The Importance of Self-Awareness, and How to Become More Self Aware

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Knowing yourself completely is difficult, and it’s impossible to solve for every single cognitive bias you have. But just because we suck at it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try. You can’t solve every problem in your life, but you can make some headway on minor changes. Here are a few ways of doing just that:

  • Learn to look at yourself objectively: It’s nearly impossible to actually look at yourself objectively, but it’s always worth a shot. As we’ve talked about before, the main idea here is to study and criticize your decisions. Even better, find some trustworthy friends to talk with and listen to their criticisms.
  • Write your own manifesto: The main purpose of self-awareness is self-improvement, so it makes sense that you need to have goals. If you’re struggling with that part, a manifesto is a great way to push yourself into figuring out what you want.
  • Keep a journal: As Kahneman noted above, our memory colors the past pretty deeply. If you want a more accurate gauge of yourself, a journal is a great way to get it. A journal makes you more aware of what you’re doing and where problems might be coming from because you can document anything. If you spend time documenting the little things, like food intake, water intake, or sleep, you might notice a larger trend that you can correct for. If you’re looking for a deeper understanding of your decision making skills, Harvard Business Review suggests writing down what you think will happen with a decision, then wait nine or ten months and review what you wrote.
  • Perform a self-review: The self-review is one of those annoying little things we all do at work, but you can make them beneficial if you think of them more as a thought experiment. Instead of spending your time thinking about what you should improve about yourself, think about what you boss thinks you should do and what co-workers might say. This way, you can see yourself from someone else’s perspective and gain a little extra insight into yourself.

It’s important to remember that self-awareness is introspection, but it’s not navel gazing. Self-absorption and overthinking doesn’t get you anywhere, but being aware of your needs and acting on them can help you improve. You might not realize how often what you’re doing doesn’t correlate to what you want.


How to Stay Positive: 11 Smart Habits

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“Having a positive mental attitude is asking how something can be done rather than saying it can’t be done.”
Bo Bennett

“To avoid situations in which you might make mistakes may be the biggest mistake of all.”
Peter McWilliams

“We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.”
Anais Nin

One of the very first things I started to work on consciously with my own personal development was to improve my outlook on life.

It was over 10 years ago that I started to delve into this topic and to step by step – and while sometimes tumbling backwards – build a more optimistic outlook.

An attitude that would over time become more and more stable so that I could not only look at the world in a positive way during good days. But also so I could stay positive and constructive even during tough times and keep working towards something better.

In this article I’d like to share 11 of the best, smartest and most effective habits for doing so that I have learned during over more than a decade.

I hope you will find something helpful here.

1. Find the optimistic viewpoint in a negative situation.

One of the simplest but most effective ways to build a more positive outlook has in my experience been to ask more helpful questions as often as possible.

When I am in what seems like a negative situation – maybe I have made a mistakes, I have failed or stumbled in some kind of way – then I like to ask myself questions like:

  • What is one thing that is positive or good about this situation?
  • What is one opportunity within this situation?

Doing so is a whole lot better than what I used to do in such situations. Because back then I usually asked myself how much I sucked and how things could get even worse now.

I do however not always use these questions right away. Oftentimes I need a bit of time to process the thoughts and feelings that arise in situation before I can do that. Trying to force optimistic thinking when you are still in an emotional turmoil or a bit shocked usually don’t work that well.

2. Cultivate and live in a positive environment.

Who you choose to spend your time with and the input you get from further away like the TV, the internet and magazines will have a huge effect on your outlook.

To be able to stay positive it is essential to have influences in your life that support you and lift you up instead of dragging you down.

So carefully consider what you let into your mind.

You can for example ask yourself:

  • Who are the 3 most negative people I spend time with?
  • What are the 3 of most negative sources of information I spend time on?

Consider the answers. Then think about how you can start spending less time with one of those people or information sources this week.

And how you can spend more of the time you have now freed up with one of the most positive sources or people in your life.

3. Go slowly.

I have found that when I go too fast, when I try to think, talk, eat and move around in my world really quickly then things don’t go too well.

Stress builds up. Negative thoughts about just about anything start to well up and I feel like my own personal power decreases.

But if I slow down just for a few minutes – even if I have to force it by walking, talking and eating slower – then my mind and body calms down too. It becomes easier to think things through clearly again and easier to find the optimistic and constructive perspective.

4. Don’t make a mountain out of a molehill.

It’s very easy to lose perspective, especially if you are stressed and you are going too fast.

And so a molehill can become a big and terrifying mountain in your mind.

A simple three step way to handle these situations so they don’t get out of hand is to:

  • Say stop. In your mind, shout “STOP!” or “NOPE, we are not going down that path again!” as soon as thoughts of this kind starts to spin in your head.
  • Breathe. After you have disrupted the thoughts by shouting stop sit down and just be still. Breathe with your belly and focus on just your in-breaths and out-breaths for a minute or two to calm your mind and body down.
  • Refocus. Question your mountain building thoughts by talking to someone close to you and getting a more grounded perspective on the situation by just venting or by getting his or her input. Or simply ask yourself this to widen your perspective and to chill out: Will this matter in 5 years? Or even 5 weeks?

5. Don’t let vague fears hold you back from doing what you want.

Sometimes you may want to take a chance in life. Start a new habit that feels unfamiliar, your own business on the side or ask someone out for a date.

A common trap when you want to do one of those things is to get lost in vague fears about what could happen if you actually took action.

And so the mind runs wild fueled by fear and it creates nightmare scenarios.

I know. I have been there many times.

So I have learned to ask myself this: honestly, what is the worst that could happen?

When I have figured that out I also spend a bit of time on trying to figure out what I could do if that that often pretty unlikely thing happens.

I have over the years discovered that the worst thing that could realistically happen is usually not as scary as the nightmare my fear-fueled mind could produce.

Finding clarity in this way doesn’t take much time or effort and it can help you to avoid much mind made suffering. And help you to get going, step outside of your comfort zone and take that chance.

6. Add value and positivity to someone else’s life.

What you send out you tend to get back from the world and the people in it.

Not from everyone. And not every time.

But what you send out there matters a whole lot.

What you give them and how you treat them is what you’ll get back. And they way you treat others and how you think of them also tend to have a big effect on how you treat and think about yourself.

So give value and spread the positivity by for example:

  • Helping out. Lend a hand when moving. Give a friend a ride in your car. Or if he or she needs information then help out by checking it up on Google or asking a friend of yours.
  • Just listening. Sometimes people don’t want any direct help. They just want someone to be there fully and listening as they vent for a little while.
  • Boosting the mood. Smile. Give hugs when appropriate. Play uplifting music when hanging out with a friend or suggest an inspiring movie for your movie night. Or encourage when someone has had a bad day or are going through a tough time.

7. Exercise regularly and eat and sleep well.

This is very obvious of course.

But I know the big, big impact a good night’s sleep or good workout can have when my thoughts are pessimistic and I have a lot of tensions on the inside.

And I know how much simpler it is to think clearly and optimistically when my belly is not empty.

So I highly recommend being careful about these basic habits that may sound boring. Because they do have a huge effect either way depending on how you manage them.

8. Learn to take criticism in a healthy way.

One of the most common fears is the fear of criticism. It can hold people back from doing what they want in life. Because having negativity flowing out of someone’s mouth or email and it being about you can hurt. And being rejected can sing quite a bit.

But if you want to take action on what you deep down want then criticism is pretty much unavoidable. So the key is learning to handle it in a healthier way. By doing so your fear of it will lessen and it will hurt less if you do get criticized.

I usually use four steps when I get some criticism. Maybe they can help you out too:

  • Step 1: Don’t reply right away. When you are angry, upset or riled up then is time to calm down a bit before you reply. Take at least a couple of deep breaths or a little time to process the message before you respond.
  • Step 2: Really listen to the criticism. Try to remain open and level-headed and figure out how this message can help you. Ask yourself: Is there one thing I can learn from this criticism? Is there something here that I may not want to hear but could help me?
  • Step 3: Remember that the criticism isn’t always about you. Some criticism is helpful. Some is simply attacks or someone lashing out because they are having bad day, year or job. To lessen the sting of such criticism – often really angry or overly critical in an unconstructive way – I try to be understanding. I think to myself that this person might not be feeling so good at the moment.
  • Step 4: Reply or let go. No matter the content of for example an email I try to keep my reply level-headed and kind. I may add a question or two to get more specific feedback that is helpful. And if they don’t reply or I have simply gotten a nasty attack then it is time to delete it and to let that situation go.

9. If something still gets under your skin then know what to do.

Sometimes something can still get under your skin and hurt you. Even if you use the steps above.

Two things that have helped me with that challenge are:

  • Let it out. Just letting that issue out into the light talking it over with someone close can be very helpful to see it for what it actually is. And to find a healthier perspective on the situation.
  • Improve your self-esteem. I have found over the years that with a stronger self-esteem things drag me down less and they don’t ruin my day as much anymore. Negativity from others  bounces off me much more often instead. If you want to practical help with this then have a look at my 12-week, step-by-step Self-Esteem Course.

10. Start your day in a positive way.

How you start your day usually sets the tone for the rest of your day.

So be careful about how you spend your mornings. If you get going at full speed, lost in future troubles in your mind then the stress, perceived loss of power of over your life and negative thoughts will ramp up quickly.

If you on the other hand start your day by moving slowly, by having an uplifting conversation with your family or friend or you spend some time with reading or listening to inspiring and helpful articles or podcasts over breakfast or during your bus ride to work then that can make a big difference for how your whole day will go.

11. Mindfully move through your day.

When you spend your time in the present moment then it becomes so much easier to access positive emotions and to stay practical about what you can actually do about something in your life.

When you get lost in the past or future like so many of us have spent a lot of time on doing then worries very easily become bigger. And failures and mistakes from the past being replayed over and over in your mind drag you down into pessimism.

By moving slowly through your morning and hopefully through much of the rest of your day it becomes easier to mindfully stay in the moment you are in.

Another simple way to reconnect with the moment in you are in and to put your full attention there again is to focus just on what is going on around you right now for a minute or two with all your senses. See it. Hear it. Smell it. Feel the sun, rain or cold wind on your skin.

It might sound like a small and insignificant thing to do. But this simplifying reconnection with the moment can have a very positive effect on the rest of your day.

 

SOURCE: http://www.positivityblog.com/index.php/2014/04/09/how-to-stay-positive/
Written by: Henrick Edberg


10 tricks to become a loving, positive person

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It’s one thing to wax eloquent on positivity, but quite another to be a positive person at heart.

Despite believing to have a positive outlook, we invariably weigh the cons first, consider several times before sparing a compliment, and broadcast only the odds when someone counts on us for advice. What’s more, we prefer needless sarcasm for humour, manage a wry smile when something is genuinely funny, and believe deep down that the glass is actually half empty.

We live in denial of our inherent negativity for the most part, and often wonder why the world around is so mean and reckless. At work, we never fail telling our juniors how meeting deadlines can be a tough proposition, and not to think too ‘out of the box’ to impress the boss. In short, we never tire telling all concerned how tough things can be! Unlike dogs we may not be born eternal optimists, but positivity is something that can be imbibed even if a tad forcibly; such as by trying to tweak our sense of humour, the way we react to a given situation, by being more pleasant and believing others too have a mind, and by smiling each time somebody says ‘thank you’.

While positivity is a state of mind, the answer lies in our perspective. Clinical psychologist and lifestyle advisor Dr S.K Sharma shares his ideas on how to be a positive person everyday.

Have the desire: First thing first, to become a positive person one must have a strong desire to be positive. And the desire will come only if you are convinced that becoming a positive person will enhance the quality of life. Positivity is like an aura, and you know you are a positive person when people start trusting you, random people become polite with you, colleagues at work start patronising you, and you start building rapport easily.

Be realistic: Do not try to become a saint. Becoming a positive person does not mean you can never have any negative emotion or encounter any negative situation. It is the overall attitude that matters. Don’t get bogged down by failure, and disappointed when your expectations are not met. Mentally, you should always be calculating a way out of difficult situations come what may.

Experiment: Be a keen observer. Use everyday life incidents to see how you can manage them in a more positive manner. These will serve as perfect instances to turn your outlook more positive. For starters, contemplate how you could have better handled a situation by being less hostile and more indulgent. Come up with five ways that could have saved the day, and learn to take things at face value sometimes. Remember, your ability to trust the other person also reflects your genuineness.

Speech and body language: Try and make positive words a part of your daily lingo, and work on your body language in way that you come across as friendly and approachable. Look amused when something is amusing, laugh when something is funny, congratulate when someone’s bought something new, and give others a chance to narrate their side of the story. Never think you are the only interesting, knowing one around.

Company: One way to becoming positive is to seek positive company as both positivity and negativity are infectious. If the people you spend most of your time with are grumpy or have a pessimistic standpoint, you’ll find yourself mirroring the same emotions before a different set of people inadvertently. In order to inculcate positivity it is imperative that your friend circle is a positive, energetic, and a happy bunch. You’ll find yourself carrying the same positivity everywhere you go.

Activities: Do not remain idle and brood. Take up positive activities with others or in isolation. Share a joke, narrate a pleasant incident, take part in sporting activities, go for a run in the evening after work, have healthy sex, and you’ll find yourself bubbling with positive energy.

Take it easy: Everyday life is bound to give you shocks. Be prepared to minimise impact and shrug it off. For instance, you may get too hassled everyday while driving to work or trying to park your car. When you accept the fact that certain things cannot be changed, you’ll be more at ease with yourself and those around too.

Learn yoga: Says yoga teacher and nutritionist, Abhilasha Kale, “Do pranayam everyday as it lets you focus and meditate. Not only does it secrete happy hormones but also creates a sense of awareness within you.” With the help of yogic asanas you control your breathing, and by way of it, control your mind from wandering. Every time you do yoga, you feel a surge of positive energythrough your body that calms your nerves, soothes your mind, elevates your mood, and not to mention enhances your level of tolerance.

Maintain a diary: Instead of recounting all events of the day, filter out only the positive ones and make a note of them. It could be anything trivial from your bus arriving on time, your mom cooking a delicious breakfast, to remembering to pay the bills on time. When we look for positivity in the little things that make our lives worthwhile, we leave no room for negativity. “Try consciously practising this for 10 days, and at the end of day ten when you read your diary back you’ll only have memories of all the good things that happened to you,” she asserts.

Say ‘thank you': Thank god, thank your parents, friends, and thank yourself for all the hard work you did, for everything you achieved. Says Abhilasha, “Saying thank you frequently makes you humble, and a humble person is seldom cynical.”

Try these methods, and you’ll be surprised when others notice the change in you.

 

 

Written By: Anwesha Mittra
Source:10 tricks to become a loving, positive person


Top 10 Personal Habits To Have

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Successful people have a regular routine of daily or weekly habits that reinforce the things that are most important to them.

By practising a set of personal success habits, they maintain a positive outlook, keep focused on their priorities, have more energy, and a greater sense of satisfaction with life.

As you read this list of the top ten personal habits, you might think that most of these are nothing new. And you’re probably right. These are pretty basic habits – not rocket science. The key to personal success habits is that you do them consistently.

How many of these habits do you do on a regular basis?

Eat well.

Practice the 80/20 rule. Eighty percent of the time, make very good nutritional choices. The rest of the time go ahead and indulge yourself.

Exercise.

Move it or lose it. Choose physical activities that you love keeping in mind that a well balanced exercise program includes flexibility, strength and cardio components.

Practice personal reflection.

In quiet moments you are more able to hear your true self speaking. Take time to create a regular practice of reflection through meditation, journaling or prayer.

Volunteer.

Connect with your local or global community to contribute your time, energy, and/or resources. You get to feel good making a difference and others reap the benefits. We’re all part of the same interconnected world.

Get enough sleep.

Most people are in a state of sleep deprivation. During sleep your body rests and repairs itself so you are better able to take on the joys and challenges of life.

Declutter physically & emotionally.

Clutter depletes your energy. Regularly sort through and get rid of stuff that is getting in your way. This includes relationships that are no longer satisfying and fulfilling.

Create a success circle.

Surround yourself with people who will support, encourage and challenge you to be your best. These are the people you can go to for brainstorming, advice or a good old kick in the pants when you need it.

Listen to music.

Music has the power to relax, entertain and heal. Build your music library and use it to support your other success habits.

Indulge your creativity.

Besides being a way to express yourself, creativity increases your problem solving abilities. You can explore your creative self not only through the arts, but also through activities such as cooking, gardening, photography or decorating.

Read.

Expand your mind with both fiction and nonfiction books. Even if you are not a “book” person, you can still get the same intellectual stimulation through audio books.

Laurel Vespi, certified life coach and the creative energy behind stone circle coaching, ignites businesses & individuals to new levels of CHANGE. Laurel works with clients internationally, providing unconventional yet practical tips that make the seemingly impossible… possible!

SOURCE: http://www.stonecirclecoaching.com/free-stuff/how-to-articles/top-ten-personal-habits/


Simple Self Improvement – Personal Development Ideas

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Personal Development Ideas

A great way to kick start your personal growth and to push yourself to new levels of achievement and finding how to be successful in life is through these simple self- improvement tips. If you are interested in personal development and growth, you have probably been searching for effective strategies to not only stimulate growth but also to ensure your growth and help you achieve results.

So after spending a great deal of time studying personal achievement, I felt it would be helpful to provide these seven self-improvement tips as a way of hopefully helping people like you achieve greater success in their life.

Daily Journaling

One thing you may find in common with many great successful people throughout history was that they were avid writer. Keeping a daily journal is a great way to clarify your thoughts and develop a sense of self-awareness that will help you reinvent yourself on a moment’s notice and develop unshakable self-confidence.

Meditation

Probably one of the most important of these simple self-improvement tips and most commonly neglected is meditation. I feel this is an important tip, to help deal with the hectic lives of today. It is one of the most effective ways to reduce stress and clear the “junk thoughts” which can lead to worry and anxiety. Meditating daily can help slow your heart rate and regulate your digestion among dozens of other health benefits and as I have a said is an important self development skill.

It can also make your sleep more restful and help your body to recover faster.  Practicing meditation on a regular basis can make the other of these six tips that much more effective.

>> The “Amazing Self” Personal Development program teaches a radically unique way of understanding yourself <<

Expecting to Win

Typically those that achieve great things and are successful in life aren’t necessarily anymore intelligent or capable than the average person. In fact they can do what many considered intelligent people have a hard time doing: that is, they expect to win. Even before they know how they are going to do it

You see, it doesn’t require knowledge of how those expectations can become reality, rather they start from a foundation of bold expectancy and hence the rest is just a matter of persevering.

Writing Goals and Plans of Actions

If you want to accomplish anything, it is necessary to get into the habit of writing down clear and specific goals and plans of action. For instance you may be asking “what I want to become life”. The act of writing your goals, clarifies them and the expectation of fulfilling them begins to build in your mind. As well having written plans gives you specific tasks and actions to take each day towards the realization of your long-term goal.

Be Well Rounded

An important tip for personal development is to be holistic in nature. Either directly or indirectly, every area of your life affects every other area.  For instance your relationships can affect your health and financial life. In turn if your health is out of order it can stump your personal growth and finding the energy to achieve any goals may become difficult. So the key to achieving your goals is in becoming well rounded in all areas. This will help you build physical stamina, emotional fortitude, financial security and the social support system needed in order to achieve great things.

Positive Affirmations

You have heard of the power of positive thinking and may be wondering does positive thinking work? It is true that using positive affirmations is a powerful tool to help change your inner dialogue and can literally change your personality, your character, your actions and your. Write positive affirmations  for each of the key areas of your life (health, relationships, finances and career) then make a commitment to rehearse them aloud a couple times a day.

Teach to Learn

This can be considered the most important personal development exercises. The more you teach the principles of personal growth to others, the clearer your understanding becomes of them making them more effective in your own life. If you have no one to teach, try writing about the principles of personal development and how they are helping you.

You can even begin by writing a short paragraph about each of these simple self improvement tips. Write each one as if you were teaching the principles to someone else and your understanding of them will deepen.

Much success!

 

Source: http://www.improvingtoday.com/simple-self-improvement-tips/
Written By: http://www.improvingtoday.com/


Self Improvement Tips To Make You A Better Person Today

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Self improvement involves growing as a person, physically and mentally, along with improving your life. You need to learn which personal development strategies work and which don’t work as you pursue your goals for self improvement. Strive to improve daily so that each one is more perfect than the previous. It is important to make sure you keep pushing yourself every day to keep improving. This attitude will help you stay motivated and focused on your development, so improve something daily. Eliminate any unnecessary stress in your life. Avoid over-reacting when something doesn’t turn out the way you want, because it can cause you stress. Accept that you cannot be perfect at everything and look for alternative ways to achieve your goals if you fail, instead of focusing on your mistakes.
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7 Easy Self Improvement Tips

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One of the big challenges in personal development and personal growth is in knowing where to start. If you want to push yourself to new levels of achievement and fulfillment in your personal growth and personal development then self improvement tips are a great way to get started.

Having spent several years, decades in fact, studying personal achievement, personal development and motivation I have discovered, literally, tons of information, methods, techniques and strategies that will help you achieve greater success in your life. Here are seven strategies to help you get started:
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Simple Self Improvement Tips

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Personal Development Ideas

A great way to kick start your personal growth and to push yourself to new levels of achievement and finding how to be successful in life is through these simple self- improvement tips. If you are interested in personal development and growth, you have probably been searching for effective strategies to not only stimulate growth but also to ensure your growth and help you achieve results.

So after spending a great deal of time studying personal achievement, I felt it would be helpful to provide these seven self-improvement tips as a way of hopefully helping people like you achieve greater success in their life.
Read more…


The Power of Thought: Attention! Thought Crossing!

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By Inna Nirenburg

A Personal Question

What are you thinking – right now? “I’m reading your article!” you say. Well, take a little bit of a closer look. What’s spinning in the back of your mind? Is it that big deadline that’s looming at the end of the week? Or how you’re going to deal with your mother-in-law this weekend? Or maybe you’re worrying about your finances?

Are you even aware of the thoughts going through your head right now? What about… now?
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What It Takes to Be Great

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By Frank Niles, Ph.D.

When I teach college courses, students often ask me, “How do I get an A in your class?” When they learn that it takes reading, studying and doing well on exams, their question then becomes, “How do I pass your class?”

There are lots of reasons why we lower our expectations when faced with a challenging goal. Yes, at some point we all do it. It could be we lack the desire, time, or focus needed to succeed. Or the big one — we don’t want to fail.
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