A Problem Person or A Solution Person?

Everyday we’re confronted by problems and challenges in varying degrees. They are seemingly endless. “My boss hates me! I can’t deal with Sally. I have no friends.”

With each passing day, more seem to arise, till they consume us. The only thing you crave is a breath of fresh air, as you desperately gasp.

Running away isn’t a permanent solution. You have to deal with them head on. You have the option between two different types of people.

Are You a Problem Person?

Unfortunately, the majority is this person. Sometimes, I’m this person. I focus on the problems and wallow in them, letting them consume me, till they affect everything.

Thoughts, feelings, and habits all go down the tubes, as I internally scream, ‘why me!’

This type of person is only concerned with one thing – when is the next problem going to arise? They expect more problems, and it’s almost like, they need the problems.

They need them to self-identify with a helpless self, with a vulnerable and weak self. Recently, I allowed my problems free reign over my thoughts. They ran like a broken record, over and over.

But I came out of it. How? I self-identified with a different kind of person.

Be a Solution Person

I sat down with my good friend, old-fashioned pen and paper. I jotted down my problems with little dashes beside them. I tried to come up with as many solutions as possible.

It took a very, very long time and most of them were unusable, far-fetched even. But there they were, on paper. After two hours and thirty-six ideas, one was decent enough to implement.

Be the person to seek actionable steps to your problems. Figure out a way to get yourself through your struggles. Internal and external problems can all be solved with conscious realization.

Confront your boss and ask what you can do better. If he still hates you, quit, find another job. Trying to satisfy someone who cannot be satisfied isn’t worth your sanity.

Is Sally really worth all the trouble she’s giving you? Maybe she’s a complaining acquaintance. Walk away. Maybe she’s a close friend or family. Walking away isn’t realistic. Limit contact. You don’t need the added negativity.

You don’t need friends to be happy. Find happiness in yourself. When you fix yourself, you can show everyone how amazing you are. Approach strangers, listen openly, ask questions, and be present in their lives. Help them first, and they will help you. Be their friend first, and they will be yours.

It is significantly harder to figure out solutions, than it is to wallow in your problems. But, with the prospect of retrieving control of your feelings and habits, it’s well worth the extra struggle.

Start the habit of creating solutions. It will be hard. It will take a very long time. But the more you do it, the easier it becomes. Eventually, you will be able to solve all your problems without struggling. You’ll be able to solve other peoples’ problems.

I’m not at that level yet. I still have to figure out all my problems. But I know if I practice enough, I can be a true solution person.

Be bold, be free, and love on.

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One Habit That Will Change Your Life

If I told you the simple act of making breakfast made me who I am today, you probably wouldn’t believe me.

But it’s true.

Let’s hop in my time machine and go back nine months for a moment.

I’m depressed. I have no energy and no motivation. I usually never show any negativity at work but my coworkers can sense something is off. I’m not my normal self at all.

She used to take care of me but she is gone now and I feel like my life is falling apart. I barely wake up in time for work every morning and I can’t focus on anything.

My stomach is killing me. My body hates me. I don’t know how to cook anything so I’ll eat something that can barely be considered food once a day.

I have no plans for my future so thinking ahead hurts. Thinking back doesn’t provide any solace either. But all I can feel is my stomach.

I decide that no matter what the future holds, I need to care of myself right now. I need to start eating or I’ll rot away from the inside. I decided to make sure I ate before work the next morning.

Little did I know that I had found my keystone habit.

A keystone habit is one habit that has the power to create a chain reaction, causing a snowball effect that changes other habits as it grows.

Eating breakfast was my keystone habit. Your keystone habit might be quitting drinking or smoking, going to the gym, writing in a journal every night, getting up early or even reading.

By the end of this post you will know the three things to look for and expect from a keystone habit.
Let’s do it!

1) A keystone habit offers the feeling of small, reoccurring wins.

Everyone loves a win. It feels good. Imagine getting a win everyday, or five, or ten!

Every time I ate something in the morning it was a win for me. I would think about how I accomplished my goal before bed that night.

Having this sense of regular small wins can snowball and cause you to believe you can achieve those bigger wins. Maybe I could learn how to cook and eat healthy?

If you are trying to quit smoking everyday that you don’t smoke, is a win. If you don’t like the cold turkey method, everyday that you don’t go past a certain number of cigarettes it is a win.

Better yet, every three hour period that you don’t have a smoke is a win.

Set small, very achievable goals and allow yourself to get as many wins as possible.

Make sure you are congratulating yourself on these accomplishments!

With a hundred small victories at your back, you will not only believe that the major victories are possible, they will feel inevitable.
Which brings us to our next point.

2) A Keystone habit will snowball your confidence and energy.

When you integrate or change a keystone habit, you are improving something that is deeply meaningful to yourself. Pick something that you care about.

If you have been trying to quit smoking, go to the gym, or eat healthy for years and now you can see real tangible progress toward your goal, you will feel good about it.
I guarantee it.

When I started eating breakfast, I felt great. Not just because my stomach was no longer at war with me, but because I was starting to believe that I could change my life in a meaningful way.

With reoccurring small wins and your newly found confidence and energy, you come to point three.

This is where you start to see major changes in all areas of your life.

3) A keystone habit acts as soil from which other habits grow.

In the beginning I just wanted to eat every morning. I was at war with every part of myself and I wanted a truce with my stomach at the very least.

At first I would just eat a banana, but after a while I wanted something bigger so I would wake up a little earlier and make scrambled eggs.

I was terrible at cooking so I started watching Gordon Ramsay YouTube videos while I ate.
Ps: I am NOT a F**king donkey, Ramsay!

Once I learned how to make a half decent breakfast I realized that I loved learning and being creative in the morning.

I was now excited to wake up every morning. This lead to researching how to make myself an early riser naturally without effort.

These were new habits naturally growing from within me.

We all need a catalyst to change our lives, but it doesn’t have to be a near death experience.

The simple habit of eating something every morning gave me small wins, which lead to confidence and excitement, which lead to a whole spring of new habits I never thought I could integrate into my life.

I am a completely different person than I was nine months ago. It’s funny that I write this at the nine month mark because I do feel like I am reborn.

I am begging you, don’t try to change your whole life at once. Change one deeply meaningful thing about yourself.

Change one thing you do daily, and you’ll change your whole life.

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One Tip Closer to 'Trouble-Free'

I went camping over this past weekend. Everything about it was amazing. It was sunny and peaceful.

Recently, the pressures of work and life have been etching away at me. It slowly chips away till I can barely continue. I feel my work get sloppy, I start making mistakes, and just generally irritated.

898cea7dc36cebe23545548615e6ebbdCamping helped a lot. Aside from the mosquitoes, I loved it all. The peace and quiet really puts everything back into perspective. It gave me a moment to let go of everything and just enjoy the tranquility of nature.

Laying around with good (and new) friends, having some much needed laughs (my cheeks still hurt), canoeing, fishing (I caught a mini sunfish), and star-gazing. These little things made me forget about everything.

Your brain voice likes to replay all the past memories and mistakes and contemplate all the future trials and tribulations. Sometimes, you need a ‘wind me down.’ I think it’s incredibly important to give your brain a break.

The Method

For me, camping did it. Maybe you’re not an outdoorsy type of person. That’s okay. Do something else. Dance, sing, eat, play StarCraft, make short videos or anything that tickles your fancy.

The goal is not to distract your brain, but to occupy your brain. Distracting your brain is keeping all those thoughts about the past and future in the back of your head.

Occupying your brain is to indulge in the activity to the point where all you are able to think about is the activity. Pick something that you thoroughly love through and through and set aside some time each day.

Give yourself a chance each day to enjoy something that completely empties your mind, only focusing on your task at hand.

But, how will I know?

Next time you do something you thoroughly enjoy, ask yourself, “Am I living in the moment?” In this present time, are you only thinking about the activity? If you are, then you have a winner.

You owe it to yourself to be trouble-free. Trouble-free in itself seems like an impossible task to accomplish with the seemingly endless problems looming over us.

And it may actually be impossible to be completely trouble-free. But for a push towards the right direction, give yourself some time each day to be trouble-free and adhere to it.

Your body and brain will thank you for it.

How do you achieve a trouble-free mind? What do you do to help yourself out in those dark times? Put your suggestions in the comments below. My readers and I would love to here from you!

Be bold, be free, and love on.

Surprise Guest Post: The Power of Social Anxiety

Morning EVERYONE! I have the pleasure of presenting you with a surprise guest post today! It comes from my friend Rayven who is an incredibly talented writer. She is able to paint a picture in your head with her words (something that I am not so great at). She has an amazing writing style that reaches out to the readers.

Check out her blog at http://moonstruckmicrocosm.wordpress.com for more of her work. She posts everything from personal stories, advice, and poetry! She is very talented, so check her out.

Lastly, my eventual goal for this blog is make it a massive self-help/advice resource for everyone to use. I want more guest posters with unique perspectives on life. If you would like to write on my blog, I would LOVE to have you! Please contact me via Ask a Question page and I would love to hear some of your ideas.

So without further ado, I present to you her article!

Social anxiety became the friend I always needed.

Frustration lingering in the air,
tastes bitter but I cannot sweeten it with my voice.
The perception of reality dissolves around me,
and I become trapped within myself.

For a time, writing was the only thing that made me feel heard. It was the only time I wasn’t afraid to speak. I mean really speak. I was silenced everywhere else, and the worst part about the silence was that it was predominantly caused by an internal source.

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I couldn’t be myself; I was trapped in a cloud of anxiety, constantly worrying.

Social anxiety (or social phobia) made me afraid to be who I was, even to people I had known for years. The crippling doubt and fear I felt when I tried to speak was enough to keep me curled up and hiding within myself.

On the outside I was smiling, but self-hatred was swimming around in my head.

Being shy meant needing a bit more time to adjust; having social anxiety meant adjusting was not an option.

Blushing, heart palpitations, tunnel vision, sweating, dry mouth, and more would be a constant reminder of how incapable I was. If I knew I had to talk about something, I would spend hours rehearsing what I was going to say. After the conversations, I would painfully replay them in my head, picking them apart and berating myself for every mistake I thought I had made.

And I always walked away from interactions thinking I looked a fool.

Luckily, social anxiety is not who I am. It’s not who anyone is. We so often attribute the flaws in ourselves to who we are as people, but that is not the case.

After struggling for years and after my doctor convinced me I had to seek help for myself, I sought a therapist through my university. I was lucky to have her as my guiding light. I set myself free in that room and it seeped into everyday life.

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Social anxiety became a challenge rather than an inherent part of who I was. By seeing it as external I could fight it without shaming myself in the process. The burning in my face when I spoke in class was a source of pride rather than humiliation, because it meant I was dealing with it rather than letting it hold me back.

I still struggle with it sometimes, but I am a much more confident person and the progress I have made keeps me fighting.

You are not your depression, or your anxiety, or anything else that seeks to suppress you. Think of them as friends who need love and care, as you do. Embrace them and accept them, help them rise above, but always allow for mistakes.

Mistakes lead to lessons. Each time you try, whether it leads to success or failure, you are laying down a new brick in your path. You are always making progress, just be sure to fight for the progress you want.

Just Breathe.

I started this blog on a whim. I was at school and something clicked. Maybe I could publish my thoughts on the Internet.

I have problems. Maybe I can use those problems to help people. Maybe I can impact someone. I thought that I was the only one experiencing these problems. However, I discovered today that I was wrong. Everyone has thoughts swirling around their heads at all times. Everyone has problems, makes new problems and dwells on them.

I am not alone. Something inside me finds ease with that thought.

But at the same time, I don’t want to have problems. I don’t want you to have problems. The problems are always there. We make problems for ourselves. Our brain voice manifests them. We dwell and falter.

My solution is anchored in breathing. Do nothing but focus on your breathing. Feel the breath circulate through your body. Your stomach expands with air, your lifeblood, and exhale everything. Exhale your problems, your thoughts, your feelings, everything. Just focus on the cadence of your breath.

The Boxer

I made a new friend today who wants to fight (boxing, particular) in New York or Vegas, or California.

She has problems.

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She’s not progressing with her trainer. Where will she live? How will she pay for her expenses? How is she going to eat and work and box and live?

The fear breeds and more problems are birthed. I have the same. Where will live when I move to California? How will I support myself? How am I going to eat and work and live? I find comfort knowing that other people have these thoughts. I am not alone.

I told her what I do. I breathe. I allow myself to dip into my body. I allow myself to focus on just that and nothing else.

Why Breathing?

Well, firstly, it works for me. It may not work for you. But here is my rationale.

Breathing is something you do everyday. It is done unconsciously and something that stays constant with you.

When you are thinking about problems, it is because you are thinking of nothing else. Your present thought is your problems. I invite you to return to your breath.

Thinking about your breathing shifts the thought from problems to your breath. If you are thinking about your breath, you are not thinking about your problems and vice versa. Breathing is a constant practice with you. It is easy to shift your focus towards that when you need a distraction.

This method seems daunting. But with practice, it gets easier and easier. Once again, feel your stomach expand and exhale.

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Slowly, with time, you improve. I focus on my breathing and my mind wanders towards nothingness. For a brief period, my problems are behind me. There is only black, as my stomach expands.

I had a whole another post written for today and this was done on a whim. That girl surfaced something in me that needed to be said.

We all have problems. Unfortunately, that is a finite part of life. But when everything seems terrible, daunting and endless, I remember to just breathe.