110 Of The Best Self-Improvement Books You’ll Ever Read

source : http://liveboldandbloom.com/06/self-improvement/best-self-help-books

If you’re a self-improvement junkie like I am, you’re always looking for something inspiring and motivational to read.

Over the years, I’ve read hundreds of self-improvement books and have written a dozen or so myself. Some of the most profound “aha” insights in my life have come as a result of what I’ve learned from these amazing books.

I firmly believe you should never stop learning and growing as a person. In fact, I like to challenge my own beliefs and assumptions and read the ideas and perspectives of others in order to stretch myself.

One thing I’ve learned as a personal coach is how every element of our lives impacts the rest of our lives. You can’t change one area without it impacting everything else.

That’s why it’s important to grow and learn in all areas of your life — from your relationships to emotional well-being. With that in mind, I’ve shared some books in a variety of categories that are important to our overall happiness, peace of mind, and balance.

Here are 110 of the best self-help books that can change your life for the better:

Confidence and Self-Esteem

1. The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are, by Brene Brown

2. Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It, by Kamal Ravikant

3. Self-Esteem: A proven program of cognitive techniques for assessing, improving and maintaining your self-esteem, by Matthew McKay and Patrick Fanning

4. Building Confidence: Get Motivated, Overcome Social Fear, Be Assertive, and Empower Your Life For Success., by Barrie Davenport

5. The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance—What Women Should Knowby Katty Kay and Claire Shipman

6. The 21-Day Self-Confidence Challenge: An easy and step-by-step approach to overcome self-doubt & low self-esteem, by Ingrid Lindberg

7. Own Your Self: Master Your Character, Rise To Any Challenge, Find True Inner Peaceby Cary Hokama

8. Confidence Hacks: 99 Small Actions to Massively Boost Your Confidence, by Barrie Davenport

9. Confident You: An Introvert’s Guide to Success in Life and Business, by Steve Scott and Rebecca Livermore

10. Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself, by Kristen Neff

Happiness

11. Happiness: A Guide to Developing Life’s Most Important Skillby Matthieu Ricard and Daniel Goleman

12. 10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works–A True Story, by Dan Harris

13. The How of Happiness: A New Approach to Getting the Life You Wantby Sonja Lyubomirsky

14. Habits Of A Happy Brain: Retrain Your Brain to Boost Your Serotonin, Dopamine, Oxytocin, & Endorphin Levelsby Loretta Graziano Breuning

15. The Art of Happiness in a Troubled Worldby Howard Cutler M.D. and Dalai Lama

16. Authentic Happiness: Using the New Positive Psychology to Realize Your Potential for Lasting Fulfillmentby Martin E. P. Seligman

17. Finely Tuned: How To Thrive As A Highly Sensitive Person or Empath, by Barrie Davenport

18. Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-beingby Martin E. P. Seligman

19. The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinkingby Oliver Burkeman

20. The Geography of Bliss: One Grump’s Search for the Happiest Places in the Worldby Eric Weiner

Life Passion and Purpose

21. The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything, by by Ken Robinson Ph.D. and Lou Aronica

22. Finding Your Element: How to Discover Your Talents and Passions and Transform Your Lifeby Ken Robinson and Lou Aronica

23. Vital Signs: The Nature and Nurture of Passion, by Gregg Levoy

24. I Could Do Anything If I Only Knew What It Was: How to Discover What You Really Want and How to Get Itby Barbara Sher and Barbara Smith

25. The 52-Week Life Passion Project: Uncover Your Life Passion, by Barrie Davenport

26. Do What You Are: Discover the Perfect Career for You Through the Secrets of Personality Typeby Paul D. Tieger and Barbara Barron

27. The Passion Test: The Effortless Path to Discovering Your Life Purposeby Janet Attwood

28. A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose, by Eckhart Tolle

29. The Life You Were Born to Live: A Guide to Finding Your Life Purpose, by Dan Millman

30. Unplug: 26 People Share How They Recharge and Reconnect to Passion, Presence, and Purposeby Deb Ozarko

Simplifying and Simplicity

31. The More of Less: Finding the Life You Want Under Everything You Own, by Joshua Becker

32. The Joy of Less, A Minimalist Living Guide: How to Declutter, Organize, and Simplify Your Lifeby Francine Jay

33. 10-Minute Declutter: The Stress-Free Habit for Simplifying Your Home, by Barrie Davenport and Steve Scott

34. 10-Minute Digital Declutter: The Simple Habit to Eliminate Technology Overload, by Barrie Davenport and Steve Scott

35. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizingby Marie Kondo

36. The Cozy Life: Rediscover the Joy of the Simple Things Through the Danish Concept of Hyggeby Pia Edberg

37. Do Less: A Minimalist Guide to a Simplified, Organized, and Happy Lifeby Rachel Jonat

38. The Simple Living Guideby Janet Luhrs

39. Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Lessby Greg Mckeown

40. The Story of Stuff: How Our Obsession with Stuff Is Trashing the Planet, Our Communities, and Our Health-and a Vision for Changeby Annie Leonard

Mindfulness

41. Peace of Mindfulness: Everyday Rituals to Conquer Anxiety and Claim Unlimited Inner Peace, by Barrie Davenport

42. Mindfulness: An Eight-Week Plan for Finding Peace in a Frantic World, by Mark Williams and Danny Penman

43. Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation In Everyday Life, by Jon Kabat-Zinn

44. You Are Here: Discovering the Magic of the Present Moment, by Thich Nhat Hanh and Melvin McLeod

45. Mindfulness in Plain English, by Henepola Gunaratana

46. The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment, by Eckhart Tolle

47. A Guide to The Present Moment, by Noah Elkrief

48. The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourselfby Michael A. Singer

49. Meditation: How to Meditate: A Practical Guide to Making Friends with Your Mind, by Pema Chodron

50. Simply Tuesday: Small-Moment Living in a Fast-Moving World, by Emily P. Freeman

Overcoming Stress and Anxiety

51. The Healing Power of the Breath: Simple Techniques to Reduce Stress and Anxiety, Enhance Concentration, and Balance Your Emotions, by Brown, Richard, MD and Gerbarg, Patricia, MD

52. Dare: The New Way to End Anxiety and Stop Panic Attacks Fast (+Bonus Audios), by Barry McDonagh

53. The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook, by Edmund Bourne PhD

54. The Mood Cure: The 4-Step Program to Take Charge of Your Emotions–Today, by Julia Ross

55. Emotional Freedom: Liberate Yourself from Negative Emotions and Transform Your Life, by Judith Orloff

56. When Panic Attacks: The New, Drug-Free Anxiety Therapy That Can Change Your Life, by David D. Burns MD

57. Healing Anxiety and Depression, by Daniel G. Amen and Lisa C. Routh

58. Social Anxiety: Social Anxiety and Shyness Ultimate Guide: Techniques to Overcome Stress, Achieve Self Esteem and Succeed as an Introvert, by Lisa Kimberly

59. Color Me Stress-Free: Nearly 100 Coloring Templates to Unplug and Unwind (A Zen Coloring Book) by Lacy Mucklow, by Lacy Mucklow and Angela Porter

60. Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness, by Jon Kabat-Zinn and Thich Nhat Hanh

Healthy Relationships

61. Getting the Love You Want: A Guide for Couples, 20th Anniversary Edition, by Harville Hendrix

62. Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love, by Dr. Sue Johnson

63. 201 Relationship Questions: The Couple’s Guide to Building Trust and Emotional Intimacy, by Barrie Davenport

64. The Highly Sensitive Person in Love: Understanding and Managing Relationships When the World Overwhelms You, by Elaine Aron

65. The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts, by Gary Chapman

66. The Science of Happily Ever After: What Really Matters in the Quest for Enduring Love, by Ty Tashiro

67. How to Be an Adult in Relationships: The Five Keys to Mindful Loving, by David Richo and Kathlyn Hendricks

68. Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men, by Lundy Bancroft

69. The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work: A Practical Guide from the Country’s Foremost Relationship Expert, by John Gottman and Nan Silver

70. 47 Little Love Boosters For a Happy Marriage: Connect and Instantly Deepen Your Bond No Matter How Busy You Are , by Marko Petkovic

Developing Good Habits

71. Sticky Habits: 6 Simple Steps to Create Good Habits Stick, by Barrie Davenport

72. The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, by Charles Duhigg

73. Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, by Carol Dweck

74. Habit Stacking: 97 Small Life Changes That Take Five Minutes or Less, by Steve Scott

75. Mini Habits: Smaller Habits, Bigger Results, by Stephen Guise

76. Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard, by Chip Heath and Dan Heath

77. Change Your Brain, Change Your Life: The Breakthrough Program for Conquering Anxiety, Depression, Obsessiveness, Lack of Focus, Anger, and Memory Problems, by Daniel G. Md Amen

78. The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do to Get More of It, by Kelly McGonigal Ph.D.

79. The 21-Day Weight Loss Challenge: a deep and no BS step-by-step approach to transforming your lifestyle and get you healthy, happy & in shape, by Ingrid Lindberg

80. 23 Anti-Procrastination Habits: How to Stop Being Lazy and Get Results in Your Life, Steve Scott

Motivation and Productivity

81. Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, by Daniel Pink

82. The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph, by Ryan Holiday

83. Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, Elizabeth Gilbert

84. Self-Discovery Questions:: 155 Breakthrough Questions to Accelerate Massive Action, By Barrie Davenport

85. Start Where You Are: A Journal for Self-Exploration, by by Meera Lee Patel

86. The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8AM), by Hal Elrod

87. The Now Habit: A Strategic Program for Overcoming Procrastination and Enjoying Guilt-Free Play, by Neil Fiore

88. Zen To Done: The Ultimate Simple Productivity System, by Leo Babauta

89. Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

90. The Practicing Mind: Developing Focus and Discipline in Your Life — Master Any Skill or Challenge by Learning to Love the Process, by Thomas M. Sterner

Overcoming Challenges

91. The Emotionally Abusive Relationship: How to Stop Being Abused and How to Stop Abusing, by Beverly Engel

92. Getting Past Your Past: Take Control of Your Life with Self-Help Techniques from EMDR Therapy, by Francine Shapiro

93. Getting Past Your Breakup: How to Turn a Devastating Loss into the Best Thing That Ever Happened to You, by Susan J. Elliott

94. Healing After Loss: Daily Meditations For Working Through Grief, by Martha W. Hickman

95. Coping with Difficult People: The Proven-Effective Battle Plan That Has Helped Millions Deal with the Troublemakers in Their Lives at Home and at Work, by Robert M. Bramson Phd

96. Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened, by Allie Brosh

97. How to Survive the Loss of a Love, by Peter McWilliams and Harold H. Bloomfield

98. When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times, by Pema Chodron

99. Man’s Search for Meaning, by Viktor E. Frankl

100. Rising Strong, by Brene Brown

Health and Wellness

101. Younger Next Year: Live Strong, Fit, and Sexy – Until You’re 80 and Beyond, by Chris Crowley and Henry S. Lodge

102. Younger Next Year for Women: Live Strong, Fit, and Sexy – Until You’re 80 and Beyond, by Chris Crowley and Henry S. Lodge

103. Start Here: Master the Lifelong Habit of Wellbeing, by Eric Langshur and Nate Klemp

104. The Blue Zones, Second Edition: 9 Lessons for Living Longer From the People Who’ve Lived the Longest, by Dan Buettner

105. Healthy at 100: The Scientifically Proven Secrets of the World’s Healthiest and Longest-Lived Peoples, by John Robbins

106. Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by Travis Bradberry, Jean Greaves and Patrick Lencioni

107. The 4 Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat Loss, Incredible Sex and Becoming Superhuman, by Tim Ferriss

108. Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen, by Christopher McDougall

109. The Yoga Bible, by Christina Brown

110. Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life, by Henry Cloud and John Townsend

Do you have a favorite self-improvement book that isn’t listed here? Please add it to the comments.

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A Letter to Immigrant Parents to America

source : http://www.prolificliving.com/immigrant-parents-america/

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Dear Immigrant,

Hello. I am an immigrant too, a first generation immigrant to the US where my family and I have called home since August 7th, 1989.

I was born and raised in Tehran, Iran. When I went to highschool in South Carolina, nobody knew where my country was on the world map!! It’s embarrassing enough being a foreigner and awkward enough being a teenager, but neither compares to how foolish you feel when you get head shakes – “no clue where that is!!” – to that most dreaded questions for all immigrants: “So where are you from?”

A part of me wanted to scream at these clueless teenagers who had more than ruined my image of the perfect American teenager and say: “If you don’t know basic geography, maybe you shouldn’t be asking the question?”

My parents left Iran when I was 11 years old. We went to Turkey for a 2-week vacation that I suppose never saw the return to homeland. We lived in Turkey for three years and then immigrated to America. Truth be told, it was my dream to live here, and despite all the ups and downs, it’s turned out to be a pretty great life.

My parents have done their absolute best to raise me and my two brothers in the country of golden opportunities. As my sweet cousin put it once when we met up in NYC, our parents did the best they could with what they had. Her perspective woke me up out of my reverie where I used to see everything through my own lens. I had been questioning some of their choices in our conversation but I agree with my cousin:

Our parents did do the best they could with what they had and what they knew and they did a very fine job at that too!

My parents made more than their fair share of sacrifices in order for us to have everything, in order for us to live a better life than we would have had in our homeland. That trait of sacrifice is typical of most – if not all – immigrant families. And for that, I am most grateful. I love my parents. We have not always agreed, and the term ‘stubborn’ has been used “once or twice” to describe their only daughter, but I love them for making the ultimate sacrifice: giving up their home, friends, family, traditions, customs, familiarity, community and so much more for the hope of a better tomorrow for us kids in America.

So as an immigrant parent, I beg you not to doubt your children’s gratitude for your sacrifice and to constantly badger them with it.

Reminder: You can still grab The Positive Affirmations for Life program with more than 4 hours of audio affirmations for 7 life situations that impact your happiness and success the most.

No child wants to be reminded over and over – and yet over – again that you made a sacrifice for them. You do not do yourself or your children any favors by demanding their gratitude for this so-called sacrifice and yet I am baffled as to why this is the most typical form of punishment among immigrant parents: Driving guilt and shame into your children like nails into a wall all because of your own suffering – we won’t mention the irony of what new suffering you are creating by your actions here.

Unpleasant Fact: It’s not any of your children’s business that you made those sacrifices. You made your own choices about which your children had no say-so, no part, and thus no blame if blame must be placed. But must it? Can a loving relationship exist without blame? Imagine it. No blame. None.

A sacrifice is not meant to be easy, but if you want your children to be grateful, then just love them, accept them as they are, teach them how to like themselves, how to be responsible adults, how to create their own vision of a perfect life, and let your sacrifice pay off through their happiness.

20150624 - A strong, positive self image

Speaking of their happiness, can we talk about that for a minute?

This is really why I started writing this letter to you. I was chopping up tomatoes, cucumbers, fresh mint and onions to make a traditional Persian salad when the memory of my coaching call with a brilliant client flooded my mind. What she had said struck a chord I only know too well: She wants to make her Dad proud, she told me in between heart-breaking sobs. She wants to be successful, because failure is not an option. She wants to make a massive fortune to prove that success to her Dad, to her relatives and to the entire world because that’s the only way she knows to prove it.

Making Mom and Dad proud is not a sentiment reserved just for immigrant kids, it is something for which every child yearns. It just goes deeper for most immigrant children who have known the weight of this sacrifice and feel that they are due for a payback.

As an immigrant parent, may I ask you: Do you want your child to feel overwhelmed, doubtful of their own self-worth and success, and desperate to make you proud even if it makes them miserable in the process?

You know what, you don’t have to answer that. It’s a rhetorical question. Instead, please think about these questions:

What is it that you most want for your kids?

What is the one single desire that ruled your heart’s choice to leave your home and all you ever knew to come to the land of opportunity?

Is it for your children to be rich and famous? Is it for you to be able to call up a relative only to brag that your son or daughter lives in a big house with a big pool and a big yard?

Is it to gush to your friends that your children are now a doctor, a lawyer, an engineer, a professor at an Ivy League school or a similar “prestigious” title?

If you nodded yes, you are not alone. Rest assured that most Iranian parents would nod yes to all of the above.

But what if your children are all that and one more thing: unhappy?

Would you be okay to know that your son has made the short list of top 100 doctors in the country but he wakes up every morning dreading life and hating himself?

Would you be fine to know that your daughter has followed all the advice you laid out for her but doesn’t have a clue how to make confident decisions for herself even at the age of 25, 30 or 41?

Would you be proud if your children make the top honors roll or better yet, the cover of Forbes or Fortune or whatever other magazine out there spelling out “success by society’s standards” but that they are unhappy, deeply conflicted and even depressed?

Of course not. You are a parent! You want your children to be happy, but here’s the problem: You see their happiness through your own lens, through the struggles of your life, through the limited vision of your world, and granted that is all you have to go by but that vision may or may not be true for them. If you try to force your little angels into your own lens, into your pre-made box of “happiness & success”, you will lose the unique, special, talented, incredible individual they were meant to flourish into on their own.

Instead, what if you just guide them, love them, advise them, nurture them, show them the way and share your wisdom and let them make their own choices?

Don’t forget how impressionable your children are. Even if they argue with you, deep down, your viewpoints will affect them and even if they choose a different path to defy yours, your voice of disapproval will haunt them and cause them long-term suffering.

Now why would you do that to your own offspring? What does any of this pressure and expectation accomplish in the end? Who are you trying to impress?

So please, do not force your children into medicine or engineering or science unless they truly show interest. Do not weigh their small shoulders with the heavy weight of titles, degrees, awards, placements, higher education as absolute measures of success.

Instead, accept your children as they are, which means getting to know them for who they are. Let them show you how they are going to appreciate all that you have done for them. Love them even if they want to pursue art, photography, or no career at all. Maybe, just maybe, they know better what’s right for them.

Maybe your son will want to become a musician and your daughter will want to join the army. Maybe their first career will be a complete failure but they will learn so much that they will go on to become an icon for future generation. Maybe your son will be a great stay-at-home Dad and your daughter will be a painter for a few years before going to medical school.

Maybe they will follow your loving invaluable advice knowing that they are still making their own decision, and find that it fits them beautifully after all.

Let your children chart their own course with your teachings, but do not force them into a career or a lifestyle or a marriage if you think you know better. Because here’s the bitter truth: You do not know better!

It is not your place to decide a career or a marriage for someone else, even your own child. This is your children’s lives, not yours. You have to contend with their choices and love them for who they are. They will make mistakes but they will course correct if you have raised them right. They will fail before succeeding because that is how life works.

Teach your children the consequences of good and bad decisions, the importance of responsibility, the rewards of discipline, the fruits of hard labor, the freedom of choice – after all, you moved to America to give them that gift among others – and then trust them to make their choices, to pursue their individual little selves and to flourish into unique gems that you did not mold but instead inspired and nurtured with your love.

Your ultimate reward would be happy children who love you deeply and truly for letting them be who they were meant to be, and for being proud of them no matter how they turned out. And have no doubt that they will surprise you with creative, wonderful, and beautiful accomplishments well beyond what you had “planned” for them.

Get Confident in 21 Easy Steps

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Building Self-Esteem: 5 Simple Actions To Embrace Your Own Awesomeness

source : http://liveboldandbloom.com/06/self-confidence/building-self-esteem

“Things aren’t going well in my work. I just can’t seem to see my way out of it. Maybe I’m just a big fat failure,” said of my new clients on a call.

I felt so much empathy for her. Who hasn’t been tempted to call herself a failure, taking the circumstances of the moment and turning it in a self-description?

Our work together became first to separate her own identity from her circumstances, and then to work on the thinking and actions that would move her into a new experience.

For the entrepreneurs and leaders that I work with as a coach, maintaining good self-esteem is crucial. When you have your own business, your well-being is tied to the well-being of your business. Having an energy that is self-confident and having clarity about your own value allows you to be the person you need to be to lead.

This isn’t just true of business. In any work, and life, being able to literally lead your own life is connected to recognizing how valuable you are, and how much value you bring to other people and situations.

No matter where you are in your own self-esteem journey, taking action can be clarifying and empowering.

Here are 5 actions I’ve shared with my clients for building self-esteem:

1. Know who you are.

You are not your work or your relationships or your family.

You are You. Beautiful. Uniquely you. The holder of many gifts.

The being who deserves love and connection and joy.

To receive that experience, learn who you are. Going on a journey of self-discovery is always valuable, and it especially helps your self-esteem.

  • There are many ways to self-explore. Contemplative practices like meditation can help you get in touch with your own inner voice, your inner wisdom. Exercise in different ways, like kayaking or creative dance. Learn about yourself through something you love to do. Pick a hobby you’ve always wanted to explore and try it.
  • Make a list of the skills and qualities that you have. Sit down with your journal or computer and think of what you’re able to do, the skills and qualities you’re able to offer.

If you find this hard to do, you can ask for help. Here’s a quick way to gather the information you need.

Ask 10 people who know you and value you to provide a list of attributes that describe you. Send a quick email that explains you’re on a mission to know yourself better and learn how others perceive you. Most people will be very glad to help.

When you’ve collected all this information, you’ll have a list of the ways people see you. Some you’ll recognize. Several may be repeated. Put those at the top of your list. Others may surprise you. Those will open you to a different way of thinking about yourself and your value.

  • Know what you believe and decide how you want to show up. I work with my clients to find out what impact they want to have, what positive contribution they want to make, the legacy they want to leave behind them, even if they’re just walking out of a room. What do you value most? What do you believe is most important? When you know that, you can make great choices about how you choose to consistently show up in the world.
  • Stop the comparison game. You don’t have to compare yourself to anyone. You can choose to improve on you. There is always someone who has more than you, has done more than you, or is better at something than you. Compare yourself instead with the previous you. See how far you’ve come.

2. Value yourself first.

Part of knowing who you are is to recognize your own value. Bottom line? Others can’t value us when we don’t value ourselves. So how can you value yourself, especially if you’re not feeling so awesome about how you’re doing?

  • One way to do this quickly was recommended to me by life coach Martha Beck. Her advice was to begin with small things. Make each moment an opportunity to recognize and act on what would please you most. We all make dozens of decisions a day that are inconsequential to anyone else, but bring us joy. Choose your favorite mug instead of just picking the first one off the shelf. Skip as you walk the dog instead of just plodding along. Take time to shower and groom yourself. Wear something you think is pretty. What small thing would please you?
  • Create space for yourself each day. We can get into a habit of reacting to what everyone else wants, or what we ‘should’ be doing. Carve out even 15 minutes a day to do exactly what you wish.
  • Give yourself a good foundation for the day. Get up an hour or even a half hour early for a morning ritual of practices that support you. Meditate. Read something uplifting. Exercise. Eat a nourishing breakfast. Experiment with what feels best to you.

In the evening, reflect back on your day. Notice what went well. Celebrate your accomplishments, no matter how small. This has a cumulative effect that makes a big difference.

Whatever you choose to do as your daily practice, stay with it. Do each item in your ritual each day, even if it means just a few minutes of each. That will help you establish your new habit.

  • Prepare. If you have a difficult situation at work, then prepare for it. Research what you need to know. Practice what you’ll say. Rehearse with someone else so you can respond more easily to questions.
  • Be your own best advocate. Take control of your self-esteem. You are your own best advocate. You know what you mean and what you want. Speak up for that, in your own way, even if you’re someone who can see different points of view.

This doesn’t have to mean standing up in front of a crowd to voice your views. It can be done with writing, or a quiet conversation with one other person. Your point of view matters too. So let it be heard. You are worth it.

3. Place yourself where you can add real value.

It’s hard to flourish when you’re in a job, business, or life that doesn’t suit you. It erodes your self-esteem. When you can find the place where your greatest skills and assets can really be used, and in a way you really enjoy, then you can bring the most value.

One of the reasons that people leave their jobs and start a business is that they see where they can add more value. They want to be able to create the environment that allows them to do that.

If you suspect you’re in the wrong work or personal situation, one way out of it is to first imagine the best life you could have. An exercise I have people do is one I call, The Best Day At Work Ever! You can do this exercise with your personal life too.

To do an abbreviated version yourself, ask yourself these guiding questions about your best day. What are you doing? Where are you – city? Country? Beach? What’s immediately around you – what is the room or environment like? Who is with you? What are they doing?

Describe your best day in as much detail as you can manage. Paint yourself a really vivid picture, either with words, or literally with art supplies or using photographs that you cut out of a magazine or take yourself.

Using that vision of your best day, examine your work or life and see how well it matches up. If you see mismatches, start to make shifts by doing one thing you can do in each area to change it.

Keep going. It’s worth the effort. When you find the right place for you, you’ll really be able to flourish and your self-esteem will soar.

4. Watch your language.

We can be careless with the language we use to describe our situation. It’s easy to catch the complaint bug when you’re in the presence of people who complain.

That kind of negative, victim-based talk eats away at your self-esteem. You begin to feel that you don’t have the power to change what you don’t want.

True, many people complain because they feel powerless, but it’s also circular, where one attitude feeds the other.

Stop the victim cycle for yourself.

Refuse to use language that puts you in the role of the victim.

Speak with clarity about your positive intentions.

Perfectionism can erode self-esteem. Think and speak about what you do in terms of progress, not perfection.

Self-deprecation can be mistaken for humility, to the point that we run ourselves down in order to seem humble. Humility, to me, is the recognition that we do very little in life all alone.

We always work in concert with and in the context of what others have done. Acknowledging that is simply embracing the reality that we are not alone. We collaborate with others in many, often unseen, ways.

When you speak, give yourself the same recognition you give to others. Value your own contribution. Acknowledge your role while recognizing the shoulders on which you stand.

5. Upgrade your surroundings.

Sprucing up your surroundings can make a big difference in building your self-esteem. Surround yourself with things you love. Choose things that put a smile on your face, that feel good when you look at them.

On the fireplace mantel in my office, I keep a red metal moose from Canada. That’s the country where I lived much of my life, so it reminds me of that time, a good memory. It also makes me smile, as this particular moose has a big grin on his face!

Having few things that you love is better than having many things that don’t matter to you. We put a premium on ‘stuff’ in this culture. More stuff is seen as a good thing.

The quest for and acquisition of stuff can get in the way of your self-esteem. Release the things that you don’t love and aren’t needed. Make someone else happy by giving your released items a home with someone who will appreciate them.

When you also release what you have to do to acquire all that stuff you don’t love, you create more space for you and what you love.

When I talk about upgrading what’s around you, I’m not just talking about your physical surroundings. Who are you surrounding yourself with?

Are they people who see the good in events? Do they see even unwanted situations as feedback instead of failure? Do they believe that they can change things for the better? Do they believe in you and your ability to do the same?

When you surround yourself with people who believe and support you in your beliefs that you can make constructive changes, you create your own little micro-climate of self-esteem. To keep that micro-climate going, avoid people who are destructive to your self-esteem.

You can even become one of those supportive people! Be a contributor to that climate of self-esteem.

One last thing about your people surroundings. If you’re someone who sometimes feels like you don’t fit in, self-esteem can be a challenge.

Find people who see you as you are and celebrate that. They are out there. They don’t have to be just like you. They just have to like you and what you bring to the table.

Self-esteem isn’t something you get and hold for a lifetime. It’s a mindset, a skill that takes effort to build and maintain.

The good news is, you can learn, practice and master self-esteem, just like any other skill. Even people who have had traumatic experiences have been able to come to terms with them and move into high self-esteem.

As you take action to develop your self-esteem skills, everyone around you will benefit, and you will be changed for the better.

The post Building Self-Esteem: 5 Simple Actions To Embrace Your Own Awesomeness appeared first on Live Bold and Bloom.

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13 Reasons Alone Time Is Really Good For You

source : http://liveboldandbloom.com/05/mindfulness/alone-time

Spending time alone is not just for introverts!

We’ve all heard a lot lately about how introverts and extroverts differ. One big difference is the greater need for introverts to have alone time to recharge.

That doesn’t mean that extroverts don’t need alone time too. Whether you’re an introvert or extrovert, work from home or at an office, or have a family or not, we all benefit from having some time to ourselves.

Why is alone time such a big deal?

In our culture, we really value the hyperactive, high energy person, the one who has too much to do and not enough time. We even call people who spend a lot of time alone ‘weird’. It’s somehow not acceptable.

With the constancy of devices that give us all kinds of ways to be distracted from ourselves, silence has even become feared. Some of us really don’t want to be alone. Ever.

The thing is, having some alone time is incredibly valuable. For you, your well-being, and your development as a person. It’s valuable for your work in the world. Your alone time is even valuable to your loved ones.

Here are 13 reasons why alone time is really good for you:

1. You’re more productive.

Let’s start with what might be the most surprising one. We are busy all the time because we think that working a lot means we’re getting a lot done. Nope.

Look at the most productive people on the planet, and you’ll see that they regularly spend time doing everything but working. They take time off. They pause during the day to rejuvenate.

That’s because alone time actually increases your productivity. When you’re surrounded by people, it’s easy to get distracted. When you’re alone, you can focus more effectively and concentrate fully. You actually get more done!

Hold company with yourself so sacred that even when you are alone, you are whole. (2)

2. You have more clarity.

Filtering out all the things that come your way during the average day can be tiring. It takes energy.

When you’re alone, you can more readily decide what you want to have coming into your awareness. You can hear yourself think and sort through conflicting information.

That level of clarity is hard for most people to get when they’re in the presence of others. Finding some alone time is a quick solution to information overwhelm. You can then notice what’s most important to you.

3. Your memory is better.

According to a Harvard study, people form more enduring and accurate memories if they believe they’re experiencing something alone.

If you’re relying on your memory to do your work, absorbing the needed information alone has its perks.

4. You can do what you want to do.

If you work with people all day, or you have a family (or both!), doing your own thing is not easy. Sometimes, you even lose sight of what it is that you want to do.

Taking some alone time helps you tune in and listen to what is in you, where your wants and desires are leading you. You can even take action on it!

That freedom helps you feel lighter and more balanced. It’s nurturing.

5. You become a better problem-solver.

Albert Einstein once famously said, “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”

We can get stuck in thinking about a problem in a certain way, and can’t see the way out.

When you step away and spend some time alone, you break your pattern of thinking. Your perception and perspective shift, which often lead you to think about the problem in a new way. A solution may pop up, or you start on a new way of thinking that leads to a solution.

Solitude is for me a fount of healing which makes my life worth living.6. You’re more creative.

When it comes to fresh perspectives, alone time is crucial. When we are alone, we can more readily enter into meta-cognition, the process of thinking critically and reflectively about our own thoughts. Stale ideas become new and fresh.

Being alone means you stop absorbing other people’s ideas for a time. We often don’t realize how much other people influence us and our opinions.

As you step away from others, it gives you a chance to recognize how we are each special and unique. It allows you to give your own distinctive ideas more credence and weight.

7. You have more energy.

When you’re alone, you can truly relax and rest. You’re not being pulled in multiple directions by what’s going on around you. That resting time means rejuvenation, recharging your energy.

We often think of rejuvenating time as being big blocks of time like vacation or a night at home alone.

While those are certainly valuable, there’s benefit in mini-breaks throughout the day. If you work or live in a busy environment, even taking 5 or 10 minutes away from the hubbub to be alone is helpful.

8. You get to know yourself better.

When there’s a lot coming in from outside of you, it’s hard to listen to your own inner voice.

To get clear on what really makes you happy in small and big ways, spend some time alone. Then when you’re with people, you can really be you, not some version of you that’s just reacting to others.

One of the ways people can become unhappy is when they lose touch with themselves. Alone time is a great opportunity to really connect with who you are. We want the authentic you!

Everything that matters in our intellectual and moral life begins with an individual confronting his own mind and conscience in a room by himself.9. You can skip the need to impress others.

Whew, we can spend a lot of time trying to impress other people!

Wanting to be well thought of can cause us to hide our weaknesses and only share our strengths. That lopsided view of ourselves keeps us from connecting with people with vulnerability and sincerity. Not an easy thing to master.

Being alone gives you a break from trying to impress someone else. After getting in touch with how awesome you are, it’s a little easier go out into the world as the more rounded and real you.

10. You become more self-reliant.

When you spend a lot of time with other people, it’s easy to start acting by consensus. When you know other people’s preferences, it’s hard not to be influenced by them.

For women in particular, this can be challenging. Most of us have been brought up with the community as our focus, and to at least consider other people.

When you spend time alone, you can’t slip into seeking approval. And it keeps you away from the comparison game! You only have yourself to measure your behavior against.

11. You value the people close to you more.

After you take a break from relating, you can often return to relationships refreshed. People get the best social you!

Absence really can make the heart grow fonder, as you miss your loved ones’ company. You enjoy the time together more.

Plus, time spent on your own increases your empathy, studies have shown. You can put that to great use in the relationships that matter to you most.

12. You benefit from self-reflection.

You can choose to spend your time alone reflecting on what you value. What you value influences everything you do, whether you’re conscious about them or not.

If you become conscious about your values, you can then choose to act on them in a positive way, a way that really reflects what’s most important to you.

Self-reflection also lets you make meaning out of your experiences. Meaning making is important to your development and learning as a person.

13. You connect with your own inner wisdom.

I believe that we all have an inner wisdom, a deep knowing about what is best for us.

It is so hard to tap into that when you’re always engaging with others. Instead, taking time alone allows you to really go deep and connect with your intuition, your inner voice. Connecting with that voice is not only grounding. It’s also your best advisor.


Alone time is really valuable. Make time for it. Get up early. Close the door. Disconnect from your devices. Use your lunch time. Whatever it takes.

Many busy people even schedule alone time, because they recognize how important it is.

Now that you know the value of alone time, spend a few minutes and decide how you can build more of it into your life. It’s good for you!


Author Bio:

ursula-about-244x300Ursula Jorch mentors business owners and leaders to define their desired impact and build success on that foundation. Blending business strategy and leadership development, Ursula works with business owners and leaders to embrace their impact and empower their future. A 20-year entrepreneur, she is the founder of WorkAlchemy.com, a well-regarded speaker, and blogger.

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The Life Coaching Business And Why It Could Be For You

source : http://liveboldandbloom.com/06/life-coaching/life-coaching-business

Several years ago when I was searching for my life passion, I kept bumping into two careers that intrigued me — counseling and life coaching.

Before I began my passion search, I’d never heard of life coaching. But once it landed in my field of awareness, I started reading about coaching everywhere, hearing coaches (like Martha Beck) on television, and seeing ads for life coaches in local magazines.

I even had a session with a career coach as I was trying to figure out what to do with my life, although I didn’t know that’s what she was called at the time.

In speaking with my friends and family, I got a lot of encouragement to become a counselor or licensed clinical social worker. That certainly fit my personality type, and I’d talked for years about going back to school to get my graduate degree.

But the more I explored both career options, the more convinced I became that having a life coaching business (or personal coach) was the best path for me. It ultimately turned out to be my career passion.

First, as an English major in college, I didn’t have enough psychology credits to begin a master’s program, which is required to become a counselor. And as a mom of three kids all living at home at the time, I knew it would take several years to complete the undergraduate and graduate work required just to begin a practice.

This roadblock was daunting but not altogether off-putting. Had counseling turned out to be my ultimate calling, I would have happily gone back to school and put in the time and work.

But the time and education factor did provide enough of an impediment to entice me to look at other options — and that’s when I really began to explore coaching and how to become a life coach.

The Life Coaching Business

Many things intrigued me about coaching and the way coaches work.

First, I really liked the coaching model that emphasizes putting the client in charge of their progress, with the life coach serving as a challenger, accountability partner, and cheerleader.

Also, people who work with life coaches are generally proactive, emotionally healthy individuals who desire to do something better with their lives and take positive, growth-oriented actions. A coach really isn’t the right helping professional for those going through emotional turmoil, grief, or mental illness — or for those who don’t take action.

 

coaching career (1)

 

Because of my lifestyle with kids still at home, a life coaching business allowed tons of flexibility, as most coaches work from home and generally offer coaching sessions by telephone or Skype.

Coaching satisfied my calling to help other people, and complimented my natural abilities of active listening, empathy, discernment, intuitive insight, and good communication skills.

Once I landed on life coaching as a possible profession, I had to figure out how to become one. And believe me, there’s more information on the internet about coaching than one could digest in a lifetime. Coaching schools seem to be everywhere, and it’s hard to know the standards for what makes a reputable school.

Training To Be A Coach

Unlike counseling, coaching is not a licensed profession, which means anyone can say they’re a coach and start a practice. And anyone can start a coach training program without jumping through any professional or government hoops.

However, there is an accrediting association for coaching schools, The International Coach Federation (ICF), which holds their member schools to certain professional standards of excellence. The ICF is internally-recognized and attending an ICF accredited school adds a level of professional credibility to coaches. The ICF also has established a respected Code of Ethics for certified members who must pledge to uphold these ethical standards.

Although there are many great coaches who’ve never been to coaching school per se, for me getting professional education and certification in coaching from an accredited institution was extremely valuable and important. I was building a business around my work as a coach, and I wanted the added legitimacy of a certification from a highly regarded, accredited school

If you are considering becoming a coach and want to investigate coach-specific training, I’d definitely begin with the ICF website which lists all of their accredited training schools around the world. And you can learn more about the various levels of credentialing and types of coaches (personal, executive, health and wellness, career, business, etc.).

I ultimately decided on Coach U, one of the oldest and most highly-regarded training programs. The training was extensive and invaluable, as I both learned the necessary and very specific skills of coaching, but also was given the tools and information I needed to begin a coaching business.

Becoming a life coach?

So how do you know if coaching is for you?

Well, if you are intrigued by this post and the idea of coaching, that’s a great place to start. You likely have some natural aptitudes that draw you toward coaching.

However, there are some very specific skills a coach must possess. Here’s a great list of 20 skills created by executive life coach Michele Caron:

Listening.  There is more to listening than just hearing. Capturing the unsaid makes up the core of the listening skill.

Feedback. Be ready to give some constructive feedback without sounding partisan or critical.

Observing. Stay alert to the underlying factors so you can act on them.

Analyzing. As a Life Coach you will come across several information which you will have to analyze and draw conclusions from.

Communication. Be comfortable with communicating yourself, whatever be the medium.

Timing. Be aware of when your client needs to move to the next stage. You should also know when to ask what type of questions.

Assimilation. Be prepared by integrating all your information.

Organizing. If you are not organized, you are bound to get confused. Keep your entire information and work load in an orderly fashion.

Empathy. Be kind and compassionate to your client’s needs and problems.

Ethics. Maintain your client’s information in confidentiality.

Complimenting. Feel free to compliment your clients whenever necessary. It makes them happy.

Motivating. Encourage your clients and make them feel happy about what they are doing.

Empowering. Empower your clients to move ahead and succeed.

Intuition. Having a good read on your “gut feelings” and being able to communicate them.

Energetic. You have to be energetic because you need high levels of vigor to be able to motivate.

Positivism. You as a life coach should be positive in your approach, attitude, tone and even writing. It is your positive outlook that spreads to your clients.

Creative. You have to come up with a number of new ideas to help your clients. Idea formation plays a major role in the career of a life coach.

Interested. You are sincerely interested in your clients and their success.

Self-Assured. You should be confident enough in yourself to be able to make the coaching conversation “all about the client.” It’s not about you!

Thirst for knowledge. There are new things happening every minute and you, as a life coach, have to be familiar with the changes around you. Update yourself with research and get familiar with new areas that you may encounter. This is so you can help your client with what he/she prefers to work on. (List courtesy of Michele Caron.)

Getting your certification as a coach is just the first step of the process. Once you are certified, you have to begin building your life coaching business. Unless you become a coach or a particular company or organization, more than likely you’ll be working on your own from your own home.

Here are a few things you’ll need to do to launch your coaching business:

1. Determine your niche.

If you haven’t determined a niche or specialty for your coaching practice, this should be your first step. If you simply offer your services as a “life coach,” it will be much harder to find clients because you aren’t specifically addressing a particular need or challenge.

By narrowing your focus and honing in on one niche, you can become an expert in that niche and attract clients who are seeking exactly what you offer.

Here’s a list of coaching niches you can consider as you search for you perfect coaching specialty.

2. Set up your business entity and bank account.

You’ll need to decide whether you want to be a sole proprietor, an LLC (limited liability corporation), or some other business entity, and then complete the necessary paperwork to establish your business.

The Small Business Administration has a great resource to help you understand the various entities and which one is best for you.

In addition, it’s smart to have a separate business bank account for your coaching business so your professional income doesn’t get mixed up with your personal funds. You might also want to set up a Paypal account if you want to accept credit cards or Paypal payments.

3. Create an online presence.

The vast majority of my coaching clients find me through my blog. When you have an online presence, especially a blog in which you’re attracting people from all over the world interested in your niche, you exponentially increase your clients leads.

With a blog, you can write articles related to your niche, allowing readers to see the value you offer and get to know and trust you.

I think every coach should create a blog or other platform (like a podcast or YouTube channel) so they can eventually expand into other income streams beyond coaching. Coaches can create courses, write books, and promote related products as they grow a following on their blog.

4. Start marketing yourself.

This is hard for a lot of new coaches because they really just want to coach. They don’t want to be pounding the pavement looking for clients.

That’s why having a blog is so valuable. As you write articles relevant to your niche, clients will find you. Just be sure you offer your coaching services on your blog with a special page dedicated to the services you offer and how to hire you.

In addition, you can write guest posts for other related blogs and link back to your coaching page in your bio. You can also be active on social media, attend networking events, offer a free workshop, be a speaker at events, and send out a weekly newsletter.

There are hundreds of ways to market your services, but the key is — you have to do then! As an entrepreneur, you have to market your coaching business intensely if you want to have clients.

5. Save your money.

Like any new business, a coaching business takes time to develop. You won’t have a full slate of clients the minute you get your certification. It can take a year or more to build a livable income as a coach.

You may need another source of income as you grow your business, or you might consider saving 6-12 months work of living expense income prior to changing careers.

Coaching is one of the most rewarding careers you can pursue, and you can make a good living from it. But you’ll need to work hard and have patience before you start making decent money. Average annual incomes for coaches are between $55 and $110K.

If the idea of creating a life coaching business intrigues you, you’ll be joining a profession of people who are dedicated to helping others become their best selves. It is a heart-centered business that is not only fulfilling but life-altering for both the “coachee” and the coach.

 

coaching career (1)

 

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15 Quotes By Osho That Will Touch Your Heart & Make You Think

source : http://www.collective-evolution.com/2016/06/11/15-quotes-by-osho-that-will-touch-your-heart-make-you-think/

Many of the most influential people our world has seen have exposed truths, wisdoms, and controversial viewpoints that have earned them both respect and fear from the masses. Osho Rajneesh was one of those people.

An Indian mystic, guru, and spiritual teacher, he had millions of followers worldwide, along with thousands of detractors. Confident and outspoken, he shed light on topics often considered taboo by mainstream society.

Born in 1931, Osho grew up questioning the existing religious, cultural, and social norms of society, eventually having a mystical experience that led him to what he calls his enlightenment at the age of 21. He came to prominence as a spiritual guru not just in India, but also internationally. His teachings focus on the necessity for meditation, awareness, love, celebration, courage, creativity, and humor, all of which he believed to be suppressed by traditional belief systems, religious tradition, and socialization. His teachings have greatly impacted the Western New Age movement.

Osho died in 1990, but his work continues to be published by over 200 publishers worldwide and in over 60 languages. With that said, here are 15 incredible quotes by the influential guru:

1. “Love knows no boundaries. Love cannot be jealous, because love cannot possess. It is ugly, the very idea that you possess somebody because you love. You possess somebody – it means you have killed somebody and turned him into a commodity. Only things can be possessed. Love gives freedom. Love is freedom.”

2. “Remain continuously on a honeymoon. Go on searching and seeking each other, finding new ways of loving each other, finding new ways of being with each other. And each person is such an infinite mystery, inexhaustible, unfathomable, that it is not possible that you can ever say, ‘I have known her,’ or, ‘I have known him.’ At the most you can say, ‘I have tried my best, but the mystery remains a mystery.’ In fact the more you know, the more mysterious the other becomes. Then love is a constant adventure.”

3. When you don’t need a person at all, when you are totally sufficient unto yourself, when you can be alone and tremendously happy and ecstatic, then love is possible. But then, too, you cannot be certain whether the other’s love is real or not – you can be certain about only one thing: whether your love is real. How can you be certain about the other? But then there is no need. This continuous anxiety about whether the other’s love is real or not simply shows one thing: that your love is not real. Otherwise, who bothers? Why be worried about it? Enjoy it while it lasts, be together while you can be together! It is a fiction, but you need fiction.”

4. “Drop the idea of becoming someone, because you are already a masterpiece. You cannot be improved. You have only to come to it, to know it, to realize it.”

5. “I love this world because it is imperfect. It is imperfect, and that’s why it is growing; if it was perfect it would have been dead. Growth is possible only if there is imperfection. I would like you to remember again and again, I am imperfect, the whole universe is imperfect, and to love this imperfection, to rejoice in this imperfection is my whole message.”

6. “If you can bring your consciousness, your awareness, your intelligence to the act, if you can be spontaneous, then there is no need for any other religion, life itself will be the religion.”

7. “Truth is not something outside to be discovered, it is something inside to be realized.”

8. “Just being alive is such a gift, but nobody ever told you to be thankful to existence. On the contrary, everyone was grumpy, complaining. Naturally, if everything surrounding your life from the very beginning goes on pointing out to you that you are not what you should be, goes on giving you great ideals that you have to follow and you have to become, your isness is never praised. What is praised is your future – if you can become someone respectable, powerful, rich, intellectual, in some way famous, not just a nobody.”

9. “If you want to learn anything, learn trust – nothing else is needed. If you are miserable, nothing else will help – learn trust. If you don’t feel any meaning in life and you feel meaningless, nothing will help – learn trust. Trust gives meaning because trust makes you capable of allowing the whole descend upon you.”

10. “Listen to your being. It is continuously giving you hints; it is a still, small voice. It does not shout at you, that is true. And if you are a little silent you will start feeling your way. Be the person you are. Never try to be another, and you will become mature. Maturity is accepting the responsibility of being oneself, whatsoever the cost. Risking all to be oneself, that’s what maturity is all about.”

11. “When love and hate are both absent everything becomes clear and undisguised.”

12. “Life is a balance between rest and movement.”

13. “Fools laugh at others. Wisdom laughs at itself.”

14. “All that this world needs is a good cleansing of the heart of all the inhibitions of the past. And laughter and tears can do both. Tears will take out all the agony that is hidden inside you and laughter will take all that is preventing your ecstasy. Once you have learned the art you will be immensely surprised.”

15. “That is the simple secret of happiness. Whatever you are doing, don’t let past move your mind; don’t let future disturb you. Because the past is no more, and the future is not yet. To live in the memories, to live in the imagination, is to live in the non-existential. And when you are living in the non-existential, you are missing that which is existential. Naturally you will be miserable, because you will miss your whole life.”

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4 Ways You Squash Your Own Creative Potential

source : http://www.yogajournal.com/lifestyle/4-ways-squash-creative-potential/

We are all creative beings, so why is so hard to actually express that creativity? As much as you want to write your memoir, teach a new sequence, or start your own business, you may be getting in your own way. The first step to a more creative life is recognizing your blocks, says Mary Beth LaRue, a Los Angeles-based yoga teacher, life design coach, and writer. Mary Beth is sharing her secrets to inspired sequencing and a creative life in our upcoming Yoga for Creativity online course. (Sign up now.) Here, she reveals some of the most common ways we sabotage our own creativity.

1. You anticipate other people’s judgments.

We carry around so many other people’s voices in our heads, and their judgments end up influencing the way we behave. We’ll think, “If I quit my job and become a yoga teacher, everybody will say I’m making the wrong decision,” or “If I share my idea, this person will think it’s not original.” These judgments usually come from a small group of people we know—often, people we don’t want to model our lives after anyway.

Be aware of those voices, and notice when they’re holding you back from being your true self or expressing your own vision. What other people think is none of your business.

2. You’re doing it for the “likes.”

When we’re able to embrace our own unique voice and offerings, we’re able to do things for the pure joy we find in the process. You’ll teach a class for the love of doing it, you’ll sequence for the love of doing it, you’ll write a blog or share a moment on Instagram for the love of doing it—rather than just for the cheers from your fans.

When you approach a yoga class, a writing project or any other creative work with a focus on being praised for it, there’s a good chance it’s not going to really resonate with your audience. Be authentic and share what you love—not what you think others with “like.”

3. You’re waiting until you’re ready.

So often, we think we’re not ready or qualified or smart enough to take on a new endeavor. But how often are we 100% ready for anything in life? Instead of waiting until everything is perfect, we need to write ourselves a permission slip to start a new project.

Once you give yourself permission, you embark on the path of learning and the process will unfold from there.

4. You’re constantly comparing.

I spent my first year of teaching yoga in Los Angeles always looking at what other people were doing and comparing myself to them. It made me really unhappy. My life coaching teacher Martha Beck calls this, “compare and despair.” (Last year, I actually started a yoga teacher support group in LA to help new teachers who are struggling with these issues.)

Here’s the thing: When our eyes are on someone else’s work, they’re not on our own. Don’t try to emulate someone else—just do you, and let go of the rest.

ABOUT OUR EXPERT
Mary Beth LaRue is a Los Angeles–based yoga instructor and life-design coach. She loves riding her bike, 
scribbling ideas over coffee, and taking long road trips with her family (including her English bulldog, Rosy). Inspired by her teachers Schuyler Grant, Elena Brower, and Kia Miller, LaRue has been teaching yoga for more than eight years, helping others connect to their inner bliss. 
She co-founded Rock Your Bliss, a yoga-inspired coaching company that helps clients “make shift happen.” Learn more at marybethlarue.com.

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Some Days, You Just Have Nothing

source : http://zenhabits.net/some-days/

By Leo Babauta

Yesterday wasn’t a great day for me.

I woke up late after too little sleep. Someone I love is mad at me, and doesn’t seem to want to talk to me, which put me in a down mood. I couldn’t get focused to do any writing, so I answered emails, read stuff online, took a nap. My kids weren’t around to cuddle with me.

I did a workout, but couldn’t finish it because my wrist hurt. I rode my bike to the grocery store on a warm summer evening, which was nice. I cooked a healthy dinner for myself. Had a strong beer.

Then I made the mistake of reading some comments on a blog post that was critical of me. The blog post was mildly critical, but the comments piled on top of each other, talking about how hypocritical I am, how repetitious my writing has become … with each negative comment, I could feel my heart drop lower and lower.

It wasn’t a great day, and my mood descended as I thought about how badly so many people thought of me …

Some days, you don’t have anything. Some days, you don’t knock it out of the park.

On a day like this, I sat still. It was all I could do.

I looked inward, and faced the hurt.

I stayed with it, just giving it my attention.

I noticed the story I was telling myself, that was causing the pain. It wasn’t a good story. The more I got stuck telling myself this story, the more I was stuck in the pain.

So I turned to the present moment, and allowed myself to feel the pain, instead of running from it, pushing it away, or trying to do something to end it.

It wasn’t so bad. And it didn’t stay around much longer, now that I allowed myself to sit with the hurt.

I also realized that this “Leo” that those people were criticizing … doesn’t exist. It’s just an image they’ve created in their heads, not really me. And this “Leo” that I have in my head — a Leo who is a good person, who tries his best — this is also just something I’ve created in my head. In the middle of all of this seeming solidness, there’s nothing. Just a fluid present moment.

After turning and facing my feelings, staying with them, and seeing the nothingness in the middle of it all … everything was OK. Not brilliant, but not so bad.

Some days, you have nothing, but that’s OK.

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