“The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough.” — Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture
Have you ever been faced with a challenge that seems like a brick wall that is too ridiculously high to climb over? In these moments we can often feel angry, scared, frustrated, alone and think to ourselves: “Why me?” “Why now?” “I can’t do that!” “There’s no way I can get past this!”
I totally get it. We all get it, because we’ve all been there. The thing is that there are plenty of people making it over to the other side, some of whose walls are even higher than yours. It might take them a while, they might have to get creative on how they do it, but they still make it over eventually and if they can, so can you.Advertising
Instead of filling your mind with thoughts that keep your feet glued to the ground, try telling yourself these 10 sentences and start climbing that wall one little step at a time. The grass is greener on the other side.
1. “I am stronger and more capable than I think I am.”
You have deep wells of strength that you don’t even know exist. Sometimes our brains try to hide these from us in an attempt to keep us safe and within our comfort zone, but you don’t have to believe everything you think. I promise you that you are physically, mentally and emotionally stronger than you think you are.
2. “I have faced and conquered many challenges in my life and I can do it again.”
Take a moment to think about a time in your life that was really hard. A huge challenge that you didn’t think you could get through but you did. You fought, you pushed through the fear and in the end you achieved the seemingly unachievable. You did it then and you can absolutely do it now.Advertising
3. “I know there is a valuable lesson to be learned from this, even if I don’t understand what it is right now.”
We are not meant to live in our comfort zone. If we did we would never do anything, we would never experience full lives or grow or evolve. Life gives us challenges to test us and push us further than we ever thought possible. Often we look back on past experiences and see why they happened or what we learned from them. There is something to learn from this one too, even if we don’t know what it is right now.
4. “I can find happiness in any situation.”
Your life will never be perfect. There is no moment in the future where everything will line up and you will be blissfully happy. “I’ll be happy when (fill in the blank).” That moment doesn’t exist. Happy people choose to be happy now by finding something to be grateful for in any situation. It can be as simple as your morning coffee that tastes so delicious. Think through and focus on the positives more than you do the negatives.
5. “I have made mistakes before but I am not my mistakes. I believe in my ability to change and be better.”
We all make mistakes, it’s a part of life. It’s also the way we learn and grow. You have no control over the things that have happened in the past, but you do have control over the decisions you make in the future. Choose to believe in your ability to make better decisions. Sure you might make a few more mistakes along the way, and who cares? Learn from them, grow from them and move on.Advertising
6. “I am calm and collected as I make my way through this.”
We think more clearly and have better judgment when our minds are calm. Take a few minutes to yourself. Breathe in and out slowly. Let any thoughts that come in float away (I actually picture mine as little butterflies floating into the sky) and say to yourself, “I am calm and collected as I make my way through this.”
7. “I trust myself in making great decisions.”
Sometimes challenges can leave us feeling torn and completely confused. Trust that deep down you know what the best answer or approach is. Whatever you choose and whatever happens will eventually work out and be OK. So take the pressure off yourself and trust in your intuition.
8. “I have the ability to solve problems creatively.”
You have the ability to think outside the box and get creative when it comes to solving your own problems. Trust in yourself and this creative power. If you’re doing something that’s not working, try a different approach. The worst thing that could happen is that it stays the same as it is now.Advertising
9. “I am not expected to do this alone. I can ask for help if I want it.”
Whatever the challenge is, you are not expected to do it alone. Reach out to people who love and support you or seek the assistance of healers, counselors, whomever and whatever you think will help you get through this. It’s amazing how simple our problems can seem when we start working through them with others.
10. “I choose to see this challenge as an opportunity.”
It can be hard to be positive in times of struggle, but a huge challenge is only one because we let it be. Force yourself to look for the opportunities you are being given because of this challenge. It could be that it has brought you closer to your family and friends, or that you have learned a valuable lesson. See your challenges as opportunities to grow and be better.
You can do this. You are strong enough.
“Every great story on the planet happened when someone decided not to give up but kept going no matter what.” — Spryte Loriano
Featured photo credit: Life is hard/D. Garding via flickr.com
Last Updated on May 28, 2020
10 Success Principles for Living Your Dream Life
Are you stressed out and overwhelmed, wishing you had more time to do the things that really matter? Are you ready to do something better, something special in your life or your career?
You were born with a gift that no one else in the world can express like you. When you dance to your own music, you naturally develop your innate abilities and excel in work and life. You are a total rock star. But when you live someone else’s idea of who you should be, it throws off your groove.
Many people—maybe you—stopped following their dreams way too early in life because their talents were ignored, minimized, or shamed. They didn’t have the chops to win an American Idol competition or nab an Olympic gold medal, so they stopped expressing their inborn gifts altogether.
You don’t need to be an award winner to rock your life. Living your dream life is about discovering your superpowers and feeling vibrant and joyful when you use them. It’s about owning what makes you unique and finding like-minded people to support you.
Here are 10 success principles to help you live a rich and rewarding life on your terms that have worked with thousands of people in my workshops and will work for you, too.
1. Get a Hobby to Move Closer to Your Dreams
If you never became a professional dancer or a world-renowned author, it does NOT mean you should stop dancing or writing! These activities make you come alive, even if you “only” do them as favorite pastimes.
Engaging in a hobby is one of the most important success principles you can follow to move closer to your dreams.
When you try something creative for the first time or in a long while, you begin to see opportunities at work and in life that you were unaware of before. You also feel happier and more energized, according to a recent study from New Zealand.
Some of my most burned-out executive clients reinvigorated their careers by discovering a creative outlet that refueled them after the workday ended. Research at San Francisco State University shows that having a hobby lowers stress and helps you succeed at work.
So, give yourself permission to try new things and revisit old passions you gave up long ago. Setting aside just one hour a week for personal exploration can significantly change your life.
Who knows? Your creative outlet could transform into a thriving business or lead to a new profession down the road.
2. Focus on Your Strengths, Not Your Weaknesses
Did you know that you are more likely to succeed when you develop your natural strengths rather than work on your weaknesses? The problem is that you probably don’t know where your true talents lie.
Here are a few options to help you discover your unique strengths. You can:
- Take the VIA Character Strengths Survey
- Try Gallup’s CliftonStrengths Assessment
- Answer a few Superpower Questions
Once you understand what makes you tick, you can use these skills at work and your personal life to get more done in less time. If you boost your unique abilities through practice and study, you can accelerate your career and become a leader in a field that matters to you. It’s worth investing in yourself this way.
3. Jumping off a Cliff is NOT Required
Here’s the deal: most people are too afraid to change. When participants first come to my workshops, they tell me they have mouths to feed, bills to pay, and fear that if they follow their dreams, someone will get hurt.
The old saying “leap and the net shall appear” does not comfort them. Because they are hesitant to plunge into the unknown, they believe their only option is to stay put where they are in life. Can you relate?
You do not have to sacrifice the life you have now to start a new one. I was a psychology professor by day and singer by night for years before I transitioned into a full-time music career.
Just take a little time out each week to do what enlivens you through a hobby, volunteer work, etc. Get a feel for it.
Is it what you really want? If so, increase the time you spend doing it and make the transition when the time feels right.
4. Give Your Inner Critic Some Love
The main culprit that keeps you from stepping outside your comfort zone and getting the life of your dreams is KCRP or K-CRAP – the radio station that plays 24/7 in your head. The moment you try to do something interesting with your life it slaps you down with such chart-topping killer hooks as “Who do you think you are?” and “You’ll never be good enough!”.
Have you ever noticed that KCRP’s mean-spirited DJ sounds like your parents, teachers, bosses, and other authority figures who shut you down creatively? These folks don’t need to stifle you any longer (although they often still do) because your inner critic does it for them. That keeps you stuck in a rut.
To break free, try thinking of this DJ as a gruff old grandfather who gives you crap to keep you safe. Remember, this grumpy grandpa is woefully out of touch with the times. So, his stern opinions don’t really matter much, do they? Give him a pat on the back for his good intentions, and put your focus back on what makes you come alive.
This success principle will give you the courage to venture into the unknown where you can dance to the beat of your own drummer.
5. Embrace Your Inner Weirdo
Many of us don’t go after our dreams because we’re afraid folks will find out how odd or strange we are. But our little eccentricities often turn out to be our greatest strengths. Yes, it’s good to be quirky.
Odds are, you lost track of your true passions and talents before you were even old enough to know you were getting off-track. You became slowly “adulterated” by learning to:
- Take on family roles that don’t match who you really are.
- Spit back what teachers taught you in school rather than risk getting bad grades for being original.
- Hide parts of yourself that don’t seem acceptable to certain social groups.
The price for fitting in is that you may wind up leading a life that doesn’t fit you all that well. Your true calling becomes clear when you embrace what makes you different from others and allow yourself to stand out from the crowd, even if it feels awkward.
Often, the very qualities you view as your flaws are your greatest gifts.
6. See the Bigger Picture to Find Your True Calling
I cannot stress the importance of this success principle enough. Your true calling is right in front of you. But you may miss it because you’re looking for it in the wrong place.
To “see” it clearly, try widening your point of view.
Case in point: Maria felt she needed to retire early from being a police detective, so she could travel abroad. I encouraged Maria to think of ways that she could continue to serve as a law enforcer (a career she loved) and travel overseas at the same time.
A few months later, Maria landed a job with the United Nations in Bosnia training the local police force to understand and embrace human rights procedures.
Like Maria, you are an everyday rock star capable of accomplishing greater things than you can imagine. Is what you’re looking for right in front of you, too? Do you have an inkling of what it may be?
Look beyond your day-to-day activities, your current job, and even the town you live in. View your life from an eagle’s perspective and be open to new possibilities.
7. Try a Little Wish-List Magic
Pretend I’m your fairy godmother and I give you permission right now to be your most magnificent self. What kind of life would be music to your ears? It doesn’t matter whether it seems unattainable or even downright crazy. Write it down on a wish list.
Get quiet. Be honest. Think big.
What would you like your career, your relationships, your health, your finances, and your spiritual life to be like? Jot down enough details so that your wishes seem tangible to you. Then, look at this list every morning before you start your day and every night before you go to sleep.
Sounds silly? It’s not. It works! Permitting yourself to daydream about a rich and fulfilling life is the first step to manifesting it.
8. Take Breaks to Get Clues About Your Ideal Future
Did you know that working straight through to a deadline leads to diminishing returns? Research shows that taking a break for 15 minutes every 75 to 90 minutes can help you recharge, refresh your focus, and get more done in less time.
Wait, it gets better! A Stanford study shows that walking increases your creative output increases by 60 percent. Doing repetitive activities such as walking, running, riding your bike, swimming, and sweeping allow solutions to problems to pop into your mind out of nowhere.
What does this success principle have to do with creating your dream life?
These mini-breaks allow you to get vital clues for what to do next to attain your ideal future. Plus, you won’t waste precious time and energy getting lost in other people’s agendas.
9. Take Action on Your Inspired Ideas
Once an inspired thought pops into your mind, take action.
This is one of the most powerful success principles for turning your dreams into reality; the sooner the better. Whatever it is—from calling an old friend to taking a new route home—be sure to do it!
Pay attention to your oddball hunches. You need to go after what you want, not just dream about it. As comedian Jim Carrey warns,
“You can’t just visualize and go eat a sandwich.”
10. Count Your Rockstar Moments
Still not sure you have what it takes to get your dream life? This final success principle is guaranteed to help.
Make a list of everything you’ve ever accomplished. As you read back through it, put a star next to each item, and let it sink in.
You’ll be pleasantly surprised by how good you’ll feel about yourself afterward. You’ll also see how effective you’ve been in the past at getting what you want. You’ve succeeded before, you can succeed again.
You already rock. You just need to own it. Trust me, you’ve got this!
Eleanor Roosevelt said,
“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”
Following these success principles will help you find the time and energy to do the things that really matter and live with clear intention.
By spending just one hour a week doing something you love, focusing on your strengths and achievements, embracing what makes you different, and acting on inspired ideas, you can create a life that is a perfect fit for you, step-by-step.
If you don’t have a clue about what your dream life could look like yet, don’t worry. Your heart knows. It has been “talking” to you for a long time. It’s just being muffled by KCRP, buried under a lot of “shoulds” and fear.
This article can also help you figure out the life you truly want to live: How to Get Motivated and Be Happy Every Day When You Wake Up.
Stand still, get quiet, and listen. It’s constantly telling you what you need to do to realize your own rockstar potential. It may be just a whisper now, but the more you pay attention to it, the louder it will get, and the easier it will be to follow.
More About Success in Life
- 20 Definitions Of Success You Should Never Ignore
- How to Create Your Road Map to Success (A Step-By-Step Guide)
- How To Be Successful In Life? 13 Tips From The Most Successful People
Featured photo credit: Rahul Dey via unsplash.com
|||^||Huffington Post: Why Finding Time Each Day For Creativity Makes You Happier|
|||^||Fast Company: These 4 Hobbies Can Actually Improve Job Performance|
|||^||VIA: The VIA Character Strengths Survey|
|||^||Fast Company: This Is How Many Minutes Of Breaks You Need Each Day|
|||^||Stanford News: Stanford study finds walking improves creativity|