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What Kind of Paranoid Are You?

What Kind of Paranoid Are You?

Jack Canfield, in chapter 6 of The Success Principles: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be, admonishes us to become “inverse paranoids.” If you’ve ever known anyone with paranoid tendencies, you know that no matter what someone says or does, this person will be suspicious of their motives. Becoming an “inverse paranoid” means we begin to assume that the other person is out to bless us instead of out to get us!

Norman Vincent Peale once said, “Attitude is more important than facts.” We can control what we feel if we change our attitudes. True, there may be physical reasons why a person tends to be paranoid. Perhaps they would benefit from medication or a good herbal supplement. (Paranoia tends to go along with depression, and St. John’s Wort can really help a person get into a better all around mood.)

Having a clear feeling about others is essential for success in every aspect of life. Do I feel like my spouse secretly disdains me? Do I worry about how people in the store are evaluating my looks? Do I assume this prospective client already doesn’t like me? All of these thoughts can be reversed if I only make the effort. I can choose to believe that my spouse loves me, at least until he tells me otherwise. I can choose to believe the people in the store think I look fine, or more likely aren’t even paying any attention to me. And I can assume this prospective client has a good feeling about me.

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So, how do I go about renewing my assumptions? How can I convince myself that others like me and want to do me right in business and social matters?

1. I can build self esteem. Experts might not always agree on the best way to do this, but gaining competency at some skill usually helps. I can take an inventory of everything that’s admirable about me. Why wouldn’t people like me and want the best for me?

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2. I can start now to eliminate worry from my self-talk and habits. I can pay attention to little negative attitudes and get rid of them.

3. I can ask a trusted friend to tell me my blind spots. If we sense that people are responding negatively to us, maybe we have some quirky habits that irritate others. A good friend might be willing to fill me in on these if I can accept a little constructive criticism. And then, I can act with resolve to change these unknown, irritating habits.

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Often, however, changing my assumptions about others is a simple choice. I can choose to turn my paranoid around into a hopeful expectation of respect and courtesy.

References:

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Canfield, Jack. The Success Principles: How to Get From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be.

Peale, Norman Vincent. The Power of Positive Thinking

Barbara Wood is a writer and educator living with her family in the Missouri Ozarks.

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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