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Forms Of Psychological Conflict

November 16, 2022
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Do you feel like sometimes you get in your own way? You have really strong reasons to do something but then you find yourself doing the opposite? This is likely because on a psychological level you don’t have the clarity, motivation, or alignment required to follow through as intended. Something is getting in the way, keeping you from smoothly translating your intention into action. There are a few different culprits that explain why this happens.

It’s very possible that consciously you have one plan but subconsciously you have another. Both plans have a desire to be expressed but only one can win. This is called having ‘competing commitments’. This happens when two needs are unearthed in one single event, one need being more aspirational and one being more survival. 

For example let’s say that you really want a promotion (that’s the event). The aspirational need this reveals is the possibility of a better life where you’re paid more and doing work that fulfills you. There’s a strong motivation there. But at the same time maybe getting that promotion requires that you start cold-calling prospects to get more deals done. This threatens you and creates a need for psychological safety that you may be unaware of. Two needs, one action, and unfortunately the one we wouldn’t choose is the one that usually wins.

Another form of psychological conflict is called cognitive dissonance. This occurs when your experience differs from what you expect to experience within your actions, thoughts, and feelings. Ultimately this inconsistency is often a consequence of the beliefs that you hold, and whatever you're experiencing exists in conflict with your worldview. This creates a tension in the mind that influences you to change your actions, thoughts and feelings to create coherence with your beliefs.

For example, let’s say you hold a deeply-seated belief that life is meant to be hard, which you learned by no fault of your own. When you start to experience some form of success it activates feelings of cognitive dissonance, and unconsciously you are pulled to sabotage your success or discredit your success because it differs from what you expected. 

These are really technical details about how our psychology works, so I’d like to summarize by putting it more plainly. Your subconscious mind doesn't always agree with what you’ve consciously decided is in your best interest. This can create conflict in your mind that influences your thoughts and behaviors, and steer you away from your goals.

On your personal development journey, you need to be sure you have the right foundation in place. Discover the 7 Fundamentals To Self Improvement and instantly accelerate your growth! (Who knows what you might be overlooking and how it’s holding you back…)

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It’s All Relative

November 15, 2022

There are many, many people in this world and each one of us lives our own unique experience. It’s impossible to truly compare two people to each other because their circumstances, experiences, and history are so different. Logically we know this to be true, yet we often find ourselves measuring ourselves against others for validation.

It all happens unconsciously. Hardwired into our brain is a survival instinct that is constantly placing us relative to others, which helped early humans find their safe place in the tribe. This is the role of the ego but in today’s society a lot of the ego’s tendencies are out of place.

Your ego is constantly on the lookout to see how you stack up against others, evaluating if you’re better / worse and more / less than those you encounter. That’s what relativity is - taking what you believe to be true about yourself and comparing it to what you believe to be true about others. However this is an incomplete, superficial evaluation that can create a sense of inner conflict because only a fraction of the relevant information is being considered.

But here’s the game-changer. Relativity is a comparison you can choose. When you’re drawing conclusions about things, you can decide what is being compared. For example, let’s say you run a 7 minute mile. That can lead to you being ecstatic because you hit the goal you’ve been training for, or you could feel dejected because you worked so hard to reach a certain level that compared to your friend, isn’t impressive at all.

Not only can you see the ego at play here, but you can see how the same result observed through two different lenses lead to two very different perceptions.

So when you feel yourself start to spiral into a negative thought pattern and feel bad for yourself for some reason, reframe your line of thinking. How can you place yourself in a better light and on a more empowering field of competition where you feel better about yourself? Relativity requires reference points and the more you control the references, the better you control the perception. No matter what conclusion you choose to draw it’s all relative anyway, so might as well choose one that inspires you.

On your personal development journey, you need to be sure you have the right foundation in place. Discover the 7 Fundamentals To Self Improvement and instantly accelerate your growth! (Who knows what you might be overlooking and how it’s holding you back…)

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The Biology Of Consistency

November 14, 2022

You’ve heard it before, consistency is key. If you want to create results in your life you need to take consistent action and with each repitition you’ll creep just a little closer to your goal. It’s the one thing that time and again you hear the most successful people in the world credit to their achievements. But beyond sharing a feel-good thought about how consistency can change your life, I want to teach you the biology behind it. 

When you consistently do, say, or think the same things over and over again, you activate the same pathways of neurons in the brain. This recurring activation causes two things to happen. First, your brain actually creates new neural connections. This can open up new communication circuits within your mind to literally reshape the way your brain works. You might know this by its familiar title, neuroplasticity.

The second thing consistency does is it creates efficiencies in the brain. One of the brain's primary purposes is to do things while expending as little energy as possible. It is so ingrained in the brain’s operation that it’s literally a core process on a biological level. 

The neurons associated with these active pathways start to myelinate, which means they grow a fatty insulation tissue. This tissue supports the way an electrical charge is conducted down a neuron. Ultimately, with the help of myelin the neural pathway becomes the “path of least resistance” and is preferred by the brain. That’s what we mean when we say that we’re strengthening the neurons that fire together and wire together - Consistent action literally makes that sequence of neurons more efficient (and therefore easier) for the brain to use.

That’s why you can get into good habits that eventually feel effortless to do. It’s because those neurons have become the defaulted path that the brain uses. This unlocks everything in your life - from thought patterns and mindset, to emotional triggering, to starting positive action, to subconscious decisions. You can control these things by teaching the brain what path to go down through consistency and repetition.

On your personal development journey, you need to be sure you have the right foundation in place. Discover the 7 Fundamentals To Self Improvement and instantly accelerate your growth! (Who knows what you might be overlooking and how it’s holding you back…)

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Weekend Recap 11/7 - 11/11

November 12, 2022
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Don't Minimize Yourself

November 11, 2022
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“Harmony makes small things grow.”

November 10, 2022

Harmony happens when things are working in perfect synchronization. This is well understood in a harmonizing sound, but the same is true with the different elements of your life. 

When there’s harmony things are synergistic. Your time, attention, and energy aren’t split between different things, rather the presence of complementary elements strengthens each individual unit. In that way, “harmony makes small things grow.”

I feel like we misunderstand the opportunity of striking a harmony in life and see things through the lens of tradeoffs. Choosing to be more social cuts into time you could spend working. Choosing to travel could put a strain on your ability to prioritize your health. The reality is, striking a right balance improves all individual pieces. Being social actually allows you to get more work done in less time because you feel more connected, and it improves your quality. Traveling could help provide a psychological reset that helps get out of your mind and back into your body.

When you start to harmonize the different areas of your life you realize that there's no conflict. Everything is fully integrated to create one beautiful mosaic that is you. Creating life harmony and balance helps you to raise your baseline standards regarding your energy, mindset, and creativity. It unlocks a new tier of potential because you are holistically operating at a new level.

So how do you create more harmony in your life? You need to experiment. The only way you can calibrate anything is through trial and feedback, slowly optimizing with each attempt. You can’t expect to know how much sleep you need, how often you need to exercise, how long you should meditate, how long you need to talk to your siblings for, etc. until you try it. And when you do try, you need to bring consciousness around that experience through honest self-reflection to discover how it worked for you.

On your personal development journey, you need to be sure you have the right foundation in place. Discover the 7 Fundamentals To Self Improvement and instantly accelerate your growth! (Who knows what you might be overlooking and how it’s holding you back…)

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The Most Wasted Resource On Earth

November 9, 2022
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There are a lot of problems in this world and a lot of amazing people committing their lives to solving them. But there’s one thing that, if we managed to fix it, would solve just about everything else. That’s why I’m going to amplify a powerful statement shared by an incredible social impact leader named Adam Braun - “The single most wasted resource on Earth is human intention.”

Everyone has great ideas about how to create a better future for themselves and others, and many of those people have a desire to do something about it. But few ever follow through. It’s putting your head down at night inspired to make tomorrow different, only to fall back into old patterns. It’s making a well-intended commitment to someone about something and then failing to deliver on it. It happens every day and takes the form of unfulfilled promises to ourselves. Imagine if we all did what we say we’re going to do? The world would be a much, much better place.

That’s because the things we say we’re going to do, our intentions, are good. Our intentions are an expression of the best version of ourselves and compatible with the way we want to see the world. Tying this back into social impact, many people feel inspired to cure cancer, eradicate poverty, fight racism, or eliminate animal cruelty. They have intention. They want to… They may have plans to… But there’s little follow through. The world’s biggest problems would get solved a lot faster if more people started taking action on finding solutions rather than just feeling like it. Imagine the value we could create for the world if intention were materialized into action.

So that’s the key. How do we convert latent potential (which sits in the form of intention) into real tangible results? This just might be my mission in the world, helping people start living the life they dream of, and making a difference in a way that only they can.

But this isn’t about me, to really integrate this thought reflect on this question - What causes you to not follow through on your intentions?

I didn't plan on doing this... But, if you’re feeling inspired to live out your intentions, click here to check out something new I'm working on.

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You Can Teach

November 8, 2022

We’ve been misguided to believe that we need a certain amount of expertise to teach something. We’ve bought into a false expectation that you need to have credentials that give you authority to share knowledge on a subject. While that might be true for some topics and at certain levels, the majority of things fall into a more informal category.

A lot of us rely on credentials to determine who is qualified to teach something, but I think there’s value in deconstructing exactly what credentials are communicating. First, when you get a credential it means that you invested the time to learn a subject. Credentials come on the back end of completing a curriculum on a subject, which gives you the knowledge you need to effectively understand something. But more importantly a credential also gives you permission. Instead of having an internal debate about your level of knowledge on something, the credential tells you that you are fully trained and qualified.

But here’s the thing - Both outcomes of getting a credential can be accomplished in other ways. For example you can learn from personal experience and self-education to acquire meaningful knowledge. Just because it isn’t structured education does not mean that it’s not valuable. 

Now on the permission side, that’s a matter of the ego. A credential creates a layer of protection on top of your ego so that you’re more comfortable taking action. It gives you a strong argument if someone disagrees that you have the authority to talk about something. But setting your ego aside and putting yourself out there accomplishes the same thing. You can give yourself the right to teach and prove your knowledge.

To make this more practical, here’s a benchmark for you. I’ve found that 6 months of studying, experiencing, or reflecting on something is enough time to develop an expertise on a subject. You don’t need to know everything to teach, you just need to know more than the person you’re teaching, and half a year usually gives you a well-rounded understanding that could help others.

You are most qualified to help people who are going through what you’ve been through. That’s the school of “hard knocks”, and the world will be a better place if we all helped each other get through what we’ve gone through.

On your personal development journey, you need to be sure you have the right foundation in place. Discover the 7 Fundamentals To Self Improvement and instantly accelerate your growth! (Who knows what you might be overlooking and how it’s holding you back…)

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Good Enough Is Good Enough

November 7, 2022

Last week I had a lightning strike moment where something really profound clicked for me. If you’re like me constantly trying to find ways to improve, It’s particularly important to have the right relationship with your personal development. This thought helped me get clarity on my own growth process.

Just because you could do better does not mean you didn’t do good enough.

Read that again.

The reality is, you can always do better. Performance is a spectrum but there is no ceiling to it. Even if you are the #1, most elite person in the world at something, you still could do better. You could have done it in less time, gotten a bigger result, optimized or automated a part of it… I’m yet to have encountered anyone who has done anything that could not have been done better.

So if the possibility of doing better is a constant, that can’t be the benchmark of success. It’s literally unattainable because at that point we’re talking about perfection, which does not exist. If your expectation is to be perfect and you aren’t satisfied with your results until you achieve perfection, you are going to be disappointed as you consistently fall short no matter what you do.

That means there has to be a level of performance that is enough to satisfy you. There has to be a level to attain that is significant and that you’re proud of. The word ‘enough’ is confusing because it has two connotations, one being that you’re settling for an amount that is just enough, and the other being that the amount is sufficient and feels complete. We want to pursue that second version of enough and sufficiency.

Just because you could do better does not mean you didn’t do good enough.

The fact that you’ve identified room for improvement does not represent that your performance wasn’t sufficient. The problem is we discredit our accomplishments because we fell short of this idea of “more”. You hit your sales goal but you ruminate on those few deals that didn’t close. You have a good workout but realize you could have done a few more reps. You spend time with a loved one but realize you weren’t as present as you could have been in every moment.

Again, you can always do better, and that’s a beautiful thing. But don’t let knowing that you could do better cloud how well you actually did. When you separate those two concepts from each other you’ll find that you feel more complete, content, and proud of yourself. You can observe your performance with more fair criteria and recognize the impact you’ve made. And what a life that is!

On your personal development journey, you need to be sure you have the right foundation in place. Discover the 7 Fundamentals To Self Improvement and instantly accelerate your growth! (Who knows what you might be overlooking and how it’s holding you back…)

...

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Weekend Recap 10/31 - 11/4

November 5, 2022
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