.

  1. Adopt long term thinking

Self-doubt can make you apply shortcuts and choose a path with instant gratification without thinking about the consequences of your decision in the future.  

When making important decisions, be willing to bear a little pain at the moment for a lot of gain in the future by engaging in long-term planning. Think about how your decisions today will impact your future outcomes. 

  1. Develop a mastery mindset

Lao Tzu, an ancient Chinese philosopher said aMastering others is strength, mastering yourself is true power.a

Stop comparing yourself to others and start competing with self. Spend less time and energy lamenting about your shortcomings and more time and energy into practices and habits that will get you a little better each day. 

Learn useful strategies from others, apply them to yourself, identify your mistakes, and challenge yourself to refine, repeat and keep going. Nothing can stop you when you focus on achieving personal mastery. 

  1. Consciously spend time with others 

Jim Rohn said, aWe are the average of the five people we spend the most time with.a

Our brain is highly malleable and every experience impacts the neural connections in our brain. When the same pathway fires multiple times, it becomes strong. Are people around you strengthening the right pathway - are they encouraging or discouraging? Do people around you practice courage or do they give in to self-doubt? 

Consciously choose. Who you hang out with is who you become. People close to you can have a significant effect on how you think and the way you act. 

  1. Shape your identity 

Finally, the most important thing is to work on your identity. Instead of feeling limited by awho you are,a define awho do you want to be?a

Once you have defined the identity of that person, simply act in line with how that person would act. When you face self-doubt, remind yourself of that identity and ask what that person would do in such a situation. How would they act?

Steven Pressfield wrote, "The enemy is our chattering brain, which, if we give it so much as a nanosecond, will start producing excuses, alibis, transparent self-justifications, and a million reasons why we can't/shouldn't/won't do what we know we need to do.a Instead of letting your brain determine what you can achieve, feed it with the goals of the person you wish to become. 

Self-doubt is a universal experience. The difference between people who only dream big dreams and give up soon after and those who go out and achieve those dreams is their response to self-doubt. Learning to deal with the feeling of self-doubt can turn anxiety, unworthiness into a desire to do better and strive for more.


Vinita Bansal is the founder of TechTello. She has a vast amount of experience in the technology space building large engineering teams from the ground up and leading products with massive scale impacting millions of customers.A She is also the author of Upgrade Your Mindset: How to Overcome Limiting Beliefs and Tap Your Potential. Her experience and knowledge have helped her coach and mentor people from diverse backgrounds to build the skills and support required to grow in their careers and feel confident to take on higher-level responsibilities within their organizations. Connect with her on Twitter.A

The post Donat Try to Eliminate Self-Doubt. Do This Instead. appeared first on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement.


10 Smart Strategies for Achieving Your Goals

Renowned American motivational speaker and author, Dr. Stephen R. Covey once said: aStop setting goals. Goals are pure fantasy unless you have a specific plan to achieve them.a In these few words, Dr. Covey aptly sums up the importance of having a smart strategy for achieving your goals. And then thereas an ancient axiom that states: aGoals donat work unless you do.a

However, to work on goals we need a plan or strategy. This can be the hardest thing to do because very often, we have wonderful goals but donat know what we need to achieve them or even have a faint idea.

Therefore, if youave some goals, as you surely would, the best thing is to create a smart strategy and go about achieving them. If this sounds interesting, continue reading.

In this article, I will write about the 10 smart strategies for achieving your goals.

Ten Smart Goal Achieving Strategies

Obviously, everyone would have different goals. Some of us may have financial goals while others would have career goals and yet others, goals for their entire life. These 10 smart strategies that Iall be writing about would cover all your goals in general. You can adapt these to meet your specific needs.

Set Smart Goals

You might wonder what smart goals are all about. The word asmarta is a short form for Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic and Time Bound.

This means, you need to be very specific about what you want to achieve. Measurable means how would you measure the distance youave covered and what remains while achieving a goal. You might have very high goals. However, to achieve these goals, they need to be actionable- meaning you should be able to work upon them.

The aRa stands for realistic goals. This means finding out whether the goal can be truly achieved or not. Very often, we set unrealistic goals for ourselves which leaves us frustrated when we fail to achieve them. And finally, every goal should have a time limit. Meaning, you need to be specific about how much time it would take you to achieve that goal or where you intend to stand after a specific period of time with that goal.

Draw Your Plan of Action

Failing to plan is planning to fail. Therefore, to achieve your smart goals, youall have to draw a superb plan of action. This plan should include your short-term, middle-term and long-term goals with specific details on how you wish to go about achieving them.

This is most important because short-term and mid-term goals often hold the key to achieving your long-term goals. Find out how far away youare from your goal at the moment and make a plan on how much of it you wish to achieve in a few months to a year.

Also write what efforts you would need to exert to achieve these short-term, mid-term and long-term goals. Exert these efforts diligently so that you achieve all these goals in due course.

Never Put Off Things

Putting things off or procrastinating as itas known is the greatest enemy that prevents you from achieving your goals. Therefore, as a rule, do what needs to be done today and never put it off for tomorrow or a later date unless there are some really serious reasons.

When we procrastinate, we find all the work towards our goals piling on. And eventually, weare unable to complete all the work thatas necessary to achieve the goal.

Thatas the reason I emphasize that a goal should be actionable. And it should be actionable every day and over weeks and months or even years. You cannot put things off for the day, hoping to complete them tomorrow because youall have more work to do and that can delay or even cause you to miss the goal.

Set Daily Goals

The best way to prevent procrastination is by setting daily goals. This means, youall divide the work necessary for achieving your goals into small parts on which you can work daily. This makes it easier and simpler to work towards the goal rather than embarking on one long project that requires lots of time.

Setting daily goals also helps you to measure the quantum of work youave done towards achieving your goals and how much more remains. That way, you can adjust your daily or weekly goals to reach your final objectives faster or in due course, when you want.

Eliminate Addictions & Vices

Addictions and vices can stop us from achieving our goals even before weave started. Thatas because addictions consume a lot of our time and resources. As a matter of facts, most addicts have very lofty goals. However, their goals do not as much leave their brains and remain unfulfilled lifelong.

If youare serious about achieving your goals, consider giving up vices and addictions. There Are several types of addictions. Broadly, they can be defined as substance addictions and non-substance addictions. Itas a well-known fact that addictions are one of the greatest killers of ambitions and goals. Therefore, eliminating them in a proper and scientific manner should be your priority.

Include Money Making Goals

At some point or the other, achieving your larger goals is going to require some extra money. For example, you might wish to do an online course to fulfill your career goals by acquiring more skills. Or you might want to provide higher education for your kids. All these goals eventually need money to be fulfilled.

There are several small business ideas that you could utilize to fulfill your money-making goals. These would help you to take away the additional burden on your income and help save some money for investments for your future. As a matter of fact, there are several excellent small businesses that you can do, and during your spare time only.

Learn from Failure

Understandably, there would be a few failures when you set out to achieve your goals. Unfortunately, most of us get disturbed by these failures and we stop pursuing our goals. Actually, that should never be the case. In fact, every failure holds a vital lesson for us. And thereas a lot that we can learn from failures.

Therefore, if you fail somewhere while trying to achieve your goals, simply take it in your stride, Analyze the reasons why you failed and where and try to rectify that instead of getting rid of the goal itself and not working towards it. Itas worth remembering that even the greatest scientists and businesspersons have met failure while trying to achieve something or the other.

Identify Your Motivation

Obviously, you are working towards a specific goal or a set of goals due to some motivation. Identify clearly whatas this motivation and what do you intend to achieve from setting these goals. Itas very necessary to be inspired and draw inspiration while working towards your goals.

Often, we need to be reminded time and again about what compels us towards achieving some goals. Therefore, remember daily why youare trying to achieve the goal and the benefits that you would get upon the achievement.

Time Management

Time management is the key to achieving your goals. Thatas because every smart goal comes with a deadline. And ideally, you should be working to achieve that goal within the set timespan. To do so, youall require astute time management.

The very first quote by Dr. Stephen R. Covey that I wrote earlier clearly mentions that time is of vital importance when setting a goal. Unless you respect that deadline and manage time, chances are that you would miss the goal or arrive at it too late to make any positive difference in your life.

Maintain Superb Health

Superb physical and mental health are two very important factors for achieving your goals. Clearly, you cannot work on a goal if youare physically unfit or suffer from mental problems such as stress and anxiety, among others. Therefore, make your physical and mental wellness a priority in your strategy to achieve goals.

Daily exercise or a fitness routine and if necessary, visit to a psychiatrist can help maintain excellent physical and mental fitness. Itas not a rule that you need to visit medical experts only when youare afflicted with some serious conditions. On the contrary. These medical experts or doctors can help you maintain superb physical health as well as mental wellbeing.

Other Strategies to Achieve Goals

There are some more simple strategies that you could combine with the 10 I mention above, to achieve your goals. One of them is to take an inventory of your skills and find how they match with your goals. If thereas a skill shortage, you can take an online course and cover those.

Also, take a good look at where you stand as far as your goals are concerned, every week. You can do so by keeping a log of your achievements towards the goal and going over it every weekend.

In Conclusion

You can safely utilize any of these 10 smart strategies for achieving your goals. In fact, millions of people are using these to achieve their goals. You too could be one among such people. These strategies arenat difficult, as you can see.  However, you would definitely have to exert some extra effort on these strategies, if youare serious about achieving your goals. Actually, having goals makes our life worth living. In the sense that a life without goals is like the proverbial rudderless ship that doesnat know where itas heading. Goals help us to remain active and enthusiastic in what we do. Therefore, use these 10 strategies while setting your own goals.

The post 10 Smart Strategies for Achieving Your Goals appeared first on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement.


How Negative Thinking Can Put You on the Wrong Path of Life

Negativity is what has led most people to ruins. Evil thoughts and ideas are the results of negativity. The sad thing is, we are humans and there is no way we can do it without thinking negatively.

At times, even when you know your success is around the corner, negative thoughts still pop into your mind. Negative thinking is normal. 

The question here is, are you sinking deep into the world of negativity? When those thoughts pop inside your mind, do you allow them to take over you?

Negative thinking holds a very strong power of intimidation. Do you know what happens when you get intimidated by your thoughts? You sink deep, deep, and deep into the world of negativity. You lose your courage, confidence, and positivity! How can negative thinking put you on the wrong path in life?

You begin to lose yourself 

Your true self is the lovely you, the positive, and confident person. Yes, when you allow negative thoughts to be your day-to-day norm, you will surely lose yourself to darkness, and the positive, happy, confident side of you will begin to disappear gradually.

Self-intimidation is one of the greatest power negative thinking holds. When you sink deep into negative thinking you lose your self-worth, hope, (God is the only true hope), confidence, and most of all you push yourself too far.

You just feel not satisfied, you feel you are not good enough, you feel you are bad. You keep doing this till you sink deeper into the worst, which is aself-condemnationa.

Self-condemnation is the deepest and most sorrowful effect of negative thinking. The moment you condemn yourself is when you have lost your shield. The shield that guides you is lost.

Negative thinking makes you succumb finally

You succumb! Do you understand what it means to succumb? Since your shield is lost already, more negative thoughts will come in to push you even further. When this happens you will now begin to accept whatever comes your way.

Pains and tears will also follow, you imagine yourself, just pitying yourself. Yes, that is the power of negative thinking and that's why you should never let negative thoughts grip and overtake you.

When you succumb, your negative thoughts will transform into ideas. These are nothing Good but evil. 

A perfect illustration: A guy broke up with his girlfriend, however, the breakup affected him the most. What do you think this guy would do? Yes, he automatically taps into the world of negativity! He begins to think negatively. One negative thought can have a billion meanings. 

The result of the negative thought is this, it is either he does what he has never done before or commits suicide. He may have never taken cigarettes or weed before, he may have never taken alcohol in his life but because of negative thoughts, he will consider doing those things. That is the power of negative thinking. 

Never succumb to negative thoughts. They will surely come because of one situation or the other. You just have to stay with God, staying with God will make you stay positive.

When you succumb is when you begin to process your negative thoughts. The moment you think of doing whatever evil thing you had to think about is the moment you have finally succumbed. Have you?

Negative thinking connects you with negative people

There are over 7 billion people on Earth, however, there are too many bad people. Negative thinking connects you with negative people or bad people. Then, you now begin to share ideas till the worst happens.

You can't just think negatively. One thing or situation must have caused you to think negatively. Some people, in the process of sharing their situations or problems with others, are where they have gotten their negative ideas from.

It puts you with the wrong people at the wrong time. The final road of negativity is when you connect with even more evil people. You share ideas and do bad things together. Why? Because you lost your shield, you succumbed already!

When you connect with evil or negative people you share more thoughts and do more evil things, over and over again. You must never lose yourself to negativity. Fight, fight and fight. 

Most importantly, stand with God. There is so much joy and unending positivity and hope when you stand with God.  

Never lose yourself to mere negative thoughts, it may be hard and unbearable but negative thoughts should not be the next option. Even though they would come, even if they will press you, even when it is so painful, always love God and love yourself. There is indescribable peace and confidence when you stand in God.

Author bio:

TheThrives is a Personal development blog that writes about confidence, self-esteem, productivity, Godliness, Success, motivation, and inspiration. 

The post How Negative Thinking Can Put You on the Wrong Path of Life appeared first on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement.


5 Reasons You Should Start Meditating Today

Meditation isnat as complex as it sounds. Whether youare hesitant to try it or have been practicing mindfulness for years, the health benefits are the same. If youare not sure whether meditation is right for you, you should try it out and see how you feel afterward. You might find yourself wanting to learn more about the practice.

What Is Meditation?

Meditation has been practiced and studied for years. At its core, meditation allows you to reconnect with your mind, body and soul by slowing down and focusing on yourself, your breathing and your surroundings.

Around 33% of people want to learn more about meditation or start meditating through online programs. People have likely heard of the benefits but arenat sure where to start. If sitting in silence makes you uncomfortable, you could try guided meditation first.

Guided meditation is typically done through a video or in person, where someone else, usually a teacher, walks you through relaxing your body and visualizing certain scenes or events. With enough practice, youall be able to guide yourself through meditation and sit with your current surroundings.

The Top 5 Benefits of Meditation

Regular meditation leads to more health benefits than just the five listed here, but these might be the most popular reasons people meditate and practice mindfulness. By slowing down and focusing on yourself first, then on your grounded surroundings, youare teaching yourself to remain in the here-and-now.

1. Weaken Symptoms of Depression

When depression leaves you lacking motivation, meditation might be the furthest thing from your mind. However, some people have found that meditation works as well as any antidepressant. By visualizing scenes, especially of you reaching attainable goals, itas obvious to see how the symptoms of depression could lessen over time with regular meditation.

Meditation can help you set goals and work much like affirmations. By getting more in-tune with your inner self, youall start to realize what you need and desire. From there, you can begin working toward a life that will cultivate happiness, all while practicing gratitude for the one you currently live.

2. Increase Brain Size

Some research indicates that meditation could increase your brain size. You would then be able to develop your intelligence more efficiently and foster greater creativity within yourself. Whether this benefit is true for everyone might be up for debate, but having the chance to grow your knowledge and expand your thinking through meditation seems like a good opportunity.

3. Slow Cognitive Decline

Meditation and mindfulness, if practiced regularly, can help fight against degenerative diseases like Alzheimeras. Older folks show greater brain activity and stimulation when meditating than without any other form of treatment. Keeping your brain sharp by allowing it to focus on the things that matter is key to staying young, in a sense.

Because the brain tends to dull a bit as you get older, itas important to remain sharp as the years go by. Meditation is a great way to take account of your current mind and bodily functions. By consistently monitoring how youare feeling and taking time to evaluate your current state, youall begin to notice earlier if anything starts to slip.

4. Improve Focus

Concentrating on meditation and living in the present improves your focus, as you can live more in the world around you rather than inside your own head. Meditation seeks to connect you with your body so you can sense what you need and how to better take care of yourself. By setting aside time to meditate and regulating your intentions for the day, youall be more prepared to achieve the dayas goals and fully experience everything around you.

5. Reduce Stress and Boost Mood

Most people practice meditation to decrease their stress and lessen their anxiety, which might be why itas often attributed to younger generations, like college students. Regular meditation and staying mindful can transform your mindset from negative to positive and remind you to be grateful for every opportunity that comes your way. 

Feeling negative emotions is vital to the human experience, but so are looking for the bright side and learning how to regulate stress properly. If there were never a silver lining on any cloud, life would be gray instead of colorful. 

Meditating can help you discover the silver linings on some of your clouds, and the designated time to let your mind wander can help you brainstorm solutions to current problems without even trying.

Meditate and Manifest a Better Life

Meditation doesnat take a lot of effort a you just have to be willing to set aside time in your busy day to reconnect with yourself. Sitting in silence might not be your go-to, but after a few instances of guided meditation, you may be ready to move on and lead your own mindfulness session.

Along with reducing stress and the risk of cognitive decline, youall find that meditation is also simply relaxing. While you might be fidgety at first, eventually, youall ease into the silence and feel more comfortable sitting alone with yourself and getting in-tune with your body and priorities. You could even manifest your best life and provide yourself with the motivation to make it happen.


Kara Reynolds is the Editor-in-Chief and founder ofA Momish Magazine. Mom and step mom living her best life while managing anxiety and normalizing blended families. She enjoys pilates, podcasts, and a nice pinot grigio.A

The post 5 Reasons You Should Start Meditating Today appeared first on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement.


How to Find Your True Professional Path

Figure this out; an average career person spends most of his or her waking time at work. Even when relaxing away from work, the thoughts keep wandering back to work matters. If it happens that the work feels boring or unsatisfying, it can easily take a toll on that personas physical and mental health. Just thinking of tolerating long hours of mundane tasks, or thinking of waking up the next day to a dreadful job can lead to frustration, stress, or even depression. In addition, it can be very difficult to advance in such a career.

That is why leading a meaningful, fulfilling and lifelong career path is very important for your overall well-being.

However, finding your true career path is easier said than done. Many factors come into play when settling on a career path. There is your passion, childhood dreams, family expectations, and the need to pay for bills, just to mention but a few.  

Considering all these, how do you find your true professional path? Here are 4 steps that you can take to discover the career path that is right for you.

  1. Assess your 4Ps

Your career path should be shaped around your passion, preferences, personality, and principles. Put these four elements into considerations when choosing your professional path.

Doing something that you are passionate about will make you happy in your work. It will give you a sense of a purpose and you will have an inner drive that will push you forward. If you are lucky enough to combine your profession with your passion then it will not feel like work, it will be more of a pleasure. Moreover, not only will you make a living out of it, but your job will give meaning to your life. 

When it comes to preference, you would thrive better doing something in the nature of what you prefer. For instance, do you prefer working full time or on a flexible schedule? Or, do you prefer working in an office setup or the outdoors? Do you prefer to work with your hands or be in front of a laptop? Do you like having a setup plan or going with the flow? Keep all these questions in mind when you are considering future career choices.  

Your personality would also matter in that if you are the reserved type or an introvert, you can find it hard to work well with people. Taking up a career where you donat have to deal with a lot of people would be your best bet. On the other hand, if you are a lively extrovert you will feel energized by being around big groups of people. If you have an artistic mind you will succeed in more creative fields, whereas analytical minds would feel better if they have to deal with numbers. 

Lastly, we all have life principles that we live by. Your right career path should align with and enhance your principles in life. If altruism is crucial in your life, you should find careers that make a difference in the world and help people. Similarly, if you feel strongly about social justice, you might consider working for different human rights organizations that are in alignment with your life principles.

You can take personal assessment tests online to discover your 4Ps.

2.      Make a list of your options

After discovering your passion, preferences, personality, and principles, write down career options that match these four. For passion, think of the things that you can do even if you were not paid. Your hobbies should give you a good place to start from. For preference, write down career options that align with what you prefer in a day-to-day work environment. Do the same for your personality and principles. The idea here is to come up with an exhaustive list in order to make sure that you donat leave any stone unturned.

3.      Find an overlap

After coming up with a long list of career options, you need to start narrowing down to the one that is truly right for you. This is the point where you need to find your career sweet spot. This is the point where what you are good at, what you enjoy doing, and what the world or employers need come into an intersection.        

In the list that you have, think of what you are good at in terms of skills. Think of what you enjoy doing in terms of interests. Finally, put into consideration that one of the goals of being a career person is to make a living out of your work. Research on whether the careers that match what you are good at and what you enjoy have a demand in the job market. If there is no demand for it, are there ways that you can monetize them and make money out of them?

Settle on a career where the three overlap seamlessly.

4.      Develop your skills

After settling on a single career path, now is the time to assess and develop your skills necessary to succeed in it. If you are already working in that line of work, you can use your current position to take advantage of on-the-job-training opportunities to develop your skills further. You can also look out for internship positions or places you can volunteer to have a glimpse of the day-to-day work, and hone your skills while at it.

The post How to Find Your True Professional Path appeared first on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement.


7 Thoughtful Ways to Unite Your Community

Having a sense of community and belonging wherever you are can be an extremely important part of life. Whether youare moving to a new place, want to get involved in your hometown or you simply want to find a sense of belonging wherever you are, there are so many ways that you can unite your community and participate in the growth of your home. Whether you live in an urban metropolis or a small suburban town, uniting your community is a worthwhile effort, both for you and your family, as well as the community at large. Here are a few thoughtful ways that you can get involved.

1.   Participate In School Activities

If you have a child thatas currently school-aged, one of the best ways to get involved in your community is participating in school programs and activities. Even if your child is a little older, volunteering for after-school programs, the Parent-Teacher Association and even education assistance if you have the resources to do so can be extremely helpful to the community a especially because children are the future, and building a strong community begins with them.

2.   Go to the Library

The library is another community space with so many resources and places to connect, so itas no wonder why communities flourish with the help of a robust library. Whether you have kids or you want to get involved on your own, libraries offer all kinds of programs like storytime sessions for kids, book clubs, language learning societies, volunteer opportunities and even resource-finding programs for underserved populations. If you want to help unite your community wherever you are, think about hitting the books.

3.   Going to the Playground

Playgrounds are another great place to bring your community together. Playgrounds have so many benefits for all different kinds of families, itas no wonder why they contribute so heavily to healthy, thriving communities. Not only does going to the playground offer individual family bonding, but it also promotes physical wellness, promotes economic growth within the community, offers spaces to connect and, of course, provides a space for the kids to play. Seems like an all-around great deal.

4.   Start a Community Garden

If your community already has a community garden, it can be fantastic to get involved in whatever theyare growing over there. However, if your community doesnat have one yet, this can be your opportunity to get one started! Community gardening doesnat just bring people together a it does so much more than that! When you grow food with the members of your community, youare promoting health and wellness, outdoor time, community connection a plus, providing fresh food to the members of your community. Of course, getting a community garden started can be a bit of a challenge, especially if youare new to gardening, but itas important to try new things and get involved however you can.

5.   Volunteer

Although this method of uniting your community is a bit more general, itas definitely one of the most important things to consider. There are so many volunteer opportunities in nearly any community a from animal shelters to after-school programs, and everything in between. Think about what kinds of organizations youare passionate about a your community likely has one or more of them, and most places are always on the lookout for a helping hand or two. See where your community needs you most and step up accordingly. You may find a true vocation for helping others along the way.

6.   Clean Up Your Neighborhood

If volunteering for any one organization is a bit too much for your schedule at the moment, that doesnat mean you canat lend a hand in your community or neighborhood. In fact, some of the best work in uniting any community is done by thoughtful residents simply looking out for one another. And one of the best ways to get involved in your neighborhood is to do a little community clean-up. Of course, you can start by cleaning your own space, lawn and home, but you can extend that to the rest of your neighborhood, too. Start small a picking up trash, tidying public spaces and other small acts like that. Then, you can extend it further as you feel comfortable.

7.   Be Neighborly

One of the most important ways that you can participate in your local community and bring people together is to simply be neighborly and friendly with those around you. Get to know the people in your neighborhood. Host events and invite people around. Make conversation with the people you see out and about. Say hello to those around you. All of those small acts can contribute to a neighborly environment around you and bind your community together.

Thoughtfully Bringing Community Together

Whether youare involved in your community already, youare new in town or youave had a spark of inspiration to bring a bit more neighborly spirit into your community, there are so many thoughtful ways to approach it. By volunteering, getting involved and showing up for your neighborhood in all the spaces it has to offer, you can connect with those around you and better your community every day.


Kara Reynolds is the Editor-in-Chief and founder ofA Momish Magazine. Mom and step mom living her best life while managing anxiety and normalizing blended families. She enjoys pilates, podcasts, and a nice pinot grigio.A

The post 7 Thoughtful Ways to Unite Your Community appeared first on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement.


5 Tips to Deal with Negativity When Starting a Business

Starting a business feels good and comes with lots of excitement. But the challenging part is running it efficiently and being successful. Youall have to cope with different struggles to ensure you achieve what you wanted with your business.

Among the obstacles youall encounter is negativity. It comes to a point where you question whether starting a business was the right choice. Would it have been better if you had chosen a different path?

Once you stop believing in yourself, it becomes hard to make progress in your new business. The good thing is that itas possible to overcome a negative attitude towards your business and make it profitable. Here are the tips you need to deal with negativity when starting a business.

  1. Avoid negative people

Hanging around negative people can affect how you think. If theyare always giving negative feedback about your ventures, youall start to believe them and lose your focus.

These are also the kind of people that will make your business appear uncredible. As you may know, others judge you by who you hang around with. If theyare naysayers and small-minded, high achievers like potential partners and investors wonat want anything to do with you.

If you want to be a successful entrepreneur, it helps to cut off negative people in your life. You have to know that it wonat be easy, especially if theyare people close to you. But if youave tried to get them to support you and failed, avoiding them is essential.

It should be your goal to interact with like-minded individuals as much as possible. Surrounding yourself with positive people who are or have been where you are is essential for success.

So, find other entrepreneurs in a similar or related venture and befriend them. Youall always be motivated to keep pushing and reach their level or even go beyond.

You donat even have to do it in person. Because, whatas social media for? Look for Facebook groups and other forums online with lots of entrepreneur-related talks. Share what you have and gather new ideas from others.

Who knows, you may even learn how different business people handled negativity while starting out. There could also be several mentors out there willing to help you overcome any fears while doing business.

Planning is essential when starting a business. In fact, you need a detailed business plan before launching your new business.

A business plan positions your company for growth. It prepares you for uncertainty and youall be better equipped to handle it.

Without a proper plan, business growth happens slower. It may take ages to see any profits from the business. The longer you wait, the more the likelihood of you giving up at the slightest occurrence of a negative thought.

If you want to earn a 6-figure income or any other amount from your business, you need a good plan. It should have details on where you want your company to be in the future and the steps to get there. Thatas how youall keep on the right path regardless of what negative energy tries to hold you back.

You may have had bad experiences in your personal life. If you carry the thoughts of it to work, making great business decisions becomes hard.

So, every time you step into your place of business, leave out any personal emotions you may have. Donat let your mind convince you that since you failed in another area of life, youall also fail in business.

Also, make sure to always fix any issues you have that arenat related to business. If they canat be fixed, consider moving on as soon as possible. This way, your business is less likely to suffer because youare still thinking about an unpleasant event you had out there.

Because it can be quite challenging to fully avoid negativity, you could try and benefit from them. Thatas by simply trying to get a positive image every time a negative thought crosses your mind.

Maybe youare working late or during a weekend and are questioning whether such efforts will really pay off. After all, whatas stopping you from going to have some time with your friends? If you find yourself with such a thought, consider the potential fruits youall enjoy in the long run.

For instance, you could picture a highly profitable business that allows you to have your dream life. Maybe youave always wanted to fly around the world. Well, think of that as the final reward of you spending your weekends at work now.

Nothing is going to stop you if you learn to counter your negative thoughts this way. Youall get to your business goals much faster.

Wrapping It up

Dealing with negativity is essential if you want to build a successful business. And with the listed tips in mind, you can reduce if not eliminate negative energy while working on your business.

As long as you acquire and maintain aA positive mindset, you wonat have problems getting where you need to be. So, itas high time you start practicing how to stay positive if youave been having doubts about yourself.


Mike Stuzzi is an online entrepreneur and blogger who helps people around the world make extra money and manage their finances effectively. He has started a number of successful online businesses and intends to help his readers achieve the same. He believes thereas a lot anyone can learn about money and entrepreneurship. Check out his blogA The Money GalileoA for tips and resources to become money-minded, boost your income, and practice proper money management.

The post 5 Tips to Deal with Negativity When Starting a Business appeared first on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement.


You Contain Multitudes

There is an art to feeling your emotions. Itas important to separate your emotions from your identityawho you areaby saying, aA part of me feels sada vs. aIam sad.a aA part of me feels angrya vs. aI am angry.a           

We usually hold multiple parts of ourselves at the same time.   

For instance, aA part of me feels scared and a part of me feels excited. A part of me feels brave and a part of me feels alive!a This is personally one of my favorite combinations of emotions. It means Iam about to do something thatas going to allow me to grow beyond the person I thought I was in the best possible way. It means Iam about to push through contraction into another level of expansion! If itas been a while since Iave felt this combination, then I know itas time to switch things up and find a new, inspiring challenge. Remember, inspiring challenges stretch and grow you in the direction of what matters most to you. Can you connect your challenges back to your values and mission? No matter what, youall face challenges in life, so you may as well choose inspiring ones, which allow you to be ener- gized by what you do.       

Here are more examples:           

aA part of me feels disappointed and a part of me is grateful that you told me.a       

aA part of me feels guilty and a part of me knows that I was doing the very best I knew how at the time.a           

aA part of me feels angry, a part of me feels sad, and a part of me feels scared.a        aA part of me is happy for you and a part of me is worried.a                     aA part of me is excited and a part of me is nervous.a               

The first step is to acknowledge these parts. You are large. You contain multitudes! The more expanded you are, the more you can hold all these seemingly contradictory parts. You are multidimen- sional, unlike the 94.7 radio station. Empathy starts with your ability to acknowledge your own parts.   

The key to expansion is learning to fully accept all these parts: the parts that are scared, the parts that are brave, the parts you celebrate, the parts you hide, the parts that follow through, the parts that donat, the parts that are angry, the parts that are joyful, the parts that are sad, the parts that play small, the parts that play bigaall your parts. Notice what parts youave made good vs. bad, right vs. wrong, what parts hold shame vs. blame. Integrate all of your parts.           

Once you stop showing yourself conditional acceptance and relax the aI have to _____ or else Iall judge myself as _______,a and instead operate from aI am enough as is,a watch how much faster you can move, and the greater impact you can make. Say to yourself, aIf you donat make this happen, I still accept/love/value you.a aEven if you donat succeed at _______, youall be okay.a Watch how much more successful youall be when you come from here. Once you see your- self as worthy and whole without your achievements, youall become unstoppable. Youall be going after all your dreams from expansion with supernatural abilities and access to infinite possibilities and probabilities. Only you can give yourself this freedom, not a parent, partner, mentor, lover, or friend. As you accept your feelings of contraction, they dissolve. Only you can set yourself free.

Jing Gao, founder of Fly by Jing Inc., discovered this when she joined a group leadership program I held during the first COVID quarantine. At that time, she called herself Jenny, the name she had gone by for over 25 years. At the start of her journey, she identified places of contraction and began feeling her emotions: her grief, her anger, her fear, all of it. On our first call, I took her through a process of feeling the raw energy behind these emotionsathe sensations in her bodyatracking and releasing contraction to relax her nervous system. She noticed tightness in her chest and then she realized she didnat feel safe in her body. Tears came. She felt disconnected from herself as if she had been hiding behind a shield. The emotions she experienced were scared, confused, and sad. She was used to repressing these scared, confused, sad parts of herself. Emotion by emotion, sensation by sensation, she felt everything that arose fully, until the contraction dissipated.               

With her nervous system unraveled and expanded, she was struck with this insight: aI have been hiding behind Jenny to fit in my whole life when the real me, Jing, feels too raw and real.a In that moment, she decided to reclaim her name. When she hung up the phone, she changed her name with her friends, across all her social media channels, email, everywhere. During the quarantine, she hit record sales. In April, she increased revenue 360 percent over March and by November 2020 her company had grown 1,000 percent over the previous year. Jing made a quantum leap the moment she released the bound-up energy pattern held in hiding behind Jenny all those years. She turned lead into gold the moment she released contrac- tion by fully feeling it.           

What is a current situation or circumstance youad like to change in your life? What do you believe to be true about yourself and what belief system do you have in place thatas creating this circumstance? What are you doing, saying or not doing or not saying that is perpetuating this situation? Nothing is happening to you. Let yourself feel what this circumstance stirs up. After feeling it fully, what is the insight? In what direction is this experience asking you to grow?           

Your external reality is a direct reflection of your internal state: thoughts, emotions, beliefs, your sense of identity, and your world- view. Once you shift your internal state, everything around you will transform to match. What does your external world show is going on for you internally? If you donat like your external reality, feel the contraction completely so you can move through it into expansion and watch how everything that lights you up multiplies.

Excerpt from Bending Reality: How to Make the Impossible Probable by Victoria Song. Copyright A(c) 2021. Reprinted with permission.     

Victoria Song is the Leadership Advisor to successful founders and CEOs of the worldas fastest growing technology companies and celebrities with power, platform and influence. She is the author of Bending Reality: How to Make the Impossible Probable. For more information, please visit, www.victoriasong.me.

The post You Contain Multitudes appeared first on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement.


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