5 Ways To Get Back On Track When You Feel Lost

There is not a single person on this earth that has walked a perfect path to success. Sooner or later, everyone will lose their bearing. It is only natural that when you discover new things, you will inevitably lose focus on goals you have set far in the past. If you realized that you have strayed off the path, you’re 50% of the way there to get back on track and take control of your life once again.

For me personally, I have found that losing your way has a large emotional component to it. I strongly believe that we lose focus on our goals and purpose in life by getting caught up in the negative dealings of life. This can range from comparing your position in life to that of others, all the way to focusing too much on your own shortcomings and failures in life.

Eckhart Tolle once said “The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation, but your thoughts about it.” No matter the situation, your levels of happiness ultimately stem from how you let yourself react. If you let people or other things in life get to you, you will inevitable lose your way. Make sure that doesn’t happen!

You have to realize that you will continue to have low moments throughout your life. But if you master the next 5 steps, you will never stay there for long. They will give you the skills necessary to get back on track whenever you have lost your way.

1. Analyze Your Routine

Before you ask yourself how to get back on track, a more interesting question you should ask yourself is “What does an average day look like for me and what am I currently doing to reach my goals?”

Doing a thorough analysis of your current daily routine will allow you to pinpoint all the areas that require improvement. A common struggle for most people is getting out of bed on time for example. They will set their alarms for 8:00 AM, but will only really get out of bed at 9:30 AM. Teaching yourself to get out of bed when your alarm goes off will save you a lot of time, which can be spend much more productively.

When doing this analysis, it is important that you are 100% honest with yourself. Call yourself out on all your lazy habits! Lying to yourself will never get you anywhere in life and hurts only one person, you!

If you feel that planning your entire day routine is too complicated or too overwhelming for you, it is always possible to start with just your morning routine for example. Plan a productive and healthy morning routine, and then next week try and do the same for your evening routine. Whatever works best for you!

If you are unsure whether you even have a routine or are not entirely sure what a routine looks like, check out my article on routines here. Within that article I also provide an example of what a success oriented routine looks like. Try and model yours after that one!

2. Focus On The Three Main Aspects Of Your Health

Maybe you have lost interest in a certain aspect of your life simply because of an unbalance in your three main aspects of life. In order to get back on track, it is vital that you pay attention to all of these aspects of your being. If you know that you struggle with one or more of these, I would suggest prioritizing your focus on this point before trying any of the other points in this article.

That being said, the methods and strategies that I write about here can also be used to great effect in bettering your physical, mental or social health. What I mean is that you better spend your time fixing your health issues rather than trying to pursue arbitrary goal in your life. I can assure you that you have plenty of time for goal chasing. Make sure you are functioning at 100% first!

Physical Health

I’m sure you know that our physical health has a major impact on our overall well-being, be that our mental or social health. A proper exercise regime has the ability to let you release stress and tension. If you are not doing any exercise, you have to start making a proper regime and sticking to it. If you are physically not healthy, it will be infinitely harder to get your life back on track and to achieve your goals.

Mental Health

What often happens with individuals who suffer from mental health problems, is that they are in a constant swing of “its going good and it’s going bad”. You might feel like you are back on track for one week, and then lose that completely the next. Mental health stability is instrumental in getting back on track. There are many articles on this website that will teach you some methods to live a more balanced life and to become the master of your emotions. However, if these don’t work and you see it worsen over time, make sure to seek professional help! These professionals will be able to guide you using a unique plan catered exactly to your needs. Don’t be afraid to seek them out!

Social Health

Social health is your ability to form meaningful and healthy relationships with others. Connection with other people is vital if you want your life back on track! No one can do everything alone, and you need good contact with people that you trust to allow them to help you when the going gets tough. Struggling to be social is very normal for introverted people, but you can learn to enjoy it!

3. Revitalize Your Goals And Your Purpose

Losing track of your life’s goals doesn’t mean you failed at them. There is a good chance you just lost interest, that you lost sight of the bigger picture. It is possible that you found new interests that simply didn’t work out, and now you feel that you should have never abandoned your old dreams. Whatever the reason may be, a lot can be gained from looking back on our past goals and to delve deep into them.

When we take a proper look at our childhood dreams, we are often energized by powerful nostalgic feelings. Children are big dreamers, I am sure that you were no different. The plans that we made for ourselves during childhood and adolescence will still be within you. Thinking about them and writing them down on a piece of paper is a good way of revitalizing your goals and re-discovering your purpose in life.

If you are unsure about what your purpose in life is, then do some self-discovery and exploration. Do some research by buying books or reading articles on the lives of successful individuals. Just make sure you don’t start to live an aesthetic lifestyle!

4. Proper Time Management

When you start planning to get your life back on track, you will inevitably come to the conclusion that there aren’t enough hours in a day to do all the things you want to do. There are 2 solutions for this. Either you give up on some of your goals, or you learn proper time management. I am going out on a limb here and say that you likely will not want to give up on any of your goals. So lets see how we can acquire some proper time management skills!

The most important time management skills in my eyes is to plan your day in advance. There is no bigger waste of time than starting to work, only to realize you have no idea what you have to work on or what you are even working towards. Make sure you plan your tomorrow tonight. Spend some time in your evening to gather your thoughts and figure out what work you would like to get accomplished tomorrow. That way you can plan your day as efficiently as possible!

Another tip that I can give you might sound counter-intuitive, but will see you become much more productive, and hence get more done during the time you do spent working. That tip is to take many breaks during your work sessions, and to not spend hours in front of your books or computer screen. If you are interested in knowing how to implement this into your schedule and why it is so effective, make sure you read my article on it here!

Time management is such a broad topic that I cannot even cover 10% of all the information about it here. So make sure to check all my posts on SimplyLifestyle for more potential articles on proper time management!

5. Practice Gratitude On A Daily Basis

Often times, we are so focused on our future, that we forget our past. We have all learned from our past mistakes, and yet if you look closely at your life, you will find that you have repeated many of them as well. But what about all the success we had in our lives. What about all the blessed moments?

If you are stuck in life, it can often be because you see people around you that are more successful. They might have a better job, a successful marriage, have children etc. When you practice gratitude, you learn to let go of these feelings of jealousy and resentment. Gratitude is recognizing all the positives in your life and having conscious and intentional thoughts about how and why you take them for granted. It is about appreciating your life and realizing that not everyone in the world is given the same chances and opportunities as you are.

When you wake up, write down three things you are grateful for. It should be the first thing you do in the morning. It can be as simple as this:

  • I am grateful to have had the opportunity to have a great education
  • I am grateful that my boss has seen my potential and given me a promotion
  • I am grateful that I have a supportive wife/husband/father/mother etc…

Practicing gratitude will make you realize that your life actually isn’t that bad, and that there are many opportunities for you to make improvements if you so desire. Make sure to keep an eye on our recent posts, as I will be writing more about the art of practicing gratitude.

I wish you the best on your journey!

Is Persistence A Good Or Bad Character Trait?

Self-improvement is a hot topic nowadays. More and more people search the web for ways that they can improve themselves and become more successful in life. One of such areas of improvement is adopting successful character traits. It can however be quite tricky to navigate the world of psychology and to find those traits that will give you that much needed slight advantage in life.

Often times when character traits are being researched, not enough attention is paid to both the good and bad sides of that trait, and whether it is even feasible to try adopt that trait into your own personality.

In this article I will talk about persistence, which is a common trait among the ultra-successful in our society!

What Is Persistence

The dictionary definition of persistence follows as “The fact of continuing an opinion or course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition.” Every human being has some level of persistence build into them. Some a lot more than others.

In my eyes persistence is so much more complicated that just “continuing a course of action when things get difficult”. For me, persistence is much more flexible than that. Let me explain!

Persistence is all about having a vision, and working as hard as you can to turn that vision into your reality. However, the path you take is separated from this. There are many ways to get you where you want to go. Being persistent does not mean pursuing just one of these ways. Being persistent is only applicable to your end goal, not the path you take.

“Be relentless in pursuing your goal, but be flexible in your path to get there!”

Simple Lifestyle

I am sure you will have come into contact with people that exhibit very large amounts of persistence:

  • Having a parent nag you to finish your chores
  • The annoying door-to-door salesman who you just can’t seem to get rid off
  • When you try to persuade your parents to let you go to that party

Similarly, many examples about people with a low persistence can also be found:

  • Your friend who doesn’t stick with activities because he finds them challenging
  • When your friends have peer pressured you into doing something which you didn’t want to do

From these examples it might seem that having a lot of persistence is a good thing, there are some pitfalls as well. In the next few points of my article I will explain the positives as well as the negatives of a high persistence character trait. I will also show you some methods that you can use to either increase or decrease your persistence according to your personal situation.

When Persistence Is Good

I find that the people with a lot of persistence have an almost inhuman ability to just get back up when life has pushed them down. No matter how many times you get knocked down, having high persistence in your personality means you will get back up no matter what!

It is common knowledge that never giving up on your goals is an inherently good trait to have as a person. You don’t want to be known as the that person that quits the moment the going gets tough. Incase you didn’t know this, let me provide a few cool examples of when persistence really payed off:

  • The Walt Disney Company was founded by Walt Disney, an entrepreneur who had to declare many bankruptcies on business that failed. He failed many business ideas, but due to his persistence, he set up on of the largest entertainment companies in the world.
  • Thomas Edison failed 999 experiments, but his 1000th experiment yielded the invention of the light bulb!
  • Dr Seuss’s first book was rejected by over 27 publishers!

If you are sure that you are on the right path of success, giving up is the biggest mistake you will make in your life!

When Persistence Is Bad

Despite all the positive examples you have just read about persistence, there are some pitfalls to be aware of. One of these is called the “sunken cost” phenomenon.

So what is this sunken cost phenomenon?

Essentially it is when you make a decision solely on the magnitude of past resources that have already been invested and would be considered lost if you were to quit now. Even when better & healthier alternatives are available, we still tend to stay with our original plans!

A common example is: The gambler keeps gambling more & more money to try and earn back his losses. Eventually he will lose all his money. Knowing when to quit is a very crucial skill to have when your personality shows a high persistence trait.

High levels of persistence can be extremely harmful to relationships with other people, and if you are not careful it might even destroy them. Persistence can definitely work on people, but knowing when to stop is crucial. Because if this boundary is crossed, there might be no going back!

How Do We Recognize When We Need To Let Go

Luckily for you there are methods you can use to recognize when you need to keep persisting, and when it is time to let go. This method is a question and answer analysis of the situation. There are a couple of questions you can ask yourself when you are in doubt whether to persist or quit.

1. Are our initial reasons still valid?

One very important question you have to ask yourself is whether you are still working towards a goal that you deem worthy to achieve. Is this goal still in your interest of achieving? If this is not that case, then it may be time to quit.

2. Would the situation get worse if your efforts stopped?

Lets say you were to stop working on an activity, in 3 months time, would you be worse off than if you had not stopped working. If you realize that not much would have changed, it might be fruitful for you to re-evaluate the importance of that activity for your the realization of your vision.

3. Does achieving your vision get more complicated as time goes on?

If you unexpectedly find that working towards your vision keeps getting more difficult, it might be a sign that your goal planning isn’t accurate. I suggest you stop persisting with your work, and re-evaluate your goal achieving plan.

4. Have critical deadlines been met? Are there signs of progress?

Have problems been solved, are there new activities underway? These are all things you have to ask yourself. If you are trying to get in shape but you have been stuck lifting the same weight or running at the same pace for the last 5 months, it might be sign to re-evaluate your strategy!

Can We Learn To Be More Or Less Persistent

Every character trait can become one’s own through study and practice. Persistence is no different. If you just adhere to the previous list of questions, you will immediately see changes in your levels of persistence. With time and experience, you will be much more adepts at reading your surroundings and become much more knowledgeable when to persist, and when to quit.

Remember that I can take from 28 days to a couple of months for a new habit to solidify into our routines. Therefore you must give it sometime before it becomes a 2nd nature to you. If you have the patience and will power to go through with this, you will see drastic improvements in your future success!

One Mental Exercise That Will Change Your Life

Self-improvement is a major topic nowadays. Almost all of us at one point in our lives experiment with several self-improvements methods. Yet a lot of people remain exactly where they started, without much progression to be seen.

One of the main pitfalls of self-improvement that I see is the simple fact of not being honest with yourself. People will often times make excuses that they know are false, but the majority of people will make those excuses but actually believe them to be legitimate reasons.

If you have been trying to get into shape, to achieve better grades, or to try and get that job promotion but failed time and time again, then this article is for you. Every failed attempt was a direct cause of you lying to yourself, whether you truly believed your excuses or not is irrelevant since the outcome is the same.

It is the conscious part of your brain that lies to you. It seeks comfort, peace and rest. Whenever you are stepping out of your comfort zone, be that in the gym or working overtime, your conscious brain will beg you to stop. It will come up with whatever reasons it can to fool you into stopping. It will keep telling you what you want to hear.

The exercise that I will be writing about in this article is a self-analysis of yourself. It is a no nonsense interrogation of your subconscious mind. That part of your brain gives it to you straight. It doesn’t beat around the bush and will call your lazy habits out whenever it has the chance too. The problem is that the conscious mind can scream a little bit louder at times, and blur out the logic of the subconscious.

Self-analysis exercise

So what is this exercise exactly?

As I have mentioned before, it is basically an interrogation of yourself. The answer that might come out is not always what you will expect! Let me demonstrate with 2 examples:

“Why am I failing my classes in school?”
-> Because I am not studying enough!

“Why are you not studying enough?”
-> Because I spend a lot of time gaming!

“Why do you spend so much time gaming?”
->I quickly get bored of my studies!

“Why do you get bored so quickly”?
-> I am not motivated to study for my current program

It might be very easy to think that you are just not smart enough to study, or that you need to put in more effort. When in reality you are just unmotivated by your program. Maybe you expected something else, or you realize the courses that your best friend is taking are more what you expected your program to be.

You might spend the next years getting a degree that really isn’t even in your interest. However, when you do a self-analysis like the one above, you will realize quickly that its the program itself that’s bothering you. And that it’s not you that’s the problem. This will allow you to actually tackle the root of the problem.

When you do this for yourself, you might be finished in 2 questions, or it might take you 15 iterations before you get to the root of the problem. As I said before, the answer usually isn’t something that you will expect. It is exactly that which makes this such a great exercise. The conscious part will give you an easy solution, while the subconscious mind will give you a truthful answer. I sure know which one I prefer!

Lets take a look at an exercise based example:

“Why am I so out of shape?”
-> Because I don’t workout!

“Why don’t you workout?”
-> Because I don’t have time in my day!

“Why don’t you have time in your day?”
-> Because I manage my time poorly.

“Why do you manage your time poorly?”
-> Because I don’t have any time management skills.

Who would have thought that the reason you are out of shape is poor time management skills. Then again when you list it as iterative self interrogation questions as above it seems very plausible. This method is very good for getting to the root of whatever problems you might have, as well as provide a truthful solution for it.

Remember that honesty is key during these exercises. If you are not being honest during these exercises, you will only hurt yourself in the long run!

5 Traits of Successful Individuals

We have all had role models at some point in our lives who we wished we could be like. Most likely these were very successful individuals like celebrities, athletes or famous professionals in a field you loved.

Modeling our lifestyle after these ultra successful people doesn’t have to be that hard. The difficult part is to simply know where to even begin.

That is why I will make a list of 5 traits of high achievers. This will give you an idea of what goes on “behind the scenes” in the minds of these people. Having a proper understanding of the skillset that it takes to become successful, we can start applying that knowledge to our own lives.

Passion

If you want to reach a certain goal, having a passion for it will make working towards it a lot easier. People who are truly passionate about a certain thing in life are much more likely to push through and achieve their goals when the going gets tough.

The passion is what energizes us when we lack the discipline and motivation to keep pushing through. It is something that I have heard a lot at my university.

I had one professor that would say “If you don’t have a true passion for engineering, you will never receive your diploma”. These words have stuck with me ever since hearing them.

He simply meant to say that the program was going to get so tough, that you needed a true passion for engineering to see it through till the end. If you try and achieve a difficult goal, make sure you have some kind of intrinsic passion for it, it will make the journey considerably easier!

Optimism

Research has shown again and again that an optimistic outlook on life is much more beneficial than pessimism. Having optimism as one of your character traits can lead to a more successful and healthier life.

Having a more favorable way of looking at the world will cause you to see the positives in everything, even when the times get tough. As an optimist you are much more likely to succeed in achieving your goals for example. You will be someone that isn’t easily thrown of their path.

A perfect example of this is when we look at diets. A pessimist will start a diet with a negative mindset. They might not belief that diets work, then when they don’t see immediate results, they reaffirm their initial belief and stop the diet all together. An optimist is much more likely to look at all the positive things. They will be able to stay motivated for longer, and once they see the results, they will continue their diet to reach their goal!

Being optimistic also allows you to deal with stress more efficiently. As I mentioned above, seeing the positive side of life means it will be harder for you to get overwhelmed by negative emotions such as stress.

Optimism is also a trait that others can detect. People love to be around others with a positive vibe, so your social life will definitely benefit from this!

Being optimistic also has many benefits regarding your emotional state, read this article to find out more!

Self-discipline

Self-discipline is the epitomy of a successful man or woman. It is what allows us to stay focused and work towards the goals that we have set for ourselves when our motivation wears out.

Studies have even gone so far to suggest that a lack of self discipline can have negative consequences on your self-esteem. It has also been shown that self-discipline is a better predictor of academic success than your IQ.

Despite it being one of the most important traits to achieve success, it is also the one that people struggle with the most. If you know you lack self-discipline I will highly suggest that you start working on improving it immediately! I can assure you that your role models had above average discipline, else they would have never reached the heights that they did.

Self-discipline also has the potential to give you a more positive outlook on life. If you have read the previous section than you know the importance of being an optimistic individual!

Make sure to check back soon as I will be writing a few articles related to building self-discipline!

Persistence

Persistence is closely linked with self-discipline in the sense that it is also linked to the strength required to be able to get back up after you have failed in life. A persistent person has a no quit attitude.

Persistence is all about giving 100% effort and not quitting on your vision.

In my personal experience, I feel that having passion for something is crucial if you want to also be persistent for that something. If you have no real passion for your goals, it is almost impossible to stay persistent towards achieving those goals.

Having too much persistence can also be quite negative however! It is very important to know when to quit doing something that will lead to nowhere. Persistence can often turn into stubbornness, and this can kill any chance you have of success.

Desire to Learn

Continuing to work on yourself and being open to learn is an incredibly important tool you should always make use of. No matter how knowledgeable you are about a particular fields, you have to understand that everything evolves and changes overtime.

You must make sure that the skills you have are up-to-date, so that you can utilize them as efficiently as possible.

Success isn’t just a one time thing. You should strive to be successful in life for as long as possible. You can only achieve this by adapting yourself to the changing environment that we are all in.

A good exercise to practice this is to look at a skill in your life that you have already mastered. Ask yourself the question how you could potentially improve it. I am sure you can think of some ways to advance even your best life skills!

Final Words

It is important to understand that these traits are learned and cultivated over years and years. I would suggest you pick one, and try and focus on that for the next couple of months.

A perfect example is that you could try and build your self discipline by using the 50/10 method when you work or study. If you are not sure what the 50/10 method is, make sure to read up on it here!

3 Reasons Why You Should Set Big Goals Even Though You Might Not Achieve Them

Whenever you research anything related to goal setting, there is always a mindset of having to achieve that goal. You are always told that those who are successful reach their goals, and those who are not fail them.

This however is only true under the assumption that reaching your goals is the only measure of success. Your success is not a measure of whether you reach your goals or not, it is a measure of how well you do in a given area of your life.

Let me explain by giving an example of 2 businessmen. Ill call them Paul and John for clarity. Both Paul and John have recently started a similary business, and are fierce competitors. They set a goal to want to increase the revenue of their respective businesses.

John sets a goal to increase his yearly revenue by 5 million dollars. Paul on the other hand, sets an unimaginably high goal of increasing his revenue by 100 million dollars.

Now at the end of the year, John sees a revenue increase of 5 million dollars. Great for him because he has reached his goal! Paul on the other hand, wasn’t so fortunate. He didn’t make his 100 million dollar target. In fact, he didn’t even get close. He only managed to get 10% of the way to his 100 million dollar target.

Most people might instinctively say that John is obviously the more successful man as he reached his goal, while Paul did not. But comparing the numbers tells a different story. While Paul only managed to get 10% of the way to his goal, he had a significantly more successful year than John did.

A 10% completion of a 100 million dollar goal means that Paul increased his revenue by an astonishing 10 million dollars. Twice as much as John did! So who is the more successful person now?

The moral of the story is that success is relative to a wide number of parameters, not just whether you complete your goals. Lets look at a few reasons why Paul’s goal setting method is better than that of John.

We Work Best When Under Pressure

When we put ourselves under a lot of pressure, our brain and body tend to go into overdrive. So by setting a big goal we also set big expectations for ourselves. The pressure comes from us not wanting to let ourselves and the people around us down.

In the example above, there is a good chance that John met his 5 million dollar goal 9 months into the year. Once he realized he did what he wanted to do, he felt happy and content with himself. The pressure of working hard dropped off and he enjoyed the rest of the year.

There is a high chance that his lack of motivation to continue working for the remaining 3 months caused him to pass up some great business and learning opportunities.

Paul on the other hand, was no where near to his goal all year. So he spend 12 solid months giving it all he got to try and get as close to his goal as possible. Paul was a lot more productive with his time because he set such a high goal.

Failing Is Learning

Despite not reaching his goal, Paul would have learned a lot of personals and professional lessons during his year of struggle.

He set a target of increasing his revenue by 100 million dollars, but only managed 10 million. He gave it his all to try and reach his goal but fell short. He would have learned his personal limits during this year. Similarly he might have learned the limits at which the businesses in his sector can operate.

Even though Paul didn’t meet his goal, he knows that he gave it his all. Once he looks at his competitors he will realize that he did amazing work. This will be a massive confidence boost as well.

John on the other hand did not discover his personal limits. He didn’t push himself nor his business to their utmost limits.

If John sees the results that Paul was able to manage, he might be stuck with feelings of regret and wonder if he could have done more. If he self-analyzes properly, he will realize that he he should have set a higher target, and would have worked harder to achieve that.

They Stretch Our Belief of What is Possible

Upon reflection of the past year, Paul will likely identify areas where he could have worked harder. He knows he gave it his all, but he will be able to recognize moments where he could have worked smarter, and not just harder.

Whenever you work at your limits, you will undergo a massive amount of learning and self-discovery. You will stretch your belief of what you are capable off.

But because John recognizes that he could have worked harder, that will likely be his only take from the last year. He thinks he needs to just work harder when he compares his results to that of Paul’s business. Paul on the other hand experienced growth as a person and saw much more advances in his professional life to boot.

They will change the way you think

It is very likely that when you set nearly unachievable goals, you will need to adopt a wide variety of strategies to try and achieve it. There will be a point where you realize that your standard way of working is a sure-fire way to never reach that goal. So you start thinking outside of the box to come up with new methods that might be more efficient and produces better results.

As you experiment with different ways of thinking and working, you are learning skills that you will carry with yourself for the rest of your life.

Do not be afraid to set unachievable goals. Whether you reach them or not, it is the journey that matter. The journey is what teaches you the life lessons you need to succeed in life. Even 10% of massive goal will still translate to real life success. Just ask Paul!

The Role of Self-Confidence on Our Mental Health

In the field of psychology it is known that self-confidence has a major influence on our mental health. While there may not necessarily be a direct link, it indirectly effects how we live our lives. I will try and illustrate my point with a little example.

Let’s take two people called Emma and Jane who both work a corporate job somewhere in a major city. Emma has always been a high-confidence person, while Jane unfortunately has never really figured it out and as a result suffers from chronic low self-esteem.

They are both working on an important deadline and are struggling. Emma, being the confident person she is, has no problem going around and asking her boss and colleagues for advice. She gets some great tips, and is able to finish her task exceeding all expectations.

Jane on the other hand is also struggling. She however is not comfortable going up to her boss and colleagues and asking for advice. She is rather shy as a consequence of her low-self esteem. In turn she delivers a mediocre performance when finally finishing her task.

It is now that the effects of self-confidence on our mental health becomes clear. Emma is likely to get much praise after completing her task since she did such a great job. She will be seen among her peers as a capable and respected person.

All these praises and social benefits are a massive mental boost to Emma. They are likely going to increase her confidence even further as well as have many other mental benefits.

Jane on the other hand, will likely not experience any of the benefits. She is much more likely to get mediocre feedback, and if she has an overachieving boss, she might even receive some criticism for her work. For Jane this was not a positive mental experience. At best it was neutral.

This kind of situation can be applied in all fields and types of scenarios. It is safe to say that being a more confident person will produce moments in your life that will have net positive effect on your mental health. While a low-confidence life will likely not be able to attract these important mental boosts.

So you might think how much confidence is enough? Is there a limit to how much confidence I should have? Let’s explore some of the effects of low and high confidence.

Low Confidence

Low self-confidence is when an individual does not believe that they have the skills necessary to be able to do a certain thing in life. This can range from not feeling confident in the way you look, to becoming anxious during an exam because you don’t believe you know enough to pass.

There are certain signs in your life you can look for to know whether you suffer from low self-esteem:

  • Backing down when arguing with other people
  • Need to “look busy” like doing nothing on your phone while in a social situation
  • Not speaking up in conversations
  • Not meeting people’s gaze or general avoidance of eye contact in social settings
  • Slouching when walking, or looking at the ground when walking

There are many signs, and low confidence comes in all shapes and sizes.

So what are we able to do about this. I have already written an in-depth article on the 2 ways to solve any confidence issue you might have. It tackles the idea that your proficiency in a certain task as well as your attitude towards your surroundings are the main players affecting your confidence levels.

You can find this article here!

Overconfidence

As you have read through this article, you might be inclined to think that the more confidence the better right? Well there are limits, as there is to everything on life. Gaining too much confidence, can often blind us to the truth and make us arrogant.

If we revisit our example where Emma delivered a stunning performance thanks to the helpful tips of her boss and colleagues. She might be so confident in herself now that her behaviour towards her peers might change. Emma might think that she can do any task that is thrown at her now.

Overconfidence and arrogance make us blind to our own limits. Since we become unaware of our own weaknesses, we stop trying to improve on them. As a result, Emma can actually become worse at the tasks she used to be so good at.

Overconfidence can become very destructive in terms of everything in your life, whether it be in a professional sense or for your relationships with your loved ones.

Many professional organizations consider people who are overconfident at a similar level to people with low self-confidence. The main reason for this is that while low self-esteem individuals don’t seek out help or advice, the overconfident ones will usually ruin relationships before they have the ability to get anything meaningful out of them.

Always stay humble in your life, no matter how successful you become in life!

Tips for Overcoming Low Self-Esteem

I made a small mention of this above, but essentially there are 2 main things you do that will influence your confidence levels.

The first one being your profeciency in a certain task. The more comfortable you are doing something, the more confident you will be about that task.

One perfect example in my personal life is from the gym. When I first started, I was very nervous walking into a new place that I had never been before. Now that I am a regular, and have been going for years, I am fully confident whenever I walk through those door.

The confidence stems from the fact that I feel proficient while I am working out. I know exactly what I am doing and how to do these things correctly.

The second influence on your self-esteem is the attitude you have towards other people and your surroundings. It is generally the thought of how others judge us that seeps any confidence we have right out of our systems.

This is something that is very hard to solve. In this article I highlight some methods you can employ to try and be less self-conscious about your self.

There are certain strategies you can use to try and improve your confidence levels. The main points that come to mind are:

  • Don’t fear failure
  • Don’t worry that others think
  • Accomplish your goals
  • Exercise
  • Comparison is the thief of joy
  • Adopting Stoic philosophy
  • Practice makes perfect.

If you want to read a more in-depth explanation of these points, make sure you check out my “7 Methods to Gain Confidence in Yourself” article here!

Increasing your self-confidence is a journey that can often take many months and even years. As long as you see progress you are on the right path. Good luck!

6 Emotional Intelligence Traits You Should have

All of us have people that we idolize and who we try to model our behavior after. Often times they are extremely confident and well put together individuals.

But what is really going on behind the scenes and in their minds.

One of the character traits that most of them have in common is that they are very emotionally intelligent. That is where their confidence and self-control stems from.

So lets break those traits down and see what makes our role models so emotionally savvy, and why it is so important that you have these traits as well!

Strong Inner Confidence

Self-confidence is a major facet of emotional intelligence. When you ask people what some of the most obvious features are of an emotionally stable person, the response that you get the most is always some form of strong inner confidence.

Essentially all what self confidence is, is the belief that you are capable of doing a certain task. So you might feel really confident in one situation, but not in another. Individuals are very rarely confident in 100% of the tasks they perform.

Gaining a healthy amount of self-confidence has numerous positive effects on both your mental and physical health. You are likely to persevere through adversity more often, and will lead a more successful life in general.

On the flip side however, low self-confidence brings along a myriad of other problems. Studies have shown that long term low confidence or having chronic low self-esteem are leading causes for mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety.

Emotional Self-Awareness and Control

You simply cannot work on improving your emotional intelligence if you are not emotionally aware. You need to be able to recognize, understand and control all of the emotions that you are experiencing.

A majority of conflicts that people will experience in their life stems from someone not having full control over their emotions. They let their feelings take over from their logic, and this often ends in turmoil for themselves and the people they surround.

Someone who is emotionally intelligent, will have enough understanding of themselves that they are able to keep their cool in even the toughest of situations. They are also able to express their emotions in a way that positively affects themselves, and the people in their surroundings.

We have already written about ways to express your emotions in a healthy manner, make sure you read that article!

Adaptability

Being able to deal with new and unseen scenarios in a positive manner is a good indication of a high emotional intelligence. It also works in tandem with keeping your cool in these new situations. You should be confident and knowledgeable enough about dealing with the emotions of both yourself and those of others.

A good indication of having high adaptability is not being stopped by a sudden change. For example, are you able to keep your emotions in check when you have to do a presentation in front of a large audience? Are you able to keep your cool when you take on an important leadership task?

The best way to get good at being adaptable, is learning how to be comfortable in uncomfortable situations. Put yourself out there and do new things you have never done before. The more you do this, the more methods you will learn on how to deal with something new.

This is also a great method for strengthening your inner confidence. After a certain time of trying so many new things and being in unnerving situations all the time, you will feel much more confident in everyday life. Simply because you know you will be fine if something stressful were to come up all of a sudden.

Optimistic Outlook

Adopting an optimistic mindset has shown to greatly influence your mental and even physical well-being. Research has even shown a decrease in depression in people who have learned to have a more optimistic outlook on life.

If you have a more favorable way of looking at the world, you are more likely to stay motivated in pursuit of your goals. You therefore have a greater chance to achieve them, which in turn will bring even more happiness into your life.

A perfect example of this is when we look at diets. A pessimist will start a diet with a negative mindset. They might not belief that diets work, then when they don’t see immediate results, they reaffirm their initial belief and stop the diet all together. An optimist is much more likely to look at all the positive things. They will be able to stay motivated for longer, and once they see the results, they will continue their diet to reach their goal!

Optimistic people are also known to cope with stress a lot better than others. It is hard for someone who is optimistic to get overwhelmed and discouraged by bad news. They will always try to see the positives in what they are doing. This is a great anti-stress method.

If you are under a lot emotional stress, consider reading our article on the best methods to get it under control as fast as possible!

Ability to Detect and Negate Negative Thoughts

Someone with high emotional intelligence will be able to detect any negative thought patterns emerging. What often happens is that we become entwined in this negative cycle, which will often put a strain on our anxiety and other mental health issues.

If you are an overthinker, this section will be very recognizable. A good example is when we worry about the things that we have no control over. When an emotionally intelligent individual catches themselves stressing over a situation that they have no control over, they simply let it go. They tell themselves, ” I have no control over this, therefore stressing about it is not productive”.

They realize that their time and energy is better spend elsewhere, and they wont fall into this viscous cycle of continuous worry about something they cannot have an effect on anyways.

If you are having trouble recognizing the rise of these negative thought patterns, write about your emotional experiences in a journal. As you write overtime, the patterns will become much clearer. Another method to figure out these destructive patters would be to just vent to a close friend or family member. Simply hearing yourself talk about your experiences might produce that light bulb moment where you learn how to see these patters coming.

Empathy

Arguably one of the most important emotional intelligence traits to have is empathy. If you are able to put yourself in the shoes of others, you will come across as a much more attentive and caring person. Being empathic will be extremely helpful in building new and maintaining current relationships.

Simply understanding how someone else feels and reacts to certain situations can also become a learning experience for you. I can think of plenty examples in my life where I have modeled my behavior from how I thought someone else would have reacted.

Being empathic also means that you are adept at reading all kinds of non-verbal emotional cues. You should be able to accurately interpret the emotions of others simply by looking at their tone of voice, body posture and other cues.

This also transfers to social situations involving more than one other person beside yourself. You should be able to read to mood and emotional currents of a group of friends for example.

Increasing your emotional intelligence is something that can be achieved at all ages. It does take time, as with most things in life. This article was mainly about traits of those of us who have worked hard to be in full control over their emotions. You can find more articles on our site about ways to increase your emotional intelligence and awareness. In the future expect a lot more of these articles to be written. But in the mean time, I wish you all the best with your journey!

6 Reasons Why People Fail to Realize Their Goals

Every single human being on this planet has dreams and aspirations that they hope to achieve one day in their lives. But how come so few succeed, and that so many of us will keep struggling forever to turn our dreams into reality.

The fact of the matter is that most people understand the relevance and importance of goal setting. Yet a vast majority of us don’t set concrete and proper thought out goals. And from the ones that do, only a small percentage actually reach them.

If you are someone that has set many goals but reached very few, improving on the following 6 things will drastically increase your chances of succeeding in life.

Lack of Understanding of What Setting a Goal Means

I am sure you can all think of a personal example where you might have set a goal for yourself, be it about getting in shape or you getting that job promotion. But did you actually set a proper goal?

A goal isn’t a just a statement you make, its a road map of how you are going to achieve something. To make a proper goal, you also need to make a step-by-step plan of how to achieve that.

So lets take the example where you set a goal of getting in shape. This in itself is already a very vague statement. Do you mean you want to be able to run a marathon, have the endurance necessary to climb Mount Everest, or do you simply want to stop being out of breath every time you climb a flight of stairs?

Each of these above goals are all about getting in shape to do something, but all require vastly different strategies of training to get there.

If you do not narrow down your goals, you will be lost as to what you actually need to focus on. This will lead to frustration, and likely means you will quit before you see any results.

A much better example of “getting in shape” would be; “I want to be able to run 5 km within 25 minutes”. Now you know what sport to train and the time frame of your activity.

Now you can google the best ways to run 5 km for a beginner, and you will get a step-by-step plan to achieve that goal. Make your goals as concrete as possible, so that you know exactly what to do and when to do it in order to make it a reality.

Impatience

In the first few days of starting a new activity in order to reach a goal, we are full of motivation. Unfortunately this wears off over time. This in combination with a lack of results can often lead to impatience and pure frustrations.

We might think we are not doing it properly, or that we simply cannot get through it. Any thing in life worth achieving, is going to take time. So make sure you give yourself adequate time of analyzing your progress before you decide to switch things up or to stop altogether.

Another cause for impatience can be an unrealistic plan, or unrealistic expectations of yourself. Whenever you set a goal for anything, have a look at what the average person is able to do.

If on average people can run 5 km in 28 min, don’t set a goal to run 5 km in less than 20 minutes for example. Keep it real!

That being said, not everyone is going to be good at everything. If you start something new, make sure to stick with it for at least 2-4 months. If you do not enjoy the activity anymore or realize this just isn’t for you, you can quit knowing full well you gave it your best shot. But make sure not to give up too early!

Impotent Goals

A big reason why goals aren’t being realized, isn’t necessarily because people are lazy, but because their goals are simply uninspiring and boring!

When you set a goal, they might seem fun and motivating. But if you have no deeper emotional connection to that which you want to achieve, you’ll fall off the path to success. When you set a goal, ask yourself how badly you want it.

If you simply wanna workout to “look good”, you will likely get frustrated when you don’t see big results a couple of days into your training. Meanwhile if you understand and truly care about the long term benefits that exercise provides, you are much more likely to stick with your game plan!

Always try to form some attachment to your goals, it will help you keep going when that initial motivation fades!

Accountability

Lack of accountability is disastrous for anyone setting any kind of goal or target in their life. If you have made a proper roadmap for a goal you set, make sure you stick to it. Even a minor deviation from your plan can prevent it from turning it into a habit, making it infinitely more difficult to achieve.

One great way to hold yourself accountable, is to keep a personal journal with you at all times. Every morning you write what you plan to achieve for the day, and every evening you reflect on how successful you were.

People find it difficult to let themselves down, so here you are essentially playing a game with your ego-self.

Giving yourself rewards for doing the work you have done is another great way to build up personal accountability. You will subconsciously keep yourself accountable, just because you are craving to receive that reward when the work is done. Make sure you stay disciplined and not reward yourself too much or too early!

If you know that you are terrible with personal accountability, you can always employ the help of a friend. Set a goal together with a them. You don’t want to embarrass yourself by not doing the work, so you will be extra motivated. You can even turn this into a competition if this would help you.

When you pick a person to do this with, make sure they are reliable and dedicated to seeing it through to the end. You need someone that will drag you out of bed to go the the gym when you are not feeling it that day. You should also be the one motivating your friend to go when they feel like slacking off.

Not Having a Set Deadline

Setting a deadline is an integral part of the plan you make to reach you goal. We all procrastinate on our work at sometime, so having a deadline will keep you in check and ensure that you do the work that is necessary.

I know that for me, I work the best when I am under the pressure of a deadline. Lets take an example from my exam schedule from university. I would much rather have 3 days in-between exams, than 1 week. Why? Because the pressure of having only 3 days until my next exams will make me so much more productive than having a full week. Knowing that I have 7 days for an exam, will mean I spend the first 3-4 days basically doing nothing.

Since I hate wasting time, I would much rather get rid of these unproductive days. When that deadline comes closer, you get an extra boost of motivation that can often times make up for any lack of discipline you have. Use this to your advantage!

When there is no pressure to go and do something difficult, it is very hard to try and get yourself to put in the effort and do the work. So when you are setting deadlines for your goals, it is always a good idea to put on the pressure.

That being said, make sure you still keep it realistic. The last thing you want is to set a strict deadline for an exercise related goal, to then get injured because you pushed yourself too hard. Be smart about it!

Fear of Failure

If you are someone that struggles with low self-esteem and dwindling confidence levels, this is likely to affect you a great deal. You might have also tried to achieve a particular goal many times before, but failed.

Never fear failure, instead you have to learn to embrace it. We learn more about ourselves during our greatest defeats, than in any other time. The only way to grow as a person, is to put yourself out there and fail. You will learn invaluable lessons that will help you conquer whatever you set your mind too.

I even go so far to set goals so difficult to achieve, that I almost expect myself to fail. Because in the moments I realize I might not reach this goal, is where most of my self discovery and self improvement happens.

The more you fail in life the more you will succeed later on. That is a given!

Setting and achieving goals is not easy, and we all struggle with it. I hope you found some areas with which you struggled while reading this article, and now know how to improve upon. Best of luck!

10 Little Habits That Benefit Your Mental Health

It can often seem like improving your mental health is massive task, and we are often lost as to where to even start. It can be particularly useful to start small, and make simple improvements to your daily life.

remember that small changes overtime will yield massive results. Here I have compiled some little things you can do to give your mental health a positive boost in these trying times!

Practice Gratitude

Gratitude is the quality of showing appreciation for the things we have surrounding us. It is a good 5 minute exercise to just think about all the things in life that we have and love. You can write them down or just let your mind wander over them.

Practicing gratitude can greatly improve your mood, as well as make you more optimistic. It reminds you about all the good things in your life, pushing the negative thoughts out of your brain.

This can be practiced in the mornings or evenings. You can even do this when you are in a bad mood!

Get in the Habit of Creating a Sleeping Routine

Sleep is a major factor in regulating our mental and emotional well being. While we sleep, research has shown that brain activity in areas that regulate our emotions increases. This supports our mental stability and allows our body to regulate our emotions more effectively during the day.

When someone is sleep deprived, the areas of our brain that are in charge of our emotions are much more likely to overreact. You might have noticed that when you work long hours into the night, that the next day you are much more on edge than usual. It is simply because you did not give your brain the time needed to reset.

When our emotions are regulated at healthier levels, our mental health directly benefits from this! So make sure you get your 7-9 hours of sleep, and try to go to bed at roughly the same hour every day to maximize the benefits your brain gets from sleep!

Limit Caffeine and Alcohol

While caffeine definitively has certain cognitive perks, its overuse can put a big strain on our mental well-being. The main issue with caffeine is that it can interfere with our sleep.

As discussed in the last point, sleep is one of the most important aspects in our life that protects our mental stability. If you know that your caffeine drinking habits affect your sleep, I would urge you to decrease your use of it. Especially if you are mental struggle, because it can likely be a contributing factor.

Unlike caffeine, alcohol does not bring along with it cognitive benefits like increased alertness and a higher level of focus. So unless you are partying hard, there is no real reason you should be drinking it.

The main issue with alcohol lies in the fact that it allows us to escape the reality that we live in. We drink and get drunk, which releases a chemical called dopamine. This makes us feel all happy and like everything is alright.

This is particularly dangerous if you are struggling with your mental health. There will be a point where the alcohol wears off, and reality will set back in. This is the point where many people will lose themselves to alcohol and it will start becoming an addiction. Do not fall for this!

Another negative effect of alcohol can be seen when people use it to manage their social anxiety. This prevents them from developing the necessary social coping skills. This can have a major negative impact on your future mental health.

It is therefore a good habit to instead of drinking alcohol or coffee at night to just drink a glass of water. See the next point why hydration is so important for our brain!

Drink More Water

There have been many links to show that dehydration will increase the symptoms of mental health disorders like anxiety and depression.

Dehydration also causes stress on the body, since it is not getting the required amount of water intake. It also will impede your brains serotonin production, which is a neurotransmitter that is absolutely crucial in regulating your mood.

It is even said that a symptom of chronic dehydration can be depression!

Note that drinking a lot of water is not a cure all for any mental health disorder, but it gives our brain and body a better fighting chance against them. So maybe drink a glass of water as you are reading this!

A Quick 10 Minute Mindfulness Meditation

Mindfulness meditation is a widely used practice that specifically targets individuals with ill-mental health. Mindfulness training has shown to alter the structure of our brain.

Areas of the brain responsible for positive emotions like the prefrontal cortex see more activity in individuals that practice mindfulness consistently. It is very similar to our first point of practicing gratitude. You become more in-tune with your emotional self.

The effect are a more realistic and optimistic outlook on life, as well bettering your mood!

Journal

If you are not a meditation fan, a good alternative is to journal! You can be mindful of yourself and your surroundings, but instead of meditating on those thoughts, you simply write them down.

This is a personal favorite of mine and one I use very often. When you are in a stressful situation, just writing down all the things you can do to solve the issue at hand will give you a massive confidence boost that everything will be alright.

Journaling shouldnt take a long time, maximum of 15 minutes. It can easily be made a habit by just journaling right before you got to bed, or right before you wake up!

This will sooth your nerves and is very calming. It is a great tool that can be used to limit the mental stress we experience on a daily basis.

Celebrate your Achievements

We are often so caught up in all the work we still have left to do, that we forget all that we have achieved. In my personal case, a lot of my stress and anxiety comes from the fact that I haven’t yet achieved in life what I want, and that I struggle to get there.

But I so often forget all the goals that I have already accomplished that have gotten me to where I am today.

Whenever you feel overwhelmed with work or are struggling with your purpose in life, think back to all the great things you have already achieved. You will realize that you have put in a great amount of work and have won many victories in the past. I can assure you that that will continue in the future as well!

Tidy up After Yourself

Living in a clean and tidy environment will give you a massive boost to your mental health. Decluttering your living room and office can have an energising effect and will promote a health mental state of being.

It is often the case with people that they feel more productive when their working environment is neat and tidy. Being more productive will lead you to completing more goals. Having completed more goals will see you succeed in life.

Simply tidying up your environment will see exponential benefits later in life!

Use Positive Affirmations

Positive affirmations are statements that we make about ourselves that we repeat over and over again. Some common positive affirmations that you can use are:

  • I know I can accomplish anything I set my mind to
  • I learn from my mistakes
  • I am confident socially and enjoy meeting new people
  • I believe in, trust and have confidence in myself
  • I will figure this out and it will all come together in the end

Using positive affirmations, will actually be able to increase the “feel good” hormones that our brain releases. This will of course have a good effect on our mental state, and will lead to a more positive outlook on life.

They will help strengthen your self-worth and boost your confidence. They are a great way to counter the symptoms of panic attacks, stress, and other forms of anxiety.

Break your Procrastination Habits

The field of psychology often associates procrastination with a decreased mental health. In particular procrastination is known to increase your stress levels as well as induce a lower feeling of well-being.

One really good method to breaking your procrastination habits, is to make use of the 50/10 method. I wrote a bit about this method, which you can read here. I can say from personal experience, that this will skyrocket your productivity!

2 Ways to Solve Any Confidence Issues

Confidence is a very tricky beast to tame, and chances are if you are reading this article, you are struggling with it as well. The advice we get from wildly successful and confident people is always the same: you should just go for it and do it!

While there is some truth to this, a lot of information is left out. There is also never any mention of techniques we can practice to actually gain confidence. Read through this article as I will delve into both of these topics.

Lets first start discussing where confidence comes from. In my experience it comes from 2 main areas.

1. Proficiency

The first is your level of proficiency in something. The more knowledgeable you are about something, the more confident you will feel about it. Take the example of asking out someone you fancy. A lot of times the lack of confidence stems from the fact that we don’t know the best way to approach that person.

Should I call, should I wait till I see them alone, should I…. and the list goes on. In this case we lack the proficiency in knowing the best way to approach them. This will always cause us to doubt ourselves if what we are doing is the best way of going about it. The lack of confidence often times becomes very noticeable when we do decide to make the move.

If you know what the best approach is going to be (doesn’t have to be the correct one, you just have to think its the best one), you are a lot less likely to be doubting your decision. In turn you will also come over as a lot more confident simply because you are not doubting yourself.

Another quick example is if you aren’t that confident in social scenarios where someone might be becoming aggressive, like an angry customer in a supermarket. If you become a proficient boxer or martial artist you really won’t worry what is going to happen because you don’t doubt your skills should it come to a physical confrontation.

The main problem that proficiency in a tasks tries to tackle is doubt. A lot of confidence problems originate due to doubt about something. The more knowledgeable you are about a specific aspect of your life, the more confident you will become.

2. Attitude

Attitude towards the opinions of others is the second major reason for a total lack of confidence. The thought of how others judge us is always lingering in the back of our minds. It scares us, and this has directly affects our confidence.

Just ask yourself, how easy would certain things become if I didn’t care what other people thought or said about me behind my back. You will find that a lot of things in life would be much simpler.

It is easy to say you should simply “ignore the haters”, but how can we actually do this. I’ll be the first to admit this is not something you will learn in a day, and will take some time before you truly achieve it. That doesn’t mean it isn’t worth it, since anything worth pursuing requires hard work and dedication!

I am still working on this part of my life myself. I am not fully there yet, but I have made great leaps of progress and can say with full confidence that this is incredibly effective and rewarding. So what did I do and what strategies did I use?

I simply started reading books on Stoic philosophy. The ones I recommend you to pick up are Meditations by Marcus Aurelius, and Letters From A Stoic by Lucius Seneca.

These books contain great golden nuggets of wisdom and are quite inspiring to read. Take these great philosophers as your role models, and try to understand, how these stoics think. You can apply a lot of their personal examples to your life.

They were also very effective in “blocking out the haters” so to speak. So if you strive for this, make sure you read those books!

I will definitely be writing more about the stoic philosophy, particularly on some actions you can take to practice and reinforce those ideas in the future. So stay tuned for that!

So Which One is the Most Effective?

While gaining proficiency in a certain task is extremely beneficial for your confidence, it is limited to just that task. It doesn’t carry over to other aspects of your life. Having an attitude of not worrying about what others think of you can be applied universally to whatever you do.

So why even bother with the proficiency part if attitude is all encompassing. Well for starters, gaining true immunity of the opinion of others is something that will take months if not years for you to accomplish. Gaining skill and eradicating doubt for one specific task can be achieved in a much shorter time frame.

They work really well together in tandem, but I will argue that having the correct attitude is the more powerful out of the two, but also the more difficult one to achieve. I really suggest you make work of both aspects and not to neglect one or the other.

Keep working on yourself. Remember that all of this takes time, so don’t be discouraged if it takes a while before you see yourself progress. As long as you stick with it, you will grow, I promise you that!

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