How to Overcome Perfectionism

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Perfectionism is a trap.

Though it may seem like perfectionism has your best interest in mind, it plays out much differently in the unfoldment of life.

Perfectionism can be stifling. Though the drive for perfection can sometimes push you towards your goals, it most often creates delusional expectations, paralyzing procrastination and harsh self-criticism (as well as external criticism).

We all know (on some level) that perfection doesn’t exist in this reality, so there is an inherent chasm of doubt whenever we chase perfection. The chasm of doubt and subtle anxieties of cognitive dissonance put us on the operating system of fear, where fear becomes the dominant motivating force. This is how perfectionism can make us hyper-critical (to both ourselves and others) as well as prevent us from even starting things (because of the fear that it won’t be perfect).

Nature is imperfect, yet the imperfection of nature is what makes it beautiful, unique and ever-changing. Perfection is stagnation. Perfection is static. Perfection is permanence, which defies the very nature of our impermanent Universe. The only constant is change (in this reality at least), so you might as well embrace the paradoxical perfection of ever-changing imperfection. Imperfection is a gift, as it allows for uniqueness and the potential for perpetual improvement. Forgo the pursuit of perfection, accept where you are in each moment and strive for continual improvement.

Being happy doesn’t mean that everything is perfect. It means that you’ve decided to look beyond the imperfections.
~ Gerard Way

 
Overcoming Perfectionism Through Belief Transmutation

One way to overcome perfectionism is to replace limiting beliefs with new, more empowering beliefs. This is the alchemical art of transmutation.

Examples of limiting beliefs regarding perfection:

  • I have to be perfect in order to be worthy.
  • Everything has to be perfect for me to be happy.
  • Everything has to be perfect for (insert any hope or dream you want to come to fruition).
  • I’m afraid of doing this because it might not turn out perfectly.
  • I want to achieve perfection now.
  • Substitute those old, limiting beliefs for new, more empowering beliefs.

    Examples of more empowering beliefs:

  • Perfection doesn’t exist in this reality, but I achieve excellence.
  • I’m continuously improving and fueled by self-love.
  • I accept where I am in each moment, while always moving forward.
  • Imperfection allows for uniqueness and continuous improvement. I embrace my uniqueness and I’m endlessly evolving.
  • I always try my best and leave the rest up to the Universe/The Process of Life/God.
  • I’ll start now. I can always change, refine and improve things later because nothing is permanent.
  • I embrace the journey and find joy in continuous improvement.
  • Listen closely to your self-talk regarding perfection. Be particularly aware of your self-talk when the urge to procrastinate arises. What beliefs are you holding? What are more empowering beliefs to replace them with? A belief is simply a pattern of thoughts. Change your thoughts and you will change your beliefs.

    Overcoming Perfectionism Through Action

    If I waited for perfection… I would never write a word.
    ~ Margaret Atwood

     
    Perfectionism has a component of fear to it, particularly the fear of not being perfect. And since nothing in this reality is perfect, the perfectionist often chooses inaction over the possibility of trying and not achieving perfection. This creates an incapacitating state of constant procrastination, which is an insidious byproduct of perfectionism. Building a habit of taking consistent action deprograms the perfectionist mindset.

    The unachievable expectations of perfectionism can be paralyzing, preventing you from even starting things. But taking action overcomes the rigid inertia of perfectionism and starts a snowball effect of empowering momentum. By flexing your action muscles, you break through the chains of perfectionism like the incredible hulk ripping through a shirt (except you probably won’t be angry).

    When you build a habit of consistent action-taking, procrastination becomes a distant memory. You’ll learn to find fulfillment in the process. Perfectionism will be re-programmed into the mindset of embracing the journey of life.

    A strategy often discussed in entrepreneurial circles is that of releasing something, or taking action, before you’re fully ready. This idea is not about releasing an unfinished or half-assed product/service, but in accepting imperfection and building the habit of taking action. Remember, nothing is permanent and you can always tweak things later.

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

     
    In the book The Motivation Manifesto, Brendon Burchard discusses defeating your personal demons. One of these demons is called “Defiance,” whose sole purpose is to delay your actions. How do you defeat this demon? You defeat Defiance by transforming delay with action. Decisive action, in the face of fear “sets off an internal tidal wave of power that subjugates our meeker impulses,” according to Burchard.

    I’ve also touched on the topic of overcoming doubt, defiance and delay in the article 8 Ways to Transmute Self-Doubt into Faith.”

    The practical how-to aspect of action is simple. Take small actions consistently, preferably every day. Break big tasks or big goals into bite-sized chunks. Create a system to bring you in the direction of a goal and stick to the system. Taking small actions on a daily basis allows you to avoid being overwhelmed and strengthens your action muscles to the point where procrastination doesn’t stand a chance.

    How I Overcame Perfectionism

    Though I still have perfectionist tendencies from time-to-time, it no longer has me in its clutches. Changing my perfectionist beliefs and taking consistent action were invaluable solutions for me.

    My journey progressed based on those two strategies. Firstly, I realized (conceptually, at least) that perfectionism is not attainable in this reality. After some time I was able to accept, feel and deeply understand that truth. Viewing life as a video game greatly aided this understanding as well. From that point, I was able to transmute my perfectionist beliefs into more empowering beliefs (meditation and mindfulness helped with being able to notice limiting beliefs I was holding onto).

    Action was the ingredient that completed the recipe. The most predominate action-based habits I built were publishing blog posts and recording videos. Since I started Feelin’ Good, Feelin’ Great in September 2012, I’ve written a blog post every single week (with a few exceptions). Creating that commitment to action played a pivotal role in breaking out of the paralysis of perfectionism. If I had waited for myself to write the perfect blog post, I would’ve never released anything. It was in choosing to just put myself out there that catalyzed the process of becoming an exponentially better writer. By committing to continual action, I’ve practiced writing far more than I would have if I was stuck in the paralysis of perfectionism.

    More recently, on top of the weekly blog post habit, I’ve been releasing one video every day (on YouTube and Facebook). I record the videos in one take, and they’re unscripted except for jotting down a few bullet points beforehand. Executing the videos in such an impromptu fashion has improved my speaking ability, spontaneity, self-confidence, memory and mental clarity by leaps and bounds. Additionally, recording a video every day has “greased the groove” of my action-taking ability and has allowed the bright light of unconditional self-love to scatter away the shadowy phantoms of perfectionism.

    Dear Human: You’ve Got It All Wrong

    Dear Human. You’ve got it all wrong. You didn’t come here to master unconditional love. This is where you came from and where you’ll return. You came here to learn personal love. Universal love. Messy love. Sweaty Love. Crazy love. Broken love. Whole love. Infused with divinity. Lived through the grace of stumbling. Demonstrated through the beauty of… messing up. Often. You didn’t come here to be perfect, you already are. You came here to be gorgeously human. Flawed and fabulous. And rising again into remembering. But unconditional love? Stop telling that story. Love in truth doesn’t need any adjectives. It doesn’t require modifiers. It doesn’t require the condition of perfection. It only asks you to show up. And do your best. That you stay present and feel fully. That you shine and fly and laugh and cry and hurt and heal and fall and get back up and play and work and live and die as YOU. It’s enough. It’s Plenty.
    ~ Courtney A. Walsh

     
    Embrace imperfection, and accept where you are, while enjoying the journey. Live, learn and grow.

    You are worthy, no matter what.

    You are love.

    – Stevie P!

     

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    What are You Hiding From Yourself? 14 Ways to Discover Your Blind Spots

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    I thought I had it all figured out a few months ago…

    My ego loved the (false) sense of elitism that came from the (small) amount of wisdom I had accumulated and the personal growth I had achieved.

    This sense of egoic comfort allowed my blind spots to subtly suffocate my growth and choke out my compassion towards others. As Admiral Ackbar from Star Wars would say, “It’s a trap!”

    Luckily, I realized that my ego had snuck in through the back door. Deep down I knew that, in the grand scheme of things, I had next to nothing figured out, so I decided to shake things up a bit. In a hopscotch of faith, I leapt into innumerable experiences that shattered any sense of “having life figured out” and launched me to unforeseen levels of self-discovery and growth.

    These experiences included 5 months of (mostly solo) world travel through 10 countries, meeting hundreds of amazing people, journaling every single day of my travels, having cathartic experiences at the Osho center, attending a few yoga retreats and workshops, getting certified in kinesiology, learning Siddha healing, practicing many different meditation techniques, jumping into new relationships, communing with Ayahuasca in the Peruvian Amazon, struggling to communicate with my weak Spanish speaking skills, hiking Machu Picchu in pouring rain, learning how to surf, going to the Envision Festival alone and embarking on countless other adventures that catapulted me out of my comfort zone. All of this intensely illuminated so many of my blind spots, quantum-jumped my knowledge of self and spurred so much improvement that I still haven’t assimilated it all. And I’m still riding this momentum.

    “We live on an island surrounded by a sea of ignorance. As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance.” ~ John Wheeler

    The more you know
    The more you realize you don’t know
    And you don’t know
    What it is that you don’t know
    Until it’s known
    But you do know
    That you don’t know everything
    So rest in the fact that there’s always more to know

    We all have blind spots, forces that we’re completely unaware of that may be holding us back.

    The human mind, though it’s an immensely powerful tool, is littered with self-deception and cognitive biases. It’s so easy to trick ourselves, and over time, deepen the groove of a skewed view of reality.

    That’s why one of the most important things you can do is take an objective look at yourself and reveal your blind spots.

    What if your comfort zones are actually false fortresses of security that are doing you far more harm than good? What if everything you’ve been basing your reality on was a lie? What if every aspect of your life is really based on false assumptions, feebly held together by other false assumptions to rationalize the former false assumptions?

    We’ve all seen the extremes of self-denial and glaring personal blind spots… The religious zealot who ignores overwhelming evidence contrary to her rigid, literal interpretation of the bible and believes ridiculous things like the idea of Jesus riding dinosaurs. The corporate guy, whose identity is so wrapped up in materialism, that he goes to great lengths (buying fancy clothes, watches and cars, having beautiful girlfriends just to impress others, exorbitant vacations to show off…etc.) in order to fill that feeling of emptiness inside. The high school friend, who has hesitantly convinced himself that he’s happy still living in the same hometown, working the same job and going to the same bar every Friday night. These epitomic cases may seem sad and even pathetic to us, but we’re all guilty of self-denial to some extent.

    In order to become the greatest version of yourself and make the most out of life, you need to be able to observe yourself from an objective perspective. You need to call yourself out on your own bullshit. Everything from your most fundamental beliefs, how you view reality, your sense of what is possible, your identity, your habits, your patterns, your limiting beliefs, your assumptions, your false confidence, your fears, your egoic desires, your intuition, your intrinsic motivations, your reactions to external stimuli, your view of others, your freedom (or lack thereof), how you move your body, your choice of music, your choice of entertainment, your sources of information, your biases, your community, your inhibitions, your different personalities among different people, your dietary habits, your addictions, your vulnerabilities, your childhood pain that you’re still carrying, your biggest fear for the future, your self-judgments , your comfort zones, the excuses you make to yourself, the labels you mindlessly slap on things, the little lies you tell yourself, the secrets you’re hiding in the depths of your psyche, the truths you’re afraid of being true, the reason why you were born…etc.

    As you can see, there are a lot of potential blind spots out there (or in there). Here’s how to develop a perspective of increased self-awareness, put yourself in a position of continuous personal evolution and be genuinely YOU-nique.

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    14 Ways to Discover Your Blind Spots

    1. Meditation

    Meditation cultivates a state in which you can objectively observe your thoughts and emotions. We often go through life completely consumed by our thoughts and emotions, not being able to witness them. This is why meditation is so crucial. With practice, you will create awareness regarding your emotions, thoughts, habits and patterns.

    This state of awareness makes change possible. If you go through life oblivious to your patterns, because you’re too engrossed in them to know what’s going on, you’ll never be in a position to make a change. As the old proverb goes, “The fish would be the last to discover water because they’re immersed in it.” Meditation can take you out of the metaphorical water of your assumed reality and help you realize “Wow, I was really IN THERE this whole time?”

    If you’re new to meditation, try starting out with my 21 Breath Salute. It’s so easy and takes less than 5 minutes to do.

    2. Intimate Relationships

    Intimate relationships are the most powerful tools for showing you your own weaknesses and vulnerabilities.

    Your partner is like a mirror of your own internal state. Your fears, limiting beliefs, doubts, delusions and repressed emotions are reflected in intimate relationships.

    One example of this is getting angry at your partner for forgetting something. Chances are that you get angry at yourself for forgetting things, and because this person is so close to you, you do to them whatever you do to yourself. So get to the bottom of why you get angry at yourself for something so asinine. Did your parents do it to you? Do you put pressure on yourself to never make mistakes? (And where does that belief come from?) Share this revelatory process with your partner as you go through it. You’re on the same team, right?

    Here’s another example. If you have a fear of abandonment from, let’s say, your father leaving you as a child, you will find yourself desperately clinging to relationships, even when it’s obvious that it’s not to your benefit. But you have to have some degree of self-awareness to be able to see this play out in your life (as well as a self-aware partner who can help you to realize these things as they come up). Otherwise, you’ll just blindly repeat the cycle over and over again.

    You need to open to love to be in a relationship. And when your heart is open, you’re also vulnerable. This is why past pain that you thought you had hidden resurfaces. This is why your ego takes many bruises and why certain words penetrate to the core of your fears.

    When an intimate relationship is honest, open and transparent, you will see all of each other’s deepest blind spots. Then you have the choice to work through them, or ignore them, letting them forever influence your life from the shadows of your subconsciousness.

    3. Close Family and Friends

    Family and friends can be similar to intimate relationships, though less of a “mirror” because our focus isn’t on them like it is on an intimate partner. (Although it can be very strong if you have children, because your complete focus is often on them. This is why having children can teach you so much about yourself.)

    With family and friends, honest relationships are paramount. Surround yourself with people that love you enough to call you out on your bullshit and wake you up from your self-delusions.

    I’m not saying to obey everything that other people say, but pay attention to the words spoken from the heart of someone you care deeply for.

    4. Plant Medicine

    Plant medicines are some of the most powerful catalysts for self-realization and growth. Some examples of plant medicines are “magic” mushrooms, Ibogaine and Ayahuasca (which I’ve done myself and wrote about here).

    Plant medicines will help you see where your blind spots are, reevaluate your life, examine your fundamental beliefs and aid you in breaking out of the patterns that don’t serve you. It’s like a crash course in self-improvement. Before you dismiss plant medicines as drugs, be aware that there’s a growing body of research regarding the healing effects of psychedelics on addiction, depression and mental disorders such as PTSD.

    When used in clinical or ceremonial settings, these sacred plant medicines have profound healing properties.

    5. Be Aware of Cognitive Biases

    A cognitive bias is defined as “a systematic pattern of deviation from norm or rationality in judgment, whereby inferences about other people and situations may be drawn in an illogical fashion. Individuals create their own “subjective social reality” from their perception of the input.” (Wikipedia)

    One prominent cognitive bias is called the backfire effect, which is when you reject evidence that contradicts your viewpoint or conclusion, even if you know that the evidence is true. How many times have you seen people do this? A lot, right? And I bet you’ve done it too. I know I have.

    Another notable cognitive bias is the bandwagon effect. This is when the probability of one person adopting a belief increases based on the number of people who hold that belief. The bandwagon effect is a testament to how powerful groupthink or herd mentality can be. Don’t overlook the possibility that your most fundamental beliefs may be based on false premises and they’ve only been collectively accepted, not because they’re true, but because of phenomena like the bandwagon effect.

    This article outlines 57 different cognitive biases that us humans can have. And there’s probably more too that we very well be unaware of.

    Get familiar with the many variations of cognitive biases and ask yourself the tough questions: On which topics are my views biased? What cognitive biases do I have? Which ones am I most vulnerable to? In what kind of situations do they arise? What viewpoints am I vehemently or even irrationally defending? What am I desperately trying to justify? Maybe there are cognitive biases at play.

    6. Build Ego Awareness

    The ego is sneaky, cunning and a terrible master. If you become a slave to the ego and let it run your life, you will be engulfed in a world of endless fear, judgment, deception and self-sabotage.

    Know when your ego is trying to run the show. Learn to differentiate between your egoic desires and the genuine desires of your heart.

    Your ego will wrap its identity in labels (nationality, race, religion, gender…etc.) and constrict you in the process. It will have you stubbornly defending ideas that you’re not quite sure are true. It will have you clinging to comfort, blocking out any exposure to growth.

    Read my article “What Does Your Ego Look Like?” for a deeper dive into the ego.

    7. Investigate Your Resistances

    Resistance is the ego at work. If you have great resistance towards something, look into it. It will often be your ego resisting something that is actually beneficial for you.

    The classic examples of resistance are politics and religion. People are so emotionally attached to their ideologies (and there are so many cognitive biases involved) that even a mild counterpoint is met with hostility and defensiveness. If you notice this kind of resistance in you, see where it comes from. Are you afraid that what you cling to will be gone? Do you think you won’t have an identity if you step outside of the box of the political/religious ideology you follow? Are you merely following an ideology based on the fear of consequences if you don’t?

    If you have extreme resistance towards something, it’s probably something you’re desperately trying to suppress and it’s driving you crazy in the process. Examine everything with an open mind and meet resistance with love.

    8. Be a Beginner Again

    Try something new where you have to start from square one. If you’re an intellectual, try learning how to surf. If you’re an athlete, try playing chess.

    Taking on something completely new and foreign will shake you out of your comfort zones, make you vulnerable (in a good way), uncover weaknesses (or strengths that you never knew about), highlight any stubbornness you have, enable you to connect dots from seemingly unrelated areas and catalyze so much learning in a short period of time.

    9. Get Out of the Echo Chamber

    This is closely related to trying something new.

    An echo chamber is “a situation in which information, ideas, or beliefs are amplified or reinforced by transmission and repetition inside an “enclosed” system, where different or competing views are censored, disallowed, or otherwise underrepresented.” (Wikipedia)

    Sometimes, we get so caught up in our niche communities (especially online), that we don’t realize that it could be an echo chamber. The extreme version of this is something like Scientology, but I’ve seen various degrees of “echo-chamberism” from spiritual communities to scientific communities and everything in between. It’s cool to connect with like-minded people, but just make sure that you’re not illogically rejecting things to hold up false premises. Question everything and always exercise your critical thinking faculties.

    If you’re a floaty spiritual person, switch it up and read some scientific literature. If you’re scientific-minded, read some spiritual stuff. If you’re a hip-hop head, listen to some classical music (the real OG’s). All of this will give you a completely different perspective on things, make you more well-rounded and spur so much new insight it will blow your mind.

    10. Find a Group Setting that Facilitates Self-Discovery

    Attend a retreat or a workshop. These kinds of events are designed to be learning experiences provide you with new perspectives in a concise package.

    Every retreat and every workshop I’ve ever attended has revealed profound insights that were previously blind spots for me.

    11. Put Yourself in Other People’s Shoes

    See the world from someone else’s perspective. Visualize their perspective in detail. Think about their motivations, point of view, beliefs, fears and how their experiences have shaped who they are. Have empathy and compassion and truly understand their point of view.

    This kind of empathetic visualization will greatly expand your perceptions give you a unique perspective on your own life.

    Also, studying the behavior of others will create an awareness of those same behaviors within yourself (if you’re willing to look within).

    12. Keep a Journal

    Journaling is one of the best tools for self-reflection. Deep-seated revelations arise when your thoughts and emotions are externalized.

    The process of writing itself also creates objectivity and newfound understanding. Journaling allows you to witness your state of being from a higher perspective. And reading about your past experiences will give you more clarity for the present (hindsight is 20/20).

    13. Travel

    Travel is the ultimate perspective-expander. You experience new cultures, new ideas and new ways of living. You also meet tons of interesting people, often travelers themselves, who grave great wisdom to share.

    Traveling also forces you out of your comfort zone. After any stint of travel, you’ll be able to step back and look at yourself and the world around you with new eyes.

    “A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes

    14. Read Books

    Reading is one of the best ways to learn and grow as a person. Every book you read is a rung of your ladder of knowledge, helping you climb above the walls of your own ignorance.

    Here’s a tip to spur even more self-discovery and growth: Once in a while, read something that is completely different than normal for you. I stubbornly only read nonfiction for a while, thinking I was being practical and learning a lot (which I was). But once I started reading fiction, I unexpectedly learned so much more, and in ways I never would have expected. My imagination bloomed like a flower in spring, my power of visualization strengthened, my vocabulary greatly expanded and my writing ability reached new heights. Also, because I read fiction before bed, I started falling asleep more easily. Imagination and visualization were blind spots for me, and I probably never would have thought about them if it weren’t for reading fiction.

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    There you have it. Those are some excellent ways to illuminate the caverns of your psyche and bring awareness to your blind spots.

    Don’t just read this and then fall back into the same patterns you know don’t serve your highest interest. Apply! Apply! Apply!

    “Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

    Life gets excruciatingly stale when you’re held down by the shadowy forces you refuse to face. Release the fear of what you’re afraid of discovering, because it’s all you and, in the grand scheme of things, it’s all love.

    Uncover your blind spots, keep learning and keep growing.

    Make the most out of your short time here on Earth.

    One love.

    – Stevie P!
     

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    2

    How To Be An Alchemist When Faced With Rejection

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    Rejection helped propel me to where I am now.

    It was borderline comical at one point… I faced so much rejection and missed opportunities with women, to the extent that I thought something was wrong with me. But before I threw my hands up in defeat and hurled myself into to vicious cycle of self-pity, I used rejection as a major catalyst for self-improvement.

    The story goes…

    I was a virgin until I was 21, and not by (conscious) choice haha. I wasn’t comfortable with myself, desperate to fit in, had no genuine confidence and the assertiveness of a limp noodle. The perfect recipe for great (un)success in the female department. But on top of that, because of societal conditioning, I was hopelessly dead set on “getting girls.” It was like an eagle living on the ground just because all of the other creatures are doing it.

    During college, I had a streak of (almost) sexual encounters that were painfully close to coming to fruition, but nothing happened. It was frustrating to say the least, but the Universe was welcomely whispering to me that I needed to be more self-confident and assertive.

    I took heed. Instead of feeling sorry for myself, this series of experiences became a catalyst for my personal growth and development. It sparked something deep within, and I’ve been on a journey of continuous growth ever since.

    Literally everything changed once I cultivated self-love and started to become comfortable in my own skin.

    As Ralph Smart says, “love yourself 100%” because that’s the point from which everything else falls into place.

    Note: I’m not saying that I changed and went all Wilt Chamberlain. I just honed the genuine confidence to go after what I wanted. Nothing was done out of spite, fear or ego, which is why I’m still on good terms with every woman I’ve had an intimate relationship with (oh heyyy, if you’re reading this). And this improvement carried over into every other aspect of life as well.

    What actually sparked the idea for this post was an interesting weekend I recently had. I went out Friday and Saturday night in Portland, Maine (great little city btw). I must have talked to 30-40 different girls over the weekend (young women, if you want to be politically correct), but nothing came to fruition. It was a bit disheartening, but these so-called rejections are actually a blessing in disguise. Why? I’ll get to that soon.

    The main point is this… Turn rejection into self-improvement, not self-pity.

    “Every time I thought I was being rejected from something good, I was actually being re-directed to something better.” ― Steve Maraboli

     

    It never seems like it in the moment, but with hindsight that quote always proves true.

    Now let’s get to the action items…

    How to change your perception of rejection (and become a ‘rejection alchemist’):

    1. Don’t take things too seriously.

    Why are you taking things so seriously? Let go and enjoy life. Drop all the self-created fear and step into your true potential. Not taking yourself, or the world too seriously, is a major factor in cultivating genuine happiness and self-confidence.

    Have fun with your life, and you’ll end up attracting kindred spirits (see #3).

    “I asked the girl at the coffee shop out on a date. Unfortunately she said no, probably because I asked her out to coffee.
” ― Jarod Kintz

     

    2. Rejection is a tremendous learning opportunity.

    Rejection reveals great opportunities to fine-tune yourself. It shows you of any character flaws you have, guiding you along the path of self-mastery.

    It’s also an opportunity to stop overanalyzing everything; a sign to let go and unleash your unique brand of awesomeness.

    “Bad luck with women is a determined man’s road to success. For every affliction, he makes, out of indignation, yet another advancement in order to exceed the man that the woman chose over him. This goes to show that great men are made great because they once learned how to fight the feeling of rejection.” ― Criss Jami

     

    Use rejection as fuel for self-improvement. It provides a golden opportunity to get better at something, or a lot of things. Rejection lays out the path to continue growing into the greatest version of yourself.

    3. You attract the same energy you put out.

    “Everything is energy and that’s all there is to it. Match the frequency of the reality you want and you cannot help but get that reality. It can be no other way. This is not philosophy. This is physics.”

     

    Like attracts like.

    Sometimes those people just aren’t compatible with you on an energetic level. Maybe you’re looking in the wrong places. This is why I don’t have much “luck” in bars. Because the setting usually (though not all the time) attracts people with a certain energetic/mental-emotional state. And that state isn’t too compatible with where I’m at right now. I’m probably better off meeting women at a yoga studio or something like that. (Where my yoga girls at!?)

    Be who you want to attract, live your own truth and reality eventually conforms.

    4. Sometimes it’s just them.

    Maybe they were too consumed with their own inner turmoil to see your awesomeness. Most people are too preoccupied with their own dysfunction to effectively interact with others. So don’t take it personally if people don’t respond well. Just don’t be captain creeper, of course.

    Be yourself, without harming yourself or others, and let go. That’s what allows everything to naturally fall into place.

    Every rejection presents potent opportunities to better yourself…

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    Just as this blog is the mental/emotional manifestation of ‘rejection alchemy’, this picture is the physical manifestation. Self-improvement > self-pity.

     “Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power.” -Lao Tzu

     

    Our society focuses on manipulating or changing others to get what you desire, but changing yourself is the only way to bring about change.

    Be grateful for everything you have, while continuously improving. Always grateful, never complacent.

    Turn rejection into self-improvement, not self-pity.

    Swords are only forged in intense heat. Diamonds are created only through immense pressure.

    Uncover your inherent greatness.

    Infinite Love.

    -Stevie P!

    The Potent Secret About “Bad” Experiences

     

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    So… I recently came across this thought-provoking insight from Bashar that gave me an aha! moment…

    “Analogy: You have on your planet
    the occupation referred to as “piano tuners”.
    When you are playing your piano instrument,
    and you find the sound of the music pleasing,
    and then all of a sudden you come across
    what you call a sour note, “plunk… plunk… plunk… plunk”
    Do you run away in panic and go and hide in the closet?
    “I shall never touch my piano again!”
    No. You say, “Ah, I require to tune the piano,
    so that the note becomes harmonious with all the other notes.”

    Each key is like unto a definition… a belief.
    When you come across one that gives you the sensation of fear,
    all that’s telling you is, “Hey… hey, hey, hey, hey, hey… pay attention,
    you have a belief in this area of your song
    that is out of alignment with the whole rest of the piano”.
    Fine tune it… bring it back into harmony… don’t run away… explore it:
    “Bonk, bonk, bonk, bonk, bonk… what would I have to do to tune this?
    How would I have to redefine it?
    How would I have to tighten this string
    in order to bring it back into tune… into alignment?
    Play with it… find out until finally,
    “Bonk, bonk, bonk, bonk, bonk… it’s back.”

    (read the full version here)

    This is a fantastic analogy, in my opinion. And it reveals some secrets of the Universe as well…

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    1. “Bad” experiences are the best learning experiences.

    Everything is a matter of perception. Are you going to use “bad” experiences as an excuse to be a victim, feel guilty, or beat yourself up? Or will you use “bad” experiences as learning experiences to fuel your personal growth and evolution? The choice is yours.

    Think about it… You learn way more from “mistakes” than when everything goes perfectly. It is through the hiccups in life that we are nudged in the right direction.

    With everything in life, you start from square one, and progress through trial and error in order to improve over time. That’s what being human is all about.

    Going back to the piano analogy, you fine-tune your piano by discovering the disharmonious keys and correcting them. Just as no piano comes perfectly tuned to your liking, no human being is perfect. The beauty of imperfection is that it allows for uniqueness, as well as continuous growth.

    Here’s a personal example of this principle in action…
    One word that I never spell wrong is “committee.” Why? Because I misspelled it in my 5th grade spelling bee in front of the whole school (Seriously, who put that last “e” in there?). And because of that “mistake”, I’ve made a point to spell it correctly each and every time since. Lesson learned.

    You came here to experience, learn and grow (and have fun doing it). The “bad” things that happen are really life-changing learning experiences in disguise.

    2. “Bad” experiences are a sign.

    So-called mistakes that you make are actually hints, guiding you in the direction of learning and development.

    “Bad” things that “happen” to you can also act as tremendous learning experiences, and build a stronger character.

    Everything you experience is perfect for your personal growth. Pay attention to the signs.

    3. “Bad” experiences should be embraced.

    Your power comes with how you react to these so-called “bad” experiences. Your growth comes from how you view them. It’s all a matter of perception.

    Don’t ignore the “bad” things that happen. Don’t hide them. Don’t fear them. It’s when you cover things up or ignore them that they sabotage you. Everything you hold inside eventually manifests in some way or another. Don’t hold onto or bury the “bad” things that happen to you. Transmute them into growth and development.

    Story time:
    One of the “worst” (actually best, in hindsight) things that happened to me was when I was a 19 year-old college sophomore. I ended up in the hospital after drinking way too much one night. Yeah, it was really stupid, and I’m so grateful that I was able to walk out of the hospitable the next morning. So instead of marinating in guilt, shame, and self-pity because of this “stupid mistake,” I used it as a catalyst for personal growth. It was my sign that I needed to re-prioritize my life, and it became the spark for the development of my mind, body and spirit. I immediately began working out and making better food choices. I also started reading voraciously, mostly books on spirituality (notably Eckhart Tolle and Osho). I not only read them, but made a point to apply the information provided. Change came quickly. I noticed improvements in my body. I was happier. I was more positive, more confident, less stressed, and had less fears. I was in college, so I still partied. But it wasn’t my sole focus any more. My focus switched from partying (fitting in and trying to be cool), to personal growth. I used the “bad” experience of a drinking-induced hospital visit as the spark for my journey of personal growth and development. So in a weird way, it was the best thing to ever happen to me.

    4. “Bad” experiences forge an unshakable character.

    “That which does not kill us makes us stronger.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

    Diamonds are formed through immense pressure. Swords are forged in intense heat. The same applies to humans. Great men and women are defined by how they view and act upon their “failures.” They use “failures” as fuel for success.

    Build the resilience of a mighty tree. Storms will always come, but they will pass over you, and you will use the rain from those storms to sustain your tremendous growth.

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    I’ll leave you with a few quotes from Viktor Frankl, a man who completely embodies everything I’ve discussed in this post. He was a holocaust survivor and author of the classic book “Man’s Search for Meaning.” His horrific experiences forged a mighty and admirable spirit. Viktor transmuted his extremely difficult experiences to gain a new outlook on life, a deep sense of empowerment and the burning desire to live life to the fullest. The man is a true inspiration.

    “The one thing you can’t take away from me is the way I choose to respond to what you do to me. The last of one’s freedoms is to choose one’s attitude in any given circumstance.”

    “Life is never made unbearable by circumstances, but only by lack of meaning and purpose.”

    “Even though conditions such as lack of sleep, insufficient food and various mental stresses may suggest that the inmates were bound to react in certain ways, in the final analysis it becomes clear that the sort of person the prisoner became was the result of an inner decision, and not the result of camp influences alone.”

    “Forces beyond your control can take away everything you possess except one thing, your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation.”

    So here’s the question: Are you going to use the “bad” experiences you encounter as catalysts for growth? Or an excuse to set up residence in victimhood?

    The choice is up to you.

    Stay awesome.

    -Stevie P!

    The Artistry in Physique Building

    What do we really have control of?

    If you think about it, this can be summarized in just two words… OUR SELVES.

    Our self (mind/body/spirit) is the only thing completely within the realm of our control. We can’t control other people. We can’t control the weather. We can’t control the Earth’s orbit. Most things are out of our control. But our minds and bodies are fully within our sphere of influence. And with recent findings regarding the science of epigenetics, we have more control than previously thought. Read about epigenetics HERE and HERE. It’s empowering stuff.

    Many people worry about things they can’t control, while neglecting the only things they really can control. This is ass-backwards if you ask me.

    You know the ol’ serenity prayer? “Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.” That’s the ticket right there.

    We have control over our minds and bodies, so why not optimize them? And, well, really they’re one in the same. Our body is an extension of our mind, and our mind is an extension of our body.

    So why wouldn’t you work on the only thing within your control? Seems like a no-brainer to me.

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    It’s called a chiseled physique for a reason.

    “While control may be impossible to maintain in all situations, there is one place that you will always be the master: the temple of your body.” -John Romaniello

    Developing the physical body is crafting your own unique carapace around your consciousness.

    It’s laying out the architecture, performing the construction work, and fine-tuning the interior design of the temple that houses the spirit.

    Body is the temple

    Improving your physicality creates a sanctuary of empowerment in a world filled with fear, anxiety, and uncertainty. This empowerment makes you well-equipped to handle whatever life throws at you. (or whatever you throw at life) <—seewhatididthere?

    The phenomenon of bodybuilding is a direct result of this. It is taking full and complete responsibility for yourself. Every sliver of progress made is yours. Pushing the boundaries of physical potential makes bodybuilding fascinating. Building the body fulfills a deep, primal yearning in a society that has dulled our instincts. It’s complete mastery of the material self. It’s the ultimate form of empowerment in our tangible reality.

    This is also the reason why physical improvement is the most popular form of self transformation these days. Countless people have changed their lives by changing their body. Enhancing your own unique physicality is improving the only thing you really have control over. It is ultimately taking your power back, and that’s why so many people are working on improving their bodies. It puts you in the driver’s seat of life.

    The body is your vehicle for your road trip in this reality. So you should make sure it’s running optimally. And since you’re living in it (for now), you want it to be awesome right? An optimized vehicle is, of course, more conducive to an optimized trip. Just don’t turn it into an ego-trip 😉

    Our bodies are the physical manifestation of our beings. So physique building is sculpting the physical aspect of yourself. We live in a 3-dimensional reality, so optimizing the 3-dimensional part of yourself should be a fundamental rite of passage. If we existed in a reality where we could “see” thoughts, we would sculpt our thoughts to “look” awesome. (The only way we can do that now is to express thoughts through the mediums of language or art.)

    And speaking of art, our bodies are truly a work of art. A complex, beautiful system with endless subtleties. Each is unique. Each is personalized. It’s an artistic masterpiece that is 100% yours.

    The beauty of imperfections:

    Perfection doesn’t exist. The perfect body doesn’t exist. But this allows for two hidden benefits:
    1. Continuous improvement. No matter what, you can always improve. There is always room to grow. Life is perpetual growth. And really, who likes to be stagnant?
    2. Uniqueness. If everyone was “perfect” then we would all be the same. Imperfection results in infinite variety. It makes being an individual possible.

    ***Pokemon metaphor alert***

    Improving yourself is like a Pokemon leveling up. As you level up, you increase your HP (Hit Points aka how much damage you can take). You learn new attacks. You accumulate new abilities and increase your overall strength. Maybe you were born an Onix, and you think you got the short end of the genetic stick. But really, there is no short end of the stick. Any Pokemon at level 80 is exponentially stronger than the “best” Pokemon at level 20. Remember that, and work on becoming the strongest version of yourself.

    The Rock Onix

    Congratulations, your Dwayne Johnson evolved into Onix!

    Learn to let go of what you can’t change. And instead, focus energy on the things you can change. Maximize yourself, and you will be empowered. This will positively impact every aspect of life, and inspire others to empower themselves as well.

    Think of your physical self as your video game character. And your higher self/spirit/soul is the one playing the video game. Level up while you’re here, and enjoy the experience!

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    And another great metaphor for good measure

    Stay feelin’ good, feelin’ great my friends.

    -Stevie P!

    You Don’t Have To Be An Asshole To Be Assertive

    Guess what?

    The very first Feelin’ Good, Feelin’ Great product is now available!

    “You Don’t Have To Be An Asshole To Be Assertive” (E-Course)

    ^I came up with that phrase, which inspired me to create a course based on it haha.

    In a nutshell:
    “You Don’t Have To Be An Asshole To Be Assertive” is basically a step-by-step e-course on mastering genuine assertiveness and creating an action-based life. But it’s really more than that. It’s paradigm-shifting. It’s secretly deeply spiritual and transformative at the same time, which is why I wholeheartedly believe in it.

    Oh, and there’s an eBook version too.

    Check it out under the new “Products and Courses” tab.

    Or by clicking the flattering image below:
    You Don't Have to be an asshole 1

    Hope you’re having a great weekend!

    Stay feelin’ good, feelin’ great.

    -Stevie P!

    2 Easy Tricks To Build Self-Awareness

    Self-awareness is the precursor to any personal change or growth.

    You have to be aware of something before you can do something about it, right?

    To lose fat, you must first recognize that you have fat you want to lose. To become more assertive, you must first recognize that you lack assertiveness. To become a Pokemon master, you must first recognize that you gotta catch em all.

    Ash Charmander Laugh

    Awareness, then action. That’s the name of the game.

    But the thing is, most people lack self-awareness. Because we are completely absorbed by our thoughts 24/7, we gain no perspective. Like the fish who is unaware of the water surrounding them throughout life. We become oblivious to ourselves. We fail to recognize useless (and sometimes destructive) reoccurring patterns, let alone give ourselves opportunities to correct them.

    Nothing like a first-grade-lookin-cartoon-drawing, right?

    Self-awareness is turning on the lights, allowing you to see everything you couldn’t see when in the dark.

    It is the first step in creating any change in life.

    So here’s 2 easy tricks to build self-awareness and assess your own behavior:

    1. Draw your perception back.

    Don’t be absorbed by your mind. Exist beyond it.

    “The mind is a wonderful servant, but a terrible master.” -Robin S. Sharma

    You’re not your thoughts. You’re the consciousness behind your thoughts. You’re the sky and your thoughts are  merely clouds passing by.

    Deepak Chopra sums up that concept nicely here (at 1:37):

    Allow yourself to witness your mind’s incessant activity, without attaching to it.

    Draw your perception back and you’ll be able to objectively assess yourself. You’ll get a bird’s eye view of your thoughts, feelings, emotions, behavior, habits…etc.

    2. Write things down.

    Writing things down makes them more tangible. It also allows us to assess ourselves from different angles than we’re used to, providing useful new insights. I don’t know what it is, but there’s something magical about the act of writing things down. It always does the trick.

    Keep a journal. And write unfiltered. Just write everything on your mind. No one’s going to read it. It’s for your eyes only. Writing with no filter will give you an objective look at yourself, which is crucial.

    Log how you act/react in different situations. Write about experiences in your life and your thoughts about them.

    Log how your body feels in different situations. Being conscious of your body is an invaluable skill to have (because we only get one in this lifetime). One idea is writing how you react to different foods. This has really helped me familiarize myself with my body and nutrition. It builds tremendous body awareness as well. I’ve had a lot of realizations by doing this, like recognizing that pasta bloats me like Snorlax at a chinese buffet (that’s Pokemon reference #2 if you’re keeping track).

    Write down your goals, desires and aspirations. Make a bucket list. Recognize what you want out of life, and give yourself things to work towards.

    Write down any noticeable changes in your life and how you feel about it. The mere act of writing things down results in self-awareness. And from there you can make the decision to do something about it.

    Okay then.

    Apply those 2 simple tips and you will greatly increase your self-awareness. You’ll be able to recognize your thoughts, feelings, emotions, habits…etc. And once you become more self-aware, you have the power to steer your life in any direction you choose.

    Self-awareness acts as a platform to launch from.

    Blast off.

    -Stevie P!

    The “I Wish” Fallacy

    I cringe when people say “I wish.”

    I wish I could do that. I wish I was like that. I wish I had that. I wish I could go there.

    You know what? You can! You just have to figure out what it takes to get there, then DO IT. Saying “I wish” creates some far-fetched dream that will never be brought to fruition. A dream that, because of self-imposed limitations, you view as “unrealistic”. Wishing is giving your power away. It’s like saying “I want to do that, but it’ll never happen.” But what’s REALLY stopping you besides yourself?

    “I wish” epitomizes the spectator mentality. The hopelessness of someone that has given their power away. Someone that doesn’t take their life in their own hands. Someone living vicariously through the experiences of others. Do you want to be described like this? I sure as hell don’t. Do you want to merely exist, as a spectator on the sidelines? Or truly live? Let’s take our power back. This calls for a paradigm shift…

    I wish

    Replacing “I wish” with “What can I do to get there?” will create a mentality of empowerment. It will take you from a spectator to an active participant in this game of life. Anything becomes a possibility. Anything becomes achievable.

    A lot of people often say things like “I wish I could be in shape like that person.” Change that weak, passive mind state and ask “What can I do to get in that kind of shape?” Get empowered. Free yourself of doubt, self-imposed limitations, and feelings of inferiority. Have the desire to live the life you deserve.

    Have a lust for life. Don’t settle for life on the sidelines. If you see something or someone you admire, ask yourself “What do I have to do to get there?” Get hungry! Create a plan and start taking action. You’ll surprise yourself with what you can accomplish.

    Live an action-based life. Take your power back. Dare to dream, and have the balls to follow through.

    Visualize the action, then actualize the vision.

    “I wish” you would 😉

    ___________________________________________________________________________

    What are you going to replace “I wish” with “What can I do to get there?”

    Traveling the world?

    Pursuing your passion as a career?

    Getting into the best shape of your life?

    Being with the girl/guy of dreams?

    Leave your input in the comments section below.

     

    95% of the Health and Fitness Advice You Need in Under 100 Words

    The health and fitness industries have been made out to be wayyyyy more complicated than they need to be.

    “To earn a fortune in the diet and exercise industries, there is a dictum: complicate to profit” -Tim Ferriss

    I’ve devoted literally thousands of hours studying and applying health and fitness information over the last 6 years. I’m ridiculously passionate about both health and fitness. And I would have a career in either one of these, but there’s just this one thing? When you sort through all of the bullshit, it’s all really, really simple. Almost too simple, but it’s been made complicated.

    HERE’S 95% OF THE HEALTH AND FITNESS KNOWLEDGE YOU NEED IN LESS THAN 100 WORDS:

    Want to be healthier in every aspect? Eat real food —> (“If man made it, don’t eat it.” -Jack LaLanne)

    Want to lose body fat? Eat a little less real food.

    Want to gain muscle? Eat more real food and lift weights.

    Want to lose fat and still be muscular? Eat real food and lift weights.

    Want to increase your endurance? Run.

    Want to get stronger? Lift heavier weights than you did last week.

    It’s really as simple as that.

    And want all of these to be lasting, lifelong changes? DO IT CONSISTENTLY AND KEEP IMPROVING.

    That’s pretty much all you need to know. That final 5% consists of minutiae, very, very goal-specific things (ex/ rehabbing after a knee injury), or extreme cases (and extreme cases are usually unnatural, if you think about it). For example, a professional bodybuilder is going to have to use more complicated techniques to get down to 3% bodyfat while carrying around 300lbs of muscle. This is an extreme case.

    The problems people have with reaching their goals stem from 2 things.

    Paralysis by analysis- People will sit on the internet and read every so-called expert’s opinion on every subject. This will leave you confused. And you will just search for more answers instead of actually taking action.

    Instant gratification mentality, resulting in lack of consistency- People think everything is instantaneous. And instead of consistently doing something (as described above), they want instant gratification. It didn’t take you 4 weeks to get fat, so it’s not going to take 4 weeks to get a 6-pack. Work at something consistently, track your progress, and you’ll notice subtle changes indicating that you’re moving in the right direction. Consistency with any program is 1,000 times better than inconsistency with the “perfect” program. Life is a journey, not a destination. Learn to love the process of self-improvement. Would you start playing a video game at the final boss? It’s all about the journey. Stay consistent and enjoy it.

    And with the advice given above, use common sense. Don’t go outside and start eating rocks (they’re natural right?). Use proper form when lifting weights (It’s all natural movement patterns anyway. But most people are just so imbalanced physically due to poor lifestyle choices). Don’t go to the gym for the first time and try to yank 500lbs off the ground. Use common sense. Get familiar with your intuition, ya dig?

    Stay thirsty my friends.

    -Stevie P