7) Face your fears!

Book summary: ‘CHANGE YOUR HABITS: CHANGE YOUR LIFE’- PART 3 | Face your fears! this is a very nice book for personality growth and mindset.

Avoid the mass media

  • “A democratic civilization will save itself only if it makes the language of the image into a stimulus for critical reflection not an invitation for hypnosis.”
    Umberto Eco “The news is glorified gossip.”
  • I’m not telling you to become ignorant even though here in Spain they say “the ignorant is the happiest person in the village”.


  • You can still read the newspapers.
  • I would recommend the headlines only.
  • You will still be up to date with the important stuff because your family, friends, and colleagues will keep you updated.
  • Just choose and be selective about how much garbage you expose your mind to.
  • If you need more reasons to stop watching television read one of the great books that are out there about how the media manipulates us and how nearly everything is fake! Control the information that you are exposed to.
  • Make sure it adds to your life. Instead of watching trash TV, watch a documentary or a comedy. Instead of listening to the news in your car listening to an audiobook or motivational CDs.


Do you “have to” or do you “choose to”?

  • “It’s choice not chance that determines your destiny.”Jean Nidetch
  • Do you have many things in your life that you “should” or “have to” do, but never do? How many “shoulds” do you have in your life?
  • Should you exercise more, go to the gym more, stop smoking, eat healthier, and spend more time with your family?
  • Stop doing things that you “have to” do and instead choose your goals and – very important-substitute “I should” and “I have to” with “I choose to”, “I decide to”, “I will” and “I prefer to”.

I choose to exercise more, I will eat healthier, I choose to read more. How does that feel?

  • You must enjoy your activities if not, don’t do them.
  • Try out this little exercise: Action Step:
  • Make your list of “should” and let go of them or rephrase them to “I choose to” or “I decide to”.

Face your fears!

  • “The fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself.” Paolo Coelho
  • “You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face.
  • You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.”Eleanor Roosevelt
  • Don’t let your fears frustrate you, limit you, or paralyze you! David Joseph Schwartz puts it this way: “Do what you fear and your fear disappears” Mark Twain already knew over a hundred years ago that “20 years from now you will be more disappointed with the things you didn’t do than with the ones that you did.” Or as one of my favorite sayings goes: “Never regret the things you did; only those you never tried!” So face these fears! Ninety percent of them are pure imagination anyway.

Fears are a survival mechanism of your mind.

  • Your mind wants to keep you safe and anything that your mind doesn’t know scares it.
  • I had many fears in my life and still do but I learned to overcome them and behind my fears, great opportunities waited for me.
  • So I made it a habit to use my fear as a springboard.
  • Just ask yourself, “What’s the worst thing that can happen to me if I do this?” Then evaluate if the risk is worth taking or not.

Be careful!

  • There is also a price for not taking a risk or stepping out of your comfort zone.
  • Ask yourself “What price am I paying for staying the same or not doing this?”
  • Is it an even higher one than the price of taking the risk?
  • This also includes intangible things like inner peace, happiness, health, etc. Change your relationship with fear.
  • Let it warn you and consult you, but don’t let it paralyze you!
  • For example, I used to be totally paralyzed by fear and stayed stuck in my job for five years because of fear of change or the unknown.

What are you afraid of? Failure? Success? Making mistakes? Taking the wrong decisions?

  • Do as Susan Jeffers says: “Feel the fear and do it anyway”!
  • If you want to reach new territories you have to take some risks and continuously do things that you are afraid of.
  • Mistakes don’t matter as long as you learn from them and don’t make the same mistakes over and over again.

The same goes for decisions by the way not taking a decision or procrastinating is also a decision!

  • Answer the following questions in your workbook or journal:
  • 1) What is stopping you from living the life you want to live?
  • 2) What excuses are you making for justifying staying where you are?
    3) What’s the worst thing that can happen if you do what you are afraid of doing?

 Eliminate everything that annoys you

  • “Great things are done by a series of small things brought together” Vincent van Gogh
  • “It isn’t the mountains ahead that wear you out. It’s the grain of sand in your shoe.” Robert Service
  • This is usually one of the first exercises I do with my coaching clients.
  • Everything that annoys you drains your energy.
  • In coaching, we call it toleration.
  • For example, a missing button on your favorite shirt, the dirty shower curtain, a kitchen cupboard that doesn’t close, your boss micromanaging you, money owed to you, a disorganized guest room, broken tools, a messy and disorganized desk, clothes that don’t fit anymore, etc. are toleration.

For as long as you don’t fix them they keep draining your energy.

  • Action Step:
    Make a list of all the things that annoy you.
  • In your private life, your job, your house, your friends, yourself, etc.
    Start working on it as described above!


Clean out your cupboard

  • “Bottom line is, if you do not use it or need it, it’s clutter, and it needs to go.” Charisse Ward
  • Do you want something new to come into your life?
  • Do you ever notice that as soon as you get rid of some stuff and create space the universe doesn’t take long to fill this space again?
  • It’s all about energy. If you have too much stuff that you don’t use in your house, it drains your energy!
  • Coaching is about improving your whole environment and that includes uncluttering.

Start with your cupboard. Here are some tips:

  • If you haven’t worn it for a year, you probably won’t wear it anymore.
  • When you think “This will be useful one day” or “This reminds me of good times” out it goes.
    Action Step:
  • Schedule a weekend and get rid of everything you don’t need anymore! SCHEDULE THE WEEKEND NOW!

 Uncluttering and Toleration go hand in hand –

  • A real-life Example
  • “Clutter is nothing more than postponed decisions.”Barbara Hemphill
  • Uncluttering and Tolerations go hand in hand. Uncluttering the tolerations in my life, that were jumbled together in my mind and slowing me down, has made me feel like I am 10x lighter now.
  • I have more energy, more spirit, and more enthusiasm.
  • And as I uncluttered the tolerations, I found that my physical surroundings became uncluttered as well.
  • My apartment is clean random or open, so I feel the like I’ mina clutter-free environment at home.”


The most important hour…

  • “Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • The most important hour of your day is composed of the thirty minutes after you wake up and the thirty minutes before you fall asleep.
  • This is when your subconscious is very receptive so it’s of big importance what you do in this time.

The way you start your day will have a huge impact on how the rest of your day develops.

  • I’m sure you have had days which have started on the wrong foot and from then on it got worse and worse or the opposite where you woke up with that feeling that everything will go your way and then it did.
  • That’s why it’s very important to begin your day well.
  • Most of us just get into a rush from minute one after waking up and that’s how our days unfold.

No wonder most people run around stressed nowadays.

  • What would get up half an hour or an hour earlier every morning do for you?
  • What if instead of hurrying and swallowing down your breakfast or even having it on the way to work, you get up and take half an hour for yourself?
  • Maybe you even create a little morning ritual with a 10 or 15-minute meditation.

Do you see what this could do for your life if you made it a habit? Here are some activities for the morning ritual. Give it a shot!

  1. Think positive: Today is going to be a great day!
  2. Remember for 5 minutes what you are grateful for.
  3. 15 minutes of quiet time.
  4. Imagine the day that is about to start going very well.
  5. Watch a sunrise.
  6. Go running or take a walk.
  7. Write in your journal.

The last half an hour of your day has the same importance!

The things you do in the last half an hour before sleeping will remain in your subconscious during your sleep then it’s time to do the following:

  • Write into your journal again.
  • Now is the time for reflecting on your day.
  • What did you do great?
  • What could you have done even better?
  • Plan your day.
  • What are the most important things you want to get done tomorrow?
  • Make a to-do list for the next day.
  • Visualize your ideal day.
  • Read some inspirational blogs, articles, or chapters of a book.
  • I highly recommend that you NOT WATCH THE NEWS or MOVIES that agitate you before you are about to go to sleep.
  • This is because when you are falling asleep you are highly receptive to suggestions.
  • That’s why it’s a lot more beneficial to listen to or watch positive material.
  • Planning ahead of your day and the list of things to do can bring you immense advantages and time-saving.
  • The things you have to do will already be in your subconscious plus you will get to work very focused the next day if you already know what your priorities are.
  • Questions:
  • How will your mornings and evenings look from now on?
  • Will you get up 30 minutes earlier and develop a little ritual?
  • What will your last activities be before you go to sleep?


Find your purpose and do what you love

  • “The purpose of life is not to be happy.
  • It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson ”The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.”
  • Mark Twain One of the most important things along your life’s journey is the discovery of your purpose.
  • So what exactly does that mean? It means doing what you love to do.
  • Your answers to the questions “What would you do if success was guaranteed?” or “What would you do if you had ten million dollars, seven houses, and had traveled to all of your favorite destinations?” will lead you to your purpose.
  • You spend more time at your job than with your loved ones, so you better enjoy what you are doing!
  • If you feel like you are driving without a roadmap or a GPS and don’t really know where to go or if you never quite know what you are doing here and why, and you feel kind of lost and empty, then that’s a sign that you have not found your purpose.

But don’t worry, that can be fixed in no time.

You can find clues to your purpose by examining your values, skills, passions, and ambitions and by taking a look at what you are good at. Here are some more questions that should help you. Have the courage to answer them to yourself and write them down.

 Take a walk every day

  • “An early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.” Henry David Thoreau
  • Whenever possible, go out and spend time around nature.
  • Take a walk and connect with it. Watch a sunset or a sunrise.
  • If you are going for a run or a walk in the mornings you’ll surely say that Henry David Thoreau is right!
  • Our rhythm of life has become so fast and so stressful that taking some time and walking through the woods can bring you down to earth and provide you with deep relaxation.
  • Listen to the silence and enjoy it.
  • Taking a walk is a great way to re-energize your body and your mind.
  • A new Stanford study that just came out concludes that walking improves your creative thinking.
  • When will you start walking for one hour per day?
  • Do it for 30 days and let me know how it feels!

 What are your standards?

  • “I teach people how to treat me by what I will allow.”
  • Stephen Covey Expect and demand more from yourself and those around you.
  • If you really want to make a change in your life you have to raise your standards.
  • Have a zero-tolerance policy for mediocrity, procrastination, and behavior that impedes your best performance!
  • Your standards could be, for example, to always tell the truth, to always be punctual, to really listen to people until they are finished, and so on.

Hold yourself to high standards and – what is of the same or even more importance – set boundaries for those around you!

  • Boundaries are things that people simply can’t do to you like yelling at you, making stupid jokes around you, or disrespecting you.
  • Communicate clearly and make it a habit to address anything that bothers you on the spot.
  • Remember what the proverb says: “In the right tone you can say everything, in the wrong tone nothing, the art is to find the right tone”.
  • Practice saying things in a neutral tone of voice like you’d say “The sun is shining”.
  • Action Steps: Write down the following things: Things you will no longer accept in your life.
  • All the behaviors you will no longer tolerate from others.
  • All the things you want to become.

 Adopt an Attitude of Gratitude!

  • “Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more.
  • If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”Oprah Winfrey
  • Listen to Oprah!
  • Be grateful for what you have every day and you will attract more things to be grateful for.
  • Gratitude recharges you with energy and boosts your self-worth.
  • It’s directly linked to physical and mental well-being.

The “attitude of gratitude” leads you directly to happiness and is the best antidote to anger, envy, and resentment!

  • Let it become part of your nature! Be grateful for what you have, for all the small things around you, and even for the things you don’t have yet!
  • Don’t say: “I’ll be grateful when…” like I did for many years.
  • Take the shortcut: Be grateful NOW – no matter what – and make gratitude a daily habit: Start the day by saying thank you for what you have (instead of complaining about what you don’t have).
  • This will have an immediate effect on your life.

Focus on the good things that you can find every day.

The following exercises are part of every one of my coaching processes. Do them and observe what happens.
Action Steps:
1) Make a list of everything you have in your life that you are grateful for. Write down everything you can think of. (This should be a long list) 2) For 21 days every day write 3 to 5 things that you are grateful for, that day in your journal. Before going to sleep relive the moments. Relive the happiness.

 The Magic of Visualization

  • “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” Peter Drucker
  • Visualization is a fundamental resource in building experiences.
  • The subconscious part of your brain cannot distinguish between a well-done visualization and reality.
  • This means that if you visualize your goals with a lot of emotion and in great detail, your subconscious mind will be convinced that it’s really happening.
  • You will then be provided with motivation, opportunities, and ideas that will help you to transform your life into that desired state.

What am I saying? Can you practice sports with pure visualization?

  • Well, actually you can.
  • Various studies confirm the power of visualization.
  • As early as the ’80s, Tony Robbins worked with the U.S. Army and used visualization techniques to dramatically increase pistol shooting performance.
  • There have also been other studies done for improving free throw shooting percentages of Basketball players using the same techniques.
  • The results were amazing!
  • If you look closely at athletes they all visualize their races and matches.

In coaching, we use visualization techniques with goals.

  • See yourself as already having achieved the goal.
  • See it through your own eyes and put all your senses in it: smell it, hear it, feel it, taste it.
  • The more emotions you put into it, the more of an impact it will have.
  • If you do this for 15 minutes every day over time you will see enormous results.
  • Make time for your daily visualization either in your morning ritual or in the evening before going to bed.
  • It can be helpful to make a collage of images that represent your goal on an A3 sheet of cardboard and put it up in your bedroom or somewhere where you can see it.

Buy some journals and cut out the photos that represent your goals.

  • You could also create a screensaver of various photos on your computer or desktop.
  • If your goal is wealth, put a photo of your dream house, a photo of dollar bills, or whatever wealth means to you.
  • If you search for “vision board” on Google, you will surely find lots of examples.
  • Look at your collage every day 5 minutes after getting up and 5 minutes before going to bed and imagine yourself vividly with your goal already accomplished.

 What if?

  • “Our expediencies not only affect how we see reality but also affect the reality itself.” Dr. Edward E. Jones
  • Always expect the best!
  • Life doesn’t always give you what you want, but it sure gives you what you expect!
  • Do you expect success?
  • Or do you spend most of your time worrying about failure?
  • Our expectations about ourselves and others come from our subconscious beliefs and they have an enormous impact on our achievements.

Your expectations influence your attitude and your attitude has a lot to do with your success.

  • Your expectations also affect your willingness to take action and all your interactions with others.
  • Many of us know all this and yet most of us expect negative outcomes when asking one of our favorite questions of the mind: the question “What if”.
  • The single adjustment in how you ask a question transforms you, your energy, and the answer you get.
  • It changes your thinking and your inner dialogue.
  • Suddenly you start asking what-if up questions in your head, rather than what-if down questions.

The benefits of shifting your thinking will be

  • Less stress, fear, and anxiety.
  • You will feel more peaceful.
  • Your energy level will go up.
  • It allows you to be the inventor of your own experience.
  • Try it out!
  • How did you feel just now reading it?
  • Write a list of all your fears and negative “What ifs” and then turn it around.
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