Rise Up Inspired (15)

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The Flaw of Comparing Yourself to Others

The Flaw of Comparing Yourself to Others

If you're lacking contentment, it could be because you're comparing yourself to others. You've been on Facebook and seen the pictures of others living their seemingly exciting lives. It only takes a moment to find yourself wishing you had someone else's career, body, house, or vacation.

Comparing ourselves to others is a common activity!
But there's a critical flaw in this mental exercise. You simply don't have all the information. Someone might have a great body, but they might be seriously ill. That great vacation might have been paid for with an inheritance after a family member passed away.
A smarter strategy is to compare yourself to your own recent past. How is your figure compared to 6 months ago? How are your finances compared to last year? If you're making progress, congratulate yourself. Most people aren't doing nearly as well. They've weighed the same 100kgs, and had the same R10,000 in their bank account for the last 20 years.
If your life isn't moving forward, then take pause and address the situation.
Theodore Roosevelt once said, "Comparison is the thief of joy." Think about that statement and decide if it rings true for you.

Try these tips to free yourself from unnecessary comparisons:

1. Catch yourself early in the process. As soon as you realize that you're making comparisons to others, shift your focus to something else.
• You can control your thoughts, so use that ability to your advantage.

2. Remember that the journey is what matters. Everyone is on a journey to learn, create, and become something unique. It's an individual experience that isn't impacted by what others are doing or accomplishing.

3. Comparing yourself to others is a game that can't be won. There are a lot of people in the world. Through sheer statistics, there will always be someone with a more attractive spouse, more money, a better car, or a more interesting life.

• There's no way to compete with 8 billion people in every facet of life.

4. Look to your strengths. Comparisons tend to focus on our weaknesses. We usually compare our shortcomings against others. Embrace your strengths and be proud. Now use those strengths to your advantage.

5. List the things you have. Comparisons highlight the things we lack. It's much more productive to think about the things you do have. Your mood and frame of mind will be more positive, and you'll be in a better position to compete and succeed.

6. People only let you see the things that want you to see. Sure, they'll let you see their new BMW and the vacation pictures from Maui. But you'll never see the tears and fights in the bedroom, or the verbal abuse they take from their mother-in-law. Keep in mind that social media is primarily used for showing the good, rather than telling the bad.

7. It's just a habit. Our lives are filled with habits, and some of them are harmful. Poor mental habits are restrictive. It's like going through life with the emergency brake on.
• Labeling the tendency to compare as a habit has a powerful advantage because we know that habits can be broken.
Comparing yourself to others is limiting and self-defeating. No one can be expected to compare favorably to the vast number of people in the world. Make an effort to limit your comparisons to your own recent past. Are you making progress or backsliding? If you continue to enhance the areas that are important to you, your life is likely to be fulfilling and exciting!


Stuck in an unrewarding Career? Tips to make that change...

Going through your workdays with a sense of disappointment and lack of fulfillment is not easy. At the beginning of your career, you probably felt like you were on track, very ambitious and ready to conquer. Now, you wonder how you missed the signs that the career you chose wasn’t for you and the job you are in is leading you nowhere slowly...

If you are in a position where your current career is unrewarding, it doesn’t have to be the one you stay in for the rest of your life. You can break away from where you are today and start planning to move on to something more fulfilling and aligned to your true purpose and passion. It won’t be easy will take effort, simply because you are transitioning from your comfort zone to the "unknown" but you’re more than capable of doing it.

Follow these steps to start heading in the direction of a new career:

1. Do some soul-searching. Soul-searching allows you to identify reasons why your current career is unrewarding and identify which career options might truly make you happy. Take time to get to know yourself deeper and uncover your true passion.

• Sometimes, temporary inconveniences at work can be misleading. They can convince you that it's time to move on when you really just need to push harder. Once you're convinced that's not the case, you can start looking at more suitable careers.

• It's important to avoid tying material gain to career choices. Ideally, you want a career that gives a deep sense of fulfillment. If you doubt you'll get that fulfillment along with the financial gain, move on to something else.

2. Align your choices with your passion. The things you're passionate about usually make the most rewarding careers.

• Going the passionate route means that you'll be doing things that cater to your inner happiness. Align your options with the things that bring you true joy in your personal, career and spiritual life.

• When you work in a career that you're passionate about, you're more likely to push through the rough times. You know you are in the right space when what you are passionate about makes you happy and you could do it for "nothing" simply because you wake up feeling purposeful every day.

3. Find part-time opportunities. Once you've identified a career that appeals to you, if you fear making drastic changes-take a cautious step into it. Adding a part-time job allows you to test the waters while still earning a full-time income in your current career and managing your responsibilities.

• It's unwise to completely give up your current career. Exercise a little patience while you assess the new career choice part-time.

• Part-time work allows you to gain the experience necessary to apply for a full-time job. Although your classroom knowledge is valuable, employers like to see hands-on experience.

4. Make the change in steps. When you feel you've gotten enough experience in your new field, take steps to pull out of your current career.

• One important step is revising your resume to show valid experience. Once that is done, send it out to potential employers.

• Have a heart to heart discussion with your current employer about your desire to move on. Ensure you offer enough notice, so they’re still willing to give you a good recommendation.

• Ensure your last few months in your current field are your most worthwhile ones. Before moving on, leave your mark as someone who works diligently, regardless of your personal feeling about the field.

With your natural potential, there's very little that's beyond your scope. Your drive and belief in yourself is enough to get you to where you want to go.

Use this process to get you into your dream career. Keep pushing through, even if it gets difficult along the way. Pretty soon, you'll be out of that unrewarding career and in one that gives you complete satisfaction!

Remember these words...

“Success always comes when preparation meets opportunity”- Henry Hartman This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Levarage Your Network

Are you finding that your networking efforts are wearing you out - and your network does not seem to be growing? Here are the myths that must be dispelled so that you can spend quality time - not quantity time - on building your professional network.

If you’re networking with strangers, you’re wasting your time. I used to be out about 2- 3 nights a week at events with the intention to network. Its draining and it took time away from my family, the day after an event I was exhausted! This impacted my productivity time at work and I did not get a shred of business out of it in months! My rationale for doing networking in that manner was: “Everybody knows that you build a business by networking!” Does this make any sense? Or worse, does it sound familiar?

I soon realised there is much more to networking than what I had originally thought. Below are some the myths dispelled.

Myth 1: The more you network, the more effective your networking activities become.

Truth: It’s much more important to become well-known in 1-2 circles than to spread your networking activities over many different groups. Depth beats breadth every time.

See if this networking scenario has happened to you:

You meet someone for 30 seconds. They mumble something about the transport industry as you are tuning them out. They ask you what you do, and you say you are in insurance. After 10 seconds of staring blankly at each other, you both head to the celery sticks for lack of anything better to do.

Myth 2: The cocktails and miniature wiener circuit is the way to network to success

Truth: Networking with strangers to build business is about as effective as going to a bar to get married. In the words of Dr. Phil, “It simply ain’t gonna happen that way.”

  • Here’s why you’re not going to meet your business soul mate at a networking event:
  • You aren’t going to do business with someone after meeting them for a few minutes and getting handed a poorly printed card.
  • Businesses are built on relationships and not “30-second commercials,” no matter how effective and intriguing.
  • Most of us have major trouble in explaining what we do, much less getting past that explanation and listening for what prospects need.
  • Networking with strangers is not targeted or specific and in fact is completely random. For some people, networking is exactly as effective as cold calling, which is the least effective marketing tool there is.

So am I saying that networking is a waste of time? Absolutely not. What I’m saying is you need to start networking smarter.

Here are a few thoughts to think about:

  • Network by having coffee or lunch with people one on one. Get to know them and their business. They may become a prospect, alliance partner, or referral source. But aim first and foremost to make them a friend. The rest will follow naturally.
  • If you’re going to network with strangers, go with the goal of making 2-3 lunch or coffee dates with people you find interesting.
  • Ask every happy customer you have for just one referral of someone who would be interested in your type of goods or services, then call and use their name. (“Hi I’m John and Kate said I should call you.”) You already have one thing in common – Kate!
  • Create a network “hit list” of the exact kind of businesses you want to network with – maybe you sell software and you want to meet IT managers at medium-size companies. Make the list and put it in your little black book. Focus your networking and outreach activities on only those people – or others who can refer you to those people.
  • Join non-business groups and spend time doing non-business activities: Civic, social, religious, recreational, musical, athletic... the list is endless. Establish relationships with people in your group. People talk and t may happen you are the topic of discussion in your industry.

Here’s a final thought to shake up your networking mindset: Network with people who already know you, like you, or have done business with you. At the end of the day business is about who you know.

Myth 3: Networking is all about getting more people to know what you do.

Truth: Networking is all about getting people that already know you to share opportunities where you can be helpful to each other.

Make 2-3 phone calls a day to connect with people from past jobs, former clients, or influential people who have expressed interest in you in the past.

We all have a “fan base” that we grossly underutilize.

Think about tapping into friends, colleagues, mentors, and family to mine the connections you already have at your fingertips.

So get out there and network – but make it worth your investment of time and energy by networking smart. Remember- “Your network is your net worth”


How to Axe Self-Sabotaging Behavior

How to Axe Self-Sabotaging Behavior

Self-sabotage is a uniquely human behavior. Many of us sabotage ourselves when we decide we want something by doing everything we can to ensure we don't get it. Sound familiar? Although self-sabotage is a subconscious behavior, we can get a handle on it.
There are many reasons that you might sabotage yourself. It's an extremely common behavior, rooted in a fear of the unknown. If you've immersed yourself in mediocrity, the idea of greatness may be frightening. Ask yourself if you're satisfied with your life.

Find out why you may self-sabotage:

1. Control. You might self-sabotage because you have a need to be in control of your circumstances. The easiest and most certain way to stay in control is to maintain the status quo.

• If you put your all into something, you run the risk of becoming vulnerable. Fear gets the best of you and you self-sabotage.

2. Low self-esteem. Do you feel unworthy of greatness?

• For whatever reason, you may have decided that happiness ought to be forever beyond your reach. This is a self-limiting idea, and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

3. Excitement. Perhaps you undermine your efforts because you're seeking excitement. You feel the need to remain in a constant state of turmoil to distract yourself from painful memories or alleviate boredom.

If you see yourself in any of these descriptions, fear not: there are steps you can take to put yourself on the path toward self-mastery.

Consider this process for defeating your self-sabotage:

1. Observe your behavior. First off, it's essential that you begin to observe yourself. You can effectively do this by creating a self-sabotage journal. Make a journal entry every time you realize that you've sabotaged yourself. Describe the setting, circumstances, and end result. Avoid over-analyzing.
• Most often, a person's true intentions are most evident in their actions, rather than their words.
• Strive to be an impersonal observer in your journal. Eventually, you'll gain a better understanding of your motives in certain situations.

2. Envision success. Keep in mind that success is neither black nor white. Cultivate the habit of envisioning what success means to you and remember how it feels to achieve it. If you do this consistently, you may find that what you envision changes over time.
• Begin to see success as an integral part of your future, but realize there will still be challenges. Just like everyone else, you'll still have to pay taxes and have relationship issues.

3. Let go of the notion of perfection. As you visualize success, are you still thinking that success equals perfection? If so, it's time to realize that nobody is perfect.

  • This is what George Bernard Shaw would refer to as "doublethink." Perfection and life are mutually exclusive because perfection is unattainable. Your subconscious won't allow you to achieve success if you associate success with the impossible task of being perfect.
  • Think of your subconscious as a computer. It doesn't know how to execute a command called "do the impossible."
  • If you associate success with fear, your subconscious will fight you the entire way. Why? Because its primary function is to protect you from perceived threats.

Give yourself permission to anticipate success with excitement. Perhaps you've been sending your subconscious the message, "Don't give me success!" So, let's put your self-sabotaging behaviors in the past!
Embrace the good life you deserve by picturing yourself as successful, and then refuse to talk yourself out of going for it. The journey to your ideal life starts now!

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