Believe You Can and You Will

Sometimes we get right up to a new project and we begin to second guess ourselves. Doubt creeps in and we call it reality. Don’t let that reality stop you. Believe you can and you will accomplish your dream. Whether you are starting a new project next month for NANOWRIMO, or you’re starting something new today, I hope you’ll find encouragement here. 

Image Carpe Diem spelled out in a pile of scrabble tiles. Sometimes doubt creeps in and we call it reality. Stop doubt. These quotes will help you believe you can and you will succeed.

Believe You Can

The mind is the limit. As long as the mind can envision the fact that you can do something, you can do it, as long as you really believe 100 percent.

David Hockney

I don’t think anything is unrealistic if you believe you can do it.

Richard L. Evans

And my dad drilled it in my head, you know, ‘If you want it bad enough, and you’re willing to make the sacrifices, you can do it. But first you have to believe in yourself.

Jennie Finch

Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy.

Norman Vincent Peale

Have a robust mindset; dare to move any mountain!

Ernest Agyemang Yeboah

How do you learn to believe in yourself? By failing. That’s right. You practice and practice, and fail and fail, and you practice again. With each practice, with each failure, you improve. And one day you’ll look back and see that you did it. 

You Can Do It

You can do what you have to do, and sometimes you can do it even better than you think you can.

Jimmy Carter

Whatever you go into, you have to go in there to be the best. There’s no formulas. It’s all about passion and honesty and hard work. It might look glamorous, but it takes a lot of hard work. The blessing with the arts is that you can do it forever.

Hugh Masekela

Keep writing, because not only does practice improve skill, it gives you more chances to score on the market. I did that for eight years before making my first sale.

Piers Anthony

Just sing it. Don’t prove you can sing it. I know you can, you know you can. So just do it, because if you try to prove it, you’ll lose.

Beverly Sills

You believe you can and you will

The phrase “you believe you can you will” doesn’t mean that every one of us can be a megamillion dollar earning superstar. Dream your dream. Don’t try to be Stephen King or a Simone Biles. Be you. Believe in you. Do it your way.

To help yourself, you must be yourself. Be the best that you can be. When you make a mistake, learn from it, pick yourself up and move on.

Dave Pelzer

On the first draft, I ended this post with a good luck wish, then I realized that you don’t need good luck. You believe you can and you will accomplish what you want to do.

What is the first step you’re taking to start that project? 

5 Tips For Staying Motivated

It’s the “lazy hazy days of procrastination” in Kansas. Motivation? It’s too hot. Focus? There are swimming pools and parties and picnics calling you. Not getting far on that project of yours? Here are five tips for staying motivated during the lazy hazy days of summer (or any time of year.)

People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.

Zig Ziglar

Get Started

There will be days when you don’t feel like working. Do it anyway. Take a small step. If necessary, take a tiny step. But do it. Once you’ve taken that first step, no matter how small, the next step is easier.

Can’t get started? Check out my post on creating the life you want. It discusses a 5-second rule that might change your life.

Starve your distractions. Feed your focus.

Unknown

Reduce Distractions

This is a big one for me. And yes, there are some distractions (husband and kids and family) one cannot simple “reduce.”

When my son was very young it was difficult to find the time and quiet to write. Then, when he got a little older, I used a noisy timer. I’d set it for ten minutes at first. When he could hear the ticking he wasn’t supposed to interrupt Mommy. Of course he did. Inevitably, not five minutes into my writing session he’d come to my desk.

Son: “Mom, Mom, Mom…” Mom: “Is it on fire?”
Son: “No.”
Mom: “Is it bleeding?”
Son: shakes his head
Mom: “Is it dead?”
Son: “No.” usually accompanied by an eye roll or two
Mom: “Then it’s not an emergency, come back when the timer rings.”

Today, I my son is grown. Now I distract myself–a lot. The internet is my big distraction. From social media to web-based games to “research,” I’m quick to go down the rabbit hole. There’s web based software that helps control internet distractions. Some software blocks certain sites. One piece of software I use keeps track of the time I spend on the device (phone, computer, or iPad). When I see my time go up, I re-evaluate and usually learn I need to refocus.

Boost Your Energy

Play music that gives you energy. This is huge for me. I have a playlist of music I call high energy. When I’m cleaning house or exercising that’s the music I play.

I have another playlist that’s for writing. Those pieces are dramatic and emotional.

Find the music that gets you going. Don’t know what to play? Youtube is a great place to try out a wide variety of music. See what came up when I searched for energy boosting music.

The one thing that you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. So write and draw and build and play and dance and live as only you can.

Neil Gaiman

Know Your Why

Remember where you started and why. It’s probably the best motivation you have. If you haven’t already, write down your reasons why you first wanted to do this thing that seems so hard now. Rekindling your passion will be the best motivation.

Looking down at two pair of feet on a patio with the words "passion led us here." One of five tips for staying motivated.

See the Big Picture

Make a visual, something that represents you achieving your goal. What will it look like? How will you feel?

Put that visual somewhere you will see it every day. Seeing your goal helps you reach your goal.

Tips for Staying Motivated

Quote on black background, "You didn't come this far to only come this far." 5 Tips for staying motivated

Summertime is full of distractions and heat and other things that can de-motivate you. Follow these five tips for staying motivated. Keep working toward your goals regardless of the procrastination season you’re in. Please share other tips or motivational tools that have worked for you in the comments below.

You Can Create the Life You Want

Life is about decisions. Every day we make millions of decisions: when to get up, what to wear, how to respond to our spouse, whether to answer the phone, look at email, and so on. Many of the decisions we make, we make on autopilot. Autopilot is a good thing because then we don’t have to make so many decisions. Right? Wrong. The thing about autopilot is that it won’t let you change. The only way you can create the life you want if but you have to change and that’s the rub.

Your Brain

Image of a brain with lightning coming out of it--You can create the life you want if you trick your mind.

Your brain has two modes: autopilot (habits) and decision making. Two different parts of your brain control these two modes.

Habit-making behaviors, emotions, memories, and pattern recognition are linked to the basal ganglia.

The prefrontal cortex controls decision making. This part of the brain works to learn new things.

The other thing your brain does is to help you survive. It regulates your body functioning and it is geared to protect you no matter what. Your brain (the basal ganglia) recognizes a danger before you consciously register the danger. That’s what it’s supposed to do so you can survive.

There are real dangers like getting lost in the woods, or in crossing a busy street, or in standing too close to a fire. But we also have perceived dangers. We feel hesitant or nervous or afraid to meet a new person or to make a phone call or do something different. Our voice gets shaky, our chest feels like it’s caving inward, and our knees want to give out. These feelings are normal. They also signal our brain that there’s danger.

The moment you think I want to try that—you get a little nervous and your brain jumps in there and says—let’s think about that.

So you stop. You hesitate. And don’t do the thing you were going to do.

The Habit Loop

The habit loop is the cue (the thing that triggers the habit), the routine (the thing you do), and the reward.

When your brain stops you repeatedly, it becomes a habit. You think about doing that thing and your brain goes to work, you hesitate, and you don’t do it.

Your cue is something that reminds you of what you want to try. The routine is to hesitate, think about it, and then not do it. And your brain rewards you with feeling safe and an excuse or two.

You call yourself lazy. You say you have to be motivated. Or you say, I’m too nervous/fearful/incompetent to do the thing.

Hogwash. You’ve abdicated and allowed the basal ganglia of your brain, to make the decision for you. You can have the life you want but you’ll have to stop the habit loop.

Break the Habit

You’ll never feel motivated. None of us do. You’ll always choose the safe thing because your brain must save you from what’s uncomfortable, uncertain, difficult, or scary.

But you know what you need to do to change your life. You want to lose weight or get more physically fit, or meet someone new, change jobs. Whatever it is, you know what you want to do. You know it intellectually and you know it in your gut. But you can’t make yourself do it because your brain defeats you.

If you change your decisions, you’ll change your life.

Mel Robbins came up with a method she calls the 5 Second Rule (and no it has nothing to do with food on the floor). This video is 11 minutes long.

Everyone has an innate sense of who you are, what you are here for. You know what you want to do. Whatever it is, don’t think about it. Count 5-4-3-2-1 and do it.

She used this to break the habit of hitting the snooze button, to stop drinking, and to change her life. You can too.

The Life You Want

You know what to do to change your life for the better. What’s one thing you can do right now that will be the first baby step to your new life? Count to yourself, 5-4-3-2-1 and do it. You can create the life you want. Count down 5-4-3-2-1. Launch yourself to your new life. Do it.

When You Want to Surrender

Does all the awful things that people are doing to people make you want to give up? Or have events in your personal life beat you up? Are you discouraged? Is it too much to bear and you’re ready to give up? When you want to surrender, don’t.

All way stop sign

Stop. Breathe. Give yourself permission to rest but don’t give up, deserve your dream.

Don’t Give up

Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.

Thomas A. Edison

Never give up, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.

Harriet Beecher Stowe

Don’t give up. Don’t lose hope. Don’t sell out.

Christopher Reeve

Don’t Wait

If you’ve fallen off course, you need to get back on the job. Do the work.

The secret of getting ahead is getting started.

Mark Twain

The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.

Walt Disney

Do not wait; the time will never be ‘just right.’ Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along.

George Herbert

You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.

Jack London

You have the Power

The decision to move forward is yours. 

Even if you fall on your face, you’re still moving forward.

Victor Kiam

Do the one thing you think you cannot do. Fail at it. Try again. Do better the second time. The only people who never tumble are those who never mount the high wire. This is your moment. Own it.

Oprah Winfrey

The most effective way to do it, is to do it.

Amelia Earhart

The past cannot be changed. The future is yet in your power.

Unknown

Re-awaken Your Dream

Revisit the reason why you wanted to do this. Remember your dream. Your goal at this stage may have been derailed, but that’s temporary. If this road’s closed, find another one.

A goal is a dream with a deadline.

Napoleon Hill

When something is important enough, you do it even if the odds are not in your favor.

Elon Musk

Arriving at one goal is the starting point to another.

John Dewey
A determined idea, like a sprout, will find a way to grow

Change Your Mindset

When you’re feeling defeated, take a breather. Nap. Get some fresh air. Eat a good, solid meal. Find inspiration in reading, art, music, in meditation, or in retail therapy.

Find the crack in that wall of defeat and flower. Determine the detour you need to take. Pivot. Learn what you need to know and charge ahead.

They can conquer who believe they can.

Virgil

The first step toward success is taken when you refuse to be a captive of the environment in which you first find yourself.

Mark Caine

What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.

Zig Ziglar

Deserve your dream.

Octavio Paz

It’s easy to get discouraged. It’s hard to keep going. But, your dream is a worthy dream. When you want to surrender, don’t. Push through. You can do it. Deserve your dream. 

Feelings-They Are All in Your Head and How to Make it Better

It’s winter in the northern hemisphere. Winter-the cold, dark, rainy, snowy, hibernation season. A season often associated with sadness and loneliness and isolation. UGH. Feelings—they are all in your head and how to make it better—are the focus of my Wednesday blogs this month. Because yeah, I have noticed a change in my moods and my partner’s moods. And because I have noticed some of you suffering from the same downswing in your moods.

Feelings-They are all in your head and how to make it better--the first of a series on self-care and emergency care for emotional health

(This is where I have to put a disclaimer in. I have a tiny bit of training in psychology but I am not a psychologist or psychiatrist. If your feelings are so intense they interfere with your day-to-day life. If you have difficulty keeping a job, eating, sleeping, personal hygiene—you need to learn to help yourself from a professional. Nothing in this blog or on the internet will help you as much. Can’t afford professional help? Ask your county mental health department for suggestions about where you might find professional help at a price you can afford.)

When I started researching, I came upon the intriguing phrase, social isolation. Loneliness is a rising mental health concern. A quick google search yielded more than one hundred individual songs about loneliness. Here is a small sampling.

I’m so Lonesome I could Cry

Written and sung by Hank Williams in 1949. This is Randy Travis’ version.

Mr. Lonely

Sung by Bobby Vinton in 1962

Lonesome

Sung by Kina Grannis in 2018

Songs on loneliness are available in every language. If feelingsthey are all in your headwhy are so many people, all over the world, singing about feelings? The list I referenced above doesn’t include songs about crying or tears or hurt…break up songs. Nor does it include any of hundreds of songs about rejection and sadness and feeling blue.

Then I came across this TED talk from 2014. It’s a little more than seventeen minutes long. If you have time, watch or read the transcript.

I had a lot of takeaways from that talk. Here are a few:

We learn to take care of our physical selves at a young age

By five years old most of us know how to brush our teeth and that a scratch heals better with a bandaid. We bring this knowledge and more into adulthood. Yet, how many of us learn how to take care of our emotional health? How many of us are told—get over it? We’re told your feelings—they are all in your head.

Pay attention to your emotional pain

Yikes. This is a hard one. Often we prefer to deny that we’re feeling anything but the chipper emotions, even in dire circumstances. No—I’m fine, we say. And we’re not only lying to them, but we’re also lying through our teeth to ourselves as well.

Change your response to failure

We all have a default set of feelings and beliefs as reactions to failure. Those responses often linked to a belief that if you’ve failed once you’ll always fail. We need to turn that into a more positive response.

Protect your self-esteem

We ruminate (chew or re-live) emotionally painful events. We all do it and in so doing we make the psychological injury worse. Why? Because we don’t recognize or prioritize our emotional health. (Most of us wouldn’t dream of making a physical injury worse.)

When Dr. Winch said that your self-talk and your feelings are like a moody friend—supportive one moment and hypercritical the next, I’m thinking, brother, you don’t know the half of it.

He said the urge to ruminate is difficult to stop but even a two-minute distraction is enough to break the urge at that moment. Breaking the habit can change your life. I can’t say I’ve completely broken that habit, but I recognize it when it comes calling and I know what to do to take care of myself.

Finally, he said that one hundred years ago personal hygiene raised human life expectancy dramatically. He asked us to imagine what it would be like if we could do the same for the psychological or emotional health.

Mental Health First Aid

That last bit got to me. So over the next month or so, this blog will explore basic self-care and first aid for our emotional well being.

(ETA) You may wish to read the other posts in this series: “Big Brain-Little Brain: the Mental Health Connection” and “You Have the Right to Feel Good About Yourself.”

If you are willing to share some of the ways you take care of your emotional health, I’d be honored to hear about them. But remember, I’m not a professional. See a professional for the best ways you can help yourself. Because Feelings—they are all in your head isn’t the answer.