7 Ways to Experience True Success, #6 – Practice Optimism

I have a question for you. Do you tend to see the glass half-full or half-empty?

How you answer that question can reveal a lot about who you are and how you view life.

Thousands of years of human history has shown us that people who tend to experience real success have a more positive, optimistic view of life, themselves, and the world.

Now I don’t know about you, but sometimes when I hear the someone say that people need to be more positive, I can quickly go to an image of a flashy, loud, almost too good to be a true, slick, fast talker, whose primary motivation is to talk you into some deal. I guess I have been a little jaded over the years.

However, here is some excellent news. The type of cartoon character in no way represents a positive or optimistic person.

In this article, I will help you understand what it means to be an optimistic person. And one of the great things is that even if you don’t see yourself as an optimist, you can learn to become more optimistic.

Part of experiencing true success and understanding the power of optimism is to understand a little about resilience.

Resilience is the ability to cope with and overcome whatever life throws at you.

Need some motivation – check this out this video!

A resilient person works through challenges by using personal resources such as strength, faith, effective relationships as well as other resources such as hope, optimism, and self-efficacy (their belief in their ability to act). When a resilient person takes a hit, personally or professionally, they tend to not only bounce back to normal but are able to move forward.

Being resilient is also an essential component of optimism.

John Thurman

Being resilient is also an essential component of optimism.
Before we jump in, I think it is essential that we look at some basic definitions or optimism.

Sonya Lyubomirsky, UC Riverside shares the various types of optimism practically.

Big Optimism: The deep feeling that things are going well and that this is a great time to be alive.

Little Optimism: General optimism about day to day circumstances, being able to make it through the day, meet your obligations.

Very Small Optimism: The lowest form of optimism, but the comforting belief that you will make it through the day.

Full Disclosure: Although being positive/optimistic is talked about as if it is one thing. It is entirely possible to be optimistic in some regions of our lives but pessimistic in others. After all, last time I checked, we are all human.
Let’s take a look at the practical side of the idea of Optimism.

While feeling positive and optimistic can be a necessary but momentary state-like a burst of insight or a temporary feeling of joy, I’m referring to a more stable, enduring personality feature. This kind of optimism includes skills such as acceptance, resilience, flexibility and coping skills.

Dr. Caroline Dweck, author of The Growth Mindset, and Dr. Elaine Fox’s, Rainy Brain, Sunny Brain have written some keen insights into this type of optimism.

A closed-minded person sees problems, as setbacks rather than opportunities. An optimist, on the other hand, they to be more alert to opportunities, less risk-averse and tend to be “all in.”

Fox writes, “Dispositional optimism is not just about being happy and upbeat, however; it is more about having genuine hope for the future, a sincere belief that things will work out, a deep abiding faith that they can deal with whatever life throws at them. Optimists are not naive they don’t believe that nothing will ever go wrong, but they do have a deep-seated conviction that they can cope. Optimists have a natural tendency and faith to accept the world for what it is but have a deeply held belief that the way you deal with things determine who you are.

A considerable part of being an optimistic person is a proper understanding of being in control. The opposite of this is feeling like the future is hopeless can make a pessimist passive since everything they attempt seems to fail. In sharp contrast, an optimistic person believes that their actions matter and that they have active input into their outcomes.
Being an optimistic, hopeful person is more than feeling good and upbeat, it is truly about being intentionally engaged with a meaningful life, becoming a more resilient person, and feeling in control. This, in my opinion, is significantly enhanced when one is actively engaged in their faith.

Here is a great, short lesson from a former astronaut

So, what are some of the benefits of learning and being a more optimistic person? What are some realistic expectations if you make a choice to become more optimistic?

  1. Increased happiness and a sense of well-being. Optimistic people tend to be happier, partially because they perceive positive events more vividly and expect good them to occur.
  2. Increased positive emotions and strengthened relationships. Because optimistic people generally have a more upbeat mood, an increased sense of personal vitality, and a strong sense of self. They feel they have some control over their destiny. As a result, the positive energy radiates out because positive people tend to be easily liked by others.
  3. Less negative emotions. “The defining characteristic of pessimists is that they tend to believe bad events will last a long time, will undermine everything they do and that all of these negative things are their fault. The optimist on the other hand, when confronted with the same hard knocks of this world, think about misfortune oppositely. They tend to believe that defeat is just a temporary setback and that there will be a way to overcome or adapt positively. They think that they have what they need or know how to access help if it is required.
  4. Improved health. Optimist, as a general rule of thumb, live longer and are less likely to die from accidents or violent acts because they tend to take active steps to protect themselves.
  5. Improved performance. Optimistic, positive people tend to put more genuine effort towards their goals and dreams. In a nutshell, they tend to be more successful because they have commitment and tenacity.
  6. Better coping skills which lead to increased resilience. As a general rule, optimists tend to cope better with adversity because they face it and on a deep level believe that they can rise to the challenge. One prominent person who comes to mind is Michael J. Fox who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 1991. He puts it this way, “Optimism and hope related to how we think and feel about the future. If we really believe that things will work out for the best, all setbacks become easier to deal with.
  7. This can lead to a more vibrant faith that is able to find contentment and peace regardless of circumstances. The Apostle Paul said, “Not that I was ever in need, for I was never in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I have discovered the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty or little. For I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength. Philippians 4:11-13

Would you like to take the free Learned Optimism Test designed by Dr. Marty Seligman, Just click here!

7 Ways to Experience True Success – # 5 Partner Well

(c) Depositphotos.com

Partner Well
“Plans go wrong for lack of advice; many advisers bring success.”

Proverbs 15.22

In a few days, many of my friends will be traveling to Franklin, Tennessee to attend The Tribe Conference, 2018 hosted by Best Selling Author and Entrepreneur, Jeff Goins. This conference is somewhat unique in that it is a gathering for writers, artists, and creative entrepreneurs to grow their craft, share their work, and get the attention their work deserves.

Unlike a traditional writer’s conference, this outstanding gathering brings together a wide variety of people of different ages, disciplines, worldviews, and skill levels who share a shared vision of impacting the world with their message. Besides, to great speakers and helpful workshops, the Tribe Conference is an outstanding place to network, partner, share ideas, and seek wisdom.

You may be asking: Why are you telling me about this John?

I am glad you asked.

The fifth component of True Success is to partner well.

Think about this poignant thought from Andy Andrew book, The Seven Decisions.
“God moves mountains to create the opportunity of his choosing. It is up to you to move yourself.”

You and I do not have the power to change our past, but we have the grace and the ability to change our present and our future by making the necessary choice today. One of the keys ways to do this is by seeking the wisdom of others.

You see there are two ways to learn in life, the first is knowledge which comes from my own self-study like reading books, attending classes, listening to podcasts and making my own pig-headed mistakes. Wisdom, on the other hand, is learning from others who know things and have learned the lesson that I might not have discovered.

Seeking wisdom helps us craft lives of extraordinary achievement. Change is inevitable, so we might as well accept the power and responsibility for making choices and partnering well.

So, how can we do this? Apart from being a life-long learner, attending conferences, reading and all of the other things one can do in the area of self-improvement you must choose your companions carefully. In other words, you must partner effectively.

There is a powerful proverb that speaks to this, “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers, they succeed.” Proverbs 15:22

A partner is a wise person, advisor, or counselor (not in the traditional way) who can provide needed insight, wisdom, or any practical help to help you achieve a specific goal, successfully complete a project, or fulfill a dream.

Unfortunately, most folks only seek a counselor or input from others when there are either “up to their eyeballs” with trouble or when they have a need that they cannot handle by themselves.

By having people in our lives who can provide insight, counsel, and advice we can receive numerous benefits.

Benefit # 1
You will have a much better chance of accomplishing your dreams, plans, goals, and objectives.

Benefit # 2
By getting honest input from others, you actually lower your risk.
I personally love the way the Amplified Bible describes this principle from Proverbs 11:14

Where there is no [wise, intelligent] guidance, the people fail [and go off course like a ship without steering]. But in the abundance of [wise and godly] counselors there is victory.” While this was a passage aimed primarily for the military, its implications are much broader.

Benefit # 3
Lessons learned in the school of wisdom have a lifelong impact.

Benefit #4
When you go through tough times, and you will, then you will have someone to help you get through it. Someone will have your back.

Once again, the ancient advice from the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes, Chapter 4, verses 9&10, “Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.”

Benefit # 5
By having other people as counselors and advisors, you will be able to have victories and accomplish things that would otherwise be lost.

The old advice once again validates this principle. Once again from the 4th chapter of the book of Ecclesiastes verse 12, “A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.”

Five pretty significant benefits of having a team of people to act as your counselors, advisors, or as your board of directors.

By a board of directors, I am talking about a small informal group of men and women who have skills, expertise, connections, and understanding that you do not have. They are out there, I promise you. Some are people that you know right now and others you will meet down the road.

On a personal note I have a great team, some I spend a lot of time with some I stay in touch with. This team is made up of family members, accountants, my publisher, who was previously an old friend, a couple of best-selling authors, a couple of minister friends, and a young friend who is a marketing master.

How about you? Do you have a board of directors, a team of people who you run ideas by? I hope you do, and if you currently do not have such a group, begin to think and pray about forming one, sooner than later.

Failure to do so has some pretty dire consequences.

Consequence # 1
Your plans and purpose could do a face plant and fail.

Consequence # 2
You have a higher risk of financial loss and possible humiliation.
Proverbs 13:18 puts it this way in the New Living Translation, “If you ignore criticism, you will end in poverty and disgrace; if you accept correction, you will be honored.”

Action Plan
If you are needing to begin building your own personal board of directors/advisors, make it your goal to seek wisdom.

Choose your partners, your advisors with care.

Right now, in your journal or on a piece of paper do these three things.

1. List those people in your inner circle, those who have or have had a positive influenced your life, including family members, friends, colleagues, and others.

2. This next part will be tough. By each name put an arrow to indicate the direction the person is leading you. The up arrow means they challenge, encourage, energize, and set a pace for you. The down arrow means they do not challenge, inspire and drag you down, are consume too much energy, and keep you off course.

3. Do you notice any particular patterns? With whom do you spend time with, the ones who energize or the energy vampires? You will become who you hang with.

Hey, I would love to hear your thoughts! Feel free to leave me a comment.

Blessings,
John

PS
I will miss my friends and partners at Tribe 2018. This week I will be headed downrange to the Florida Panhandle and to a couple of places I spent a lot of time at in my youth, namely Mexico Beach and Panama City Beach. Part of my mission, my manifesto is to equip people to manage stress in extreme environments, and I will be performing my mission as a Stress Counselor for the FEMA Staff. I covet your prayers for this deployment.

By the way, I have a special price on my book The No Fear Entrepreneur, it is available in paperback, Kindle, and audiobooks.

7 Way to Experience True Success – 3 – Take Action

 

Step 3 – Take Action

Recently, I was watching A Night at the Museum 2, and there was Amy Adams, one of my favorite actors portraying Amelia Earnhart, one of America’s aviation pioneers.

Amelia Earhart, what a powerful legacy of a woman, a person who experienced some extraordinary events all because she was willing to take action.

Here we are in 2018, and it seems that ever so often there is a new story about this woman who disappeared in 1937 while attempting to cross the Pacific. That has been over 80 years, and she continues to be in the news. What is it about this woman that continues to amaze us.

I think it was her quiet confidence.

In the early 1920’s, while aviation was still in its infancy, a group of daredevil pilots, called “barnstormers,” were touring the U.S., giving small-town America a glimpse of the promises of aviation. They would typically land in a field near a town, and for a few cents per head do some aerobatics and show off their skill. After landing, they would offer a short 10-minute ride in their biplanes for anyone who was daring enough and had the money.

On one cold, December morning in 1920, Amelia Earhart purchased a ticket for her first airplane ride, and the rest is history. While the ride only lasted about 10 minutes, it completely altered the destiny of her life: a seed was planted, Amelia was determined to become a pilot. She didn’t care that there were only a few female pilots. Through hard work and very challenging conditions, Amelia chose to show up, do the job, develop the skill set and become a well-respected licensed pilot.

Her initial claim to fame was the first woman to cross the Atlantic Ocean. While many pilots both male and female admired the historic flight of Charles Lindberg, few dared to face the seemingly insurmountable odds of a long and dangerous trip across the Atlantic. Earnhart’s commitment to both her dream and her craft, not to mention her steely determination lead her to be the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic.
What was it that set her apart?

Not only was she a competent pilot during her time in history and though her skills were highly polished, that was also not what set her apart. Instead, it was her confidence, her willingness to go after her seemingly impossible dream, and her belief that she believed she could that was the thing that made her unique.

Amelia Earnhart’s accomplishments were extraordinary for her time, especially considering that men so dominated her field.

Over the years there have been numerous studies done regarding the gender differences regarding confidence. One of the most exciting studies done by Cornell University showed that men generally tend to overrate their abilities and performance while women generally tend to underestimate both.
With this in mind, I want to take just a moment to encourage you to show up and take action. One of the keys to succeeding in any endeavor in life is to be present and to be prepared, and to actively, engaged and to develop an open mindset.

Here is an insightful tip from my book, The No Fear Entrepreneur.

Choose to shift into a “growth mindset.” Dr. Carol Dweck, the author of Mindset, spent her life researching the origins of mindsets, their role in motivation and self-regulation, and their impact on achievement and interpersonal processes. Her findings give us two options—a growth mindset or a fixed mindset.

A “fixed mindset” is one in which you believe you are born with a particular set of talents, abilities, and intelligence—all of which are unchangeable. Some people with a fixed mindset may find it harder to experience life change and growth. As a result, a fixed-mindset person fails to develop his abilities and is more likely to give up or become distracted and feel depressed when he fails to make the grade in his own eyes.

A person with a growth mindset begins in a different place. When you have a growth mindset, you see yourself and others as more flexible, adaptable, and hopeful. Way down inside, you know the potential for growth and development. With the right motivation, effort, moral compass, and concentration you must believe you can become better at almost anything. A person who has a growth mindset does not take failure personally. That individual tends to see set back as an opportunity for growth. If one path does not work, then the person will try another.

As a Christian therapist, I believe the Bible continually teaches the benefit of being growth-minded. I think God is active in time, space, and history and that He has an aggressive, life-fulfilling plan for each of us. The Bible gives us the truth, hope, and stories of those who have gone before us and have found such purpose.

You can overcome the fear of failure by understanding those old triggers and turning them from energy-sapping vampires into life-motivating power that will help you accomplish your dreams.

Amelia Earhart maintained an open mindset. Moreover, even though she perished pursuing her dream, she is remembered as a woman who took action.

How about you, what action do you need to take to embrace the life that God has for you?

What fears are holding you back?

7 Ways to Experience Success Part 2 – FOCUS

Image from Depositphotos.com

Albert Einstein said, “Genius is the ability to focus on one particular thing for a long time without losing concentration.”

Excerpt From The No Fear Entrepreneur

So many entrepreneurs and ministry leader fail to build their business/ministry because they are trying to do too much. The primary reason they experience frustration, as opposed to feeling a sense of accomplishment is a lack of focus.

Dr. Tom Barrett
“Focus is the birth canal through which dreams become a reality.”

While many people tell me they are multi-taskers, the clinical research suggests the opposite. As a business person or ministry leader, your success or failure will be a direct result of how well you maximize your strengths, your passion and how precise you are on your “Why.” Your strengths are those activities you naturally enjoy doing and would do them for free your entire life if neces-sary. This is how every great entrepreneur in history made their success: doing what they loved and loving what they do.

One of the most significant focus stealers is what James Clear calls half work.

“We live in the age of distraction. It is idiotically easy to become distracted between what we should be doing and the choices that society and social media bombard us with.”

Here is a classic example:

You begin working on a project, with the intention of knocking it out of the park before the close of business. After about fifteen to twenty minutes for some completely irrational reason, you random-ly check your phone. For no apparent reason, just like the flashing brain stealing tool in Incredibles 2, you surrender your conscious mind and before you know it you are checking your FB likes, see-ing if anyone has uploaded come cool Pinterest pics, or if you Snapchat or Instagram account has had any hits. Since you are already there, you might as well check you Messenger Inbox, and text a friend.

So, how can we become more focused?

I think the first thing to do is rot be honest and start today. Anthony Robbins says, “One of the reasons so few of us achieve what we truly want it that we never direct our focus, we never concen-trate our power.

Check out this hilarious video on the power of focus, and this kid is a blast to watch.

Chris Guillebeau has a great line, “The best time to start was last year. Failing that, today is an out-standing day to start!

One of my favorite authors, Simone Sinek, says, “Optimism is the ability to focus on where we’re going, not where we’re coming from. If you are looking for an exceptional resource to help clarify your why I wholeheartedly recommend his book, Start with Why? While you are at it, check out this TED talk he gave a few years ago concerning the importance of knowing your why.

In my work as a management coach, I like to ask my clients five simple questions.
1. What makes you come alive?
2. What are your core strengths?
3. Where do you add the most significant value?
4. What is your mission, your why?
5. How will you measure your life?
6. What is holding you back?
I hope you will take a moment and reflect on these questions.

Drop me a comment, I’d love to hear from you?

7 Ways To Experience True Success Part -1-Know Your Why

From Depositphotos.com

 

Did you know that many entrepreneurs and ministry leaders start off with a great plan, product or idea only to do a face plant down the road?

While there are many great stories and articles about why startups fail or succeed I want to spend a few minutes sharing some insight on some of the attitudes that can lead to failure and how to avoid them.

Years ago, I was talking to a friend who was also the pastor of a very dynamic congregation, and I asked him, what were some of the potential pitfalls for business and ministry leaders?

Without missing a beat, he said, “Money, sex, and power! Use them in a manner that glorifies God and builds people up, and you will be successful in all that you do. Use them in a self-seeking, abusive way and eventually you will be brought down!”

With this in mind, I want to help you avoid some of these attitudes that lead to failure.

“Survival Driven” (Seeking Money Before Adding Value)

Being driven by survival is a significant reason why some entrepreneurs fail. If your primary motivation is money and to acquire wealth rather than to create and increase the value to people’s lives through a product, service, or an idea, then you have gotten off to a poor start. If this is your sole goal in being in business, I would suggest you do some serious soul-searching.

Several years ago, I had a client that appeared to be a very successful businessman. He had the right cars, the right house in the upscale neighborhood, a beautiful wife, and kids. It seemed like everything he touched turned to gold. He was a money-making machine, however, at least to me, something didn’t seem quite right.

You see, he looked good on the outside. But there was a problem. All was not as good as it seemed.

He had grown up in a fairly average, middle-class family, but wanted more. As a young adult, he discovered that he was a smooth talker that could be very persuasive. Over the years, he honed his skills and developed a very successful business.

That’s when the cracks begin to appear. Unknown to anyone else, he had a severe gambling problem, which over the years eventually lead him down a horrible path. Finally, because of shady dealings, broken promises and a significant tax debt his world came tumbling down. He lost everything.

Why?

In my opinion, he was so focused on image, on success, or at least the appearance of success that he completely forgot about the accurate measure of success.

His focus was on surviving his appearance of being well-off, and unfortunately, he forgot that real success comes in adding value to people’s lives.

When you seek to add value, it helps keep your moral compass pointing in the right direction. The purpose of owning your own business should not only focus on the accumulation of wealth but the creation of value-added products and services that will help make the world a better place for all. Wealth is a result of consistently providing solutions to the problems of humanity.

A Biblical View of Success

In researching this article, I came across a piece by Fred Smith (https://www.christianitytoday.com/biblestudies/bible-answers/spirituallife/christianview.html?start=2)

Before we go any further, let’s define success. Many people have the wrong understanding of it.

For Christians, success can never be measured by money. When people say to me, “That man’s worth ten million dollars,” that tells me he’s wealthy, but it doesn’t prove he’s successful. In some cases, it could mean the opposite. For instance, if Mother Teresa, whom I consider a tremendous success, confessed she was hoarding a million dollars, I’d think she was a hypocrite. The money would prove her a fraud, not a success.

The measurement of success is merely the ratio of talents used to talents received. What you are doing with what you’ve got, plus who you are becoming. Are you a growing, maturing Christian? Whether you work in business, or in Christian work, or as a day laborer, professional, or academic, if you are a maturing Christian, using a large percentage of your talents, you are successful. Be glad.

The person doing the most with what he’s got is indeed successful. Not the one who becomes the richest or most famous, but the one who has the closest ratio of talents received to talents used.

An unsuccessful person, on the other hand, is one who didn’t use the chances he or she had. He could have developed himself, he could have contributed to life, he could have become a mature Christian, but he didn’t.

How about you? Are you actively using the talents, gifts, and resources God has given you to enrich other people’s lives/

Action Plan:

  • List three ways you are using the talents, gifts, and resources that the Lord has provided.
  • As you review this post, what are one or two areas that need some work. Once you have written these down, use the power of prayer to allow the Lord to help you tap into ways to expand those talents, gifts, and resources.

A bit of ancient wisdom

Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and do not depend on your understanding. Seek his will in all that you do, and he will show you what path to take. Proverbs 3:5-6 NLT

 

I’d like to know your opinion?

The Three C’s of Grit

Why is it that some people succeed in starting a new business, ministry opportunity, or creative enterprise and others fail?

If you read or listen to motivational books you learned the importance of knowing you’re why, identifying your passion, developing a business plan, understanding your niche, having goals with measurable outcomes, and having a tribe.

While every one of these is a requirement to pursue your dream there is one vital ingredient missing in the formula. That key component is grit or hardiness.

While anyone can develop hardiness, researchers have identified certain characteristics.

According to the research of psychologist Susan Kobasa, three elements appear to be essential when we look at hardiness or grit to exist: challenge, personal control, and commitment. Kobasa called these the three ‘Cs.’

Commitment.  They have s sense of purpose in their life.  They are committed to their dream and do the work necessary and tackle challenges head-on. Part of the reason hardy people are able to stay in the game and persist in their coping efforts is that as a group they are committed to an active, engaged stance towards life. They feel that their life has a purpose (whatever shape that may be), and that purpose motivates them to actively attempt to influence their surroundings and to persevere even when their attempts to influence their surroundings don’t appear to be working out. A person who has no purpose in life –no motivation and no commitment –will not be able to lead a resilient life. On the other hand, resilient people find meaning in their activities even when faced with significant adversity precisely because they are committed to finding that meaning; towards taking an active, problem-solving approach to life.

 

Challenge. Individuals with grit  have a sense of purpose in life see problems as challenges and they devote time, effort and energy into solving them

They are connected to their dream, their mission and tackle things head on.  People with grit remain involved in an endeavor despite stressful circumstances such as changes in the marketplace, business systems, and the economy. People lacking grit tend to pull back from their dream or opportunity and drift into isolation or alienation.  People with grit view stress as a challenge that they can potentially overcome if only they can understand it properly. Their habit of looking at challenges to be overcome motivates them to address the causes of their stress in positive ways.

I remember one of my Battalion  Commanders used today. “Men we don’t have problems we have opportunities for growth and excellence.

This active approach to life challenges may be contrasted with the more common approach, where stress and challenges are viewed as an unfortunate, overwhelming or even paralyzing force that overwhelms rather than motivates.

Personal Control.  People who are gritty believe they are in charge of and responsible for their lives and that they have the power to change it. If they don’t have the skill set to do something they will go out of their way to get them.

As a group, people with grit people tend to accept challenges and to work to overcome and master them. Even when true mastery of a challenge is not possible (e.g., when a situation is not possible to control), gritty people work to find what possibilities do exist for mastery and pursue them. When faced with the loss of employment, a hardy person would seize upon opportunities for exploring new employment options rather than become depressed and demoralized.

 

How about you? Do you consider yourself a person with grit, are you someone who exemplifies hardiness? Later this week I will share 8 signs that will reveal that you do have it and on Friday I will give you 8 ways to develop it.

I love what St. Paul said in the New Testament book of Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ, who gives me strength.”

Overcome the Fear of Success

 

 

 Success will never attack you!

In my previous article, I asked a question about your definition of success.

In this article, I want to share some thoughts about success from a biblical perspective.

A key part of God’s design is to create and bring an increase. These are vital factors to understand as you build your business/ministry.

From a faith perspective, success is not measured in fame, money, prestige, or how many toys you have. It is measured by how many lives you touch.

These can be lives you touched personally, through the profits of your business, the developing of your gifts, talents, and temperament.

It is rooted in the art and hard work of diligence.

Work hard and become a leader; be lazy and become a slave. Proverbs 12:24 (NLT)

Become a person of excellence.

Do you see any truly competent workers? They will serve kings rather than working for ordinary people.   Proverbs 22:29 (NLT)

Assume responsibility and manage details.

Know the state of your flocks, and put your heart into caring for your herds. Proverbs 27:23 (NLT)

Strive for trustworthiness and dependability.

Who may worship in your sanctuary, Lord?
Who may enter the presence of your holy hill?
Those who lead blameless lives and do what is right, speaking the truth from sincere hearts.
Those who refuse to gossip or harm their neighbors or speak evil of their friends. Psalms 15:1-4 (NLT)

Treat your customers, associates, and coworkers like family.

Choose a good reputation over great riches;
being held in high esteem is better than silver or gold. True humility and fear of the Lord lead to riches, honor, and long life. Proverbs 22: 1&4 (NLT)

Develop a long-term perspective.

Do your planning and prepare your fields before building your house. Proverbs 24:27 (NLT)

Be alert for opportunities to expand your business/ministry

She goes to inspect a field and buys it; with her earnings, she plants a vineyard. Proverbs 31:16 (NLT)

Manage risk well.

Even when there was no reason for hope, Abraham kept hoping—believing that he would become the father of many nations. For God had said to him, “That’s how many descendants you will have! Romans 4:18(NLT)

Make your assets work for you.

Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together! Matthew 25:21 (NLT)

Surround yourself with wise counselors.

Without wise leadership, a nation falls; there is safety in having many advisers. Proverbs 11:14 (NLT)

Make decisions based on biblical principles.

O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8 (NLT)

Ask the Lord Jesus to be your CEO.

Seek the Kingdom of God[a] above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. Matthew 6:33 (NLT)

No matter what type of fear you may be facing, no matter what type of decisions you need to make, one of the most important things you can do is realize that the Lord wants to have a relationship with you. He wants to be involved in your life, your relationships and your business.

Action Plan

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. Proverbs 3:5-6 (NLT)

Consider buying my new book, The No Fear Entrepreneur

I’d love to hear your comments.

Shut Down the Fear of Success Pt !

Is it ok to be successful? Now and then I love to ask people this question. As a person of faith, I am always amazed how many Christians have a tough time answering that question without qualifying their answer. Many of my more secularly minded friends were less likely to try and qualify their answers. I will talk about that in another article.

Second question; How do you define success?

One of the leading fears I discovered while working on The No Fear Entrepreneur, was the fear of success. I had heard about this, and have had my challenges with this fear.

The Difference Between Fruitful and Unfruitful People

One of the significant differences between people who are fruitful and those who are unfruitful toward a goal. Any little win or small victory seems to fire them up and push them toward their goals and dreams.

People who fear success focus on their lack of success. Any slip-up or misstep seems to fuel their fear of success. They read the blackmail of fear which says something like, “You will never measure up.” This leads them to think, “See, I cannot do this, I am hopeless, I will never amount to anything.” As a result, they lay their life, hope, and dreams on the altar of fear.

While this may seem odd to many, it is a form of self-sabotage that can make things fearful. From getting hired, messing up a relationship, or missing opportunities that come your way, we can sabotage our plans.

Key Thought: Kill Fear

To kill fear, you must identify it, call it by its name, and cut off its fuel source. Rather than passively feeding the fear, you need to get crystal clear about the dream God has given you and make sure you are adding fuel to the fire of your dream!

The fear of success is very much like the fear of failure. Both prevent the individual from achieving their dreams and goals. Many people get so accustomed to this mindset that they convince themselves it is okay to never think about getting ahead in life.

Here are a few of the behaviors of Success-Fearing People:

  • You do not complete your projects at home or work.
  • You talk about what you’re going to do more than what you do.
  • You work as a chicken with its head cut off on several projects at once, not focusing intensely on any of them.
  • Your vision board has the same things on it that it did three years ago.
  • The one consistent thing you do is second-guess yourself. Distraction is your middle name.
  • You don’t think your work is ever quite good enough.
  • And the BIG giveaway –you are on the verge of “success,” and things start going wrong.

If this sounds like you, I bet you are asking, “What can I do about the fear of success?”

The above list represents the classic symptoms of someone who struggles with the fear of success. It’s not that you don’t want to be successful, because you have probably been working your tail off and spent many a night thinking, dreaming, and strategizing. The truth is, if success doesn’t come quickly to you, on an individual level you might not want to succeed or feel you deserve to. These thoughts hide in your subconscious mind and, over time, may have been put there through a variety of life experiences. The good news is, you don’t have to stay in this life-sucking, dream-stealing state. You can change.

To help alter our perspective the Scriptures offer plenty of warning about trusting in riches and the dangers of success. It speaks as often about the positive side of success and the importance of using our gifts, resources, and mind constructively for God’s glory. Psalms 1:3 (NLT) says, “They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do.”

Did you get that last part? The Lord has ordained each of our lives for specific accomplishments. The fear of success can and will hold us back.

Action Plan:

Be ready for my next two posts, one on Wednesday and one of Friday

Check out Jeff Goin’s book Real Artist Don’t Starve, I double dog dare you to get this excellent book.

How to Overcome the Fear of Failure

deposit photos

 

Did you know one of the most powerful ways we can push back the fear of failure is to read about and observe how others have overcome this game-stopping fear, glean the lessons they learned, and apply them to our life as appropriate?

Did you know?

Michael Jordan missed more than half of the shots he took. “I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

J.K. Rowling. The Harry Potter author’s story is legendary. She wrote Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (the first book of the series) as a struggling single welfare mom and had twelve rejections from publishers. Her first book eventually sold for the equivalent of $4,000.00. She says, “Failure is so important. We speak about success all the time. It is the ability to resist failure or use failure which often leads to greater success. I’ve met people who don’t want to try for fear of failing… Failure meant a stripping away of the inessential. I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was and began diverting all my energy into finishing the only work that mattered to me.”Today, based on her book sales and incredible film series she is now worth over $1 billion dollars.

• Winston Churchill failed the sixth grade and lost every public election he entered until being elected Prime Minister of Great Britain at age 62. “Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm…Success is not final; failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”

Charlize Theron. When Theron was 15, she witnessed her mother shoot her alcoholic father in an act of self-defense. Instead of letting the trauma immobilize her ambition, Theron channeled her energy into making a name for herself. She would eventually become one of the most respected and talented actresses, becoming the first South African actress to win an Academy Award.

Stephenie Meyer. Before the Twilight series broke sales records, she faced the failure of rejection—multiple times. Meyer wrote fifteen letters to various literary agents and received fourteen rejections. Fortunately, one agent took her on and eight publishers bid on the rights to publish her wildly successful series which turned into a highly popular movie franchise.

Vera Wang’s path to becoming the successful designer she is today was by no means conventional. First, Wang, who was a competitive skater in her youth, failed to make the 1968 U.S. Olympic Figure Skating Team. To the benefit of the fashion industry, this loss of a dream prompted her to take a job as an assistant at Vogue in 1971, where she was eventually promoted to senior fashion editor within a year—at age 23! After fifteen years with the magazine, Wang was passed over for the editor-in-chief position. But she ended up where she needed to be and has become one of the leading fashion designers of all time.

None of these people would have made history if they had chosen to be frozen by failure.

I do not know anyone who enjoys failing. For some people, the fear of failing can present such an overwhelming psychological menace that their incentive to avoid failure exceeds their motivation to succeed. This very personal and intimidating fear of failure causes them to unintentionally sabotage their chances of success in a broad variety of ways.

Here are some practical things you can begin doing today to face your fear of failure!

Stay focused on your “Why.”

To overcome the fear of failure, set your focus on the goal, dream, or outcome that you want to create. The more you focus on the end in mind, the less power you will give fear.

Recognize avoidance patterns, self-sabotaging, and push forward. Once you shift your mindset from being a victim to an overcomer who is in pursuit of your dreams, you are moving forward. When fear holds you, you tend to either avoid or waste time on the mundane things of life.

“Never, never, never quit!”

This famous line comes from Winston Churchill in the early days of World War II.

Churchill was the Prime Minister of England at the time. In those dark days, England was being bombed on a daily basis and civilians were dying throughout the island nation. It was in this context that the following short speech was made on BBC in October of 1941:
Never give in—never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy. ~Winston Churchill

One of the keys to winning at anything you do is to be persistent— to never quit.

“Where there is no vision, people perish.” Taken from Proverbs 29:18, this passage points to the truth that if we have no vision, no path, no idea where we want to go, we will never arrive. To push back fear you have to be crystal clear about what your goal or dream is.

Trust Your Dream!

If you believe that the Lord has given you a dream or desire to do something, just do it. If He gave you the dream, He will provide the tools to fulfill it. The secret? You have to open the toolbox and get to work.

Break Your Dreams into Bite-Sized Portions.

To succeed at anything from weight loss to increase your personal productivity, you have to figure out what your goal is and what steps you will have to take to make it happen.

Have a long-term view, realizing that there will be ups and downs. A can-do attitude helps us never give up on the dreams that God has placed in our hearts. Focus allows us to recharge, reinvest, and reinvent ourselves by melting down our fear.

Share Your Dreams and Your Fears.

In my work as a Crisis Response Specialist, I tell people that one of the keys to moving through a traumatic event is to remember that “Pain shared is pain divided; Joy shared is joy multiplied” (LTC David Grossman). When we do this with our trusted friends we will find the courage, faith, and support to push through the fear and go after our God-sized dream.

Patience, Faith, and Friends are Our Best Allies.

Choose to shift into a “growth mindset.” Dr. Carol Dweck, the author of Mindset, spent her life researching the origins of mindsets, their role in motivation and self-regulation, and their impact on achievement and interpersonal processes. Her findings give us two options—a growth mindset or a fixed mindset.

A “fixed mindset” is one in which you believe you are born with a particular set of talents, abilities, and intelligence—all of which are unchangeable. Some people with a fixed mindset may find it harder to experience life change and growth. As a result, a fixed-mindset person fails to develop his abilities and is more likely to give up or become distracted and feel depressed when he fails to make the grade in his own eyes.

A person with a growth mindset begins in a different place. When you have a growth mindset you see yourself and others as more flexible, adaptable, and hopeful. Way down inside, you know the potential for growth and development. With the right motivation, effort, moral compass, and concentration you believe you can become better at almost anything. A person who has a growth mindset doesn’t take failure personally. That individual tends to see failure as an opportunity for growth. If one path doesn’t work, then the person will try another.

As a Christian therapist, I believe the Bible continually teaches the benefit of being growth-minded. I believe God is active in time, space, and history and that He has an active, life-fulfilling plan for each of us. The Bible gives us truth, hope, and stories of those who have gone before us and have found such purpose.
You can overcome the fear of failure by understanding those old triggers and turning them from energy-sapping vampires into life-motivating power that will help you accomplish your dreams.
May you experience His comfort, grace, and strength as your face your fear of failure.
Excerpt from John Thurman’s #1 Amazon Bestselling Book, The No Fear Entrepreneur.

How to Overcome Fear of Failure Part 1

Depositphotos

Failure can stir up feelings of disappointment, anger, sadness, regret, frustration, disappointment, and confusion.

Underneath this fear is a deeper fear of shame. People who have a fear of failure are motivated to avoid failing, not because they cannot manage the underlying emotions of disappointment, anger, and frustration that accompany such experiences, but because failing makes them feel a profound sense of shame.

Indicators for Fear of Failure

1. You worry about your ability to go after your dreams.

2. You worry about what others think of you.

3. You feel if people knew you they would reject you.

4. You consistently live in a world of lowered expectation.

5. Once you have experienced failure at something, you have difficulty imagining what you could have done differently.

6. You often get last minute headaches, stomach aches, or other distressing physical symptoms which keep you from finishing the task at hand.

7. Failure makes you doubt your abilities and how smart or capable you are.

So, with all this knowledge, what are practical ways to overcome the fear of failure?

Always remember: regrets are worse than failures. Jack Canfield says it well, “Everything you want is on the other side of fear.”

I love how the scriptures, though thousands of years old speak truth today. If you struggle with fear of failure take a moment and reflect on one of my favorite verses of sacred text.

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity or cowardice or fear, but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of sound judgment and personal discipline [abilities that result in a calm, well-balanced mind and self-control]. 2 Timothy 1:7 Amplified Bible (AMP)

Action Plan:

Stay tuned, in the next three posts I will give you some examples of people you know who overcame the fear of failure, and the third post will show you some tools and tips that I have used to deal with this nagging issue in my own life.

Go to my website and sign up for my newletter and receive a free chapter of my #1 Amazon Best Selling Book, The No Fear Entrepreneur.

Blessings!