HIGHLIGHTS: How to Stop Worrying What People Think And Start Being Authentic in 6 Easy Steps Part Four

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock


4)  Be diplomatically honest


Become mindful of when you tell white lies and start practising being diplomatically honest. Being totally honest honours our authenticity by showing our genuine nature and consequently allows us to retain a high level of integrity. For guidance on how to be diplomatically honest, see part two of this series under ‘Blocks to Authenticity’ – Kind vs. Honest.


This also means not editing or tailoring what you say to suit the type of persona you want to portray to certain groups of friends and choosing to rather be your same self to everyone you know!


5)  Express your true thoughts, opinions, beliefs and feelings


HIGHLIGHTS: How to Stop Worrying What People Think And Start Being Authentic in 6 Easy Steps Part Three

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock


Benefits of Living an Authentic Life:


Authenticity offers many benefits. There is a feeling of fulfilment that comes from being genuine and being accepted for who you truly are. When you are authentic your self-awareness increases and you develop a strong identity. You have a high level of integrity due to your honesty and your self-esteem increases as a result. Decisions are easier to make because you know what your core values are and what fits in line with them. You take your own needs seriously and consequently do what really matters to you, living in tune with your goals and dreams. All of these advantages translate into a happier more contented life, a life with an abundance of meaning and passion.


6 Steps to Living an Authentic Life:


HIGHLIGHTS: How to Stop Worrying What People Think And Start Being Authentic in 6 Easy Steps Part Two

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock


Blocks to Authenticity:


There are several blocks to living an authentic life. The top three are worrying about what others think of us, an inability to say no due to the desire to people-please and the common concern that honesty is sometimes hurtful and unkind. But let’s break them down further and see how we can overcome these obstacles to authenticity.


1)  Worrying about what people think of you (and how to stop it)


Being worried about what other people will think of us and whether we will face rejection as a result of honestly expressing ourselves, is a very natural concern. Although this is a possibility, it is worth remembering that when we honestly and diplomatically express a difference of opinion, it can actually lead others to respect us more as a result of the integrity we have displayed. Furthermore, I would argue that those who reject us because we have a different opinion to them are quite controlling and narcissistic by nature, whereby their approval is conditional upon us conforming to their worldview – certainly not the type of friend I would want to seek out! Once you come to this realisation you too are likely to be much less worried about what people may or may not think about you when you express yourself honestly.


HIGHLIGHTS: How to Stop Worrying What People Think And Start Being Authentic in 6 Easy Steps Part One

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock


I am quite an authentic person; I am open about my faith and I express my opinions in a diplomatic fashion, even when they differ to my friends. I am honest about my feelings.  I am open about my breakdown back in 2009. I am honest about the fact that I see a therapist and am actively working on being my best self.


In spite of this, when I sat down to write this article I asked myself some confronting questions. Questions like ‘Do I tell white lies?’ and ‘Do I sometimes keep quiet rather than disagreeing?’ Once I realised that I do sometimes tell white lies, and that occasionally I do keep quiet rather than entering into a debate, I discovered that there was still some work to do when it came to my being completely authentic.


But wait, I had skipped the most important question of all! What constitutes an authentic person? The psychologists Brian Goldman and Michael Kernis define authenticity as “the unimpeded operation of one’s true or core self in one’s daily enterprise.” True authenticity involves complete honesty but contrary to popular belief that doesn’t have to mean being hurtful, there is always a way to be diplomatically honest and sensitive to others feelings.


Authentic people are also honest with themselves and are very aware of what their strong points and weak spots are.


HIGHLIGHTS: How to Master the Number 1 Skill That All Successful People Share In 6 Simple Steps Part Four

So far we’ve looked at the first five steps to fostering more self-discipline, these being:


  1. Know your goals and where you are headed
  2. Don’t pay any attention to enablers
  3. Set yourself up for success
  4. Make a commitment
  5. Breaks and rewards


This week we look at the sixth critical step in developing more self-discipline – measuring our progress.


HIGHLIGHTS: How to Master the Number 1 Skill That All Successful People Share In 6 Simple Steps Part Three

So far we’ve talked through the first three steps of fostering more self-discipline:


  1. Know your goals and where you are headed
  2. Don’t pay any attention to enablers
  3. Set yourself up for success


This week we look at arguably one of the most important steps – making a commitment.


HIGHLIGHTS: How to Master the Number 1 Skill That All Successful People Share In 6 Simple Steps Part Two


Last week we discussed the value of knowing your goals and having a crystal clear picture of where you are headed, this week we look at steps two and three which help us foster greater levels of self discipline.


Step Two: Don’t Pay Any Attention to Enablers


The first stumbling block I came upon when trying to instil more self-discipline in my life was with my enablers. You probably know them, the friends who will do anything to encourage you to come out for ‘one drink’ or ‘go to the cinema’ at a moments notice.


HIGHLIGHTS: How to Master the Number 1 Skill That All Successful People Share In 6 Simple Steps Part One


We’ve all done it. We’ve all chosen instant gratification over long-term gain at some point or another. The problem for my twenty-five year old self was that it became my default way of being. For many of us, we continue this approach to life well into our thirties, despite the clear advantages of having higher levels of self-discipline such as increasing our productivity, achieving our goals and ultimately being happier.


But self-discipline has a bad reputation, it’s the dirty little word that most people associate with book worms or scientists. In reality though, all successful people possess self-discipline, even interesting creative types, like well known actresses and famous musicians. It is the one quality which enables us to master all others and without it, our goals become infinitely harder, if possible at all, to achieve.


How do we foster more self-discipline? Is it possible? Although I am not as disciplined I would like to be, I am incredibly self-disciplined compared to my twenty-five year old self, for example this past Christmas I wrote over 15,000 words for my following years blog articles.


So yes, you can absolutely foster more self-discipline and become a pro at achieving your goals, whether in life, love or work. True self-discipline remains a skill that relatively few possess and, by developing your own self-discipline, you will ensure you stand out from the crowd.


5 Things To Give Up For A Healthier 2018

This past year was a rough one for me, and I know it wasn’t easy for many others. But here we are on the other side. Now, it’s time to turn things around for 2018.


This year, I’ve vowed to take control of the things in my life that can be controlled. And as I sat down to write a list, I realized there aren’t many things I can truly control. There’s really only one thing on that list: My outlook.


I’m motivated to make 2018 a great year filled with health and happiness, and I know it all starts with a positive outlook.


So with my sights set on a half-full glass, I decided to let go of anything that brought me down in 2017. If you have these things in your life, it may be time for you to give them up too.

5 Things to Give up for a Healthier 2018

1. Alcohol

Alcohol is one of the most dangerous addictive substances available, and that’s partly because it’s so available. You can’t get heroin at the grocery store, but you can almost certainly buy a 6-pack (depending on your state’s laws).


Here are a few facts about alcohol that may change your mind about having even one more glass in 2018:

Alcohol alters your brain chemistry


When you think about the dangers of alcohol, your mind may conjure images of car accidents and liver damage. And it’s true that alcohol can do some serious physical harm, but it would be naïve to think that alcohol only harms the body.


As a depressant, alcohol can disrupt a delicate balance of chemicals and processes that affect our thoughts, feelings and actions even after we sober up.

Alcohol can increase stress and anxiety


When you drink, you aren’t as aware of your surroundings as you are when you’re sober. This can lead you to misinterpret situations. Such misunderstandings can easily increase your stress and anxiety levels. Could this be why there are so many bar-room brawls? Even if you aren’t prone to fighting, it’s healthier to be in control at all times.

Alcohol can worsen depression


Alcohol works on the dopamine receptors in your brain to trick you into thinking you’re having the time of your life. Unfortunately, alcohol will also deplete your serotonin levels over time. Serotonin helps regulate your mood and keeps you feeling good.

2.      Overthinking


Overthinking seems to be at the root of many problems. At least, that’s the case for me. But overthinking can also be seductive. You tell yourself that you’re just trying to see things from all angles. And then you find yourself re-examining every conversation you’ve ever had. Or so it seems.


Overthinking also goes hand-in-hand with worry and anxiety. These are two things I’d like to avoid in 2018.


Here’s one practice I’ve recently learned that can help keep overthinking at bay:


When the thoughts enter your mind, ask yourself whether this is a problem you can solve. If you can do something about it now, solve it straight away. If it must be solved later, set a reminder to work on it at a future time. If you cannot solve this problem, try not to think about it all.

3.      Excessive caffeine


In our coffee-obsessed society, it’s easy to forget that caffeine is a drug. As such, it stimulates your central nervous system.


I’ve been in the habit of having at least three strong coffees each day. This may not put me in the danger zone for major health issues, but it does up my anxiety levels.


If you’re struggling with caffeine intake too, join me in replacing some of those cups with an herbal tea.

4.      Skipping breakfast


Yes, it’s cliché, but breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. Eating breakfast can help boost your metabolism, set the tone for a healthy day and give you a quick fix of essential nutrients that will boost energy. With more natural energy, we should crave less coffee, so that’s another bonus.


Try adding something simple like avocado toast or overnight oats.

5.      Procrastinating


If you’re anything like me, you’ll procrastinate until the very last minute, and then rush to get everything done. But all that rushing causes so much unnecessary stress.


Create a calendar of all your daily tasks and try to check them off as early in the day as possible.


Although this list is very personal for me, I suspect many people struggle with the same harmful habits. If we can all make an effort to avoid these things in 2018, we may find it easier to handle whatever challenges await us in 2018.


What are you planning to give up to make 2018 a healthier year?

HIGHLIGHTS: Achieving Change – How to live the life you long for; Part Four

Picture courtesy of Openphoto

Picture courtesy of Openphoto


It is no exaggeration that Tony Robbins has mastered the science of change and self-empowerment. Keen to gain insight through Tony’s teachings I went to his Unleash The Power Within programme. Held over four days, Unleash The Power Within would help me to understand what motivated me, allow me to face my fears (often an obstacle to change) and change my life for the better. I completed my fire walk on the first day and the sense of achievement in having overcome the fear I felt was profound. What I didn’t expect was that in going to Unleash The Power Within I dealt with my biggest gear which had held me back – my fear of intimacy. Tony helped me to gain a crystal clear image of what this fear had cost me and as a result I was able to change my past behaviour by facing my fear (just as I had done in the fire walk) by telling a good friend that I liked him, something I otherwise would not have had the courage to do. If you want to face your fears and affect fundamental changes you want in your life I would recommend going to Unleash The Power Within, it truly is a once in a lifetime experience. Alternatively, Tony’s book Giant Steps reveals small changes we can all make that will lead to giant leaps forward in our quality of life.


Naturally when we make changes there will be set backs along the way but it is worth remembering that this is normal and does not equate to failing. When we realise we have gotten off track we simply need to revisit both the cost of not changing and the benefits of changing to boost our motivation, cement our resolve and review if we need to adapt our approach. After all, the more we practise something, the more likely it will become a habit and stick. It is also worth building in rewards for when you stick to your new changes, like going to the cinema or setting aside an evening off just for you. You could do this to celebrate your first, second or even six month anniversary since sticking to the changes you set yourself.


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