It is nearly impossible for anyone, even the most ineffective among us, to continue to choose a life of tedious grief after becoming fully enlightened to the fact that ineffectiveness is a choice. It is the direct outcome of unproductive beliefs and behaviors.
So here’s a quick reminder – nine things to stop believing:
1. “I don’t know what I want.”
Never let what other people expect from you dictate what you expect from yourself. Figure out what you want. Clarity about your true desires is so liberating because you get to stop proving yourself to everyone, including yourself.
When you get real about the true feelings you crave, you end up surprising yourself with an abundance of new opportunities and possibilities. Read Awaken the Giant Within.
2. “I can deal with it all later.”
Without a plan you’re going to stay where you are. It’s time to figure it out. It’s time to make a move.
You will not be judged by what you say; you will be judged by what you do. Wake up each morning determined, so you can go to bed satisfied. Have the courage and discipline today to do what is needed instead of simply what is convenient.
3. “That’s too much work.”
Life is not always easy. Wishing for a situation to be easier without taking action usually just makes it more difficult. The most effective way to handle what must be done is to do it.
The time-tested strategy for making life truly easier is to work through each challenge as it arises, persistently following through to the best of your ability. Use each challenge as an opportunity to create value and make a difference, and you’ll eventually get to wherever it is you hope to go.
4. “I don’t have the strength.”
Stand up to your obstacles and do something about them. You will find that they don’t have half the strength you think they have.
The struggle you’re in today is developing the strength you need for tomorrow. Even when you give it your best shot and you miss, it’s not a failure. Instead, it’s just another opportunity to step up to the plate and do it better next time. You are stronger than you think. Don’t give up. Read As a Man Thinketh.
5. “My relationship with someone else will solve my problems.”
The most powerful relationship you will ever have is the relationship with yourself. If you’re not comfortable enough with yourself or with your own truth when entering a relationship, then you’re not ready for that relationship. Because you are incapable of loving another unless you love yourself, just as you are incapable of teaching someone else something unless you yourself understand it.
6. “I will never forgive!”
You have to forgive.
You don’t have to like them, you don’t have to be friends with them, you don’t have to spend time with them ever again, but you have to forgive them, to let go, to let it rest, to let bygones be bygones. Because if you don’t, you are choosing to tie boulders to your ankles, which are way too heavy for your growing wings to carry.
7. “New paths and experiences are too risky.”
Have the willingness to feel the fear and do it anyway. It’s not the future that you need to be afraid of; it’s repeating the past that threatens your growth. Wouldn’t you rather attempt to do something great and learn a lesson, than attempt to do nothing and learn nothing for the rest of your life? Read Authentic Happiness.
8. “Starting over is not for me, no matter the circumstances.”
There comes a point in your life when you realize that nothing will ever be the same, and you realize that from now on, time will be divided in two parts: before this and after this.
But that’s okay. There’s no shame in starting over again, for you get a chance to rebuild things bigger and better than they ever were before, or reinvent yourself and do something you’ve always wanted to do.
9. “My unhappiness now will create happiness in my future.”
Maybe you think you’re entitled to more happiness in the future by forgoing all of it now, but it doesn’t work that way. Being happy takes as much practice as being unhappy. It’s by living with a smile that you smile more. By waiting you wait more. Every waiting day makes your lifetime as a whole a little less happy.
To be happy is to truly live. Every day you put off your life makes you less capable of living it to the fullest.
Photo by: Rick Harrison
AHHH so brilliant! Yet again you nail it!
“You don’t have to like them, you don’t have to be friends with them, you don’t have to spend time with them ever again, but you have to forgive them, to let go, to let it rest, to let bygones be bygones.”
So true… Nothing like a little tap on the mind to motivate change. Thank you!
Great post… I have one more: The belief that’s it always OK to run away… sometimes we need to learn to overcome our fear. There are things we need to stop and there are things we have to face. It is good to know when it is a good time to do one or the other.
T Hoyer says
I think lots of different things make different people ineffective, but this post does provide some practical advice on eliminating common ineffective beliefs and habits that have the potential of completely draining you.
Also, great book recommendations – I’ve actually read all three and I highly recommend them. Oh, and congrats on the release of your ebook Marc and Angel. I will grab a copy soon. I actually can’t wait to read it.
Ken [email protected] says
Beautifully written, powerfully expressed and perfectly chosen set of obstacles to getting things done and living a happy life.
“The most effective way to handle what must be done is to do it.” This is so plainly obvious and so often ignored in search of the quick fix, the shortcut to success and happiness.
Common sense that has become tragically less common.
Thanks for sharing this, Angel!
“Have the courage and discipline today to do what is needed instead of simply what is convenient.”
This quote rings true for me. Most of my life was spent as a chronic procrastinator; and to a procrastinator, convenience is king.
Or seems it anyway.
The truth is, what we see as convenient today only brings inconvenience further down the road.
Thank you for the deep insight, both in that qoute, and the rest of the article.
Vanessa, Take only Memories says
Oh dear, I am somewhat guilty of several of these. I’ve got some work to do.
Van Brown says
Angel, this is an excellent assessment. Your nine points are consistant with what becomes the mindset of so many people after they have become “educated”. The justification for believing in what we cannot do is reinforced by our institutions that would otherwise “protect” us from having to fail. That is why it’s so common to hear, and that it is also commonly accepted that: “That’s okay. You did the best you could, and that’s all that can be expected out of anyone.” Most people don’t know what their best is, or even their average, for that matter. But when our best is not good enough, maybe we should learn to expect to try something else. Thank you,
You’ve nailed it again. Its so important to build our self-awareness and improve continously on personal level.
Trái cây says
Good one. Thanks.
As always, I love your posts and find them so encouraging. A great way to start the day!! And althought you don’t post daily, i can always look back and find the one’s i personally find encouraging. One thing came to mind today… as sit here at my desk at work with a head cold, it drags me down can be depressing and I was going to ask… what do you do when your ill and feeling down because you can’t do the things you want and need to do. I think I figured it out! Take care of myself so I ‘can’ do better the next day!! I love how I’m thinking more positive these days!! Thank you.
Sheryl Kurland says
This list is so true, but tough to read because it’s hard to admit our own flaws. Sometimes it seems much easier to stew! About #6, Forgiveness, this might be helpful: “How To Truly Forgive, Once & For All” – http://www.therelationshipinsider.com/blog/?p=880
Don’t #3, 4, and 7 kind of blow #9 out of the water?
If we don’t learn to live with struggle, weariness, and fear every day, we never do get to that happy place.
If I’m missing something, please tell me…
Nice motivation… Now to practice these principles every minute of every day…
George Altman @ Mindful Matters says
Good points on beliefs. It’s important to understand how interconnected our beliefs are in determining our behavior. Beliefs are the “motivation” driving our actions. The more mindful we can become about out beliefs, the more “control” we can exercise in our choices.
When in doubt about doing the work on our beliefs, review #3
I often say the second point: “I can deal with it all later”. It is my greatest flaw, over which I have to work very hard. Maybe someday I’ll beat it. At least I hope so…
@Ken: Good to see you around here again Ken. Hope all is well at your end.
@Trevor: You’re welcome. No doubt, Angel and I struggle with procrastination sometimes too. But once we get going, we can’t be stopped. It’s all about starting. 😉
@Van Brown: Yeah, the problem is so many people are taught to believe that failure is a terrible thing. This is only the case if we quit on ourselves. It’s possible that you won’t always get the exact results you had anticipated. But that’s OK – it’s still progress as long as you learn.
@Paul: The key is to get comfortable with these things. You can still find happiness in every day even if you spend much of it working to overcome challenges. It’s a matter of appreciating your efforts, celebrating your small steps of progress, and making some time to hug a loved one, breathe deeply, meditate, star gaze, etc. Balance…
@George Altman: Excellent insight. I couldn’t agree more.
@All: As always, thank you for the feedback. 🙂
These are pretty powerful – I bookmarked this for later reference.
They make sense in our relationships with others, too, as well as with ourselves. If I don’t know what I want in a partner, I will hurt whomever I’m with now as well as myself. If I’m afraid to take chances or start over, I limit someone else’s possibilities too. And that’s just the beginning.
Thanks for laying it out plain like this. It’s good stuff.
Very true that you wouldn’t find most of these beliefs in a successful person at all, but by perchance you might find #8. This is something I’ve seen many smart people struggle with. Which could mean the dissipation of that person over time; how detrimental.
It’s nice to be wary of what to look out for, thank you 🙂
Nice concise reminder of some basic and very important truths. Thanks Angel.
I just subscribed recently, and I’m very happy I did. You write some amazing pieces of literature! Because of the things I’ve learned here I’m becoming a better person. THANK YOU!
I found this post to reinforce what I have just discovered. I have not worked in 8 years, left my home and family. We moved to Florida and live in an RV Park, which is a difficult but great change. However, I have health problems that have prevented me from doing the work that satisfies my passion for helping people such as developmentally disabled, elderly, and troubled kids and families. I recently accepted the challenge of caring for a new member of our small community. Several people had tried but found her to be to demanding. So when asked to help I said no problem. The first day I met with her I spent 8 hours with her and found she was needy, not demanding and had recently suffered some huge personal losses, while trying to cope with serious health problems.
Long story short my passion was rekindled, and as I read this post I realized how important pursuing, your passion or “purpose” is in getting up out of my chair, stop feeling sorry for myself, and believing that my limitations would keep me from doing what I was created to do.
I am happier in the last 2 weeks than I have been in years, I am procrastinating less, and just enjoying life. Fearless, assertive, and standing tall. I am able to actually respond to people in a loving, fun way.
I feel like I have come out of a cocoon and become the butterfly I am meant to be!
So I say yes step out when the opportunity presents itself, or you feel you can’t and pursue your dreams, and your passion. Read Angel faithfully!
I love how most of your posts relate to how I am feeling in life at the moment. I always look forward to these posts, thank you so much and keep on doing what you’re doing!
Definitely a lot to start practicing… so many great principles. Great article and site for life improvement.
Every concept here has had an effect on me in my life over the years.
Ion Doaga says
Really great post.
It’s amazing how people find 101 beliefes to argument why they won’t do what they have to do. I include my self in here. I get tired. I get lost in my thoughts.
Austin Jones says
Excellent points! There is to much resistance keeping us from our dreams and keeping us from using our God given talents to their fullest potential. So good.
Ezati Eric says
Well stated. I love this, thanks so much
#9 helped me a bit. I was talking to a friend on new year’s eve about how I have contributed to him and to another friend, how I have helped them, but how come my own stuff is not going forward as I wanted to?
I said that maybe someday my “happiness time” will come and he agreed. That is true, but maybe not the entire truth. #9 helped me realize that.
Awesome blog as well. I’m bookmarking this. (I’m not spamming!)
Thank you guys so much for this! I still have a lot to work on but your daily dose of inspiration really does a lot for me ^^ Cheers from France 🙂
Amanda Thomas says
I struggle with “My unhappiness now will create happiness in my future.” from time to time. It’s usually work related. I’ve just gotta keep reminding myself… I can be happy even if I don’t like what I’m working on. I SHOULD be happy.
No. 7 speaks to me. “Have the willingness to feel the fear and do it anyway.” Yes. I said to myself that it is ok to stop in the middle of the road as long as you don’t stop.
THIS IS AMAZING!
I’ve been losing my spark lately but this is helping me light that fire again.
Don’t do what I did – don’t take the positive affirmations and give them a negative tone in your own mind. I am still trying to hear words like discipline, strength, just do it, and you will be judged by your actions as part of a life-affirming context. It doesn’t get any easier as you get older!
I don’t know how you do it, but please keep on doing what you do! Whenever I get depressed/confused I open twitter and read one of your tweets, then I am off feeling motivated and ready to go. It is just unbelievable sometimes, used to take me weeks in the past.
Michael Feeley says
Thanks Marc & Angel for your compassionate words and suggestions.
You build strength here…and none of us know how strong we can truly be until we try.
I know that from my own life, because whenever I was living and working through darkness and pain I discovered I had more mental and physical strength than I ever imagined. It makes you grateful to find it.
Regarding forgiveness — I learned too that I had to forgive myself first to move out of anger and bitterness.
I’m a very trusting person and recently two people took advantage of me and my family financially. I saw that I wanted to forgive myself for trusting them in the first place. It doesn’t mean I have to forgive them for their dishonesty and greed. That is their unfortunate choice to live like that…but I saw clearly that trust is a huge value in me; something I like and continue to feel and believe in and by forgiving myself I was free of resentment and anger. Trust blooms still.
Thanks for making this clearer to me with your fresh and inspiring words.
My very best – Michael