Saturday, February 4, 2023

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  • How To Change Your Self-Limiting Beliefs | By, Rebecca Roache

    Photo by S. Tsuchiya on Unsplash

    Source: Psyche.Co

    Author: Rebecca Roache

    Let Descartes, Kant and other philosophers help you view the world through a more positive filter and you’ll bloom

    Need to know

    Have you ever decided not to go for that job promotion because you believe you’re not qualified enough? Or avoided asking a neighbor for help because you feel you’d be a nuisance? Or taken your failure to get what you wanted as confirmation that, yes, your hunch that it was never going to work out was obviously correct? Yep, me too. Pessimistic beliefs like these are common, and they hold you back more than you realize. Perhaps it’s never occurred to you that it’s possible to change these attitudes, let alone how you might go about it. Perhaps you wouldn’t even want to change them even if you could – after all, who wants to be that person who is arrogant enough to think they’re definitely in with a shot for that promotion despite being under-qualified, or who doesn’t think twice about making demands on their neighbors, or who approaches their goals with an unwavering confidence in their likelihood of success?

    Philosophy and coaching are a perfect – and under-explored – partnership. Doing philosophy involves identifying and challenging hidden assumptions, using analogies to reveal double standards, and exposing dodgy reasoning: all things that are helpful to coaching clients who are burdened with beliefs that get in the way of their success, who are compassionate to everyone but themselves, and who overlook their own errors in reasoning because they are too busy criticizing themselves. Often, too, the thoughts of philosophers – including René Descartes and the other thinkers that I’m going to mention here – find fresh application in providing a helpful new perspective on the difficulties that many of us face every day.

    First, find your limiting beliefs

    In fact, you can and should change the beliefs that hold you back. Doing so will make your life go better. First, though, you’ve got to find these beliefs. That’s more difficult than it sounds. Often, the beliefs that hold us back are so much a part of who we are that we don’t realize we have them. We don’t realize how they’re shaping the way we perceive the world. We think we’re viewing things objectively when we’re not. What one person views as a job for which she’s under-qualified and therefore should not apply, another views as an opportunity that it would be daft not to go for – because, who knows, it might all work out.

    When it comes to finding and digging up problematic foundational beliefs, dusting them off, and holding them up to the light for a closer look, philosophers are old hands. It’s at the core of what we do. This process is vividly illustrated in the writing of Descartes, the 17th-century French philosopher. In his essay Meditations on First Philosophy (1641), it occurs to him that everything he knows might turn out to be false, since it’s based on information that initially came to him through his senses, and our senses can sometimes deceive us. He set about rejecting absolutely everything he thought he knew, with the aim of allowing back in only those beliefs that he could be absolutely certain are not mistaken. Eventually – and famously – he arrives at one undeniable truth: that he exists. ‘I think, therefore I am’ expresses Descartes’s observation that, as long as he has thoughts, he can be sure that he exists.

    You don’t need to throw away everything you believe, Descartes-style. But you could benefit greatly from taking an audit of your most deeply held beliefs. It’s only fairly recently that I’ve realized just how important and potentially life-changing this can be. I’ve been a philosopher for (almost) my entire career, and a couple of years ago I started using my philosophical skills and training to coach people to overcome their difficulties. What sort of difficulties? There are many, of course, but something I encounter again and again in my coaching clients, who are invariably smart and switched-on people, is a bewilderment about how to get to where they want to be. They just can’t see a path to that job, that career, that family life they’d like, given their current commitments and situation.

    Now, many of the obstacles in their paths are structural and result from factors beyond their control; factors like sexism, racism and other forms of inequality that make it harder for some people but not others to succeed. It’s harmful to overlook these external obstacles while offering advice for success, as Ephrat Livni argued in her Quartz article ‘All Career Advice for Women Is a Form of Gaslighting’ (2018). But some of the obstacles to our success are ones we’ve put there ourselves, often without even realizing. Digging into my coaching clients’ most deeply held tenets has often unearthed beliefs that the clients themselves recognize as ridiculous, even while continuing to be influenced by them. Common examples of such beliefs include I’m not entitled to rest unless I’ve been productive and If I can’t do something without asking for help, I’m incompetent – as well as the one I hinted at in the opening paragraph: Taking a more positive view of myself would make me unbearably arrogant.

    Perhaps, reading this, you’re reflecting on what your own limiting beliefs might be. How do you find out how to change them once you’ve found them, and what can you expect to happen if you do?

    Think it through

    Accept that you view the world through a filter

    None of us perceives the world as it ‘really is’. The 18th-century philosopher Immanuel Kant distinguished between noumena (things-in-themselves) and phenomena (things as they appear to observers). We can never know noumena, according to Kant; we can know only phenomena. And what we perceive when we perceive phenomena is as much about us, and the spin we put on reality and our interaction with it, as it is about the world itself. To put it somewhat clumsily: the idea is that, when you look at the screen on which you’re reading this essay, what you’re seeing is more about you and your relationship to what you’re looking at than it is about the world as it ‘really is’. This distinction between the world we perceive and the world in itself underpins the entire sub-field of philosophy known as phenomenology. Kant had his own thoughts about what it is about us that determines the particular spin we put on reality – but we needn’t get into that. Our lesson here can be: we view the world through a filter. That filter comprises our deeply held beliefs, among other things. And once we recognize this – even before we’ve reached the stage of identifying these reality-shaping beliefs, let alone trying to change them – we open up the possibility of using a different filter to view the world, and the question of how different the world might look if we did.

    Slow down and articulate it

    My graduate supervisor, the late professor of philosophy Hugh Mellor, used to say to me: ‘You don’t understand something until you’ve written it down.’ This is as true in coaching as it is in philosophy. Our ideas – including those we find most compelling – often come to us only semi-formed, and this can disguise their flaws. Simply articulating these beliefs enables us to understand them better, and sometimes reveals that they are just bonkers. (You might have had the experience of articulating an idea to someone and then saying: ‘Now that I’ve said it out loud, I realize how ridiculous it is!’) This is true in spades of our limiting beliefs. The problem is that we often shy away from articulating these beliefs, perhaps because they make us feel uncomfortable. Being brave and looking directly at them is worth it, though.

    One recent client of mine, who felt that it would be lazy and selfish of her to spend 20 minutes a day relaxing with a novel, found herself unable to come up with any satisfactory way of articulating this feeling when I pressed her. She tried out and rejected Resting for 20 minutes is selfish and I should be able to work all the time without a break, both of which statements – though clearly expressed – she found implausible. She realized that her discomfort with resting was ‘just a feeling’, unsupported by any convincing claim. Another client felt that she wasn’t getting enough done in the course of the day, but when asked to list all the things she thought she should be doing, she realized that there weren’t enough hours in the day for even half of them.

    So next time you find that you’re reluctant to do something that would make your life easier, ask yourself why. How do you complete the sentence that begins: ‘Because …’? Journal your reluctance. Explain it to a friend. Imagine you’re making a case for your opposition to the activity in question. Does your explanation make sense? If not, perhaps it’s time to throw out that belief, Descartes-style.

    Try a different filter

    If you’ve dug deep into your reluctance and uncovered some of your limiting, filtering beliefs, take a pause and congratulate yourself. This process can be really uncomfortable; after all, you’re pushing against some of the fundamental ways that you relate to the world and the people in it, and that can be really unsettling. So unsettling, in fact, that when we encounter evidence against these beliefs, we often prefer to dispute or dismiss that evidence than to give up our more fundamental beliefs. I’ve seen this in coaching sessions: one client insisted that he was much less smart than his peers, and when I asked him about the feedback he receives from his supervisor, he admitted that the feedback is positive but waved it aside with: ‘But she’s not saying that because it’s true, she’s saying it to try to motivate me.’

    This client, finding that his belief in his own shortcomings conflicted with his supervisor’s encouraging feedback, chose to believe his supervisor to be insincere in order to preserve his negative attitude towards himself. It’s surprisingly easy to do this. The 20th-century American philosopher Willard Van Orman Quine argued that our beliefs don’t stand or fall depending on some objective test of their veracity; they stand or fall depending on how well they cohere with our other beliefs – and, when our beliefs conflict, it’s not always clear which we should reject, and which (if any) we should keep. To express this in our ‘filtering reality’ terminology: let go of any expectation that there is a ‘correct’ way to filter reality. In Quinean terms, there is no one right way to do it. There are just more and less useful, internally coherent filters.

    Since it’s so uncomfortable to reject even our negative fundamental beliefs, I’m not going to ask you to do that yet. Instead, try something gentler. Just for fun, ask yourself how the choices you make might be different if your fundamental beliefs were different. In the case of my client, I asked him to imagine what it might be like if, instead of believing that he’s not very smart, he believed that he was just as smart as his peers. How might his attitude to his work be different? What new things might he be emboldened to try? He came up with plenty of ideas – apply for this job, ask to collaborate with that colleague – that were previously off-limits. In doing so, he gained insight into some of the ways that his beliefs about himself were affecting his choices, and how different beliefs might open up new opportunities.

    It’s easy to underestimate the significance of such a shift in perspective. Changing our fundamental beliefs can radically change the way in which we view the world – so radically, in fact, that the 20th-century American philosopher of science Thomas Kuhn used the word ‘revolution’ to describe the replacement of one set of fundamental beliefs with another when it occurs in science. Such revolutions – for example, the replacement of Newtonian mechanics with Albert Einstein’s relativistic view in physics – can be very unsettling, as Kuhn explained in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962):

    [D]uring revolutions, scientists see new and different things when looking with familiar instruments in places they have looked before. It is rather as if the professional community had been suddenly transported to another planet where familiar objects are seen in a different light and are joined by unfamiliar ones as well.

    Scientific revolutions, while unsettling, are important for scientific progress; similarly, overhauling your own fundamental beliefs, while unsettling, can be important for personal growth. Be brave and try it. I’m going to bet that, once you start, you’ll become aware of reasons to believe that there might be something to these alternative beliefs, after all. Don’t expect to change your long-established limiting beliefs in an instant, though. Merely recognizing that you’re viewing the world through one of many possible filters is important progress at this stage.

    Reject double standards

    Often, we believe things about ourselves and our choices and opportunities that we would never dream of believing about other people. That makes thinking about the advice we’d give to friends, relatives, people we’re mentoring (and so on) a useful way to assess whether we’re believing sensible things about ourselves. Let’s return to your reluctance to ask a neighbor for help. If a friend of yours was considering asking a neighbor for help, would you advise them against doing so? I’m guessing not – at least, not unless there’s a history of hostility between them and their neighbors, or some other good reason for caution. The sorts of beliefs you use to justify your own reluctance to ask your neighbors for help – Because people don’t like to help their neighbors, and so on – would likely strike you as absurd if you thought of applying them to a friend.

    Likewise, without good reason, you wouldn’t advise a friend not to go for that promotion; and you wouldn’t respond to their failure in some area by saying: ‘See? I told you it was never going to work out!’ If you were to treat your friends like that, you wouldn’t have friends for very much longer. These are unsupportive and even downright abusive things to say to people. But you’re a person too. If there’s something you wouldn’t say to a friend, then you shouldn’t be saying it to yourself either. Why not? Well, there are (ethical, social, etiquette and so on) norms that govern our behavior towards people. Examples include: Do not stealSay thank you when someone shows you considerationDon’t question new acquaintances about their sex lives. These norms are not exceptionless – it’s OK to steal medical supplies to save a life if there’s no other way to obtain them, for example – but, exceptional circumstances aside, we take them to apply to everyone equally. So, Do not steal means ‘Do not steal from anyone’; not merely ‘Do not steal from people you like’ or ‘Do not steal unless you’re in a bad mood.’

    Put this way, there is no justification for not applying the same norms to your interactions with yourself as you apply to your interactions with other people. If you think it’s important to avoid using hurtful language when speaking to other people, then avoid it when speaking to yourself; if you don’t think it’s appropriate to assume that people view your best friend as a nuisance, then don’t assume that people view you as a nuisance; and so on.

    Accept that you’re not a rational robot

    A word of caution, though. Don’t expect too much of yourself. In particular, recognize that none of us are powerhouses of rationality. It’s possible to recognize that we hold a belief that we know to be false, or even preposterous, yet still be influenced by it. In fact, this is extremely common. The 18th-century Scottish philosopher David Hume argued that we have no good reason to hold many of our most fundamental beliefs – including, notoriously, our belief in causation – and yet we continue to find them persuasive anyway. In A Treatise of Human Nature (1739), he wrote: ‘Reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions.’

    Plenty of what we believe seems not to make sense. As you uncover your limiting beliefs, you might find yourself saying apparently nonsensical things like: My neighbor has offered to help me, but I still feel like I’d be a burden if I were to ask for help. This happens because the beliefs that we hold about ourselves are as much about feelings as they are about facts – and feelings don’t change overnight. The heart takes a while to catch up with the head, which can be frustrating, and can lead us to criticize ourselves even more harshly. Resist that temptation. To help you, I have a podcast episode that deals with this. In some cases, changing our fundamental beliefs requires us to change our character traits – for example, we might need to learn to be less self-reliant and more open to accepting help from others – and that takes time and practice. Aristotle wrote about the process of developing the right character traits, or virtues, and he recognized that this could take years of work, supported by immersing oneself in the right sort of community and following the right sort of role models. The key here is to be patient with yourself. Accept what you uncover about yourself. Feelings do change, with time.

    Key points – How to change your self-limiting beliefs

    1. First, find your limiting beliefs. You almost certainly hold beliefs that stand in the way of your happiness and success, but don’t expect it to be obvious what they are. They’re often so much a part of us that we don’t see them. Open your mind to discovering and challenging beliefs that you don’t yet realise you hold.
    2. Accept that you view the world through a filter. We don’t see things ‘as they really are’. Our reality is shaped by what we believe. Getting comfortable with this idea helps open up the possibility of changing the filter that we place on reality.
    3. Slow down and articulate it. The beliefs that hold us back often aren’t fully formed, and that prevents us from understanding and challenging them. Practise articulating your reluctance to make choices that would help you move forward. If you feel guilty about taking a break, or if you’re convinced that you’re lazy or not very smart – why, exactly? Write it down clearly. Explain it to a friend. Does it still make sense?
    4. Try a different filter. If you can’t bring yourself to reject your limiting beliefs outright, perhaps you can practise imagining what it would be like if you had different, more positive beliefs. How would you live differently if you believed that you were smart, after all? Thinking this through helps show how your beliefs are standing in your way, and how things would be different without them.
    5. Reject double standards. Those negative things that you say to yourself: would you say them to another person? If not, there is no justification for saying them to yourself.
    6. Accept that you’re not a rational robot. Our emotions change more slowly than our beliefs. Expect to feel the influence of your limiting beliefs even after, rationally, you’ve accepted that they’re false. That will change eventually.

    Why it matters

    What can you expect to happen if you follow the advice I’ve offered here, and set about identifying and rejecting the beliefs that are holding you back? Let’s answer this by way of a thought experiment. Imagine that someone you know is in a toxic relationship. They live with a person who constantly says to them the sorts of things you say to yourself: You’ll fail at this and You’re not good enough for that. Can you imagine that friend of yours reaching their full potential in those circumstances? I doubt it. Those sorts of remarks wear us down and undermine our confidence and motivation. Any success in those circumstances would be hard-won.

    But now imagine your friend cutting out that toxic person from their life and becoming involved with a more loving, respectful person who believes in them, encourages them, and reminds them constantly that things might just work out. What would you expect to happen to your friend as a result? I’m going to guess that you’d expect, over time, to see your friend regain their confidence and become bolder and more ambitious in making positive changes in their life. You’d expect to see your friend blossom. You can expect to see yourself blossom, too, if you work on replacing the beliefs that hold you back with ones that drive you forward. Beliefs that hold you back can be like people who hold you back. Once they’re gone from your life, new perspectives open up.

    Source: Psyche.Co

    Author: Rebecca Roache

  • How to Be the Chief Well-being Officer of Your Own Life | By, Jen Fisher

    Source: Thrive Global

    Author: Jen Fisher

    In these unprecedented times, well-being isn’t something we can outsource. We all have the power to prioritize our mental and physical health.

    It goes without saying that this has been a stressful year for everybody. We all have our unique challenges, and we all react to stress differently — but we can all benefit from strategies that make it easier to prioritize our well-being. My job title at Deloitte is Chief Well-being Officer, and I have to admit, it’s a pretty great role! But the role that’s even more important is being the Chief Well-being Officer of my own life! And I think everyone needs to take on this same leadership role when it comes to their own lives.

    So what is well-being? For me, it means taking a holistic approach, focusing on body, mind, purpose, and financial health. The truth is, although we generally know what we should be doing to take care of ourselves, we often don’t do it. And that’s because we’re not strategic; we’re not intentional about it. But the problem is that with the pace of our modern lives, day after day gets away from us and we fall to the bottom of our priority list. Our tendency as human beings is to take care of everything and everyone else before taking care of ourselves.

    And when we allow that to happen, we can pay a heavy price. Daily stress can become chronic stress, and before you know it, that can lead to burnout. But your path to realizing you need to nurture your own well-being doesn’t have to involve burning out first. The key is to create a mindful and intentional system for being in charge of your well-being. Here are six lessons I’ve learned that will help you be successful as the Chief Well-being Officer of your own life.

    Set priorities

    The first thing to realize is that your well-being has to start with you. You can’t wait for others to take care of it for you. As they say, secure your own oxygen mask first. And just like any executive has to set priorities for his or her department or organization, you have to set priorities for yourself. And you need to be on the top of your priority list. 

    Next, realize that well-being means something different for everybody. There are many definitions of well-being. So what’s important to you? What do you want to work on? What do you enjoy? What are your non-negotiables? Think about it. Write it down. Setting priorities for yourself helps you own your own self-care.

    Involve others

    As a Chief Well-being Officer, you need a team. Well-being can’t just be an individual effort; it needs to be embedded in your team and how you work together. I encourage my team to set and share goals with each other. Everybody’s goals are going to be different, and that’s OK. If one of my co-workers needs to leave at 2 p.m. to pick up her children, I can support her in that because I know that’s a priority for her, and she can support me because she knows I need to exercise at 10 a.m. By collectively stating our goals, even though they’re different, we can support and hold each other accountable.

    Schedule it

    The number one comment I get about well-being is, “I don’t have time to take care of myself.” Well, you have to make time. And the way to do that is the same way you make time for other things in your life: Schedule it. Use your calendar and your technology to schedule time for self-care like your most important meeting, and stick to it. And then guard that “me time” from other things and other people.

    Allow for failure

    Being the Chief Well-being Officer doesn’t mean you get everything perfect all the time (believe me, I know I don’t). It doesn’t mean you won’t feel fatigued, or that you won’t eat a less-than-nutritious meal, or stay up late one night bingeing your favorite show instead of prioritizing a good night’s sleep. Prioritizing your well-being sometimes looks like taking two steps forward and one step back, then another step forward — and that’s OK. Just think about how you can learn from each experience, and then move on. 

    Revisit your well-being goals regularly

    Businesses revisit their strategies on a regular basis as the market changes. And the same principle applies in our own lives. By regularly checking in and revisiting our well-being strategies, we can change course if we need to. So ask yourself, what’s working, what’s not working? Have your well-being goals changed? Are they still aligned with what you value in life? Then celebrate the successes and figure out what needs to be adapted moving forward.

    Find joy and give thanks

    One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned in my job and in my own life is the value of finding joy every day. We don’t want to become so scheduled that we don’t have time and space for things that give us joy. Also, bring the power of gratitude into your life. Expressing gratitude for those who support you, or even just giving thanks for the small blessings in your life will lower your stress, improve your well-being, and make you more joyful.

    Your duties as the Chief Well-being Officer in your life will be unique to you. But it’s important to take charge of it. And once you make your own well-being a priority, you’ll be able to inspire and encourage others to do the same.

    Originally Published October 21, 2020 on Thrive Global

    Source: Thrive Global

    Author: Jen Fisher

  • The Most Important Question We Don’t Ask

    Happy 2023 Y’all!!! :-)))

    New year, new insipiration, new insights, new empowerment, new lessons, new wisdom, and new growth!

    Woohoo! Let’s get to it!

    Let’s make 2023 our best year yet! We have that power – it’s baked into our agency and our sovereignty as humans.

    We forget that sometimes…we forget our own power. 

    We live in a world, a culture, and a society that is constantly habituating us to focus way too much on the power other things and other people have over us; rather than reminding us how much power we truly have – over ourselves and our own lives!

    We’re incessantly bombarded (without us even realizing it, and to a point of permeating normalization) with notions, definitions, and standards that put all of our attention on how our life looks on the outside, rather than how it feels on the inside – to us.

    We’re seduced by the accepted benchmarks and paradigms of what success looks like, what happiness looks like, and what a good life is supposed to look like.

    We’re beguiled and lured by those exemplary representations and depictions, but in a way that surreptitiously deludes, misgiudes, and convinces us into thinking and believing that if we model ourselves and our life to look like that, then it will surely also be what feels good. 

    And sometimes it is. But sometimes, it isn’t. 

    And eventually, at some point or another, in some way or another, we come to realize that the synchronicity between what looks good on the outside and what feels good on the inside is so often ephemeral, illusory, or only surface-deep.

    We come face to face with the truth of ourselves and understand that there’s often a difference that exists between how your life feels to you and how it may look on the outside, and to everyone else. 

    So remember to ask yourself – how does this feel to me? It’s a question between you and yourself alone, and only you can answer it. It’s a question that has the power to change everything!           

    Does it feel right, does it feel aligned, does it feel true? Does it fill you with pride, love, and gratitude? Do you feel at peace or at war? Do you feel fulfilled and full or do you feel lacking and empty? Do you feel strong and hopeful even through the tough times, or do you feel powerless and unworthy? Is something missing, is something off, or do you feel stuck (perhaps even trapped)?

    Be radically honest with how you answer yourself, completely and utterly regardless of how it may look on the outside.  

    Asking and answering the simple question: How does this feel to me? Asking and answering it honestly and without beating yourself up for whatever the answer may be, is one of the most powerful and life changing things you can do!       

    When we remember to ask ourselves that question, we realize that focusing on what feels good, right, and true to our own self is often not the same as what may look good, right, and true to everyone else.

    When that moment arrives, we all have a choice: to either start focusing on and working towards how we want our own life to feel to us – to feel proud of who we are, to feel valued, appreciated, and loved, to feel meaning and purpose and fulfillment, to feel joy, peace, passion, and strength, to truly love ourselves and our life – OR to continue pretending that how it looks on the outside and to everyone else is what matters. 

    To choose the former is one of the hardest and bravest choices we will ever make, and for a while it may also be one of the loneliest… But ultimately, there’s no other choice that’s more worthwhile.

    Choose you! It’s your life. No one owns it except for you.
    And above all else, stay true to you!

  • Go For It!

    Photo by Kid Circus on Unsplash

    What does it take to realize your dreams and seize your passion? It takes courage. It takes conviction, commitment, perseverance, passion, grit, resilience, inspiration, motivation, action, and so many other big dream words. And those words don’t even cover it all.

    It takes a lot to realize your dreams. But, sometimes, we underestimate, disregard, or even just forget that simple, albeit scary, leap of faith we must take for any of it to even be possible. That willingness to take a chance, to take a risk, and just go for it – even when we’re not sure how it will turn out, even when we don’t know where we’ll land and nothing on the other side of it is guaranteed. Yes, it takes a lot to realize your dreams and to never ever give up on them, and sometimes taking that leap and just going for it is the only next best thing left to do.

    Whether going after your dreams, dealing with life’s never-ending changes, trying something new, or even just feeling stuck and in a rut and unable to move forward in any way – taking that leap feels uncertain, unfamiliar, or probably both – and that is scary! So, it takes courage and bravery. Courage and bravery to remember to stop being afraid of what could go wrong and instead start focusing on what could go right. Courage and bravery to remember that we don’t always have to have it all figured out (and we couldn’t even if we tried) before moving forward. Courage and bravery to take that leap of faith and just go for it! 

    There are many talented people who haven’t fulfilled their dreams because they overthought it, or they were too cautious and were unwilling to make the leap of faith.”  -James Cameron

    Every great move forward in your life begins with a leap of faith, a step into the unknown.”  -Brian Tracy

    What if I fall? Oh but my darling, what if you fly?  -Erin Hanson

    All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.”  -Walt Disney

    Here is an article written for Seyopa by Zoe Brady illustrating some great examples of going-for-it success stories! May you be inspired to go for it!


    5 Stars Who Simply Went For Their Dreams | By, Zoe Brady

    Credit: jimcarrey__ Instagram

    When it comes to following your passion, many of the best stories boil down to one of two things. The first is spinning difficulty into success –– something covered in this video: “10 People That Turned Hardships Into Blessings”. The second, however, is embracing a risk, or taking a leap –– going for it, so to speak.

    This second approach is one we tend to see a lot of, in particular, among famous figures who have risen to the tops of their fields. So, for those who have those little, deep-rooted desires to take a leap, we thought we’d look at a few celebrity success stories for a bit of inspiration…

    Credit: officialslystallone Instagram

    1 – Sylvester Stallone

    Today, we think of Sylvester Stallone as an established movie star –– equal parts action and sports hero, and a man with about as solid a legacy as any in Hollywood. There was a time, however (the early ‘70s to be exact) when Stallone was just one of thousands of small-time actors attempting to make their way in a brutally competitive industry. So, what did he do? Many fans particularly in younger generations may not realize it, but he sat down and wrote the script for his own passion project: Rocky.

    In fact, according to a write-up on Stallone, he did this in just three days’ time –– an astonishingly short timeline for a full script. Stallone acknowledges that the script later went through “about 25 rewrites,” but the point is that he sat down and took a chance on his idea. He also then refused to have the film made unless he could star in it. We’ll never know if Stallone would have become a bona fide movie star without Rocky, but this determined, inspired leap is just the sort of thing many of us imagine we have within ourselves. The fact that it worked out so well ought to be inspirational.

    Credit: iiswhoiis Instagram

    2 – Kesha

    Kesha Rose Sebert, sometimes known as “Ke$ha,” is a renowned pop star, and has been more or less since she burst onto the scene at the tail end of the 2000s. Before her single “Tik Tok” became one of the most popular songs in the United States, however, Kesha was an aspiring artist who had left conventional careers behind –– despite being a star pupil. Famously somewhat brilliant, Kesha nearly aced her SATs in high school and went on to Barnard College (a sort of sister school to Columbia). Feeling a call to music, however, Kesha dropped out of school and poured her intellect into music studies –– networking, practicing, recording, and ultimately breaking into the industry.

    This is not to say that the oft-mythologized concept of dropping out is necessarily a wise “leap” for everyone. Nevertheless, it’s hard not to admire Kesha’s dedication to her calling.

    Credit: dnegspoker Instagram

    3 – Daniel Negreanu

    Daniel Negreanu is universally regarded as one of the top poker pros, not just currently but of all time. He’s won six of the World Series of Poker’s prestigious bracelets and has finished on top of the World Poker Tour on two separate occasions. And according to Negreanu’s bio page at, it all started when he simply picked up and moved to Las Vegas in his early 20s.

    Negreanu had a “tumultuous childhood,” and didn’t take to traditional schooling. Aware that he had a talent for cards, however, he made the incredibly bold decision to move to the world’s poker Mecca and try his hand at a living playing cards. All these years later, Negreanu is a world-famous competitor with tens of millions to his name –– all earned at the poker tables. We can’t think of many clearer examples of how following a passion can work out for the best.

    Credit: jimcarrey__ Instagram

    4 – Jim Carrey

    Now recognized as a beloved comic and dramatic actor, Jim Carrey famously comes from difficult beginnings. As a child in Canada, he watched his parents struggle to make ends meet, and even took on jobs to help. At different times he lived in a van (with his family) and in a tent –– eventually earning lodging by taking on shifts as a janitor at a factory his father worked at.

    Even with all these challenges to contend with though, Carrey decided at an early age to pursue comedy –– doing stand-up, impression, and contortion acts in and around Toronto. In the early ‘80s, he made an ambitious move to Hollywood, pouring himself into stand-up comedy and ultimately earning TV bookings that would launch his career. Carrey’s confidence in taking this road is to be commended; not many of us, when struggling to make ends meet, would still choose to pursue passion rather than the surest bet of work or a steady paycheck.

    Credit: giannis_an34 Instagram

    5 – Giannis Antetokounmpo

    Finally, there’s Giannis Antetokounmpo –– affectionately nicknamed “The Greek Freak,” and perhaps the best basketball player on the planet today. Fans of basketball know Antetokounmpo today as a force of nature –– a 6-foot-11 superstar who has twice been the NBA’s MVP, and who in 2021 won the Milwaukee Bucks an NBA championship. The Greek Freak’s rise to this level, however, was about as improbable as any sports story –– flat-out “outlandish,” as an story on Antetokounmpo once put it. And it came about due to multiple leaps of faith.

    Antetokounmpo spent his childhood in Greece playing soccer like his father and brother, who had been good players in Nigeria (where the family was from). He didn’t begin playing basketball until age 12. Four years later, he made the jump to professional basketball, and at the age of 18 he moved on to the famously challenging Spanish league to improve his game. Barely a year later, he entered the NBA Draft as a little-known prospect with only a few years of play under his belt. The potential was there, to be certain. But Antetokounmpo leaped to the NBA with no guarantee of success… and wound up becoming one of the best players of a generation.

    Of course, there are many ways to pursue your dreams and seize your passion. It doesn’t always require a dramatic leap of faith. Success stories like these, however, are excellent reminders that when you do feel an urge to pursue a passion, following the urge can pay off.

    Source: Seyopa

    Author: Zoe Brady

  • Why Setting Boundaries Is Important (And Isn’t Mean) | By, Melissa Urban


    Boundaries are how we care, stay supportive, and give to those we love without sacrificing our own health and happiness in the process.

    Photo by Boxed Water Is Better on Unsplash

    Source: Thrive Global

    Author: Melissa Urban

    A woman named Nancy recently sent me a message on social media: “I take a walk by myself every morning, for my own mental health. Lately, my elderly neighbor has been inviting herself along, waiting for me to come outside, then joining me. She’s very nice, and it’s clear she likes the company, but this is the only alone time I get in my day. How can I say no to her without feeling mean?”

    I get where Nancy is coming from. We (especially women) are often told that it’s selfish to put our own feelings and needs first. This is a common objection to boundaries: that setting them feels cold or punitive, like you’re building a wall between people and creating division. But remember, boundaries aren’t walls, they’re fences. And good fences make for good neighbors.

    Boundaries allow those who care about us to support us in the way we want to be supported. They provide a clear line between what we find helpful and harmful, so people don’t have to try to read our minds. They let us engage in relationships fully and openly, knowing we’ve clearly expressed our limits and made it easier for others to respect our needs. In fact, the best way to preserve a relationship often includes setting boundaries within it.

    Nancy liked her neighbor and wanted to have a good relationship with her. If this neighbor kept crashing her morning walks, Nancy was going to become resentful, then angry, and perhaps even lash out one morning out of sheer frustration. Setting a boundary here would be an act of kindness, allowing Nancy to care for her neighbor without putting her own needs on hold to do so.

    I asked Nancy how many mornings she might be willing to spend in her neighbor’s company—from zero days to every morning of the week. She replied that she’d enjoy walking with her once a week on the weekend, so I sent Nancy a script for her to use the following day: “Good morning! Hey, I’m going to start walking by myself again during the week. This is the only alone time I get, and I really need it for my mental health. Would you like to join me on Saturday morning when things are more relaxed?” Nancy loved the suggestion. This allowed them both to get what they wanted—some quality time when they’re both feeling relaxed, and the alone time Nancy needed to recharge during the busy work week.

    You’re not being mean when you set boundaries, you’re being kind—to yourself and your relationships. But that doesn’t mean they’re not uncomfortable. Any conflict can be uncomfortable—if your burger comes out rare instead of medium-well, I’m betting at least some of you would just eat it rather than speak up. Setting boundaries can be uncomfortable because when we set a boundary, we’re expressing a limit that hasn’t yet been established (while perhaps pointing out someone else’s inconsiderate behavior), and asking if the other person is willing to make an adjustment for the good of the relationship.

    If that just made you throw up in your mouth a little bit, you’re not alone. My research shows that the main reason people don’t set boundaries where they need them is that it’s so damn uncomfortable. I won’t try to pretend otherwise—I feel it, too. It’s not always easy for me to say no to an esteemed work colleague, to ask my husband for alone time, or to tell my parents, “I won’t discuss this with you further.” Speaking up in the moment, advocating for yourself, and asking for what you need is uncomfortable. But what’s both uncomfortable and damaging is reaffirming the story that someone else’s feelings are more important or worthy than your own—which is what you do every time you swallow your healthy boundary in an effort to keep the peace.

    The truth is, when someone oversteps your limit, there is no comfortable solution. But one path is paved with short-term discomfort that leads to major long-term improvements in your health and happiness . . . and the other path is just an endless circle that leaves you feeling unworthy, anxious, angry, and resentful.

    One of those sucks way more. And for those of you stuck on the sucky path, I have to ask . . . how’s that been working out for you, really? How has it felt to honor everyone’s needs but your own? To sell yourself out to keep other people happy? To take on too much whenever people demand it? To spend all that energy on people, conversations, or behaviors that never give you anything back? Said with so much love: I bet the reason you’re reading this book is that it’s not going very well at all. What I’m giving you here is a better way—one that leads to more fulfilling relationships, improved self-confidence, better health, and more time and energy for the things that are important to you. It may be uncomfortable, but I guarantee it will be worth it. Boundaries are how we care, stay supportive, and give to those we love without sacrificing our own health and happiness in the process.

    Source: Thrive Global

    Author: Melissa Urban

  • Wisdom vs. Knowledge | By, Thomas Oppong

    Screen Shot 2019-11-30 at 11.01.08 AM

    Source: Medium

    Author: Thomas Oppong

    Wisdom is knowing what works for you, not just what other people think is right for you

    Knowledge is power, except without application, it’s only information that changes no one.

    Knowledge is what you know (facts, figures, information, data etc.)

    Isaac Asimov once said, “The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom.”

    Wisdom is a state of mind in which a person understands, perceives, and wisely relates to the world. This can come from experience, knowledge, or an intuitive understanding of things.

    It’s the outcome of our experiences and the lessons we learn from them. It’s not something that can be taught or learned; it is a natural ability that everyone has to some degree.

    “To understand the actual world as it is, not as we should wish it to be, is the beginning of wisdom,” says Bertrand Russell.

    Wisdom is not just a set of facts but values and principles that guide your decisions.

    Wisdom is also what you know, but how you know it, why you know it and how you apply it. Although knowledge can help you succeed in life, it pales in comparison to the benefits of wisdom.

    Knowledge is empowering, but wisdom empowers you even further.

    You can only navigate life’s ups and downs if you are wise, not knowledgeable. But you need knowledge to become wise.

    Wisdom comes from experience or seeing things clearly, which usually comes from experience. Wisdom is a reverent understanding of life’s complexities.

    Wisdom is not just something that happens to you; it’s a choice you make daily from your experiences.

    Everyone has access to wisdom, but not everyone chooses to embrace it or see the world in such a way that leads to greater wisdom. That’s why so few people have wisdom as opposed to knowledge.

    Knowledge is checking the rearview mirror before you begin driving. Wisdom is knowing to look up from time to time, too.

    Knowledge is thinking about the future and making plans for it. Wisdom is understanding the future won’t wait for you; it will start without you, and catch up with you sooner than you think.

    Knowledge helps you succeed on exams and win arguments, but wisdom enables you to understand why those things are important in the first place.

    Knowledge helps you ace tests and impress your friends, but wisdom gives you the tools to cope with failure and rejection.

    Knowledge opens doors to many opportunities, but you need wisdom to survive and thrive. And although knowledge might feel like an unending well that never dries up, wisdom requires an endless thirst for more knowledge.

    Knowledge can only take you so far, and wisdom can take you the rest of the way. Knowledge is just information.

    Knowledge is no substitute for wisdom

    “If you desire to be wiser yet, think yourself not yet wise.” — Wellins Calcott

    Wisdom is the ability to apply that knowledge in a way that makes sense to you, in your own life, at your own pace.

    Wisdom is knowing what’s right for you, not just what other people think is right for you. Wisdom is knowing what’s true for you, not just what other people say is true for you.

    Wisdom is knowing what works for you, not just what other people think works for you. Wisdom is knowing how to do things right, not just what others think works.

    Wisdom is knowing when to change and when to stand still, not just when to change and when to stand still. Wisdom is knowing how to solve problems, not just what answers work best.

    Wisdom is knowing how to get unstuck, not just going with the flow. Wisdom is knowing yourself and your limits, not just doing whatever everyone else does.

    Wisdom is using knowledge in the right context and with the right attitude.

    Wisdom requires self-awareness and self-confidence. Wisdom is about knowing yourself and how you relate to other people.

    It’s about recognizing your strengths and weaknesses, knowing when to trust your instincts and when to listen to advice from others.

    Wisdom is about using knowledge in ways that make a difference in your life and the lives of others, too. It’s a rare quality among people. But you can develop it with time and effort.

    Wisdom is knowing when to trust your gut feeling and when to ignore it. It’s knowing when to act and when not to act; an important life skill that can be learned over time.

    A great deal of wisdom can be learned from experience — what worked in the past may not work in the future.

    The best way to learn wisdom is to experience life or take action consistently. This challenges your preconceptions increases your tolerance for uncertainty, and broadens your perspective.

    It also helps you build a storehouse of knowledge and experience, which can be drawn on when you need it most.

    “Wisdom comes only through suffering,” Aeschylus said.

    Wisdom takes time to develop and cannot be gained overnight. It requires self-reflection, determination and patience.

    If you want to succeed in life, build your wisdom muscle. You can start by reading books, applying what you read, learning from people smarter than you, and talking to other people with similar experiences.

    Source: Medium

    By: Thomas Oppong

  • The Power of Doing More of What You Love


    The passions, hobbies, pastimes, and activities that we intrinsically love doing, not necessarily for any external or specific end goal or purpose, but simply because they bring us joy, clarity, and/or peace or because they make us feel good, help us re-connect with ourselves, enable us to feel present, and seem to transcend space and time, or maybe because they remind us of who we are and what matters most to us, these passions and activities have the power not only to inspire us but also to heal and transform us in profound and miraculous ways!

    Whether that power is serving as a “psychological lifeline” as quoted below in times of darkness and struggle, whether it sparks our creativity, whether it allows space for clarity and peace of mind when we need it most, whether it brings us confidence, or whether it just helps us feel more alive and vibrant, doing what we love not only feels good in our bodies and souls, it’s also a really smart strategy for our minds and for our overall health and wellness.

    This article from Thrive Global written by Marina Khidekel, directly here below, speaks to that power through the voices of various people and the benefits of their experiences with doing more of what they love. It’s a great reminder for us all to do more of what we love!


    Unexpected Hobbies and Passions That Help Us Tap Into Our Creativity

    There’s power in carving out time for the activities that spark creativity and joy.

    By Marina Khidekel, Chief Content Officer at Thrive Global

    Published on Thrive Global on March 24, 2022
    Guido Mieth/ Getty Images

    Psychiatrist Sue Stuart-Smith recently wrote a piece in the New York Times about how gardening has served as her “psychological lifeline” in times of crisis. “Gardening grounds us, and gives us something to look forward to,” Stuart-Smith writes. “Gardening is an accessible form of creativity, and allows us to bring something new into the world.” Whether it’s gardening or painting or cooking or something else, carving out time for the hobbies that make us feel like our unique selves  — a concept author Eve Rodsky calls “unicorn space” — is crucial for our well-being. Research confirms that engaging in the hobbies we love can rejuvenate us and help us tap into our creativity. 

    We asked our Thrive community to share with us the hobbies that help them tap into their creativity. Which of these will you try?


    “I had so many cathartic moments trying to make sense of my patterns and feelings having grown up in an emotionally toxic household. Many of my breakthroughs happened while painting. Through brushstrokes and blending colors, I found that my brain was processing my experiences. During the ten years between my marriages, I had to give myself permission to heal. All this healing came to me through painting. So, I continue to paint almost daily to bring me the quiet I need to listen to my own heart.”

    —Marci Brockmann, podcaster, author, artist, educator, NY

    Visiting the farmer’s market

    “I love visiting a local farmer’s market and learning from the artisans there. Their passion and dedication to the work is often contagious, and not to mention, the fruits of the labor are delicious! I try to visit one every Saturday, and then use the bounty to cultivate a feast for my family on Sunday. Then, I share photos of the experience, tagging the local businesses who made the burst of creativity possible.”

    —Stacy Cassio, CEO, Charlotte, NC


    “I really enjoy creating my podcast, ‘Finally Free Podcast’ for my intuitive eating coaching business.I had my own experience suffering from an eating disorder, but it’s always so inspiring and eye-opening to hear other people’s struggles and triumphs with disordered eating and body image. I have so many strong women (and men!) as guests who are vulnerable and give my listeners useful tools to help themselves recover as well. The postcast has allowed me to flex my interview muscle and connect with people I would never normally have an opportunity to speak with on such a raw and human level.”

    —Alana Van Der Sluys, certified intuitive eating counselor, NJ

    Paddle boarding 

    “I feel so creative when I am paddle boarding and reflecting on the water. Being in the outdoors and focused on admiring nature will lead me to think about new ways of doing things. When I go out with friends, we have very productive ‘paddle meetings’ and come up with new ideas. Changing your frame is a great way to think differently. 

    —Isabelle Bart, impact entrepreneur, Orange County, CA

    Reading art books 

    “I love reading art books (not on a Kindle or device) because they often reference new ideas or artists I hadn’t heard about before. I explore these new perspectives and artists, and plan trips around seeing the art. For example, I read about Hilma af Klint and planned an entire trip around her exhibit ‘Paintings For The Future’ at the Guggenheim Museum.”

    —Kristin Meekhof, author and life coach, Royal Oak, MI

    Quality time with our kids

    “I love spending time with other people who spark my creativity — especially my children. Children and young people are naturally good at challenging my ways of thinking and sparking my creativity, and they tend to do it in a fun and engaging way. In some respects, they bring out the child in me, always curious and keen to experiment.”

    —Bianca Riemer, leadership coach, London, UK


    “I sing when I need a boost of creativity. I even have a few karaoke CDs that I sing along with. Singing has been shown to release endorphins— feel-good hormones connected to pleasure. Singing has also been shown to release cortisol, another hormone that helps the body respond to stress. The bottom line is singing is a natural antidepressant. Try it, and don’t be shy! Let the neighbors hear you. Perhaps let them join you!”

    —Rudy Chavarria Jr, founder, college web mentor, Walnut, CA

    Morning walks

    “My morning walks often spark creative ideas.  I find being out in nature early in the morning, without distraction, brings a clarity of focus and some of my best ideas emerge then.  Motion creates emotion. If we are moving our bodies forward the mind starts thinking about future goals. It then focuses on strategies, actions and tactics to fulfill these goals and we get excited about the possibilities.”

    —Candice Tomlinson, coach and hypnotherapist, Sydney, Australia


    “I am fortunate to live close to a river and discovered kayaking a few years ago. I love paddling on the river and watching a vast array of birdlife on the water or in the trees along the banks, including multiple nests with chicks. There is nothing like paddling for me to feel a sense of calmness. I often find solutions to problems I have, or my most creative ideas come to me instantaneously as I am churning through the water and appreciating the surrounding serenity.” 

    —Donna West, coastal facilities manager, Perth, Australia

    Teaching Sunday school

    “This year I took on a passion project of being a first grade Sunday school teacher! It all started because my son hated going to Sunday school. I wrote a lengthy email complaining about how boring the teachers are and made some suggestions to make it more fun for the kids. They replied with, ‘That sounds great, want a job?’ So naturally, I said yes! I make sure to incorporate each week’s lesson with a fun video, cool movements that I learned through my kids yoga certification, and cute arts and crafts projects. This has allowed me to get creative on so many levels.”

    —Jillian Potashnick, fitness instructor, Las Vegas, NV

    Source: Thrive Global

    Author: Marina Khidekel

  • Healing is Not Linear | @rainbowsalt

    It takes strength, resilience, and time to heal. Healing builds resilience, and resilience builds more healing. The following beautiful words from @rainbowsalt (Bianca Sparacino) are an exquisite testament to that, and to the power of self-love.

    “No one will ever fully be able to understand the internal battles you had to endure just to heal, just to grow, just to make it here today. Be proud of the way you fought to save yourself. Be proud of the way you survived.”

    “The truth is — healing is not linear. There are going to be days where you wake up and your bones are full of light. There are going to be days where it feels like your heart has finally settled into its new form, has finally mended the wounds. There are going to be days where you leap towards something you would have run from in the past. And those moments will be so gratifying, it will all feel beautiful and hopeful and bathed in growth.

    But there will also be days where you take ten steps backwards. Where the wound is scratched, where the hurt resurfaces. You will feel like you have moved on, and then you will hear a certain song, or you will realize that you have forgotten what your mothers voice sounded like, or you will see something that flashes nostalgia into your chest, and you will realize that the ache is still there. That it is still tender. And that is okay. It is okay.

    Healing happens in waves. It is a process. You peel back the layers. You move forward. You find new rooms within your healing, within your heart, that you are scared to go into, and you learn how to face those new obstacles, you learn how to open the door. Healing is a lifelong journey. We aren’t ever actually void of the experience, or the memory. But slowly, we learn how to control the way those memories affect us. Slowly we learn how to approach the hard days, we learn how to not let them convince us that this season of learning has been for nothing. We let those emotions pass through us like rain. We learn how to believe in the foundation we have built within our healing, how to remind ourselves just how far we have come, how to have compassion for ourselves, how to believe in our growth, even when we cannot feel it.

    At the end of the day, you should be proud of the way you have fought to be here. You should be proud of the way you have tucked hope into yourself for safekeeping, of the way you have believed that there is more to experience at the hands of life — that the beauty you have yet to feel exists in this world. At the end of the day, you should be proud of the way you survived. You should be proud of the person you are becoming. Keep going.

    Source: Instagram

    Author: @rainbowsalt (Bianca Sparacino)

  • A 75-year Harvard study: The most important factor in human happiness

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    By: Lachlan Brown / Ideapod

    Have you ever heard of the Harvard study that ran for 75 years to assess what makes us happy? It’s a revolutionary study in psychology.

    It followed the lives of two groups of men for over 75 years, and it now follows their Baby Boomer children to understand how childhood experience reaches across decades to affect health and wellbeing in middle age.

    So what keeps us happy and healthy as we go through life?

    If you think it’s fame and money, you’re not alone – but, according to psychiatrist Robert Waldinger, you’re mistaken.

    As the director of a 75-year-old study on adult development, Waldinger has unprecedented access to data on true happiness and satisfaction and he lays it all bare in the Ted talk below.

    So what is the number one factor in your happiness and wellbeing? According to Waldinger:

    “The clearest message that we get from this 75-year study is this: Good relationships keep us happier and healthier.”

    Yep, the biggest predictor of your happiness and fulfillment overall in life is, basically, love.

    Specifically, the study showed that having someone you can rely upon helps your nervous systems relax, helps your brain stay healthy, and reduces emotional pain.

    The data also clearly found that those who feel lonely and have no close friends are more likely to see their physical health decline earlier and die younger.

    “It’s not just the number of friends you have, and it’s not whether or not you’re in a committed relationship,” says Waldinger. “It’s the quality of your close relationships that matters.”

    It doesn’t matter whether you have a huge group of friends, or if you’re in the perfect romantic relationship, it’s the quality of the relationships that counts – how much depth and honesty exists within them; the extent to which you can relax and be seen for who you truly are.

    This is a very good reminder to prioritize authentic connection with others. Because the data is clear that, in the end, you could all have the money you’ve ever wanted, but without loving relationships, you won’t be happy.

    For a deeper dive into the significance of this study and what it truly means, check out this video below.

    Source: Ideapod

    Author: Lachlan Brown

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