How to make a positive change for a fulfilling life

How to make a positive change for a fulfilling life

Our external world is a mirror reflection of what’s going on inside of us all. When we change what’s happening on the inside, our external world begins to naturally follow suit. That’s when the magic really starts to happen! When we place all of our happiness in our external situations (events, people, material objects etc.) we can develop a need to control these things. The result of this can be extreme stress.

So, instead of making yourself powerless to the external, why not work on the internal, for an unshakable source of happiness that’ll stay with you no matter what may be going on in your life?

Your career, your body, your relationship… When we struggle to control and perfect these areas of our lives, we only succeed in making ourselves exhausted and feeling worse than ever. When this happens, it’s time to turn our attention inward to work on what’s really happening beneath the surface.

To begin making changes within for a changed world without, here is your go-to 6 step guide.

6 Steps For Positive Change

1. Turn Your Focus Inwards

Stop letting your perception of your external circumstances determine how you feel!

When we judge the situations, people and goings-on we see in our external world, we are giving them the power to determine how we feel. So, rather than labeling everything in your life as ‘negative’ or ‘positive’, why not try and simply accept things for what they are?

Once you learn to be ok with what you see going on outside of you, you can begin to take a closer look at what’s going on within.

Your feelings, thought patterns, emotional triggers; you need to understand that these are the things that matter and that are ultimately, within your control.

2. Create Space

How can you create change when you’ve become detached from your own being? In a fast-paced, modern age such as ours, we spend more time ‘doing’ than we do simply ‘being’.

Why is just ‘being’ so important for a positive change? For starters, when we allow ourselves to simply ‘be’ and connect with the present moment, we get the chance to work through our internal life, processing our thoughts, our emotions and creating that necessary space we all need to be happy.

So, if you’re a chronic over-doer, try setting aside time each day to do absolutely nothing. Whether you’re meditating or staring out the train window (without reaching for your phone/ipad/book etc.), use this time to examine what’s coming up in your emotional life. What have you been avoiding thinking about?

3. Observe Your Inner World

Once you’ve created the space that you need to become better attuned to your inner world, it’s time to take a closer look.

  • What predominant emotions keep coming up for you?
  • What core belief systems do you cling to?
  • What are your biggest emotional triggers?

Practice observing your emotions rather than immediately reacting to them.

For example, the next time somebody does something to make you angry, rather than react with anger or hurtful words try having an inner dialogue with yourself. ‘I’m feeling really angry and hurt. Why? What’s bringing these emotions out in me?’

By practicing improved awareness in this way and creating some space between you and what’s happening outside of you, you’ll gain greater clarity and regain control of the situation.

4. Take Each Day As It Comes

This next step sounds easy enough but is something many of us struggle to do.

Career goals, big life ambitions, 5-year plans… As a species, we have come to love nothing better than planning ahead. In fact, we probably spend so much time worrying about and planning for our futures, that we miss out on the right here and now. Not to mention the stress that we put ourselves under as a result!

Enough already. Make each new day and your ability to make it the best it can be your sole purpose. Without knowing it you will have slowly begun to build up a set of habits and productive actions that will become the building blocks on which you fulfill your dreams.

5. Find A Supportive Community

When you want to set big, positive changes in motion, who can you turn to for support? Support, whether it’s from our peers, family or friends, can be important when we are looking to become the very best version of ourselves.

So, try to connect with people that may be on a similar journey to yours. The internet, for example, can be a great place for meeting like-minded people.

6. Do The Work

Whether you want to change your entire life or want to make small but meaningful changes, you have to do the work!

Trust that once you begin to change things on the inside, your outside world will follow. Practice love over fear. Be fussy about what you give your attention to. Remember to stay in the present moment and finally, create your life, don’t react to it.

Change your life with the Law of Attraction…

How to make a positive change for a fulfilling life

It can be hard to make changes in your life, especially when you are not sure of where to start. This FREE Law of Attraction toolkit has the resources and tools to help you get started with your Law of Attraction journey.

Take a look at our Law of Attraction toolkit and receive the tools you need to start manifesting your dream life today.

  • Extensive affirmation guide and examples.
  • Dream board and life map plan and step-by-step guide.
  • Complimentary book.
  • And more!

How to make a positive change for a fulfilling life

At some point in our life, we’ve all asked the question, “Is this it? Was I put on this planet just to pay bills, work long hours and never have enough time in my busy schedule to have fun?”

If you ever felt like the opportunity to live a fulfilling life was passing you by, you are not alone. A few years back I remember feeling this way soon after I received a significant promotion. Although the new assignment came with more money and a better title, I no longer did the work that I was passionate about.

On top of feeling dispassionate, the job required longer hours. Longer days impacted quality family time, gym days became infrequent and my eating routines fell by the wayside. This is not what I envisioned as an ideal way to live my life and new I had to make a change. I’m sure you can relate to a time in your life when it felt like you were going through the motions with little room for passion and reward.

I often hear people say, “Once I get the ________ (raise, promotion, house, car, etc.), then I’ll be happy.” This way of thinking couldn’t be further from the truth. It actually prevents us from living life to the fullest.

However, the exact opposite is true. Focusing on creating a more fulfilling and happier life will actually increase our pay grade inside and out. Sound too good to be true?

Research has shown that satisfaction and fulfillment are key components to a successful career. Optimistic thinking leads to increased performance and accomplishment which sets us up for a more prosperous career.

Our brain performs best when we are in a positive mindset. When we feel optimistic about our future, we are more energized, focused and better problem solvers. On the other hand, when we are consumed with our problems, we are drained of our focus and energy needed to perform optimally. High performers add more value and thus take home bigger paychecks.

Living a meaningful and fulfilling life goes way beyond the monetary gains. It centers us on becoming the best version of ourselves. Leading a happier life allows us to show up more fully at home, work and in the community. As a result, we show up more powerfully as better parents, spouses, friends and employees.

It’s never too late to start creating the life we want. We all have the power and everything needed to alter our destiny. The key to doing this successfully is letting go of all of our inhibitions so that we can start working toward building a life that we absolutely love every day.

If obstacles are getting in your way, here are five ways I used to start creating a more fulfilling life:

1. Keep Healthy– A healthy mind, body and spirit is key. Treat yourself to the gift of your own attention by eating well, working out and meditating. All will help you increase optimal functioning.

2. Leave Your Comfort Zone– Seek out new opportunities. In the process, your confidence will increase allowing you to take more healthy risks. Transformation only happens beyond your comfort zone.

3. Stop Complaining– Complaining reinforces a negative state of mind and offers no solutions. Take ownership of your happiness. Next time you feel frustrated, take a few deep breaths and focus on something positive.

4. Show Your Gratitude– Write a thank you card, pick up the phone, volunteer or send someone a book they would enjoy. Tap into your heart and let others know how much you appreciate them.

5. Be Valuable– Instead of focusing on your personal success, focus on being of value. Bringing value to a relationship, business or community increases abundance and fosters reciprocity – the more you give, the more you receive.

Are you ready to create a life where you wake up energized and excited about the day ahead?

You have everything that it takes to create a life complete with happiness, abundance, and fulfillment. Looking back that promotion actually was an opportunity in disguise that transitioned me to a life beyond my wildest dreams. You can do the same. These are five ways that will help you on your journey in achieving your own happiness and fulfillment.

Everyone has pain. No one gets through life without scratches and bruises and scars. But if you can learn how to rebuild your life after experiencing intense deep pain, it becomes easier to see that pain has a purpose. Pain can lead us from being hopeless to hopeful. Here’s a story about what it takes to make a positive change in life.

How to make a positive change for a fulfilling life

If I had been in a rock band, I could have called my twenties the Destruction Tour. At 25, the tour was in full swing and I had lost grasp of reality. A diagnosis of type II bipolar and chronic depression turned out to be the headliner of the show.

Here I am eleven years later and if I passed that old me in the streets, I’d have a tough time recognizing him. He was blind to a simple guiding thought that holds your life captive like a hostage at gunpoint.

I don’t shy away from talking about my mental health battle. I use the word battle for a reason. Depression consumes every ounce of your soul. It’s like a virus that infects you, eating your will to live.

“The strongest people are not those who show strength in front of the world but those who fight and win battles that others do not know anything about.”― Jonathan Harnisch

You could be lounging on a beach in Hawaii, surrounded by friends, soaking up the tropical sun; and your mind is drowning in darkness. You can’t escape its grasp because it’s part of you as much as your eyes that read these words. It’s your filter to the world. It’s like those moments where Frodo slips on the ring and the world around him becomes an unrecognizable burning hell. Except depression doesn’t let you choose when to enter this world.

I share this image because I believe it’s important to shed light on the difference between depression and simply being sad. Being in a headspace where I believe it’s a good idea to end my life is far different than watching a YouTube video of a dog being reunited with a long lost owner. Depression is not a choice and it’s sure as hell not predictable.

Fast forward to a couple of months ago. Sitting with some friends, we dove into the skyrocketing levels of depression and anxiety that have swept over the world. I shared that there was a time where I was popping five meds a day. I was seeing a therapist weekly and a psychiatrist every couple of months. That’s to say, I wasn’t sad, I was deep in the depths of depression hell.

One of my friends who is a therapist posed the question, “Do you think you were misdiagnosed?” She knows I’m now med free and live a happy and purposeful life.

I didn’t have a great answer. I mumbled off something about not having the right tools at the time. Reflecting on what I said, I see that there’s far more to the story.

I know this isn’t what she meant, but saying I was misdiagnosed implies that having chronic depression is a forever problem. It gave me a sense of how far I’ve come over the last decade.

But it speaks to the double-edged sword of labels. A diagnosis can be liberating, or it can make you believe you’re somehow broken beyond repair.

It’s like looking at a long-forgotten Chevy Camaro buried away in a barn. One person sees it as an opportunity to restore it to its glory. Another person sees it as a burden and calls up a junkyard to have it crushed.

The Only Way to Make Positive Change in Your Life

How to make a positive change for a fulfilling life

📌It is in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped.

There was one single decision that changed my life forever!

This may sound over-simplistic, because how can a single decision shape the trajectory of your life? Many of us don’t grasp what it is to make a decision. The word decision comes from the Latin meaning “to cut off.” Making a decision is about cutting off all other choices.

I made a decision to stop wasting energy fighting where I was in the present moment. I took control of my life by investing the energy in where I wanted to go. Making the decision took place in a second. Reaping the rewards took years.

In the same way that you can look at a night sky and connect the stars to create any number of beautiful constellations, I now have the ability to see my life in much the same way.

Author and Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl refers to these moments as being in an existential vacuum. With depression, we wake up with an inability to find or create meaning in our lives. This is where those feelings of emptiness, alienation, and aimlessness come from. Without a destination or something to give us a sense of purpose, we’re left without a will to live. We’re an actor in a movie without a plot.

It’s been an emotional rollercoaster ride and a lot of moments that could be seen as setbacks. But I’ve held to the decision to let go of everything from the past that does not serve me at this moment, and to be grateful it brought me to where I am now—to this new beginning.

What’s something about the present moment that makes it the perfect time to begin – again? Share your thoughts in the comments.

How to make a positive change for a fulfilling life

There are many positive actions and habits we know we should do, like working out, eating healthily and not spending beyond our means. We know the big things that will make our lives better, but the fact that they’re big tasks means they can feel daunting or overwhelming.

And so we easily give up on them.

Life isn’t always about big, bold milestones. It’s also about the little things that can bring you a more positive and fulfilling lifestyle.

If you feel the same way, then you should know that there are small positive changes you can still do to make your life better. Pick one thing from the list below and test it out. If you like it and it’s becoming a regular habit, add another one in.

And the best thing about these small changes? They require no extra money or prep time.

So, what are you waiting for? Scroll down the list, pick a number and start making positive changes.

1. Get up and go to bed at the same time every day as much as you can. However, a spontaneous wild night out every now and then won’t hurt anyone.

How to make a positive change for a fulfilling life

2. Watch some comedy every day. This is one way to keep those laughter muscles warmed up.

3. Have a healthy breakfast to set yourself up well for the day. Oatmeal with fruits, a smoothie or even a homemade granola will do.

4. Consider playing the songs you love as you’re getting ready in the morning. It will give your day a great start even before you leave the house.

5. Unfollow people on Facebook. A major factor in feeling bad is comparing ourselves to other people. Seeing your high school buddy’s “perfect” holiday, kids or home isn’t going to boost your self-esteem. It’s best to remove them from your view.

6. Do something you’ve always wanted to do but haven’t had the time for. Make it simple and achievable, like dining at a particular restaurant or trying out a new recipe.

7. While you’re lying in bed at night, think of five things that went well that day. They don’t have to be big or dramatic. It can be a nice lunch, a free gift at the store or a cute baby that smiled at you. As a result, you’ll be able to train your brain to focus on the good rather than the bad.

8. Talk back to your negative thoughts. If your friend told you she’d had an unproductive day, would you respond negatively or positively? Consider it the same for yourself. Being harsh on yourself won’t help you achieve more. In fact, it can only make you feel crappy.

How to make a positive change for a fulfilling life

9. Keep a notebook and jot down all the things that make you feel alive. You’d be amazed at how this simple act can switch your brain into feeling good.

10. At least once a week, wear an outfit that makes you feel great. Wear your most fabulous clothes, underwear included. Do your hair in a style you love, put on some makeup, and head out looking good. You’ll be amazed at how differently people will treat you.

11. Send a text once a week to someone you know. Tell them why you think they’re awesome. This will boost your positivity.

12. If you want to work out but can’t find the motivation, just go for a walk. It’s better than nothing and will get your blood pumping. The best way to get fit is to see yourself as someone who works out and keeps fit.

How to make a positive change for a fulfilling life

13. Drop the word “should”. Keep an eye out for how often you say it and ask yourself if it’s making you feel better or worse. Is it something genuinely important to you? Who said you should do it? Do they know you better than you know yourself? Ask yourself these questions and you’ll know why the word won’t help you.

14. If you’re a procrastinator, introduce the “yucky task, nice task” process. It works just as it sounds. Get your yucky task done first and give yourself a reward or do a nicer task after.

15. Another positive change you can do is clear your inbox of all the newsletters you’re signed up to. Put them in a separate folder, delete them, or pare them down to just the ones you love to receive. The feeling of freedom that comes from an uncluttered inbox is worth more than the sporadic, fleeting bonus you might get from one of your newsletters.

16. Add one more piece of fruit into your day. Try to mix it up with the usual ones you have every day. Make it a daily challenge to see the different kinds of fruit you can eat. In addition to helping you start with some positive changes, it can also help you be healthier.

How to make a positive change for a fulfilling life

17. Finally, if you’re a news junkie, set a timer and allow yourself to read the news for an allotted period of time only. Our news has changed over the past few years and they’re designed to hook you in. Generally, we feel worse after watching story upon story of terror and bad news, so limit your exposure. If you’re not a news junkie, why not take a break from watching?

So, there you have it. These are the 17 small changes that can add up to big results. Where will you start?

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How to make a positive change for a fulfilling life

Author: Claire O’Connor

Claire O’Connor works with people who are stuck on their side-hustle, project, or business. Her accountability program (discounted until Dec 31, 2017) gets them moving. Check out her website, where you can pick up a free guide on how to achieve your long-term goals.

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How to make a positive change for a fulfilling life

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How to make a positive change for a fulfilling life

We all have dreams and goals but sometimes have a hard time actually achieving them. In order to reach your goals and dreams, you need to develop more good habits and focus on taking positive action in your life and business. Here are 8 practical things you can do to help implement positive changes in your life:

1. Make a choice to make a change. It sounds simple but deciding on doing something different or improving yourself starts with choosing to do so.

2. Choose 1 thing to change at a time. Don’t try to change everything in your life at once. Don’t put that much pressure on yourself. If you want to make big changes in your overall life like losing weight, starting to work out, keeping up with housework more and going to bed earlier, choose one area to start with. Then once you have implemented those changes, start working on the next area that you want to improve. Studies have shown that it takes 30-90 days to change our habits. Work on one area for 30 days then begin to implement other changes. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day.

How to make a positive change for a fulfilling life

3. Write about your journey. Keep a journal of your goals, your daily activities and your progress. This will help hold you accountable and makes your goals more tangible. You will also be able to reflect on past success when you are having a tough day. By committing your goals, thoughts, actions and activities to paper you will increase your chance of success. You could even start an online blog or Facebook Page to share your journey and inspire others. It will motivate, challenge and inspire you as you work to make these changes in your life. If there is someone who has made a similar change in their life, ask if they will mentor you and help hold you accountable. Maybe you have a couple friends who are also looking to make similar changes, start your own support group. Depending on what you want to change, there may already be established support groups that you can join in your own community.

4. Focus on progress, not perfection. Creating new habits and making changes doesn’t happen overnight. It can take up to 90 days to rewire a pattern loop and change the pathways of thoughts in your brain. Change can be difficult so you have to focus on your progress, not getting it perfect right from the start. Be kind to yourself and keep trying. If you fall back on old habits, forgive yourself and try again the next day.

5. Share your goals with your family and friends and let them know how they can help you. I know this one can be difficult especially if you don’t have supportive people in your life or if you have tried to make the changes before and failed. It is important that your friends and family understand your goals and how they can help you. For instance every time I have been on a diet, my family will say things like “I thought you were on a diet, you don’t need seconds” or “that cookie is not going to help your diet”. They mean well, but language and feedback like that makes me just eat more, not less. I finally had to tell them to please not make statements like that.

6. Don’t be too hard on yourself. No one is perfect and making changes in our lives can be very difficult. If you mess up, if you fall off track or if it takes you longer than you anticipated to reach your goals, that doesn’t mean you have failed. Pick yourself up and try again the next day. “Life is a marathon, not a sprint.”

7. Formulate a clear plan and create milestones. It is important to come up with a plan and to set milestones to help you in your journey of change. Take your big goal and break it down into smaller, more achievable goals. If you are trying to quit smoking, set a goal of cutting down to two cigarettes a day within 2-3 weeks, then down to 1 a day within another 2 weeks. If you want to lose 50 pounds, create a weekly meal plan and workout schedule. Set smaller goals of losing 1-3 pounds per week. If you want to keep up with housework better, set a goal to have all the laundry done and put away by Wednesday and the dusting and vacuuming to be completed by Friday instead of just saying you will get all the housework done this week. As you reach your smaller goals, you will get closer and closer to reaching your big goals!

8. Celebrate your success! Be proud of yourself for making an effort to improve your life. Do something special for yourself as you reach your milestones. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy or expensive, just treat yourself to a pedicure or a good meal from your favorite restaurant. When you reach your big goals, have a party or get together with friends, family and your support group to celebrate your success

How to make a positive change for a fulfilling life

Our external world is a mirror reflection of what’s going on inside of us all. When we change what’s happening on the inside, our external world begins to naturally follow suit. That’s when the magic really starts to happen! When we place all of our happiness in our external situations (events, people, material objects etc.) we can develop a need to control these things. The result of this can be extreme stress.

So, instead of making yourself powerless to the external, why not work on the internal, for an unshakable source of happiness that’ll stay with you no matter what may be going on in your life?

Your career, your body, your relationship… When we struggle to control and perfect these areas of our lives, we only succeed in making ourselves exhausted and feeling worse than ever. When this happens, it’s time to turn our attention inward to work on what’s really happening beneath the surface.

To begin making changes within for a changed world without, here is your go-to 6 step guide.

6 Steps For Positive Change

1. Turn Your Focus Inwards

Stop letting your perception of your external circumstances determine how you feel!

When we judge the situations, people and goings-on we see in our external world, we are giving them the power to determine how we feel. So, rather than labeling everything in your life as ‘negative’ or ‘positive’, why not try and simply accept things for what they are?

Once you learn to be ok with what you see going on outside of you, you can begin to take a closer look at what’s going on within.

Your feelings, thought patterns, emotional triggers; you need to understand that these are the things that matter and that are ultimately, within your control.

2. Create Space

How can you create change when you’ve become detached from your own being? In a fast-paced, modern age such as ours, we spend more time ‘doing’ than we do simply ‘being’.

Why is just ‘being’ so important for a positive change? For starters, when we allow ourselves to simply ‘be’ and connect with the present moment, we get the chance to work through our internal life, processing our thoughts, our emotions and creating that necessary space we all need to be happy.

So, if you’re a chronic over-doer, try setting aside time each day to do absolutely nothing. Whether you’re meditating or staring out the train window (without reaching for your phone/ipad/book etc.), use this time to examine what’s coming up in your emotional life. What have you been avoiding thinking about?

3. Observe Your Inner World

Once you’ve created the space that you need to become better attuned to your inner world, it’s time to take a closer look.

  • What predominant emotions keep coming up for you?
  • What core belief systems do you cling to?
  • What are your biggest emotional triggers?

Practice observing your emotions rather than immediately reacting to them.

For example, the next time somebody does something to make you angry, rather than react with anger or hurtful words try having an inner dialogue with yourself. ‘I’m feeling really angry and hurt. Why? What’s bringing these emotions out in me?’

By practicing improved awareness in this way and creating some space between you and what’s happening outside of you, you’ll gain greater clarity and regain control of the situation.

4. Take Each Day As It Comes

This next step sounds easy enough but is something many of us struggle to do.

Career goals, big life ambitions, 5-year plans… As a species, we have come to love nothing better than planning ahead. In fact, we probably spend so much time worrying about and planning for our futures, that we miss out on the right here and now. Not to mention the stress that we put ourselves under as a result!

Enough already. Make each new day and your ability to make it the best it can be your sole purpose. Without knowing it you will have slowly begun to build up a set of habits and productive actions that will become the building blocks on which you fulfill your dreams.

5. Find A Supportive Community

When you want to set big, positive changes in motion, who can you turn to for support? Support, whether it’s from our peers, family or friends, can be important when we are looking to become the very best version of ourselves.

So, try to connect with people that may be on a similar journey to yours. The internet, for example, can be a great place for meeting like-minded people.

6. Do The Work

Whether you want to change your entire life or want to make small but meaningful changes, you have to do the work!

Trust that once you begin to change things on the inside, your outside world will follow. Practice love over fear. Be fussy about what you give your attention to. Remember to stay in the present moment and finally, create your life, don’t react to it.

Change your life with the Law of Attraction…

How to make a positive change for a fulfilling life

It can be hard to make changes in your life, especially when you are not sure of where to start. This FREE Law of Attraction toolkit has the resources and tools to help you get started with your Law of Attraction journey.

Take a look at our Law of Attraction toolkit and receive the tools you need to start manifesting your dream life today.

  • Extensive affirmation guide and examples.
  • Dream board and life map plan and step-by-step guide.
  • Complimentary book.
  • And more!

How to make a positive change for a fulfilling life

There’s an old joke where a man says, “I really want to go to medical school, but it takes at least seven years–and I’ll be 50 in seven years!” A wise friend replies, “And how old will you be in seven years if you don’t go?”

If you’re not where you want to be in your career–or, for that matter, in your life–never let yourself believe change is impossible. Don’t allow your future to be limited by your age or your situation; stop being afraid of what might go wrong and start getting excited about what could go right.

Here are 10 ways you can begin right now to steer yourself toward a more fulfilled and happy life:

1. Address the choices you’ve made in the past and change the choices you’ll make in the future.

Life is made up of choices–some we regret, some we’re proud of, some that will hurt us. Everything in your career and your life is a reflection of a choice you have made. If you want different results, start making different choices.

2. Speak up with honesty and stop holding back what you think.

People may believe that honesty won’t win you many friends–but even if that were true, the friends you make with honesty will be the right ones. Honesty is the cornerstone of all success, without which confidence and the ability to perform cannot exist.

3. Forgo being a perfectionist. Perfect doesn’t exist.

Once you realize perfect doesn’t exist, you can ease up on yourself. There’s no harm in being wrong or making mistakes, as long as you’re willing to make corrections. Just be yourself, flaws and all, and let people see the real you. Each of us is an imperfect human being, aware that we can’t push away our failures and our flaws.

4. Acknowledge your losses and move on to your success.

Remember, winners aren’t people who never fail but people who never quit. It’s important to never let success get to your head or failure to your heart. The secret to getting ahead is to acknowledge your failures and have the wisdom to apply them to new opportunities.

5. Remember that it’s not how many mistakes you’ve made but what you learn from them that defines you.

Accept that you won’t always make the right decisions. You’ll screw up, sometimes badly. But your mistakes doesn’t mean you’ve failed, only that you’re trying and learning in life. If you are not making mistakes it means you are not trying hard enough. When you learn from them, mistakes have the power to turn you into something better than you were before.

6. Forgive those who have hurt you but change who you surround yourself with.

You can improve your life just by changing the people you surround yourself with. If there are some who have brought negativity or hurt into your life, accept that those actions cannot be changed or undone or forgotten–only forgiven. Take it as a lesson learned and surround yourself with people who support you, guide you and make you better than you already are.

7. Nurture your mind with great thoughts, for you will never go higher than you think.

What you think is what you become. And the sad truth is that that most of us are our own worst enemy, allowing our negative thoughts to hold us back. If you load up on positivity and great thoughts, you can create positive and great things for yourself. If you want to change and change fast, start by changing how you think.

8. Find success at the edge of your comfort zone.

Regardless of our hesitation or fear, humans need change to be happy. Try to do something you’ve never done every single day. Don’t be afraid to try new things and stand in your discomfort zone. If you want something you’ve never had, you have to do something you’ve never done.

9. Don’t compare your own life with anyone else’s.

A big source of unhappiness is the idea that other people’s lives are better or easier than yours. But when you compare your situation to that of others, you’re comparing your complete reality to their surface. No matter how fantastic, how happy, how brilliant everything may seem on the outside, you never know what’s going on the inside If you find yourself being jealous of someone, remember that person has struggled with hardships and insecurities just as you have

10. Eliminate the unnecessary and cultivate the essentials.

Think of all the things in your life that are important to you–the essentials–then eliminate everything else. This system helps you simplify your life and see what you should focus on. It can work for anything you have in your life, professional or personal. And just the act of letting things go will help you to simplify, to focus on what’s important, and to build the life you want.

The science of post-traumatic growth demystified.

Posted Jun 13, 2016

THE BASICS

  • What Is Trauma?
  • Find a therapist to heal from trauma

“You’re rushing around your house and you accidentally knock a precious vase to the floor. It smashes into pieces immediately. What do you do next? Do you see the vase as garbage now and throw it in the bin? Do you collect the pieces and try to put them together exactly as it was? Or do you pick up your favourite pieces from the pile and use them to create something new, like a colourful mosaic?”

These are the beautiful words of leading post-traumatic researcher Professor Stephen Joseph. They are a great representation of how adversity can lead to positive change if you choose it to.

But first, let’s be clear about a few things. Post-traumatic growth doesn’t mean that you suppress the sorrow, stress or anger you feel after a traumatic event. Neither does it mean that you seek to understand the situation right then and there when you’re in the midst of it. Last, but not least, it’s also not about denying that something was as traumatic as it was.

Instead, post-traumatic growth is about accepting the trauma as a part of who you are. It’s about accepting that it can change and evolve who you are, which is why you shouldn’t fixate on putting back those vase pieces back together exactly as they used to be. It’s also about realising that how you view the world can change, as can your experience of some of your relationships. All in all, it’s about acknowledging that personal growth can be found from the suffering that comes from trauma.

Professor Stephen Joseph talks about how this post-traumatic growth can lead to positive change in three different ways:

  1. Your perspective changes.
    You stop worrying about the nitty gritty details and start appreciating the big picture. You learn to live more mindfully and feel a stronger connection to what truly matters.
  2. Your perception of yourself changes.
    You realise you’re stronger than you ever thought was possible. You start to do things you used to be scared of doing because you feel more confident in your abilities. You start loving yourself for exactly who you are, appreciating your best qualities and accepting your limitations.
  3. Your relationships improve.
    You start to feel more gratitude towards the people you love in your life. You feel more compassion towards them and you crave deeper, more intimate relationships with them. If you’ve shared a trauma with someone, this could strengthen the connection you have between each other.

These kinds of positive changes have been observed in war veterans, natural disaster survivors, those suffering severe health challenges and sexual assault victims. They have even been reported in people following accidents, bereavement and other traumatic events – such as mass shootings.

However, the most important thing to remember is not to force this idea of personal growth and positive change upon yourself right away. You do need time to deal with the grief and frustration of it first and foremost. This is a natural first step in any healing process. Only once you have had some time and distance from the traumatic event can you start to explore its meaning in your life. You really need to feel ready and well equipped to do this – if you don’t, it’s too soon.

Once you are no longer grieving or suffering extremely negative emotions from the trauma, you can start to explore positive change in a healthy, productive way. You can do this with an incredibly powerful exercise: Pennebaker and Beall’s (1986) expressive writing exercise.

The rules are simple:

  • Do it for four consecutive days.
  • Write for 15 minutes non-stop every day.
  • Ignore spelling, grammar, punctuation and handwriting.
  • Write even when you don’t know what to write. Just keep your pen on paper non-stop.
  • Follow these directions from Pennabaker and Beall (1986):
    Write about your very deepest thoughts and feelings about the most traumatic experiences of your entire life. In your writing, I’d like you to really let go and explore your very deepest emotions and thoughts. You might tie this trauma to your childhood, your relationships with others, including parents, lovers, friends, or relatives. You may also link this event to your past, your present, or your future, or to who you have been, who you would like to be, or who you are now. You may write about the same general issues or experiences on all days of writing or on different topics each day. Not everyone has had a single trauma but all of us have had major conflicts or stressors – and you can write about these as well.

Really give yourself time and space to dive deeply into this. It may not be easy, especially at the start, but as you carry on with the four days it starts to make more sense. At the end of the four days, reflect on how you might have experienced positive change as a result of this traumatic event and how you grew from it.

Remember that it’s all about openly accepting this breakage in you and using it as an opportunity to build yourself anew. Then, as you face different types of adversities in your life, you will continuously be developing into a more resilient being. This resilience will propel you into a positive state of mind and enable you to live your most fulfilling life yet.

Turn your vicious circles into virtuous ones.

Mike dreaded an impending sales report he was scheduled to present to the department. Although the report was glowing with profit and efficiency, Mike was convinced that he couldn’t “step up” and would make a fool of himself when delivering it. He was so nervous on the day of his presentation that he claimed to be feeling ill and went home from work. “This proves it!” he thought to himself, “I really am a loser.”

A “self-fulfilling prophecy” is when one predicts an outcome and then inadvertently acts in a way that brings about the very result predicted. Usually, the term denotes the creation of negative or unfortunate events, such as failure or disappointment, or unpleasant emotional reactions, such as anxiety, anger or depression. And, because many of these undesirable outcomes tend to build on themselves and gather momentum, they often become cycles—what most of us think of as “vicious circles.”

Of course, not all self-fulfilling prophecies are negative or undesirable because some produce “virtuous circles” wherein positive predictions lead one to act in ways that achieve desired outcomes. Nevertheless, this post focuses on self-fulfilling prophecies that result in undesirable or self-defeating cycles.

In most cases, these negative cycles start with deep-seated negative and irrational beliefs, ideas, or expectations about oneself, other people, or the world. Such firmly entrenched negative beliefs are usually the product of upbringing and previous experiences and are often implanted by significant people and events.

For example, if someone grows up hearing from his or her parents that he or she is “stupid,” “incapable,” “bad,” or “unworthy,” after a while, the negative indoctrination will probably take hold and the unfortunate person will start to believe these uncomplimentary and basically inaccurate notions.

Once in place, these core negative beliefs start to give rise to a variety of equally uncharitable, irrational thoughts and expectations that take the form of negative self-talk and unpleasant mental pictures. In short, if you believe you’re bad, you’ll probably go around thinking and imagining bad things about yourself.

These negative thoughts and images, in turn, create a host of negative emotional states such as anger, depression, anxiety, guilt, and shame. Naturally, if you’re bogged down in bad feelings, it’s difficult to do things well or engage in adaptive behavior. And as a result, your actions may include social withdrawal, avoidance, dishonesty, aggression, and even drug and alcohol abuse.

The cycle continues: If you’re behaving negatively, actual undesirable outcomes are likely to happen. Poor performance, interpersonal problems, and even failure, divorce, and drug dependence can result. And the occurrence of these actual, negative outcomes serves to drive the entire cycle full circle by reinforcing the very core negative beliefs that started it off in the first place!

So, what can be done to break the cycle of these negative self-fulfilling prophecies? The solution is based on corrective thinking and corrective action.

  • Corrective thinking aims to uncover the core irrational beliefs and replace negative self-talk and upsetting mental pictures with more rational and accurate thoughts, images and expectations.
  • Corrective action encourages people to master challenges by confronting problems instead of avoiding or denying them.
  • In essence, if you learn coping strategies today, you will be better off tomorrow no matter how upset you were yesterday.

Remember: Think well, act well, feel well, be well!

Dear Reader: The advertisements contained in this post do not necessarily reflect my opinions nor are they endorsed by me. –Clifford