How to Destroy Your Fears — for Good

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Just as happens with a lot of things in life, we all have choices to make regarding how we live: Are we going to choose to let our fears overtake us and wallow in our failures? Or, are we going to rise above these things and live a faith-filled life?

By “faith-filled life,” I mean always believing that the future is going to be bigger than the past and that there is absolutely no limit to our potential. The decision is ours; no one can make it for us. But it’s a decision that has to be made, because the more we experience adversity throughout our lives, the more our fears will creep in and rob us of our peace and happiness.

Interestingly enough, fear, failure and faith have a lot in common. When we fail at something, we let fear stop us from trying again. And when we operate out of fear, we set ourselves up for a negative and limited belief for a future that is still unwritten.

Faith focuses on the positive, while fear focuses only on the negative. When people experience a setback or failure, they immediately begin to believe that there is no choice but to accept the outcome of that negative experience. They lose sight of the fact that the first step in conquering adversity and uncovering the gift that lies within every failure is to constantly develop and strengthen the faith muscle which will help them destroy their fears and move forward.

As physician and Holocaust survivor Emannuel Teney put it, “As your faith is strengthened, you will find that there is no longer the need to have a sense of control, that things will flow as they will and that you will flow with them, to your great delight and benefit.”

Destroying your fears 

We’ve all had numerous failures and setbacks throughout our journey. And, like most people, we may be afraid of trying something new — afraid we’ll fail again. But, if we are going to thrive despite the bad times, we absolutely must destroy our fears.

That is certainly no easy task, considering how much our fears have been ingrained. Where a lot of people go wrong is that they don’t do anything the moment fear begins to invade their thinking. They let it build up inside their minds; and, over time, fear is all they know.

When that happens, they are guided by their fears, instead of faith and hope. They never come to the realization that letting fear lead the way is a recipe for a life of mediocrity and “settling” for an average, lesser version of themselves, rather than the best version.

And don’t we all want to be the best version of ourselves?

As the Rev. Charles Stanley said, “Fear stifles our thinking and actions. It creates indecisiveness that results in stagnation. I have known talented people who procrastinate indefinitely rather than risk failure. Lost opportunities cause erosion of confidence, and the downward spiral begins.” 

I wholeheartedly believe that so many people struggle with overcoming major setbacks and failure in life because they haven’t destroyed their fears. They fail, become frightened, then listen to, and end up living, their fears. This paralyzes them from taking action and doing what’s necessary to get them where they want to go.

I want to share with you two exercises that have worked wonders for me, for destroying my own fears:

1. Take out a sheet of paper and grab a pen.

For this exercise, it’s important to find a quiet location to help you get deep into your thoughts and bring you clarity. The goal here is to start writing every single fear that has ever crossed your mind and still has power over you. This fear could be preventing you from taking action, from talking to a certain man or woman. This fear could be preventing you from following your passion in life.

Whatever it is, write it down. A few years ago, I did this exercise and wrote down almost 200 fears.

Now the fun part: From every day going forward, pick one thing on your fear list. Pick one thing that you’re afraid of and force yourself to just do it. It could be picking up the phone and calling someone you have been wanting to talk to, but kept putting off. It could be making that first introduction to someone you’re interested in.

It could be enrolling in a class you’ve thought about pursuing. Or even starting a business. This exercise, done properly, will help you drastically shatter your fears. It has provided me with so much courage over the years and reminded me that the majority of the fears holding me back were only in my mind — and were false.

2. Shift your mindset — from the negativity of failure to the positivity faith and hope. 

Most of our fears aren’t even real. We let made-up scenarios — worries — play out in our heads and then run with them. Over time, we really start to believe those scenarios, which more than likely, are self-diminishing instead of self-empowering.

We must engrave in our minds that the only way fear can hold us back is if we let it. The only power it has is the power we give it. Shift your mind from the negative clutches of fear to the positivity of the beautiful gifts we receive when faith and hope in a bigger future are present. Then, from that point on, always look to strengthen your faith, not your fears.

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

‘The Rhythm of Life’ Is One Book That Will Get You Into the Groove of Thriving

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A sad truth that becomes an everyday norm for millions of people is to go through life without any passion or purpose. They let their age become an excuse as to why they can’t embark on a new dream, they completely neglect their health and they have no sense of direction of what they truly want from life. They stay busy and may even achieve a little bit of success from time to time, but ultimately, they are incredibly unfulfilled.

One of the more powerful books that I have read which clearly and articulately explains why so many suffer from a disengaged and unfulfilled life is The Rhythm of Life by bestselling author Matthew Kelly. This book is full of timeless truths that if followed carefully and then acted upon can drastically change the quality of your life.

In the book, Matthew asks an extremely powerful question that you should take some time to think about and answer yourself. That question is, “Are you satisfied being in the habit of surviving, or are you ready to get into the habit of thriving?” Whether in life or in business, every single one of us is either doing what we need to do in order to just survive, or we are going above and beyond while working to become the best version of ourselves so we can thrive. Sadly, a huge majority of the population settles for right where they currently are in life and has no real desire to change their current situation.

Matthew states that one of the main reasons why so many people go down this road and end up living unfulfilled lives with no passion whatsoever is because they neglect their secondary needs. In the book, Kelly explains that we all have primary needs, the things that are necessary to sustain our existence. We have physical needs, emotional needs, intellectual needs and spiritual needs.

If we don’t have food to eat and water to drink, we will eventually die. Our emotional needs may not be life threatening if we neglect them like food and water, but emotional starvation is not any less important. Kelly says that, “Our emotional needs are in many ways subtler but certainly no less important if we are to thrive.”

From an intellectual standpoint, he says, “We need a diet of the mind just as much as we need a diet of the body. The ideas we feed our mind today tend to form our lives tomorrow.” For an example, are the books you are reading helping you to grow and become the best you can possibly become?

On spiritually, Kelly states, “Our spiritual needs have a tendency to change as the seasons of our lives change. Each of us has a unique spiritual journey. In different stages of the journey, we have different needs. And yet, there are some needs that are unchanging and necessary in all seasons of our lives — silence, solitude and simplicity.” He goes on to say, “The way we seek to experience these habits of the soul may change, but all the same, they remain essential to our spiritual diet if we are to find lasting joy in this changing world.”

I came across this book during a very dark time in my life. I just reached an injury settlement with the Chicago Bears, and I was very uncertain about what was in store for me at the time. After reading the book, I was very eager to put into practice all that I had learned and started to really pay attention to my needs and give them the attention that they needed in order for me to truly thrive.

Every morning when we wake up, we have a choice to make. Are we going to listen to that little voice in our head that is telling us to eat that double cheeseburger for lunch, or are we going to eat a lunch that completely nourishes us and helps us to become the healthiest version of ourselves? Eating that double cheeseburger is a want. You may want to do that, but it’s not a need. When you start to feed your wants more than your needs, a lack of passion and fulfillment will start to build up over time.

I started to eat foods that nourished my entire body and provided me with sustained energy for the day ahead. Emotionally, I stopped feeling sorry for myself and put in the extra work and care that is needed to create thriving relationships. In return, this fulfilled me in enormous ways. Intellectually, I read books that inspired me and constantly looked to fill my mind with ideas to help me be the best I can possibly become. Spiritually, solitude started to become my best friend, and I paid more attention to what my soul yearned for on a daily basis.

I highly suggest you read this book. It can change your life just as it has mine.

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

5 Ways to Remind Yourself How Powerful You Really Are

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You, yes you, are far greater than any problem or disappointment that may be present in your life.

I don’t care who you are or what you have accomplished, we all go through disappointments in life and struggle from time to time with coming to the realization just how special we truly are.

Think about it: let’s say you have a goal that you desperately want to achieve, but three months down the road you find out that you didn’t reach your mark. What happens? You quickly rush to blaming yourself and questioning your abilities and talents. You start to listen to the negative voices that keep rolling in and out of your head. You feel powerless, and like a victim instead of a victor.

What you have to understand and never lose sight of is that you have more power and control inside of you than you think you do. Some people get hit so hard by the outcomes of life that they lose complete sight of their uniqueness and wonderful talents they have been blessed with.

Failures and disappointments aren’t present to degrade our confidence and love for ourselves. You can experience so much more in life when you don’t look at disappointments and failures as some terrible mishap. Learn how to make it “OK” to fail and mess up every now and then.

Look at Abraham Lincoln. How many times did he fail before he actually was elected president of the United States? Look at Steve Jobs. He was a remarkable man who went through disappointment after disappointment before he actually achieved success. When he achieved success, he was fired from the company he founded! Look at Albert Einstein. How many times did he fail before once and for all breaking through?

These are three remarkable men who achieved remarkable success and went through very difficult and tough times. What they didn’t do though is let the hits they took from life keep them down. When things went wrong, they didn’t go with them!

They never forgot how powerful and special they truly were. If you make the decision to tell yourself daily how special you are and list all of your unique qualities, no setback or failure will ever be able to hold you back.

Here are five ways you can start to remind yourself daily of how powerful you really are.

1. Write in a gratitude journal.

When things go wrong in life, being able to sit down and start listing all you are thankful for will rekindle your happiness and give you a sense of accomplishment. Even small successes will serve to remind you of your past successes and that you will be successful in the present and future.

2. Continually review and look at your long-term goals.

Short-term disappointments are less likely to derail your well-being when you pay mind to all you wish to accomplish in the future.

3. Strive and work to dig deeper in your spirituality journey.

We all have different beliefs, but working to strengthen your spirit will help reinforce how powerful you are. Going to church every Sunday, reading scripture throughout your day or tapping into the power of meditation can help paint a positive picture of yourself.

4. Find time to read 10 to 15 pages of something motivational, inspirational or uplifting.

Just spending 10 to 15 minutes a day reading uplifting material can help renew your mind and enlighten your day. It alone can take your life to the next level.

5. Keep a note card filled with powerful and moving quotes.

Whenever I feel down or upset about something, I take my note card out and repeat over and over to myself the positive quotes that I had written on it. This habit helps to interrupt all of the negative thoughts that are trying to take control of your thinking.

You are powerful. Don’t ever lose sight of how powerful you really are. Life will knock you down and derail your path, but you don’t have to give in! Don’t let the tough times demoralize your beauty. You have a unique skill set that no one else possesses.

You are here to make a difference and make this world a better place. Just remember, you are far greater than any problem or circumstance that stands in your way!

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

Thrive Instead of Just Survive

So many people today are unfortunately just surviving instead of thriving. They have a “just get by” type of mentality every minute of every day. More than likely they have forgotten who they truly are and have settled for second best without even knowing it.

One of the biggest regrets we will ever have at the end of our lives will be living in survival mode. Living in survival mode prohibits us from living life to the absolute fullest. If you feel you have been surviving as of late instead of thriving, let today be the turning point in your life where you turn it all around.

It all starts with a decision.

I strongly believe that one of the core reasons why so many get accustomed to living a life of survival instead of a life that is thriving is because they lost their faith somewhere along the way. They let their doubts pile up and corrupt their thinking. They set out on a new adventure or set a new goal, but immediately after doing so the doubts took over.

It doesn’t just happen to you. It happens to all of us. The only difference is that there are those who had enough with the doubts controlling their life and causing them to live in survival mode.

One of the easiest ways to put an end to the doubts completely taking over  is to speak favor over your life. Once you hear the words, “I can’t do this” run through your head, quickly shout out, “Yes I can. I can do this and I will do this.”

Have so much faith that you begin to doubt your doubts. Once you do, you will thrive instead of just survive.

Silence The Noise And Fight For Your Dream

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This is extremely important. Just because people tell you that you’re out of your mind or dreaming way too big, doesn’t mean you have to listen!

I am a prime example of what can happen when you silence all of the negativity and go to work on your dream, whatever your dream is, every waking moment.

In high school, I was told I will either be dead or in jail by the time I was 21. When I came to my senses and had a very special moment with the man upstairs, I decided once and for all that I wanted to change my life.

At the time, the only way I knew how to pay back those I hurt and loved the most, was through athletics. Right then and there began a whole new journey for me. I proudly went around telling all of my family and friends that I wanted a Division One scholarship for football.

People laughed at me, even those who loved me most. What did I do? Silenced the external noise and fought day and night for my dream. Every waking moment I worked on my craft and just knew that I was going to make something of myself.

Six months later, I received a total of 19 Division One scholarship offers from some of the most prestigious athletic programs in the country.

Once I got to college at Indiana University, it began all over again. I repeatedly was told, “You made it collegiately, but you will never play a down of professional football.” I kept working on my dream and most importantly never lost faith. Three years later, I signed a contract with the Chicago Bears.

Unfortunately, I suffered an injury while playing the San Diego Chargers. The same old noise and negativity found its way back into my life. Over and over again I was told how athletes never make anything of themselves once they are done playing their sport.

The injury I sustained wasn’t career ending, but I was out long enough to reflect back on my journey. This is where I discovered my true purpose. My WHY.

Three years later, I have a phenomenal team of 7, and I get to travel and speak to some of the greatest companies in the world.

Please understand, none of this is to impress you, but to impress UPON you. That if I can do half of what I have done throughout my 26 years of life, you can too.

Never lose belief in yourself and all that you are capable of. Always remember to work day and night towards your goals, and NEVER listen to the opinion of others when it comes to YOUR dreams.

Expect the Best

Believe and Expect the Best

Today, expect the best. So many people get down and undervalue the tremendous potential that is already within them because way too much time is being focused on their current circumstances.

It’s very easy to get caught up in our current circumstances, especially if we are not happy with where we currently are in life. However, focusing on our circumstances will always rob us of the greatness that is already within us.

When we focus on where we are and how much we are unsatisfied, we run into the trap of dwelling on the negative.

When we dwell on the negative, we start writing the wrong stories to ourselves. Instead of looking at all the opportunities in front of us, we are reminded of all the problems that consume us.

At the time, it’s difficult to see how this negatively impacts us. It robs us of our power and takes away our ability to move forward in life.

Faith is believing and seeing into the future even if your current circumstances are not so great. Faith pulls you into the direction of hope. Hope provides us with the strength to take action and develop a self-belief to conquer our minor frustrations and road blocks.

Choose today to expect the absolute best for your life. Focus on all the good that surrounds your life. I don’t care who you are or what you are experiencing, if you look long and hard enough you will eventually find some good that’s taking place in your life right this moment.

On this beautiful December day, activate your faith and hope. Put an end to your negative thoughts and start reminding yourself how special you truly are. As you begin to focus on how amazing and powerful you are, your current circumstances will never be able to hold you back.

Today, confidently move forward in the direction of your dreams. I’m extremely excited for you, because once you see past your current circumstances, wonderful and amazing things begin to happen. Breakthroughs come knocking.

You Are Not Average

You Are Not AverageToday, many people will walk around and operate not knowing who they really are.  Having no aim in life and just “hoping” things work out for the best.  Instead of wandering around not knowing who you are or what you really want out of life, connect with your inner-self.

What makes you happy?  If you could achieve one goal this year that would change the course of your entire life, what would it be?  What are your values?

You’re not average so don’t wander around with average habits.  Only the average don’t know who they are or what they want out of life.  You have the opportunity to make today a masterpiece, but that can only happen if you know exactly what you want out of this day.

Set a purpose for today, and then do everything in your power to fulfill that purpose.  Little daily victories might seem like not much, but over time they accumulate into big achievements.  For the people and tasks that don’t align with who you are as a person, pay them no attention.

Every single one of us has a deep burning desire planted within us.  Your job is to find out what that deep burning desire is and then work day and night towards making that desire a reality.

That’s where true happiness lies. Look out through the eyes of faith today and see your dreams coming to pass.  See yourself walking in abundance in every area of your life!