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The Battle Of The Voices In My Head

The Battle Of The Voices In My Head

Like most people, I have goals. Goals that I want and need to achieve. Goals that I strive for every day. Goals that aren’t even dreams anymore, they are now my musts. I no longer find myself just wanting them to happen, I need them to happen, and there really isn’t any other option. They MUST happen.

I set my intentions to what I wanted to achieve. I wanted freedom. Freedom to work when and where I wanted. I wanted to travel and explore more of the world. I wanted financial stability. I was sick of living paycheck to paycheck. I was sick of having to struggle when unexpected expenses arose. I wanted to give back to the world. I felt I had a lot to offer and my talents weren’t being utilized. I wanted to do something that would feel rewarding and that I would be passionate about.

Realization

Last year, I came to a realization that there was more that I needed to achieve in life. I was good at my job, I had a great social life, and I was healthy and alive. However, there was this feeling of emptiness inside of me. Even though I had a stable job, a nice apartment, and great people around me, there was this feeling that something was missing. That something was passion.

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I no longer had the passion to keep being the best at my job. I no longer had the passion to spend most of my time making someone else’s dream a reality. It was hard to get out of bed to do the same thing day in and day out. It was time to change. It was time to figure out what I wanted and to start taking action towards it. Why was I dragging myself to a job that sucked the life out of my soul? Why was I forcing myself out of bed to just pay the bills?

Juggling Responsibilities

It has only been eight months since the day I decided to become a blogger. In that time, I have managed to juggle a full-time job, train for a fitness competition, create a YouTube channel, start my own business, write for some of the world’s largest motivational sites, and somehow maintain a social life. This may not seem like much to some, but for any fellow bloggers, YouTubers, athletes, writers, or entrepreneurs out there, I know they will understand the work that goes on behind closed doors.

Not too long ago, I was in the flow of things. Up at 4 am, kicking goals at the gym, kicking goals with business, and was on top of my writing and doing YouTube. It was like the universe was smiling down at me. Looking back, the reason I was in the flow and doing so well was because I didn’t even allow a negative thought to slip into my mind. My perspective was all about where I was headed and what I was achieving.

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It didn’t matter that I was up at 4 am every morning training for comp. It didn’t matter that I was making business calls for during my lunch breaks at my full-time job. It didn’t matter that I was up late every night writing, making videos, and working on my online business. Things just seemed to flow and I was excited to get out of bed every day. I only had time for positive people in my life. I let go of energy drainers. I looked at the positive side of everything and the universe seemed to be rewarding me for my efforts.

Road Blocks

Then one day, I hit a wall. The flow of positivity stopped and it was like everything I had worked so hard towards all came and smacked me in the face. Everything seemed so hard. Getting up at 4 am was more than difficult, being on top of my game at work and dealing with people were draining, and I started to fall behind in my writing and my business. What had happened? Everything was easy, everything was flowing, why did everything become so difficult to keep up with?

I have had some time to reflect and I have come to realize that the only thing that changed was my mindset and my perspective. I had a friend that was feeling low and, as much as I tried to be there, I just couldn’t do it every day. Not in the way they were wanting me to. I like to think that I am the person that my friends can rely on and at that moment, I started to feel like I didn’t have time for my friends when they needed me. I started to feel like I was failing and not as on top of things as I thought I was. I started to feel drained as I tried to give the little energy I had left to helping others.

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I was exhausted. Emotionally and physically. The 4 am wake up calls started to be something I dreaded, kicking goals at work, and trying to stay sharp when dealing with human interactions just seemed so tough. I didn’t realize just how much energy and time I was putting into chasing my goals. I started to question whether all of the effort I was putting in was even going to be worthwhile. Will I even achieve my goals? And to what expense? If I let my friend down because I couldn’t give the support they were wanting because I was busy chasing goals and working towards my dreams, is that the kind of person I want to be?

Mindset

I turned to one of my favorites, Tony Robbins, and started watching his videos on the daily. I needed a pick-me-up and I knew I needed support and encouragement. I needed to change my mindset. Instead of looking at my desperation of quitting my full-time job, I started to train my mind into looking at it as a blessing and a vehicle that was paying my rent for my gorgeous apartment and a vehicle that was funding me until I could achieve my dreams.

Instead of looking at my early wake up calls as a chore, I started looking at the extra time it gave me to work on my fitness goals. Instead of looking at all the phone calls, online time, writing, producing, and everything else I do to keep up with being a blogger and entrepreneur as extra work, I started to train my mind again to see that I was working towards my goals and the more effort I put in, the more I will get back. The goal will be inevitable as long as I am doing something every day to reach my desires.

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Instead of thinking of how I let my friend down, I started to realize that I had given what I could. I am only human and there is no way I could give any more energy and support to another if I needed that energy and support for myself. We cannot help others if we do not help ourselves first. If we don’t put ourselves first, we simply don’t have much to give someone else. People that really truly care for you will understand this. We all our going through our own journeys and those that are meant to be in your life will want to see you succeed. As long as we are not abandoning our loved ones, as long as we are coming from a place of love, then there really isn’t anything to worry about.

Battle of the Voices

There is a constant battle going on with the voices in my head. Am I good enough? Do I really think I have what it takes to get to where I want to be? And then the other voice argues back that I have been through enough and the things I have been through clearly states just how strong I am. I got this. Will the voice of doubt ever shut up? Most likely not, after all, we are human and the voice of fear and doubt will always be playing in the background.

I’ve just decided it is time to not listen to that voice of doubt and insecurity. Nothing good comes of it. I have come to accept that the voice of fear will always be there. I just choose to ignore it because if I listen to it and I don’t continue to chase my goals, I know that I will regret it for the rest of my life. I would rather do my best trying to achieve my goals and making the most of my time here on earth than to not try and always be left wondering what if.

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

For the original article by Celestine: 13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

“We all have problems. The way we solve them is what makes us different.” ~Unknown

“It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.” – Hans Selye

Have you ever experienced moments when things just don’t go your way? For example, losing your keys, accidentally spilling your drink, waking up late, missing your buses/trains, forgetting to bring your things, and so on?

You’re not alone. All of us, myself included, experience times when things don’t go as we expect.

Here is my guide on how to deal with daily setbacks.

1. Take a step back and evaluate

When something bad happens, take a step back and evaluate the situation. Some questions to ask yourself:

  1. What is the problem?
  2. Are you the only person facing this problem in the world today?
  3. How does this problem look like at an individual level? A national level? On a global scale?
  4. What’s the worst possible thing that can happen to you as a result of this?
  5. How is it going to impact your life in the next 1 year? 5 years? 10 years?

Doing this exercise is not to undermine the problem or disclaiming responsibility, but to consider different perspectives, so you can adopt the best approach for it. Most problems we encounter daily may seem like huge issues when they crop up, but most, if not all, don’t have much impact in our life beyond that day.

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2. Vent if you have to, but don’t linger on the problem

If you feel very frustrated and need to let off some steam, go ahead and do that. Talk to a friend, complain, crib about it, or scream at the top of your lungs if it makes you happy.

At the same time, don’t get caught up with venting. While venting may temporarily relieve yourself, it’s not going to solve the problem ultimately. You don’t want to be an energy vampire.

Vent if there’s a need to, but do it for 15 to 20 minutes. Then move on.

3. Realize there are others out there facing this too

Even though the situation may be frustrating, you’re not alone. Remember there are almost 7 billion people in the world today, and chances are that other people have faced the same thing before too. Knowing it’s not just you helps you to get out of a self-victimizing mindset.

4. Process your thoughts/emotions

Process your thoughts/emotions with any of the four methods:

  1. Journal. Write your unhappiness in a private diary or in your blog. It doesn’t have to be formal at all – it can be a brain dump on rough paper or new word document. Delete after you are done.
  2. Audio taping. Record yourself as you talk out what’s on your mind. Tools include tape recorder, your PC (Audacity is a freeware for recording/editing audio) and your mobile (most mobiles today have audio recording functions). You can even use your voice mail for this. Just talking helps you to gain awareness of your emotions. After recording, play back and listen to what you said. You might find it quite revealing.
  3. Meditation. At its simplest form, meditation is just sitting/lying still and observing your reality as it is – including your thoughts and emotions. Some think that it involves some complex mambo-jumbo, but it doesn’t.
  4. Talking to someone. Talking about it with someone helps you work through the issue. It also gets you an alternate viewpoint and consider it from a different angle.

5. Acknowledge your thoughts

Don’t resist your thoughts, but acknowledge them. This includes both positive and negative thoughts.

By acknowledging, I mean recognizing these thoughts exist. So if say, you have a thought that says, “Wow, I’m so stupid!”, acknowledge that. If you have a thought that says, “I can’t believe this is happening to me again”, acknowledge that as well.

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Know that acknowledging the thoughts doesn’t mean you agree with them. It’s simply recognizing the existence of said thoughts so that you can stop resisting yourself and focus on the situation on hand.

6. Give yourself a break

If you’re very stressed out by the situation, and the problem is not time sensitive, then give yourself a break. Take a walk, listen to some music, watch a movie, or get some sleep. When you’re done, you should feel a lot more revitalized to deal with the situation.

7. Uncover what you’re really upset about

A lot of times, the anger we feel isn’t about the world. You may start off feeling angry at someone or something, but at the depth of it, it’s anger toward yourself.

Uncover the root of your anger. I have written a five part anger management series on how to permanently overcome anger.

After that, ask yourself: How can you improve the situation? Go to Step #9, where you define your actionable steps. Our anger comes from not having control on the situation. Sitting there and feeling infuriated is not going to change the situation. The more action we take, the more we will regain control over the situation, the better we will feel.

8. See this as an obstacle to be overcome

As Helen Keller once said,

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”

Whatever you’re facing right now, see it as an obstacle to be overcome. In every worthy endeavor, there’ll always be countless obstacles that emerge along the way. These obstacles are what separate the people who make it, and those who don’t. If you’re able to push through and overcome them, you’ll emerge a stronger person than before. It’ll be harder for anything to get you down in the future.

9. Analyze the situation – Focus on actionable steps

In every setback, there are going to be things that can’t be reversed since they have already occurred. You want to focus on things that can still be changed (salvageable) vs. things that have already happened and can’t be changed. The only time the situation changes is when you take steps to improve it. Rather than cry over spilt milk, work through your situation:

  1. What’s the situation?
  2. What’s stressing you about this situation?
  3. What are the next steps that’ll help you resolve them?
  4. Take action on your next steps!

After you have identified your next steps, act on them. The key here is to focus on the actionable steps, not the inactionable steps. It’s about regaining control over the situation through direct action.

10. Identify how it occurred (so it won’t occur again next time)

A lot of times we react to our problems. The problem occurs, and we try to make the best out of what has happened within the context. While developing a healthy coping mechanism is important (which is what the other helping points are on), it’s also equally important, if not more, to understand how the problem arose. This way, you can work on preventing it from taking place next time, vs. dealing reactively with it.

Most of us probably think the problem is outside of our control, but reality is most of the times it’s fully preventable. It’s just a matter of how much responsibility you take over the problem.

For example, for someone who can’t get a cab for work in the morning, he/she may see the problem as a lack of cabs in the country, or bad luck. However, if you trace to the root of the problem, it’s probably more to do with (a) Having unrealistic expectations of the length of time to get a cab. He/she should budget more time for waiting for a cab next time. (b) Oversleeping, because he/she was too tired from working late the previous day. He/she should allocate enough time for rest next time. He/she should also pick up better time management skills, so as to finish work in lesser time.

11. Realize the situation can be a lot worse

No matter how bad the situation is, it can always be much worse. A plus point vs. negative point analysis will help you realize that.

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12. Do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it

No matter how bad your situation may seem, do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it. Life is too beautiful to worry so much over daily issues. Take a step back (#1), give yourself a break if you need to (#6), and do what you can within your means (#9). Everything else will unfold accordingly. Worrying too much about the outcome isn’t going to change things or make your life any better.

13. Pick out the learning points from the encounter

There’s something to learn from every encounter. What have you learned from this situation? What lessons have you taken away?

After you identify your learning points, think about how you’re going to apply them moving forward. With this, you’ve clearly gained something from this encounter. You’ve walked away a stronger, wiser, better person, with more life lessons to draw from in the future.

Get the manifesto version of this article: [Manifesto] What To Do When Things Don’t Go Your Way

Featured photo credit: Alice Donovan Rouse via unsplash.com

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