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Monthly Archives: September 2016

September 20, 2016

I Feel So Alone: The Big Causes And Two Important Steps To Heal Your Loneliness

I’ve seen people who feel desperately alone get the ridiculous advice to just suck it up and focus on other things. While that might work sometimes, loneliness is a feeling that will always come back during the times that you simply can’t distract yourself with other things. It’s a feeling that eats away at you as you look around and don’t see a soul that you can relate to and feel supported by. Feeling alone is painful, and people who don’t feel alone can’t possibly understand the depth of the pain that someone who feels truly alone is feeling.

The Pain Of Feeling Alone

Feeling alone hurts a lot. It causes physical and mental pain, it affects your sleep, and it affects your ability to feel peaceful with your life. It can make you feel run down and affect your immunity negatively. In other words, if you are saying, ‘I feel so alone’, and you feel like crap, then loneliness is likely the reason you are sluggish in all areas of your life.

It’s important to start tackling loneliness now, not tomorrow or a month from now. The longer you let loneliness play a huge part in your life, the more damage it can do to your body.

You can put yourself at risk for disease and you can shorten your life thanks to the decreased immune system functioning and increased inflammatory responses. You can also set yourself up with anxiety and depression, which can affect your ability to create strong relationships in a negative way, which can make loneliness become a permanent part of your life.

Start taking action now. You have the ability to heal your loneliness, you just have to muster up some desire to stop feeling lonely so that you can take action.

You Don’t Have To Be Alone To Feel Alone

Are you saying ‘I feel so alone!’ despite the fact that you are surrounded by people? Does that just feel wrong to you? Well, it’s perfectly natural.

Feeling alone has nothing to do with how many relationships you have in life. It has everything to do with how much affection you receive and how affectionate you feel.

If you are not feeling that loving vibe towards or from the people in your life, then you will not feel the connection that is required to stop feeling lonely. Furthermore, if you are surrounded by negative people and have many negative relationships, that will create a feeling of being alone in this world with no positive support and affection.

And, if you can’t keep relationships in your life or can’t find a relationship that offers you the type of connection you want, there is a good chance you will feel alone.

It’s important to note that some people are natural hermits or solitary people and don’t require a lot of connection in their lives. They may have acquaintances that they talk to once in a while, but for the most part, they are fine being by themselves. In other words, there is a difference between being alone and feeling lonely.

Lastly, if you are different from other people and don’t feel as though they understand you, that can cause a huge wave of loneliness in your life.

For instance, transgender youth, who often feel different from their peers, are at higher risk for feeling lonely and the negative consequences that come from that. According to the National Transgender Discrimination Survey in 2011, 41 percent of transgender people had attempted suicide. However, transgender youth with the support of their family were 82 percent less likely to attempt suicide than their peers who feel unsupported.

In short, even though you are surrounded by a world full of people, or even a household full of people, you can still feel alone. Your feelings are a direct result of your thoughts, so they are a valid feeling for you at this moment.

The important thing to remember is that there are things that you can do to affect your thoughts in many positive ways, which can help alleviate the feeling of loneliness.

When You Feel Alone, It’s Important NOT To Resort To Self-Defeating Behaviors

Many people who feel alone try to fill in the loneliness with addictions. They may gamble as often as possible. They may overeat. They may do drugs, drink excessively, or get caught up in meaningless sexual relationships.

They believe that these behaviors are going to help them feel better, but in the end, they actually make things worse.

Self-defeating behaviors are behaviors that will always cause a loss in the end. They will always make you feel worse because they will make you hate yourself, feel lost, or feel out of control, and they will make you feel even more alone as you beat yourself up over your inability to shake them.

Intimate Relationships Are Not Always The Answer To Cure Loneliness

According to my friend who runs a popular dating website, a lot of people are looking for love for one big reason: to cure their loneliness. In fact, he says many people include the reasoning they are looking for love – ‘I feel so alone’ – right in their profiles. The problem is that many of these people find someone and then are met with a whole bunch of other problems that actually end up making them feel lonelier.

For instance, one guy fell in love with a woman who seemed to fit his life perfectly. He had felt lonely for so long, that he was not allowing himself to see the truth behind the matter. She wasn’t a good match for him. In fact, she didn’t even love him. She was just using him to pass the time by until she found someone more suitable. When she did find someone else she dumped him quickly and his heart was broken, and he felt even more lonely than before he had met her.

Finding love is not the cure to loneliness. It can be if you find the right person. And, keeping yourself open to finding love is definitely something you should do. But, don’t make it your only mission in your quest to become less lonely. If it fails, and you don’t have backup methods to help you feel supported in life, then you are going to be in a devastating place that you don’t want to be in.

Two Steps To Heal Your Loneliness

You can’t snap your fingers and stop feeling lonely. It just doesn’t work that way. But you can decide to take action in your life and engage in behaviors that help you feel more supported, loved, and connected to others.

Step 1: Decide To Take Your Loneliness Into Your Own Hands

You might be waiting for someone else to come up and swoop you out of your loneliness, but that is a bet you shouldn’t be willing to make. The chances are that no one will ever come, and if they do, you won’t be able to recognize the power they have to cure your loneliness because you are so focused on negative things.

You need to get up and take the initiative to heal your loneliness. You need to decide that you no longer want to feel lonely and that you are going to do what you can to heal yourself. You need to feel the desire to stop feeling lonely and start feeling like a part of something amazing, and then let that desire motivate you to work on strengthening your relationships and building new ones.

You may also need to take off the blinders and admit where you are going wrong in relationships. When we feel lonely, it’s easy to blame everyone else for that loneliness. But, often, we are pushing people away with our beliefs, behaviors, or attitude.

For example, I had a friend who was very uncompassionate. He only thought about himself, and he never listened to other people’s problems or even validated that they had problems. Over the years, he pushed everyone away from him. Nobody wanted to be around him. Nobody wanted to date him. He had even been kicked out of a few organizations he belonged to. He messaged me and told me that he was lonely and he couldn’t understand why he didn’t have any relationships left in his life. When I told him that his lack of compassion was the biggest problem, he didn’t listen. He chose to believe that it was everyone else’s fault and not his. Now, five years later, he is still alone and unable to figure out why. I feel bad for him, but only he is capable of fixing his part in creating his loneliness.

Take some time to sit down and decide what part you are playing in your loneliness. Following are some questions that you may want to ask.

– Am I unwilling to give to other people and just want to take from them?
– Do I prefer to do things on my own time and in my own way?
– Am I unwilling to compromise?
– Can I be mean or insulting to other people?
– Am I shy and unwilling to participate in events that help me connect with others?
– Am I accepting losers and abusers into my life that always end up hurting me or make me feel isolated?

All of these things, and more, can be worked on to help you build stronger relationships. You just need to be strong enough to admit where you are going wrong.

Step Two: Connect With New People And Reconnect With Important People In Your Life

It’s important to not isolate yourself when you feel alone. You may want to hide away from the world that doesn’t understand or support you, but doing that will always make you feel worse. It’s important to get out and search for those relationships that will help you feel less lonely.

I’m not talking about getting online. Yes, connecting with people online can help you feel more connected, but it probably won’t help you heal your loneliness. It won’t help you get out of your head as much as you need to and it won’t help you build relationships that you can turn to in times of trouble.

Getting out and talking to people in person is the best way to feel less lonely and more involved in the world around you. It is the best way to feel connected and valued. It helps you fill a void that can’t be filled by typing to a one-dimensional person online. It helps you build that multidimensional connection that creates strong relationships.

What you decide to do will be personal to your interests, but a few examples include:

– Go back to school. Even taking one course can help you connect with like-minded people and make friends who truly enjoy your company and want you in their life.

– Go to church. If you are at all religious, or even curious about a religion, go and attend a session at your nearest church. You should feel welcomed as soon as you walk into the church. (If you don’t, find another church to attend.) And, you should feel like you are a part of a group that shares important time together and grows together. Many of my friends find that their church is what makes them feel alive and part of a bigger plan. They never feel lonely because they are always being invited to different church functions or parties being held by particular people in their congregation.

– Get involved in a community event, such as a community cleanup or a volunteering opportunity. This will help you get out and spend time with other people so that you can connect, laugh, talk, and let go of the pain of loneliness.

You may even want to reconnect with people you once knew or currently know. This is really important if you are in a relationship and still feel lonely. It’s not healthy to let that lack of connection hang around for too long.

You need to decide if you want to continue the relationship or let go of it. And if you want to continue it, you need to change the dynamics of the relationship or you are never going to get rid of that lonely feeling.

For instance, if you and your partner are having problems, and that is causing you to feel lonely, then it’s important to reconnect with them and make building a stronger relationship a priority. That may mean spending more time with them and less time at work. Or it may mean scheduling in date nights or an hour or two every night of quality time. Or it may mean scheduling an appointment with a counselor who can help you build back your intimate relationship that helped you feel the exact opposite of loneliness.

You can also call up an old friend who always supported you and see if you can build a relationship with them again. Don’t let the fear of connecting hold you back! There is a chance that reconnecting could help you heal the loneliness you feel and get back on track. It’s well worth the risk.

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September 20, 2016

Why We Should Celebrate The Highly Sensitive Person

A highly sensitive person has high sensitivity to the world around them. High sensitivity, also called sensory processing sensitivity, is a completely normal trait that affects between 15 to 20% of the population, or 1.4 billion people, according to experts on the subject.

People can have a lot of success despite being highly stimulated by the world around them. For example, Alanis Morissette has openly talked about how she is a highly sensitive person and often felt misunderstood and misperceived, but that hasn’t stopped her from doing some great things in this world.

It’s interesting that being highly sensitive is not limited to humans. Biologists have discovered this trait in over 100 species, including dogs, horses, and even birds.

We tend to use the term ‘highly sensitive person’ as a bad label for someone. For instance, we might call someone who takes things too seriously a highly sensitive person – meaning they should just chill out or relax. Or we might label someone who cries at the little things as a highly sensitive person – meaning they are too touchy or too emotional. When we say it, we are saying that there is something wrong with them, but in reality, that’s not the case.

Being highly sensitive is not a disorder. It is a personality trait that involves processing sensory data. In fact, brain images in highly sensitive people have shown that the areas in the brain linked to processing perceptual data and attention are much more active in response to all kinds of stimuli that the less sensitive people.

So does this mean that their life sucks? No! Far from it! Just like people who are not highly sensitive, there are bad and good aspects of having a specific personality trait. And, I think there are also some great aspects of being highly sensitive.

The Downside Of Being Highly Sensitive

These are the aspects that people tend to focus on, which is why being highly sensitive has gotten such a bad rap with people, including the people who are living with the trait. The thing that we need to focus on is that highly sensitive people can overcome all these issues and just retain all the positive benefits of being highly sensitive.

1. They Can Go Down The Rabbit Hole Easily

A person who is highly sensitive can take a situation and go in a downward spiral from it. This is especially true if they have had a traumatic event in their past that can cause them to turn an event someone else is going through into an event they feel like they are going through.

For instance, if someone loses a pet, a highly sensitive person can become overwhelmed and start crying. They can also move past the initial sadness of someone else losing a pet and start to feel like they are losing their pet. Then they can start to focus on other negative things and end up in a place where they simply don’t want to face the world anymore because there are too many things that could cause them pain. It can be easy to get lost in the pain of what ‘could’ happen and start feeling the pain as intense as if it is happening.

In addition, negative interactions or just being around a negative person can cause someone who is highly sensitive to experience a sudden low that leads them further and further into a negative place.

2. They Can Misunderstand Other People

Someone who is highly sensitive, and has a lot of insecurities, can misinterpret other people’s intentions, feelings, and thoughts. They can start to create a story in their head about why the person is doing what they are doing or saying what they are saying. These assumptions are usually based on their own insecurities or fears, so can be very upsetting to them when their fictional story feels real.

For instance, a friend of a person with high sensitivity may tell them that a room in their house smells bad. It may be a legitimate complaint about mold or mildew, but the highly sensitive person who fears being judged on how well they clean may take it as a complaint about their cleanliness. This can cause them to feel really bad about themselves and the situation in general.

3. They Can Take Criticism Poorly

Even if the criticism is constructive criticism and meant to be helpful, a highly sensitive person can take it very poorly. They can dwell about the criticism for days, weeks, or longer, instead of taking the appropriate action on the criticism.

Highly sensitive people are often told they need to be tougher when they don’t take criticism well. This only adds to their pain! Now they are focused on the criticism plus the fact that they are being perceived as weak because they are feeling the pain. This can make things very stressful and confusing, to say the least.

4. They Can Get Involved With Narcissists

People who are highly sensitive are vulnerable to get into the worst types of relationships. It’s common for highly sensitive people to have at least one relationship in their past where their partner was so focused on themselves that it was ridiculous.

Narcissists like to use people, thanks to their lack of empathy for others, and that makes highly sensitive people an easy target. At first, narcissists use their talents, such as manipulation, charm, and deception, to draw in the highly sensitive person, and then when they’ve got them in their clutches, they show their true self, and they feed off the kindness that a highly sensitive person naturally gives them.

Unfortunately, sensitive people can believe that through understanding and compassion, they can help the narcissist change. And when that doesn’t happen, it can be a real struggle to leave the relationship where the narcissist is so convincing and manipulative with someone who is so compassionate and sensitive to other people’s needs.

5. Depression And Anxiety Can Show Up In Their Lives Easier

When you feel things deeply, it can be easy to become depressed or anxious in life. This is especially true if you are aware of how your actions are affecting other people, and you worry about the things you say or do in each interaction you are in.

While genetics seem plays a role in things like depression, a highly sensitive person is much more susceptible to becoming highly stimulated in any situation, which increases their risk of being depressed or anxious.

The Upside Of Being Highly Sensitive

These are the big benefits of being highly sensitive. These are the things that we should be focused on, whether we are the one who is sensitive or we are living with someone who is sensitive.

1. Their Awareness Is High

Because they are so in tune with the world, they are aware of more than others. They may see things more vividly, hear things more vividly, or feel things more vividly.

Being aware of the world around you is a good thing if you can stay in that awareness. It allows you to live in the moment, which is beneficial for your health, relationships, and overall happiness. Being present also allows you to do more beneficial things for yourself and your life because you don’t let worry or anxiety get in the way.

And, an aware person is more capable of doing things that make positive changes in their world and the lives of people around them. They can see what needs to be done and feel a need to take action on it because it’s obvious it will be beneficial.

2. They Are Deeply Caring

I know a highly sensitive person who is the kindest person I’ve ever met. She feels the pain of other people more intensely and has taught us all to be more giving, compassionate, and loving. She doesn’t hesitate when it comes to helping someone out because she can feel what they are going through and it resonates with her on a level that other people just don’t feel.

In intimate relationships, this heightened level of compassion is also beneficial. The highly sensitive person doesn’t move on from issues easily, so they tend to come back to an unresolved issue with ideas that can help fix the problem and make everyone happy.

In fact, this ability to care deeply can create stronger relationships with everyone they meet. Even strangers can sense their compassion and resonate with them better than someone who is focused on themselves and doesn’t show any sign of recognition for what others are going through.

The fact that so many people are highly sensitive is a good thing! It means that over 1.4 billion people are walking around with the kind of empathy that this world needs to become a better and happier place. It means that not everyone on this planet is working towards harming it or each other but, instead, are working towards making everyone happier. That’s a comforting thought that can help us keep working towards the progress of humanity and the longevity of the planet.

3. They See And Feel The Beauty In Life More Intensely

Many people who are highly sensitive have an appreciation for music, art, love, and joy that people who are not don’t feel. The thought of something beautiful, like true love, can bring tears to their eyes and resonate deeply into their soul.

People who are highly sensitive find that they are moved by the beauty of nature. The trees, the mountains, the rivers, the oceans, and the animals in nature all touch a chord in them that makes them feel love, peace, and gratitude more intensity.

Moreover, they notice the subtle things in life more, such as the little flower that goes unnoticed by other people. They cherish those little things, and they are the people who inspire others to stop and smell the roses!

4. They Have Deeper Conversations And Interactions With Others

People who are highly sensitive find it easier to talk about important things. They may not find small talk, such as the weather, that important. But, when they hear about something that has some deeper meaning about life, love, or emotions, they are more likely to participate in the conversation.

For a career choice, highly sensitive people may want to consider interviewing other people in some capacity. Their ability to understand what other people are feeling, and resonate with the person they are interviewing, can help them tailor some on-the-spot questions that help bring out the important information that really matters.

If you know someone who is great to talk to about the big things in life, they are probably a highly sensitive person. And if you are the one who everyone comes to when a crisis happens, then you are probably the person with high sensitivity.

5. They Are Highly Perceptive

Highly sensitive people who can learn to master their emotions make very perceptive people. They have an ability to recognize the little things in life, resonate with how other people are feeling, and find a deep compassion for everything. They are very observant in life and can use that information to help them progress in their relationships and in their career.

This is good news for all the highly sensitive people who don’t want to date narcissists anymore! With a little fine-tuning, it can be easy for a highly sensitive person to spot people who are saying and doing all the right things for the sake of winning someone over. Moreover, noticing the little signs of a narcissist, such as spending too much time on their appearance or being too focused on what people think about them, is easier for a highly perceptive person to do.

6. Their Senses Are Heightened

Highly perceptive people often have a heightened sense of smell, taste, and hearing, which can come in handy in many different ways.

– They can hear the little changes in someone’s voice that indicate when they are getting frustrated or annoyed, and quickly correct the conversation to keep it flowing in a positive state.

– Their palate may be better, which makes them a better cook.

– They can catch when something is going wrong with a mechanical device when they hear a buzzing or other noise that other people don’t catch.

– They can catch their kids sneaking out in the middle of the night as their senses tell them that something in the house just doesn’t feel right.

– They can smell a potential hazard before it actually becomes hazardous.

In short, they can interact with the world in a way that someone who isn’t sensitive can’t.

A Highly Sensitive Person Isn’t Overreacting

Whether you are a highly sensitive person or know one, it is important to understand that highly sensitive people are not overreacting. They are not too emotional or too sensitive. They were born with heightened senses, and that is a good thing.

With the right techniques to get control of their emotions and stop some of the unwanted aspects of being too sensitive, they can be a shining light in this world.

I think that sensitive people are very fortunate. They have more of an opportunity to learn and grow as a person even if they are not currently struggling with something that is life-changing.

For example, I have a friend who went to a showing of the play ‘Hair’ not long ago. Everyone else was dancing to the music or, in the case of some people, offended by the message, but she saw the beauty, the sadness, and the desperation of the people from the story. She cried throughout the whole play! At the end, other people labeled her as too emotional, but she walked away with a deeper understanding of the struggles of the people in a time of war and ugliness – something she had not been exposed to. She didn’t just watch a play, she grew as a person.

The bottom line is that we need to celebrate the highly sensitive person, not shame them.

– They are able to see things that the average person can’t see.

– They are able to solve problems better because they often reflect on conversations and issues.

– They are able to bring out the best in people with their compassion and kindness.

– They are able to bring out the answers we need to hear with their ability to connect to other people in an intimate way.

– Their heightened senses can protect their loved ones and everyone around them.

– They can use their special talents to spot or create beauty in an artistic way that helps lift other people’s moods.

– They can take care of people in a way that makes them feel validated in this world.

– They can be one of the most supportive and loving partners in an intimate relationship with the right person.

– They can help you understand other people and how to relate to them better.

And the list goes on and on!

Instead of shaming them for their high sensitivity, they should be appreciated. While there may be some negative things that can happen as a result of their high sensitivity, they can learn to work with their emotions in a way that benefits themselves, you, and everyone else in this world.

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September 12, 2016

How To Start A Successful Blog: What I’ve Learned Over The Years

When it comes to starting a successful blog experience is everything. I have never seen someone start a blog without any experience and find success quickly. All of the bloggers that I know, who had no experience blogging, started off on the wrong foot. They made a lot of mistakes right off the bat that really affected how well their blog did for months and sometimes even years. I know that sounds like a lot of wasted time, and it is, but it’s also a valuable teaching tool that you can’t get without making the mistakes. And I’ve learned a lot!

I wish I had found a post like this on how to start a successful blog. I was led in all kinds of unhelpful directions in the beginning, and I started a few blogs that did so poorly is was embarrassing. None of them are around anymore because the damage was too much to fix. But, you can benefit from my mistakes! Following are my biggest tips on how to start a successful blog, including some actions to take starting today.

Know Exactly What You Want To Blog About

I’m assuming because you are reading this, you have an incline around what you want topic you want to blog about. If you are not clear, that’s your first step in the process.

This is probably the biggest tip I can give you on how to start a successful blog. Why? A successful blog comes from a clear intent with a clear mission, and you need to know what your blog is based around in order to do that.

One thing I’ve learned is that the most successful blogs are built around a tighter niche. Yes, broad topics, such as relationships or education can do well, but it often takes a lot more work. More targeted topics, such as ‘attracting women’ or ‘online education’ seems to do better in the search engines, and it definitely helps people understand what your blog is about and decide whether they are interested in it or not.

Remember, someone will find your blog because they are interested in the article that you posted or the social media profile they found you on, and if they see a ton of stuff not related to what they are interested in, they will click off and never come back. People don’t have the time to figure you out. Instead, they will just move on.

Going to YouTube and watching videos is a great way to understand what a target niche is. Most of the vloggers base their channels around one or two things. It may be beauty, family, relationships, news, YouTuber gossip, productivity, or their personal life. They make it very clear what they are going to vlog about, and because of that you can easily decide if you want to subscribe to them or not.

Think about making it as clear as vloggers do with your blog. Create a homepage that lets visitors understand who you are and what your blog is about. Let them know what they can expect to see. When you do that, you create much more interest in your blog and have an easier time connecting with your audience.

Also, when it’s clear what topic your blog is about, advertisers will have an easier time deciding if they want to advertise on your blog.

For instance, part of making money from your blog is working with companies on brand deals. If a company sees that your blog is a good fit for their product, then you will have a high chance of getting a deal with them. But, if they can’t figure out what your blog is really about, and there are too many topics that don’t relate to their product, they might be unwilling to work with you.

Action to take: Get clear on your niche topic. If you want to blog about more than one topic, that’s fine. But build separate blogs on each topic to help visitors understand what your blogs are about, and to help you make the most out of your blog.

Have You Built Your Social Profiles?

I know that you came to this article on how to start a successful blog and probably expected to see more talk building an actual blog, but this is the stuff that I know is important to have set up before you even begin to set up your blog. As I said, I wish someone would have told me this stuff when I first started because I would have found success much quicker with my blogs.

First, decide which social media site will be best for your topic. If you are building a blog focused on your personal life, then Facebook would be the best platform for you. If you are starting a food blog, Pinterest and Facebook would both be valuable to you, but especially Pinterest.

Pinterest would be great for any food, family, beauty, home, or hobby blog. You can entice people to your blog through your pictures, and if you have some great pictures, you could get a lot of traffic to your blog from Pinterest.

For instance, Pinch of Yum, a popular food blog that makes thousands of dollars a month, sees Pinterest as their second highest traffic source. Google’s search engine brings them the most, but in their last income report, there was less than a 10% difference between the two. Without Pinterest, they would be down over 620 thousand visits! Facebook brought them in over 100 thousand referrals.

Because they are active on both social media sites, they can take advantage of that traffic and convert them into loyal followers on social media that see their new posts and interact with them easily. That’s over 700 thousand potential connections made for their blog. Is that a good enough reason to use the right social media?

The thing to remember is that you want your social media profiles to be clear in purpose too. They should reflect your blog’s topic so that people know what they see on your social media profile is what they will see on your blog. In other words, if they like you on social media, they should like your blog!

The first thing to focus on with social media is building relationships. You don’t need to share your blog in the beginning. You need to establish yourself as somewhat of an authority on the topic you are focused on. The more you tweet, share, or post information on your blog’s topic, the more connections you will make and authority you will build.

And do NOT spam people. Nobody will respond to you if you are constantly sending them messages to buy something from you. Nobody will respond to you if you are constantly sending them messages that having nothing to do with them or their relationship with you. The focus of social media should be to help other people and interact with them. That will help you build a successful profile, which will help you build a successful blog.

Action to take: Pick at least one social network that would work well for your blog’s topic and sign up to it and fill in your profile, including pictures. Then start interacting with other people, making connections, and posting relevant stuff.

Pick A Good Domain Name

At first, I thought your domain name – the address where people will find your blog – had to be keyword rich. In other words, if you wanted to blog about cookies, you should include ‘cookies’ in your domain name. Now, I know a successful domain name is one that describes the essence of you and your blog and is easy to remember.

The best thing to do is brainstorm words that fit your blog. For example, a food blog may use the words:

– Delicious
– Tasty
– Vegan
– Vegetarian
– Crockpot
– Eating
– Lunch

Combining words, such as Delicious Lunch, can help you come up with a domain name that describes your blog. You should use the domain name as the title of your blog (like pinch of yum) so that people can search for your blog by title and know when they’ve reached it by the URL they see. So, pick something that makes sense, stands out, and is easy to remember!

Then, head to a place like Bluehost to see if your domain name is available. Just remember to put your words together. For example, instead of delicious lunch type in deliciouslunch.

Once you find an available domain name, get it into your cart. I’ve seen domain names disappear very quickly, and I’ve kicked myself a few times over a missed name. You don’t want that to happen so grab a hold of it while you can.

Action to take: Brainstorm words related to your topic and combine them to form ideas for your blog’s domain name and title. When you get really excited about a name, you will know that it is the perfect one. Go out and see if it’s available and if it is, get it in your cart! If not, keep brainstorming.

Pick A Reputable Hosting Company

When I first started, I picked the cheapest hosting that nobody else was blogging on. I don’t know what I was thinking about (I guess that it was cheap), but it held me back from blogging success for months.

The hosting site I used was hard to figure out, didn’t host WordPress, and made my life difficult. I spent more time trying to figure out how to style my blog and make my blog work than I did actually blogging. It was such a waste of time.

The right hosting company should make things as easy as possible.

– You should be able to install WordPress easily on your domain name.
– You should be able to ask questions and get answers easily.
– You should be able to easily access your files, hosting account, and anything else you need to access.
– You should be guaranteed a lot of uptime (time your blog is live for people to see) so that your blog doesn’t go down and miss valuable traffic.

It doesn’t matter so much about bonuses that they offer, such as $100 in advertising credits. (That’s what got me!) It more matters that they are a reputable business who guarantees your blog will stay up and that you can easily do whatever you want to do with it.

I recommend Bluehost or something similar.

Note: While some people have had success on a free blogging platform like blogger, I only recommend doing that if you are an author or well-known public figure that has a business outside of blogging. If you want to start a blog that successfully makes you money and helps you stand out, you will want to have full control over what you post on it, which means you will need to pay for hosting and use WordPress as your blogging platform. Free platforms dictate what you can and cannot do with your blog, and they can shut you down at any time if you go against their rules, which means all of your hard work will be lost. Believe me, I’ve been on blogger, had a blog that was getting a lot of traffic, and then they shut me down because it was focused on relationship topics that they deemed too risque.

Action to take: Research hosting companies and pick one that resonates with you. Look for uptime, customer service, and ability to host WordPress.

Build A Strategy For Your Blog

Lastly, make a plan for your blog. This is something you need to do if you want the most success you can have.

I’ve blogged aimlessly, not having a strategy or an end goal. Do you know what that did? It made it really hard to find any type of success. Without knowing what I wanted to accomplish with my blog, I didn’t know what topics to blog about, how often to post, how to build a funnel of posts that led people to something (such as a sale!), or how to build my blog on solid topics that gathered long-term interest.

A blogging strategy will help you increase your leads and visitors. And that will help you have much more success.

The first thing you need is a goal for your blog and then a strategy to go along with it. For instance:

– Do you want to make money from affiliate marketing? What type of products are you going to promote? What do they require in a blog?

– Do you want to build a killer list that you can market to? How are you going to build that list? What will get people interested enough to sign up?

– Do you want to get brand deals with big companies? How are you going to make yourself seem like an authority that could review their products? Do you need to do a lot of reviews or a lot of tutorials?

The next thing you need to decide is how you are going to stand out in the blogging crowd. Pay attention because this is a HUGE tip on how to start a successful blog!

If you are offering the same thing everyone else in your niche is offering, then people won’t feel a need to follow your blog. But, if you are unique in some way, and can offer them something that other bloggers can, they will feel like they MUST follow your blog.

I’ve found the best thing to do is be yourself. You are already unique, so you can use that to your advantage. Use a unique voice (your voice!), use unique pictures (your pictures!), use unique stories (your stories!), and if you have a unique approach to your topic, make that the focal point of your mission statement.

For instance, if you are someone who wants to talk about dating, and you also enjoy psychology, then your blog can approach dating from a psychological level. That would make it stand out among all of the other relationship blogs out there. Or, if you are a man who used to be a player but now wants to help women find a meaningful relationship, then you can blog from the point of view of an ex-player.

Use your experience and interests to make your blog unique, even if it is based on the same topic as a million other blogs out there.

Action to take: Build your blog strategy. Decide what you want to accomplish with your blog and build a plan to accomplish it. Do this before you even start posting. In fact, build a posting schedule with specific topics as part of your blogging strategy so that you can talk about things that help you get your blog to where you want it to be.

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September 12, 2016

9 Tips On How To Overcome Frustration

Life is full of frustration. If it was all lollipops and rainbows, it would be a boring life where we never learn and grow as a person. Frustrations in life allow us to grow, change, and become happier. At least that’s the way I see it!

If you are not buying into the fact that frustrating experiences can be extremely rewarding, keep reading this article. It includes some valuable tips on how to overcome frustration. These tips will help you see your frustrations in a completely different way and overcome frustration as well. Don’t just read them, use them!

1. Try To Turn Your Frustrations Into Something Profitable

One of the things I’ve learned from many great entrepreneurs is that having a frustration is a key to a future product that you can create. I think that all products are born this way. You are frustrated with your inability to do something so you create your own solution to fix it. Then you realize that other people can benefit from your solution, so you package it into a book, a service, a product, or whatever, and then you allow other people the chance to buy the solution you created.

For instance, Vishen Lakhiani, the founder of Mindvalley, recently sent out a Facebook post where he talked about a massive frustration in his life of not being able to read all the books he wants to read. Instead of complaining about how little he reads or how he will never be able to read what he wants, he started researching a way to develop a course for speed learning that can solve his own problem and other people’s problem. He said that even Bill Gates has mentioned that if he could have a superpower, it would be to speed learn. He’s surveying people (you can take the survey at https://mindvalley1.typeform.com/to/nT6jZc) and it will be just a matter of time before he develops a course to remove the frustration he has for good.

Imagine being able to make money off your frustration. Imagine creating a business or an empire off your frustration! Isn’t that the ultimate way to overcome frustration? You get rid of the anger or annoyance, and you make a profit off it.

2. Choose Not To Live In Ignorance

A lot of people I’ve talked are frustrated because they don’t know something. In fact, I’ve been frustrated because I didn’t know something. The only way to overcome that frustration is to get the education you need to bring awareness on the subject and remove the obstacle that’s standing in your way.

For instance, if you are frustrated with your inability to get a promotion, be honest with yourself. There is a chance that your boss is a jerk or that one of your co-workers likes to kiss ass, but there is also a chance that you don’t have the knowledge or understanding you need to be promoted. Maybe your boss can clearly see that you are lacking something that is required to get a raise in status and in pay. When you realize that, you can search out ways to educate yourself or get the skills you need and become the person that obviously deserves the promotion.

This tip on overcoming frustration requires some major awareness around yourself, your capabilities, and your limitations. But, awareness stems from being honest with yourself.

As a bonus, being honest with yourself can often remove a lot of frustration that seems to stem from nowhere in life. When you are dishonest with yourself, you can’t see or move past obstacles in life because you are not admitting them to yourself, and that keeps you in a place where you don’t want to be, which is very frustrating.

3. Get Determined

A frustration that stems from being unable to get past something or accomplish something is normal. It just means you haven’t found the right path or way yet. In order to avoid letting your frustrations hold you back from moving forward, you need to get determined to overcome your frustrations and keep going forward. How do you do that?

The best way is to remember that you’ve moved past frustrations before and that you can do it again. It’s not impossible to move past frustrating events, it’s just hard sometimes. I guarantee that you have experienced moving past some frustrating events. And if you’ve done it before, you can do it again. In fact, make that a mantra you say – ‘I’ve done it before and I can do it again!’

The next best way is to remember why you want to move past your frustrations. For instance, if you are in a relationship that is going downhill, and you are frustrated with the way things are going, you need to get determined to fix the relationship. Reminding yourself that you want a happy, healthy, and supportive relationship will help you do what you need to do despite frustrating moments or setbacks.

In order to stay determined, you can post pictures of what you want to accomplish. You can collect quotes, stories, or inspirational messages to help you keep your ‘why’ in check and keep your motivation in check.

4. Get Outside Of Your Head And Into Other People’s Heads

No matter what frustrating situation you are dealing with, getting outside of your head can help. I’m not talking about forgetting the frustration or distracting yourself, although that can help you get a break from the frustration and recharge so that you can think clearer (see the tip on where to put your focus below). But, I’m mostly talking about connecting with other people who have been where you are and have some ideas for you to use. Connecting with other people allows you to brainstorm for yourself.

For example, getting on a forum based on your frustration, and asking a question in regards to how you can overcome it, is a great way to get a bunch of different opinions and insights that you could never come up with on your own. Writing down some of those insights and letting your mind meditate on them is a great way to brainstorm solutions on how to overcome your frustration once and for all.

This is a really important tip that I hope you try out. If you choose to hide the frustration and not let anyone else in, it will be really hard to find solutions on your own. Your focus is limited. Your experiences, attitude, beliefs, and perceptions hold you hostage in a certain way of thinking, and the only way to expand your way of thinking is to get insight from other people who have a completely different way of looking at life and going through life than you.

5. Don’t Be Too Rigid In Life

Often a frustration is born out of expectation. We want things to work out in a certain way, and we become frustrated when they don’t. Then the pain of it not working out the way we want keeps us in a state of frustration, especially if we are unable to turn things around in a way that satisfies us.

The trick to life without constant frustration is to be able to bend and flow. This doesn’t mean that you should give up on your wants or dreams, but it does mean that you should accept that everything you want and dream of may not work out exactly the way you are imagining.

For example, you may work hard at becoming a supervisor in your workplace, but instead get an offer to be promoted to a different position at work. If you are unwilling to let go of the want to be a supervisor, you will be very frustrated. Especially if your boss is unwilling to promote you to that position. But, if you allow yourself to see the value in the promotion you’ve been offered, then you will move forward without frustration but, rather, expectation.

There is one thing I’ve experienced over and over again in life. And that’s the fact that life gives us what we need most, not what we want most. If you want to attract something or someone to you, there is a good chance that you will get a version of that thing or person rather than the exact thing or person you are picturing. I’ve found that the version you receive is always the version you need to grow and get more of what you want in life.

So, celebrate your successes in life, even if they are not exactly what you want. An unexpected event, a new relationship in your life that you didn’t want, a gift that wasn’t what you wanted, or anything else that didn’t exactly line up with your expectations, is probably the exact thing you need in this moment.

6. Always Remind Yourself That Obstacles And Failure Are Good Things!

No matter what, obstacles and failures are good things, which means that frustration is a good thing. It’s a sign that you are on the cusp of learning something new, mastering something better (like patience or compassion), growing as a person, stepping outside of your comfort zone, and moving closer towards what you want.

Overcoming frustration will always reward you by teaching you something about yourself and helping you move closer to who you want to be. Always.

Therefore, the next time you feel frustrated, stop, be present with the frustration, and get excited for a new opportunity for growth. You may not understand how powerful this is now, but I want you to at least try it the next time you are frustrated.

I want you to say out loud, ‘This is great! By finding a way to overcome this frustration, I’m about to make some changes in my life that will improve it!’ Saying it out loud will help the truth of it ring in your ears, which will help you get more excited about it.

7. Don’t Focus On The Frustration

Instead of focusing on the frustration, focus on these two things.

– Focus on what there is to be grateful for in this moment. You will find something if you look hard enough, and usually one idea will spiral into may more.

– Focus on finding a solution to the frustration. This will help you get out of a negative state and into a creative state, which will help you feel better and find a solution quicker.

If you can’t focus on one of those two things because you are so upset or disappointed about the frustrating event, then focus on something completely outside the scope of the frustration to give your mind a break from it. TV, a walk, a conversation with a good friend, or anything else that has nothing to do with the frustration will help.

That will give you some space from being frustrated. It will allow you to let go of those intense emotions that are keeping you focused on the wrong things. When those emotions die out, you will be able to come back to the frustration and find something to be grateful for or start looking for a solution.

8. Get Clear On What You Really Want

A lot of times frustration happens because you don’t know what step to take next. That can be solved by getting clear on what you want and creating a plan to get there.

A lack of clarity will always promote chaos in your life, which will cause you to be frustrated. But, getting clear on what you want will help you move forward even in the face of a setback or an obstacle.

I suggest getting clear on the life you want, the goals you want to achieve, the experiences you want to have, and the ultimate rewards you want to bring in. Then, create small actionable goals to help you move towards the life you want.

If you are currently dealing with a frustration, then get clear on what you want in the specific area you are dealing with. For instance, if you are in a bad relationship, you may not know what you want out of the relationship. You may not know what direction you want the relationship to go. If you sit down and list out things you want, such as ‘communicate well’ or ‘be more intimate’, then you will have something concrete to work towards, and instead of being frustrated about where you are, you can start working towards where you want to be.

9. Don’t Try To Change Other People

Lastly, it’s important to focus on your life and not put your focus on anyone else’s life. If your goal is to make other people’s lives better or help them become more of what you think they should be, then you will always be frustrated. Other people are never going to live up to the expectations you set out for them, and they are never going to reward you in the way you want to be rewarded.

For instance, if you create a course to help other people become happier and post it online, you may become frustrated with the amount of people who don’t understand your intent or who are unwilling to put into practice what you are teaching. You may become frustrated with their comments, their lack of action, or their unwillingness to change. It’s better to create the course with the intent to help people, and then help the people who want to be helped instead of focus on being frustrated with the people who don’t want the help.

In short, it’s important to have the intent to do great things for other people, but you can’t carry an expectation of how that will play out. You can’t carry the expectation of changing other people every time you reach out to them or you will be frustrated more often than not.

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September 7, 2016

5 Common Relationship Mistakes That Can Drive Your Partner Away

I’ve noticed a sad trend. Too many people are learning unhealthy ways of being in relationships from their family, friends, and other sources. What’s worse is that often they don’t even realize how their behavior in the relationship is driving their partner away.

Have you learned unhealthy ways of being in relationships? Are you making big mistakes that can drive your partner away? Read on to learn five of the most common mistakes I’ve seen on a day to day basis. And if you recognize a mistake that you are currently making, make sure you take action on the tips to avoid a future breakup with someone you love.

1. Putting Your Happiness In Your Partner’s Hands

When you are upset, do you handle the situation yourself or do you expect your partner to make you feel better, fix things, and help you feel happy again? Do you get upset if your partner doesn’t say or do the right things when you are not feeling happy? If yes to either, then you are putting a lot of pressure on your partner. So much pressure, in fact, that there is a good chance you will drive them away.

It’s important to remember that we are all responsible for our own emotions. We are the only ones who can talk ourselves out of a bad mood or look at things in a new and more positive way. Other people can’t do that for us. So when we expect them to try, we are setting them up to fail. Most of the time they won’t say what we want to hear or do what we want them to do, and we punish them with our sulky attitude or anger because of it. That’s simply not fair to them.

They can’t handle their emotions and yours. It’s draining for them to always have to focus on making you feel better. And, it’s draining on your relationship when you are negative towards them because they can’t make you feel better.

Moreover, your partner doesn’t want someone who depends on them to be happy. They want someone who is naturally happy and has a zest for life that inspires them and makes them feel good about being with you.

What Can You Do To Fix This?

Be aware that YOU are responsible for your happiness. Other people can help you see things differently, but you are the one who ultimately chooses to change your perception, pick yourself up, and start feeling good about yourself and your life again.

When you claim full responsibility for your happiness, you can stop wasting time looking towards your partner to make you feel better. You can start finding ways to work through problems, face issues that are happening, and see things in a more positive light all on your own.

For instance, if you lose your job, you can let yourself get down and wait for your partner to cheer you up. Or, you can ask yourself, “What about this situation is good for me?” You may find answers like:

– Now I have an opportunity to look for a job I really want to work at.
– Now I have some time off to relax and rejuvenate.
– Now I don’t have to wake up at 5am!
– Now I don’t have to drive through rush hour traffic on the way home!

Once you start finding things to be grateful for, you will start feeling better about yourself and your situation, and your partner won’t need to expend a lot of energy on helping you feel better. In fact, you may be able to help your partner see the blessing in disguise. Then, you and your partner can enjoy your time off and strengthen your relationship instead of weakening it!

2. Expecting Your Partner To Be The Same As You

This is a common relationship mistake. And it is one of those mistakes that can drive your partner away for good.

Let me remind you that you found your partner interesting in the beginning because of their differences as well as their similarities. Maybe you loved the way they cooked for you because you couldn’t cook. Or maybe you liked how organized they were because you had a hard time keeping things in order. I don’t know what it was, but I’m sure there were unique things about your partner that interested you.

Most people enjoy those differences for a while, but soon they want their partner to start being more like them and less like themselves. This is where relationship problems come in.

As your desire for them to be more like you grows, you start to criticize them for the way they do things. You tell them that they are wrong and you are right. You tell them that they are dressing wrong, eating wrong, speaking wrong, acting wrong, and even believing wrong!

In short, you are holding up a big sign that says ‘The real you is not good enough for me!’ Who wants to stay in a relationship where you are not good enough for your partner? Nobody!

What Can You Do To Fix This?

You need to understand this one vital thing – no two people in this world are the same. In fact, nobody in history or the future will be exactly like you. And nobody in history or the future will be exactly like your partner!

Everyone has slightly different ways of moving through the world and thinking, and that is what makes them an important part of this world. Their unique way of doing things can teach other people and help other people in some way (including you!) Their unique way of doing things can benefit this world in some way. When you understand that, you will start to appreciate the way they are and stop trying to change them.

This doesn’t mean you should let your partner have their way when it will affect your happiness negatively. Let your partner be who they are and appreciate your differences. Don’t tell them that they have to completely change who they are in order to be good enough for you. And when you need to, find compromises to help you feel better about the big differences that you have.

For instance, if your partner enjoys spending money as soon as they get it, and you want to save money, then you don’t have to let them be themselves and suffer financially because of that. Instead, sit down and find a way to save your money and allow them to have some spending money as well. It’s all about compromise.

3. Bringing Baggage Into Your Relationship

Is a relationship in the past affecting the way you deal with your current relationship? Do you have resentment towards your past, unresolved feelings towards your past relationships, life issues that haven’t been dealt with, or negative experiences that you just can’t let go? If yes, then you have baggage, and it will affect the way you deal with your relationship and your partner.

I had one friend who was cheated on by one boyfriend. She couldn’t get over it and she carried that baggage into every relationship she got into. She would plague her boyfriend with accusations about what he was doing with his free time. She would accuse him of cheating on her when she couldn’t get him on the phone. She would constantly ask him questions that clearly showed him that she didn’t trust him. And, eventually, he would pack up his stuff and leave. And why not? If she couldn’t trust him, then what kind of relationship did they have?

Baggage will affect the core aspects of your relationship, such as trust, intimacy, communication, and relationship habits. You will label your partner unfairly. You will treat your partner unfairly. And, eventually, they will not want to be in a relationship with you and your past experiences and partners. They will not want to be blamed for stuff that they didn’t do simply because you haven’t dealt with your hurt or anger from your past.

What Can You Do To Fix This?

You need to deal with your past. All those experiences that you are holding on to need to be let go.

For instance, if someone cheated on you, then you need to accept that it happened. Often we try to pretend that it didn’t really happen to us or try to stop it from happening (which is impossible). Then you need to figure out why it happened. Was your ex not ready for a relationship? Did you not have a healthy relationship with them? Did they not have the compassion or ethics to stay faithful to you? And once you figure out the answers, take your lessons and move on.

Then you need to start fresh. Your new partner is different. (Remember, everyone is unique!) And your relationship with them is different. You have a chance to move forward and create a happier relationship knowing what you know now.

4. Not Allowing True Honesty In Your Relationship

Why is being dishonest one of the biggest mistakes that can drive your partner away? Because honesty is not only powerful in an intimate relationship, it is expected. Your partner expects you to be the one person who doesn’t lie to them. Your partner expects you to be your real self and share yourself.

When you lie, even if it is a small lie, you create a wave of distrust in the relationship. The more waves you create, the harder it is to keep the relationship steady. Eventually, if you create enough waves, your relationship will tip over and your partner will leave you to find a steadier relationship.

I had one person tell me that they didn’t want to look bad in their partner’s eyes, so that’s why they lied to them. That’s a bunch of crap. The truth is that your partner knows you are not perfect because they are not perfect. They have signed up for a crazy thing called ‘life’ where failures are made, mistakes happen, and imperfections are common. And they have signed up to share that life with you! If you can’t be honest with them about your failures, mistakes, and imperfections, then they will feel like something is off, and it could cost you your relationship.

In addition, when you don’t allow your partner to be honest, they don’t feel connected to you. They don’t feel like they can be honest with you. They don’t feel like you are someone who has their back no matter how they feel, what they do, or what they want.

What Can You Do To Fix This?

Make honesty the way of life in your relationship. Allow your partner to see your imperfections. Share your fears, mistakes, and worries with your partner. Don’t hide anything from your partner. This is easy to do once you start doing it. And you will find that your partner will accept you for who you are and understand you better because you are being completely honest with them.

And, allow your partner to be honest with you. Don’t make them feel bad for being honest with you. Don’t try to tell them how they really feel or what really happened. Allow them to explain things as they see it and show them appreciation for being so honest with you.

For example, if your partner tells you that you hurt them, don’t tell them that you didn’t hurt them or that they are stupid for feeling like that. Appreciate their honesty, understand where they are coming from, and then deal with the situation in a way that makes you both feel better. Your relationship happiness will soar when you have this kind of honesty in it!

5. Not Sharing In The Decision Making

Lastly, this is a common mistake that couples make, but I don’t see many people talking about how negatively this can affect a relationship. I’m not sure why because it is an important relationship concept to understand.

When one person makes all of the decisions in a relationship – or the majority of the decisions – the other person can feel left out. Remember, they are unique and have their own desires in life. And, if someone else is making all the big decisions for them, they are unable to fully express themselves or realize their desires. Eventually, that will make them resent the other person, and that’s when the relationship could end.

Moreover, the person making the decisions can grow tired of always having to decide. They can start to view their partner as more of a child than an intimate partner. That can affect how they talk to them and treat them, which can affect the relationship negatively even further.

The bottom line is that if you choose to share your life with someone, you also have to compromise on things, including your home, finances, vacations, food, kids, TV, and a million other things!

What Can You Do To Fix This?

Use your honesty to share your wants and needs and understand your partner’s wants and needs, and then find a way to make everyone happy when it comes to decisions. The more you understand about each other, the easier this will be.

It’s important to note that sometimes your differences will be so big that one person will have to give in and let the other person have the decision. For instance, if one person wants Indian food and the other wants Italian, obviously a decision that makes one person happy is going to have to be made. When this happens, agree that the next decision on food will be up to the other person. This will create a balance that will make both of you happy.

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