Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Seize Your Passion!

Become Your Best Self

Achieve Your Goals

Fulfill Your Dreams

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“Seyopa forces me to pause. It makes me realize all the things I’m missing and forgetting because I’m busy running all the time. It helps me listen inwardly to what really brings me alive.”

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Stories to Inspire You

  • Article: Live The Life of Your Dreams by Following the Wisdom of Paulo Coelho – 8 Steps to Go After Your Dream and Take Action

    “It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.” — Paulo Coelho

    One of my favorite books is The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. The first time I read it was on a train from Beijing to Xi’an in China. An interesting train ride to reflect upon one’s dream. To say the least.

    Imagine thousands of people on a platform, all eager to get a seat. Unfortunately, we were late booking tickets, and we could only get 3rd class seats, instead of a bed on the train. The train ride took 14 hours.

    The people fighting in front of the train doors apparently bought standing tickets in 3rd class. I didn’t know such a thing existed. They brought foldable chairs and literally sat everywhere. Even in the toilets.

    There I sat. A Chinese man nodding to sleep on my shoulder, reading the Alchemist. But I didn’t care. The story was mesmerizing. Now, 7 years later, I finally re-read it. And it all clicked.

    I’m not a woolly person, but now I’m finally following my dream of becoming a writer, I just understood some things about following your dreams. I identified the following 8 steps from quotes from the book in order to successfully go after your dream too.

    #1: Find Your Path

    Coelho: “The boy didn’t know what a person’s “destiny” was.
    It’s what you have always wanted to accomplish. Everyone, when they are young, knows what their destiny is. […] It prepares your spirit and your will, because there is one great truth on this planet: whoever you are, or whatever it is that you do, when you really want something, it’s because that desire originated in the soul of the universe. It’s your mission on earth.”

    I used to hate that word: destiny. But why should I? Call it whatever you want, fate, your calling, a dream or a goal. It’s not some esoteric hocus pocus. It’s SOMETHING that moves you from where you are right now to where you should be heading. And one would do well to follow its directions.

    So what do you dream of doing?

    #2: Don’t Ignore Your Childhood Dreams

    What was it you wanted to be when you would grow old? In kindergarten, we always wrote in each other’s journals to answer questions about our favorite things in life. In addition, we had to write down what we wanted to be when we would be adults. I always wrote down: to be a writer or a chef.

    Coelho: “We, people’s hearts, seldom say much about those treasures, because people no longer want to go in search of them. We speak of them only to children. Later, we simply let life proceed, in its own direction, toward its own fate. But, unfortunately, very few follow the path laid out for them — the path to their destinies, and to happiness. Most people see the world as a threatening place, and, because they do, the world turns out, indeed, to be a threatening place.
    People learn, early in their lives, what is their reason for being,” said the old man, with a certain bitterness. “Maybe that’s why they give up on it so early, too. But that’s the way it is.”

    It’s like asking an adult: what would you do with your life when money is no object?

    We have responsibilities, bills, we need to “fit in” or please our parents. I went to Business School because I figured I’d always be able to find a job with a degree in business or perhaps ‘make it big’. With that, I lost sight of what I wanted to do most.

    #3: Choose Your Path

    Coelho: “Making a decision was only the beginning of things. When someone makes a decision, he is really diving into a strong current that will carry him to places he had never dreamed of when he first made the decision.”

    When I read the phrase above, I had to put the book down. It’s so true! One and a half years ago, I finally decided not only to write but publish my work too.

    Initially, I was working on a novel, but something just wasn’t right. Then I had an idea for a short story about a man who one day found a money tree growing in his garden. My short story blog was born. This decision let me on a magnificent and exciting path. I found a hidden alley on the road that is my life. I knew it was there, but never before had I been able to find it. Let alone dare enter it.If I hadn’t taken that alley, I would’ve never published my first (paperback) book with my short story collection.

    #4: DO What’s Outside of Your Comfort Zone

    When I entered the door, I found there to be a new trail. It was raw and wild, without a road. A huge difference to the road I was used walking on, which was neat and well walked on.

    Coelho: “He had to choose between something he had become accustomed to and something he wanted to have.”

    Go through your own hidden door. What is it you always wanted to do but never did because life happened? How could you make it work given your current lifestyle? Make time for it.

    When you decide to take the plunge, you have to leave your comfortable life. You have to do something outside of your comfort zone (I know, a big fat cliché, but it’s a cliché for a reason). It’s always scary, and I’m not going to talk about the magic that happens outside of your comfort zone. You probably read about that somewhere else.

    Just take one small step. If we stick to writing, write 100 words a day.

    #5: Change and Take Action

    Coelho: “I don’t want to change anything, because I don’t know how to deal with change. I’m used to the way I am.
    Why ask more out of life?
    Because we have to respond to omens.”

    Who knows how to deal with change? Just let it take you somewhere new. Ride the currents with grace. You can be that person who follows his or her dream.

    Ask more out of life because you deserve more. You have one shot at life (presumably, but let’s not go there).

    Coelho: “There is only one way to learn,” the alchemist answered. “It’s through action. Everything you need to know you have learned through your journey.”

    Enough said. Please DO.

    #6: Live in the Present

    Coelho: “I’m interested only in the present. If you can concentrate always on the present, you’ll be a happy man.
    How do I guess at the future? Based on the omens of the present. The secret is here in the present. If you pay attention to the present, you can improve upon it. And, if you improve on the present, what comes later will also be better.”

    So you’re taking a chance upon one of your dreams, you’ve listened to your omens. It’s a journey full of obstacles, lessons, and, inevitably, growth.

    Don’t dwell on the fact that you didn’t act sooner, you’re acting now. Don’t linger on future daydreams either. I get it, you see yourself achieving your dream, but that alone won’t get you there. Make a plan, take incremental steps to achieve your goals. Do this every day. The only moment you can do something is now.

    #7: Ignore the Projections of Others

    Coelho: “When someone sees the same people every day, […] they wind up becoming a part of that person’s life. And then they want the person to change. If someone isn’t what others want them to be, the others become angry. Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own.”

    This happens a lot. When you follow something you’re passionate about and chase a dream some people will discourage you. Know that most of them do this because they haven’t done anything about their dreams.

    However, accept people’s honest advice when things aren’t working out. You’ll hate them for saying it, but deep down you know if something is working out or not.

    #8: Face Your Fears

    Coelho: “Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second’s encounter with God and with eternity.
    If a person is living out his destiny, he knows everything he needs to know. There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.”

    If you don’t know how to do anything, you have to learn it. If you try, you’ll one day die knowing you tried. That’s always better than thinking what could’ve been.

    Ask for help. Google. Follow courses. Read about the subject you’re interested in.

    Conclusion

    Maybe it’s just me, but this book resonated with me so strongly the second time I read it. Perhaps it’s because I feel such a powerful pull into the direction of writing. Like an invisible magnet is pulling me towards the North, the place where I achieve my dream.

    I just need to act upon it, become better, face my fears and see where that new alley takes me. Hopefully, I can turn it into a beautiful, well-trodden path of success.

    What do you do to achieve your dream(s)? This is me holding my first book 🙂 Source: The Ascent Author: N.A. Turner
  • A New (Controversial) Perspective on Giving, and Getting What You Want!

    Call “Success” whatever you like. Call it happiness, call it love, contribution, purpose, meaning, call it achievement or fulfillment. No matter what words you use to express it, and regardless of the different methods you employ to represent, materialize, or attain it, WE ALL WANT IT!!! At the end of the day, and certainly at the end of our life, WE ALL WANT THE SAME THING! We want to feel, and we want to know, that we truly LIVED our life – not someone else’s; and, that we lived our life in the BEST way possible. We want to feel and know that we truly LOVED our life, that we truly loved others, and that we ourselves were truly loved. We want to feel and know that we truly MATTERED – that our life mattered, that we contributed something, and that we had some significance because of the fact that we were alive!! Whatever you want to call that – again, be it success, happiness, love, meaning, purpose, fulfillment, or any other word or words you choose, you also choose to achieve and attain that ultimate “end” through all kinds of different representations that you associate and link to reaching that “end.” Whether that representation is social status and recognition, whether it’s money, family, a certain life-style, certain experiences, or a set of values, beliefs, and philosophies to live by. And for most of us, maybe just to hedge our bet, we choose to strive for a big old melting-pot-mix of all those representations to get to that end. But, regardless of what you call it, and regardless of which representation of it resonates with you – at the end of the day, and at the end of your life, I believe WE ALL WANT THAT SAME THING! And because of that, most of us spend a lot of our time (in fact, often we spend our entire adult lives) focusing on HOW to achieve those representations of that same thing we all ultimately want, call it what you may. We focus on how to get those representations, and then we start working towards building them, creating them, finding them, and procuring them. We focus on, and we put our energy and time into striving for them using all kinds of different strategies, means, and practices in order to achieve them. Because we believe that once we have those representations in our life, that will surely yield that ultimate and final end of “success” or “happiness” or “fulfillment” that we all want! In other words, we spend our entire adult lives building and working towards those representations as the means by which to achieve and attain that end of what we really want. Now, here’s where it gets interesting (and maybe a little controversial)…. A currently popular, and feel-good strategy, practice, and belief many of us buy into today is that the more we give, the more we get. When we serve others, and focus on helping others – the end result of success and happiness, as well as all the different representations of that end result and what we really want – will just naturally follow and flow to us from there. Here’s the problem with that, though. To me, that sounds a lot like: giving to others, serving others, helping or inspiring others, as selfless and altruistic as its appeal may be, is really nothing more than the means and strategy we use to achieve and attain the end result we really want for ourselves, again whatever you may call that end result, be it “success”, “happiness”, “purpose”, “meaning”, “contribution”, or whatever. BUT, WHAT IF, JUST WHAT IF – IT’S ACTUALLY THE OTHER WAY AROUND! What if the means is actually our success and happiness, and more specifically – our own individual self-actualization, realizing our dreams, fulfilling our greatest potential, manifesting our Personal Legend, tapping into, cultivating, nurturing, and developing our individual talents, gifts, and yes, our passions – in order to achieve the end result of giving, sharing, serving, helping, inspiring, and thereby contributing those very gifts, talents, and passions – the very best of us – with and to others and the world!!  That’s what I believe. I believe we are all meant to realize our dreams and become our best selves by doing what we love and what we were each meant to do SO THAT we can share that with the world, and thereby make a difference, inspire, serve, love, and help others!! And I believe that is the real how we get what we all really want in the end- to feel and to know that we truly did live our life to the fullest and in the best possible way, that we truly did love and were loved, and that our life and we truly did matter!  So, instead of focusing on strategies like giving to others in order to then become successful and attain happiness, maybe we should start focusing on who we are, who we were meant to be, why we’re here, and what we’re meant to create and contribute and gift back to the world through that. Maybe giving to yourself first in that way, by realizing your dreams and becoming your best self, and by taping into your passions and gifts, and fulfilling your true potential is NOT selfish or self-centered at all. Maybe attaining your individual success and happiness is actually the first step to ultimately giving, serving, contributing, living, loving, and mattering to others and to the world! And not just because if you don’t start with giving to yourself, you’ll burnout, sacrifice yourself, and run empty on your own fuel so that you’ll actually have nothing to give  – though that’s 100%% true; but also because maybe realizing your dreams and becoming your best self is actually the means by which you are able to give ALL that you were meant to give and are capable of giving to the world!!! And maybe, just maybe, that’s why we’re all here…. As always, do more of what you love and be more of who you love!!! #SeizeYourPassion! 
  • Article: This ONE Simple (and Highly Underrated) Principle will FREE YOU from Stress For Good!

    Let’s call a spade a spade, shall we?!
    1. We ALL have stress in our lives.
    2. Stress is THE #1 SILENT KILLER of Health, Happiness, and yes, Dreams!!!
    3. Living stress-free is getting more elusive, overwhelming, and complicated (i.e., MORE STRESSFUL) in this modern age and culture of productivity, efficiency, speed, multi-tasking, and information overload!
    But, what if eliminating stress isn’t actually as complicated as we are led to believe? WHAT IF FREEING YOURSELF FROM STRESS IS REALLY SIMPLE?! First, consider these two quotes:

    It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.” – Hans Selye “The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.” – William James

    So, if it’s not stress that kills us, but rather our reaction to it; and if our greatest weapon against stress is our own choice of thoughts; and again, if we’re living in an age where there are increasingly more stressors, then all that begs the real question at hand: THE REAL QUESTION: How do we develop the resilience, the energy, and the mindset to consistently squash the power and control stress has on us, and FREE oursleves from its hold once and for all??!!! I believe the answer lies in one simple truism. THE REAL ANSWER: DO MORE OF WHAT YOU LOVE!!!!  Yes, it’s that simple, it’s that self-evident, and perhaps because of that, it’s also that underestimated! But here’s the plain truth. When we consistently and regularly (and those two words are KEY, which I’ll get to in a moment) connect with, and engage in, the activities, pursuits, experiences, interests, pastimes, hobbies, ventures, occupations, callings, projects, undertakings, and work that we LOVE – the ones that bring us alive, that rejuvenate us with energy, that fill us up with meaning and joy, that simultaneously take us away from and bring us back to ourselves in the most magical and best way possible, that sometimes even help us transcend time and space- that is how we tap into, nurture, develop, and leverage the very resilience, energy, and mindset that obliterate the deadly affects of stress! That’s how we take control and change our reaction to all the stressors that will continue to come, and that’s how we use our most valuable weapon – our power to choose not just our thoughts, but our entire state of mind and state of being, come what may! Because we are fueled with the requisite energy, power, and strength it takes to do that. And that fuel is literally generated by doing more of what we love!!!    Yes, it’s that simple. Now, consider these two quotes:

    Many of us feel stress and get overwhelmed not because we’re taking on too much, but because we’re taking on too little of what really strengthens us.” – Marcus Buckingham “We all have those things that even in the midst of stress and disarray, they energize us and give us renewed strength and purpose. These are our passions.” – Adam Braun

    In other words, we need to take on more of what really strengthens us. We need to do more of what energizes and replenishes us. We need to connect more with our most fundamental and vital selves. We need to Seize Our Passions more! And we need to do it consistently and regularly! Not just as a one-off. Because you’re not going to get into shape by going to the gym once or even every once in a while, right?! It’s the same exact thing. And, to quote Will Smith – it’s much easier staying in shape than it is getting in shape. So, incorporating what you love into your regular daily practice, consistently every day, as much, whenever, and wherever you can is how you start building that resilience, energy, and mindset that defeats stress every time; and then over time, it’s how you easily maintain and sustain that power and dominance so you can just effortlessly say – Be Gone Stress! Whether it’s in your professional life or in your personal one, but ideally in both – do more of what you love! Whether it’s your hobby and pastime or it’s your calling and career, but ideally both – do more of what you love! And not just because it’s fun. Not only because it will invariably lead to success, which it will, by the way. But because your health, your happiness, and your dreams literally depend on it! Do more of what you love! And be more of who you love! They go together like movies and popcorn. And they beat the big, bad, wolf (namely, Stress) just like the heroes in the movies we watch while eating that popcorn do :-)). Be that hero! All you have to do is – more of what you LOVE!!!! I dare you! Read this for more on why Passion is the ultimate gateway drug that leads to everything else that matters in life!!!! And… Wear this if you Choose Passion over Stress!!! :-). Do more of what you love and be more of who you love!!! #SeizeYourPassion! 
  • VIDEO: When One Door Closes….| If You’ve Been Rejected, Watch This by Jay Shetty

    If you’ve ever felt rejected, watch this. If you’ve ever felt like you failed, watch this. If you’ve ever felt “unlucky”, watch this. “When we get rejected, or we fail, or things don’t go our way, we feel we’re further away from our goal. But sometimes it’s in those moments that we have the greatest opportunity to reflect, refuel and refocus. It’s in those moments that feel like the death of our dreams that our truest potential is actually taking birth.” “If a door doesn’t open, it’s not your door. Often we;re trying to climb ladders that are not ours to climb. Is your dream really your dream? Are you chasing what you truly want? …In our pain we find our greatest power.” “Every time we think we’re being rejected from something good, remember, we’re just being redirected to something better.” – Jay Shetty Source: YouTube Author: Jay Shetty
  • VIDEO: So LIVE!!! | Kenny Leon | Goalcast

    Discover Passion! “If you haven’t discovered what you love, I wish you would spend every waking minute searching for it.” Find as many moments of laughter as you can. And, “I wish you a double heaping dose of strength and courage.” Because “your belief in yourself must be so strong that it doubles everyone else’s collective disbelief.” One of Broadway’s leading directors, Kenny Leon delivers a compelling series of lessons his hero once shared with him. Source: YouTube Author: Goalcast  
  • Video: Live Stream – Passion Clarity

    Two techniques to get a pulse on, gain clarity, and live out of your Passion so you can truly #SeizeYourPassion, do more of what you love, be more of who you love, realize your dreams, and become your best self!
  • VIDEO: Seize Your Passion!

    Life is short, and your time here is sacred. So LIVE!! your life, to the fullest – with meaning, purpose, passion, and fulfillment! You can realize your dreams and become your best self! That’s why you’re here. Do more of what you love, and be more of who you love. Seize Your Passion!
  • Article: Why self responsibility is the key to being the best you

    The debate is still out on how people can find success in life. The problem, of course, remains that success looks different to everyone. How can I tell you how to find success if my definition of success is different from yours? Well, it turns out that no matter what you want your life to look like, there are a few key elements that have to fall into place in order to make that life a reality. One of those key elements is self responsibility.

    Which perspective do you adopt?

    Some people believe that life happens to them, while others believe that life happens for them. The perspective you wish to adopt can drastically change your life – for the better. If you are passively passing through your life thinking that life is happening to you, good or bad, regardless of what you do to change it, then you won’t ever get out of your own way to make good things happen. Why would you? If something bigger or badder than you is in control, shouldn’t you be worrying about other things? It would seem so for some people. On the other side of that coin, however, is another group of people who firmly believe that they have the power to influence their lives. And many of those believers are people who used to think that life happened to them. Then, at some point, something happens to change their mind and they start focusing on taking responsibility for their actions, good or bad, and they start to see change in their lives. There is a famous quote from Charles R. Swindoll that summarizes this perfectly: Usually, people adopt the perspective that they can change their reality by changing their perspective after they realize they can lose those last 10 pounds, they can get that raise at work, and they can start their own business.

    You’re more in control of the outcome than you think

    Whenever we overcome major hurdles in life, we tend to want to give up our efforts to luck. Sometimes, it feels more like dumb luck, but if you trace back your steps from idea to completion, you’ll find that you were probably more in control of the outcome than originally thought. After all, did fate make you run 5km every morning before work? No, you did that. And if you can do that, what else can you do? The idea that our lives are just passing us by is a commonly adopted practice and widely accepted human fate. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Everyday millions of people take steps in a different direction than they were previously headed and make real, lasting change in their lives. Some people leave their spouse, quit their job, or book that vacation. Sometimes, it’s a small choice like choosing fruit over another bag of potato crisps. The point is that nobody is making you eat that food, stay in that job, or be miserable. We are choosing those things. It’s just easier to blame someone or something else than it is to take self responsibility. So when you find yourself in a slump, ask yourself what you did to get there. Because if you can will yourself into a slump, you can will yourself out of it.

    Success is a matter of perspective

    In work, success usually comes in the form of money, promotions, fancy job titles, and opportunity. But it can be about other things as well. For many entrepreneurs, success is about finding that elusive balance they craved while working a 9-5. It’s about being able to earn money they never thought possible, or clocking out early on a Friday afternoon because they can. To some people, paying their bills and having enough money for a case of beer on the weekend is their definition of success. To others, millions of dollars in the bank is what they consider success. Whatever it is that you want in life, you can have it. If you want it bad enough and are willing to put the work in to get it. All too often people think that they will fall into money or that someone will notice them and give them a promotion. But if you want those things, you need to show up and be seen first.

    How to take self responsibility

    Taking responsibility doesn’t mean doing way more work than you need to. It’s about accepting that you are the only one who can change your life for the better. If you don’t like something about how you are living, it’s about taking the time to change it. No one can do that for you. Not your mom, your dad, your rich uncle, Frank: no one can change what isn’t working in your life, except you. So now you have to ask yourself this question: are you ready to take responsibility for your life? Amazing things can happen if you do. Source: Ideapod Author: Lachlan Brown
  • Video: How to Find Your Purpose | Jay Shetty on Impact Theory

    Jay Shetty sits down with Tom Bilyeu to discuss passion, purpose, and everything in between. He breaks down key steps in building your ideal life, bridging practical studies with spiritual insight, gaining self-awareness, and shares his answers to the 3 questions he gets asked the most [HINT: #1 has to do with Passion]. Eloquent, enlightened, inspiring, and wise beyond his years, Jay shares his story and his insights in such a powerful way! NOTABLE QUOTES AND WHERE TO FIND THEM IN THIS VIDEO:
    • “Fast forward where you are, look at yourself in 10, 15, 20 years time, and ask yourself the question: ‘Is that where I want to be?’…And if the answer’s no, then you need to find a new path.” [09:01]
    • “There’s this beautiful quote…by Cooley, and he said: ‘Today I’m not what I think I am, I’m not what you think I am, I am what I think you think I am.’ So we live in this perception of a perception of ourselves.” [13:03]
    • “Your passion is for you, your purpose is for others. Your passion makes you happy. But when you use your passion to make a difference in someone else’s life, that’s a service, that’s a purpose.” [22:54]
    • “Being able to reflect and observe the different voices inside of us is a great place to start your self-awareness because the biggest challenge is that most of us don’t know what we’re listening to. Most of us don’t even know that there is more than one voice inside of us.” [32:28]
    • “So how do I find my passion? My simple model, which is the Dharma model…it’s very similar to what Ikigai is being spoken about today, which is a Japanese version of reason for being, why do we live, where is meaning coming from, and it talks about an intersect of four areas: 1) What am I good at; 2) What do I love; 3) What does the world need; and 4) How do I get paid for it. To me, those four help you unlock your passion.”[42:39]
    Source: YouTube Author: Tom Bilyeu
  • BLOG: The Stuff In Between The Lines

    “Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans.” – John Lennon

    We’re all so busy. Even now during the summer when a lot of us are taking some well overdue and deserved vacations, we’re still busy. Busy with commitments, with responsibilities, with check lists, with all the stuff we’re supposed to do, or have to do, or need to do. I get it. I promise, I’m right there with you…. But, I had this thought the other day: We draw all these metaphorical lines for ourselves in life, but really what ultimately matters the most is all the stuff in between the lines.  Right?! But the stuff in between the lines wouldn’t be the stuff in between the lines if the lines weren’t there. It would just be stuff, orderless and meaningless. So we need those lines to give the stuff that matters in between its very significance, meaning, and value. The problem is – what often ends up happening is that we end up focusing all of our attention and energy and time on creating and building those lines, that we forget about all the stuff that really matters in between. We forget the very reason we started building those lines in the first place. It’s the same with our busy-ness. It’s the same with our dreams and goals. And it’s the same with our passions. So, let’s not do that! Let’s continue to create and build all those necessary lines and frameworks and structures, yes. BUT, let’s also remember to pay attention, to nurture, to cultivate, and to contribute our time, energy and focus into the reason we build those lines in the first place – all the stuff in between. As always, do more of what you love and be more of who you love! #SeizeYourPassion! Passionately Yours, Rachel
  • Video: Connect to Your Passion By Paying Attention to the Whisper | Adriana Girdler | TEDxHickory

    “In this fun and personal talk, Adriana shares her story of moving from feeling stuck to finding her purpose by paying attention to the whisper. Our purpose ignites our passion and drives us to get to the next level in life…We’re here to learn and grow, and this talk on connecting with our passion is a great tool… How to tap into your deep-seated goals and dreams you aspire to in life.” Source: YouTube Author: TedX Talks
  • Article: 7 Life Truths I Wish I Knew Sooner

    We often talk about stepping into our true power, about building our confidence muscle and boosting our self-esteem. But although self-confidence and self-esteem seem similar—referring to how we feel about ourselves—they are two very different concepts. Self-esteem refers to how we generally feel about ourselves: how much we like or love ourselves, and the overall image we have about who we are—positive or negative. It is shaped by our experiences and the environments we grow up in, by our family members, our school and our community. Self-confidence relates to how we feel about our abilities and how capable we see ourselves of doing certain things or handling different situations. Most of us have been raised to focus on our weaknesses and perceived limitations, rather than our strengths. In some cases, we were taught to find ways to improve so that we could become “the best versions of ourselves.” Take my home country, Romania, where, like in many other places, the schooling system was a fierce competition for the best grades and being first in class. I remember I was spending an average of 10 hours a day or more studying and doing homework; I hardly had time to play and relax. Teachers and parents always made comparisons between students and other kids, and individual talents were not truly encouraged. I ended up struggling with serious self-esteem issues for many years. As a young woman, I didn’t see myself as beautiful enough, smart enough, good enough. I was constantly and desperately trying to be perfect. And I was a master of giving—my care and my attention, my time and my energy. Putting my wants and needs first was uncomfortable and felt selfish. I was always striving to be the best friend I could be, the best daughter or the best employee. I wanted to please everyone so they would like me. I needed others to validate my worth.

    We can only change the things we are aware of, the things we accept to be true.

    We can only change the things we are aware of, the things we accept to be true. So it was only after I faced the truth and recognized my injured self-esteem that was I able to do some work and change it. I made a list of things I liked about myself and promised myself to add one new thing every single day. I looked back on my life and acknowledged all of my achievements, knowing they reflected hard work and effort. I made a list of personal skills and qualities I was proud of, giving myself credit for every small accomplishment in my daily life, instead of taking it for granted. It didn’t have to be big like saving someone from drowning. Being able to cook the best moussaka in the world was enough, and my list quickly grew. I also wanted to discover and know myself, so I took various self-assessments, such as StrengthsFinder and MBTI. I found out that I am empathetic, intuitive, determined, ambitious, focused, hardworking and committed. I have a gift for working with people and being able to identify the strengths in others. By doing all this, my self-confidence in my capability to do good things and leave a legacy in the world strengthened. I began to see myself in an entirely new light. And my self-esteem and the way I perceived myself improved, too. Today I treat myself kindly. I have learned to love who I am with all my flaws and imperfections. I am aware of my strengths and talents, and, in the same way, I can see and appreciate the gifts in others. Building a healthy self-esteem and gaining confidence in my ability to make meaningful choices has been an inside job and a very rewarding journey, and I’ve gained powerful insights along the way. Here is what I know to be true about life and myself.

    1. Loving my whole self—mind, body and soul—is not selfish; it’s necessary for a healthy life.

    To be able to love others, we need to keep our cup full.

    2. Perfection is pure fiction.

    I am grateful for all of my mistakes because they were real blessings in disguise that made me wiser. As John C. Maxwell says, “Sometimes we win, sometimes we learn. We never lose.” I stopped stressing myself out while trying to be perfect and I am always aiming for good enough.

    3. I am not a victim.

    My past has nothing to do with my future and my old limitations do not define who I am today. Blaming others for taking my time, money or love is unfair because I always choose how much I give and to whom. No one can hurt me or upset me without my consent. I am in charge of my actions and my future is the result of my current choices. The day I stopped blaming my past or other people, I set myself free.

    4. Worrying about what others think is a waste of time.

    I cannot please everyone, no matter how much I try. Whatever people think about me is their opinion, filtered through their lenses; it’s all about them and it has zero to do with me. I stopped trying to please others in the hopes that they would like me. I like myself as I am and I don’t need or expect other people to make me happy. My happiness is my responsibility and everything else is a bonus.

    5. Saying no to things we don’t want to do is a learned practice of self-care. 

    If it sounds like I should do, I don’t do it. I go for the things that feel like a want. My wants come from myself, instead of being imposed on me by others. I always choose how I am spending my precious time and with whom. My time means life and it’s never coming back.

    6. Life doesn’t have to be a fight or an exhausting competition.

    I stopped competing and comparing myself to others. Instead, I mind my own journey and I am happy for other people’s achievements. I choose to live in a state of love instead of fear and I believe in abundance. We live in a supportive universe, where there is enough of everything and for everyone.

    7. Being authentic is a matter of choice.

    I choose to stay true to who I am and what I believe to be right. It is my birthright to be happy and I have decided to live my own life with no apologies or regrets. I am whatever I choose to be, and my life is to be lived, not existed. I have come to understand that in life, we don’t get what we want. We get what we think we deserve. That’s why believing in ourselves, seeing ourselves as enough and worthy of the best things life has to offer is necessary. Source: Success.com Author: Sara Fabian
  • Video: Don’t Let Your Dreams Die | Jay Shetty

    “The tragedy of life is not death, but what we let die inside of us while we’re still alive.” Source: YouTube Author: Jay Shetty
  • BLOG: THE BEST IS YET TO COME!!!

    THE BEST IS YET TO COME!!!!!!! I believe that’s as true for you as it is for me, because I believe it’s true for all of us!!! And I believe it’s as true today as it will be tomorrow. And every day after that. And always! Regardless of what you may be going through right now – good or bad. And no matter where you are right now – whether it be a dark place, an inspired bright place, or somewhere in between. No matter what difficulties you may be facing, or even what joys and successes you may be enjoying. Still, and always, that truth is yours! THE BEST IS YET TO COME!!!!!  And I want you to know it, to believe it, and to remember it. Because what I’ve learned is that when you allow yourself to fully embrace and commit to that truth, it will carry you and empower you and move you to live and act accordingly! It will infuse you with passion, hope, strength, power (the good kind), love, joy, determination, gratitude, humility, light, and goodness! It will push you to continuously move forward towards becoming your best self, living your best life, and totally embodying what Seize Your Passion really means to you! It will unlock everything you have within you that is 100% capable of fully realizing your dreams, fulfilling your infinite potential, and living your best life to the fullest; with never-ending improvement and growth, always taking you to the next level of your individual and unique journey of fulfillment, happiness, and success! THE BEST IS YET TO COME!!!!! And I know it’s easy to forget that truth, and even easier to just not believe it. It’s easy when life sucks – when the possibility of things turning around or feeling anything even remotely inspiring, positive, or good seems utterly impossible and ludicrous. And it’s easy when life is great – when the idea that things could get any better or that there’s anywhere else to go but down from that point seems completely arrogant or just like, “no one’s that lucky!” Or both. But, when you do remember, and believe, and truly know in your heart of hearts that THE BEST IS YET TO COME, you will live and act accordingly! So that when times are tough and when life does suck, that truth – with all its grace, hope, and beauty – will give you the very strength and resilience you need to get through those tough times. It will give you something to fight for, and it will give you the wisdom and insight to know how to learn and grow from those tough times in a way that will yield and lead to the only possible outcome of you actually manifesting that truth! And when times are good, your belief in that truth will remind you to never become complacent, to never take anything or anyone for granted, to stay humble, to be grateful, and at the same time to continuously strive to achieve and become the next level of whatever that success, happiness, and fulfillment looks like for you. But, if you don’t hold on to that belief and commit to it wholeheartedly, if you don’t remember that the best is yet to come, then you can be damn sure that the dark days will kill your dreams, your passion, and your hope; and that the good times will kill your hunger, your humility, your compassion, and your inner growth. I believe, I know, and I refuse to forget that for all of us – THE BEST IS YET TO COME!!!  Believe, know, and refuse to forget with me!!! As always, do more of what you love and be more of who you love! #SeizeYourPassion! P.S. This piece of truth is part of what having a “Growth Mindset” means. You can check out tons of inspiring, insightful, and empowering content on Mindsets to Seize Your Passion! here. Enjoy 🙂
  • Video: The You-est You!

    Julie Reisler, author, TEDx speaker, host of the podcast The You-est YOU®, and certified coach, talks with Seyopa founder and champion of Passion, Rachel Ellner Lebensohn, about what it means to be, and how to become, the you-est you! #SeizeYourPassion! This was recorded in 2017 for The You-est You Podcast, hosted by Julie Reisler. To learn more about Julie, visit www.juliereisler.com
  • Video: Remember Who You Are!

    How to overcome the biggest obstacle to truly realizing your dreams and truly becoming your best self.
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