How A Trip To San Francisco Can Change Your Perspective

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A few months back, I was told by a few people to take a holiday. Without any real plan, I booked flights to San Francisco and LA. Having never traveled to the US before, I wasn’t sure what to expect or how the country would make me feel at the end of my trip.

When I arrived in downtown San Francisco, the city felt strangely like Melbourne where I’m from. On the first day, I hired a bike and rode across the Golden Gate Bridge. It was only once I got near the coastline that the city felt very different.

The Golden Gate Bridge is work of art and no words can describe it. It’s simply beautiful and a marvel of modern day engineering. Getting to go over the bridge is an experience in itself. All of a sudden, all your worries and problems seem so far away, and all that matters is the current moment.

the-golden-gate-bridge-tim-denningWhen I arrived on the other side of the bridge, I took a ferry back past Alcatraz which was a strange and eerie contrast. Everyone asked me why I never bothered to visit the island; the reason was that I don’t believe in celebrating criminal activity or spending time in dark places like a prison.

Our world is shaped by the things we choose to surround ourself with, and prison shouldn’t be one of those things. The more I explored San Fran, the greater my love for Australia became. It’s easy to think that the grass is always greener, but it’s not. As it turns out, I already live in one of the greatest cities in the world.

Below are the 5 things that changed my perspective after visiting the US:


1. Whenever there is hype beware (Silicon Valley)

For the last few years, everyone has told me how magical Silicon Valley is. I decided on this trip to find out for myself. When I arrived in Silicon Valley, it looked like any other friendly neighborhood. I thought I must have been not quite where the action was.

tim-denning-at-googleplexAfter hopping in an Uber, I drove through the streets into the so-called hotspots. What I saw was normal houses, next to traditional business parks that happened to have the world’s most famous tech logos stuck to the side of the building.

I gazed in wondering what magic was occurring inside and what the secret cool aid was that they were all drinking. Thankfully, I got my chance to get behind the closed doors and the private security that surround these buildings like a prison.

Don’t get me wrong; Silicon Valley creates some amazing things in our world, but these same ideas, products, and services can be created anywhere across the globe. The awesomeness that is created is not just possible in Silicon Valley; it’s possible anywhere. Silicon Valley just has a high concentration of very cool companies in one place.


2. San Fran business culture is phenomenal

There was definitely something in the water as I visited each of the famous San Fran companies such as Google, Facebook, and LinkedIn. If I had to link this good feeling to anything, I would say it’s probably that the employees feel they’re changing the world.

What they’re working on is the stuff of dreams, and they know it. It’s not about being better than each other but it’s about working together to do seriously cool stuff. There is no real sense of ownership, and you’re free to go off and try out an idea.

Failure is celebrated, and the only must is innovation”

tim-denning-at-facebook-hq-silicon-valleyIf your business is not growing, it’s dying in San Fran. Once high-growth products like Google Adwords are begin replaced, and nobody is negative about that fact.

Declining performance in certain products is expected, and as long as you’re building the next big thing, then it’s fine. San Fran isn’t about the location itself; it’s about the people who live and work there. The attitude of “anything is possible” is infectious.

The perceived downside to this attitude is that San Fran is full of elitist snobs that think they’re better than everyone else. I for one didn’t get a whiff of this vibe and think that this idea is more of a scarcity / jealousy mindset than anything else.


3. Beauty is all around us

downtown-san-fran-summerOne of my friends in San Fran commented that I was always making observations about the simplest things that he never notices. The way the traffic lights change, the way the trams look – everything was beautiful to me.

As soon as I returned home, the beauty of these same basic things was all of a sudden ignored again. I learned that if you see the beauty not just when you are in a new country, but when you are home, your perspective begins to change.

You find the good in life’s small pleasures, and your mind stops racing ahead for the next bit of technological dopamine. It still bothers me how much I look at my phone hoping for the little red notification to appear.


4. Homelessness is psychological

I was told to expect lots of homelessness, but the size of the problem was bigger than I imagined. I’ve seen homelessness before and got used to it. In San Fran, it wasn’t just that there were people who didn’t have a home; they were also mentally ill and shouted at people for no reason.

The problem is so big that it’s hard to ignore. Everywhere you go, you can’t avoid the issue. I found this to be a good thing because it taught me that problems shouldn’t be ignored, they should be solved. Everything I brought in San Fran had an extra tax. Initially, I had no idea why the advertised price always varied from what you paid until I asked (stupid me).

The extra tax was supposed to help the homeless people. I couldn’t see any sign of them being helped. It felt more like they were being ignored in the hope that they would take their problems elsewhere.

The lesson I learnt was that the homeless don’t need our money; they need psychological assistance if we really want to make a difference.


5. Being out of our comfort zone is a must

San Fran taught me that when I’m out of my comfort zone, I learn the most. It’s a nice feeling to have no idea where you’re going and to get lost once in a while. It’s funny too when you think that your destination is not far away until you discover how hilly San Fran can be in some parts.

tim-denning-oakland-bridge-successLike with any downside, the upside was I got some much-needed exercise. I’m like a kid in a new city because I love to map things out in my mind and memorise where everything is. Within a few days, people were asking me for directions because they thought I was a local.

“Our comfort zone is where we are safe in the womb of life. Our real self is everything beyond that” – James Altucher

Strangely enough, I was able to tell them where to go. Pushing beyond our comfort zone allows us to see the world in a different way and interact with new kinds of people. I met many interesting characters during my travels that shared ideas with me that will forever change me.

The rush of excitement I got when I learned where the world was heading through technology is something that is hard to forget. Seeing people’s passion for changing the world one step at a time is the type of experience I was hoping to have from the start. Anything is possible as long as we collaborate and believe in humankind.

How are you going to change your perspective of the world for the better? Let me know on my website or my Facebook.

By |September 30th, 2016|Commercial|0 Comments

Dealing with Postnatal Depression: It’s Okay to Ask for Help

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Sad woman on swing

“The light at the end of the tunnel might seem a long way off. But the switch may be very near.” ~ Anonymous

When I think about it now, the ominous signs of postnatal depression were there even while I was pregnant.

What started with worries and anxieties would continue to escalate after the birth of my child, finally coming together like a perfect storm, to become a deep, dark depression that would threaten to take my life away from me.

Eighteen months after my daughter was born, now barely able to function, I found myself alone in the grounds of a mental health unit. I remember quite clearly looking up at the sky and asking aloud a question that would come to change the course of my life.

“How did this happen?”

I’ve spent the last twenty-five years unearthing the answers.

The Landscape Changed Around Me

I had sailed through my first pregnancy. My son was a placid baby and slept so much I sometimes had to prod him awake just to make sure he was fed. Life felt perfect but, between my first and second pregnancy, the landscape of my world began to shift and change around me.

We moved. We took on a much bigger loan, but within a few months interest rates had risen so much we could barely make the payments. The property market had gone from boom to bust, and the value of our house came crashing down around us, threatening to throw us into negative equity. Now we couldn’t move again even if we wanted to.

The financial pressures caused tensions. This was when I found myself pregnant for a second time. I felt a confusing mixture of joy and fear. This second pregnancy would be nothing like the worry-free first.

And there was another problem: I wasn’t sure I even liked our new house, or, more to the point, where it was—right next door to a busy pub. Now pregnant, I began to focus more and more of my frustration and anxiety onto the pub and everything I hated about it.

I hated the way its upstairs window overlooked my garden. I hated the smell of cooking and the sound of people drinking and laughing outside. When I was hot and sleepless at night, if I leaned out of the bedroom window, I could just about hear the extractor fan buzzing relentlessly. How I hated that extractor fan!


I felt trapped and unhappy. All the worrying in the daytime ensured I slept restlessly at night, or not at all, and I grew more tired.

Midway through the pregnancy, I caught shingles. Not only could I not take any medication to ease the pain because of possible side effects, but I grew worried about whether the shingles would affect my unborn child.

But I kept soldiering on, pretending to the outside world that everything was okay. When people greeted me with “Hi, how are you?” I would smile and say, “I’m fine,” as we all do. Nobody wanted the true answer, it seemed to me.

There was another problem in admitting I wasn’t coping: I didn’t want anyone to think I was anything less than a perfect mother, and there was an underlying concern, whether real or imaginary, that my children might be taken away from me.

By the time my daughter was born, I was already running on empty, and perhaps that was partly why she was restless, demanding, and so different from my first child. She had eye problems, joint problems, and, as it later turned out, a hole in the heart too, as a result of the shingles.

By now I felt I was a different person altogether. Hollow-eyed, tired yet wired, I was plagued by a feeling of heaviness, vague aches, pains, and stomach problems. I finally visited my doctor and told him I thought I was having a nervous breakdown. His response was to put me on a four-month waiting list for counseling and to give me a prescription for the antidepressant Seroxat.

I started taking them and felt so much worse. Now I was foggy-headed and confused too, and I started having disturbing nightmares, often, violent ones. I’ve since found out these are common side effects. It was Christmas and I couldn’t even raise the energy to cook a Christmas dinner. When I did eat, I couldn’t taste the food. I felt I was shutting down.

I eventually ground to a halt and had to admit how things were for me. The perfect mother mask had finally slipped, and I had no alternative but to be more real. When people asked me how I felt now, I told the truth and it was a relief. Being fake, as it turns out, is really tiring.

I accepted all the help I was offered. I had no choice.

I was referred to a counselor, which helped a lot. Finally, I could offload all the worries and ruminations to someone who didn’t judge me, who simply allowed me to talk and hear my own thoughts.

Friends and neighbors rallied round. People offered to mind the children so I could take a break. I felt I’d forgotten who I was and had to find myself again.

Months later, feeling calmer, I wandered into the garden and sat down, with my back to the pub, on a swing seat.

From here, I had a view of my home I had not really seen before. A pretty thatched cottage lay before me with roses around the door and colorful flowers tumbling down from its window boxes. Fatman, my cat, laid stretching and dozing on the path in the sun, and my children slept, safe and sound, inside.

And in that moment, my perception shifted. I suddenly saw things from a different angle and realized that nothing in my life needed to change; I simply needed to change the way I was looking at my life. Things had happened to me and around me over which I had no control. Finally it hit me like a speeding train: My real control was over the way I chose to respond to those events.

Nothing, and nobody, could make me unhappy without my permission.

It was a moment of clarity and insight that became the turning point in my recovery. It was also the start of my long quest to uncover the mysteries of depression.

How Antenatal Depression Begins

Being a mother can be the most rewarding, yet the most demanding, of roles. Society has high expectations, especially now with social media piling on the pressure for perfection. Antenatal depression can resolve with the birth of the baby or might evolve, as it did for me, into postnatal depression.

The signs and symptoms of anti, and postnatal, depression are the same as for any depression:

  • Tears and feelings of sadness
  • Restlessness and insomnia
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Irritability with yourself, others, or life in general
  • Loss of appetite or overeating
  • Severe fatigue and wanting to stay in bed
  • Difficulty leaving house or handling social situations
  • Aches and pains
  • Loss of interest in things you used to enjoy
  • Loss of hope about the future
  • Feelings of guilt or self loathing

How to Get the Help You Need

Be open.

Communicate with those around you. Explain how you are feeling and ask for support. Talk to friends and family. Other mothers are probably not as confident and upbeat as they appear to be. When you’re honest, it gives others permission to own up to being less than perfect too. Being authentic means you don’t have to pretend, which is such a relief.

Speak to your doctor about what you’re going through, as well. Many pregnant women and new mothers feel guilty about having negative feelings at a time when they think they should be happy. But being open and sharing your concerns will help you, and others, understand and overcome the problems.

Go online.

There are many forums now that support mothers and parents. There is nothing to feel guilty or ashamed about if you are anxious or down. Plenty of others do. Talking openly to others who understand can relieve the burden and isolation.

Take “me time.”

Self-care is not vanity. You may be busy running around after other children or family, but you do need to take your physical and mental health seriously and support yourself with a healthy diet, plenty of rest, and some fun too.

Keep a journal.

Write down how you feel, to get thoughts from the inside to the outside. However, remember also, to keep a gratitude list rather than just focus on the negatives. Bring to mind the things that have gone well, like a trip out with friends or even a beautiful sunset.

My list grew longer the more I searched for the positives. As I expressed my gratitude for the things I hadn’t previously paid attention to like my home, my health, a good meal, or even a lovely sunset, I started to be more mindfully aware throughout the day.

I began to harvest the good stuff and started to feel better. I now know that when we actively look for the good and express our gratitude and thanks, we are re-setting our internal brain filters and begin to re-wire for positivity.

Practice meditation and mindfulness.

Track down a local yoga or meditation class. If you can’t visit a class, download one of the relaxation apps and downloads that are now available online. Learning to focus on the present moment trains the brain to switch off when you want it to. In this way, you can take a break from all that negative internal chatter.

Get some talking therapy.

Agencies such as MIND or Rethink or the Samaritans offer low cost, or no cost, support, and there are many private therapists too.

Talking to a professional has some real advantages. They are trained to listen and offer support, and they can help you heal your past and identify changes you may need to make to meet more of your emotional needs.

Don’t try to be perfect.

Finally, cut yourself some slack. You don’t have to be the perfect wife, the perfect mother, the perfect daughter, or perfect anything else for that matter!

Consider the wisdom in the ancient tale of the carpet weavers.

The carpet weavers, who were experts at their trade, would spend many months creating the most beautiful carpets, but just at the point of completion, they would deliberately weave a mistake into the intricate pattern, because, as they said:

“To aspire to be perfect is to aspire to be god-like and who are we, mere mortals, to be as the gods?”

Image here

Editor’s Note: Although the author did not have a positive experience with medication, everyone’s experience is different. Please consult your doctor before considering stopping any prescribed medication.

Profile photo of Frances Masters

About Frances Masters

Frances Masters is a BACP accredited psychotherapist, coach and training consultant. Author of the book PTSD Resolution, she also writes over at In 2009, Frances founded the charity Reclaim Life; training its volunteers to work in the new, dynamic mental health model, Fusion®. That training became accredited by the National College of Further Education as a Therapeutic Coaching Diploma.

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The Difference Between Being Busy And Being Productive

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In today’s high-speed, ever-connected times, being “busy” is one of the most valued social currencies. If we’re busy, then surely we must be important, successful, valuable and living full lives. So “busy” becomes a proxy for inflating our egos, both for ourselves and for those around us. It’s because of this that being too busy to do something becomes such a valid excuse for not getting things done.  

In using “being busy” as an excuse for not doing scary, challenging, intimidating or important things in our lives, we turn “busy” into the new lazy. Think about it, how many times have you used “being busy” as a justification for anything from being inconsiderate to missing deadlines?

“The greatest enemy of good thinking is busyness.” ― John C. Maxwell

You want more success in life, but how productive do you really think you are? When asked how productive they are, most professionals will answer that they’re always so busy and manage to fit so many activities into their work day, they simply can’t do more.

But ask any of them to review how effectively they manage their time, and most of them are shocked at how much procrastination their activities actually involve. There’s a difference between being busy and getting things done and it influences your success directly.

How Can You Tell If You’re Being Busy Or Productive?

A study conducted by Stanford Professor Clifford Nass in 2009, showed that chronic multitaskers were consistently outperformed by non-multitaskers in a range of different tasks. Interestingly, the study found that even when the multitaskers were given activities that required them to focus on one single activity, the multitaskers still used their brains less effectively, suggesting that a cluttered, disorganised mind can have long-term effects that spread outside of multitasking situations.  So how can you tell if you’re a busy multitasker or a productive achiever?

Take a moment to go through the three questions below:

1. How long is your to-do list?

If you find yourself saying “yes” to everything and consequently having a mile long to-do list each day, chances are, you’re always very busy and rarely actually productive. Instead of filling up the time with tasks (usually ones that don’t really matter), productive people are selective about what they choose to do and plan strategically about when to do it. This typically results in a shorter to-do list with items that are actually completed effectively by the end of the day.

2. Are you prioritising?

While busy people are focused on any action, productive people are focused on the clarity and purpose of each action. Being selective about which courses of action are most important and focusing the right time and resources on those actions often results in more productive work being done in less time. You cannot jump aimlessly from one task to the next, hoping to get everything done. When you prioritise one task over another, always ask yourself, why am I choosing this task now? why must it come first? It’s a simple, but powerful question.

3. Are you tracking your progress?

Busy people have a tendency of equating action with accomplishment – you fit so many activities into one day, surely you must have accomplished something, right? If it takes you 20 steps to achieve something that could have taken you 5 steps, it’s obvious that you’re not using your time in the most productive way.

Productive people don’t stall their accomplishments by aimlessly tackling random tasks, they take the most strategic and direct path to achieving goals that are clearly defined and can therefore be tracked, measured and assessed with the help of detailed plans, deadlines and goals.  They want to see the return of investment in their time.

“I don’t know where I’m going, but I’m on my way.” ― Carl Sandburg

Anyone can make the transition from being busy to being productive, so you have no excuse! The first step to transitioning is being honest with yourself. Why are you always so busy? Why do you want to be so busy? Why do you want others to think you’re busy? How does your ‘being busy vs being productive’ affect your success?

These are all questions that you need to answer for yourself and be honest if you want to start onto the path of developing new productivity skills and techniques and therefore, more success in.

What things do you do to stay productive? Please leave your thoughts below!

By |September 30th, 2016|Commercial|0 Comments

Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men. – Martin Luther King, Jr.

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5 Reasons to Forgive Yourself (and How to Do Better Going Forward)

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“At the end of life, the wish to be forgiven is ultimately the chief desire of almost every human being. In refusing to wait; in extending forgiveness to others now; we begin the long journey of becoming the person who will be large enough, able enough and generous enough to receive, at the very end, that absolution ourselves.” ~David Whyte

The last time I saw my mother she was smiling and laughing at nothing in particular. My mother has had dementia for almost ten years now. Each visit brings an onslaught of guilt and uncomfortable feelings. Could I have done something different to ease this for her?

For years I discounted my heritage and all my ancestors, and in doing so devalued her. How could I have been so heartless? How could I have stayed out all night and worried her to death when I was in my twenties? Why didn’t I stay with her in Boston after I married? The list goes on and on.

I can count each transgression and easily relive the selfishness of a younger version of me. I want to reach back in time and slap that younger self, admonishing her for losing out on caring for the person that loves her most.

I want to send her the warning that time is running out and she is wasting it on trivialities, ego-centric activities, and hurtful behavior. But I cannot reach back in time, and for many years I carried the burden of a wild adolescence that had no regard for the one who cared most about me.

There have been times when, on bent knee, I pleaded silently and tearfully for her forgiveness, but she would have none of it. She simply continued her incoherent storytelling with a smile and eyes that were viewing something in the distant past. The best I could do was to stay present with her in her story, allowing her to share whatever needed to arise unconditionally.

And then it happened.

During one visit I was again listening to her storytelling, laughing with her, sharing her jokes and following the winding path of her conversation when she suddenly stopped. Something in her eyes shifted. It was as if a light turned on for a moment. And then she said it, even using my name, which she had not recalled for years.

“Alicia, I’m fine. Let it go. Focus on your life and move on. I’m fine.”

And with the same suddenness she disappeared into the fog, her eyes coated with the same film that hides the chapters of her life. I burst into tears.

Grace is Found in Forgiveness

We discover grace in forgiveness. We unburden the baggage we carry with us when we are forgiven, and when we forgive. Transgressions, real or perceived, carry an energetic and negative tether that creates a network of dark knots that expands as we continue to carry these transgressions through our relationships and into our lives.

We believe that others hold the ability to release us through their forgiveness. When we surrender the power to forgiveness to someone else we lose the ability to recover our goodness and worth. In truth, we each hold the power to forgive simply because we are the ones that need to forgive ourselves.

In the moment that my mother spoke I felt a release and then an awareness that the forgiveness I attributed to her was really within me. I needed to forgive myself for my behavior and lack of awareness that created the guilt I carried with me. What my mother did was make me aware that I needed to “move on.” And to do so meant to forgive myself.

5 Reasons We Have to Forgive Ourselves

1. The other person may not forgive you.

For years, I was haunted by past transgressions that caused harm to someone else. The sting of the lies of the past and the impact on those that I cared about caused such shame in me that I became rigid about what was right and wrong. There was no one to call for forgiveness. Those relationships existed in the past and have long since moved on.

I had to forgive the teenager and the young woman who foolishly thought the world revolved around her needs.

If you look back into the past you’ll notice you may be carrying shame too. It’s time to forgive the person you were so that the person you are can keep growing.

2. If you don’t forgive yourself then how will you keep going?

You can’t make changes or move forward in your life carrying the weight of your mistakes.

Imagine putting all your past mistakes into a bag, adding to it each time you make a new one. The bag would become so heavy, the burden so great, that it would be impossible to keep moving forward.

It’s time to put that bag down, take out each item, and forgive so you can let go of the past and move forward, having learned the lessons that will make you a better person than before.

3. You can’t forgive others if you can’t forgive yourself.

You have to learn how to forgive, starting with yourself. If you cannot offer yourself compassion and forgiveness, you will never be able to offer the same to others.

Life’s missteps are an opportunity to learn. These mistakes are useful in that they point you away from the person you do not want to be and reveal the path of growth and authenticity that you can choose for your life.

4. The shame of the past can only be transformed through forgiveness.

I confess that I intentionally caused hurt to others out of ignorance or narcissism before I realized what true connection and love were. I’ve learned that when I lash out, it is a projection of the anger or discomfort I feel toward myself. Unless I forgive myself, I will carry that anger into the world and project it onto others.

Change your anger into a call to attend to something that is hurting within you. Forgiveness is the alchemy that transforms shame into self-love.

5. To accept and value yourself you must embrace both virtues and flaws.

We human beings are flawed. We must accept that we are not perfect. We make mistakes, and sometimes we make mistakes that hurt others. However, our mistakes do not define us. They are opportunities to learn about ourselves, who we are and who we aspire to be. By acknowledging our flaws and our strengths, we can consciously choose how we live our life.

I’ve learned to forgive myself and have adopted practices that help prevent those missteps that cause guilt, regret, and shame. These practices are integrated into my life today because yes, I still mess up.

1. Practice conscious living.

Too often we hurt others due to our sheer ignorance or lack of empathy. We are not caring for others when our lives are so full and busy that we are unable to stop and notice how someone else is feeling.

When you are present to yourself and to those around you, you are conscious of your choices and actions. Your awareness of your environment increases. You will notice the person who is feeling sad or disappointed and offer them a kind word.

So many of our regrets, the things we wish we had done or said, are due to sleepwalking through our lives. Observing yourself, learning about yourself, and choosing your thoughts and actions means you are conscious and present to your life and to others.

2. Accept what you have done without denial or justification.

It’s easy to justify our actions or to blame others for our mistakes. Take responsibility for your decisions and you empower yourself to choose wisely.

This requires that you face your transgressions and tend to that wound so that you can begin to heal. Do this with an open heart and allow self-love to flow so forgiveness may transform the pain into peace.

3. Identify what it feels like when you are angry, resentful, or sad so that those feelings do not hijack you into doing harm to others.

These strong feelings can take us over, and we are left wondering how we could’ve behaved so badly. When you become self-aware, you notice when those feelings begin to arise so you can better manage your emotions. Of course you will feel these emotions at times. This is part of our human nature. Acting on them is what causes regret and shame.

4. Practice meditation and mindful breathing.

Through mindfulness, you begin to recognize the impermanence of things so you can make healthier choices. Nothing lasts forever, whether it’s joy or sadness. Sometimes we have to endure the discomfort of the moment by breathing through it until it passes. And it always passes.

5. Forgive imperfection.

Self-compassion means you accept that some days, you are doing the best you can do at the time. It’s not perfect but it’s good enough, and that’s fine. Perfection is a heroic standard that no one meets. It sabotages your confidence and self-esteem.

How different would our world be if we forgave each other? Begin by forgiving yourself and let the waves of that forgiveness ripple out so that one day, maybe, the compassion and forgiveness you offer yourself can create more peace and tranquility in a world desperate for its own transformation.

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About Alicia Rodriguez

An author, speaker, and Conscious Living expert, Alicia teaches busy executive women how to shift out of overwhelm and enhance their well-being so that they better manage their time and energy, build resiliency, and leverage their passion to lead more effectively. Visit for information. To learn more about her 2017 women’s retreat visit Unlocking the Secrets to Conscious Living.

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By |September 30th, 2016|Commercial|0 Comments

14 Steps to Building Muscle Mass More Quickly

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I was asked to participate in the #MYO30 #EASPartner campaign, sponsored by EAS Sports Nutrition at Walgreens. Although I have been compensated, all opinions are my own. Struggling with your goals in building muscle mass this year? I feel your pain… There often comes a point where the results from taking a “pretty good” approach to diet and

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How To Find A Dose Of Clarity In Your Life

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Do you ever wonder why we are here? Why at times, if feels like we’re on Cloud 9? And other times, it’s as if the World is crumbling below our feet?

Beauty and chaos, progression and destruction… these things are present everywhere we look and we’re expected to keep our cool? To be present, zen, or whatever you wish to call it?

Personally, I say: screw all that.

It’s all happening whether you give a shit or not. Our World is moving at a faster vibration every day. It can feel as if time is speeding up… as if the minutes are being compressed into mere milli-seconds.

Yes, I am yogi, as well as a yoga & meditation teacher. And yes, I do teach methods and practices to create a more peaceful and healthy lifestyle. However, that’s in class. And Life is different from class.

Most people confuse class and (the classroom of) Life. Here’s a very basic example to shed some light (no pun intended).

Meet Stella, a “faketicious” character of 27 years of age. Stella eats well and loves working out as it helps her develop a healthy body and mind. She works for a PR firm that’s only a 15 minute walk from her apartment.

Last month, Stella began taking kick-boxing classes, and she absolutely loves them. Today, she attends class three times a week. After her sessions, she either heads home or meets with friends to “hang out” with them.

At times, she feels like speaking to her friends about her experiences and other times, she doesn’t. Either way, the kick-boxing classes have led to the happy consequence of a healthier mind-body-spirit.

At no point does she ever feel the need to push her newfound love onto others or start a street brawl on every corner—to go down dark alley to kick some mugger’s ass or apply her new kick-boxing skill onto anyone’s face, for that matter.

To clarify, she hung up her skill and simply allowed it to be a part of who she is. She simply digested her new skill.


Therefore, why is the western culture around yoga, mindfulness, and personal growth so different? Why do we feel the need to take what we’ve learned in the classroom and spread it onto everyone else in our lives?

Obviously, I’m generalising, but you get the point, right?

We’ve missed the boat. Where is the digestion period?

We don’t allow the teachings from classes to simply settle and patiently allowed to be digested into our being. Instead, we regurgitate, spray, preach, and wonder why we still feel empty or strange.

Wake the fuck up. Take a sec to realize that all you’ve done is puked up a bunch of (mostly awesome) information without even having taking the time to explore what it means to you.

The name of the game is Reflection and Digestion. When in doubt, look to Nature.

Do predators hurry with anxiety to their next meal after a fresh kill? Do neuro-patterns in the brain form new patterns after applying a thought or technique only once?

The data says not likely. So why are we in a rush to puke our newfound ways that we still haven’t yet grasped ourselves?

See Also: Why Is It So Hard To Be Good?

We know for a fact that we are made up of roughly 70% water. This figure is approximately the same as our Mother Earth. It is also known that in the world of spirituality, we can become beings of light.



How well can you see through a body of water when it’s agitated? What happens when you allow that same body of water to find a few moments of stillness?

Look to Nature.

It’s simple, and it’s a question I get all the time. My advice to someone who’s feeling lost, confused, or agitated by a bunch of new pertinent and life-changing information—to anyone searching for Clarity in the truest sense of the word…

First go to Nature for as long as you can. A few days should be plenty.

And I don’t mean your friend’s cottage with jet-skis. True Nature. As in animals, trees, sounds, water, views, and mountains. Make it anywhere you won’t hear or see human language.

See Also: Questions and Answers: A Beginners Guide to Meditation 

If you do, I encourage you to contact me with your personal story. Because going to Nature is not only awesome, but it’s also the beginning of your new journey.


The post How To Find A Dose Of Clarity In Your Life appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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5 Revealing Skills of Self-Made Millionaires You Must Have

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My life is just constant consumption. In a good way. I have spent the last couple years spending every moment of free time listening to audiobooks and podcasts of successful people on two times speed. At lunch. In line. In the car. And I have managed to squeeze in numerous hours everyday.   5 Revealing

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What A $2.5 Million Ring Looks Like

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No, this ring is not worth $2.5 million (it cost about $16K). So why am I calling it a $2.5 million ring? Because that is what it represent.

The $2.5 million ring is one of four rings given to seven-figure earners of MOBE. Any affiliates who earn over $1 million in MOBE commissions gets one. They get another at $2.5 million, $5 million, and $7.5 million. The solid platinum rings all have the same design except for the center stone. The $2.5 million ring uses a rare yellow diamond.

The 7-figure ring was presented to me at the recent Titanium Mastermind in Los Cabos. A total of six rings, plus one $65,000 Rolex watch, were awarded


I am a big believer in rewarding success and the rings are one of the many rewards offered by MOBE (getting a free car is another one). Here are a few more photos. Keep reading to find out how you can get your own ring.



How To Get Started

One of the most common questions I get from people who are thinking about joining MOBE is, “Will all of this work for me?” and “Can I really do this business?” The answer is, regardless of your age, background, where you’re from, or your experience level, you can do this business. You can start your own online business, and be successful at it.

Your first first step, if you haven’t already done it, is to download my ebook, the Ultimate Online Profit Model. This details the business systems I use to make six-figure monthly income and live the Dot Com Lifestyle. You can also get my Blogging Secrets book at Amazon.

Attend The IM Freedom Workshop

If you wish to talk to an expert face to face about Internet marketing, then I invite you attend a live IM Freedom Workshop in your area. Each workshop will have both an afternoon session and an evening session. Find the workshop that’s most convenient to you, and register now. Space is limited. Tickets are given out on a first come, first served basis. You must be pre-registered to attend. There is no on-site registration.

Apply for The 21 Step System

If you’re truly ready to move forward and make a positive change in your financial future, then go apply for UDCL. This is my 21 step program to make your first $1250, $3300, and $5500 online.

You’ll be given all the tools and training you need to get started. You’ll even get a personal one-on-one coach who will work with you and answer any questions you may have. All you have to do is follow the system and do what your coach advises.

The application fee is $49, and allows you to go through all 21 steps. I recommend you go through the steps, then decide if this is something you want to do. If it is, great! Welcome aboard. If you decided this is not something you want to do at this time, then get a refund and continue with your journey.

Click Here To Download John Chow’s New eBook, The Ultimate Online Profit Model!

By |September 30th, 2016|Commercial|0 Comments

24 Creative Geniuses Who Inspire Boldness (Even if You’re Shy or Socially Anxious)

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You're reading 24 Creative Geniuses Who Inspire Boldness (Even if You’re Shy or Socially Anxious), originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you're enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

24 Creative Geniuses Who Inspire Boldness (even if you're shy or socially anxious)

mind of creative genius “Any step in the direction of expressing your creative impulses is a step in the direction of actualizing the genius that resides within you.” -Dr. Wayne Dyer Genius? Expressing creative impulses? Isn’t that aiming a little high? I’m just trying to survive. If this represents the tired record playing in your mind, stick around for some major inspiration. Perfection on the outside, with a sense of burning loneliness or numbness on the inside, is a dead-end approach.  It will sap your energy and leave a big hole in your life and heart. You get this. Do you hesitate when something new or exciting presents itself? You might tell yourself you tried before and failed, you don’t know how, or you'll look stupid. Imagine you couldn't fail with others, what would you do? Make friends and find love. Have fun at social events. Not assume you are the problem. Enjoy speaking with interesting people. Say yes to your purpose. Get so good at failing you succeed. Maybe you would simply be yourself and forget the rest. But how do you get there? You don’t do it by masking your feelings or scaring yourself.   Instead of putting up a wall and carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders, lean on geniuses and use your imagination.  We are talking huge growth potential. These 24 creative geniuses will inspire you to take bold action through your struggles and fears.  They may not all be shy or anxious, but they figured something out through their mindset and actions that you can use.  You are capable of genius and already good enough to take your first step. See yourself as a creative genius capable of bold action.   You are unique and here for a reason and deserve a bold and full life as you are right now.  Take action as you become bold, not after.  Set targets, start small, and build. By the end of this post, you will know what it takes to transform fear of judgment, shyness, and anxiety towards bold action through AWARENESS, ACCEPTANCE, and (strategic) ACTION.  Your desires can become greater than fear of judgment.  You can continue to learn how to become more aware and accepting and shift your focus towards what matters. Apply the steps and mindsets from these enriching individuals until you find what works best for you.  There is an endless source of inspiration to access, so go straight to the source to truly get the best of what they have to offer.  These are all non-affiliate recommendations. A few disclaimers.  I reference social anxiety, sensitivity, shyness, and introversion, but they are all different from one another.  You can be a confident introvert, a socially anxious extrovert, or a shy and socially anxious introvert.  Over time, you may have come to perceive yourself a certain way and you may have built up limiting beliefs.  It’s time to break free of labels but still build your life up to suit you.  If you are introverted, that is just where you get your energy so don’t fight it. You can influence the fear and anxiety to improve your circumstances and journey through bold action.  So take different actions, based on what is holding you back. Consider the possibilities of going on a memorable journey to embellish your imperfect, bold, and creative life.  (Of course, I'm not a doctor, so always seek professional help as needed.)


It’s here, the truth, you can’t turn back now.  You can’t unlearn what you know.  Once you know the truth you will be accountable for your thoughts, emotions, and actions. If you don’t know what you want, then you owe it to yourself to spend some time on this. You probably think you don’t want to draw attention to yourself but this isn’t about ego.  Find what you want.  If it has anything to do with how others see you, keep digging deeper to get to the core as you build awareness. Shift from identifying yourself by how others see you to focus less on judgment and more on connecting with others and living your purpose. This group will help you develop AWARENESS to stop relying on things outside your control and align with your imagination and true self.
  1. Dan Millman - bestselling author, former world champion athlete, popular international speaker, Stanford University coach, martial arts instructor and Oberlin College professor.  He authored 16 books, including his semi-autobiographical classic, Way of the Peaceful Warrior (released as a film with Nick Nolte by Universal in 2007). Dan has influenced people from all walks of life.  
In Way of the Peaceful Warrior, we see on the outside Dan's life is set, on the fast track to huge athletic success, but something haunts him.  He finds his future mentor and friend, he nicknames Socrates, in an all-night gas station.  A once-in-a-lifetime friendship and mentorship begins.  Through Soc's wisdom, lessons, and humor, he learns he was never awake. An accident proves to be a true test on a larger quest to rebuild everything.  He learns good habits outshine bad, anger is stronger than fear and anxiety, the value of action, and to not take it all so seriously.  He keeps showing up through frustrations, and must SURRENDER HIS EGO and impulses using SILENCE and MEDITATION. Dan’s paved road offered short-term happiness, but he would not have found peace there.  Break the pattern of the expected path and realize there's a better life, a WARRIOR, within you.  I’d recommend this wonderful book it if you want meaningful inspiration to meditate and transform. I also love his other book (and app) The Life You Were Born to Live for clarity and a deep and tailored approach to facing your issues and fulfilling your destiny.  Dan is also finishing up his newest book, The Hidden School, due out in 2017.  Learn more about his books, speaking events and online courses, audio programs and life-purpose guidance at: Image Source: s_bukley /
  1. Thandie Newton - actress known for roles in The Pursuit of Happyness, Mission: Impossible II, and Crash, in which she won a BAFTA Award for Best Supporting Actress.
Thandie shares her difficulties being seen and fitting in, promoting awareness and oneness in her TED talk.  When she was younger, she felt rejection, panic, confusion, shame, anxiety, and hopelessness.  Things changed when she began expressing herself with dancing and acting.  She stopped getting in her own way and became present in moments of expression, afterwards returning to her “gnarly, awkward self'. Thandie explains we'd think it was about fitting into an ideal but it's actually a clever way our brains try to cheat out of the “reality of death”.  The solution is to find our ONENESS.  We will always be searching until we connect to the Creator through awareness. She also mistook her ability to feel others' pain as lacking substance herself but learned the very feelings she was avoiding was that awareness and connection.  She says when we practice more and more, swapping desensitization for living from our essence, incredible things will happen. Image Source: s_bukley /
  1. Wayne W. Dyer, Ph.D. - was a 21 time best-selling author who helped millions find their inner gifts and destinies.
Wayne Dyer was called the ‘father of motivation’.  It is inspiring to learn he was bouncing around foster homes after his mother left him, his siblings, and alcoholic father for a time.  Many would take a different path, blaming others or hating their situation, but he chose boldness.  He learned self-reliance and took full ACCOUNTABILITY for his situation. He taught millions to honor their spirit and know the power of the limitless mind to create anything and transform beyond labels.  His book The Power of Intention: Change the Way You Look at Things and the Things You Look at Will Change will help you to use your energy effectively.  A moment of insight led him to see INTENTION as a field of energy to access, beyond your ego, to reshape your life. Respond to doubt by saying “intent” or “intention” as a reminder to be at peace.  Replace negative thoughts with abundance.  If you are not sure what you want, sync your energy up to your inner dialogue. Talk to your ego and take control.  Let go of the need to win, acquire, or care if others judge you.  Wayne told us to see ourselves as infinite and connected to the Source and to use the power of IMAGINATION, over ego and willpower, to influence action, change, and peace. Image Source
  1. Steve Flowers, MS, MFT - author of The Mindful Path Through Shyness: How Mindfulness & Compassion Can Help free your from Social Anxiety, Fear & Avoidance.  Founder and director of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Clinic in California.
Steve helps people with chronic shyness and social anxiety and learned to let his negative thoughts and feelings just be. Due to difficult circumstances growing up, he developed a fear of judgment.  He put up a wall and hid from fearful situations. When he stopped being so hard on himself, and trying to correct himself, he learned to connect. Break out of automatic pilot and shift towards what matters using mindfulness.  Build a MOMENT-TO-MOMENT AWARENESS to see how your thoughts and emotions impact your experiences and apply kindness and self-compassion. I related to Steve’s story and his advice on MINDFULNESS BASED COGNITIVE THERAPY (MBCT).  He provides first hand insight with great and humorous analogies that stick with you and activities to perform to build your awareness so you can break out of the prison you created to protect yourself.
  1. David K. Reynolds PhD - author of Constructive Living and A Handbook for Constructive Living. Leading Western authority for Japanese Psychotherapies.  Constructive Living articles have appeared in top magazines.
When Dan Millman gives you a recommendation, you take it.  I’m so glad I did because Constructive Living is an excellent book of common sense actions to outgrow problems (yes, please). David recognized similar social tendencies he had with the Japanese culture and became an anthropologist and studied the mindful Morita Psychotherapy.  He helped himself and developed American Morita to help others, based on the solid Japanese history.  Constructive Living will help you to learn to solve the root of your problems with exercises to learn the principals. If you put on a false front and stay small, this book can help you be yourself.  If you dream of impossible goals, it will help you take grounded actions.  It can help you to stop comparing yourself to others, noticing the tiny errors you make, and wondering why or wishing you weren’t shy or anxious. Accept our uncontrollable FEELINGS and instead INFLUENCE THEM with ATTENTION and ACTION.  Consider the possibilities of redirecting your sensitive energy so you can respond better each day, help others, and build a rich and emotional life.  Check out the site for books, tapes, and quotes.  “You must take responsibility for what you do no matter how you feel.” Image Source Maintained by Scott Plous, Wesleyan University
  1. Amy Cuddy - Harvard Social Psychologist and best-selling author of Presence: bringing your boldest self to your biggest challenges. Her groundbreaking research is published in top academic journals and has brought much praise and recognition.
Amy’s TED Talk explored nonverbal communication and the POWER POSE and it became one of the most popular talks ever.  It was clear this resonated with all types of people.  She poured into her research and wrote Presence. After a traumatic brain injury, as a passenger in a bad car accident, her whole life turned upside down.  She left college, doctors doubted her outlook, and her IQ dropped thirty points.  She had to go through various therapies and her closest friends pulled away.  Confused, anxious, and frustrated she did her best to fit in but felt like an impostor. Her abilities returned as she focused on relearning and building her interest in Psychology.  She graduated and focused on presence, power, confidence, and doubt.  Amy explains people will see through fake confidence and real relationships are built on presence. The goal is to shift your attention from the desired outcome to the present moment to harness your power.  Let your body tell your mind how you feel and your mind drive your behavior.  This book provides powerful tools, so become IN SYNC with YOURSELF and cut your anxiety by standing like a starfish and connecting with your core beliefs. Image Source
  1. Lewis Howes - best-selling author, lifestyle entrepreneur, former world record holding pro athlete, and White House and Presidential recognition as one of the top 100 entrepreneurs in the US under 30.  He has been  featured in major media outlets, and top self-help podcast host of The School of Greatness.
One year into a professional football career left him in a cast, in debt, with a lost dream of turning professional, and living on his sister’s couch.  Instead of thinking his dream was over, he chose to zoom out his perspective.  He shifted his VISION over to greatness. He used his instincts, worked hard, and built and looked to his network for advice.  He went from reacting to responding and ego was no longer a barrier in his life and business. He promotes honesty, vulnerability, and overcoming fear so we can apply the ‘shameless urgency’ needed for success.  Tackle it on a small scale, incorporate positive habits, and build until you are skilled and equipped to hold yourself accountable to handle success. Lewis learned from the greatest thinkers and doers in the world.  His book The School of Greatness: a Real-World Guide to Living Bigger, Loving Deeper, and Leaving a Legacy is the accumulation of that education. He promotes a win-win attitude to build relationships and to step out of your comfort zone to grow your mindset.  The book provides everything needed to develop a meaningful purpose and the routine and mindset to support it.  Learn the power of awareness towards your vision. Image Source
  1. Kain Ramsay - among the top UK’s best selling course creators, strategic life & Career coach.  Helps thousands overcome anxiety, cut stress, and increase self-confidence.
When Kain left the British Army, it shook his sense of identity.  After transitioning to business, he found he could not break out of the cycle of judgment and perfectionism. He decided he could no longer define himself by what he did.  He shifted his IDENTITY to be based on WHO HE WAS.  Now he knows if he makes a mistake, it does not define him. He transitioned again to Psychology & the Social Sciences, Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP), Counseling and Theology.  His knowledge, discoveries, and storytelling skills allowed him to create and sell various life-changing self-improvement courses to over 25,000. He overcame his limiting beliefs and shows how small changes in thinking can bring massive results.  In his course, Unshakable Confidence | The Ultimate Self Esteem Formula, he teaches the value of shifting from fear and security to FAITH and FREEDOM.


Accept yourself as you are to develop intuition and tune into your creativity.  How can you take bold action if you don’t accept who you are? You can fake it in the short term, but we need to overcome the ego as the driving force. It’s time to take a good look at how you treat yourself.  What are some things you tell yourself?  Are your thoughts fear-based or based upon how others perceive you? Are you afraid anything good might be taken from you at any moment? Maybe that there is no point and nothing ever works. Become more kind to yourself.  Your whole world will open up in unexpected ways.  You will start to build true connections with others and life a more full life built for bold action. Learn to accept and love your fear, instincts, creativity, heart, imperfection, good situations, bad situations, different personalities, and yourself. These eight will help you to heal your wounds and find joy so every day can be fresh and open for boldness, unexpected turns, feelings, and growth. Image Source © Timothy Greenfield-Sanders 2015
  1. Elizabeth Gilbert - best-selling author who gives you permission to live a vibrant and creative life.  She is best known for Eat, pray, love: one woman's search for everything across Italy, India and Indonesia and Big magic: creative living beyond fear. Named by Time Magazine as one of the top 100 most influential people in the world.
Elizabeth collects experiences and pursues stories near and far when curiosity strikes.  By the end of Big Magic, you will think you made a cultured and hilarious best friend. As a child, she feared everything, but her mother would not allow her to use that as an excuse.  She offers that fear is boring but important to address it so it won't run the show.  She shares the most hilarious letter to her fear.  You need to GIVE YOUR FEAR ROOM to join, but not make decisions. Elizabeth says we are all ENTITLED to CREATIVE LIVING and it takes BRAVERY to FIND THE STRANGE JEWELS buried deep within us.  That magic ideas are floating out there wanting to find a home but need you to be open to them or they will move on to someone else. Dive deep and apply all of yourself to discover them.  Greet your fear with a letter and crack open a world of curiosity to pursue your creative life.
  1. Danny Raede - CEO and co-founder of Asperger Experts, National Council on Independent Living’s Diana Vietz Award winner.  He shares his passion for leading a full and rich life and has earned over $1 million in revenue helping parents better understand their children.
What Danny has learned to apply to Asperger’s can be very helpful to those dealing with Social Anxiety. Danny believes self-knowledge is a great gift.  He educated himself on how to take action and overcome fear and doubt to live a successful, full, and independent life while living with Asperger’s.  As a child, he struggled with school, simple assignments took hours, and he spent most of his time numb and stuck with limited interaction and daily panic attacks. When he went to college, he changed his situation. He committed to studying success, personal development, psychology, and business.  He discovered he needed to get out of DEFENSE MODE.  Rather than fighting anxiety, he learned the solution in applying UNCONDITIONAL LOVE and TRUST.  He built up his life and teaches others to do the same. His site offers courses, videos, articles, workshops, and a support group for people and parents of kids with Aspergers.  He runs his company with parents, life coaches, and people on the spectrum and when he isn't at work he enjoys a great life with great friends and travel. Image Credit: Danny Clark
  1. Brené Brown, PhD - Best-Selling Author, Research Professor, Founder and CEO of COURAGEworks. Her research on vulnerability, courage, worthiness, and shame can help you accept.  Her TEDx Houston talk, The Power of Vulnerability, is one of the top five most viewed.  
In her book Gift of Imperfection: Let go of who you think you are supposed to be and embrace who you are, Brené recommends being aware of anxiety and apply calmness and stillness to respond instead of react. Brené collected thousands of stories from a diverse group of people.  The one word she captured from reading them was ‘WHOLEHEARTED’ and being the pattern seeker she made a “Do” column for positive words and a “Don't” column for the negative.  She was shocked to find words she had given value in her own life were showing up in the negative column.  Hard work and following the rules was lining up with perfection, fitting in, and judgment. She knew she wasn't living or loving with her whole heart and went on a soul-searching journey captured on her blog.  She encourages boundaries, meaningful work, paying attention to and taking accountability for your feelings, and EMBRACING VULNERABILITIES.  This book offers down-to-earth, honest perspective and serves as a great guide with tangible steps and inspiration to apply a heartfelt approach. Clear away harmful clutter, don’t get caught up in self-doubt or just doing what is expected of you, and experience emotions again.  Overcome what is keeping you from living with your whole heart. Image Source. Credit: Amy Paulson
  1. Glennon Doyle Melton - best-selling author of Carry on, warrior: thoughts on life unarmed and founder and president of Together Rising a non-profit raising over $4MM for vulnerable women and children.  Featured on major media outlets.
Glennon explains on her award-winning blog that years ago, on a Mother’s Day, she discovered she was pregnant.  She was unmarried and addicted to negative and destructive habits and not wanting to feel.  Right there she committed to turn around unhealthy relationships, addictions, and food around to a full and fabulous life. She explains she is most proud of being a recoverer who decided to get up from the cold bathroom floor, pregnancy test in hand, to show up for life.  Alcohol and eating disorders masked her sensitivity and feelings to hide and feel safe. Her philosophy now is that life is brutiful, that’s BRUTAL and BEAUTIFUL.  She said she has learned you can’t have one without the other. Bold and full living only comes when you embrace both. Her writing is rich, honest, humorous, and inspiring.  She has learned what she likes instead of being on the receiving end of life, to let go of perfection and focus on her higher purpose and working with her strengths.  She has an amazing wit and humility.  I recommend her blog and book where she says you can watch her fall and get back up again, just like the rest of us. Image Credit: © Jonathan Foust
  1. Tara Brach, PhD - best selling author of Radical Acceptance and True Refuge.  Psychologist and leading teacher in the Western world of Buddhist thinking and meditation and applying it to emotional healing.
Tara explains the importance acknowledging and addressing your feelings with techniques offered in her book Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life With the Heart of a Buddha.  Tara’s need to apply self-compassion and connect with others drew her to Buddhism. As a teenager, she was successful on the outside but sensed a distance which evolved into anxiety and fear of rejection and disappointing others.  She became persistently overly driven, depressed, and lonely.  When her friend said she was learning to be her own best friend, Tara lost it.  She was so far from that, being hard on herself and avoiding pain with addictions and by pursuing achievements.  When even small things triggered her, she realized it was time to be kinder to herself.  Now that's her message to us.  You can HEAL YOUR HEART and “trance of unworthiness” with AWARENESS and COMPASSION.  Find freedom to the degree with which you accept yourself. She shares the story of a student who had sat at her mother’s bedside as she was dying.  The mother told her daughter that her whole life she thought something was wrong with herself and shook her head as if to say ‘what a waste’ and passed soon after. Stop battling your life and experiences.  Heal your fears and wounds so you can connect and be your best self with an expansive heart.  Now Tara will always pause, ask herself, and name what needs her attention.  If she follows it through, she will connect and be genuine.  Check out her website for a free booklet on how to meditate and for downloadable lectures.
  1. Pat Flynn - bestselling author, blogger, keynote speaker, and host of top rated business podcast The Smart Passive Income Podcast with over 30 million downloads.  An entrepreneurial champion and family man who demystifies running an online business. He created multiple businesses bringing awards and features in The New York Times and Forbes.  Advisor for LeadPages and other companies in the digital marketing arena.
I'm sure now he is so happy he lost his job years ago, but at the time I'm sure it was incredibly overwhelming.  Pat responded by overcoming self-doubt and using knowledge he had gained to write a book. He chronicles this journey in Let Go. There was a moment where his book was ready to be live, but fear and doubt tugged at him.  Pat said it strikes when he does something new or uncomfortable that can change his life.  He asked himself why he was afraid.  After eliminating the ridiculous reasons, he realized it boiled down simply to no sales.  Pat took a chance on himself and has since built up a full life. He uses this same mindset with his networking in order to start conversations and be a keynote speaker.  Just starting is what he has learned makes him comfortable.  By choosing how he reacts to UNPLANNED EVENTS, he chose to shape his reality and sees these as SEEDS of OPPORTUNITY. Consider an adversity or opportunity and how you can react to it to shape your life.  It’s not about money, it's about believing in yourself and your path and TAKING A CHANCE.  Take that first, uncomfortable step with your goals and with the people you meet.  It will get easier.  If you are also curious about creating an online business or podcast, I highly recommend his site. Image Source
  1. Susan Cain - best selling author, most known for Quiet Power: The Secret Strengths of Introverts and Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking. Cofounder of Quiet Revolution.
Susan prefers “listening to talking, reading to socializing, and cozy chats to group settings”.  Ditto.  She helps introverted people unlock their power and apply their special talents.  There are ways to tune into your strengths to negotiate, give speeches, and built relationships. Susan’s books explain and celebrate introverts.  She says it's perfectly acceptable to be introverted and everyone should NOT HAVE to STRIVE to reach the EXTROVERTED IDEAL, except for when it will serve them.  Whether you are introverted or extroverted, we can all learn about different temperaments to understand how best to connect with one another because we all need one another. Introversion is not something to cure, it’s just not preferring social stimuli.  You can still have big goals and she is proof.  We should all tune into and apply our natural gifts and not take out good qualities in an attempt to fit into an ideal.  Introspection, sensitivity, and caring what people think are valuable. A great step towards accepting ourselves is to highlight what makes us unique.  No need to wait to be a different person to take action, you do it as who you are right now. Utilize your strengths and traits while LEARNING DIFFERENT TEMPERAMENTS.


Time for strategic, bold, creative action.  Actions is worth nothing if it is only in your head.  This group will help you set the stage to get the most out of your efforts.  Their inspiration will help if you ever worry that you never finish anything or if you get stuck because the journey seems too hard. Remember, you are already good enough to start so don’t wait.  Map out a plan and make it happen. Don’t worry about not being able to turn back, you won’t want to once your life starts to evolve.  You’ll know where you are headed so you don’t get stuck. You won’t do or say things right at first and it is the only way to learn.  Don’t get discouraged if solutions don’t immediately work, persistence is the key.  You didn’t learn to speak in a day.  It's a journey. Take strategic action.  Don’t overthink it, just a simple working plan.  Once it works, just learn and repeat and your confidence will grow.  You may become a leader in your life to make decisions. These eight will help you create action plans, strategies, and techniques that work.  Build a strong network.  Work your way up to bold action, to making decisions.  Commit fully and pour yourself into your new life:
  1. Hal Elrod - high rated keynote speaker, host of top rated Achieve Your Goals podcast, best selling author of Miracle Morning book series, and ultra marathon runner.  Hal appeared in many television and radio shows and multiple books including the Chicken Soup for the Soul series.
A driver plowed into Hal’s car when he was 20 years old.  Doctors declared him dead for six minutes, he was in a coma for six days, and then was told he may never walk again.  He proved to be a warrior and wants us to know we are each capable of overcoming adversity and creating extraordinary results. Miracle Morning presents the incredible power of a positive morning routine to set your whole day up for success and realize cumulative benefits.  Start off the first hour of your day with Life SAVERS.  That’s SILENCE, using positive AFFIRMATIONS, VISUALIZING your success, EXERCISING, READING, and SCRIBING.  Expand your mind, body, and soul before others hit the snooze button. Gain clarity with a meditating and silence routine.  It’s the best possible consistent action to incorporate into your routine.  Positive Affirmations and Visualization can help materialize your purpose when paired with action.  Get up and move your body for just minutes a day.  It will improve your health and mindset.  Reading will supply a limitless river of inspiration and knowledge.  Writing for minutes a day can provide an outlet of stress or add up to a completed book.  The possibilities are endless. Don't settle for a mediocre life, have the discipline and COMMIT to a 30 DAY PRACTICE.  You have the control to carry out your purpose and overcome anything.
  1. Dr. Anthony Metivier - best-selling author, professor, and memory course creator.
Anthony developed The Magnetic Memory Method which he describes on his site as “an elegant, effective and fun approach to using Memory Palaces, mnemonics and other memory techniques” to be able to remember and access any information you want to reference at any time. He lost a friend to cancer who wanted him to be a high school teacher.  He had to make the tough decision it wasn't for him by getting clear on his purpose and now educates thousands.  First, he learned to SELF-EDUCATE.  He grew up struggling with depression, cut school (which he does not recommend), and would listen to interviews in the mountains and read encyclopedias and books.  He recommends doing more than you are told to do and approach problems from all angles.  He learned to REVERSE ENGINEER SUCCESS from a diverse group of people he admired.  He’d ask questions and expand his social connections.  He developed SYSTEMS and TRACKED PROGRESS to spot gaps, bring consistency, and increase confidence. Anthony also co-teaches a top-selling course on branding which can also help you get clear on your story through your experiences and adversities.  This course led me down a path of discovering patterns to address with shyness and anxiety.  Honesty is important here.  It’s not about glamour or meeting an ideal. Others may have the best intentions for you, but you have to DO WHAT IS RIGHT FOR YOU in your heart.  I haven't learned his memorization technique, but I believe by committing yourself to a MIND TECHNIQUE, you can increase the discipline of the mind and replicate it to overcome any challenge and achieve any goal.
  1. Ramit Sethi - best-selling author and acclaimed finance adviser and entrepreneur into big wins. NY Times best-selling author of I Will Teach You to Be Rich
Ramit gives 98% of his stuff away, better than the paid stuff out there and is now applying that approach and his methodology to social skills.  Goodie! These skills helped him go from a self-proclaimed “awkward weirdo” Stanford college kid to the, with a Fortune spread, a Good Morning America appearance, and in a photo with Warren Buffett in Forbes Magazine.  Like many of us, he made financial and social mistakes but instead of giving up, trying harder, or waiting for help, he cut through the excuses and decided to lead the way. He recommends PLANNING REAL SCENARIOS and taking action, instead of imagining lofty ideas.  Pay attention to the feedback you get in real life.  PRACTICE and CALIBRATE.  Each time you experiment, you’ll want to increase what works and decrease what doesn’t, based on the feedback.  Check out his powerful free help with shyness, social skills, getting invited to events (and spend less Friday’s alone) and planning group meetups. You can build a tangible plan for real-life scenarios right now and then practice and calibrate yourself each day.  If you need help with understanding your finances, also check out his amazing site and book.  He tells it like it is with humor and gives real, valuable, and actionable advice. Image Source. Credit: Andrew (Drew) Kelly
  1. Tim Ferriss - best-selling author, angel-investor and adviser, entrepreneur and lifestyle design pioneer, and human guinea pig, featured by more than 100 media outlets.  Known for The 4-Hour Workweek, The 4-Hour Body, and The 4-Hour Chef.
The 4-Hour Workweek can help you break out your shell by no longer rationalizing your fears.  We all have doubts and can rise above them with bold and unconventional action, figuring things out as you go.  His approach is fresh and exciting, backed with tons of research and testing, and presented with genius simplicity towards acting on the top 20% of efforts to bring you the desired 80% results. See if you can identify patterns in his history: -He left college for a time out of frustration, tried a few jobs, opened gyms in Taiwan, learned kickboxing and won a national championship, returning to graduate from Princeton. -Jobless, he emailed a CEO 32 times landing a dial for dollars job.  After a year of 12-hour days, he created a company and his income increased from $40K per year to $40K per month. -Burned out, he went to Italy, taught, and deals fell through to sell his company.  He decided to remain indefinitely in Europe, empowered others, and unplugged except for one hour a week.  To his surprise, he found his profits increased 40%.  He cracked the code to his ideal lifestyle. This may seem like a stretch to most of us, but you can challenge assumptions and expand your comfort zone in your own way.  Tim’s approach is to not do what everyone else is doing or wait for things to happen.  You think? He makes INTERESTING DECISIONS, steps away and towards EXCITEMENT when things don’t seem right, and returns with unexpected solutions.  He DOESN’T SETTLE, EVEN FOR SUCCESS.  When you fail, try again or try something different towards your passions.  If you need to learn something new on your journey, check out the 4-Hour Chef to learn how to learn. Image Source: DFree /     
  1. Shonda Rhimes - award-winning creator of Scandal, Grey's Anatomy, and Private Practice, and named one of 100 People Who Help Shape The World in Time Magazine.
Called out by her sister for always saying no.  She changes that and documents her journey in Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person.  She starts off by saying she is old and likes to lie which is so fantastic because she is a massively successful fiction writer who seems incapable of lying.  With a stack of declined invites and a speech folder called ‘Crap’ (isn't that great?), she changes her life with one powerful word: “Yes”. She learns to BRING the YES to HER LEVEL, to hold herself ACCOUNTABLE, and DO the HARD WORK.  I love where she agrees to do Jimmy Kimmel Live, because she must say yes, but only if it is not “Live”.  It takes boldness to say yes and to say it on your own terms.  This courage loosens up her shyness, awkwardness, and social fear.  Now she makes connections and gets involved with new and unexpected projects. She learned to express herself and live a bold and full life.  She talks about being a badass warrior at work and learning to apply it to other areas of her life.  Each yes required her to take a step-by-step, and I'm sure painful, process she compares to surgery.  She says the problem is the open chest, the wound is challenge, and “yes” is the operation. On her website she says EVERY YES CHANGES HER.  So, are you bored or numb? Instead of saying no to everything, consider the possibilities.  You may think there aren’t enough hours in the day but you will find you have more quality time when you can cut through wishy-washy, life-sucking apathy and the half ‘no’s’ and ‘maybe’s’.  See what happens when you start to say yes and get inspired by her hilarious, down-to-earth, and inspiring book. Image credit: Joni Kabana
  1. Cheryl Strayed - best-selling author of her memoir Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Coast Trail, later adapted into an Oscar-nominated film, Tiny Beautiful Things, Brave Enough, and her novel Torch.  
Cheryl will inspire you with her example of bravery and fierce step-by-step approach.  Her take on fear in Wild is that it’s born in the mind as a story and you can tell yourself a different one.  The story she creates plays out on an epic 1,100 mile hike along the Pacific Crest Trail, through California to Oregon to Washington. This is a physical and emotional journey of closure and self-discovery.  She confronts the pain she was avoiding, the grief over the death of her mother and the pain she caused in response to her grief.  Her addictions and betrayals caused her to lose her husband and herself. With no hiking experience, other than a pamphlet she had seen, Cheryl moves through her difficult journey, from beginning to end, one step at a time. This is a personal journey, she doesn’t go around telling her reasons or even writing the book for a long time.  I recommend this honest, gritty, and beautiful story.  You can apply inspiration of this fearlessness to your own life.  TELL YOURSELF A DIFFERENT STORY and deal with your skeletons.  You need not go on an 1,100 mile hike, or maybe you do, but commit and dedicate yourself to a mission and journey and WORK HARD THROUGH IT.  Take ONE STEP AT A TIME towards your bold life.  Read Wild for inspiration to take authentic and personal action that will put you in the driver’s seat.
  1. Sebastiaan van der Schrier - Social Confidence Coach who blends Western traditional and Eastern Energy psychology and makes Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) accessible so everyone can attain effortless social confidence.
Seb experienced severe social anxiety and after years of dealing with the negative feelings that go along with social anxiety like fear, guilt, and shame, he decided to relentlessly pursue solutions until he found what worked.  He put himself in awkward situation, purposely getting rejected, and gained short-term confidence having to start all over again. Nothing was working for him until he discovered EMOTIONAL FREEDOM TECHNIQUE (EFT).  After studying it and working with top therapists and practitioners for years, he learned how to apply it STRATEGICALLY.  He has fined tuned a STEP-BY-STEP approach that's helped him and his clients.  Everyone has their own timetable, but he has seen it dramatically speed up results by REMOVING the LEARNED NEGATIVE ASSOCIATIONS. He now enjoys effortless social confidence, a full life, connections, and a successful business as a digital nomad.  Seb offers free videos on YouTube that teach EFT and his Social Confidence System addresses social anxiety from all angles.  He says it doesn't have to be a painful, awkward, scary experience to face your fears.  There are gentle, effective, and lasting alternatives. On his podcast Social Anxiety Solutions, he is joined with top therapists, experts, and practitioners and you can find tangible, unique, non-gimmicky, and easy to carry out ideas here.  To hear more about his journey, listen to our interview on his podcast where he took an exception and let me interview him.
  1. Jon Morrow - CEO of Smart Blogger - a company dedicated to teaching you what it really takes to attract loyal readers, get more traffic, and become a respected authority.  His company built an audience of over 100,000 subscribers and makes $100k monthly.
If Jon’s story doesn't get you taking action, I don't know who will.  When he was just one, a doctor diagnosed him with Spinal Muscular Atrophy, a neuromuscular disorder.  His mother left the hospital told to not to expect him to live over a year.  She took charge and refused to let this happen. He fought pneumonia 16 times in 16 years and his mother insisted on fighting for him, not just to survive, but to live the best life.  She didn't let him sit back and live a safe and boring life.  He credits her as the reason he is one of the oldest survivors of his disorder. Then, he was in a car accident breaking his legs in 14 places.  With his money already going to medical bills, he knew it was not going to work.  He quit his job and applied his mother’s warrior mentality towards his work ethic.  He fought and continues to fight with the best work and writing he has in him.  He poured all of his time and self into his blog. He sold it, as a best in business/money nominated blog, for five figures and moved to Mexico to start a new business focused on helping people.  I'm writing to you now due to Jon Morrow’s inspiration and knowledge. People will try to discount you and you can't wait for the world to hand you success.  You must THROW YOURSELF into your WORK with all your HEART and EFFORT.  You, your ideas, and the people you can help are all WORTH IT. Don’t expect anything worthwhile to be easy.  What fun would that be? Apply this mindset to anything you want as inspiration to take action despite adversity.  His site is an amazing resource of valuable information about running a blog at any stage and his story and work ethic is inspirational.
  1. Jordan Harbinger - lawyer turned Social Dynamics expert and Entrepreneur, owner, and co-founder of The Art of Charm dating and coaching company and top 50 iTunes podcast.  Forbes named him one of the 50 best relationship-builders anywhere and Inc. Magazine called him “the Charlie Rose of Podcasting”.
Jordan’s company holds boot camps and coaching sessions for men that want to improve their emotional intelligence and confidence.  He brings business sense and industry knowledge and uses a contemporary approach to teaching.  He started out helping private companies test communications system security and worked with law enforcement agencies, spending several years in Europe and the developing world. He explains the value of HAVING A SYSTEM and LEARNING TO CALIBRATE on Pat Flynn’s Smart Passive Income Podcast episode where they discussed charisma and the VALUE OF NETWORKING.  Being an introverted person, he shared he would overcompensate early in his life.  He learned to dial back and find a balance while staying his honest and relatable self.  He also says you think you will remember how you know people, but it does not work this way.  Jordan recommends TRACKING PEOPLE YOU MEET ALONG WITH SOMETHING ABOUT THEM.  This will help you reference how you can connect people that can help one another.  This may seem like it should come naturally, but us shy folk might lose the art and value of connection without a strategy like this. His philosophy is to have a goal to always LEAVE PEOPLE BETTER THAN YOU FOUND THEM, even if you share a smile.  It will return to you when you need it.  It’s okay if you do not yet have a network, just start.  Yes, this is the opposite of what your instinct might be telling you, which is to not make eye contact and hope they won’t say anything to you. It’s time to bring more flavor to your life and become a connector.  It may not seem possible until you start.  Check out his website or podcast for more tools and techniques. CLOSING (and action) TIME So many struggle with shyness or anxiety, be one of the ones that breaks free and takes bold action despite it and through it. You may have been timid up to this point, but you cannot unlearn a sense of entitlement once you have it.  You are entitled to an exciting and rich life.  Through the stories of these 24 creative geniuses, you have no more excuses to living your own creative and bold life. Do you settle, not know what you want, or not know what to do when fear strikes? Build AWARENESS, apply ACCEPTANCE and use a STRATEGY to take ACTION once and for all! Become AWARE of your connection:
  • Know your ONENESS. There is a WARRIOR beyond EGO through SILENCE and MEDITATION.
  • You are ACCOUNTABLE and have the power to change and overcome any adversity with INTENTION and IMAGINATION.
  • Use BEHAVIOR, where it counts, to INFLUENCE your FEELINGS.
  • Get IN SYNC with yourself using a POWER POSE and WRITE YOUR BELIEFS.
  • Build a VISION of GREATNESS towards what you want and base your IDENTITY on WHO YOU ARE with FAITH.
Learn to ACCEPT:
  • Be BRAVE to find your STRANGE JEWELS hidden deep.
  • Living boldly with the BRUTAL and the BEAUTIFUL.
  • There is nothing to correct in yourself.  Utilize your special strengths and traits. LEARN and ACCEPT DIFFERENT TEMPERAMENTS while others catch up.
Build and apply a Strategy to:
  • Build good habits.  Start off the first hour of your day in SILENCE, using positive AFFIRMATIONS, VISUALIZING your success, EXERCISING, READING, and SCRIBING.
  • Consider a strategy like a memorization or MIND TECHNIQUE and get clear on your brand stories to DO WHAT IS RIGHT FOR YOU.  SELF-EDUCATE, REVERSE ENGINEER SUCCESS, develop SYSTEMS, PLAN SCENARIOS, PRACTICE, and TRACK, and CALIBRATE.
  • TELL YOURSELF A DIFFERENT STORY than fear.  WORK HARD THROUGH your journey and address skeletons ONE STEP AT A TIME.  Apply a STRATEGIC and proven STEP-BY-STEP approach, like EFT, to overcome social anxiety, referencing experts as needed.
  • THROW YOURSELF into your WORK with all your HEART and EFFORT because it is all WORTH IT.
Don’t wait to be confident or better to take action, everyone has doubts. Don’t waste your life going through thinking something is wrong with you.  There isn’t. Decide it’s worth bravery to live a creative life with your whole heart, to find treasures. Now, all those years holding yourself back from bold actions are done. That’s it, no more excuses. You have the CURSE of knowing that you are responsible, entitled, and capable.  You can handle and accept the good and the bad. You have the tools and systems at your disposal. These 24 individuals will help lead you up to the starting line to your bold and creative life.  Now it’s up to you.  Of course, don’t take my word, go straight to the source and check out the sites of these creative individuals. Will you say YES, take the first step? Now is your time to take action and go after what you want.  Otherwise, another year will go by and nothing will change.  You'll keep feeling you need to be better before going after your happiness, excitement, and purpose.  Flip around that philosophy and take your first step towards your purpose. Believe in and invest in yourself. Become an aware, accepting, strategic badass who takes bold action. Become a WARRIOR!
Rachel Bourne is the creator of an upcoming website Sassy Samurai — dedicated to providing Social Anxiety and Shyness Support for You to build confidence and strength. Just check out the site to sign up for notification when we go live (and for free stuff!) “The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself.” - Anna Quindlen

You've read 24 Creative Geniuses Who Inspire Boldness (Even if You’re Shy or Socially Anxious), originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you've enjoyed this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

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