Use competition to push you

You need a 7 Day BrainwashI don’t know about you but when I am put in a position where I’m competing against one or more people, my motivation shoots up to a whole new level. I have talked to many others who experience the same.

When you compete against someone, in any area of life, you setup 2 incredibly powerful forces.

The first is the desire to be triumphant. Imagine the excitement someone must feel when they win a gold medal in the Olympics. They have achieved a personal dream and they get a flood of recognition from friends, family, media, fans and ultimately their entire country. What person would not love this kind of validation of success? The same kind of triumph can be experienced (maybe not at the same level of intensity) when you win a competition that you have been involved in, no matter how small it may be.

The second (and more powerful) force that gets created in competition is the desire to avoid defeat. Most humans instinctively associate any form of loss with pain and in most cases, will do anything necessary to avoid that pain. If you enter some kind of competition that will help drive you towards your goals, this pain avoidance force may be the deciding factor in your success.

Use competitive scenarios to drive you forward but remember to detach from the outcome. If you happen to lose your competition, don’t get down in the dumps. Focus on what positives came out of it (usually a drastic increase in results) and continue moving towards your goals.

6 tips to strengthen your willpower muscles

You need a 7 Day BrainwashIf you do some searching around the Internet, you will see a number of interesting

studies that have been conducted on the habit of “willpower” as being an important predictor of success in life.

In general, people who exercise more self control (in all different types of situations) are more likely to produce better results in life, health, family, business, and so on.

Many of the studies actually show that a person’s willpower acts like a muscle that can be developed and strengthened with practice. Here are some suggested activities you can try to strengthen your own willpower or self-control “muscles”…

1. Try brushing your teeth with the opposite hand. It might start off feeling very awkward, but as you work on the habit, you improve your ability while increasing your self control.

2. Change your reactions. For example, if you have the habit of reacting with anger when something doesn’t go your way, choose to practice changing your reaction to something more positive. Each experience creates the new habit and reinforces your willpower muscles.

3. Read or listen to books about personal development daily (ideally at the same time each day). The more you analyze your habits and behaviours, the more you will see opportunities for change and improvement.

4. Replace every drink with water. This is a great habit for anyone who wants to improve their health. If you normally have a pop, coffee or juice, make the conscious decision to replace it with water. Each choice strengthens your self control muscles and contributes to better health.

5. Practice proper breathing. As often as possible throughout the day, focus on deep breathing into your diaphragm rather than short breaths that often come as a result of stress.

6. Adjust your posture. By repeatedly correcting your posture, you not only improve the health of your body (and particularly your spine), you also create an opportunity to form a new habit that comes from the development of your willpower.

These are just a few examples that you can use and adapt into your own self-control regimen. The key is to find activities that are important to you and will move you towards some specific goal you have in your life.

Another important aspect to keep in mind is the enjoyment factor. If you are working on your willpower strength but the entire time, you feel like it is punishment or painful, the chance of you maintaining your new habit is slim.

So take some time today to think of some new activities you can build into your life that help you build your willpower and self control. Remember to have fun with it, see it as a tool to help you become more successful and don’t forget to forgive yourself if you happen to sway off track once in a while.

Improve Yourself Programatically

You need a 7 Day BrainwashFor the past 3 years, I have spent most of my time developing my business and along the way, have had to overcome a number of fears and self-limiting ideas. What I was really doing was reprogramming my mind to think differently.

Here are 3 techniques you might want to try that will help you reprogram yourself to a new and improved YOU:

1. Hang out with an influencer.

When I first got started in business, I was struggling to pay the bills and find enough clients to keep me going. Even when I did find clients, I did a terrible job billing for my time and I was not recognizing my own value as a service provider.

I was then lucky enough to meet another business owner who had built a number of successful companies and had already been through all of the tough business lessons that I had yet to be exposed to. Over time we became friends and I was able to absorb an incredible amount of information about business, mindset, dealing with clients, social skills, etc… all of the things that made him so talented at business.

The challenge here is that you can’t just walk up to someone and ask them to be your friend. When you meet someone who you would like to learn from, show them that you value their time and bring something of your own to the table. If they feel they can also learn from you and your life experiences, they will be far more willing to hang out with you.

2. Wage a war against the whiny voice in your head.

Have you ever had an idea that totally captivated your imagination and inspired you to think about a life far beyond the one you are living today? If so, were you also among the majority of people who had that cynical, whiny, negative voice pop up and immediately tell you all the reasons why this new idea could never come true?

Instead of falling victim to that defeating voice, try turning the tables. Picture that voice as a vicious enemy trying to steal your life, power and happiness away from you. Challenge the voice. Question its authenticity. Question its reasoning. Make it powerless against your will.

Realize that you have the choice to replace that voice with a more encouraging, faithful and friendly one. A voice that will consider your goal not just a possibility, but a probability. A voice that does not look externally for validation before taking action, but rather, uses self-belief as its driving force. A voice that realizes that any person who has ever achieved greatness had to do so against similar odds and that all things are possible to those who commit to their vision.

3. Get the competitive edge.

When you want to accomplish something new, try setting up a competition against one or more people who want the same thing. This creates two powerful forces.

The first is the desire to be triumphant. Imagine the excitement someone must feel when they win a gold medal in the Olympics. They have achieved a personal dream and they get a flood of recognition from friends, family, media, fans and ultimately their entire country. What person would not love this kind of validation of success? The same kind of triumph can be experienced when you win a competition that you have been involved in, no matter how small it may be.

The second (and more powerful) force that gets created in competition is the desire to avoid defeat. Most humans instinctively associate any form of loss with pain and in most cases, will do anything necessary to avoid that pain. If you enter some kind of competition that will help drive you towards your goals, this pain avoidance force may be the deciding factor in your success.

Use competitive scenarios to drive you forward but remember to detach from the outcome. If you happen to lose your competition, don’t get down in the dumps. Focus on what positives came out of it (usually a drastic increase in results) and continue moving towards your goals.

Do you know what triggers your stress?

You need a 7 Day BrainwashBecause stress can be endured over a period of time without the individual truly becoming aware of it or by them simply accepting it as part of their lives, one of the most important aspects of stress management is to take those first positive steps towards making key changes as this will then create the strong foundations that are required to master stress control.

It’s important that progression is consistent throughout; they may be small steps individually but they are powerful ones nevertheless. The idea is to change any existing behaviours and to stress-proof new routines as much as possible, re-inventing both thought and actions going forward. This might sound difficult, but the most difficult aspect is always going to be identifying areas of change, after that, it is merely consolidating those lifestyle changes.

When life is muddled and very stressful, identifying the stress triggers that cause the problems will make changing them that much easier. Taking a pen and paper, write down all of the things that cause the most stress.

– No time to yourself

– Problems with the teenage son or daughter

– Money problems- more going out than coming in

– Feeling undervalued at home and at work

– Too much work

The list should be as comprehensive as possible and very honest. No-one else has to see the list and even those annoying little stressors should be captured because although on their own, they may just be a source of irritation, coupled with other factors, they can form powerful stress triggers that can cause much damage physically, healthily and emotionally.

Once the list is complete, it should be scrutinized with a sense of clarity to identify those areas where changes could be made. If necessary break the list down into a series of sub-sections and options such as:

– Feeling undervalued at home

– Having to do all of the housework as well as work full-time

– Main culprit Husband/Wife step-son

– Started happening when partner changed job and worked a lot more hours (pattern established).

Options

– Open up communication to partner

– Discuss jointly with step son and work out parameters

– Stick to it.

By writing down everything that evokes a stress response i.e. churning feeling in the stomach, headaches, tears, anger, or irritability for example, the individual is able to really understand what is going on in their lives and why they feel the way they do. In addition, this clarification of stress triggers helps the individual to face any set of real problems and tangible problems can always be overcome.

Self doubts, irregular thought patterns and feelings of inadequacies or helplessness are more difficult to fight. Ascertain the true cause of those stressors and deal with them one by one.

Stop second guessing yourself

You need a 7 Day BrainwashAre you always second guessing whether you have done the right thing in life? Made the right decision? Completed a job to a satisfactory standard? Or excelled on the blind date even? Self-doubts can lead to agonising bouts of negative thoughts and will shatter any feelings of confidence and lower your self-esteem if left unchecked.

It can certainly seem impossible to break out of this circle of negativity but it’s vital that you make a stand and start to make more positive decisions and stick by them.

It’s okay to stop and consider why you have doubts but often there is a much deeper reason as to why you lack confidence rather than any decision that you may have made. If you have been challenged beyond previous expectations, you may even have put untold pressure on yourself and this can lead to you doubting your own abilities.

Do you find yourself often repeating damaging negative thoughts such as I’m not good enough to do this?’ These thoughts can stop you from not only progressing in life but from even experiencing these challenges and relishing them.

You need to tame those negative thoughts and stop them in their tracks before they become too damaging. Every time that a negative self-doubt pops into your mind, banish it and instead relish the fact that it’s a new day and one with unlimited opportunities. The more that you can do this, the better you will be able to control these thoughts. With control come increased confidence and a boost to your self-esteem.

Don’t give yourself a hard time if you succumb occasionally to feelings of negativity. This behaviour of damaging self-talk may have been ingrained for many years, so it won’t disappear overnight. The moment that realisation dawns that you have slipped into old behaviours, mentally check yourself and give yourself an emotional hug. Awareness is the key aspect to changing your life and once you re-invent the way that you think, you will be halfway to turning your life around.

Everybody makes mistakes and you are no exception. Learn from your mistakes but do not harbour feelings of guilt or shame. It doesn’t make you bad, merely human.

When self-doubts creep in, make a note of them and then turn the damaging first phrase around into a positive one:

-I’m not the right person for the job, I’m rubbish in Interviews

-The job might challenge me but I’m going to excel in the interview and show them what I’m made of

Write a list of all of the positive aspects that make you into the person you are. You will find that there are many more positives about you than negative qualities and once you recognise this, you will see and feel an improvement generally.

Move Towards Your Fear

You need a 7 Day BrainwashThere’s no feeling like it. It is real and it is powerful. It creates intense physical sensations that cause our brains to scream “RETREAT”! It is also useful because it keeps us alert and keeps us safe. It is the emotion of fear and it has been one of my greatest adversaries.

Growing up, I was never once accused of being a major risk taker. I was not interested in being adventurous or exploratory. I remember being afraid to try the big toboggan hill, terrified of going on roller coasters and the thought of doing a student exchange program simply didn’t enter my realm of possibility. For whatever reason, I was very much controlled by my fears.

I’ll never forget a specific incident that occurred over 17 years ago. I was in grade 7 and my teacher recognized me as one of the top spellers in the school. He invited me to participate in the spelling bee which would take place in the auditorium in front of the entire school. I can still vividly remember the crippling sensations of fear as I visualized myself spelling a word incorrectly in front of the entire school. Without hesitation, I declined his invite and told him “it’s really not something I’m interested in.” Yeah right! This was exactly something I was interested in but the fear once again kept me in the bleachers. What made the whole event so tough to swallow was that I actually would have won had I participated. I knew how to spell every word in the competition including the word that eliminated the final participant. Fear took me out of the game before it started. Fear cost me a huge win, personal success and school fame.

My sister, on the other hand, seemed to have been born with a higher threshold for fear. I remember her bombing down that same toboggan hill that I was scared to try and she is 4 years younger than me. As for travel, at age 15 she took the first opportunity to travel across the world alone and live with a family in Germany for a few months. To this day, she continues to live an adventure-filled life including moving 5000 kilometres away from home to do her master’s degree, snowboarding down a mountain and even skydiving! Does she experience fear? Of course, but she does not permit fear to be a deciding factor in her goals and aspirations.

When I finally adopted the same mindset and made a commitment to take action in spite of fear, I was able to take full control of my life and implement lasting change. As I began to work on myself and learned what my fears were and why they existed, I started to truly understand the limitations that fear had created in my life. Once I placed my focus on what my fears had been costing me, the motivation to overcome the fears seemed to blossom. I actually felt angry because I was now associating the pain of missing out on life’s adventures with my inability to transcend my fears.

I now see fear, doubt and worry for what they truly are; imagined catastrophes. I once heard an author say that fear stands for “Fantasized Expectations Appearing Real” and I could not agree more. When I am feeling fearful, I can effectively deal with the emotion because I now understand that I am literally using my imagination to contemplate a disastrous outcome to a situation. Having this awareness allows me to move forward, experience the physical sensations being caused by the fear and ultimately overcome the feeling.

The best part about learning how to overcome fear is the true sense of liberation. To set the record straight, yes I was a fearful kid but I still had some amazing experiences and many came when I mustered up enough courage to do something that scared me. When Canada’s Youth Television Network YTV was at our school doing auditions for a kids game show, not only did I step up to the plate, but I actually made it on the show! Despite feeling extremely nervous and fearful of looking foolish on television, I went ahead and gained a life experience that my family still talks about today. I let them off the hook for making fun of my 1980’s mullet hairdo

From a professional perspective, I have had to work extremely hard at dealing with fear when it comes to public speaking. Despite the fact that I quit my software career to pursue a business in personal development speaking and coaching, I had a significant amount of anxiety when it came to standing up in front of an audience. You see, my ultimate goal is to be a top ranked platform speaker like so many of my mentors. But I set this goal with the awareness that I had a fear of speaking and that I would have to transform and reinvent myself completely to fulfill this desire. I would consider this particular task to be a work in progress. I continue to get up and speak in front of audiences. The size of the audience is progressively growing larger and the size of my fear is progressively getting smaller. Instead of worrying about my next presentation, I am eagerly practicing and preparing to deliver a performance to the best of my ability. The audience feedback is indicating that I am on the right track.

It is the culmination of these positive indicators that continue to chip away at my fear and move me towards liberation. While I accept and embrace fear as a part of the equation that keeps me sharp, I am able to continually move forward and develop myself to new levels and plateaus. Life is much more exciting now that I have learned to step into the fear!

The Goal Striving Paradox

You need a 7 Day BrainwashI remember when I was doing a lot of work as an independent consultant, when I first started I was starving for business. I wanted to get clients and close deals SO badly that my prospects could feel it. I’m sure you’ve been in the presence of a pushy sales rep and you would agree you felt immediately repelled from that person.

It happens in the dating world all the time when you see someone who is desperate to find a partner or long term relationship. The new “prospect” immediately feels the neediness from this person and it often turns them off once and for all.

Going back to my consulting example, As I changed my approach and took the “take it or leave it” attitude where I literally separated myself from caring whether I got the deal or not, business started to flow. In fact, the less I cared about landing the deal, the easier it was to close.

This is what I call the goal striving paradox. The more you want something, the more it feels like a real need for your life. And the more you need it, the more you focus on its absence… or a sense of lack. A perpetual state of striving is really what it is.

In many cases, you may actually start feeling terrible about the goal because your happiness is now contingent on you achieving this thing… and the longer it takes, the more concerned you become.

The trick for brining your goals into reality is to remove this “striving” factor.

Instead of setting a goal with the “if… then” mentality of “If I achieve this thing… then I’ll be happy”. You set your goals from a place of detachment. If you reach the goal, great. And if not, that’s cool too.

I’m not saying you remove your desire to improve the results in your life. What I am saying is that you set your goals, and then you focus on your goals daily from the perspective of already being happy, appreciative and content with where you are today.

This is quite easy to do. Look at your life right now and take note of all the good things you have going on. It could be your happy family, supportive friends, the recent recovery from illness of a loved one, the healthy meals you are able to eat on a daily basis, your own health.

You might also want to make a list of all of your previous accomplishments. What are some things you have already achieved that you can dwell on and feel awesome about.

Staying in that zone, you can then work passionately towards your new goals. Instead of needing this goal like a pushy sales rep needs your deal, you simply focus on your new goal… It will arrive in due time to reinforce the feeling of success that you have already created in your own mind.