Respect the Chemistry – 3 Formula’s to Defeat Your Worst Days (Including Mondays!)

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We are back!!  My apologies to any of you who read the blog who found your access to it was blocked last week because the posting on Sex resulted in my site being listed as “pornographic.”  I made some tweaks and now it is right as rain.

In celebration (read: mourning) over the last episode of Breaking Bad (#goodbyeBreakingBad) last night I am going to use various BB themes for all the postings this week.  Just a quick note: I loved the finale and that it was brilliant on so many levels!  The wife and I have been #teamWalt from the beginning and are still firmly in the Heisenberg camp!

I am not sure about you but I am already having a difficult Monday morning so these tips are speaking to me as well.  We will see how successful I am at following my own advice today I guess!  Let’s get started!

1. Don’t Worry

I am sure  my wife is laughing as she reads this.  No doubt “not worrying” about things is my biggest struggle.  Sadly I come from a long line of people who spend more time worrying about things than enjoying life.  I am still a work in progress and this is one of the more difficult areas I need to improve day in and day out.  The most annoying thing is how much I worry about things I have no control over.  Jesus (whether you believe in him or not) gave some really great advice in this area:

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:34 (NIV)

I also have issues with trying to control as much as I can about what happens in my life, even if I know, logically, I have no control over it.  Thus, for me I worry about things that I have no control over because in my mind I want to be prepared in case “it” (whatever “it” is) happens so I can be prepared ahead of time to deal with it.  Sounds totally acceptable in my head but I am sure if a friend explained it in the same way I would roll my eyes can call him an idiot.

We see Job struggle with the consequences of his own worry: “What I feared has come upon me; what I dreaded has happened to me.” Job 3:25

There is another quote that I couldn’t find today when looking for it but it goes something like this: “Don’t worry about the things you can control because you can control them.  Don’t worry about the things you can’t control because you can’t control them.”

The question becomes getting a good handle on what you can and cannot control.  If the thing you worry about is in someone else’s hands you can’t control it (even if you think you can.)  This would apply for auditions, job interviews, promotions etc.  You can only do so much before it is out of your control.  You have to take an honest assessment and realistically answer the question: “Can I control the outcome of this situation in any way?”  If it takes you longer than 30 seconds to answer the question you probably cannot control it.

Here is a good tool to help you tackle worrying about things in your life.  Make a list of the things you worry about. Divide that list into two categories:

1. Concerns you can do something about

2. Concerns beyond your control

For those items that fall under #1 (this list should be shorter than #2) prioritize those which are the most important and try and resolve them one at a time.  As for those items under #2, congratulations!  These things you can’t control and therefore you should not use your mental energy thinking about.  Spending some time praying about those items and ask God why you worry about those things.  For those items under #2 make a conscious effort to give them over to God and move on with your day. 

I promise if you are able to do this exercise it will help you be free and enjoy yourself more.

“Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy.” Leo Buscaglia

“Do not anticipate trouble, or worry about what may never happen.  Keep in the sunlight.” Benjamin Franklin

2. Take a Moment to be Grateful

Trust me I know how difficult it can be to be thankful for life when bills are due, a job is lacking and there has been a death or serious illness in the family.  Life can be a real grind and often times we can start to think life is an unfair game we never asked to participate in.  Whether you are struggling with the loss of a loved one, an end to a relationship, a failure at work or in your career or even if you are feeling depressed; there is always something you can be thankful for.

The key is to find one or two of those things and spend time thinking about them rather than your current circumstance.  The things you are grateful for might be different from what I am grateful for but that doesn’t matter.

There are times when my life could have taken a sharp turn in a very bad direction but it didn’t.  For that I am grateful.  Other times I was thrown for a serious loop and felt like my life was totally out of control.  Yet during those times I reminded myself how grateful I was to be alive, had friends/family who cared for me and that others were needing me to push through the difficbeer-batter-is-better_1ult time and be there for them.

Now on a day like today I am grateful for my beautiful and wonderful wife who makes every effort to cheer me up when I am down.  Nothing helps me get through a day like wanting to see her beautiful smile and to make her laugh when I get home.  Remember it is the simple things we should be grateful for.  You probably woke up this morning and were still breathing and that is enough for anyone to be grateful for.

When all else fails be grateful for beer. Just do so responsibly!

Because no matter how bad yesterday was, when you wake up today anything is possible and you have a chance to have a better day!  Be grateful and it will help improve your mood!

3. Blow Off Steam

Part of having a bad or difficult day of course involves stress.  How we deal with stress is an essential part of our lifestyle and is a key to living a long life.  If you are like me you are easily stressed by an assortment of things.  Finding a way to deal with it can be a challenge at times but I personally believe the solution is rather simple. 

There are certainly plenty of bad or unhealthy ways to deal with stress such as drug/alcohol abuse, violence and yelling at everyone in your life.  However, we all engage in activities that we really enjoy and usually aid us in relaxing after a long day.  Here are several of mine:

1.  Watching baseball – it doesn’t even have to be the Red Sox.  As long as I don’t have to listen to Michael Kay or other Yankee broadcasters I can flip on a baseball game or even listen to it on the MLB.com app and I am a happy man.  Even better if I can tune into a Dodger game to listen to Vin Scully.  If you haven’t tried it you are missing out.

2. Killing Zombies/Virtual Humans – I am a huge fan of Call of Duty but a much larger fan of the COD Zombies (although the most recent zombie offering was terrible.)  I also highly recommend you purchase or rent “The Last of Us”  one of the most amazing games I have ever played.  Anyway…nothing relaxes me quite as much as “mowing a lawn of flesh” (as Dr. Richtoften calls it) while playing zoms.  It is totally mindless and it helps me to stop thinking about whatever is going on that is stressing me out.

3. Excercise – sadly I don’t use this as an outlet as often as I used to but even Dr’s agree that excercise is one of the best ways to relieve stress.  I don’t think more needs to be said.

4. Sex – as a Christian man I am only encouraging this as an alternative if you are married to a member of the opposite sex (now please continue to throw things at me for being a terrible human.)

What do you like to do to relax?  Those are the things you should try to do when you have had a long and/or stressful day.  It isn’t always easy to make the time but if you don’t want to burn out and be miserable you need to work more of this kind of time into your life.

Follow the three steps above and I promise you will have a better go of it on your roughest and toughest of days.  Well I have to run but until tomorrow make it an A-1 day!

Andrew

 

How Do You Know If Your Friends Are Bad For You?

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Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” – 1 Corinthians 15:33

One of the most influential factors in living a successful life are the people you choose to surround yourself with.  Surround yourself with successful, ambitious, educated and kind people and your life will have many similarities to theirs.  Surround yourself with people who have drama, engage in unlawful/risky behavior, make poor choices and don’t have a vision and you will have your own lions share of drama, poor choices and failures.

Certainly we have good  and bad luck when it comes to people who enter our lives but each of us has control over who we let stay and influence us.  When you have a vision for your life and the things you want to accomplish you should set out to surround yourself with a) people who have a vision and/or goals for their lives and b) people who have accomplished something similar to what you want to accomplish (i.e. doctor, lawyer, accountant, actor, etc.)  By doing so you will have people in your life who will always encourage you to keep going and motivate you during difficult stretches in life.

These people will make you a better person.  However, there are people out there who will not, the trick is figuring out which ones they are.  Here are a few keys to be on the look out for.

1. They Only Make Time For You When Its Easy.

A healthy relationship always involves a significant amount of give and take.  You don’t want friends who only want to party with you but are never around when you have lost your job, your marriage is in trouble or you are just having a bad couple of days.

If people truly care they will make time for you.  It is a general rule that people will always make time for the things they consider important.  If the only time your friends want to hang is when it is easy for them, they aren’t really friends.  If you have to force your way into someone’s life then it is simply a waste of your time and energy. 

“Being in a relationship with someone who overlooks your worth isn’t loyalty, it’s stupidity. Never beg someone for attention. Know your self-worth, and move on if you must.” Marc Angel

2. They Never Let You Forget Your Choices or Past Mistakes

Some people learn, grow, change and mature after making poor choices or encountering mistakes.  Some people do not.  Normally the latter then have a problem when the former start to become more successful than themselves.  They become intent on trying to bring up your past or your upbringing to make you feel like the success you have attained can only be short-lived.  As long as you have a miserable life like theirs, they can tolerate being around you. Start to elevate your position and they will always try to drag you down.

Some people will refuse to accept that you are no longer who you used to be.  They will despise the fact you have been able to move on from whatever “past” you have come from.  Don’t encourage their negativity by acknowledging their behavior.  Living in the past is a waste of energy and serves no purpose other than to discourage you.  You can’t let your past determine your future and if other people in your life continue to do so for you it is time to move on without them.

Better people and a better life await.

3. You Feel Trapped

Healthy relationships keep the doors and windows wide open. Plenty of air is flowing and no one feels trapped. Relationships thrive in this kind of unrestricted environment. You can come and go as you please, but you choose to stay because where you are is where you want to be.  Often times this people will try to trap you through emotional manipulation (aka “guilt trips”) this is especially true with family.  While you cannot change your family you can limit how much input they have in your day-to-day life.

4. They Speak Negatively About Your Passions and Dreams

It is so important to not allow other people to define who you are and what you can accomplish in your life.  The dreams and goal you have for your life our yours and yours alone.  Just because other people can’t dream big doesn’t mean you can’t!  The things you are capable of doing in your life has NOTHING to do with what other people think you can accomplish.

The things you can accomplish in your life is totally up to you.  You can either dream big and work hard or you can listen to the negative people who never had the courage to dream or the balls to chase after it.

Don’t worry about what others think or say.  Use their negativity to fuel your inner drive and fire.  Just be sure you don’t keep them around, they will not serve any good purpose in your future.

5. They Lie To You – Often.

Do we even need to discuss this in more than one paragraph? If you know they have lied to you on more than one occasion then there is really no way to know how many more times they have lied. Life can be a grind and you need people you can trust. Liars should have no place in your life. You need to take a zero tolerance for repeated dishonesty and move on.

6. Negativity Begets Negativity

The negative people in your life don’t just behave negatively towards you, but towards everyone they interact with. What they say and do is a projection of their own reality – their own inner issues. Even if they say something to you that seems personal – even if they insult you directly – it likely has zero to do with you.

This is important to remember because what these negative people say and do shouldn’t be taken to heart. Although you don’t have control over what they say and do; you do have control over whether or not you allow them to say and do these things to you. You alone can deny their venomous words and actions from invading your heart and mind. If you feel like these people are getting to you, take a break and give yourself some space to breathe.

Positive things happen when you distance yourself from negative people. Doing so doesn’t mean you hate them, it simply means you respect yourself.

7.They Encourage You to Be Judgmental and Negative Towards Others

There was a time shortly after Sharlay and I started dating where I was invited to have dinner with Sharlay and one of her friends.  Let’s just call her friend “Sally” to protect the terrible.

Almost from the very moment we were hanging out Sally would constantly make rude comments about other people we would see at the restaurant and walking around.  I am talking some really judgmental and heinous things.  I was so surprised because I couldn’t imagine that Sharlay would think so highly of a person like this.

About mid-way through dinner Sharlay started acting the same way – to my horror!  I was having a hard time keeping my mouth shut about how terrible they were both being (for those of you who know me, you know how difficult keeping my mouth shut is!)  I honestly was counting down the minutes when I could drop both of them off and retreat to the silence of my car.

It was such a terrible experience that I actually debated about ending my relationship with Sharlay.  Instead we discussed what happened and how I felt about it.  She understood and promised she wouldn’t do that again.  Truth be told it wasn’t her fault not entirely.  When we surround ourselves with negative and judgmental people it becomes very easy to engage in similar behavior.

If you judge others by their skin color, their body size, and their outer beauty, you will miss EVERYTHING about who they really are. It is amazing the quality of people you will learn about and meet in this world if you can simply get past the fact that lots of people are not dressing and living the way you do.

Important Note: when you begin to surround yourself with positive people, the negative people in your life will tend to criticize the positive friendships you have made.  Even worse they will look for the smallest indications there is a problem and blow them out of proportion.  Sally did this to Sharlay by trying to convince my wife I was a bad guy.  Eventually Sharlay had to lay the smack down.  You will need to do so too. 

8.They Want You to Be Someone Else.

Spend time with people who see you the way you are, and not as they wish to think you are. Spend even more time with those who truly know about you, and who love and respect you anyway.

If someone expects you to be someone you’re not, take a step back. It’s wiser to lose relationships over being who you are, than to keep them intact by acting like someone you’re not. It’s easier to nurse a little heartache and meet someone new, than it is to piece together your own shattered identity. It’s easier to fill an empty space within your life where someone else used to be, than it is to fill the empty space within yourself where YOU used to be.

9.  They Never Take Responsibility

It is always someone else’s fault with these people.  It is never because they have made bad choices, are lazy or just don’t care.  It is always their wives’, family member’s or bosses fault when something goes wrong.  People like this generally lack any sense of self-awareness and often live in denial.

Good people own up to their mistakes, apologize when they screw up and make sure they do their best to make the situation right.  Those kind of people will have great success in life.  You want people who are responsible and accountable for their actions.

What kind of things are on your list to watch out for?  Please share by clicking “Leave A Comment” above.

Until tomorrow, make it a better day!

Andrew

Have Better Sex!

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On the plane to Dallas this week I was reading the most recent issue of GQ.  Within its contents was an article about an increase in the amount of married women who are now seeking out affairs with men (obviously outside of their marriage) via website’s such as AshleyMadison.com.  To whatever extent the article is accurate there does seem to be a growing trend that women who are not happy with their sex life inside their marriage (and often unhappy with married life) are now more willing to do something about it – but only outside of their marriage.

Many years ago married women were more content (or so it seems) to just take one for the team and not say much about the sexual dissatisfaction they were experiencing inside the bedroom (or coffee table, kitchen or wherever else you might get your freak on.)  I am not claiming such a position is correct (i.e. not saying anything to the husband) I am just pointing out how it appeared.

Two things disturbed me about the article in GQ.  First, the lack of communication.  While the article didn’t really cover this aspect, none of the women interviewed mentioned if they discussed their sexual sadness with their husbands.  I assume some did and some didn’t, but the article certainly wasn’t clear.  I don’t think men make it easy to talk about it inside of a marriage (more on that later.)  Second, why are men willing to live with an unsatisfied wife when it comes to sex?  Why are these men not more competitive, assertive or willing to try new things when it comes to sex?  Some men (according to the women) were totally okay with their wives getting it on with a strange man if it meant she was happy and that he didn’t have to provide the services himself. WHAT.THE.HELL?

Why do we as men put in 100% effort on the job to get that bonus, close that deal and get that promotion but have no interest in making our sex lives better?  You do realize it is a “win-win” situation right?

As men we should be ashamed of ourselves if we don’t do anything to  improve the sexual side of our marriage, especially when our wives indicate it is an issue.  Sex and intimacy is one of the key factors to a successful marriage.  Many couples who are struggling in their marriage will also tell you it has been “a long time” since they had sex or they have sex so infrequently they can’t tell you the last time they had it.

Here are three quick tips for guys on this front, plus one for the ladies since I know you are reading this too!

1. Let Go of Your Ego

I know it will come as a shock but there is a good chance you are only mediocre in bed. Or at least when you first started having sex.  Don’t fret you were probably terrible in your career at first.  It is also likely you were an awful T-Ball player, Pee-Wee football player or soccer player when you first tried to play.  I am willing to bet there are a whole set of skills you are terrible at.

Relax. Everyone is in the same boat.  It is called “practice makes perfect.”  For all the examples above you probably received coaching, mentoring etc to get better.  Why should sex be different?

Why we don’t apply this logic to our marriages and especially our sex lives is beyond me.  The best thing about your sex life is that it can always get better no matter how good, great or awful it is.  It just requires practice (inser Alan Iverson joke here.)

The problem is as men, when our wives (or for those of you active without a wife) try to discuss the subject we take any criticism of our skills in the bedroom too personally.  We are taught (incorrectly) that men should just be good in bed from day 1.  Which is one of the most ridiculous things I have ever heard.  True, there could be some men who are just amazing right out of the gate but that has to be a very small percentage.  The rest of us have to practice and learn and that requires listening to the woman we are having sex with both inside and outside the bedroom.romance-6

It requires learning what she likes.  Telling her what you like.  Filling in the gaps between those two are important.  It is also important to explore your sexuality and discuss what things you have always wanted to try but were afraid to, etc.  Most importantly, you can’t take it personally if she tells you there is something you are doing she doesn’t like or wants you to do better.  The goal is to get better and if you can’t take some feedback from the woman you love then you have some serious issues you need to deal with.  Stop being such a selfish douche-bag and be open to better sex.

Two quick points before we move on: first, both individuals should only do those things that they are comfortable with and deference should be given to the person with the more conservative taste in sexual behavior.  The goal is to work up to something so you can always dial down a particular sexual activity to get the other person more comfortable with it before you increase the frequency, intensity etc.

Second (FOR THE LADIES!) I know it can be intimidating to talk to us men about sex, especially when it comes to our performance.  It is possibly one of the most sensitive areas (pun intended) for us and our ego’s.  You can’t simply give if you are rebuffed the first, second, third or fourth (or more!) time.  It is too important not to try to discuss with him.  If you need to get creative to do so by all means I encourage that.  You might have to simply suggest whatever you want to do as you begin to engage insexual activity as our brains are so focused on the one task we likely will agree to just about anything!  Tell him how much it would turn you on if you did “whatever” it is you want to do.  Complementing him along the way might be necessary but if you end up being satisfied with the sex then who cares?

2.  Toys – Don’t Be Intimidated

I am not talking about your Star Wars or G.I. Joes here. Or at least I hope I am not!

There is nothing wrong with the use of “adult toys.”  Yes I know they look weird.  Yes I know most of us have no idea what you would do with something that looks like “that.”  And finally I know you think your penis, tongue, mouth and fingers should be all that she needs.  Get over it.

The idea behind sex is to have fun, in case you didn’t know that.  Why limit that fun to only the above mentioned tools?  There are a ton of things you can do to spice up the bedroom beyond just dressing up and role-playing.

Toys made your life as a kid awesome, why let it hold you back as an adult?  Trust me your wife will love it!

Additional Note: In addition to toys, stop insisting on sex in the same position every time.  Spice it up and try new positions.  Get a book…hellllloooo Kama Sutra?! (There are plenty of options)  Push her up against the wall or window or grill (whatever!)  Hey, if you are gonna pop a hamstring or blow out a knee I can’t think of a better way (or story) than if it was related to sex!

3. Be Open to Trying New Things

The world is your oyster with this one.  If you can “nut up” and have an honest conversation with your wife it will open the door to trying all kind of new things when it comes to sex and sexual activity.  Chances are you are always having sex in the bedroom (hopefully not, but it seems that is how it works most times) so try doing it somewhere else in the house for starters.pair-couple-lovers-sexy-love-sensual-blackwhite-love-pics-ja-d

Maybe you can find a secluded park on a beautiful Fall, Summer, Spring or heck even Winter day (Freak!) to get some afternoon delight.

If you are traveling together have her dress up in something sexy, send her to the bar in the hotel and then try to pick her up.  You might not even make it back up to the hotel room!  You can even do the reverse and have her pick you up!  Heck that sounds pretty hot if you ask me!

There really is no limit to the creativity on this one.  Whether it is role-playing, dress up or something else I encourage you all to think outside the box.  Yes it might take effort but quit being such cry baby about it.  You know damn well you are going to be putting in overtime at work, you can’t put in overtime in the bedroom?  It is SEX FOR GOD”S SAKE! What is wrong with you? I would much rather work hard for great sex than any amount of pay at work.

What do you think? Ladies I would love to hear from you!  Guys, I am ready to field your complaints and reasons I am insane so let me have it!

BetterMenNow@gmail.com

@ACSloss

@BetterMenNow

Until tomorrow have a better sex life!

Andrew

7 In 30 – The Power of Positive Listening

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Greetings from Dallas!  I am down here for a work conference and they have us running pretty hard (i.e. sitting in a freezing conference room listening to other people talk) pretty much all day Monday and Tuesday.  Sorry for the delay today but I won’t be able to post any original material.  However, to keep you interested I am sharing a really great piece that Jim Crumbly wrote on the Journey Blog a few days ago.  I hope you enjoy it!

Norman Vincent Peal famously wrote “The Power of Positive Thinking” in 1952. His book has sold an additional 5 million copies with untold numbers of audio tapes, seminars, radio broadcasts, a TV show and even a movie produced espousing the benefits of thinking positive.

I think maybe it’s time re-think that philosophy.

That’s not to say that thinking positive is not a positive thing to do. But thinking positive is impossible if we spend most of our time LISTENING negatively.

There’s a myriad of news sources hitting us every day…wars, earthquakes, economic uncertainty, sickness, distress, political upheaval, hopelessness, corruption, sin, cultural shifts, layoffs and more can lead us to worry for our future.

Additionally, and perhaps more importantly, our own failures and weaknesses play across our thoughts like a looped movie. Reminders of our past failures, current predicaments and future challenges cements us to where we are. Negative emotions, negative words, negative responses from both our internal thought life and external influencers weigh us down. What can lift us up?

Worry weighs a person down; an encouraging word cheers a person up. Proverbs 12:25

We can’t think positive…be positive…live positive if we listen negative. We can’t walk in faith if we are listening to despair. We can’t “seek first the Kingdom of God” if we are not seeking to hear the voice of God.

How do we hear God’s voice? Where can we get an encouraging word? Through His word, in His word and HOLDING on to His word…just like Abraham.

Abraham heard from God seven times in 30 years. SEVEN in 30!

We tend to think that as the Father of Israel, Abraham’s journey would have been laid out in detail. But the truth is that Abraham received only THREE promises from God. Three words were all Abraham had to hold onto as he walked out his destiny over a 30 year span of his life.

THREE promises…

  1. He and Sarah would have a child.
  2. He would take possession of the land.
  3. He would lead a nation.

In between those words Abraham had many times of challenge and hardship. Like us, Abraham had failures of faith, failures of morality and failures of courage. He had every reason to think negative but instead, Abraham CHOSE to listen positive.

In spite of His weaknesses and failings, Abraham held onto the promise of God through the word of God. ”Look up into the sky and count the stars if you can. That’s how many descendants you will have!”

  • How many times did Abraham return to those promises when he was tired and thirsty from years in the desert?
  • How many times did Abraham return to those promises when he looked at Sarah, whose womb was beyond fruitfulness, and wondered “When? How?”
  • How many times did Abraham return to those promises when feelings of depression and regret over the cowardice of giving Sarah to Pharaoh overwhelmed his thoughts?

Abraham’s journey was a journey of faith. He heard from God…failed God…returned to God’s promise and, in the end, stood the final test of faith.

The promise you received…the word, the prophecy, the whisper you once heard…is still relevant. Abraham returned to God’s promise, again and again.

You can too…if you listen positive.

JimC

Fear Not! 7 Things Fear Will Rob You Of.

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Courage doesn’t mean you don’t get afraid; courage means you don’t let fear stop you.

Everything you want is on the other side of fear. Don’t ever hesitate to give yourself a chance to be everything you are capable of being.

Although fear can feel overwhelming, and defeats more people than any other force in the world, it’s not as powerful as it seems. Fear is only as deep as your mind allows. You are still in control.

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7

The key is to acknowledge your fear and tackle it head on. You must step right up and confront it face to face. This tactic robs fear of its power, instead of fear robbing YOU of…

1. Your Calling – Fear of Being Different

Don’t be fooled by what others say, especially when they try to tell you what is right for you.  Only you and God actually know what is going on in your spirit and mind.  No one else does.  When you converse with God quiet your mind and soul and listen to Him.  Don’t let other people confuse you as to what God is calling you to do in life.

fear-is-a-liar1There is not a clear path that everyone should follow. Your greatest fear should not be of failure, but of succeeding in life at all the wrong things. Choose a path that fits YOU. Those who follow the crowd usually get lost in it. Challenge yourself to ask with each and every step, and each focus point that consumes your energy: “Does this thing I’m doing right now truly serve me and those I care about in the next few minutes, few months, and few years?”

Whatever you settle on, just make sure you don’t gain the whole world by losing your soul and purpose in the process

2. Self Respect – Fear of Not Being Good Enough

Don’t be too hard on yourself. There are plenty of people willing to do that for you. Do your best and surrender the rest. Tell yourself, “I am doing the best I can with what I have in this moment. That is all I can ever expect of anyone, including me.” Love yourself and be proud of everything you do, even your mistakes, because your mistakes mean you’re trying.  God will never leave nor forsake you.  Even in our mistakes he makes us stronger.  Rely on him and the gifts he has placed inside you and you can never go wrong.

If you feel like others are not treating you with love and respect, check your price tag. Perhaps you subconsciously marked yourself down. Because it’s YOU who tells others what you’re worth by showing them what you are willing to accept for your time and attention. So get off the clearance rack. If you don’t value and respect yourself, wholeheartedly, no one else will either. 

We all need to get the revelation about how God sees and values us.  Once we are confident in that no one can tell you otherwise.  Seek Him and He will show you your true value.

3. Your Ability to Make Concrete Decisions – Fear of CommittmentimagesCAC9DT7H

You cannot live your life at the mercy of chance. You cannot stumble along with a map marked only with the places you fear, or the places you know you don’t want to revisit. You cannot remain trapped, endlessly, in a state where you are unable to ask for directions, even though you’re terribly lost, because you don’t know your destination.

You have to commit to goals that speak to you. You have to stand up, look at yourself in the mirror, and say, “It isn’t good enough for me to know only what I DON’T want in life. I need to decide what I DO want.”

4. Priceless Opportunities and Life Experiences – Fear of Change and Discomfort

As Thich Nhat Hanh so perfectly said, “People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.”

“What I feared has come upon me; what I dreaded has happened to me.” Job 3:25

In many cases you stay stuck in your old routines for no other reason than that they are familiar to you. In other words, you’re afraid of change and the unknown. You continually put your dreams and goals off until tomorrow, and you pass on great opportunities simply because they have the potential to lead you out of your comfort zone.

You start using excuses to justify your lack of backbone: “Someday when I have more money,” or “when I’m older,” or the over-abused “I’ll get to it as soon as I have more time.” This is a vicious cycle that leads to a deeply unsatisfying life – a way of thinking that eventually sends you to your grave with immense regret. Regret that you didn’t follow your heart. Regret that you always put everyone else’s needs before your own. Regret that you didn’t do what you could have done when you had the chance.

“Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Ps. 37:4

5.  Happiness – Fear of Facing Inner Truths

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If you keep looking for happiness outside yourself, you will never find it. Happiness is found from within. What you seek is not somewhere else at some other time; what you seek is here and now, within you. The more you look for it outside yourself, the more it hides from you.

Relax, remember the source of your deepest desires, and allow yourself to know their fulfillment. A choice, not circumstances, determines happiness. Each morning when you open your eyes, say to yourself: “I, not external people or events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. It’s up to me. Yesterday is gone and tomorrow hasn’t come yet. I only have today and I’m going to be happy in it.”

Today is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!

6. Your Willingness to Love – The Fear of Not Being Loved in Return

Although it is nice when gestures of love are returned, true love is one-way traffic. It’s a pure flow of giving and expecting nothing in return. Anything else is a contract. Notice how whenever you allow love to flow you are always clear, calm and strong. It is only when the thought arises, “What have they given me in return?” that there is confusion and resentment. Ego transacts, love transforms. Life is too short for all these meticulous contracts and transactions.

Look out for yourself by focusing your love in a direction that feels right to you, but once you decide to love, remain clear, remain bright, and remain strong. Love without expectation. Don’t let fear get in your way. When the love you give is true, the people worthy of your love will gradually reveal themselves over time.

7. The Right Company – Fear of Being Alone

Sadly, no matter how much love you give, some relationships simply aren’t meant to be. You can try your hardest, you can do everything and say everything, but sometimes people just aren’t worth stressing over anymore, and they aren’t worth worrying about. It’s important to know when to distance yourself from someone who only hurts you and brings you down. When you give your love to someone, truly and purely without expectation, and it’s never good enough for them, there’s a good chance you’re giving your love to the wrong person.

The bottom line is that long-term relationships should help you, not hurt you. Spend time with nice people who are smart, driven and like-minded. And remember, good relationships are a sacred bond – a circle of trust. Both parties must be 100% on board. If and when the time comes to let a relationship go, don’t be hostile. Simply thank the relationships that don’t work out for you, because they just made room for the ones that will.

Next steps…

Your biggest fears are completely dependent on you for their survival. Every new day is another chance to change your life, and it’s way too short to let fear interfere. Today, focus your conscious mind on things you desire, not things you fear. Doing so can bring your dreams to life.  Ask God to help you face those things in life you fear and He will give you the strength, resiliency and toughness to press through to a victory!

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10

Your turn…

What has fear stolen from you? What has it stopped you from doing, being, or achieving? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts, advise, or prayer requests!

Until tomorrow, make it a better day!