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March 20, 2014

Lori Brothers: Stuck? Embrace review of yourself

NEW CASTLE — Do you feel stuck?

Apathy, a state of non-caring and non-doing, can be a negative force that undermines your ability to successfully meet your intentions and goals. Apathy can contribute to unhappy and unaccomplished living.

“Willpower is the key to success. Successful people strive, no matter what they feel, by applying their will to overcome apathy, doubt or fear.”

This quote is by Dan Millman, someone I have admired since he wrote, “The Way of the Peaceful Warrior” back in 1980. The timeless classic is a great and easy read that can inspire anyone because it speaks directly to the universal quest for happiness starts on the inside. I recommend it for some upliftment and encouragement.

Millman was a successful national and international U.S. gymnast. The storyline highlights how Dan, also the name of the main character in the story, develops an awareness of the power that lies dormant within. The story outlines how to meet the “inner enemy” sabotaging his goals. Dan owns his negative behaviors, and activates his potential.

When making lifestyle changes, learning the way of the peaceful warrior can be an important catalyst for the psychology you need to move beyond self-imposed limitations.

Awareness is the key to unlock the door to happiness and success. Pay attention to your own behaviors, then learn to own them without judgment. This tactic can get to the root of what is holding you back and reveal barriers keeping you from achieving your goals.

What are some examples of self-sabotaging behavior? They stem from mindsets or behaviors that undermine your sense of empowerment and feeling you are incontrol of your success. This list from Forbes Magazine is extensive:

•Caring too much about what other people think

•Forgetting there is more than one way to accomplish a goal

•Assuming that passion is an extra-curricular activity

•Not knowing what you really want

•Believing you’re not worthy

•Letting fear drive your decisions

•Waiting for every detail to line up before acting

•Failing to live your core values

•Refusing to use your authentic voice

•Forgetting that you can always choose again

•Allowing conventional wisdom to dictate your options

•Not knowing your own strengths

•Personalizing your failures

•Choosing to be unhappy

•Allowing anyone, or anything, to make you feel “less than”

•Believing that this is as good as it’ll ever be

•Failing to embrace the whole you, flaws and all

Clarity comes from looking at yourself with honesty, and without judgment, to see where you are stuck. Observe when you are operating out of fear or unconscious patterns, and make them conscious. Bringing awareness to negative patterns is like turning alight on in a dark room.

Start an “awareness list” to bring yourself structure and accountability. It is a sure way to view positive and negative patterns. Write down each activity, thought or emotion that moves you forward. Do the same for the patterns that take you away from your goal.

This takes regular self-review. Get serious by looking deeper and writing down the truth of your feelings, i.e, feeling lost, unlucky, or lazy. Study your excuses such as “I don’t know how” or “I don’t want to” or “I don’t have time.” Share with a friend or a mentor, or seek some professional guidance such as a traditional counselor, personal trainer, or personal nutrition counselor once you have a list.

Developing discipline to pay attention to any patterns that undermine your happiness and success is not self-punishment, it is self-empowerment. You’ll be glad you cared enough to pay attention and moved into action when you change just one pattern and achieve even one new goal successfully. Your new outcomes can bring you happiness and fulfillment.

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Do you talk to yourself when you're alone?

Yes, but I’m basically just thinking out loud.
No, that would be weird.
I don’t know. Next time I’m alone, I’ll ask.
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