What Thoughts Are Filling Your Mind?

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Positive Topics

I had to erase my first draft of this blog, because it wasn’t a positive topic.  We have enough icky stuff in the media. I want to be part of the solution, not add to the problem.

What are you filling your thoughts with? We know through law of attraction what your energy space is in, is what you’ll attract.  If you’re constantly looking up articles on the internet about all of the scary things in the world, I will guarantee you’ll get to see more and more things to frighten you.  Why not try some uplifting thoughts and see how that makes you feel.

The Top Five Percent

There’s a reason that only the top five percent of people are successful.  The answer is quite simple; positive thinking is the best food for the mind. They don’t have limiting beliefs and don’t focus on negativity. Successful people look at failure much differently. It’s not defeat, but rather a tool to search for another way. In other words, they don’t give up or wallow in negative emotions.  They search for solutions.

Think and Grow Rich was published in 1937 and is still current today. A book I love to fill my mind.  One would think by its title that it was about making money.  It isn’t. It’s about the philosophy of accomplishing anything you set out to do. Henry Ford kept pursuing his dream to make a horseless carriage, with minimal schooling and people shooting his ideas down.  Thank goodness he didn’t let others’ negative thinking detour him. We all love our vehicles.

Keep Your Dreams to Yourself

Don’t share your dreams with others. Most people have limiting beliefs and will project their fears of failure onto you.  I don’t think people mean to smash your dreams, but they can’t see past their own nose.  If you choose to share your dreams, make sure the person with whom you are sharing, is like-minded.

The sky is the limit. Don’t let others tell you any different.  I never thought I’d by a house as a single mother at 25 years old, own properties, own a salon, or write a book. Listen to the successful people around you and listen to their stories. We all have the same 24 hours in a day.  How will you spend your time?

Visualization

Visualization works.  I know from personal experience and reading the success stories of others.  If you drown your thoughts and feelings in positivity, your will attract more positive encounters.

Visualization can be done in different ways. You can make a physical vision board, or quiet your mind and visualize in your mind’s eye what you want your life to look like. Feel the feelings of the having it. Changing your thoughts is the first step, and the emotions behind the thought are where the real magic happens.

Emotional Upsets

Let’s keep it real.  It’s hard to stay happy all of the time. Life happens and we will encounter emotional upsets at some point in our lives.  But how long will you live in that space?

Some things you can do to bring you out of a state of depression are exercise, read or listen to motivating books, watch your favorite comedy movie, go have coffee with a friend and not discuss your problem. The emotional problem doesn’t go away automatically, but it diminishes the less attention you give to it.

Feel the feelings and acknowledge them, then gently remind yourself, this contrast in your life helps you appreciate the good times, as well as, giving you an opportunity to examine how you could have handled the upset; how you could grow  or what you learned from the experience.

Top Achievers

The top achievers never let an emotional upset get in the way of their missions.  They address an undesirable issue, deal with it, then move on; taking away at least one lesson from the experience.

Top achievers aren’t jealous, but curious.  When they get inspired by an idea, they learn and research all there is to know on the subject matter:  Had it been done before? Who are the top achiever in that area? How can you monetize the idea, etc?  They fill their mind and subconscious mind information and with positivity, by meditating, visualizing, relaxing, being productive, and express gratitude.

Fear-based Thinking

Top ten traits guaranteed to lack success;

1. lack of drive 2. can’t make a decision 3. afraid your idea won’t work 4. substance abuse 5. focusing on the negative what ifs 6. procrastination 7. trying to be someone else 8. unwillingness to except one’s own mistakes 9. finding others’ faults/gossiping 10. taking from others to get ahead/using people

Positive-based or Love-based Thinking

Top ten traits guaranteed toward success;

1. willing to learn/be open-minded 2. exercise 3. healthy diet 4. healthy relationships 5. passion 6. follow through 7. meditation 8. decisive 9.  focuses on what’s working/find the good in things 10. being authentic

See For Yourself

Test these suggestion out for yourself to see if they work.  You will be pleasantly surprised what you’ll find.  Many have tested this notion and the research does not lie.  There are many books on this subject all saying the same things.  I would highly encourage you to check out some of these texts. Some style will resonate more with you than others, but if you want to be extraordinary and accomplish great things in all areas of your life, you must start somewhere.

Think for a moment —  if we all did this, what a wonderful world of happy people we would have.  Fear and love are all only a state of mind. Which will you choose?

Here’s the link to Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich

https://www.amazon.com/Think-Grow-Rich-ebook/dp/B001NGN2D2

“A man is but the product of his thoughts what he thinks, he becomes.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi

Working with Technology and Reading

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Technology Has Helped the Youth to Read

Technology has it pros and cons when it comes to reading. Since technology isn’t going anywhere, we need to adapt to it. Since texting is the leading way the young people communicate these days, they are more inclined to write and read. Statistics shows in 2018 study; the share of adults that have read a book in any sort of format are the ages between 18-29 at 84%, ages 30-40 at 74%, 50-64 71%, and 65+ 67%. Is this due technology? Maybe, maybe not.

Being how I was never a great reader, due to dyslexia, I now read tons online and now books. Since  the ease in accessing my phone and the love of researching things, I’ve read more than ever.  The brain works like a muscle and the more you train it, it gets stronger. Since smart phones, Facebook, Twitter, etc., have been around, reading and writing/texting have become a part of everyone’s life, unless you live under a rock or refuse to get with the times. Maybe technology isn’t as bad as you think.

Reading Platforms

There are many platforms for reading; from the iPad, computers, smartphones, audio books, or regular hard copies. Choices gives people the opportunity to read more. As a new author, I want people to be able to access my book Manifesting Me without any deterrence. It’s more important for the message of book to get out, not what medium is being used.

With all of the reading devices out there, there is another thing to consider; which social media platform will work best with what you’re trying to do. Is it personal or for business?  I’m using it for both, but mainly my business.  It can be a bit overwhelming to a new author like myself, to determine which one works best, but I’m willing to try them all.  Once you think you knew of them all, there’s more. And forever changing.

Differences In Reading Platforms

I have found for myself as a new author, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and my website – leahereinhart.com – seem to be the ones I am more active with.  My son is in a band and they do well with Snapchat and Instagram.  Although, Facebook is great for advertising local events for any endeavor.  All of my hairstylist friends do extremely well with Instagram, Pinterest, and Yelp.

I’ve only scratched the surface with social media and will continue to see which platform is best for my needs. Have you figured out which one works best for your needs? Click the link below to see social media stats.

https://sproutsocial.com/insights/social-media-statistics/

Addicted to Reading Social Media

As great and useful social media for all sorts of reading material is, there is the down side to watch out for. Don’t get addicted to thinking a “like” is the validation you have to have. It’s great to have accolades and so forth, but as an author or any artist, don’t let other’s opinions define you. Because there will be a time when you might not get the “like” you’re hoping for.  Click the link below to see the studies between depression and the amount of time spent on social media.

hbr.org/…/a-new-more-rigorous-study-confirms-the-more-you-use-facebook-the-worse-you-feel

Social media was designed to make you somewhat addicted.  The same endorphins get released when you get approval or liked as in gambling.  After all, all social media is its own type of business.  The more hits a site gets, the more money is generated through ads.

Law of Attraction and Reading

I’ve talked a lot about the law of attraction in previous blogs; how your thoughts create your reality. Pay attention to your emotions and energy while reading social media. Are you feeling inspired or motivated or all over good? Or are you feeling irritated or angry or depressed?  Are you stalking others and comparing yourself to them?  Let your feelings be your guide to what you want to read or what you want others to be reading about you.  Remember, not everything is as it seems, on social media.

Technology and devices are great tools for personal use while keeping up with distant family and friends. In business, you have the opportunity to reach mass amounts of people with only a few clicks, like never before.  How will you expand your business? What do you want people reading about you or your business?  Let’s use this technology to enhance our lives and businesses, with what we choose to read. Let technology be your servant.

“Technology is a useful servant but a dangerous master.” ~ Christian Lous Lange

Projecting Past Experiences On Others

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What Does Living in the Past Mean?

Do you live in the past?  Most people I’ve talked to recently, seem to live in the past. You’re probably wondering what that means?  It’s when people project their past experiences on others, as if it will happen in the future or is happening now.

Since this is the time when a child is getting ready to advance into another grade, you can see how the different triggers show up.  One example that comes to mind is when one’s child goes to school, whether it’s high school, elementary school, or middle school.  When the parent’s experience was traumatic in whichever grade, you’ll see a panic in the parent when the child is in that same time period.

Projecting Your Past on to Your Child

Most parents tend to project and pass their experiences down the family line.  Hence patterns, good or bad, will continue. Writing Manifesting Me helped me see this tendency more clearly than ever.  I went to a tough elementary school where there were no shortage of fights.  By the time I went to middle school (which was junior high back in the day), I had already gone through what most middle school age kids went through; leaving me with a rather unusually good experience.

When my kids were in elementary school, all I could think about was if my child was getting picked on.  Were they afraid to use the bathroom, like I was?  It’s funny because I didn’t have those thoughts when they entered middle school like the rest of the world. Obviously, I based everything on my own past experiences.

If a person was a wild child and partied like a rockstar in the 80’s, that same person might be inclined to think all kids are doing the same kinds of crazy stuff.  I have found today, that some teens may be doing some of the same drug experimenting, but it seems to be less common as it was when I was growing up.  Thankfully, my kids and their friends never partied the same way I did in the past.

Living in the Past at Work

Another example are when young people enter into an industry that changes continually, such as music, beauty, writing, etc.  The older generation sometimes lives in the past and don’t want to accept change; especially in this new world of technology.  The younger generation has learned to  use Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, Twitter, Yelp, etc. to advertise.  This might seem easier than beating the streets, but there comes a time that we all must evolve and live in the now.  What worked well a long time ago, might not be as useful. Or you can think of it as another tool and add it into your repertoire.

With smartphones you can show off your work and advertise at any given time. Plus, it’s cheaper than running ads. Anything that can make your job easier, I say go for it.  There is always a silver lining.

Some Examples are More Subtle

There are other subtle examples of living in the past such as where your fears lie when it comes to finances, relationship, and career.  I grew up in a household with fear-based thinking around money.  My mother stressed more outwardly about money issues with my older sister than me, which lead to my sister’s mindset of lack of money to a much higher degree than mine.  There’s a feeling of never enough money.

I can tell when a person has grown up with a view of lack of money.  It doesn’t matter how much money they make, whether it’s $50,000.00 or $200,000.00, it’s the same thought process; it’s never enough. This sounds pretty silly, but I’ve seen it.  It really boils down to a scarcity mentality, which probably has been taught through past generations.

People who have grown up with parents surviving the Great Depression tend to save and ration.  Not so long ago, my grandmother would by things for two bits ($0.25) at a garage sale just in case someone could possibly use it. Talk about living in the past. That’s what people did back then.

Being Grateful for the Past

Not all ways are bad from the past.  The interaction we had with each other in the past was something to be cherished.  Technology can’t give you personal one-on-one connections.  Not having all of the devices around for constant entertainment, gave us a chance to explore our imaginations. When I was little playing with the neighborhood girl and my sister, we used the thorns from rose bushes, as people to fit in our Hot Wheels cars.  We were forever in a make-believe world, and it was fun.

Our parents didn’t  hover over us every second worrying whether someone would kidnap us.  We learned how to be resourceful, since they had a sense of value of money and didn’t shower us with the latest gadgets. They didn’t try to out do another parent by buying lavish gifts, which seems to be more prevalent today.

Gadgets do exist now, and we live in a new time. It’s an era of technology and things move more quickly than ever.  Take what is good from the past and apply it to the present, but evolve yourself in this day and age and take it for what it is. Some changes have made life great. I wouldn’t want to wash all of my clothes by hand. Can you see the positive changes or do you let the past dictate your life? We really only have the now.  The past, is just that, the past.

“People don’t realize that now is all there ever is; there is no past or future except as memory or anticipation in your mind.” ~ Eckhart Tolle

Follow Through Is the #1 Step Towards Success

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Follow Through Is the Most Important Action

Have you ever known someone to have great ideas, but never follow through with any of them?  I’ve seen it in people; and to be quite frank, I’m guilty as well. Following through is the action, in law of action, that works extremely well with the law of attraction.

First step:  An idea or inspiration comes to you.

Second:  Clarity; get really clear on what you want to do with the idea.

Third:  Think about how this helps or contributes in some way.

Fourth:  What steps are needed to bring this inspired thought into fruition.

Fifth:  Take action and follow through.

I Don’t Know How to Complete the Steps

What if you don’t know how to follow through on the idea, you don’t know what steps to take?  Get clear on what exactly what you want out of the inspiration/idea.  Is it a hobby?  A career? Or lifestyle? What’s your intention?

Simply, start with some research. Learn everything about the subject; through Google, YouTube, libraries, books, blogs, people, etc.  It’s actually easier these days to find out anything on any subject.  The operative word is “DO.” Nike’s slogan is – Just Do It.  Nothing says it more blatantly  than that.

Say you decided you want this new idea to turn into a business.  Surround yourself with people who are like-minded.  Feeding off others’ energy keeps your momentum going. You can sabotage yourself by the people you hang out with.  Successful people position themselves with others that are equally or more successful in the same industry. Humans love talking about themselves and sharing their stories.  Asking questions never hurt anyone.  Get curious and follow through.

Fake It Until You Make It

You’ve decided what it is you want to be or do, then start acting like it.  You’ve done your research.  You know what your new business is going to be.  Now it’s time to follow through with your actions in bringing the project into fruition.

Mimic the people that have succeeded in your desired area.  Even if you aren’t sure exactly what it is or why.  Fake it until you make it.  At least you are doing something. Don’t let fear of failure get in the way.  You won’t always do things correctly, but failing is a stepping stone to success.  The why and what will make itself clear at some point.

Look the part. If you want to be a rockstar, dress like one.  If you want to be a hairstylist, be fashionable and do your hair. People should know what you do by your actions and appearance. None of this will happen on its own.  Following through on your part, is the only thing making this happen.

Some Parts Are Fun And Some Aren’t

I don’t care what kind of career you’re in; artist, musician, author, etc. There will be parts that are not very much fun and it is usually the logistics.  Artists, especially, only want to focus on their craft.  They don’t like promoting themselves or collecting money.

It is more effortlessly, now than ever, to get your service or product out into the world with modern technology.  It might be more competitive, but don’t let that discourage you.  There’s a reason why 92% of people don’t achieve their goals. (Taken from research in 2016 by University of Scranton) People aren’t following through with action.

Start small and set achievable tasks. The biggest mistake is to set an unreasonable goal. You will only set yourself up for disappointment.   Most people think that small successes don’t matter.  If you are starting to promote yourself through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, etc., you aren’t going to get to 10,000 followers in a week.  Be happy when you reach 50. Then the next milestone, 100 and so forth.

Create a habit of posting to social media. The one’s having hundreds of thousands of followers, post around 60 times per day sometimes. If you’re new to advertising on social media, chances are you’re lucky if you remember to post at all.  Set up small goals.  Remind yourself to post twice a day.  Gradually build yourself up to more.  There are apps that can schedule posts for you. Learn about those.

Engaging With People

Engaging and interacting with people are most important.  Follow up with an email or comment to someone you just met.  Connecting with your client is crucial.  I can’t stress enough how customer service will benefit you the most.  What do people complain the most these days? Automated telephone operators and not being able to get to a real person on a website.  People remember how you make them feel.

Not connecting with your audience, clients, or customers, is the fastest way to lose them.  It sends a message to them that you are only interested in their money and what they could do for you.  Aren’t you the one offering the service or product?

Connecting with others in your industry, can only help.  It’s like team building. If I meet other authors, and we have  similar backgrounds, we may be able to set up events together.  Same with musicians, meeting others can land you gigs.  My fans could become your fans and visa versa.

Following through after your initial meeting is key in keeping the connection.  People always make plans in the moment.  Nine times out of ten, the plan never comes about, due to lack of follow through. People get busy in their schedules and life.  You won’t be remembered if there isn’t a continuous connection. Not everyone is extroverted, but neither is Oprah. Don’t make excuses.

A Continuous Practice

Practice makes perfect. Once you follow through with anything, whether it’s out of your comfort zone or not, it gets easier.  It takes an average of 28 days to create a habit.  Why not make following through part of you daily routine?

Whether you are making a list of goals or meeting the right people, set time to step away from the lists and follow through with actions.  Write those emails, make those phone calls, start posting on social media, get those songs composed, write content, etc. Just Do It! There are no excuses keeping you from obtaining the life you want to create for yourself; except yourself, not following through.

“It was character that got us out of bed, commitment that moved us into action, and discipline that enabled us to follow through.” ~ Zig Ziglar

What Gets You Triggered?

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Triggered

Triggered seems to be the new buzz word, these days; meaning taken from Google dictionary – (of a response) caused by particular action, process, or situation; “a triggered memory of his/her childhood.” I had my Manifesting Me book launch the other day, and nothing triggers people like a memoir.

Everything was going great. I felt more love and support that day like no other. After it was all over, my husband was carrying things to the car, when he noticed the car was not there.  He forgot to move it from the loading zone, therefor it was towed.  At  whopping $455.00 later, he felt like a loser for letting this happen.  Completely owning his responsibility, we went to pick up the car. I wasn’t going to let this get to me, after a wonderful day. What was the real issue? Was it the inconvenience of having to get the car or was it about the money?

Triggers Come From the Past

Situations or topics that trigger us are coming from the past.  Nothing helped shine light on that more than writing my memoir; and having to read it over and over in the editing process, to see patterns.  When I was 5 years old, my mother was assaulted by our neighbor.  My mother had complained to the police that their music was too loud. They cranked up the bass to where our house would shake.  To this day, hearing the bass in someone else’s car irritates me.

I love loud music and never get mad at my son’s hard rock band for rehearsing. You could say they’re pretty loud. The bass coming from other sources, other than mine, triggers anxiety in me stemming from my 5-year-old-self that saw a woman attack my mother. Now that I know where this tenseness comes from, I can address it in my brain.  I can come back to the now and not live in the past.  I can look at the fact people are enjoying music.  It’s not to annoy me.

Road Rage

When I figured out why I had road rage, it was truly freeing.  Learning from therapy, I have had a long history of emotional neglect.  I was always trying to win over my mother. My mother was in her own world, which didn’t include much of me in it.  In my subconscious mind, I felt like I was unimportant and ignored. When someone cuts you off driving or drives ridiculously slowly; the trigger is, you are insignificant. How could they put your life in danger? Or make you late?

The reality of others driving like idiots or crazy, has nothing to do with you.  It’s your old triggers from the past that has you all jumbled up inside.  It’s not up to you to control others. You can’t. What you can control, are your reactions to any situation.  Do you get triggered while driving? Ask yourself, why?  You might be surprised where the anger comes from.

Triggered to Freedom

Understanding where your triggers come from leads to freedom.  No longer are you imprisoned from the past.  It’s not to say some triggers won’t get to you, before you recognize it’s only a trigger.  Stop and live in the now.  Really be honest with yourself about where the feelings are coming from.  Is it what is happening in this very moment? Or is it an accumulation of disappointments, rejections, feelings of not mattering, etc.,  from the past?

Most anxiety, anger, high blood pressure, or some sort of negative feeling, is brought on by some trigger or another. Wouldn’t you rather get to the bottom of where your these comes from?  Negative feelings are like a fever to the body. It lets you know something needs attention.

We all will inevitably get triggered at times, but the negative emotions don’t have to last as long as they did in the past.  Once I realized where my triggers came from, I felt a sense of peace.  I had a wonderful and exhilarating day at my book launch.  I wasn’t mad my car was towed.  No one was purposefully out to get me.  It was an accident.  Life isn’t always perfect, as we all know.  At first, I was a little upset over the money, only because I have an underlying self-talk regarding lack of money.  Why get mad and ruin my blissful day?

There will always be contrast in life.  That’s how we evolve.  It may very well be triggering, but can, and will, you look deeply into your thought patterns to see what exactly you are reacting to?

“We are not a victim of our emotions or thoughts. We can understand our triggers and use them as tools to help us respond more objectively.” –  Elizabeth Thornton

Are You The Sheep Or The Shepherd

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Sheep Or Shepherd?

My mother considered me to be a sheep – “follower” were her words. You could say I was. Being a sheep isn’t necessarily bad. How else can you learn to be a shepherd – leader?  The trick is to find the right shepherd to follow. More than likely, you will not pick the best shepherd all of the time, but as I stated in a previous blog, nothing is perfect.  Mistakes are part of human development. Most successful people followed someone, then instinctively new when the time was right to try and be the leader.

Being The Sheep Is Step One

We all come into this world not knowing a thing; exploring the world around us as we develop.  Parents along with others are constantly teaching us right from wrong or should I say “their” right and wrong.  As we grow and mature, we start to discern for ourselves, what right and wrong is. Sometimes we know things are wrong, but because our friends have input and our desire to fit in and be accepted is stronger, than our unwanted consequences, we go for it. The shepherd didn’t keep his/her sheep safe.

Sometimes shepherds lead and inspire us to be better.  They guide you and help you stay on track, while letting you make some decisions on your own.  Not all shepherds have your best interest at heart. You must learn to discern for yourself who to follow. Even so, you might not agree with everything your leader tells you. Take what is good and discard what is bad.

Being The Shepherd Is Step  Two

Once you’ve grown from being a sheep, it’s time to go on your own and be the shepherd.  What does this mean? It means you’ve defined your stance on things. You’ve become the leader.  Being a leader doesn’t mean you go around bossing people.  It means you can trust yourself to do whatever it is you want.  You don’t need other’s approval to define you.

These qualities make for great entrepreneurs, trend setters, managers, bosses, etc.  A great leader  knows when it’s time to be the follower.  Step two isn’t where it ends.

Switching Back and Forth From Sheep to Shepherd

In order to be a good leader, one most follow an expert in the area of which they are trying to lead.  Therefor, the shepherd becomes the sheep.   Good leaders don’t let their egos get in the way of learning something new.  It was suggested to me that I write a book about my life growing up.  My story was interesting enough, but I had no idea how to make it come to life. Not too mention, my writing skills needed some improvement.

The search was on to seek out people in the book industry.   Being afraid of showing others my ignorance in a subject, isn’t something I engage in.  Just because I didn’t know anything about the industry, doesn’t make me some sort of idiot.  Luckily, I found the right shepherds to follow.

The fact that I wasn’t afraid to go for something and start it, made me the shepherd.   I became the sheep when I didn’t have the knowledge to move forward in an industry in which I had no clue.  What I do have a clue in, is marketing and putting myself out there.  I can be the shepherd to others.

Extraordinary Shepherds

Exceptional shepherds vacillate between being the teacher and the student.   Great leaders aren’t too proud, and love helping others to do well in life.  Some leaders like to put themselves on their own pedestal which will ultimately lead them to their downfall.  If you run into someone that wants to keep you in a forever student position, I’d stay far away.

Curiosity is the number one step in almost everything that has to do with success.  What areas are you curious?  Do you want to be a trend setter or someone that only wants to follow the herd?  I prefer to do whichever makes me happy.  Sometimes I’m the sheep and sometimes I’m the shepherd.

“Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.” –  Jack Welch

It’s Your Self-Image, Not Your Reflection

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How Do You Perceive Yourself?

What do you see in the mirror? You see your reflection; or at least that’s what you think you are seeing. People see you much differently than you see yourself. The reason is, we see ourselves with our emotions, not what our eyes are actually seeing.  What is you self-image? Does your self-image have confidence? Or does it feel inferior?

Someone once told me that we all have a set weight in our mind, that are bodies adjust to. That’s why diets don’t work. We can lose weight on diets, but if your self-image is to be overweight; you can lose weight, but ultimately, you’ll gain the weight back after you quit the diet.  It’s because your self-image is one of being overweight. The actual number will vary, but nevertheless, you’ll find yourself in a state where you’ll always need to lose weight.

Your income, also has a set weight. You can set goals and reach them, but if your self-image is lacking or not having enough money, you’ll forever be dissatisfied with your income.  Unfortunately, this is true. It kind of sucks, to be frank. If you can be truly honest with yourself, without judgment, look back on your thoughts and life. You’ll be able to see the pattern. Most of us blame our conditions or environment. Aren’t you a glad to find out you have power?  Don’t you want a better self-image?

How Can a Person Change Their Self -Image

Changing your self-image is hard, but not complicated.  The reason it can be a difficult task is, because people hate change.  It feels unfamiliar.  It’s not what they’re used to.  Have you ever wanted to do something or go somewhere which no one you knew  was interested.  Yet, you were determined to go. As the event date moved closer, there probably was some sort of anxiety.  You weren’t sure where to go, what to do, what kind of people would be there, etc.  This is normal, but many people will let that feeling deter them from trying anything new. Good things happen when you push yourself.

When you overcome obstacles and get used to the idea that not all things are going to feel great, it makes you stronger.  This practice, is the start of changing your self-image.  Fear  in your self-image is what will hold you back.  So, what are you afraid of?

Fear

Most people are afraid of something; acceptance, failing, rejection, looking stupid, etc. Believe it or not, most people aren’t thinking of you as much as you think.  You can’t be rejected in this world, or you wouldn’t exist.  Your being in this world has a purpose. Just because you don’t know something, doesn’t make you stupid, and most important understand, failing is a part of success.  Those negative thoughts are in your head giving you your self-image.

Because of your negative self-image, you’ll believe a comment someone says to you, only if you believe it to be true.  If you thought you were fat, and someone made a remark how you could lose some weight, you’d get triggered.  If you thought you were skinny and someone made the same remark, you’d probably laugh or not have another care about the subject.  Your mind plays tricks.  The good thing is, once you know it’s only in your head is, you can change your self-image.

Affirmations

People have talked about affirmations forever.  In fact, none of what I’m writing is new information.  Affirmations come in different ways.  One is self-talk and one is facing your fears.  You build self-confidence when you push yourself.  You may fail while trying, but you will find that failing at a task isn’t the end-all be-all.  You can try again at a later time and you might get better each time. Or you might succeed the first time.  Either way the, you are changing your self-image.  Facing your fears or pushing through anxiety, builds confidence.

A strong and confident self-image opens doors for you.  You may not always like what’s on the other side, but that isn’t bad either.  Part of knowing what you want in life, is discerning what you don’t want.  This is how successful people make it.

Successful people know how affirmations work.  They change their self-image in the literal sense.  They dress the part.  If you want to be a rockstar, then dress like one.  When you walk down the street, people should know what you do by your style.  If you want to be an big executive, don’t buy a cheap suit.  Those are the little things that one can do to change self-image.  Of course, that isn’t the only thing.

Reading positive material that aids you in changing your self-image, especially before you go to bed.  It will help your brain rewire itself.  Your brain is plastic, it constantly rebuilding synapses.  What can you do to feel better?   Which areas do you want to improve your self-image?  Try it and see the results.

“The ‘self-image’ is the key to human personality and human behavior. Change the self image and you change the personality and the behavior.” – Maxwell Maltz

Why Are We So Obsessed with Perfectionism

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Perfectionism

Why are humans so obsessed with perfectionism? It’s something that doesn’t exist. Take the diamond for an example; all diamonds have some sort of flaw or it isn’t real. Yet we, the human race, are striving for perfection.

Any artist whether writer, painter, drawer, musician, etc. knows that their work could use some improvement, because it’s never perfect. But there comes a time when to the artist needs to let perfectionism go, in order to move on and bring the art/project into the world.

Striving to be perfect is a losing battle. I remember when I discovered how magazines airbrushed models on every picture. I was getting fitness magazines in order to get the exercises to get a certain body. What a rude awakening! I’m trying to achieve something that doesn’t exist. I was trying to get an airbrushed body.  Nothing like setting your self up for failure. It is impossible to reach that goal.

Perfectionism Can Be Debilitating

Perfectionism can be debilitating in many ways. One way that stands out to me and I grew up with, was my mother suffered from OCD, obsessive compulsive disorder. She had a hard time making decisions in fear of making the wrong one. Which lead to putting things off. It was pure torture for her when something didn’t go the way she’d planned. For some reason, the thought of a “redo,” never entered her mind. Imperfection wasn’t acceptable, even though it’s inevitable. It makes it hard growing up in that environment.  Fear of doing something wrong.

Another family member had such a hard time of picking out his clothes while shopping with his grandmother, leading to his missing out on getting any clothes. It’s as if he didn’t trust his own judgment to make the perfect decision. Again, fear is the underlying culprit. We’ve all heard of being frozen in fear.

When someone is so worried about making the “perfect choice” that’s when time can be wasted and non-productive. There is such a thing of researching too much. It’s a stall tactic, but the fear is real for some people. They lose sleep or even get sick over making the wrong choice. So why do we do this to ourselves when perfection doesn’t exist? Is it learned behavior or innate?

Perfectionism and “Reality” Television

For starters the “reality” TV show has an overload of influence on perfectionism. We all know, or should know, reality television, isn’t real at all. Television is out to make money and sell shows. Most of our reality stars are obsessed with looks. And not just any look. It has to be the “perfect” nose, cheeks, lips, etc.

For some reason, Hollywood stars have given doctors, especially plastic surgeons, the power to decide what perfection is on the human body. Young people are shooting Botox in their faces in their twenties. Or injecting their lips to the point of looking ridiculous. But many are doing it, so they must think it looks good.  Why do these stars think their appearance, before plastic surgery, was bad? What happened to originality?

I think people associate perfectionism with popularity. I think people are so desperate to fit in, they are afraid to express their own individuality, in fear of being mocked or not accepted.  How can we change this notion that being perfect is obtainable? Because it’s not! And it’s okay to embrace your flaws. It shows your are human and not fake. Wouldn’t you rather be a real diamond instead of an impostor like the cubic zirconia?

Perfection Is Subjective

There’s nothing wrong with trying to be the best you can be. That is perfection on it’s own. Perfection is subjective. What’s perfect to one person isn’t necessarily perfect to another.  So who’s definition defines perfection for you? Is it your mother’s, father’s, classmates, friends, or media?

Take your power back. Define your own personal definition of perfection, but include the natural flaws. Let that be your “True North.” Being your authentic self, imperfections and all, will bring you the most happiness, peace, and freedom.

We can nitpick ourselves to no end, but we can look at the accomplishments and see the beauty, as well. Sometimes perfection can be knowing when something is good enough. Don’t let the idea of perfectionism hinder your growth or ambitions. It will if you let it. Perfection comes from fear. Wouldn’t you rather live life from love?

“Many people think of perfectionism as striving to be your best, but it is not about self-improvement; it’s about earning approval and acceptance.” – Brene Brown

 

Emotions In The Process of Memoir Writing

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Emotions

Today I listened to Spring Forward Your Writing webinar with the speakers being Mark Nepo, Dani Shapiro, Linda Joy Meyers, and Brooke Warner. Each speaker had their unique way of addressing their emotions and process of memoir writing. I found myself with tears filling my eyes while listening.

I wasn’t quite sure where or why these emotions popped up. Questioning, if this was a normal experience, it was suggested that the answer could be found through journaling.

My answer was found in my journaling. We had a writing exercise with these topics: My suffering comes from… My joy comes from…. My work going forward is, what do they have to do with each other?  After writing, it was no wonder why I was emotional.

The one thing that stood out to me, was when Mark Nepo said, “Don’t try to be important.” Our ego can get our emotions in a tizzy, if we let it.

Don’t Let Your Ego Rule

Mark’s advice resonated with me beyond measurable. I took the message as, “Don’t let your ego rule this experience.” I know it is due to the fact that my memoir, Manifesting Me, is going to be public next month.  Once something is in writing, there is no turning back. Sometimes my ego chatter gets the best of me.  I feel extremely vulnerable and possibly exposed, leaving me anxious.

Your ego has a way of feeding your brain every negative thought; from the “what if’s?” and the “who do you think you are’s?” Thank God, I am not always listening to it. I find focusing on writing, gets me connect with my spirit side. I’ve said it many times before and I’ll say it again, live life from love. It produces a more desirable outcome.

Love, Compassion, and Encouragement

Panic and anxiety weren’t the only emotions I experienced. I felt deep love, compassion, and encouragement energy from all of the speakers; which also, brought me tears of joys.  It was a gift to hear how much we are alike, from our fears to our desires to get our stories out into the world. And mostly to make a difference, by being of service.

Multiple Memoirs, Multiple Emotions

Dani addressed the issue of multiple memoirs. She has many memoirs and never thought she’d ever have one after being a novelist. A memoir only tells a moment in your life, not your autobiography. So it’s likely you’ll have more than one story which will likely lead to another set of emotions.

She also mentioned the fact that most memoirists didn’t have the best childhood. Although, some memoirs are about travel and have nothing to do with a tragic upbringing. Regardless of what your story is, or how many others may have the same story, they will never be exactly the same. You want your audience to feel your experiences as if it’s their own. Dani said, “They aren’t reading your memoir because of you, they’re reading your memoir, because of them.”

Don’t Make It About You

The biggest mistake you can make being a memoir author is making it about you. I know that sounds hypocritical in the fact that, a memoir is about you and your story. What memoir is really about, is inspiring others through your journey and letting others know they are not alone.  Sometimes it’s an emotional journey or an adventurous journey, but it’s something that will stir emotions in the reader.

It’s your story they are interested in not you which is one of the biggest compliment of all.  If I can reach one person, I’m sure I’ll be emotional over that, too. I guess all and all, memoir can be very emotional and raw. It’s okay to be sensitive, and it’s very normal, when writing or reading a memoir. It means the writer has touched you and has made an emotional connection. Isn’t that what good writing does?

My Emotions When Writing

It takes courage to write your story. Taking risks feels uncomfortable, but it’s well worth it. Be fierce like the lion. Face your fears and feel the power in it. Nothing is better than overcoming fear or  challenging yourself .

My emotions have been all over the place when I’m writing. Sometimes I’m laughing. Sometimes I get angry, other times I’m in tears of great sadness or joy, and other times, melancholy. Your brain doesn’t know the difference between reality or fantasy. In turn writing a memoir is as if you’re reliving your experience. That’s why it’s so emotional! What emotions will your story evoke? Would you be willing to share your story? Or is it too emotional?

“Rational thoughts never drive people’s creativity the way emotions do.” – Neil deGrasse Tyson

What Does the Entrepreneur In You Dream Of?

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Is It Luck?

This weekend is big in our household. My son’s band, Vivifyd, has their first show away from home, in L.A. How lucky for them! I am so happy they get to have this experience. It’s bittersweet for me, because I too, will have a new experience. I will be working my first book festival at the 4th Annual Bay Area Book Festival in Berkeley, which means I won’t be able to go to L.A. But I will get to learn more about being a writer.

Is it luck that they were invited to an L.A. show? Is it luck that I get the chance to meet new authors by working a festival?  Denzel Washington said this about luck, “I say luck is when an opportunity comes along and your’e prepared for it.” And I agree with this statement. And as a new author, I am throwing myself into whatever opportunities come my way, in order to learn this new business. It’s all very exciting and new. The band doesn’t have any sort of expectation; the same as, I have no idea what happens in a book festival, but we will soak it all up like sponges like any entrepreneur will do starting a new business. You never know who you might meet. But you have to start somewhere. Why not at the beginning?

 Entrepreneurs Run In My Family

I have a history of entrepreneurs in my family. General contractors, artists,  landscapers, auditors, and venture capitalists. You could say the pattern has continued. My husband is a general contractor owning his own business, my daughter is a realtor, my son teaches guitar lessons and is in a band, I’ve been an independent contractor as a hairstylist for the last 27 years, and have owned my own salon for the last 2 years.  Now I am taking on the business of being an author. I guess you could say none of us like having someone else being in charge of our lives; whether it’s our scheduling or our income. We don’t mind taking orders from clients or fans, but there’s something about having a boss that doesn’t settle with us so much.

When your an entrepreneur, you tend to take advantage of every opportunity when it arises. Plus, I know how to use the law of attraction, and have taught my kids how to use it, by bringing opportunities to us. It can be difficult when there’s more than one of you in a household attracting things. Sometimes they come up all at once. As a mother and new author, the choices can be somewhat difficult. Go with my nineteen year old son? Or start building my foundation? But it will be okay. My husband will be with him, along with his band mates and one other father.  We all must do what needs to be done. The more involved we get in our new careers, the busier and more conflicting schedules will arise. That’s not a bad thing.

New Ventures Can Be Emotional Roller Coasters

Any new adventure can be an emotional roller coaster, especially when it involves the limelight. Having your work revealed to the public adds a new kind of vibe. I’ve already had a neighbor congratulate me on my first book, Manifesting Me. I’ve seen this woman for about as long as I’ve lived in my house and had never really exchanged any words. It was very nice, but felt weird at first. Then another neighbor introduced herself to me, who I’ve seen around forever and has never looked at me before. Don’t get me wrong, it was pleasant and I like talking with people. I guess it felt strange, because I’m the same me. I am no different from before I wrote a book.

There are the ups and the downs. The highs can be exuberant, especially when it’s about something you’ve created personally and you get praise. Everyone will have an opinion and it isn’t always going to be positive.  People will love you, hate you, or not give a care. Entrepreneurs know not to take this personally. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized other people’s thoughts of me, cannot define me. Some days it’s a struggle. But you can’t please everyone all of the time. For the most part, you’ll be surrounded with more people that will appreciate what you have to offer.

Put Your Insecurities In Check

Put your insecurities in check. It’s okay to compare yourself to others in your field, only when it’s to gage yourself in setting goals. I have compared myself with other authors. Sometimes it makes me insecure, but mostly it motivates me to be like them, which leads me to do research. How did these authors get to where they are? I should meet these people and learn from them. Once you’re in research mode, you aren’t focusing on the negative stuff. In fact, it creates more excitement about the new industry. I’ve found most secure and successful people love helping newbies.  I’ve had the pleasure receiving advice from some of my She Write Press Sisters  I love the honest answers I have received. No sugar coating things. It’s very rare to have instantaneously overnight success. It take time, money, and action.

My friend who’s been in a band for awhile, said to my son, “For every step forward, there are two steps back. That’s just the way that it is. So don’t get discouraged. Keep on going. Persistence pays off.” He couldn’t be more right. He’s learned how to make money doing what he loves to do, in a career that most people think is impossible to succeed. And it doesn’t just go for bands. I feel the same was as an author. It goes for any kind of entrepreneur. Look at your feelings of insecurity and challenge yourself to understand why. Then get motivated to move forward.

What’s a Real Job?

It’s funny to me how others view an occupation when it involves art; music, writing, painting, etc. People think of it more like a hobby. It’s almost as if the art must sell immediately; or you’re just another “starving artist” and need to get a “real” job. What’s a real job? I believe the only reason they are “starving” is due to their lack of knowledge in marketing. This is where the entrepreneurial mind comes in.

As an entrepreneur, I think of the ways to make my “hobby” into a business. I never wanted to be in a career where I was miserable, just to make extra money. Why not make money in what you love doing? Doesn’t that sound like more fun? Marketing and branding oneself takes time and knowledge. If you don’t know how to do those things, then research is required.

Where to Start

Where do you start? Meeting people and picking their brains is probably the best and most useful way to learn. As a hairstylist, I have many wealthy clients. I was never envious, but rather curious. I was not afraid to ask them how they acquired such wealth. In turn, it got my brain into high gear, to make the same things happen for me. One client told me real estate was always the number one investment. Another told me the benefits of owning a home. Another, taught me investments in the market. I’ve managed to take their suggestions and put them to use. Never be afraid to ask questions. Most people love to share their stories of success.

The internet is great for learning how to do just about anything which includes, how to brand and market you business. Just Google it. YouTube has every kind of video. I learned how to submit a provisional patent, a trademark, and copyrights from YouTube. If I can figure out how to do it, you can too. Sure, it takes time. Don’t you want to be your own boss and love what your are doing?

Where there’s a will, there’s a way. Never forget that or let anyone tell you differently. I started my twenties as a single mother to being an independent contractor at 22 yrs old, owning a home by 25 yrs old, owning multiple investment properties by early 30’s, and having a retirement plan, in the market.

Now I’m attacking the author world. Non of this would’ve happened, if I didn’t have an entrepreneurial mind or have curiosity. I have been “lucky” (or was it luck?) to have been exposed to entrepreneurs, willing to share their stories of success. And  be able to learn  and apply their knowledge to my own life and pass it down to my children. What does the entrepreneur in you, dream of?

 

“Diligence is the mother of good luck.” – Benjamin Franklin