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Personal Development

Ikigai: Secret Formula For Happiness And Longevity

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Is there a secret formula for longevity and happiness? The Japanese have an answer to this question, and it is called Ikigai (pronounced Ick-ee-guy). This Japanese concept can be translated as “a reason for being”. It refers to having a direction or purpose and motivation in life that makes one’s life worthwhile. In other words, it is a reason to jump out of bed each morning. According to psychological research, if you have a purpose, a motivation, and a reason for getting up in the morning, you become happier and live longer!

Let’s take a deeper look at how this works!

What Is Ikigai?

The word Ikigai consists of two words: ‘Iki’ (to live) and ‘gai’ (reason).

This philosophy originated on the island of Okinawa – home to the largest group of centenarians in the world.

Could the concept of Ikigai contribute to health and longevity?

National Geographic reporter, Dan Buettner, believes it does. According to Buettner, Okinawans have less desire to retire, as people continue to do their favorite job as long as they remain healthy.

Searching for Ikigai is a long process that requires a deep understanding of your desires and needs in all areas of your life.

Unfortunately, most people don’t even know what their purpose and greatest inspiration in life. Not having a reason to jump out of bed each morning leads to a meaningless life, depression, apathy, and even health problems. While some people feel their calling and love for their work, many spend most of their lives trying to figure out what makes them happy.

Four Primary Elements Of Ikigai

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The Ikigai concept consists of four primary elements:

  1. What you love (your passion)
  2. What the world needs (your mission)
  3. What you are good at (your vocation)
  4. What you can get paid for (your profession)

According to the Japanese idea of self-development, each of us has an Ikigai. All we need to do is just to reveal it to make life meaningful and fulfilling.

If you want to discover your Ikigai you need to ask yourself the following four questions:

  1. What do I love?
  2. What am I good at?
  3. What can I be paid for now — or something that could transform into my future hustle?
  4. What does the world need?

Element 1: Your passion

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What is that you love doing? This can be your hobbies: music, dancing, drawing, swimming, cooking gardening. Try to understand what gives you real satisfaction.

These things will motivate you and help you choose the career that suits you best.

If you make enough money, but you are bored and uninterested in the work you do, even if you are successful in it, it may be time to reconsider your preferences.

Element 2: Your mission

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What are you good at? Knowing what you love to do and understanding what you are good at are two different things. You may not like your current job, but you can do it perfectly with a high level of professionalism.

You may enjoy drawing, but your paintings won’t be worth a damn. You may be passionate about one thing, but skilled and talented at something else.

Try to find what you are good at and find out what skills you need to improve.

When you are confident in your abilities, you can build a career and make money by doing what you love. This will help you find satisfaction and feel the meaningfulness of life.

Element 3: Your vocation

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Let’s say you can cook delicious meals. It’s wonderful! However, if you do not share your skills and talents with the world, and do not do what is valuable and what others need, you will not be able to achieve your goals based only on your skills and hobbies.

If you are a good cook, you can work in a restaurant, run your own cafe, or help feed the poor.

Helping others gives us a sense of belonging, and the lack of this element can cause feelings of isolation and loneliness.

Element 4: Your profession

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Although it is important to think about three other elements, you must not forget about make enough money for living a joyful and comfortable life.

True Ikigai can be achieved when all four intersect at the center of a balanced and happy life.

For example, you can do what you love and what others need, but it may not make you money. Or Vice versa, you can choose what is well paid and what you are strong at, but you will feel empty and unrealized.

Striving for Ikigai is a challenge and requires dedication, but it will make your life happier and more meaningful.

10 Ikigai Rules

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The essence of Ikigai can also be represented in the form of 10 rules that were written by Hector Garcia and Francesc Miralles in their book “Ikigai The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life“:

  1. Stay active and don’t retire;
  2. Leave urgency behind and adopt a slower pace of life;
  3. Only eat until you are 80 percent full;
  4. Surround yourself with good friends;
  5. Exercise daily;
  6. Smile and acknowledge people around you;
  7. Live in harmony with nature;
  8. Be grateful for everything that makes you happy;
  9. Live in the moment;
  10. Follow your passion and listen to your heart. This will lead you to Ikigai.

Where Should I Start?

Searching for Ikigai is a process that requires time, effort, and patience. The purpose of your life will become clearer to you over time, but this does not mean that you just need to relax and wait. Here are the steps that you can take already now.

1. Ask questions

Ikigai philosophy image

Start with asking yourself the main questions:

  • What do you like to do most?
  • What are you good at?
  • What do others need and what can you offer them?
  • What can you be paid for?

Take your time with the answers, you need clear and detailed answers. But at the same time, it is not necessary to puzzle over questions. Write down your answers.

Trust the natural flow of thoughts. Note all your thoughts and possible answers that you come up with for a few weeks. Some of them may seem crazy and absurd to you, but you should continue to remember or better write down everything that comes to your mind. But most importantly, try to be honest with yourself.

Take into account your experience and important life moments, both personal and professional, to understand what makes you happy, what fascinates you, and what you value the most.

Once you find honest answers and are satisfied with them, try to find the intersection between the four elements. Even if you can’t do it right away, don’t worry. Over time, you will see the picture clearer.

2. Make a plan

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If you find it difficult to answer the above questions, you may want to make a list of all possible answers and draw up a diagram.

Try creating a diagram of four overlapping circles-elements to find your ikigai, and have a clearer picture.

It doesn’t have to be perfect. The main thing is to write down your thoughts and organize them.

The more thoughts and answers you have, the clearer the picture will become.

For example, start by writing what your typical day consists of, and then make a picture of what your ideal Ikigai day should look like. See what you can add or remove compared to your typical day. Perhaps some things will be a discovery for you.

As you improve your picture, you will get closer to the life of Ikigai.

3. Experiment

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Once you have created a plan and started searching for ikigai, you need to check it in action.

You will learn from experience whether you have really found Ikigai and whether it works for you. It’s not enough just to think about it, you have to live it!

If you want to experience the fullness of life, you need to constantly take some actions. Moreover, you will need to constantly adapt and make some adjustments to move on and develop.

You may need to be ok to prioritize some things more or change the direction you’re moving in. For example, if you change your job, you will need to change your habits and lifestyle, learn to multitask, and be a patient learner.

Ikigai will bring certain changes to your life so that you can create the life you want. This may cause some discomfort during the transition period, but as soon as it is over, you will realize that you have come to what you were aiming for.

4. Find support

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While you are working on your Ikigai, it is important to take care of the support you may need during the transition period.

For example, if you plan to change a job, talk to those who have already made progress in similar activities. Don’t be shy to ask such questions as:

  • What did you do to achieve your goals?
  • What difficulties did you face?
  • How long did it take you to make the changes?
  • What was the experience like?
  • What reward did you get?

When you have someone to guide and inspire you, you will be highly motivated to move forward even in the most difficult and desperate moments.

It is worth understanding that on the way to the finish line, you will have to meet certain difficulties and overcome obstacles. This is why it is important to have support that will help you on your way.

5. Follow your own path

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Finding your passion and your ikigai will be the best achievement in your life. However, this may require you to be patient, introspect, and take positive action.

Ikigai is not just about living a healthy and happy life. It’s about opening yourself up and accepting the path you’ve chosen.

It means enjoying life and understanding what really makes you happy and gives meaning to your life.

Ikigai And Longevity

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And in the end, I would like to say a few more words about Okinawa – the Japanese island where Ikigai was originated, and where an incredibly high percentage of centenarians live.

In Okinawa, people try to develop close and meaningful relationships with each other. Friends and family members support each other throughout life, and no one is left abandoned or alone.

The old take care of the young, the young take care of the old. Such connections help not only reduce stress but also provide the necessary support in everyday life, where everyone can count on the other.

In terms of nutrition, most Okinawans eat fruits, vegetables, and tofu. They almost don’t eat meat, fat, sugar, or processed foods, which protects them from cancer, heart disease, and excess weight.

Residents drink a lot of green tea, and also consume ginger, various herbs and chili peppers.

They also exercise regularly – walking, dancing, working in the garden and spending time outdoors.

Many of them do not measure quality of life by wealth and success, but rather by being at peace while living an active and meaningful life.

Scientists have found that Okinawa has the lowest death rate from age-related chronic diseases, as well as one of the highest life expectancy.

There are other places in the world where conditions are similar, but there are not as many centenarians. Perhaps the secret lies in Ikigai.

Conclusion

In conclusion, I would like to share with you one Japanese parable about the the concept of Ikigai in Japan:

In a small village outside of Osaka, a woman in a coma was dying. She suddenly had a feeling that she was taken up to heaven and stood before the Voice of her ancestors.

“Who are you?” the Voice asked her.

“I am the wife of the mayor,” she replied.

“I did not ask whose wife you are but who you are.”

“I am the mother of four children,” she replied.

“I did not ask whose mother you are, but who you are.”

“I am a school teacher,” the woman answered.

“I did not ask what your profession is but who you are.”

And so it went. No matter what she replied, she did not seem to give a satisfactory answer to the question, “Who are you?”

“I am a Shinto.”

“I did not ask what your religion is but who you are.”

“I am the one who wakes up each day to care for my family, and nurture the young minds of the children at my school,” she replied.

She passed the examination, and was sent back to earth. The next morning she woke at sunrise, feeling a deep sense of meaning and purpose. She tended to her children’s lunches, and planned fun lessons for her students that day. The woman had discovered her Ikigai.


Katya Ki is the Founder of SOLANCHA Magazine, a Metaphysical Expert, a Reiki Master, and Human Rights Attorney. She has been studying Eastern metaphysics, cosmology, and esotericism for almost 20 years now. And she's still discovering new knowledge, which is hidden in ancient teachings. During her pilgrimage to the monastery of Saint Catherine in Egypt, she discovered the SOLANCHA System. This is how the SOLANCHA journey started!

Personal Development

How To Become Emotionally Balanced And Live a Stress-Free Life?

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Life always gives us challenges and life lessons for our development and personal evolution. Each of us in one way or another is dealing with some sort of life challenges. However, some people happen to manage these challenges better than others. You can find lots of examples where a big life challenge made a person much stronger and more successful in life, whereas a small problem another person faced caused him to go into a deep depression and mental breakdown.

So, why can some people handle anything and turn lemons into lemonade whereas others can’t deal with even the smallest of problems without feeling stressed?

In this article, we will share with you what emotional balance is and what are the principles of emotionally balanced people. Also, we will give you some helpful tips on how to improve your emotional health and become more emotionally balanced so that you can enjoy your life and deal with life challenges in a more harmonious way.

Emotional Health

We all manage stressful situations differently. Some of us can stay calm and balanced while solving a problem, while others violently show uncontrollable emotions.

It’s not a bad thing to be emotional, but it can negatively affect the course of events. And if you are an overly emotional person, you probably know about it.

The ability to remain calm in a stressful situation indicates a person’s emotional health. If you’re not emotionally healthy, chances are you’re going to run into trouble and turn a tiny problem into a big disaster.

The way you process your emotions determines how you will deal with issues as they arise in your life. If you’re emotionally disconnected with yourself, it makes it that much harder for you to process and cope with life circumstances and problems that you may encounter. When you’re able to truly find inner peace and balance your emotional self you’ll start to see life challenges in an entirely different way.

5 Principles Of Emotional Balance

The emotional balance may be an innate skill, but you can also develop it by starting to apply these 5 principles of emotionally balanced people.

#1: Wait for the right moment instead of acting right away

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This will help you master the skill of impulsive control – the ability to stop and think about whether you want to act. By learning to control yourself, you can take a break and evaluate the situation, and potentially committed actions in the long term.

For example, a friend or family member might make you angry. In response, you can immediately say or do something that may disrupt the relationship. The control skill will help you to choose an action that matches your best intentions.

#2: Take a pause

Emotionally stable people are patient – they can take a pause before reacting to the situation. If you are not such a person, remember how you reacted in a fit of anger? Now, think about what your response would be if you were patient for one hour.

If the first principle was about choosing the best action, this one is about sitting with your emotions and not taking any action. During this time, you will find a solution that will correspond to your intentions in the best way.

#3: The healing power of time

Acceptance doesn’t mean being weak and giving up or letting stress get the better of you. On the contrary, it is about understanding your emotions and believing that you will be OK.

Time heals! The feelings of sadness or frustration are temporary – they will gradually go away as time passes.

When you are emotionally imbalanced you may think that you will never get out of this state. Now, remember the last time you felt like this. You may have thought that this tough time would never be over, but you eventually felt better. And it always gets better as time heals!

#4: Make time for yourself

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Emotionally stable people are organized people who know their self-worth and value their time. They know that taking care of themselves is the way they replenish their resources and become stronger.

Self-care for such people is a daily practice.

They have certain tools that they can use during times of stress to relieve it and regain their calm: meditation, yoga, sports, meeting a friend, a сup of tea, etc.

So, next time when you feel like stress is taking control over you, instead of allowing your emotions to guide you to self-destructive mode, focus on your inner peace – go to yoga class, do some breathing exercises, or meditate. Turn off your restless mind and listen to your inner voice!

#5: Focus on good things

Where attention goes, energy flows and manifestation occurs. You will attract whatever is most often and most powerfully on your mind and in your heart. So don’t focus on “what’s wrong.” You will only attract more of the same. Don’t waste your precious energy on something you don’t want to attract into your life! Shift your focus on good things instead. Remember that there is always something to be grateful for. Keep a positive mindset!

Count your blessings, not your troubles!

Counting your blessings puts you into a state of gratitude which opens the flow to attract more happiness and joy into your life. When you turn your attention to all the goodness that you already have you’ll find that you’ll begin to see things you had not noticed before and feel more appreciative of your life. With this kind of mindset, you will be able to deal with your life challenges in a more balanced way and see the right solutions for your problems more clearly.

Are You Emotionally Balanced?

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After reading a bit about what it means to be emotionally balanced, how do you feel? Do you believe that you are emotionally balanced, or are there some areas of your life that you could use a little change in?

According to Dan Mager, MSW, “there are several levels of awareness involved in cultivating emotional balance:

#1: Become consciously aware that you are experiencing an emotion

Although you may not know specifically what the feeling is, it is important to simply notice and acknowledge that you have some feeling.

#2: Identify the particular emotion

It may be helpful to close your eyes, turn your focus inward, and allow yourself to experience that emotion in your body. Different emotions are typically experienced in different parts of the body.

For example, anger might manifest as tightness in your neck and shoulders, sadness as an ache in your chest, fear as a knot in your stomach, and joy as warmth in your heart.

#3: Put the emotion into words

“I’m feeling anxious.” “I’m feeling angry.” “I’m feeling sad.”

Putting the emotions you experience into words by making these simple self-statements can create the space you can use to respond intentionally rather than react automatically and unconsciously.

How to Become Emotionally Balanced?

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The good thing is that there are plenty of ways in which you can learn to balance your emotions, learn self-love, and see life in a more positive way. Here are some quick tips from Dan Mager, MSW to improve your emotional health you can start with.

#1: Feel your feelings

Instead of blocking your emotions or denying them allow yourself to feel whatever you’re experiencing. Write down your negative emotions instead of acting on them so you can vent.

#2: Grow daily

Every day challenge yourself to take risks. By doing this, you allow yourself to grow and boost your self-love. The risks don’t have to be hard. For example, you can talk to someone new, or learn a new skill, or even set a workout goal.

#3: Focus on the present moment

You see, usually, our mental health becomes challenged when we focus too much on what was or what could be. Though it is important to have structure and plans in your life, allowing them to consume your mind can be detrimental. It is easier to deal with reality when you start focusing on the present moment and stop worrying about the future.

#4: Laugh more

Try to find the bright side of things and laugh a little more through the ups and downs in life.

#5: Be grateful

Instead of focusing on what you don’t have, it’s great to show gratitude for what you do. Start reciting positive things about your life on a daily basis. Things like “I’m happy I have a job” and “I’m blessed I have a home” can start to make you appreciate more of what you have now.

#6: Make your heart sing

Connecting to something larger than yourself makes your life purposeful and meaningful. Do more of what makes your heart sing. It could be meditation, aerial yoga class, or seeing friends more often.

#7: Watch who you surround yourself with

You may need to take a look at your relationships to determine if they’re healthy. Having people who give off negative energy can certainly affect your emotional health. You may need to separate yourself from them as you learn to heal. Do this from a place of love and compassion, rather than righteousness or by wronging anyone.

The Bottom Line

Emotional stability is all about a balanced attitude to challenging situations and daily problems. By practicing the above principles and tips and learning how to respond to stress, you can live more joyfully and be a support to others.


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Personal Development

What Is Your Fear Archetype And How Is It Holding You Back?

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Fear impacts all of us, and very often holds us back from pursuing the things we really want. If you are one of those people who let their biggest dreams fade away just because you are too afraid to pursue them, this article is for you! We are going to dig deeper and find out what this fear that holds you back looks like. You will learn what your fear archetype is and what you can actually do about it.

Destructive Power Of Fear

Fear is one of the basic human instincts that is supposed to protect us and make us act faster in dangerous situations. But at the same time, fear also inhibits and hinders our self-expression and progress. It is fear that can prevent us from living the life that we dream of and from expressing our full potential. So it turns out that this instinct of self-preservation can ruin our lives.

Everyone’s fear manifests itself in different ways, and people deal with it differently. Ruth Soukup, entrepreneur, and author of “Do It Scared” discovered seven fear archetypes and came up with the best ways to overcome each of them.

Which one describes yours the best? Read on!

7 Fear Archetypes

Fear Archetype #1: Procrastinator

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Also known as a perfectionist who tends to postpone things or not start them at all, because they are afraid to do everything imperfectly or make a mistake. And since it doesn’t work out perfectly in most cases, these people prefer not to take on a failed idea or project at all.

This archetype may manifest itself as:

  • fear of commitment;
  • fear of getting started.

Procrastinators tend to be indecisive when they need to act quickly. Usually, they prefer to plan everything in detail, do research, the organization of the process is more important than the actions themselves. As a result, they have many incomplete and unmanifested ideas and plans and rarely get anything done.

Are you a Procrastinator?

You can consider yourself a procrastinator if you:

  • never feel like things are done or ready if you like to plan things way in advance;
  • research tends to be more important than the action itself;
  • have trouble committing or saying yes to things that are outside of your comfort zone.

What can you do?

  • Get out of their comfort zone and say “Yes” more often to everything new, even if it is not planned.
  • Set a deadline for when your planning and researching period will end and when you’ll actually get started.
  • Realize that the problem with ‘perfect’ is that nothing will ever be good enough.
  • Set realistic standards and work towards doing your best.

Fear Archetype #2: The Rule Follower

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Such people are dedicated to following the distinct rules and guidelines set by those around them. They’re obsessed with always trying to make the right decision, despite its potential effect on their own success.

The rule followers are very afraid of changes.

They tend to see the world in black and white and feel anxious anytime they sense themselves or other people stepping outside the norms of acceptable behavior. They may also be overly concerned with making sure other people are making good decisions.

The rule followers may avoid taking risks, especially when they are not sure whether there is a “right” path to follow, and their fear of authority may prevent them from coloring outside the lines of trusting their own judgment.

Are you the Rule Follower?

You can consider yourself the rule follower if you:

  • like knowing there is an established protocol to follow;
  • strongly prefer for things to be done the “right” way;
  • spend time worrying about regulations and things not being done correctly.

What can you do?

  • get out of the dual perception of the world, stop seeing everything as “either right or wrong”;
  • realize the fact that an unknown path can lead to something new and beautiful;
  • practice self-compassion;
  • realize that it’s OK to make mistakes – this is necessary for your personal growth;
  • define your own set of guiding principles instead of always leaning on others or outside factors.

Fear Archetype #3: The People Pleaser

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The desire to please everyone arises from a deep fear of being rejected by others. Such people care about what others think of them, and they are very afraid of public condemnation. The worst thing for such people is to be ridiculed or rejected by someone.

The people pleasers are afraid of being judged which also manifests itself as the fear of letting people down and the fear of what other people might say. Essentially, the People Pleaser’s biggest concern can often be summed up as the fear of how others may react.

Usually, they pay a lot of attention to their appearance and care a lot about their reputation and status symbols such as a nice car, home, or designer labels.

Are you the People Pleaser?

You can consider yourself the people pleaser if you:

  • have a hard time saying no, setting limits, and establishing healthy boundaries;
  • are overcommitted;
  • allow other people’s priorities and requests to override your own goals and dreams;
  • are often worried about looking foolish or being judged;
  • worry about letting other people down;
  • struggle to disagree when others share an opinion.

What can you do?

  • spend more time alone and learn to hear yourself first;
  • stop saying “yes” when you want to say “no”;
  • learn to set your boundaries when communicating with people;
  • realize that you can’t pour from an empty cup, meaning that when you’re in tune with your own wants and desires, you become a better friend, partner, and family member;
  • remind yourself that you deserve to be prioritized, just as much as other people in your life.

Fear Archetype #4: Outcast

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This is the opposite of those who try to please. Such people, on the contrary, try to be as different as possible, to show their individuality and the fact that they do not care about the opinion of others.

Behind all this is a huge fear of rejection or a fear of trusting other people. This fear archetype manifests itself by rejecting others before they have a chance to be rejected.

While to outside observers, the Outcast often appears to be fearless, inwardly he often believes other people can’t be counted on or trusted and he tends to view even the mildest slight or dismissal as confirmation of that belief, which in turn causes the Outcast to reject others even more frequently.

Are you an Outcast?

You can consider yourself an Outcast if you:

  • struggle to ask for help;
  • don’t trust others;
  • keep your distance from other people;
  • push people away and do not let them get too close;
  • tend to think “I don’t need anyone, I’m on my own”.

What can you do?

  • work on your self-esteem;
  • don’t be afraid to ask for help and express your feelings;
  • take the time to ask yourself if you are focusing on the worst-case scenario and what some other alternatives may be;
  • give others a chance;
  • look for evidence that you can trust others and know that if things don’t go well you are already experienced at ending a situation.

Fear Archetype #5: The Self-Doubter

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This fear archetype is dominated by the fear of not being good enough. Those who self-doubt tend to feel insecure about themselves and their capabilities. Therefore, they can find it difficult to put themselves out there.

The Self-Doubter often judges others to mask his own fears and insecurities.

Such people may also struggle with feelings of intense jealousy toward someone who is doing the things they wish they could do. This jealousy may manifest itself in the form of sarcasm, gossip, or criticism.

These people are very insecure about themselves. In fact, they are afraid of themselves and their self-expression. Here there is a fear of the opinions of others, and the fear of not being good enough or not qualified enough.

Doubts prevent such people from starting something new. They doubt and criticize themselves and often envy those who succeed.

Are you the Self-Doubter?

You can consider yourself as the Self-Doubter if you:

  • avoid trying new things or taking risks because you don’t believe in yourself or your abilities;
  • often feel jealous;
  • frequently struggle with feeling unworthy or unqualified;
  • tend to be hypercritical of yourself and others.

What can you do?

  • start doing what you’ve always wanted to do and dreamed of, even if it seems scary;
  • step outside of your comfort zone every once in a while and take note of the outcome.

Fear Archetype #6: The Excuse Maker

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This fear archetype struggles most with the fear of taking responsibility. It can also manifest itself as the fear of being held accountable, or the fear of being found at fault.

Instead of stepping up to lead every once in a while, the Excuse Maker finds himself taking a backseat to avoid accountability. They prefer to let others make decisions for them avoiding personal responsibility.

Such people are terrified of having the finger pointed in their direction. Therefore they always look for someone or something to blame for why they can’t do something.

Are you the Excuse Maker?

You can consider yourself as the Excuse Maker if you:

  • tend to shift blame and avoid responsibility;
  • get nervous at the idea of being in charge;
  • feel uncomfortable with making a final decision, for fear of being blamed for an unfavorable outcome;
  • are prone to blame any current struggles on other people or circumstances.
  • often have an explanation for why you are not able to do something.

What can you do?

  • start with setting small daily goals and stick with them;
  • try the S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely) goal model to help create measurable and realistic goals;
  • break down each of your goals – then you will be able to bring structure and trackability to them.

Fear Archetype #7: The Pessimist

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This fear archetype struggles with the fear of adversity and hardship. Such people often feel victimized due to past or current trauma or difficulties. They can tend to look at hardships as stop signs or a reason to give up.

This fear archetype struggles most with the fear of adversity, which often manifests itself as the fear of pain.

Pessimists are easily waylaid by any challenging circumstances that come their way. This is due to the fact that they are very afraid of adversity and hardship. In difficult situations, they feel like they lack control over them.

In any challenging situation, the Pessimist only sees obstacles and troubles but never sees the opportunities for growth and perseverance. Any problem they face in life is a legitimate reason to give up or to not try at all.

Are you the Pessimist?

You can consider yourself as the Pessimist if you:

  • get stuck in bitterness toward other people or unfair circumstances;
  • struggle to face your circumstances head-on instead of preferring to hide to avoid additional pain;
  • fear of adversity and hardship;
  • tend to feel like there is no real solution for your problem and therefore would rather not try to solve it at all;
  • tend to look at hardships as stop signs or a reason to give up.

What can you do?

  • learn to look at hardships as stepping stones or lessons, instead of roadblocks;
  • see obstacles as an opportunity for growth and perseverance;
  • stop hiding trying to avoid pain;
  • get rid of victim mentality;
  • when something tough gets thrown your way, take a moment to step back and evaluate the situation;
  • when facing a challenge or problem, think about the lesson it might be teaching you, or how you can make the outcome more favorable.

The Bottom Line

Each of us can manifest all these archetypes, but some of them you may find particularly pronounced.

Did you recognize yourself in these fear archetypes? Well… Identifying the type of fear is the first step to overcoming it!


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Personal Development

8 Easy Ways to Stop Negative Internal Dialogue

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Negative Internal Dialogue Image

Have you noticed that anytime you are in a decisive, learning, or any other thought process, there is a persistent internal dialogue going on in your mind? This inner speech comes naturally, enabling us to reason so that we make decisions based on the current situation. However, it mostly refers to our past failures and successes as stored in our subconscious mind.

For example, a tough past can provoke a negative internal dialogue that affects our moods. In addition, sometimes this inner speech works to beat ourselves up with unhappy thoughts and negative language. For example, it reinforces anxiety when we are worried.

Nevertheless, did you know that you could manage your internal dialogue to safeguard your mental wellbeing? Yes, you can stop a negative internal dialogue and replace it with a positive one. Here is how.

Self-Awareness

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First, can you effortlessly tune in to your internal dialogue? Are you aware of when and why it happens? You can only stop negative thoughts if you know what brings them in the first place.

Meditation

We live in a world that bombards us with lots of stimuli. Think of kids who need your attention, the TV, social media scrutinizing our lives, and multiple cell phone messages and calls. Plus, we all work so hard to succeed in our careers, finances, and family.

These stimuli and aspirations rarely allow us time for silence and reflection. If you are living a fast-paced life, meditation can help you focus on your thoughts. For example, practicing Inner Smile meditation quiets the mind of all the negative thoughts, even for a few minutes.

And, if the traditional meditation techniques are a no-no to you, you can: –

  • Enjoy a forest bath in the public park
  • Spare some minutes each day to tend to your garden
  • Listen to guided sleep meditation each night
  • Take deep breaths

 Mindful Thinking

If you are new to meditation, you can practice mindful thinking throughout the day. It will help you understand what is lingering in your mind at different times. That way, you can identify the sequence of activities that lead you to think the way you do.

Meditation and mindful thinking will help you to stop negative internal dialogue by: –

  • Knowing if and when you have dominant-negative or positive thoughts. What occupies your mind?
  • Pin-pointing your dominant time orientation. Do you think more about the past, future, or present?
  • Identifying to what extent these thoughts affect your moods. How far does your internal dialogue go if left unattended?
  • Determining your source of motivation especially if you desire to improve yourself.

Replacing Negative Internal Dialogue with a Positive One

Positive Internal Dialogue Image

Practice Positive Affirmations

Is your mind drifting into a negative internal dialogue? First, say stop. Then, start reading or reciting positive affirmations. Positive affirmations are powerful in arresting fears and worries that affect our thought process. These affirmations allow us to live our lives in the present and accept our current stages in life.

To practice positive affirmations, it requires lots of repetition. Here are some tips: –

  • Use present tense when affirming yourself
  • State the feelings you want and your subconscious mind will own them
  • Pin the affirmations in the kitchen, dressing table, and walkways. Listen to them before you sleep, when driving to work, or when relaxing on a Sunday afternoon

Create a Confidence Boost

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Negative internal dialogue dampens our self-confidence. When this happens, we struggle to stay motivated and productive. To deal with this challenge, come up with an awesome list. This list is your confidence boost whenever your internal dialogue makes you beat yourself up. Here are things you can include in your Awesome list: –

Maintain a Gratitude Journal

A gratitude journal is similar to an awesome list, only that you use it to remind yourself of what you have achieved so far. For example, you can list the top 10 things that you are thankful for. Refer to this list at least once or twice a week. Write or read this journal as part of your existing habit. Read and update your journal when taking your coffee, riding the bus, or preparing to sleep. By making it a habit, you can stay consistent in acknowledging your achievements.

Be Your Friend

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Negative internal dialogue is like an enemy within you that you struggle to control. We often put ourselves down using powerful thoughts that we would never use on someone else. For example, when you look in the mirror, the internal dialogue may shame your body using a harsh description of your flaws. Yet, you wouldn’t critic a friend in the same way if you were to describe them.

Then, why not start looking at this inner speech as your friend? When you do so, you will make it a habit to look for positives in your life.

Live in the Present

Do you struggle to live in the present? Are you finding it hard to let go of your past, or are too anxious to get into the future? You could be going through a difficult phase of life that makes it hard to live in the present. Because of that, your internal dialogue keeps reminding you of a time when things were better. Likewise, you could be struggling with a tough past. You need to change your view of today. Believe that each moment you have is a gift. Learn to forgive and let go.

Have a Support Network

Sometimes, our negative self-talk can overwhelm us to the point of harming us. Think of the times when you want to improve your skills and apply for a promotion, but your internal dialogue tells you that you’ve never achieved anything. Create a support network of family and friends who will be on the lookout for any negative behavior changes in you. This support system will help you get through anxiety, depression, or get you back to reality.

The Bottom Line

Ikigai philosophy Image

Note that our thoughts and feelings are not always reality. And, 85% of what we worry about never happens. Then, the best approach to stop internal dialogue is by attacking it through meditation and mindful thinking. Once you identify it, you can change your thought process through positive affirmations, maintaining confidence boosters, and gratitude journals. Still, a support network of friends or family can help you get back to reality when your thought process drifts you into self-harm.


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