post written by: Marc Chernoff

7 Questions You Are Too Scared to Ask


7 Questions We Are All Scared to Ask

It’s not about finding the right answers;
it’s about asking the right questions.

Angel and I often forget to ask the right questions.  We get so caught up in what we’re doing that we lose track where we’re going.  We settle into comfortable routines, instead of confronting the challenges our dreams demand.  Then, eventually, we lift our heads to the realization that the environment we’ve settled into leads to the answers to someone else’s dream.

And that’s when we catch ourselves – time to take a break, regroup, and ask ourselves the scary questions we’ve been avoiding.

1.  Based on my daily routines and actions, where can I expect to be in five years?

This is your life story and you are the only author.  If you’re feeling like you’ve been stuck in the same setting for too long, it’s time to start writing a new chapter of your life.  The plot structure is simple:  Doing nothing gets you nothing.  Doing the wrong things gets you the wrong things.  Doing the same things gets you the same things.  Your story only changes when you make changes.

If you have an idea about what you want the next chapter of your life to look like, you have to DO things that support this idea.  An idea, after all, isn’t going to do anything for you until you do something productive with it.  In fact, as long as that great idea is just sitting around in your head it’s probably doing far more harm than good.

Your subconscious mind knows you’re procrastinating on something that’s important to you.  The necessary work that you keep postponing causes stress, anxiety, fear, and usually more procrastination – a vicious cycle that continues to worsen until you interrupt it with ACTION.

Progress in life is always measured by the fact that you’ve taken new action.  If there’s no new action, you haven’t truly made any progress.

2.  Are the people around me helping me or hurting me?

A big part of who you become in life has to do with who you choose to surround yourself with.  And as you know, it is better to be alone than in bad company.  You simply cannot expect to live a positive, fulfilling life if you surround yourself with negative people.

Distancing yourself from these people is never easy, but it’s a lot harder when they happen to be close friends or family members.  As hard as it may be, it’s something you need to address.  To a certain degree, luck controls who walks into your life, especially as it relates to your family and childhood friends, but you decide who you spend the majority of your time with.

If someone close to you is truly draining you, be honest about it.  Be kind, but communicate your point of view.  Tell them you love them, and that you want to be around them, but you need their help.  Remember, most problems, big and small, within a family and close friends, start with bad communication.  If this other person is draining you, and you haven’t talked about it, they may not even know.

At the end of the day, you should surround yourself with people who make you a better person and distance yourself those who don’t.  (Read The How of Happiness.)

3.  How have I been draining my own happiness?

In life, you become what you repeatedly think about.  If your thoughts and behaviors aren’t helping you, they’re hurting you.  Other people and outside events can influence you, but happiness is ultimately an inside job.  You have to disconnect external influences and achievements from happiness and give yourself permission to be happy, in each moment, without the need for anything more.

This isn’t to say that you should be complacent.  You can still set goals, work hard, interact with others, and grow, but you must learn to indulge joyously in the journey, not the destination.

What you need to realize is that all you ever truly have are your thoughts towards the present moment.  Every moment is very similar; the details are just details.  If you say something like, “If I had more than what I have now, I would be happier,” you are sadly mistaken.  Because if you are not at all happy with what you have now, you will not be any happier if it were doubled.  It’s just more of the same.

The bottom line is that you have everything you need to be happy or unhappy right now.  It just depends on how you think about it.  Will you be grateful for what you have, and find joy in it?  Or will concentrate on what you don’t have, and never, ever feel like you have enough?  The choice is yours to make.

4.  What excuses am I making?

As George Washington once said, “It is better to offer no excuse than a bad one.”

Truth be told, if you are good at making excuses, you will never be good at anything else.  No matter what the obstacles are that you see in front of you, the only thing truly standing between you and what you want is the excuse you keep telling yourself as to why you can’t achieve it.

When something is a priority, it gets done.  Period.  And it’s not what we claim are our priorities, but how we spend our time each day that reveals the truth.  You can make excuses.  You can always try to wait for the perfect moment, the perfect this, the perfect that… but it won’t get you anywhere.

To get where you want to go you just have to start DOING.  It makes all the difference.  Making excuses takes the same amount of time as making progress.  (Read The Power of Habit.)

5.  What mistakes do I fear most?

As Mahatma Gandhi once said, “Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.”

When you find your path, and you know what needs to be done, you must not be scared.  You need to find the courage to make mistakes.  Mistakes lead to disappointments and defeat in the short term, but they also teach you what you need to know in the long-term.  Mistakes are the tools life uses to show you the way forward.

Someday when you look back over your life you’ll realize that nearly all of your worries and anxious fears never came to fruition – they were completely unfounded.  So why not wake up and realize this right now.  When you look back over the last few years, how many opportunities for joy did you destroy with needless fear about making a mistake?  Although there’s nothing you can do about these lost joys, there’s plenty you can do about the ones that are still to come.

6.  How have past rejections lowered my self-confidence?

NOT believing that you CAN is the biggest trap of them all.  If you don’t know your own greatness is possible, you won’t bother attempting anything great.  Period.

All too often we let the rejections of our past dictate every move we make thereafter.  We literally do not know ourselves to be any better than what some opinionated person or narrow circumstance once told us was true.  Of course, this old rejection doesn’t mean we aren’t good enough; it means the other person or circumstance failed to align with what we have to offer.  It means we have more time to improve our thing – to build upon our ideas, to perfect our craft, and indulge deeper in to the work that moves us.

Don’t let old rejections take up permanent residence in your head.  Kick them out on the street.  Realize that you sometimes you have to try to do what you think you can’t do, so you realize that you actually CAN.  And sometimes it takes more than one attempt.  If ‘Plan A’ doesn’t work out, don’t fret; the alphabet has another 25 letters that would be happy to give you a chance to get it right.  The wrong choices usually bring us to the right places, eventually.  You just have to believe in your own potential to get there.  (Angel and I discuss this in more detail in the “Adversity” and “Relationships” chapters of 1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently.)

7.  When did my life fall so far out of balance?

Be diligent and committed to what you’re trying to achieve, but also make sure you leave time for pleasure and exploration in other areas of your life as well.  It is not enough to succeed at one specific goal or to conquer one particular area of expertise; you also have to take part in the different, beautiful dimensions of your life… while you can, while there’s still time.

Lift your head up from your work every now and then and take a long walk, hold hands with your beloved, go fishing, spend time with your friends, swim, bask in the sunlight, try something new, meditate, breathe deep, or sit quietly for a while and contemplate the goodness around you.

In other words, balance yourself – work diligently toward your goals and dreams, but don’t ignore every other aspect of your life.  Keep your mind fresh, your body active and alive, and your relationships nurtured.  Do so, and the things you want most in life will come more naturally.

Afterthoughts

Life is filled with unanswered questions, but it is the courage to ask enough of the right ones that ultimately leads you to an understanding of yourself and your purpose.

You can spend your life wallowing in fear by avoiding the obvious, or asking negative questions like, “Why me?”  Or you can be grateful that you’ve made it this far – that you’re strong enough to breathe, walk and think for yourself – and then ask, “Where do I want to go next?”

Your turn…

We would love to hear your perspective.  Please pick one or more of the seven questions above and leave a comment below with your answer.

Photo by: Horia Varlan

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49 Comments

  • Thanks for another great post. We’ve been working on simplifying our lives for the past couple of years. Since to us part of being minimalists means focusing on what’s important in life, we’ve been doing a lot of contemplation of our lives. All of your points are very helpful.

  • Ah, number 6 used to haunt me all the time, or at least it did in the back of my mind. What happened in the past began to paralyze my actions in the present and I stopped taking risks. Once I realized this, letting go was much easier and I stopped buying into my own stories.

  • #6, yes, definitely a sticking point for me. I think I often set expectations so high that when I don’t reach them I start buying into everyone else’s beliefs that I need t set the bar lower. But for me, creating such lofty goals aren’t necessarily about “winning” or achieving them, but about seeing just how close I can get…sometimes I just need to remind myselt that even getting halfway up Mt. Everest is still pretty damn good!

  • Man, #5 and #6 are the big ones in my life…

    What mistakes do I fear most? - Not doing right by my family. Letting them down by not providing the money and comfort they need.

    How have past rejections lowered my self-confidence? - When I got laid off twice in 12 months in 2009, my confidence about my skills and value in my career field took a major hit. I’m gradually building it back up though.

  • #1 etc.
    Yes, I definitely feel like I’ve been stuck in the same setting and emotional place for too long. And I’d love to determinedly pursue an idea/passion or a new chapter - if only I had an idea of what I could do. All my mind is set on is: getting my kids to grow up healthily and somehow earn enough money to do so. I have not the slightest idea, no ambition, or vision, of where I want to be in five years. How can I animate my soul to come up with an inspirational idea or life plan that excites me?

  • Thank you so much for this excellent post. Questions #1 and #4 really spoke to me. I am printing them out and putting them where I can see them everyday. I’ve been struggling to make changes but I’ve been feeling stuck. Thanks for this post, it truly shed light in the darkness of my fear.

  • Number 4, “When something is a priority it gets done,” this is true of everything! Including relationships… if someone never makes the time for you, you need to move on.

  • It’s all relevant, but #2 and #4 are the biggest issues for me right now. My husband and I are in couples counseling because he’s fearful of my branching and not contributing a steady paycheck to the household income, so he’s not as supportive as I’d like, although he’s trying. And #4 is my own personal stumbling block, as I make excuses for why I can’t do the things that don’t come easily to me (i.e. making the contact phone calls I need to. NOT my strong point!)

  • Great questions. I’d add…

    Am I dedicating time every day to doing what I truly want to do?

  • #1 The very first paragraph. The story changes when “I” make the changes. I’m in a very circular pattern right now, going around the same mountain - seeking to break out and begin moving up the mountain…there are very many paths to choose from - and I disagree with #5. For me, I have looked over my life and much of my fear and anxiety has come to fruition; so much so, that I’m seeking to grip onto a past (positive) powerful force or experience - maybe even as far back as childhood - that stimulates feelings and emotions with exuberance, to use as a pattern if you will, to guide me into the right direction.

  • #7 - How difficult it is to find this and then to maintain it?

    I had forgotten, I have so stressed about a work situation that I had forgotten all else.

    I’m going out right now to walk outside in the sunshine and contemplate the goodness around me.

    Thanks… :D

  • Great questions to ask!

    I usually stay away from question number 1 because anything can happen between now and five years from now. Even though I may say “I expect to be (fill in the blank) in five years,” I could change my mind along the way, or some kind of life altering event could occur.

    I’ve asked myself question number seven a few times along with, “How did I attract this situation and/or person to into my life? What did I do?” Most people would say that the last question is coming from a place of victim hood, but I disagree. I cannot correct myself if I don’t examine my thoughts, beliefs, and actions. Of course, life happens and that could be the answer too. :)

  • Once again thanks for the thought provoking post from you M&A. Very true, some of these questions do bother us particularly 6th and 7th.

    However, I did learn that having a clear road map and a little coaching from parents and peers goes a long way in making good decisions or choices in life. Regrets over the past are nothing but some wrong choices that we made due to ignorance or arrogance.

  • Doing nothing gets you NOTHING, doing the same thing gets you THE SAME THING, doing the wrong thing gets you THE WRONG THING! The capital letters are for me and when I finish this comment I’m printing it out and posting it everywhere!

    Mahatma Gandhi said “the end is inherent in the means,” but that takes me too much thought to practice everyday. The way you said it is like a very loving slap upside the head. Thanks!!!

  • I am very much touched with your post… and most of all for me is the final AFTERTHOUGHT. Sometimes we make mistakes by following others instead of our own inner pilot lights.

  • Thanks so much for all this wisdom, Marc and Angel. How do you know that this is just what I needed to read to be in a better mood today, and it is always the perfect post I have to receive to be on the right path again.

    Infinite gratitude.

  • I need to ask these for sure. Again and again till I make a change.

  • Great questions! Almost all of them really resonate with me, but I’d like to add to #7 the importance of creativity. I believe that everyone is an artist and that if you don’t have a creative outlet, you cannot experience life fully. Right now on my own blog I am working through a series of posts on how to be an artist. Finding my creativity has added so much to my life and helped me find the balance you are talking about.

  • Having encountered and evaluated each of these question and now viewing MY answers from the perspective of my eighth decade on this planet, Q1 is the key. There is an oft-quoted phrased - I planned, God laughed. I always plan and, since I am optimistic, my plans all work out something like I planned but never exactly as I planned. But planning and then taking the steps to reach my goals has always worked best for me. The harder I work, the more my planned future will resemble my actual future. Sometimes, when I am crushed, when my plans just have not worked or some tragedy has taken my life in a different direction suddenly and without warning, I have had to reach deep inside myself to find the courage to try again. I know that everything will be okay in the end. If it is not okay, it is not the end. The twin sisters of persistence and attitude will take care of the other points. I read each of the points and then apply each of the two words and the answers jump out.

  • “Your subconscious mind knows you’re procrastinating on something that’s important to you. The necessary work that you keep postponing causes stress, anxiety, fear, and usually more procrastination – a vicious cycle that continues to worsen until you interrupt it with ACTION.”

    So true. Every time I’m without regular work, I think ‘I’ve got to find my path and work towards it.’ But then I get distracted by other work, because we need the money, and I put off trying to find my path. I wonder if we all have just one path? I sure can’t seem to figure out what mine is. Any suggestions?

  • This is a great quote that will stick with me today. I have been having several ‘why me’ thoughts lately, and this points out the need to be grateful and forward thinking. thanks.

    “You can spend your life wallowing in fear by avoiding the obvious, or asking negative questions like, “Why me?” Or you can be grateful that you’ve made it this far – that you’re strong enough to breathe, walk and think for yourself – and then ask, “Where do I want to go next?”

  • #1 the most… however they really all apply! I want to start business, however don’t do anything because of I don’t have the funds to start one. I have the ideas all laid out but feel I can’t do anything about it. This always leaves me with constant frustration and feeling unproductive.

  • Okay a few more…

    What did I do five years ago that got me where I am today? What did I NOT do five years ago that got me where I am today?

    Based on my daily routines and actions, where will I be 5 years from now? Needs some qualifiers, where only defines a space, a destination. Let’s try adding:

    Who will I be….
    How will I be…
    What will I be…
    How will my friends/family/workplace change….
    What will be my financial/emotional/mental/physcial/spiritual priorities be….

    Then try adding the antithesis, what will I NOT be..

    I did this exercize in late March while in the hospital for 5 days, and the results were amazing. By January 1, 2014 I will be well on my way to changing my life to what I want it to be…..

  • Thank you! Thank you very much for everything you taught me throughout your blog posts.

    And as for now, the most scary question I have: How do I see the beauty around me when I get too busy?

  • Marie - Thank you for your comment…It hit me hard this morning as I have been struggling with a relationship over the last several months in which the other person has slowly made less and less time for me. You are right that it is time to MOVE on.

    But for me M&A #2 - Are the people around me helping me or hurting me is my question.

    We ultimately choose who we want to have in our lives. We can wish and hope that someone will love us in return the same way that we love them but it is possible for it to never happen. We can not make someone love us. We can only love ourselves and recognize all that we have to offer. If that person is to blind to see this and is unwilling to love us we may be missing out on other relationships if we open ourselves up to the possiblity that love does exist. It hurts when you are rejected and it is sometimes hard to move on. In the end as hard as it is; it is the best thing when you invest all your heart, time and energy into a person and they can not reciprocate this back to you.

  • I was afraid to even read this! I’m trying to figure out when my life fell out of balance. It seems to when I think back to making the right decision–leaving a toxic (but well-paying) environment at my employer of 8 years.

    I left drained. Maybe my lift fell out of balance because I didn’t leave earlier?

  • Thank you! I needed this today–timing is everything. Happiness truly IS an inside job, and I often have a lot of trouble remembering that, and giving myself permission to BE HAPPY IN THE PRESENT. It’s a terrible habit, and hard to break.

  • Great timing for this post, and thank you for reminding me of what is important. Over the past few months, several of these have come in and out of my life, and it’s interesting how one can lead to another. In my case, #6 — a project I had put my heart and hopes into basically fell flat — seemed to start it all, which led to #5, fear of putting myself out there for more rejection. Then came #7 - work, work, work. I also went through #2 and moved away from a business relationship that was feeling a bit negative. A challenging year, but this helps put a perspective on it. Thanks.

  • I’m quite good at asking Q1, but not too clever at answering it…

    Martin

  • #7 I married my high school sweetheart. We would of been married 38 years in September, but he passed away 8/30/11, so that is when my life fell so out of balance. The first year was a blur, and this past year I find myself trying to take 1 step forward only to take 2 or 3 backward. It is a work in progress, but I need to get me back.

    Thank you for all of your posts. Every one of them gives me a lesson. I just need to apply them. Again, a work in progress.

  • Once again, another great post. They say change comes in threes, and whether or not these changes affect us positively or negatively is entirely up to us with our attitude and reaction to them. In the last couple of weeks (and one for several months) I’ve had three massive changes I’ve been dealing with. All of them endings I’ve been so busy mourning and grieving over that I failed to realize they were also exciting new beginnings.

    As usual, Angel and Marc, your post came at exactly the right time. It was only last night that I realized these endings just cleared room for a new adventure, something I forgot I hadn’t had and hadn’t even tried for in way too long. I had pigeonholed myself just to have the basic, physical necessities for survival that I’d forgotten how hard and long I’d worked to be free, be myself, find my own voice, live my life on my terms and say what I wanted and needed to say, without regard to what other people thought or the “rules” I’m supposed to follow to be successful.

    So for me, #7 is the big one, though they all resonate on some level. My life fell out of balance when I stopped following my heart and instincts and let my head get in the way. I took the easier path, the one that has throughout my life just fallen at my feet, though I felt no real challenge, passion or fulfillment from it, got easily burned out on it, and the stagnation and lack of growth or expansion made me nuts, which carried over into other aspects of my life in unhappy, negative, and oftentimes embarrassing ways.

    This is something else I only just realized last night, when I took a deep long look within myself and forced myself to be honest about what I really wanted and what brought me the most fulfillment, joy, sense of purpose and happiness; and what my next step would be to experience that exciting new adventure that makes life worth it and truly inspires me again.

    Though I’m tempted to wallow in the anger and regret and sorrow of all that wasted time, I’m forcing myself to focus on the good that came from it and the lessons I learned from the mistakes I made that drove me off the path in the first place.

    As for the others, #1 not so much. Someone in an earlier comment said “I planned and God laughed.” No truer words have ever been spoken. One of my biggest strengths that is also my biggest weakness when I’m not really careful is that I tend to see things ten steps ahead and struggle to bask in the current baby step in the process. I just can’t see it until I screw it up, or through divine intervention, make it through to the other side. And when I’m not careful with it, I plan and organize and obsess to make it happen and in the process, narrow my views on the “how.” Through pain and heartbreak and disappointment, and extremely hard lessons, I’ve learned that the universe has a million+ ways on the “how” to make it happen and I have to be open to receive it in whatever form it comes.

    I also realized that #6 has played a major role as well. My faith, confidence and belief in my potential and abilities have all taken a major hit and contributed to the stagnation, fear and insecurity. I’ve resolved to work on that now by diving into a completely new, unexplored writing project. It’s beyond time to be creative again. I am so ready for this new adventure and open to wherever it’s leading me.

  • I really identified with this. I have a hard time minimizing negative people from my life and I certainly struggle with maintaining a positive point of view sometimes. These are excellent, practical reminders to alter that frame of mind.

  • For the past few years I have been so out of balance I felt drained, depressed, stressed and stuck. About two months ago I asked these as well as some other questions, and summoned up the courage and faith to make some much needed changes. So far I feel much better about where I am going and what I am doing. This was a good reminder to me, and helps validate my leap of faith.

  • Oooh! Juicy questions, so good! Thanks, will share this as these are awesome triggers for getting in touch with the inner knowing and inner calling.

    Thanks!
    Bernadette :)

  • This is going to sound worse than it probably is, but because I’ve been fairly isolated for the last 8-9 months #2 has not really felt relevant to me… except perhaps that I am a bad influence on myself. ‘

    #5 Has always been confusing to me as I have an abnormally strong fear of rejection… while realizing that it is completely pointless. From the standpoint of calm collected me, I fear not finding my ‘true path’ in life more than anything else. I really need to invest more time into trying new things, or even revisit past experiments.

  • I really needed to think about these questions today. Thank you for helping me to better understand myself.

  • Thank you for this - perfect timing. #6 is plaguing me right now. I had a series of very difficult situations this past spring, and I sunk down and my confidence was completely zapped. Difficult at any age, but I then felt badly that here I am, 50 years old, and I’m feeling so incredibly insecure. The downward shame spiral kicked in, and I’m now working my way back out of it. I think resilience is a practice - we have to build it up so that it’s there for us when we need it. Many of these items speak to self-care so that we’re resilient when we need it.

  • Based on my daily routines and actions, where can I expect to be in five years? - I’ve worked pretty hard and I expect to have the life skills I need. I’m hoping to keep finding jobs that sort my personal strengths and weaknesses. I don’t have an exact place to expect where I want to be, but I hope it’s somewhere where I can still accomplish goals everyday.

    Are the people in my life hurting or helping me? - The people in my life are helping me.

    How have I been draining my own happiness? - Over-thinking, getting stressed too easily. With the help of meditation, I can be more calm. I tried it one day for 20 minutes. It really works! =D

    What excuses am I making? - Nothing I can think of.

    What mistakes do I fear most? - Not being fully independent in the future, repeating old habits, and that’s about it.

    How have past rejections lowered my self-confidence? - From people, it made me think without a certain person, I wouldn’t be happy but I’ve learned that I can be happy within myself. I’ve never been in a relationship and I’m enjoying the high benefits of being single.

    When did my life fell so far out of balance? - When I worried a lot more back then and let others speak for me. But I’ve sorted that out and moved on. I’m as happy as I can be.

  • This post stopped me dead in my tracks. So much so that yesterday when I first read the first thing on the list I actually avoided reading in full until today. Today I felt brave and I read it in full. I am glad I did this. The entire post applies to me right now. Thanks guys.

  • “Is my timeline realistic?” is a question I’ve only recently started to ask myself. I want to change so many things and do so much more. And over the last 11 months, I’ve made a lot of changes and discovered a confidence in myself that makes that hunger for change even stronger, the slow pace of change even more frustrating, and that frustration incredibly distracting. I’m slowly learning to make EFFORT to live in the present, aim at the next step not the goal, and accept that stumbling is part of traveling. I’m a slow learner, but I’m on a good path and believe I’ll get to where I’m supposed to be if I focus on my balance and keep moving. Thanks for another great post when I needed on.

  • #6 … the question I tried not to dwell too much but kept on resurfacing. It did create a dent on my self-confidence for a while since that opinionated person was a huge part of my life and I did value his perspectives. I thank you both - Marc and Angel - for a wonderful reminder that what I have to offer is far greater and more important than what other people can conceived. Much Peace!

  • Thanks Marc - You know I have never asked myself what mistake I fear most. I know that whatever it is, it is limiting me in some way. Hopefully it’s in a good way. Recently I have been inspired to do things I have not done before but have always thought of doing. Travelling is one of them and creating a new blog about my research is one of them. I’m loving the process.

  • @Christy King: Agreed. As quasi minimalists ourselves, I would have to agree that regularly reviewing what is important helps us eliminate what isn’t.

    @Vincent: Letting go lifts such a huge weight. Glad yyou made it to a better place.

    Tina: So true. Your comment reminds me of the old adage: Shoot for the moon, and even if you miss you’ll land amongst the stars.

    @J.J.: Step by step. Sounds like you’re getting there.

    @Nats: Read this article: http://www.marcandangel.com/2013/05/26/26-steps-to-living-a-life-you-love/

    @marie: I totally agree. When someone incessantly neglects you, it’s time to nurture yourself by moving on.

    @Edie: It’s sounds like you’re taking the right steps with your relationship. Truthfully, I’ve seen counseling save dozens of relationships over the years. I wish you the very best. (And the fact that you are aware of your other excuses is half the battle with overcoming them. Good luck.)

    @Patti: There’s nothing wrong with using positive points from you past to fuel your drive to make an impact in the present. Sounds like a great idea to me.

    @Amandah: Interesting insights, as always.

    @Fayaz Pasha: A little coaching always helps. Angel and I actually coach each other sometimes. Kinda crazy… I know. =)

    @All: Thank you so much for keeping the conversation alive. It’s bedtime for me now, but I’m going to jump back in here tomorrow and respond to the rest of your comments.

    PS: I have tomorrow’s post 95% written, and I love how it turned out. It’s about bridging the gap between happiness and productivity. We’ll publish it tomorrow evening, so be on the lookout for it. ;-)

  • #6 all the way. My self confidence is pretty low, and I realize the past rejections have had a big influence on that, and that those memories are warped and not necessary. But it doesn’t make it any easier to let go of them and convince myself they’re wrong. It’s like my mind has 2 distinct parts that don’t talk to each other. Must keep working on it!

  • Thanks for sharing this post.

    #6: We all make mistakes and experience failures in various aspects in life at some point but I would have to say the your biggest failure can be your biggest learning opportunity. Sure, rejection sucks but it’s a matter of feedback telling you that something’s not working so guess you really have 2 main choices.

    1) Keep doing what you’ve been doing or
    2) Learn what went wrong and could have been improved upon. You need to get the learning lesson.

    Confidence is something that can be built upon. Once you have enough competence, your confidence rises as well but if you’re going to let ONE rejection (or multiple of them) bring you down, then guess what else it life can stop you from progressing!

  • No.6 is a great point. This is an excellent article by the way. Learned a lot. I will be thinking about this for a while I think.

  • @Beverly: LOL. You’re welcome. =)

    @CJ Rising: I agree. Everyone of us has a creative side that needs to be expressed in some way. Excellent point. Thanks for bringing it up.

    @Don Yurchuk: Eighth decade, eh? I am honestly honored that someone with your life experience enjoys the thoughts I have shared here. And I love the paraphrased quote you shared. Beautiful and true.

    @Ava P: It’s all about baby steps. Keep a side hustle/passion going while you work that day job. Figure out what works and what doesn’t. How do you monetize your side hustle? Or should you? More often than not, finding “the way” is simply getting lost in the process of exploration.

    @Michelle: Read The $100 Start-up. I think it will help you find some direction.

    @David Rapp: Excellent qualifiers and insight. Thanks, as always.

    @Michelle: And yes, you hit the nail on the head. If you give and give to a relationship without getting any reciprocation, it’s time to give it a break and rethink things.

    @Todd @ Fearless Men: Honestly, realizing that things are out of balance is half the battle. Now it’s just a matter of alignment. Best of luck to you.

    @Betsy: My heart goes out to you. Dealing with the loss of a loved one is one of the worst pains I have ever experienced. I know how you feel. It sounds like you’re taking steps. Please keep stepping.

    @Melissa Webster: Thanks for sharing your insight, and your story with us. It sounds to me like you have the right mindset. Focusing on the good as you step forward is the best way to move beyond heartache from the past. Keep us posted on your journey.

    @Ragnar: I think one of the best options for you would be joining a social group that pertains to a passion or interest of yours. That might hit two birds with one stone for you. Angel and I have attended and started groups on meetup.com. Check it out.

    @Joanne: You have the strength to get through this. You may feel small at times, but you aren’t. You know this. =) Best of luck to you.

    @Greg: One small step after another. Set timelines, but more importantly, track your progress. If you’re making it, you’re doing great, even if you don’t accomplish everything in a predetermined time frame. Good luck with your endeavors.

    @All: Thanks again for keeping the conversation alive. Your insights and stories are wonderfully inspiring to me – reminders of why Angel and I write here. Hopefully, I’ll see you all in the comments section of our latest post.

  • Thank you for the great article. I’m very concerned with # 3. Once I’m happy with what I have now, I don’t want to move anywhere or set any goals. Why should I move when I’m happy here and now??? The only reason why I always did something with my life was that I started being scared of not BECOMING anyone in future. But then this FEAR did nothing good to me when I reached my goals. I’m really messed up here. I don’t know how to BE happy and still work hard towards the future. For me it is either one or another.

  • Balance. I have learned later in my life, that I never had balance but many responsibilities. I gave 100% to those responsibilities. I now realize its okay to put myself first and not feel guilty. However I must also balance being responsible but no longer have those commitments dictate my well being.

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