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Overcoming Limiting Beliefs

Limiting beliefs was the topic of my previous blog post. They’re assumptions or perceptions about ourselves and the world around us that constrain us in some way. They shape our lives and they cause problems for our mental health, but we can overcome limiting beliefs.

How Are Limiting Beliefs Shaped?

These Include:

  • Past Trauma
  • Family Belief Systems
  • Relationships With Friends or Significant Others

It was past trauma caused by bullying and betrayal while growing up. However, I took steps to overcome that limiting belief.

Identifying The Limiting Belief

The first step I took was to identify a limiting belief that wasn’t serving me, “I can’t be my real self or I’ll be judged”. When I was growing up it was a struggled to fit in when I was in school.

The long-term effects of bullying include experiencing a wide range of emotions. These include feeling angry, bitterness, vulnerable, helplessness, frustrated, lonely and being isolated from your peers. The longer you’re bullied the odds of being depressed and anxious increases. Also, you develop self-esteem issues and can lead to social anxiety.

I wrote a post about how to overcome social anxiety. If you like to view it please click on the button below. This post describes social anxiety in more detail and on a deeper level.

Challenge The Limited Belief

The next step was to challenge my limiting belief. I started to become aware that it was not factual, I just believed it was factual. For example I believed that a friendship would fall apart just like when I was in school.

I examined the so-called facts and found that I blew them out of proportion and shaped them to form a false narrative.

When this happened I started to overcome social anxiety by questioning that false narrative.

Replace The Limiting Belief

The next step is to replace your old limiting belief with a new one. I’m using my own experience as an example. I identified and challenged my belief, “I can’t be my self or I’ll be judged”, and replaced it with, “It isn’t my job to please other people”. By doing this you’ll feel like a different person, however it’s important to strengthen your new belief.

How To Strengthen Your New Empowering Belief?

Our beliefs shape our identities and our behaviors. Also, our habits as well.

When you’re transitioning into your new belief you may feel fear and resistance. This may trigger an automatic urge to do an old habit. For example, if the transition is difficult you may find yourself engaging in negative self-talk such as “This is impossible” or “What’s the point” and then give up.

It’s interesting to note that giving up is not a habit. However, you may not be aware that you’re giving up because of habits such as fear of failure, underestimating yourself or others, procrastination or laziness.

When you become aware of these habits it’s important to identify them, challenge them and replace them. For example if you’re underestimating yourself it’s best to look into why you see yourself in that way. Then take action toward changing this habit by assessing your strengths, weaknesses and talents that make you more aware of your abilities or skill up your abilities.

Conclusion

When you’re overcoming limiting beliefs it’s important to not only identify, challenge and replace the belief, but also to change bad habits that get in the way of your new empowering belief.

If you’re suffering from anxiety please click on the button below and download my free anxiety expert guide:

Sources: 

https://personalexcellence.co/blog/limiting-beliefs/

https://www.verywellfamily.com/bullying-impact-4157338

https://www.fastcompany.com/3058647/5-habits-to-get-over-self-limiting-beliefs

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Limiting Beliefs In A Nutshell

In my previous post the topic was about improving your unhealthy self-perception. However, I’d like to discuss something that’s a reflection of how you see yourself. I’m referring to limiting beliefs.

When you perceive or see yourself in a healthy way you’re more aware of who you are as a person. For example you’re more aware of your strengths, weaknesses, talents and potential and you take responsibilities for your thoughts and actions.

However, when you see yourself in an unhealthy way you’re more likely to be unsure of yourself and your abilities. This can manifest itself as a toxic belief system that inhibits your growth as a person.

If you want to refer back to my last post, please click on the button below:

What Are Limiting Beliefs?

Limiting beliefs are assumptions or perceptions about ourselves and the world around us that constrain us in some way.

We’re unaware that we end up impoverishing our lives when we follow these beliefs and this is due to a number of negative effects. They can keep us from making good decisions, taking advantage of new opportunities or reaching our full potential. 

Limiting beliefs leave you stuck in a negative state of mind. They prevent you from living the life you want. However, have you wondered where limiting beliefs come from?

Where Do Limiting Beliefs Come From?

Different things that happen in our lives shape our limiting beliefs. 

Things that shape limiting beliefs include the following: 

Past Trauma: Something traumatic that happens to you as a child can remain stuck in your psyche. When this happens it’s like a record that skips and stops you in the same place over and over.

Your Family’s Belief System: The belief system of your family plays a role in how you view and interact with the world. For example if you’re from a family that values playing it safe in life you might be convinced that you’re not good enough to any other path.

Expectations From Family: You’re raised with certain expectations. For example you’re expected to go to college and get a 9 to 5 after graduation because it’s a safe option. However, you’re more interested in starting your own business, but underlying guilt about meeting expectations and fear of judgement from family can leave you feeling stuck.

Relationships With Friends and Significant Others: Limiting beliefs can impact how you view the world. For example if you were bullied as a child in school, betrayed by a friend or were cheated on by a significant other it causes you to see all people as untrustworthy.

Types Of Limiting Beliefs

According to Inc.com there are 3 types of limiting beliefs. 

Unhealthy Beliefs About Yourself:

When you conclude that you’re a failure that won’t amount to anything in life, this belief will prevent you from being your best self.

Unhealthy Beliefs About Others:

There are limiting beliefs about everyone being out to get you, everyone is untrustworthy or manipulative it can be impossible to develop relationships.

Unhealthy Beliefs About The World:

If you believe that you can’t succeed, because the world is unfair and scary, then it will take a toll on you and make you feel stuck.

In my next post I’ll be offering tips for changing your limiting beliefs and this will include the story of my personal transformation after changing mine.

Have You Ever Had Limiting Beliefs?

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If you’re suffering from anxiety please click on the button below to download my free anxiety expert guide:

Sources:

http://changingminds.org/explanations/belief/limiting_beliefs.htm

https://business.tutsplus.com/tutorials/what-are-self-limiting-beliefs–cms-31607

https://www.lifehack.org/858652/limiting-beliefs

https://www.inc.com/amy-morin/3-types-of-unhealthy-beliefs-that-will-drain-your-mental-strength-make-you-less-effective.html

https://tomillama.com/blog/limiting-beliefs

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Is Mass Media Feeding Your Anxiety? Version 2.0


How Do You Feed Your Anxiety?

I mentioned in a previous post about the fear of the unknown. It occurs when we’re faced with something that’s unfamiliar or something we don’t understand. 

We become anxious about what that unknown thing means for our lives; most of us cope by exercising, listening to music or connecting with friends. However, there are some people who seek out information in an effort to resolve their anxiety; it may or may not be true and sometimes it ends up being misinformation that causes us to become more anxious toward that unknown thing they fear.

Misinformation refers to false or inaccurate information. Sometimes its due to errors or inaccuracies caused by false rumors, insults, pranks or embellishment; other times it’s due to disinformation caused by the deliberate falsehood by design and this includes malicious content such as hoaxes or propaganda.

If you’re feeling anxious please click on the link below and download my free anxiety expert guide:

What are the Sources of Misinformation?

Misinformation along with disinformation and propaganda has been around as long as mass communication; which began with the development of the printing press at the end of the 14th century. 

In today’s world we are constantly bombarded with mass media including the mainstream media and social media.

The mainstream media consists of news organizations and their websites. They are always competing with each other for ratings or views and they’ve always embellished news stories.

To embellish something is to add something more interesting or entertaining to add extra details to a news story, especially the ones that are not true.

Due to the rise of internet news organizations along with social media mainstream media news organizations have seen a decline in ratings among the coveted 18 to 49 year old age demographic. Not only news media, but television viewership in general. Declining viewership had meant declining quality in the form of embellishment.

Social media is emerging as the main source of news online; along with other digital technologies. Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have allowed journalists to instantly report just by using their smartphones.

Over 77 million Americans have a social media profile. Being on social media allows you to easily connect with a large audience. It’s an effortless way to connect with like minded people regardless of location with just a single click.

Observers often lack the skills and motivation to interview participants to get the full unvarnished story. This can lead to the reporting of news that’s often distorted by the observers built-in bias (prejudice), intended to inflame public opinion or to play down the impact of an event known only to the observer.

More often than not social media will only give you news and information tailored to what it thinks you want to read about.

What are the Consequences of Misinformation?

The effects of misinformation on your mental health is the same as gaslighting.

Gaslighting is described as a form of manipulation and control in which a victim is systematically and deliberately fed false information that leads them to question their own self-worth and even their sanity. It can occur as a form of emotional abuse in our personal and professional relationships, but overtime misinformation  from the media can have the same effect.

Constantly being fed false information can contribute to a victim’s sense of hopelessness and confusion and lead to mental health problems such as anxiety and depression.

An example of gaslighting by the media has been the news coverage of the Coronavirus.

According to scientists we know that the Coronavirus is officially called COVID-19; it comes from the same family of viruses as the common cold. 

COVID-19 is a new strain that has not been identified in humans; it’s zoonotic meaning its transmitted between animals and humans.

It’s recommended that to prevent the infection from spreading you need to wash your hands more frequently, cover your mouth when you cough and sneeze and to avoid close contact with anyone showing any of the symptoms listed above.

Since COVID-19 is a disease that was not previously known it’s only natural that people all over the world are experiencing anxiety and fear. I mentioned in a previous post about the fear of the unknown; it is a human instinct intended to protect you from potential threats. 

The amount of anxiety people are experiencing varies widely; since there’s an absence of clear cut resolutions many people are worrying and trying seek out more information in an effort to relieve their anxiety.

However, people seek information through the news; whether it’s through mainstream media or social media. The news is either embellished to exaggerate the story in order to get you to watch it more or the information is full of errors and inaccuracies that cause you to be in a constant state of confusion and make you feel hopeless as your anxiety worsens.

The constant negative news coverage has led to a form of collective gaslighting that’s making us more anxious than we have to be.

In a previous post I discussed the positive and negative effects of the internet and if your interested in reading that post please click below:

Don’t Want To Feed Into Your Fears? Here’s What To Do?

Focus On What You Can Control: If you’re feeling anxious and you’re seeing to resolve those feelings. Instead of using news media to try to resolve anxious thoughts you refocus your attention on what you can control, because to tell you the truth you have no control over things that are either happening or will happen. However, you are in control of how you react to what’s happening or to what you fear. 

Be Mindful That You’re Not The Only One Feeling Anxious: It’s comforting to know that you are not the only ones feeling anxious. If you’re looking to resolve your anxiety you’re better off talking about it with other people.

Mindfulness Meditation: The misinformation spread by the media can make it feel like reality is being distorted. Mindfulness Meditation helps you stay aware of what’s really going on; it protects your mental health and increases your attention span, along with helping out with slowing down racing thoughts and overwhelming feelings of anxiety.

Limit The Amount of Time You Consume Media: Limiting how much media you consume has many benefits including having a better ability to focus, having a greater sense of self-awareness and improved mental illness. It’s estimated that more than half of Americans experience stress and anxiety from watching the news, so reducing how much you watch is a positive.

Be Mindful About The Accuracy of The Information You Have: Start by empowering yourself with accurate information by fact-checking every piece of journalism you read and every headline you share on social media.

Have You Ever Felt More Anxious Trying To Find Answers To What You Fear?

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Feeling Stuck In Life (Part.2): Tips For Overcoming Stuckness

In my previous post I was discussing what it meant to feel stuck in life and why you feel stock. In today’s post I’ll be offering practical tips for overcoming the feeling of stuckness.

Why Do Some People Stay Stuck?

Many people end up staying stuck and unhappy for many reasons.

Reasons may include liking or depending on the financial stability that their job provides, they may fear change or fear failure and they may not have the education or resources to make a change.

However, there are some simple and realistic ways of getting unstuck.

Tips For Becoming Unstuck

Letting Go Of The Past: Holding on to the past, whether it’s unresolved baggage from a bad relationship, a past job or from a bad financial decision can cause us to sabotage ourselves when we start asking ourselves “What If” questions. If we look back at these memories and learn from them then let them go we can set ourselves free from baggage.

Change Your Perspective:  After letting go of the past it helps to take a break from your current situation whether you like to hike, go fishing or meditate to clear your mind in order to gain a new perspective about your life. You’ll notice that you no longer feel stuck when you learn how to perceive your life in a different way.

Take Baby Steps: Remember that small baby steps can become big things. For example, you can start reflecting on your life and start working toward what you truly want, instead of what other people want.

Explore Your Purpose: Your life purpose is what makes you feel alive. I’m referring to the you’re passionate about including a job that you enjoy doing, helping others reach their full potential or growing as a human.

Consider Hiring A Life Coach: The benefits of hiring a life coach include getting help with providing clarity, commitment and visioning your success, along with encouraging self-reflection and providing strategies and goals to suit your needs.

Learn How To Believe In Yourself Again: We learn how to believe in ourselves as we develop the courage to face inevitable obstacles, rather than getting discouraged and feeling defeated when an obstacle knocks us down.

Practice Being Hopeful: We might feel stuck, because of feelings of protective pessimism brought on by having a lot of disappointments in your life. However, when you need to change and overcome this negative way of thinking it helps to practice something that inspires hope. These include meditation, prayer or reading inspirational books.

Seek Professional Help: Some people might feel stuck because of an underlying mental health problem such as depression. I know from experience that episodes of depression can cause a change in how you perceive your life. If this is a problem that persists see a medical professional.

Conclusion 

The topic of today’s post came up a lot in conversations among my peers. Some of them are deeply indebted because of student loans, some are struggling to find affordable housing to buy or rent and others feel like they’re stuck because of lack of job satisfaction. 

There have been plenty of times in my life in which I felt stuck. I felt stuck after graduating college, because of underemployment and unsure about whether my chosen field was a good fit. I ended up going back to night school to study subjects such as college physics, computer programming and biology. Taking this small step eventually led to a better job. Its possible to not feel stuck anymore when you have the willingness to take action regardless of your situation.

Have You Gotten Stuck in Your Life?

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If your struggling with anxiety please click on the link below and download my free anxiety expert guide:

Sources:

https://www.simplemindfulness.com/letting-go-is-hard/

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Social Media’s Role In Pandemic

It’s interesting to see the human response to the COVID-19 pandemic. I’ve already discussed how being on lockdown is leading to more active sex lives, how some people cope with their anxiety through being creative and how some people are helping others in this crisis.

In part.4 I’ll be discussing how people respond to the pandemic through social media.

What is Social Media?

Social media is a term that used to describe websites and applications that enable users to create and share content or to participate in social networking. Social media platforms include Facebook, Instagram and Zoom.

Social Media! A Curse or a Blessing?

The consumption of social media has increased since the beginning of the pandemic. The role of social media has been paradoxical since this crisis started. It’s been a curse and a blessing at the same time.

It’s been a curse due to the large amount of misinformation about the pandemic that’s feeding into our anxiety. Also, before this crisis it was well documented that overuse of social media has been linked to low self-esteem, anxiety and depression.

However social media has been a blessing for many reasons as well.

Why is Social Media A Blessing?

Reasons Social Media is a Blessing Include:

  • Crowdsourcing: This involves seeking knowledge, goods or services from a large body of people through social media. Crowdsourcing is being used by organizations and individuals to raise funds to purchase Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
  • A Marketing Platform: Despite some companies preying on the COVID-19 mass hysteria, there are others providing powerful and empathetic responses to this crisis. The main responsibility of brands right now is to provide for the safety and wellbeing for not only their employees, but their customers as well.
  • A Source of Information: We never had more real time information available in the face of a worldwide event until now. Social media provides information that can provide us with a better understanding of what’s occurring and how it might impact us.
  • Virtual Medicine: Virtual medicine is helping to make access to healthcare more convenient and help those who are most vulnerable. People can see and talk to a doctor through their smartphone, tablet or computer instead of visiting the doctor’s office. 
  • Keep In Touch With Family And Friends: Platforms such as Zoom make it easier to connect with family and friends remotely. Due to lockdown and social distancing many people can’t see their loved ones face-to-face, so they’re connecting via social media. 
  • Working-At-Home: Social media is being used to keep remote workers connected with their employers while on lockdown. 

Do You Use Social Media More While Under Lockdown?

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If you’re having problems with anxiety please click on the button below and download your free anxiety expert guide:

Sources:

https://techxplore.com/news/2020-03-social-media-positive-possibilities-pandemic.html

https://khoros.com/blog/social-medias-role-during-covid-19

https://newsroom.uhc.com/open-enrollment/virtual-visits.html

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The Pandemic Response (Part. 3): People Helping People

In the past month the COVID-19 pandemic has dominated the news 24/7. It’s very interesting to see the human response to this crisis.

Breaking Apart and Coming Together

Regardless of what background you’re from, humanity is breaking apart and at the same time coming together. 

Some people push others out of the way at the grocery store, however there are people helping others in need and work together with them to achieve a common goal. 

I’ll be discussing how people are helping other people in the COVID-19 crisis.

What Are The Benefits of People Helping People?

It’s interesting that there are many benefits derived from helping other people. It’s not only a benefit to the people you are helping, but it can benefit you as well.

Volunteering your time to help other people has been linked to improved happiness, health and sense of well being.

Health benefits derived from volunteering include reduction in chronic pain, lowered blood pressure and a mental boost from connecting with your community while social distancing.

People Are Helping By:

Helping Neighbors Under Quarantine: It’s easy to fall back into old habits when you hang out with people who are perpetually negative and bring you down every time they’re around. I’ve learned to associate less with people who bring me down and associate with people that are upbeat and build me up.

Volunteers Donating Blood: All over the world there’s a blood shortage being made worse by the COVID-19 lockdown, blood drives being cancelled and people being afraid to make donations due to the fear of catching the virus. Despite everything that’s been going on many COVID-19 survivors are donating blood plasma to help seriously ill patients fight the virus.

Donating To Local Food Banks: The massive lockdown put in place to fight COVID-19 has caused mass layoffs and led to a high demand for food aid. I saw a news story about a food bank in Texas that served 10,000 families in a single day, which put a huge strain on their food supplies due to huge demand. Food banks across not only the United States, but across the world are under a lot of stress, so a lot of people including myself are making donations to local food banks. 

Engineers Offering Aid To Hospitals: When the pandemic began in March Italy was hit hard by COVID-19. Hospitals were experiencing shortages of not only PPE, but also important disposable ventilator parts such as venturi valves. An Italian start-up called Isinnova figured out how to reverse engineer venturi valves and then manufacture them using a 3-D Printer. 

Volunteers Making PPE For Medical Staff: The global demand for PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) due to the ongoing pandemic has caused a severe shortage of items such as face masks for medical staff. Volunteers have gotten together under the guidance of the  CDC (Centers For Disease Control & Prevention) to sew masks.

Have You Ever Volunteered Your Time?

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If you’re suffering from anxiety please click on the button below and download my free anxiety expert guide:

Source:

https://www.americamagazine.org/faith/2020/03/18/good-and-beautiful-things-ive-seen-amid-coronavirus-pandemic

https://www.asme.org/topics-resources/content/coronavirus-update-engineers-to-the-rescue

https://www.upworthy.com/san-antonio-food-bank-swamped

http://www.forthoodsentinel.com/living/covid-19-pandemic-causes-blood-donation-shortage/article_a66dda02-7364-11ea-9921-1be5db86de13.html

https://www.wsj.com/articles/coronavirus-survivors-keep-up-the-fight-donate-blood-plasma-to-others-11585733401

https://www.dartmouth-hitchcock.org/patient-education/sewing-masks.html

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The Pandemic Response (Part.2): Being Creative While In Lock-down

The human response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been an interesting one; one of the most interesting aspects has been the role of art in helping people cope.

This is a difficult time for all of us and it’s really easy to fall into a pit of despair. However, it’s important to learn to see a silver lining; being in quarantine or lock down can be really scary and boring, but at the same time it’s an opportunity to indulge in self-exploration.

Creative Coping

Since COVID-19 was declared a pandemic on March 11th followed by a lockdown that resulted in not only the lockdown of individuals, but also the postponing or cancelling of mass gatherings such as ball games and concerts. I’ve noticed more people are coping with their stress and anxiety by being creative. 

Creative Coping Includes:

Art: Despite the cultural sector slowing down to a halt, some people hunkering down in self quarantine have turned to art to pass the time. Forms of art, such as painting may seem trivial, but they can offer a powerful means of connection and a welcome escape from the disorienting present.

Writing: Isolation or quarantine is a great time to prioritize your mental and physical wellbeing, along with being productive. In the early 1600’s London was under a lockdown due to a bubonic plague pandemic, which led to the closing of the famous ‘King’s Men Theatre’ that William Shakespere was a shareholder in. While in quarantine Shakespere put all of his creative energy to ride out the pandemic by writing what would become his most famous works such as ‘King Lear’ and ‘Macbeth’.

Cooking: Some people I know have passed the time while in quarantine by baking and cooking. Quarantine cooking is more than just feeding yourself, it’s also about providing entertainment and relaxation.

Playing and Writing Music: During lockdown a lot of musicians are turning to social media to broadcast their music.

Photography: This is an interesting hobby to have, especially when you want to capture images of the pandemic while social distancing.

Writing For Anxiety Relief

I’m an essential full-time employee who’s not working from home. I see the silver lining in this, because if I had to be on total lock down my mental health would be a lot worse. However, during my down time after work I’ve been writing more due to the stress and anxiety caused by the pandemic.

Pandemic or no pandemic writing is a creative outlet I’ve been using since I was growing up. I’ve noticed overtime that the more stress builds up in my life the more I want to write, so due to the pandemic I’ve been very busy writing.

I’ve been working on a big project along with the blog and when I’m finished with it I’ll be launching it at the end of this month.

You have all been such an awesome audience and my big project is intended to help you become a better you.

What Have You Done While In Lock Down?

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If you’re suffering from anxiety please click on the button below and download your free anxiety expert list:

Sources:

https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/620764/productive-people-in-quarantine

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Gaining Courage in the Face of Fear

What is Courage?


Courage is the ability to do something that frightens you. It is the strength you need to face pain or grief and the strength in the face of a tornado, an earthquake or the global coronavirus pandemic.

The word courage originated from the Old French word “corage”, from the Latin word “cor”, which means ”heart”.

Why is Courage Important?


Courage is important if you want to begin something that you want to do or when you have to face a crisis. It allows you to act despite being fearful.

Courage is important for putting aside your fear of failure; especially if you have to venture off into the unknown or if you want to go for what you want. It’s important for overcoming anxiety characterized by the fear of rejection or self doubt caused by negative self talk.

Courage is more important than confidence. Confidence is very important; it comes from believing you can do something, but courage on the other hand is doing something despite being fearful.

Courage and Confidence are like yin and yang, because they depend on one another. Without courage we never develop confidence and a confident person can be brought down when facing a crisis if it weren’t for courage.

Examples of Courage?


Courage can come in all shapes and forms. It could come from you standing up for someone who’s being bullied, asking your crush on a date, racing into a burning building to save someone’s life or being courageous in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

We’ve been seeing 24/7 news coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. There’s been more of an emphasis on the negative things that many people have been doing in reaction to this crisis including attacking other people for their toilet paper or bottled water or the spreading of misinformation. 

How about the awesome people who’ve been courageous since this crisis started? 

There hasn’t been enough said about the moral courage from the doctors, nurses and other medical staff in the face of the intense challenges they’ve been facing and the one’s they’re facing right now. 

Dr Helen Chu?

It was reported that in Seattle, Washington of epidemiologist Dr. Helen Chu demonstrated great moral courage by reporting critical data to health officials despite being told by federal authorities not to. There was a group of study participants she wanted to test for coronavirus to determine if it had arrived in Washington state, however she was denied authorization. 

Despite being denied Dr. Chu still had an ethical obligation and went ahead with the testing anyway and found a teenager had tested positive for the virus despite not traveling abroad or contact history, demonstrating community spread. This information was sent to a public health official just before this teen was sent back to school. Even after all that the federal government served her with a cease and desist order. 

Volunteers Rescuing Pets?

Here is a more lighthearted example of courage.  There was a news story from Spain that I saw about pets that were left behind due to their owners getting sick with the coronavirus. A group of volunteers from the kindness of their hearts looked after these abandoned pets. If and when their owners recover and are released from the hospital they will be reunited with their pets.

How To Become More Courageous?


The examples written above show why courage is a universally admired quality that’s very important to have. 

Ways To Become More Courageous Include:

  • Face The Fear of the Unknown: Becoming more courageous can be as simple as finding the cause of your fear, questioning what the cause of it is, accepting it, riding the wave of fear and learning to embrace change.
  • Use Relaxation Techniques: Fear can be paradoxal; a little bit of fear can amp you up and transform you into your best self and at the same time too much fear can shut you down and leave you stuck. It’s important to keep your physiological responses in check and this can be achieved by using relaxation techniques such as tactical breathing and mindful meditation.
  • Learn New Skills: There are many scenarios that involve risk and danger, it pays to develop a wide range of skills such as self-defense and first aid, to automotive repair and the ability to speak a foreign language. The more knowledge of what to do when trouble arises the braver a person you will be.
  • Think of Yourself Less: The more egocentric you are, the more scared you’re going to get about taking action. Egocentrism can lead to someone becoming more self-conscious about what other people think of them when and if they make a decision. This way of thinking leads to fear and anxiety that leads to decision paralysis and inaction.
  • Form Closer Relationships: Being from a culture that’s individualized and atomized (fragmented) we’re taught that drawing strength from being part of a group is something that’s negative. In reality it can be the opposite, because having close friends and family can cause you to act in a more positive and courageous way when a crisis occurs.
  • Do Something New Once a Week: At least once a week engage in something that will make a little nervous or scared in order to keep you outside your comfort zone. This can include something simple as eating out at a restaurant that is unfamiliar, hiking on an unfamiliar trail, traveling to an unfamiliar place or studying something that is challenging.
  • Lean Into Your Role: An effective way to become less self-conscious is to start thinking about the actions you need to take to transition into your more courageous self. Overtime when you lean into the role that you need to be to help others it’s no longer just about you.

How Courageous Are You?

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If you’re struggling with fear please click on the button below:

Sources:

https://thriveglobal.com/stories/courage-a-matter-of-the-heart/

https://medium.com/better-humans/why-courage-is-more-important-than-confidence-f97865efc930

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Making Leading Edge Decisions

What Does It Mean To Make A Decision?

What is Decision Making? It’s the process of deciding something based on a logical choice from available options.

When we’re trying to make a decision we take a look at the positives and negatives of the options available, along with considering the possible alternatives. 

After looking at the available options we also must be able to forecast the outcome of the final decision. 

An important factor that’s overlooked that affects decision making is being aware or mindful of our own thoughts and emotions.

Why is Good Decision Making Important?

The cornerstone of good leadership skills is the ability to make a decision and stick to it.

Decision making is an ongoing process in every business regardless of size and also in our personal lives as well. 

Having critical thinking skills allows us to approach a problem and decide on a solution that is beneficial to not only yourself, but to other members of your organization or those close to you in your personal life.

What Influences Our Decisions?

There are a lot of factors that we’re not aware of that can influence the decisions we’re making.

These factors include:

Our Thoughts and Emotions: Our own thoughts and emotions can affect our decisions, not only the nature of those decisions, but also the speed in which they’re made. If your judgement is off due to negative thoughts that lead to anger and make you impatient and cause you to make rash decisions.

Being Hungry: It’s interesting that feelings or states of being can spill over from one area to another. This occurs a lot with our physical desires, for example when we feel hungry or thirsty it can affect the decision areas of our brains. We can feel more desire for big rewards and this can motivate us to make higher risk choices and keep wanting more.

Quality of Ventilation: This is important, because the physical environment can have an effect on our physical and mental health along with our cognitive health. For example when the level of CO2 in your workplace is increased it can cause a decrease in cognitive and mental abilities and lead to poor decision making. It’s a good idea that your work environment has adequate ventilation and plants to decrease CO2 levels.

Number of Choices: Sometimes our ability to make decisions can be affected by the number of choices we have in front of us. When we’re presented with two or more choices it’s easy to look at the pros and cons of each choice. However, if we’re bombarded with endless choices whether we’re car shopping, using dating apps or entertainment apps it leads to a paradox of choice than makes decision making more difficult.

Past Experiences: This is an interesting one. Past experiences can impact present and future decision making. These include events that happened when you’re younger that shape the way you think, act and interact with people close to you.

Familiarity: Making decisions based on factors that are familiar with is deeply entrenched in our minds without being aware of it. We not only like things we’re familiar with, but we fear and judge anything that is different.

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How Being Mindful Leads To Better Decision Making?

Decision making is not always as simple as saying “yes” or “no” and it’s not always a thoughtful or cognitive exercise, instead it can be an impulsive reaction to satisfy immediate needs.

We make decisions everyday about what we eat, when we leave for work, how often we check our smartphones or what assignment to complete. We also make crucial decisions that affect ourselves and others. Many people are not aware how important day-to-day decisions really are until they make the wrong ones. 

Sometimes we fear the unknown so much that we make bad decisions due to fear and anxiety.

Conventional decision making can only take you so far, so it’s important to learn about mindfulness.

Mindfulness is the practice of focusing on the moment-to-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations and the environment around us.

Mindfulness is one of the most powerful tools for understanding your mind and focusing your attention. It can be applied in many ways including:

Mindful Breathing:  Mindfulness involves focusing your attention on your breathing. When you’re focusing on the rise and fall of your chest or the sensation through your nostrils your breath becomes an object of concentration when you start becoming aware of your mind’s tendency to jump from one thought to another.

Finding Your Purpose: Mindfulness makes you more aware of your purpose which leads to a greater sense of direction, a valued sense of self and a more meaningful life. Once you know your purpose you get to decide whether saying “yes” or “no” to a decision will ultimately serve your purpose.

Making Informed Decisions: Mindfulness can make the decision making process a thoughtful and cognitive exercise by making us aware of our impulsivity. For example, it’s important to be informed of the full impact of a decision before it’s made rather than be impulsive and regret your decision.

Finding Balance Between the Heart and the Brain: Overtime we’ve become more reliant on the human brain alone for day to day decisions. It was never meant to be the main source of wisdom and decision making. It has tendencies to push the human body past healthy limits and may result in fear, doubt and insecurities. In my previous post I mentioned that mindfulness puts an emphasis on dropping into your heart space, by doing that the brain and heart balance each other out. The brain receives the information that we make decisions from and the heart incorporates wisdom to help make good decisions.

What Do You Do Before Making Decisions?

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Sources:

https://open.buffer.com/decision-making/

https://www.bachremedies.com/en-us/emotional-health-blog/how-do-our-emotions-affect-decision-making

https://blog.hubspot.com/sales/the-psychology-of-choice

https://www.customerservicemanager.com/decision-making/

https://ggia.berkeley.edu/practice/mindful_breathing

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/tracking-wonder/201902/mindful-approach-decision-making

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How To Benefit From Mindfulness?

What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is the practice of making a gentle effort to pay attention in a particular way that is open, receptive and non-judgemental to what you’re experiencing at the present moment.

It means to slow down to really notice what you’re doing and being intentionally aware and awake to each moment and be fully engaged in what’s happening.

Mindfulness helps promote physical, emotional and cognitive stability. 

If you’re dealing with anxiety issues please click on the link below and download my free anxiety expert guide:

How Do You Practice Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is not just about being alert to the present moment, it’s also paying attention very carefully to the environment around you. 

The things you need to consider before you start practicing mindfulness:

It Won’t Cost You Anything: It’s not necessary to buy a special cushion to sit on and you can practice mindfulness anywhere. All you need is the time and space to devote towards developing your mindfulness skills.

Don’t Worry About Quieting Your Mind: The goal of mindfulness is not for you to have an outworldly or blissful state of mind; what you’re trying to do is to pay attention to the present moment without judgement.

Your Mind Will Drift Off: Practicing mindfulness involves trying to focus on what you’re thinking at the present moment. However you’ll find that many thoughts arise including those about what you did yesterday and these may make your mind wander. Through mindfulness you become aware of this and consciously bring your focus back to the present moment.

Your Inner Critic Will Try To Take Over: We’re all guilty of listening to our inner critic in our heads more than we should. Our inner critic is in the form of negative thoughts that cause us to judge ourselves and not be aware of it. The practice of mindfulness involves intentionally focusing on a present moment without judgement, so we learn how to look at these thoughts and react to them by making mental notes on them and letting them go.

It’s All About Returning Your Attention Back To The Present Moment: Mindfulness is the practice that uses the sensation of the breath as an anchor to the present moment. Our minds have the tendency to wander into random thoughts, this is why mindfulness is the practice of returning to our breath over and over again when we’re trying to refocus.

Sometimes the terms mindfulness and meditation are used interchangeably, many of us think that they’re the same, they’re not. 

Mindfulness involves intentionally focusing on the present moment, while meditation is a mental exercise that involves relaxation, focus and awareness; its practiced individually in a still seated position and with your eyes closed.

The practice of meditation leads to the enriching of mindfulness.

What are the Benefits of Mindfulness?

The practice of mindfulness has many benefits including:

Being Able to Make Better Decisions: The mind has tendencies to wander toward unconscious thoughts such as ruminations, emotions and memories that can trigger feelings and reactions that cloud our judgement. Being mindful is becoming aware of these thoughts and the inner workings of your own mind and making you a better decision maker.

Improves mental health: Mindfulness is a practice that’s an integrative approach that helps people manage thoughts and feelings that cause mental health problems.

Improves Physical Health: Scientists have discovered that mindfulness techniques have physical health benefits including stress relief, lowering blood pressure, reduction of chronic pain and relieving gastrointestinal problems.

Increases Attention: Mindfulness along with other treatments can help you develop inner skills that promote your ability to control your attention by strengthening your ability to self observe and develop different relationships to experiences that are stressful.

Helps You Sleep: The world we live in can be stressful; at work we have tight deadlines, along with being anxious about job security. Stress can affect sleep quality and incorporating mindfulness into our daily routine can help us sleep better.

Improves Relationships: Since mindfulness increases the awareness of our thoughts and actions it’s great for improving relationships. 

What Makes a Mindful Mastermind?

A mastermind is described as someone who has an outstanding intellect or someone who plans and directs an ingenious and complex enterprise.  People from different walks of life can be described as masterminds such as inventors, intellectuals and famous geniuses such as Albert Einstein. 

Being intelligent or smart means that you have an easier time processing and understanding information. 

Most people think that intelligence and wisdom are one and the same. 

Wisdom is the soundness of an action or decision with regard to the application of experience, knowledge and good judgement. 

When a form of practical wisdom such as mindfulness teaches you how to think about and apply what you have learned. 

Sometimes we learn things that cause our minds to wander toward negative thoughts that contribute to limiting beliefs and anxiety that we try to control. Mindfulness makes you aware that this is happening, you accept what is happening and lose yourself within your heart space when you’re feeling inner peace after letting go of negative thoughts that don’t serve you.

What Do You Do To Create Mindfulness In Your Day?

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Sources:

https://youmatter.world/en/definition/what-is-mindfulness-definition/

https://www.mindful.org/how-to-practice-mindfulness/

https://www.fastcompany.com/90420954/how-mindfulness-improves-decision-making