7 Reasons it’s Time to Move On and Embrace Change

9 Addictions 90 Percent of Us Struggle With

Change isn’t part of the process; it is the process.  The bad news: nothing is permanent.  The good news: nothing is permanent.

Today, with the help of a friend, Brian Gardner (check out his inspiring site), we made the first design change to our site in nearly a decade.

Yes, a decade.

If you think about how drastically the internet and technology has matured in the past ten years, it’s impossible not to wonder why we didn’t update our site design sooner.

All details aside – and there are plenty of them – the answer is: Resistance to change.

Sure, in the past we’ve preached about prioritizing content over design.  And yeah, it wasn’t broken, so we didn’t absolutely need to fix it.  But these rationalities were just covering up the fact that we were stuck in our comfort zones.

In this subtle, yet obvious way, we weren’t practicing what we preach.  But thankfully we finally caught ourselves and came to our senses.

And as we rolled out the new design this morning, I couldn’t help but appreciate the synchronicity of this short email from a coaching/course student that popped up in my inbox at the same exact time (I’m sharing this with permission):

“I just wanted to send a quick note of thanks.  Today marks a full year that I’ve been eating right and working out regularly, which is, as you know, something I resisted for years.  This time last year I weighed 312 pounds.  When I saw my weight on the scale at the doctor’s office I knew it was time for a change.  And after some much-needed coaching from you and Angel, a year of exercising my willpower, and using no dieting pills or gastric bands or anything, I went back to the doctor’s office for my annual check-up.  ‘199 lbs,’ my doctor said.  ‘You know, your positive lifestyle change just added roughly 10 years to your life expectancy.’  My 9-year-old daughter, who came with me, grabbed my hand and said, ‘I look forward to spending those extra years with you, daddy.’”

Wow!  Talk about a beautiful reminder to embrace positive change in your life.

Yes, you may feel resistance, like Angel and I did with our site’s redesign.  It may not be easy.  But we all have to stretch our comfort zones and move our lives forward.

The truth is, living is a risk.  Happiness is a risk.  If you’re not a little scared sometimes, then you’re not doing it right.  Don’t worry about mistakes and failures, worry about what you’re giving up when you don’t even try.  Worry about the life you’re not living and the opportunities you’re forgoing, as you merely exist in the safety of your comfort zone.  Give yourself permission to be one of the people who survived doing it wrong, who made mistakes, but recovered from them and grew into your strongest self.

That’s what I wish for Angel and me, and that’s what I wish for YOU.

So in a general sense, here are some good reasons it’s time for all of us to embrace change and move onward…

Reminder:  Have you checked out our book?  We just released a new bundle pack for “1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently” which includes our eBook, audio book, paperback and bonus material on sale for a big discount.  Click here to check it out!

  1. Everything changes, whether you embrace change or not. – If nothing ever changed there would be no sunrise the next morning.  Most of us are comfortable where we are even though the whole universe is constantly changing around us.  Learning to accept this is vital to our happiness and general success.  Because only when we change, do we grow, and begin to see a world we never knew was possible.  And don’t forget, however good or bad a situation is now, it will change.  That’s the one thing you can count on.  So embrace it, and realize that change happens for a reason.  It won’t always be easy or obvious at first, but in the end it will be worth it. [Read more…]

9 Addictions 90% of Us Struggle With

9 Addictions 90 Percent of Us Struggle With

We are addicted to our thoughts.  We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking.

“I’m addicted!” she said.

“But didn’t you just tell me you’ve been clean for 15 years?” I asked.

“I have been,” she said.

“So what are you addicted to?” I asked.

“To doing what I shouldn’t be doing, even though I know better,” she said.  “I’m addicted to doing it the wrong way, because it’s easier and safer, and just the way I’ve always done it.  I’m addicted to letting my negativity and anger and fear get the best of me every day.  And honestly, that’s just scratching the surface of it.  But the scariest part of it all is that I know dozens of other people who are just like me in this regard.  We’re all addicts and we don’t even acknowledge it!”

Those are lines right out of a live chat session I had this morning with a coaching client and student of ours.  I’m sharing this with you (with permission) because nothing could be closer to the truth.

Almost every one of us is an addict, and what we are addicted to is…

1.  Wanting and expecting everything to be easy.

All great achievements require time and work.  Good things don’t come easy.  And patience is the only way you can endure the grey periods.

When we want things to be easy, and expect them to be, we are inevitably disappointed.  Our disappointment then motivates us to give up too soon.  And the thing with giving up too soon is you never know.  You never know whether you could have put in the effort and done something incredible with your life.  I made changes because I was sick of not knowing.  What about you?

Find the courage to [Read more…]

5 Ways to Stop Worrying About What Everyone Thinks of You

5 Ways to Stop Worrying About What Everyone Thinks of You

You could spend the whole year worrying about what other people think of you, but it wouldn’t get you anywhere.

“What’s wrong with wanting others to like you?”

That’s what several of our course members asked me in response to one of my recent course member emails.  And I’ve been asked similar questions over the years too.  So today, I want to discuss why it’s not healthy to spend lots of time worrying about what everyone thinks of you, and how to stop yourself from doing so.

In a nutshell, tying your self-worth to everyone else’s opinions gives you a flawed sense of reality.  But before we look at how to fix this, first we need to understand why we do this…

From wanting others to think we’re attractive, to checking the number of likes and comments on our Facebook and Instagram posts, most of us care about what others think.  In fact, a big part of this is an innate desire that we are born with.  It has been proven time and time again that babies’ emotions are often drawn directly from the behaviors of those around them.

As we grow up, we learn to separate our thoughts and emotions from everyone else’s, but many of us continue to seek – and in many cases beg for – positive social validation from others.  This can cause serious trouble when it comes to self-esteem and happiness.  In a recent survey we did with 3,000 of our course members and coaching clients, 67% of them admitted that their self-worth is strongly tied to what other people think of them.

As human beings, we naturally respond to everything we experience through the lens of our learned expectations – a set of deep-rooted beliefs about the way the world is and how things should be.  And one of the most prevailing expectations we have involves external validation and how others ‘should’ respond to us.

Over a century ago, social psychologist Charles Cooley identified the phenomenon of the “looking-glass self,” which is when we believe “I am not what I think I am, and I am not what you think I am – I am what I think that you think I am.”  This kind of external validation has insecurity at its core, and relying on it for even a short time chips away at our sense of self-worth and self-confidence.

The biggest problem is we tend to forget that people judge us based on a pool of influences in their own life that have absolutely nothing to do with us.  For example, a person might assume things about you based on a troubled past experience they had with someone else that looks kind of like you, or someone else who shares your same last name, etc.  Therefore, basing your self-worth on what others think puts you in a perpetual state of vulnerability – you are literally at the mercy of their unreliable, bias perspectives.  If they see you in the right light, and respond to you in a positive, affirming manner, then you feel good about yourself.  And if not, you feel like you did something wrong.

Bottom line:  When you’re doing everything for other people, and basing your happiness and self-worth on their opinions, you’ve lost your moral center.

The good news is we have the capacity to watch our thoughts and expectations, identify which ones serve us, and then change the ones that do not.

So, in order to stop worrying so much about what others think, it’s time to inject some fresh objectivity into your life, and develop a value system that doesn’t depend on others every step of the way.  Here are five things you can start doing today:

1.  Remind yourself that most people are NOT thinking about you anyway.

Ethel Barrett once said, “We would worry far less about what others think of us if we realized how seldom they do.”  Nothing could be closer to the truth.

Forget what everyone else [Read more…]

12 Toxic Beliefs You Need Out of Your Mind

12 Toxic Beliefs You Need Out of Your Mind

What we can or can’t do, what we consider possible or impossible, is rarely a function of our strengths or intelligence.  It’s often a function of our beliefs about who we are.

“The drummer in our band, Nick, is legally deaf, and has been since he was born.  But he can still hear low bass tones and feel the vibrations from the drums and other instruments.  Honestly, he’s such an incredible drummer that most people don’t believe he’s deaf.  Sometimes I can’t believe it myself.”

Those inspiring lines come right out of a live chat conversation I had this morning with Amber, one of our newest course members (she gave me permission to share this with you here).  Amber is an ER nurse by profession, but moonlights as the lead singer in a renowned local jazz band in New Orleans on Friday and Saturday nights.  And as you can tell, her drummer, Nick, is one of her greatest inspirations.

Later on in our chat session, Amber said, “You know, I hate to admit it, but I envy Nick.  I really do!  I mean, I know I could be almost as amazing as him, in so many walks of life, if I could just silence the voices in my head.”

“What voices,” I asked.

“You know, the voices constantly telling me that I’m not good enough, that I don’t have enough, that it’s too late for me, that the naysayers are always right and I’m always wrong, and so forth,” she said.

And as she got deeper into things, we ended up cutting our chat session short and jumping on the phone to flesh things out and get her thinking back on track.

But the truth is, she’s not the only one who feels this way.  Over the past decade Angel and I have coached thousands of people from around the world, with vastly different lifestyles and socioeconomic backgrounds, and most of them suffer from the same exact toxic beliefs Amber does.  So today, I want to build upon my recent article on self-limiting beliefs and share some of these with you – 12 of the most common toxic beliefs we see our coaching clients and course members struggle with, time and time again (see if you can identify with any of them):

  1. “I’m not good enough.” – Embrace all of yourself.  When you appreciate your flaws and faults, they lose their power over you.  Too many people overvalue what they are not and undervalue what they are.  Don’t be one of them.  What you experience in life starts with your perception.  In almost every case, nothing is stopping you… nothing is holding you back but your own thoughts about yourself and “how life is.”  Your perception creates your beliefs.  Your beliefs create your behaviors.  And your behaviors produce your experience. [Read more…]

10 Things You Must Give Up to Get Yourself Back on Track

10 Things You Must Give Up to Get Yourself Back on Track

If you want to grow and move on to better things, you have to give up the things that hold you back.

Last night, Marc and I received a new thank you email from a longtime reader and coaching client named Kevin (we’re writing about him today with his consent).  He said our book and life coaching sessions helped him and his wife Laura maintain a positive, intentional mindset as they struggled and grew through one of the most difficult periods of their lives.  Certain sections of his email nearly moved me to tears:

“As you know, after injuring my back, losing my job because of it, being evicted from our apartment, moving in with Laura’s parents, nursing my five-year-old through a nearly fatal bout of strep throat, I was stuck in a tragic rut for far too long.  And I was sitting on the front porch of my in-law’s house feeling sorry for myself, yet again, when my old college buddy called me crying and said, ‘Mel-Mel-Melissa, my baby girl, just died in a car wreck.’  And suddenly I felt like the lucky one.”

Kevin then went on to say, “It was the shock of my friend’s tragic loss that motivated me to review four pages of notes I had previously taken from both your book and our most recent coaching sessions.  And this time your wisdom sunk in!  Suddenly a light bulb illuminated in my mind – and it literally changed my entire outlook from negative to positive.  I suddenly realized there were people who needed me to get back up, and infinite reasons and ways to do my very best with what I had.  So I started giving up all the negative things I was thinking and doing that had been holding me back; and then I took a bold step forward, and another, and another.  And it’s been almost a year now, and I’m happy to say you were right!”

If you can relate to Kevin’s situation in any way, and you’re ready to move forward, I want to remind you that TODAY is the first day of the rest of your life.  The road ahead is wide open.  You CAN get yourself back on track!

But first, you have to…

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  1. Give up pretending that you have to be who you used to be. – When times get tough, our worst battle is often between what we remember and what we presently feel.  Thus, one of the hardest decisions you will ever have to make is when to stay put and struggle harder or when to take your memories and move on.  Sometimes you have to step outside of the person you’ve been, and remember the person you were meant to be, the person you are capable of being, and the person you truly are today. [Read more…]