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Posted by on Nov 28, 2018 in Motivation, Self Improvement

10 Ways to Motivate Yourself When You Don’t Have the Support You Need

self motivation - stones

"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced." Vincent Van Gogh

"If we all did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves." Thomas Alva Edison

"Talk to yourself like you would to someone you love." Brené Brown

What do all of these quotes have in common?

They're all about self-confidence and self-motivation, and today we’re going to talk about exactly that – how to motivate yourself.

One of the most difficult things we are challenged to do at various points in life, especially when navigating our way through periods of transition and transformation, is to motivate ourselves when we lack the support we need (or have become accustomed to having) from family, friends or other people we know and have relationship with.

Being your own cheerleader can be difficult if it's not something you're accustomed to doing, or if you're experiencing a particularly difficult set of circumstances.

But as with most things, it's not impossible. And sometimes in life, the only encouragement and motivation you'll receive is that which you provide yourself.

No matter how down, stressed, or alone you feel, you can achieve self-motivation. Sure, it’s always easier when you have a support system, but even without others to encourage you, you can go on, move forward, make progress.

You can learn how to self motivate yourself – all you need is you. And if you can learn to be your own cheerleader, you can change your entire life.  


What is self motivation?

Before we talk about the different ways to motivate yourself, let's take a look at exactly what self-motivation is.

Simply put, self-motivation is the force that drives you to do things without the influence of other people, and regardless of the situation.

It is the force that will push you to succeed, even after failure.

It is the force that will drive you towards your goals, even when you feel like the entire world is against you.

And did you notice how we said “without the influence of other people?” This means that all you need is you!


But I want to be clear before we go further...

No man (or woman) is an island. Any successful person I've ever met or heard about has attained their success with the help of others!

Building relationships and partnerships, both personal and professional is an important key, no matter what you're involved in or attempting to achieve.

However, there can be points in life where, for whatever reason, you have little or no support from others for the direction in which you're going.

It's during these times that you have to know how to keep yourself motivated, so that you can continue to make progress. Got it?


Why is it important to find ways to motivate yourself?

• Self motivation drives us to succeed, to overcome, and to move forward in the face of adversity.

• Self motivation pushes you to constantly learn and grow, despite your current situation.

• Self motivation is an important key to success.

• It encourages you to heal and inspire yourself everyday.

• Self motivation teaches you that you are the leader of your own destiny.

In other words, self motivation is what drives you to succeed in life.

In circumstances where you lose hope, where you don’t have support, or where you just feel like giving up, it is self motivation that can keep pushing you forward.

And eventually, if you persist you will achieve success, and through success, you have the opportunity to achieve happiness.


What are the characteristics of a self motivated person?

When it comes to motivating yourself, there are some key characteristics that you should strive to achieve.

The difference between those who are self motivated and those who are not self motivated is that those who are self-motivated:

• See the bigger picture. They leave the past in the past, and they look forward to the future.

• Are extremely optimistic. They see the glass as half full, and when times are tough and challenging, they convince themselves that they can still fill that glass.

• Are confident and believe that they have the power to succeed.

• Are committed to life long learning, and accept that they are not a knower of all things. Those who are self-motivated can recognize and admit their failures, and use them to learn and grow.

• Are persistent and determined.

• Are able to rise above adversity.

• Engage in self reflection in an effort to recognize their strengths and weaknesses - and then use them to their advantage.


Can you learn how to motivate yourself?

Absolutely! Self motivation is a skill.

This means that we aren’t born as self-motivators.

We are either taught self-motivation, or we aren’t.

The good news about this is that because self-motivation is a skill, it can be learned - and it is never too late in life to teach yourself.

It will take time, it will take dedication, and it will take patience.

But with a little patience and practice, self motivation is a skill you can acquire.

So how do you motivate yourself?

self motivation - believe in yourself


Here Are 10 Ways to Motivate Yourself When You Don’t Have the Support You Need:


1) Recognize that the most important element to your success is you.

If you want to know how to motivate yourself, the first step is to recognize that you are the key.

As we said earlier, having a cheerleader by your side is helpful, but it’s not a necessity – you can succeed without one.

In the words of Mastin Kipp, “You have all you need within you to become the best version of yourself”.

2) Work on building your self-esteem

An important part of self-motivation is believing in yourself and your abilities.

But how are you ever going to believe this if you don’t have self esteem? You can say it, but you won’t ever achieve it if you don’t actually believe it. And in order to believe it, you need to work on your self confidence.

And once again, you’re in luck, because like self-motivation, self-esteem is something that you can learn. Here are some tips to help you do that:

Be mindful. You can’t change things that you don’t recognize, so start becoming aware of your negative self talk.

As soon as you see yourself going down a path of negativity, act immediately to change your perspective.

Instead of thinking, “I can’t do it”, say “I can do it because of … (x, y and z)”.

Even if you don’t believe it at first, with practice over time your brain will eventually start to convince you that it’s true.

Don’t believe everything you think.

Your thoughts are just thoughts. They’re not always true.

Just because your brain says you can’t, doesn’t mean you can’t.

Be conscious of your thought patterns, and start distinguishing between fact and fiction.

Stop comparing yourself - you will always lose.

No matter who you are, there will always someone out there who is prettier, who is happier, who is wealthier, who has a better life.

Stop making comparisons and just focus on you.

Focus on things that make you happy.

Surround yourself with people who make you happy, and remove people who bring negativity to your life.

If necessary, speak to a professional.

We all have moments where we feel down on ourselves, but if this is a persistent factor in your life, it might be time to speak to a professional.

A counselor or psychologist can help you to pinpoint the reasons why you feel the way you feel, and can help you to look at yourself and your life objectively.

3) Recognize what your strongest motivators are

If you’re looking for ways to motivate yourself, you need to understand what your strongest motivators are.

There are two different types of motivation: Intrinsic and extrinsic.

Intrinsic motivators are those driven by passion.

When you are intrinsically motivated by something, you are doing it because you want to, because you enjoy it, or because you find it fulfilling.

Extrinsic motivators are those driven by reward.

When you are extrinsically motivated by something, you are doing it because you have to - not because you want to.

Imagine you work in a factory.

You hate your job, but you show up at work everyday anyways. Why?

Because you are extrinsically motivated to do so.

You don’t work because you want to, you work because you have to pay your bills. Now imagine you are a counselor.

You love going into work because you know that you are going to make a difference in someone’s life today.

Now you are intrinsically motivated.

You are going to work because you want to and because you are passionate about it.

Having said that, you might also have some extrinsic motivation as well.

Yes you love your job, but you also have bills to pay.

Now you are both intrinsically and extrinsically motivated.

Everyone is different, and everyone is motivated by different things.

When it comes to motivating yourself, different things may work at different times in your life.

The key is to tap into what motivates you and use it to your advantage.

If you’re not sure, make a list of the things that you do, and ask yourself, “how do you motivate yourself?”

What made you get out of bed this morning? Why did you go to work?

What motivated you to go to dinner with your friends?

The sooner you can learn what motivates you, the sooner you can start using it to your advantage.

4) Stay enthusiastic

When we set goals for ourselves, we’re often extremely enthusiastic about accomplishing that goal.

But shortly thereafter, the enthusiasm runs dry.

This is why, out of the majority of people that set New Years resolutions for themselves, only a small percentage actually follow through.

There are a million things that can make you lose enthusiasm - failures, road blocks, stress, fatigue, and so on and so forth.

But if you can regain your enthusiasm, you can convince yourself to continue moving forward.

You can do this by reminding yourself why you were enthusiastic in the first place. What were your initial motivations?

If you can remind yourself why you were motivated in the first place, you can re-ignite your desire again.

When motivating yourself and looking for ways to regain enthusiasm, it doesn’t hurt to make a vision board.

A vision board is a tool that many people use to help them focus on a specific life goal.

It often includes pictures, quotes, or other things related to your end goal.

For example, if your goal is to earn enough money to take a vacation, you might post pictures on your board of your ideal vacation destination.

Anytime you lose sight of your motivations for going to work, you can refer back to the board, regain excitement, and focus on new ways to motive yourself once again.

5) Set small, achievable goals

When it comes to motivating yourself, you want to set high expectations, with small achievable goals.

Yes, it’s okay to have big goals, in fact it's greatly beneficial, but you need to break those big goals down into smaller, more achievable goals.

Why? Because big goals can be overwhelming.

I want to lose 60 pounds in 1 year” - that’s a huge goal.

Yes, it’s obtainable, but it sounds overwhelming.

And when we become overwhelmed, we run the risk of failing.

So how do you motivate yourself to accomplish such a massive goal? You break it down.

Instead of “I will lose 60 pounds in 1 year”, let’s try:

I will lose 5 pounds a month for one year” or “I will lose 1.25 pounds a week for 1 year”.

As you can see, when we break the goal down it doesn’t sound quite as scary - it sounds more achievable.

In return, we’re more likely to conquer it.


fun spelled out in logos


6) Make your activities fun

This one is a no-brainer. If you want to be motivated, make your activities fun!

Extrinsic motivation is a great thing to have, but the best motivators are one’s that are intrinsic.

And fun is a very strong intrinsic motivator.

Want to lose weight but hate going to the gym?

Try a zumba or dance class instead.

Need to write a paper but have 100 other things you’d rather be doing?

Find a way to make a game out of your writing project.

Need to learn something new? Listen to a podcast, enroll in a video course or participate in a webinar or Facebook group where you can connect with others and be more engaged than if you simply read the information.

You can motivate yourself by finding ways to enjoy the things you have to do to reach your goals.

That way, even the tasks you least enjoy doing become more appealing and thus easier to do.

7) Work to build your optimism

When life gets tough, finding ways to motivate yourself can be difficult.

This is where developing optimism can prove beneficial.

By developing a more positive outlook, we can find a way to push ourselves and persevere when times are troublesome, or get back up and try again when we fail or falter.

But how can you stay optimistic during tough times?

Learn from others - Inspiration for optimism is everywhere. You might not have it in your home or in your immediate surroundings, but you don’t have to go far to search for it. Athletes, concentration camp survivors, our favorite movie stars - they have all found hope in the face of adversity. And if you can listen to their stories, you can learn from them.

Look for the positives of your situation.

Exercise - Sitting around and overthinking never did anyone any good. Get out, move around, exercise, go for a walk - once our blood starts flowing, our happiness levels increase, and our negative self thoughts get replaced with more creative ones.

Focus on your blessings.

Stop exaggerating - In stressful times, it’s easy to over-exaggerate a problem. Stop doing this. It causes unnecessary stress. Remember to distinguish fact vs fiction.

8) Change your surroundings

If you’re feeling down, lonely, depressed, and unmotivated, try changing your surroundings.

When it comes to motivating yourself, a fresh outlook may be all that you need.

If laying in bed or sitting at your desk staring at a blank computer screen isn’t giving you the motivation you need (as if either of those would), try going for a walk, head to the local coffee shop, or spend some time at the lake or the beach.

Sometimes changing your surroundings helps to open up a new perspective, and that is all you need to change yours.

9) Join a group

If you ever feel alone, just remember that you’re not actually alone - unless you want to be.

If you don’t have a support system to help provide you a source of encouragement or motivation, go out and create your own.

Support groups are literally everywhere.

Just gone through a divorce?

There are support groups for that!

Recently lost your job?

There are resources for that.

Need to make a huge life decision?

There are coaches and counselors for that.

Need to get out and make new friends?

There are classes and events for that.

There are numerous ways to meet new people, and you’d be surprised at how many of them are going through the same thing as you.

Give new experiences a chance, and you could meet someone that needs your support for self-motivation too.

10) Forgive yourself and move on

We’ve been taking about how to motivate yourself, but one important key to self-motivation is knowing how to forgive yourself.

Learn to forgive yourself for your past mistakes, and for those you'll undoubtedly make in the future.

We're all human, and we all make mistakes.

What’s important isn’t the fact that you’ve made mistakes, but that you learn from those experiences, pick yourself up and move forward.


Final Thoughts...

Self-motivation is a skill, and skills aren’t learned overnight.

They take time, practice and patience.

The point is that you should never feel that you can't accomplish what you envision.

You can; even when there's no one else to encourage you.

You can encourage yourself.

With the right motivation, belief in yourself and A LOT of hard work you can certainly succeed – whatever that vision of success is to you.

"Successful people have fear, successful people have doubts, and successful people have worries. They just don't let these feelings stop them." T. Harv Eker

"It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves." Sir Edmund Hillary

Best! I believe in you!


10 easy ways to motivate yourself


Kimberly Clay

Kimberly Clay is the founder and creative force behind What She Say. She’s a business professional, writer and editor who’s been creating and managing digital content for nearly twenty years. Her work is now focused in the areas of self-improvement and personal development, and she is passionate about helping other individuals, especially women, to find a path for living their best life.

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Posted by on Oct 19, 2018 in Personal Development, Personal Growth, Self Improvement

What To Do When You Make A Mistake

What to do when you make a mistakeOkay. I admit it.

I have certainly made my share of mistakes in life.

When you make a mistake, it's not always an easy thing to admit.

We all want other people to think well of us, and part of that desire is to appear as if we do things right all the time.

As if we don't make mistakes.

But for many of us, there comes a time in life when the light bulb goes on, and we realize that our lives are full (FULL!) of mistakes because at the root of it all, we are imperfect beings.

We ALL make mistakes.

So you messed up, we all do it. Maybe you accidentally insulted someone or hurt the feelings of a friend.

Or maybe you had a misunderstanding at work.

Either way, you may be feeling embarrassed and upset, which is perfectly understandable.

Who wants to go around hurting people they care about or creating more drama at work?

And while it may be understandable that you feel badly about having made a mistake, it is important is that you deal with the situation appropriately and move on from this experience.

So, we're going to give you some simple tools.

Here are five tips to help you move on from your mistake.


How to Move On When You've Made A Terrible Mistake


two women sitting by the sea


1. Acknowledge that you made a mistake – The first part of moving on is always acceptance.

It is important to accept your mistake and own it.

If you accept your part of whatever problem occurred, you are going to be better able to move on to the next step.


woman holding yellow flower


2. Apologize – Say “I'm sorry”.

I know. For some of us, it can be very difficult to say “I'm sorry” or to say “I was wrong”, but you must.

If you have hurt someone, if you have wronged them in some way, if you caused harm, you have to own up to it and you have to apologize.

Be sincere – admit your fault/wrong-doing/bad behavior, and express remorse for any hurt/discomfort/problem/inconvenience/damage you've caused.

3. Fix your mistake – Whether this step consists of a simple (or not so simple) apology to someone, making amends or covering costs for damages, coming up with a plan to make things right can be the most empowering part of moving on!

There is nothing more proactive than deciding on a plan to move forward and executing it to the best of your ability.

Everyone in your life will be grateful for your acknowledgment of your part in the problem.


red and blue heart wooden gate


4. Forgive yourself – We all make mistakes, no one in the whole world is perfect!

This feeling that you're having now—the embarrassment and anger at yourself—will fade eventually.

Accept that you messed up and forgive yourself for being human.

Mistakes are a part of life and carrying guilt around with you for every small thing you do won't help you.


diverse group of smiling people


5. Understand and reaffirm to yourself that you are not your mistake – When you make a mistake (even a big one), it's something that you do, it is not who you are.

Your mistake does not define you as a person.

Your mistake is not you.

Do not waste any time dwelling on that negative thought or reinforcing untruths in your mind.

When you make a mistake, it's important to deal with it, appropriately, but then get past it.

With these simple tips you can learn to move on from the mistake that you made and learn from the experience.

Of course you're going to make mistakes. The most important thing is for you to acknowledge them, move on and be kind to yourself and others in the process.

Did you enjoy this post? If so, please share with your family and friends! Thanks!

Kimberly Clay

Kimberly Clay is the founder and creative force behind What She Say. She’s a business professional, writer and editor who’s been creating and managing digital content for nearly twenty years. Her work is now focused in the areas of self-improvement and personal development, and she is passionate about helping other individuals, especially women, to find a path for living their best life.

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Posted by on Oct 2, 2018 in Productivity, Self Improvement

Is Your Procrastination Enabled By Social Media Use? (If Yes, Here’s A Few Solutions)

snapchat on iphone - procrastination and social media


There is a thief among us, and her name is PROCRASTINATION.

She's an elusive, insidious adversary that robs us of our precious time, energy, and productivity; a silent stalker that lulls us into a false sense of efficiency, while in reality we spin our wheels in a desperate attempt to avoid something we don’t want to confront.

In some form or another, procrastination happens to everyone. It may be as benign as making a last minute McDonald’s run because you couldn’t come up with a creative idea for dinner, or it can manifest in the extreme, as when you pull an all-nighter after ignoring an important project deadline.


time clock - procrastination


Procrastination is a time thief, but she doesn't act alone. Her main accomplice is AVOIDANCE, and avoidance has some powerful gizmos in his arsenal that lure us into the time-wasting zone.

These days, social media is procrastination’s weapon of choice, and it is terrifyingly easy to get sucked in. The good news is that you don’t have to be victimized by procrastination; you already possess the tools to beat her at her own game.

What is Procrastination?

The simplest definition of this all-too-human experience is the habitual or intentional delay of starting (or finishing) a task, despite the probability of negative outcomes.

Indecisiveness, boredom, or a feeling of inadequacy can encourage the temptation to procrastinate, making it easy to postpone an unwanted task.

As soon as any of those indicators are present, avoidance strikes with a ping! on your phone, alerting you that someone in your social mediasphere has announced a status change. Of course you feel compelled to react, and procrastination has you in its clutches.


warning-sign procrastination


Warning Signs

Do you find yourself jumping every time there’s a notification from your favorite news outlet? Are you constantly checking email to make sure you don’t miss something? Do you cyber stalk certain people to remain aware of their activities?

If you answered YES to even one of these questions, you may be using social media as a crutch to enable procrastination. Social media is so pervasive – it’s on your phone, PC, laptop, even your smartwatch – it’s just too hard to resist.

Procrastinators instinctively understand that the main benefit of their behavior is stress relief. They are not emotionally prepared to deal with the issue at hand, so they find other tasks to take its place.

According to Mel Robbins, motivational speaker and author of “The 5 Second Rule”, procrastinating is like “a smoke break for the mind.”

Whether you veg out watching cat videos or do a deep dive on Facebook, procrastination is an attempt to cope with fear by employing a distracting activity.

And while you may be quite productive in that distraction, deep-down you know the activity is not moving you toward the more important goal.

That knowledge often causes guilt or shame, leading us to become angry with ourselves for doing it again. If the pattern is repeated frequently enough, the stress begins to manifest in the physical body, and can result in fatigue and illness.


woman working on laptop computer - procrastination

So How Do You Stop??

The College of Applied Health Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign offers some helpful tips for cutting down on social media distractions (and enabling your procrastination):

  • Have a plan – understand that it’s not okay to be on Instagram (or your platform of choice) all day, and plan specific times that you will interact with it Periodically review your usage and change the plan if you are spending more time than you’ve allotted.
  • Manage your physical space – when your work or study space isn’t organized it’s easy to get off track. Minimize the tendency to procrastinate by staying out of the coffee shop, and find a quiet, well-lit place with an ergonomically designed set up conducive to productivity.
  • Try online quarantine – if you lack the discipline to follow your own rules, get help. Online apps like Freedom, Anti-Social, Cold Turkey, or Rescue Time allow you to put a temporary ban on sites you can’t stay away from. (Source)

As our societal dependence on social media and technology grows, the problem of using it to procrastinate is only going to increase.

Start smart by realizing that it’s not necessary to follow every media outlet, and put the brakes on your own usage before it gets out of control.

As always, if you have enjoyed reading this post, please share it with your family and friends. Thanks!


Kimberly Clay

Kimberly Clay is the founder and creative force behind What She Say. She’s a business professional, writer and editor who’s been creating and managing digital content for nearly twenty years. Her work is now focused in the areas of self-improvement and personal development, and she is passionate about helping other individuals, especially women, to find a path for living their best life.

Read More

Posted by on Aug 25, 2018 in Self Improvement

Change Your Life: 30 Self-Improvement Hacks To Get You Out Of A Slump

success self improvement


Create Your Own Self-Improvement Month


We all know the feeling...

Your day to day experience has become a little too routine.

Your free time is spent on the same mundane things, and your after work plans just don’t get you excited the way they used to.

Falling into a slump is a frustrating but ordinary part of adult life, and it can feel like a hole you just can’t dig yourself out of.

Fortunately, when the slump-blues have you down, there are small changes you can make to bring the spark back between you and your life, and help you regain the excitement of living every day to the fullest.

Self-improvement is something we all talk about. All of us, regardless of place in life, have goals we hope to reach and obstacles we hope to conquer as a part of personal growth and development.

Sadly, the hectic trappings of modern life make taking steps towards these goals extremely difficult.

It’s the information age, and for most of us, that constant stream of media and distractions eventually starts to feel like noise.

It’s hard to think straight sometimes, much less plot out our path to our better selves.

Fortunately, we can create our own self-improvement month - a month we choose to dedicate to the small daily steps that will transform our lives to be more positive and productive.

This thirty-day guide will help you take those small steps toward your bigger goals, and ensure that you’ve laid the foundation to close out 2018 (or to begin 2019) with real, tangible progress.

Rest assured you can stress less.

It doesn’t take a week-long retreat or library of audiobooks to set your personal compass in the right direction.

These 30 days of self-improvement will give you an opportunity to refresh your life, clear away the clutter of the past year, and face the future with a renewed sense of self!

woman climber self-improvement

30-Day Self-Improvement Challenge to Help You Dump Your Slump


Day 1. Learn Something New

The trick to broadening your horizons is to keep new ideas flowing.

For a working woman or mother, that can be MUCH easier said than done.

Dedicate yourself to learning one new thing, as completely as you can, in one day.

It can be as complex as taking an art lesson, or as simple as googling one thing you’ve been curious about during your lunch break.

Not sure what a word means? Look it up.

Wondering about the specifics of a historical event? Check it out.

Always been interested in how people make soap? Make it your mission to find out.

Making a small discovery in your free time opens your mind to a world of new ideas and information.

You never know what you may find, or what that discovery may inspire.

Think of one core area of curiosity, and solve the mystery.

This is an easy way to ensure some of the media entering your day is beneficial, even on the most personal level.

Plus, you never know when you may need a new dinner conversation starter or ice breaker.


Day 2. Make a New Hang Out Your Mission

A few months ago, a friend of mine fell into the slump of going to the same coffee chain every Sunday to catch up on emails and projects.

Building routines like that feels natural.

We cling to the familiar and end up trapping ourselves into a rut of our own design.

On a whim, she looked up independent coffee places nearby and found an entire list of venues just as convenient, but with a refreshing change of pace (and the wonder of a Vanilla/ Turmeric Latte).

The same can be said for your go-to lunch spot, entertainment venue, or jogging route.

By changing the scenery of your schedule, you open yourself to new experiences without sacrificing productivity.

If you live in an area without a lot of options, going out of your way may seem daunting, but the payoff is well worth it. And I'd be willing to bet even in that scenario, there are places you haven't visited.


Day 3. Explore Your World

Think about your morning commute, or the way you take to your parent’s house, or the route you drive to the hair salon.

Chances are, there are stores, restaurants, and parks that you’ve never felt inclined to check out or had the time to stop in.

On today’s trip, make a deal with yourself to stop and check out one of these potential hidden gems.

This could mean stopping in the antique store you always drive past, or taking a walk through a local museum you’ve never had the time to visit.

In fact, nearly every town has a historical society with a list of preserved local sites.

Stop in, take a look around, and figuratively (or literally) smell the roses.

The more you explore your surroundings, the more at home and at peace you’ll truly feel in your location.


Day 4. Take a Solo Day-cation

I am very well acquainted with the dreadful feeling of realizing it’s mid-august, and I have yet to go on vacation.

In fact, I haven't had one in more than four years.

For some people, that may not be a big deal.

But for someone who lives within a half-day's drive of some of the most alluring outdoor and urban locations in the entire nation, it’s a little disheartening.

That’s when the excuses start to roll in - I’ve been so busy with work, the weather hasn’t been great, who would I even go with?

The excuses rarely do anything to ease the feeling of just missing out on my own life and letting entire seasons pass me by.

Whether you’re a beach local who hasn’t made the short trip to the water's edge, or simply have been eyeing the local spa without the urge to go yourself, taking the leap is worth it!

Waiting around for the right person to go with or the perfect weather will only guarantee that experiences pass you by WITH your consent.

Don’t be afraid to branch out on your own if it means doing the things you’ve been dying to do.

Take a day trip on your own to a place you’ve been meaning to visit.

A little solitude and crossing something off your list is a great opportunity to clear your head and feel a sense of accomplishment.


Day 5. Have a Treat Yourself Day

Busy adult life can suck the excitement out of anticipating the future.

When is the last time you couldn’t sleep from excitement, or found yourself rushing home on a Friday because you couldn’t wait to get to the next thing?

Give yourself a pass to do something that makes you happy today - whether that be a trip to the nail salon, a movie matinee, a free concert in the park, seeing a new art exhibit, a tour of a local winery or a new pair of shoes.

Creating a little joy in your own life is good for you.

There’s freedom in helping yourself to little things you want, and that liberation can carry into other aspects of your life, affecting how you interact with others including family or at work.

An occasional day of indulgence won’t kill you or your budget.

Remember that periodically doing something special or treating yourself as a way of showing appreciation of yourself and valuing you is not a bad thing.


Day 6. Say ‘Yes!’ Today

(Okay. This is a disclaimer. Yes, I do think that Shonda Rhimes is one of the fiercest women on the planet. And in my humble opinion, along with a bunch of other people's opinions that really matter, she's written one of the best books for women, or anyone for that matter, that's come out in a while. There. I said it. Now, back to our story...)

Shonda Rhimes, the award-winning creator of shows like Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy, and Private Practice, and How to Get Away With Murder released a book in 2015 called Year of Yes.

Now, most of us would not spend an entire year saying yes to every opportunity and every goal, but that doesn’t mean you can’t set aside a day and see where the power of ‘yes’ can take you.

Saying yes to possibilities you’re presented with is an important part of maintaining positivity and inspiration in your life, as well as keeping it fresh with a sense of adventure and the unknown.

For the sixth day of self improvement, decide to say yes to one thing you may have typically turned down.

Step out of your comfort zone, and try to have some fun.

Maybe this means saying yes to a date with someone new, accepting an invitation to a society outing or event, or agreeing to be a speaker or presenter for a local community group for the first time.

Maybe it means taking your kids out to the restaurant they’re always begging to try, or finally going with your friends to check out a creative arts and wine class.

Freeing yourself of constant negativity or insular behavior and allowing yourself to just say ‘yes’ is an amazing feeling, and can open you up to so many new and wonderful experiences and possibilities outside of your normal routine.


women hugging self improvement tips
Day 7: Make a Social Follow-Up

Once the school years end and normal life begins, it’s extremely common for us to begin to lose touch with friends and even family members.

We get the social media birthday messages, and tend to respond to texts and emails with phrases like “We should definitely catch up soon!” but then soon never comes.

Today, follow through with one of these plans.

Go out for breakfast with an old roommate, or call up the cousin you haven’t spoken to in forever.

Reaching out, even on the smallest level, deepens valued connections and could brighten someone’s day.

Self-isolation is an unfortunate yet common circumstance these days.

Social media keeps us updated on those around us on an unprecedented level, but it has also (unfortunately) taken away some of the drive for genuine one to one interaction.

Make the effort to bring positive personal connections back into your life one connection at a time.

People truly can fit into your busy schedule with much less stress and effort than you may think. It just takes a little planning.

Bridging and renewing connections is worth the time.

It may offer you an opportunity to share the weight of a burden, or to express excitement about a blessing or accomplishment.

Human interaction and positive, genuine connections are healthy for us all, and important to our efforts toward meaningful self-improvement.


Day 8. Make an ‘I Did!’ List

If you’re anything like me, you may find yourself drowning in lists of things to get done - shopping lists, to do lists, assignment lists, and so on.

Change your perspective along with the dialog in your head by creating a new type of list - an ‘I Did’ list.

I Did lists allow you to reflect on your accomplishments, no matter how small, and raise your own awareness about the small steps you’ve already taken toward your goals.

It’s all about replacing negative inner monologues with something positive.

Set aside time to make and ‘I Did’ list as long and comprehensive as you want.

You can include simple things like “finished weekly shopping” or “gave work presentation”, or big goals like “lost 30 pounds”, “quite smoking this year”, “raised three great kids” or “finished degree”.

Your ‘I Did’ list is all about giving yourself credit for your victories, big or small.

This kind of acknowledgment shines light on just how far you’ve come - a light you definitely deserve!


Day 9. Clean That ONE Area (either your desk, dresser, closet, cabinet etc.)

Spring cleaning, or fall cleaning for that matter, can feel like a HUGE task looming over your head.

No one likes going through the work day knowing there’s a pile of laundry to do or a lawn that needs mowing as soon as you get home.

Or if you're already home, you may dread passing that craft room, work space (or what would be a work space if you could only get in there), or kids space that looks like a total disaster area.

Trying to get everything you need done in one day can be overwhelming and unrealistic on a day when your schedule is already crammed and busy.

But not doing anything about it only makes the task feel bigger, and denies you a sense of accomplishment (and progress) that would be derived from tackling the situation and getting things in order.

Today, make it a point to clean and organize one specific place in your life.

If the desk in your home office is buried in papers, get to work and file them away.

Don't worry about tackling anything else in that space. Today focus only on cleaning the desk.

If the passenger seat in your car has been piled high with old coffee cups, take the time to empty it out.

Sure, it’s not making your entire living space spotless, but organizing one area that’s gotten out of hand will let you breathe a sigh of relief.

And every time you look at it, you'll see it as one thing done and checked off of your “to do” list, so that it may be the motivation you need to get a jump start on the rest of your cleaning.


Day 10. Switch Up Your Commute Survival

What is that certain something that makes your morning a little more bearable?

Maybe it’s a radio station you love, or a podcast that makes you laugh.

Maybe it’s a specific drink from your local coffee shop that you simply can’t function without.

Make today the day you switch up your normal morning “go to”.

Listen to a different radio station, try a new podcast, or order a drink you haven’t tried before.

Self-improvement means journeying outside your comfort zone to find out more about yourself.

Fortunately, you don’t have to take an Eat, Pray, Love style trip to do that.

A small adjustment can do wonders for your day, and you never know what you may learn or find.


Day 11. Collect Your Personal History

If you want to know where you’re going it life, it helps to know where you come from.

This kind of information is extremely personal, and can have varying degrees of accessibility based on your family history.

The simplest way is to spend a few hours looking up your family on an ancestry website, or taking a blood test to screen for nationality percentages.

That being said, not all of us necessarily know much about our parentage, and finding that information may be difficult.

If direct family history isn’t for you, spend some time looking up the history of your home town or former school.

You can even try looking up historical figures and celebrities you share a birthday with.

This information might sound silly, but knowing the foundation of the places and people that shaped us give us a deeper sense of connection to the past, and the world as a whole.

You may find similarities you never expected and stories you’ll appreciate.


Day 12. Give Back Day

The benefits of giving back is one of those “no brainer” activities that people you're familiar with may sound like a broken record about - but the hype is completely true!

Spending a day focused on others not only feels good, but shares some of your inner gifts with people who may really need it. Try volunteering or teaching a valuable skill.

Spend the 12th day of the month doing something that benefits your community.

If your schedule is a little too hectic for a full day volunteering, gather up the gently used clothes you or your family no longer wear, toys, or school supplies and donate them to a local drive.

When kids return to school in the Fall, it’s the perfect time to put items you may not be using to good use elsewhere, and possibly relieving the burden of someone else.

Giving back allows you to brighten someone’s day while also utilizing strengths you may not realize you have, and the icing on the cake is finding a portion of your happiness in a simple act of kindness.

If you can carve out even a small amount of time in your schedule at least once or twice a month, you could greatly benefit someone, or a group of people who really needs the help.


Day 13. Create Something

You’ve probably said one of these phrases before: “I can’t draw.” “I’m not a good writer.” “I’m not a good cook.”

Make today is the day that you tap into your creative side, even if it may not be a side of yourself with which you spend much time.

You don’t have to be an artist to have fun making something. Believe me, I know!

In choosing to make something, take any pressure off of yourself by first assuring yourself that this creation is for you - no judgements, no competition, and no deadline.

Focus on having fun, and be as abstract or crazy as you like.

Making something with the confidence that no one else has to see or taste it - unless you want them to!

Creativity exercises your mind and can be a powerful tool for de-stressing.

If you choose to, you can even try taking fun classes in your community like a paint and sip night.

Try something that makes you happy, or get back to a hobby you haven’t done in a while.

Recharge your battery with your inner muse, you won’t regret it.


scrabble letters quote self improvement tips


Day 14. Find a New Favorite Quote (one that inspires you, makes you laugh, or both)

As we near the middle of the month, take an easy day with an activity that will still keep you on the road to self-improvement.

Check out some of our favorite inspirational quotes, and find one that really speaks to you.

Print it out and hang it up, or put it somewhere you will see it often like on your mirror or your refrigerator.

You’ll be amazed at what such a simple “pick me up” can do in moments of high stress or low motivation.


Day 15. Conquer a Fear

We’re ringing in the actual halfway point with a day that is a little more challenging.

Conquering a fear doesn’t mean you have to go bungee jumping or hold a snake (unless you really want to).

There are small fears we deal with every day - Making a suggestion during a meeting, trying that food you’ve never thought you’d like, or letting your kids venture out to their first sleepover.

Today’s the day to pick one of these limiting fears and overcome it.

You’ll be amazed how small mental giants can be once you face up to them.

Even if things don’t go ideally - if your suggestion is shot down or Indian food is definitely too spicy for you - knowing that you were stronger for that mental block for even a moment can be an empowering feeling.

And you never know, maybe your business idea will be a huge hit, and maybe that intimidating looking menu item will become your new favorite food.

You’ll never know if you don’t try!


Day 16. Compliment Five People

Learning to value and appreciate yourself is an important aspect of improving your outlook on life, but it’s also important to remember that those around you may also need a little confidence boost every now and then.

Today, give five people with whom you come in contact the sincerest compliment you can formulate.

This is something I began to do several years ago as a small way of connecting with strangers (because I am very much the introvert), and I found that I enjoy it very much, especially when I encounter people who seem to be having a less than stellar day.

Your complement doesn’t have to be anything elaborate.

Something as simple as telling the cashier at the grocery store you like her necklace is a small act of kindness that could give her the extra push she needs to get through the day.

If you’re at work, letting a coworker know that you appreciate their help on a recent project, or admire their creativity or resourcefulness is a great way to communicate something positive.

Making someone else’s day may be just what you need to make your pwn.

I can tell you from experience that it just feels good to make the world a little brighter as you go.

money jar self-improvement tips
Day 17. Start a ‘Rainy Day’ Fund


It’s something we all know we absolutely should do, but many of us struggle with at one point in life or another.

So if you haven't started saving, today's your day.

Today, find a box or jar and make a small personal deposit of a few dollars. And if you can't manage that, scrounge up some change. Don't be ashamed, I've been there. The point is to just start!

The first step tends to be the hardest, and making even the smallest contribution puts you on the road to building a solid saving plan.

Sit down and think about what options are realistic for you to save consistently, and then commit yourself to stick to it.

Whether that's dumping the spare change from the bottom of your purse into the jar every week, or taking $20 out of each paycheck.

Start today, and think through a reasonable plan for the future.

If you already have a solid savings account, use this opportunity to start saving for a special treat or experience or something you’ve had your eye on.

Challenge yourself to build a financial safety net starting today.


Day 18. Have a De-stress Day

Relaxation time is a complicated concept for most of us that work full time (in the workplace, or as a parent).

The idea of finding time to pamper yourself may (ironically) also be a source of stress.

Today, plan thirty minutes to indulge in a de-stressing activity.

Meditate, take a bubble bath, draw, journal, or just take a half hour nap.

We all need a little mental and physical rest from time to time, and adding it into your self- improvement plan is a great way to ensure you get it.


Day 19. Stay Away From One Bad Habit for a Whole Day

I promise - I’m not insisting that you quit smoking in one day.

Your bad habit doesn’t have to be anything too severe.

Instead, think of a little thing you do every day that is counterproductive.

This can mean habits like biting your nails, procrastinating on work emails, or putting off getting gas until your car’s ‘help me!’ light comes on.

Overcoming a destructive habit even for one day points you in a better direction for the future.

Plus, if you can do without it once, why stop there?

See if you can pull it off for two or three days.

Baby steps are all it takes to put yourself on track to overcoming habits that hold you back.

woman on mountain self improvement


Day 20. Spend Some Time Outdoors

You’ve definitely heard this eternal PSA from therapists and doctors and the PBS Channel...

Get outside, enjoy the sunshine- it’s good for you!

The repeated message may be annoying, but it’s true.

Sunlight and fresh air are good both physically and mentally, as both promote needed physical exercise and help to combat depression.

Today, take some time outdoors.

If you work full time, try having lunch outside or taking a lap around the building on your break.

If you work from home, take some work outside and enjoy the air.

I should note however, that if the weather is terrible today, feel free to swap it out with a different day- but don’t forget it!


Day 21. Say ‘No’ Today

It’s time to do the opposite of Day 6 and find the freedom in saying no!

Maybe you’re someone who has a hard time declining doing favors for others, or ends up doing the brunt of the work on a group project.

Today, say no to something that you want to say no to.

Doing this allows you to experience the satisfaction of living a day on your own terms, and giving yourself permission to let go of things that don’t make you happy.

It may be difficult or uncomfortable to say no, but learning to better establish boundaries for things we don't want to do or wish to be a part of is a valuable learning experience and self-development tool.


Day 22. Check One Thing Off the ‘Eventually’ List

My eventually list involves the following: plan my dream weekend vacation (so that it becomes a real experience and not just fantasy), fix the faulty seal on my car and have the oil changed, and pay my friend a long overdue visit.

Eventually lists are another trap we spring on ourselves, putting off difficult or inconvenient things until tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow.

Today, identify your eventually list, and cross one thing off.

That's it. Just one thing.

This might mean putting some time aside for what you know will be a long phone conversation, or standing in line at the DMV, but the thing about eventually lists is that they all – eventually - need to get done.

Experience the success of making your list one item shorter- it might be a bit inconvenient now, but you'll be happier and feel better once you've done it.


Day 23. Listen to a New Artist

After the frustration of dealing with your eventually list, the 23rd day of the month is much easier.

Find a new artist online or through whatever app you use to stream music, and give them a listen.

Music is an emotional and personal experience that we can enjoy.

There are songs that draw us back into treasured memories, or bring on a feeling of joy and confidence.

Today, try to find a new favorite song.

Branch out into artists you’ve been meaning to listen to, or an album your friends have recommended.

You can even make it a point to find a new personal anthem.

Today goes back to the idea of broadening your horizons; something absolutely critical to becoming your best self.

You may not like everything you find, but you may also discover a new song you’ll be singing in the car for a week.

So go take a look, or more specifically, a listen.


woman yoga pushup self-improvement


Day 24. Try Out a Wellness Trend

No one is too cool for wellness.

That’s something I have to remind myself on a regular basis.

Sometimes the ‘everybody’s doing it’ mentality actually draws us away from something that may be beneficial.

Today, try out a wellness trend that’s been on your radar, but you haven’t felt like trying yet.

There are simple trends, like using lavender essential oil to relax, or switching out your morning coffee for a green tea.

If you have an opening in your schedule today, try stopping in for a yoga class or seeing what a kale smoothie is like.

Wellness trends catch on because they work for or offer relief to a large number of people.

Get out of your own way.

Worst case scenario is that you confirm that a trend is not for you, but then again, you may find a perfect match.


Day 25. Unplug for a Day

Not having access to electronics may be a real source of anxiety for some these days.

You just may be one of the people for whom it is true.

What if you miss that important new alert, or significant post from a friend?

The “what ifs” can drive you crazy, and leave you obsessively monitoring your phones and computers.

Today is a day to unplug, and venture into the waters of being fully present with yourself.

If work or family commitments keep you from fully leaving your phone behind, make a deal with yourself to stay off of all forms of social media and unnecessary internet/ tv use for the day.

It may sound cliché, but try reading a book or spending time reflecting and brainstorming on your future goals and plans.

You may find that you don’t need to stay digitally connected as much as you thought, and this could be a great way to get a start on that ever- growing reading list collecting dust on your shelf.


Day 26. Practice Your Communication

Unless you’re a motivational speaker or professional therapist, chances are you could use a little work on communication.

Expressing our feelings and needs is something we all struggle with from time to time.

This can be especially true in new relationships, navigating complications with coworkers, and maintaining a strong bond with family.

Make a list today of five things you’d like to communicate better - a feeling you haven’t been able to relay to your loved ones, or a frustration at work you haven’t figured out how to address.

By writing down these issues and giving thoughtful contemplation to them, you can begin to formulate the best plan to solve or overcome them.

You can also try listing five issues you think you have with communication (perhaps reacting with an uncontrolled temper, being too soft spoken, or exaggerating when talking to friends).

By identifying your weak spots, you make room for change and set an internal alarm to call yourself out when making these communication mistakes in the future.

Changing these sorts of habits may take a little effort and a little time, but by starting today, you're putting a best foot forward.


Day 27. Attend a Local Event

It’s time to pick up one of those flyers you ignore on your way out of the grocery store or Starbucks and commit to sampling what your community has to offer.

Attend a local concert, a craft fair, or symposium.

Even if you aren’t typically the type to venture out to public events, giving it a try can bring you closer to your community and open doors with your neighbors.

Take a look a few days ahead and find something that might be interesting.

This is also a great opportunity to invite an old friend for an evening out, or plan a date night with your significant other.


Day 28. Get Rid of Ten Useless Things

Even though I've gotten much better at purging things in recent years, I probably still have half a closet full of clothes I haven’t worn in the last three of those years.

Our belongings are sometimes hard to part with, and a lot of us would rather accumulate clutter than go through the process of letting some things go.

Here's a tip...

Let it go!

Chances are you don’t need fifteen oversized sweatshirts, or your old work out VHS tapes or dvd's from a gazillion years ago.

Even if you're the most stubborn of pack rats, you can find ten items that have outstayed their welcome in your life.

This is also a great opportunity to ditch mementos of an old (but toxic) relationship or periods of your life that weren't so great and are best left in the past.

Round ten items up, and toss them (or recycle, if that’s possible).


Day 29. Write Yourself an Apology

Okay, this is not about beating yourself up or making yourself feel guilty for mistakes or bad habits - quite the opposite.

Today, write yourself a letter apologizing for some of the negative things you tell yourself that limit you from reaching your full potential.

Read it to yourself aloud, and concentrate on not only acknowledging these negative thoughts, but forgiving them and letting them go.

This will allow you to arrive at the end of the month with a clean mental slate, and on the foundation of a better relationship with yourself.

goals calendar self-improvement tips
Day 30. Make a Goal for Next Month

Before you get stressed...Don’t worry! Setting a goal for the first day of next month does not mean you have to keep pushing and pushing indefinitely.

Take this last day of this month to congratulate yourself for all of your hard work, and allow yourself to genuinely feel the success of making it through.

But don’t limit yourself to feeling like this month was your only month of progress.

Build on the foundation you've created during this time by setting a goal for the first of next month.

Set your own personal goal, or repeat one of this month's goals that really resonated with you.

The end of this self-improvement month doesn’t mean the end of self-improvement.

It means you’ve set a solid foundation for your future and taken tangible steps toward becoming the best version of you. Be proud of that!

Choose this self-improvement month to jump-start your life, get out of your slump or simply make things seem new and fresh by pushing boundaries and expanding your horizons in a healthy way.

If you haven’t been able to complete all thirty days, don’t be disheartened.

Every step is still a step and a move in the right direction toward meeting your personal growth goals.

Depending on your schedule, it may not be possible to complete all thirty days' activities in order- that’s okay too!

Rework the days to fit your life.

Making the commitment to thirty days of self-improvement is an important step in and of itself, even if the 25th day isn’t the best day to be away from your phone.

Self-improvement is about being the best you that YOU envision!

Remember that, and you’ll find all the success you’re looking for.

You made it through the 30-day Self-Improvement Challenge!

Yay you!

Love and Peace!

If you like this post, please share it with your family and friends! Thanks!

Kimberly Clay

Kimberly Clay is the founder and creative force behind What She Say. She’s a business professional, writer and editor who’s been creating and managing digital content for nearly twenty years. Her work is now focused in the areas of self-improvement and personal development, and she is passionate about helping other individuals, especially women, to find a path for living their best life.

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Posted by on Aug 11, 2018 in How To Get Unstuck, Personal Growth, Self Improvement, Success

12 Limiting Beliefs You Must Abandon Now to Reach Your Breakthrough

african american woman in field - limiting beliefs


The Bad News: Limiting Beliefs Are Blocking Your Success.
The Good News: You Can Fix It.


I'm not good enough. I am not as smart, beautiful, or successful as... I can’t.

I’m sure you've told yourself those (or similar) things at some point in life – I have.

These limiting beliefs are the reason many of us feel stuck wherever we are.

We’re supposed to be our own biggest cheerleaders, but it’s easy to become our most powerful enemies, blocking ourselves from achieving our real potential.

Mid-century American journalist and author Mignon McLaughlin once said, “Learning too soon our limitations, we never learn our powers.”

That’s the thing... as women, we are powerful. We create and nurture our families, we multi-task, we create Pinterest-worthy living rooms on thrift store budgets – and yet at the same time, we also have the power to make ourselves feel powerless.

To reach our potential and to become the women we’ve always wanted to be – at any age -- we must first overcome limiting beliefs.

It's only then we are able to aggressively pursue the path to success.

I know. It's easier said than done.

Limiting Beliefs. They’re the ideas and beliefs we hold onto, but that constrain us. They hold us back, hamper us from progressing, and prevent us living up to our potential.

And limiting beliefs are a part of the negative monologue we replay in our heads.

They clip our wings.

These beliefs begin in childhood, and are developed over time.

They form in different ways, but commonly by our holding onto negative thought patterns, opinions and comments of others relative to ourselves, or by taking what often amounts to one negative experience and cementing it as our new normal.

Forming limiting beliefs is an internally damaging way of making your flaws, even (and sometimes especially) imagined ones, the truth of who you are.

Then constantly repaying those flaws or negative experiences on a mental loop when you are faced with unfamiliar situations, taking risks or trying something new.

Most women have a set of limiting beliefs ranging from a mild form of protective discouragement to the much more extremes of pure self-hatred.

Regardless of how long you’ve cultivated them, limiting beliefs do not have to be your reality.

Developing methods of identifying and circumventing these negative thought patterns and monologues is a critical step in building a healthy self-image and helping you to live a life you deem successful.

Surprisingly enough, we have common limiting beliefs. Following is a list of twelve quite common limiting beliefs that stop us from achieving our true potential along with some helpful tips for overcoming them. Some you may recognize from your own experience.

sunlight through woods - limiting beliefs


Twelve Common Limiting Beliefs and
What You Can Do About Them


1. I don’t have enough (time/money/resources…etc.)

Focusing on what you don’t have is easy.

If we’re being honest with ourselves, we’d all be happier with a little more time on our hands, cash in our wallets, and so on.

Most of the top ten limiting beliefs focus on what we don’t have.

But it’s easy to focus on what you don’t have.

Instead of doing that though, take a moment to express gratitude for what you do have.

Then move forward out of that familiar place of concentrating on what you lack.

Instead, use the resources you already have to get more money (whether it's putting yourself in position to get or request a raise, actively seeking better-paying job, starting a side-hustle etc.), to gain additional skills, to better manage your time, to become the person you ultimately want to be.

2. It’s too late

At the end of the day – especially in the age of social media – it’s so easy to compare ourselves against others' accomplishments. This makes the notion of “too late” one of the most common limiting beliefs, but it’s a limiting belief we can overcome.

Maybe you grew up with a mother who constantly reminded you that your biological clock is ticking.

Maybe you've found something you’re passionate about later in life and feel overwhelmed by the steps it would take to turn that passion into a career...

Women are especially sensitive to “watching the clock” in terms of how old we are and how much less time we think we have to accomplish the things we'd like, compared to someone who is younger.

Society conditions us that way.

We’re surrounded by images of youth as a symbol for women’s health and importance - a system which is not only unfair, but extremely negative and harmful.

By the time we're 25, others often feel the need to remind us that we had better get a move on.

Find the career, get married, have kids, acquire a nice house . And don’t forget to hide any wrinkles, blemishes, gray hairs, or other imperfections flawlessly while you’re at it.

As women, we tend to fall straight out of our teen-aged years and young adulthood into a vast limbo between “not that young” and “not yet elderly”.

In the rush, many of us lose track of what really brings meaning to our lives.

By the time we rediscover them again, the “It’s too late” voice comes through loud and clear.

“I always wanted to be an artist but…”
“I always wanted to spend a year traveling but…”
“I wish I could study law but…”
“I wanted to be trilingual but…”

While the “It’s Too Late” belief acknowledges that we want more for ourselves, it sets us up against time as the enemy.

“You can’t have it because there isn’t enough time, “ is an illogical statement.

If you are alive, you still have time to pursue the things you'd like.

If you’re alive, it's not too late.

Managing new goals and learning new things later in life may have added challenges, but there are added advantages as well.

You have the grace of hard earned wisdom to guide your choices.

You have the balance of knowing what does and does not make you happy.

You’re not too late.

3. I am not as good as...

The feeling of a lack of self-worth in comparison with others.

This is a belief many people struggle with regardless of gender or age.

It’s a belief you pick up the first time you’re picked last for a team in gym class, or the first time everyone pays more attention to your best friend (rather than you) at a party.

Unfortunately, it follows us from childhood into adulthood.

Feeling less worthy or valuable in comparison to our peers turns into feeling less valuable in the workplace and at home.

“I’m not as good a mother as my sister.”
“I’m not as good as he is at giving presentations.”
“I’m not as fun a wife as...”
“I’m not as good a writer as the guy doing the main story.”

These negative thoughts are fueled by insecurity and can become a hindrance to performing to the best of your ability at work or at home.

If you’re spending your energy reminding yourself that someone else can do things better, you’re not using that energy toward your own best efforts.

What results is that your beliefs become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

They take your attention and presence out of the situation, and you fail to operate at your maximum proficiency.

What's important to remember in these situations is that each of us is an individual, and thus we have different strengths and weaknesses.

Instead of focusing on how you stack up against the strengths of others, remind yourself of your own strengths.

“I’m not as good at giving presentations,” can turn into “I’m a quick learner. I can easily learn how to speak more effectively.”

“I’m not as good a mother as my sister” can turn into “I’m a very dedicated mother, therefore I can learn to better listen to what my kids have to say”.

Change the narrative of your limiting belief to highlight what makes you qualified and create real solutions.

It’s a much better use of your time and energy.


woman in window - limiting beliefs

4. I don’t know who I am (anymore)

For women, this is another very common limiting belief.

It’s easy to get lost in our responsibilities – career, family, relationships.

To overcome this limiting belief, make the time and the effort to take some time for yourself.

Think about where you are now, consider your core values and beliefs, and what it is you want from your life.

5. I already tried

We’ve all heard the saying “once bitten, twice shy.”

It’s as true as they come.

Once we’ve experienced negative results to an endeavor, we're hesitant to venture into that territory again.

It’s a protective measure of our inner self to shield us from pain and disappointment.

But pain and disappointment are often important parts of our developing as a person.

Trying and failing happens to everyone, and by no means makes us failures.

“I already tried to get a book published and it didn't work out.”
“I’ve already been married and it didn’t work out. I don’t want to go through that again.”
“I tried to finish college, but it didn’t happen. I don’t see the point in going back.”

These statements are half-truths followed by a barrier. You acknowledge that you tried something new, but immediately bar yourself from trying it again.

Without trial and error, we don’t grow - we don’t learn and evolve.

Instead of not trying something again, identify a lesson in each failure and use it as a stepping stone for the next attempt.

“I will make sure to avoid these red flags in future relationships and find someone who really wants to grow with me.”

“I had an issue dedicating the time I needed to studying in college. This time around, I will make certain to manage my time more efficiently.”

Identifying what aspect of the last attempt did not work and developing a new plan of action is the best way to combat the “I Already Tried” belief.

Explore your failures or negative experiences, no matter how severe, learn what you can from them that will be helpful in the future, then learn to let them go.

6. I’ll be judged

Let’s take a page from the playbooks of two contemporary and empowered women: Oprah and Beyonce.

As each has grown in age, womanhood, and her career, she has become more and more of herself, unapologetically.

In turn, her authenticity draws people to her.

Of course, it also serves as a magnet for people interested criticizing her every outfit, life choice, and career moves.

Does either Oprah or Beyonce care? Maybe, but I sincerely doubt it.

Does it stop her? Absolutely not.

Being afraid of what others might think is a common limiting belief but being true to yourself will make you more confident, more empowered – more like Beyonce.

7. I have never been good at.../ I am not good at...

When looking at gender differences in math and science, for many women, there is a perception that they simply cannot be good at math.

For me, higher math was the bane of my existence in high school and throughout my entire college career.

I was never good at it in school, and avoided it like the plague as an adult.

For women, this limiting belief is one of the most damaging.

It functions as an excuse for ignorance and poor performance, keeping untold young girls from pursuing successful and often lucrative careers as scientists, computer technologists and engineers, as well as mathematicians.

“I was never good at math, so I can't pursue technical studies.”
“I have never been good at telling significant others how I feel, that’s just me.”
“I’m not good driver, so I don’t drive on trips.”

These statements acknowledge a flaw or weakness, and then bolster it as a valid limitation. As if nothing can be done to change or overcome it.

Living with these kinds of beliefs can keep you from performing at your best , and diminish you as an asset to those around you.

Identifying our weaknesses is actually a good thing. Of all people, we should know our weaknesses and true limitations.

However, we should not allow our weaknesses to be limitations when we're perfectly able to do something about it.

“I have never been good at telling significant others how I feel, but I’m working on being much better at communicating this time around.”

“I’m not the best driver, so I signed up to take a driving refresher course.”

Instead of turning deficiencies into a mental block, use them as a reason to learn something new.

8. I can’t pull off...

This is a vanity belief, or the exact opposite of one.

Immediately counting yourself out of fashionable trends and styles that interest you only assures that you won’t find a renewed confidence in yourself.

"I can't wear pink, it doesn't look good on me."
"I've always wanted to try that eyeliner, but I can't pull it off."
"I love some of these sun dresses, but I'm not a dress person."

For some of us, there are set boundaries in our heads that develop after a questionable or bad experience.

This is equally true with what we perceive as possible with regard to our physical appearance (age) and wearing stylish clothes.

Does that mean you should go out and buy the same outfit your teen-aged niece wears?

Obviously not.

But don't wall yourself into a set look or a set way of being, when other things interest you.

If you've always been a laid-back dresser and suddenly you feel like dressing up a little - do it!

Your physical appearance (age) does not have to be a hindrance to looking fashionable or stylish.

Don't count yourself out of finding a look that makes you happy before giving yourself the opportunity to experiment with a variety of fabrics, styles and looks that appeal to you and learning what helps you to look and feel your best.


women cocktails - limiting beliefs

9. They don't want me

When the voice in your head convinces you that you're unwanted or don't fit in, it can cause self-isolation that is both damaging to your self-esteem and to your relationships.

It can happen in a variety of situations - in romantic relationships, friendships, family situations, and even with simple acquaintances.

"All of the mom's in PTA sit together at the games, but I don't think they want me over there."
"My coworkers go to happy hour every week, but I'm sure they wouldn't want me to come."
"The guy who approached me and my friend at the party is nice, but he definitely didn't come over for me."
"They're hiring for a position I'm really interested in, but I'm sure they want somebody different than me."

Counting yourself out before you begin guarantees that you miss out on opportunities and experiences you may well have enjoyed and benefited from.

Even if you are not typically an assertive person, it's possible to navigate inclusion without being pushy.

Strike up a conversation, say “hello”, let someone know you're interested in an opportunity or want to be a part of a group.

Don't sideline yourself in your own life, and don't assume you know the minds of others whom you may mistakenly believe don't want to consider or include you.

Remember that you have something to offer the world, and removing yourself from opportunities before you can be considered for them deprives those around you from what could be a meaningful and beneficial partnership for you both.

10. I am less valid

This is a particularly difficult limiting belief to navigate. Feeling invalidated, or of somehow less importance or significance than those around you, strips you of the very basic sense of belonging within the human experience.

Self-esteem and more importantly self-worth are critical components to your sense of well-being.

"I want to share at the club meeting, but I've never gone through anything as meaningful as some of the others in the group, so I don't."
"I'm in a bad place right now, but my friends have more important things to do than to worry over me."
"I'm uncomfortable with this person's behavior at work, but she's an important person and I'm just administrative support, so I'll just have to deal with it."

Realize that you have a story, you have an experience, you have a point of view.

These are things that every human being gets.

While you may not have it as good or as bad as some others, that does not make your story any less real , significant or valid.

Expressing yourself and seeking support when you need it is not a selfish thing to do, so long as it's done in a way that is mindful of those around you.

You may know that someone in your workplace is disrespectful to you and to other coworkers who have chosen not to say anything.

But that does not negate the discomfort you feel.

Your unique experience is valid and real.

Others experiencing different (or worse) conflict than you without speaking up does not mean you did not experience your own conflict.

This limiting belief of feeling less valid can be one of the most harmful.

It keeps women from reporting situations of abuse and harassment and seeking the help they may need in order to put an end to bad behavior and heal.

Remember that what you experience and feel is just as valid as any others' experience.

Pain and difficulty are not a contest.

What you're going through in no way diminishes the experience of others, nor what they experience should diminish yours.

Everyone is valuable regardless of situation or circumstance, and all have a right to feel safe and be heard.

woman in dark walkway - limiting beliefs


11. I always do this

When a negative behavior becomes a pattern, we can sometimes turn it into an excuse for why we do not change.

"I know I shouldn't yell at him, but I always do when I'm stressed out. He knows I don't mean it."
"I'm always late, everyone who knows me expects it by now."
"I'm a jealous girlfriend, I've always been like that."

Accepting poor behavior as a part of your character limits you from growing as a person.

Part of adult life is responsibility.

Taking responsibility for your actions and behaviors and working to keep them from hurting those around you is an important step in being a good friend, partner, coworker, and family member.

While it may be difficult to break habits, taking gradual steps to improve a little at a time will change your behavior as a whole.

Instead of lashing out when you feel upset or jealous of a partner's activities, remind yourself that while your emotions may be natural, using them as an excuse to say or do hurtful things is not okay.

If you're always late for work, start by waking up 3 minutes earlier every day, then 5, then 10 until you've reset your inner clock to be on time.

Changing this belief is not easy, but it is an important step in being the best version of yourself.

12. I deserved this (negative consequence or punishment)

When we mess up, even in a big way, there is sometimes a piece of ourselves that never lets the event go - even long after those around you have.

"I cheated on my last boyfriend, so I guess I deserve it when my new man doesn't respect me in the way I'd like."
"I was such a brat to my parents growing up, so I guess I deserve to have such a difficult time with my son"
"I didn't listen when my parents told me not to marry him, and now look at how unhappy I am"

This belief, that you deserve bad things, limits your ability to process and ultimately deal with the adversity we face in a healthy way.

Assuming that karma or fate are the cause of your unhappiness functions as an excuse.

If you deserved it, there's not much you can do to fix it.

This is inherently wrong.

Cheating on someone in the past is a terrible thing to do, but that does not mean that you deserve to be in a relationship that harms you or is demeaning to you.

Learn from your mistake, and take yourself out of a situation that is unhealthy.

If you believe another person's bad behavior is recompense for the way you've behaved, it guarantees that you won't effectively communicate your concerns and try to find solutions.

Try considering the circumstances and lessons from your past experience and apply it to what is happening now.

Perhaps after your relationship experience, you learned that relationships need honesty and trust to be healthy.

Is there honesty and trust in your current relationship?

If not, what are you willing and prepared to do to solve the problem?

If you were a problem child who now has problem children, consider what actions and advice got through to your younger self?

What methods of discipline did not work?

Identifying what did and did not help your relationship with your parents can lend some insight into how to communicate with your kids.

They say history repeats itself for those who don't learn from it.

Instead of thinking the negatives in your life are karmic punishment, focus on what you've learned and how you can apply it to better your life now.


blue sky cloudscape - limiting beliefs


Limiting beliefs are something we create. They stand between you and all of the amazing things you can do, and be, and can accomplish.

Don’t stand in your own way. Don’t let the mental blocks keep you from finding a path that immensely enhances your life.

By not merely keeping those limiting thoughts in check, but truly eliminating them, your life becomes fuller, and your unique experience deeper, sweeter, brighter, and brimming with possibilities.

Anything is possible.

If you have enjoyed this post, please share it with your family and friends. Thanks!

Kimberly Clay

Kimberly Clay is the founder and creative force behind What She Say. She’s a business professional, writer and editor who’s been creating and managing digital content for nearly twenty years. Her work is now focused in the areas of self-improvement and personal development, and she is passionate about helping other individuals, especially women, to find a path for living their best life.

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Posted by on Jul 28, 2018 in Motivation, Self Improvement

What Motivates You? – (How to Get to the Life You Want)

go up and never stop - what motivates you


Here’s to motivation!

So the question of for today is...


What Motivates You In Life?


Hello Ladies.

While I know you’re the stuff of heroes (or heroines?) and you're highly motivated to fight the challenges you’re facing, I really want to know what motivates you.

Motivation, the force that drives us forward; something that enables us to rise and shine each and every day; something that defines our goals and makes us focus them, has long fascinated me.

All of us are driven by motivators or drivers of some sort - from creativity to learning, to family and fun, to challenge and problem solving.

And while each and every person is as unique as a snowflake, we all do share fundamental drivers.

However, the nuances in a person’s specific nature depend on which of these specific motivators are most important to you.

As an example, let’s relate it to the way DNA shapes each person.

Each and every one of the billions of DNA strands on Earth contain the same basic building blocks, but what sets each one of us apart as a distinct human being is the way our genes are sequenced.

People who grew up in the same household, those having the same educational degree, or people in the same profession will have different drivers in life.

The more we live in alignment with our motivators, the happier and more fulfilled we’ll naturally be.

We differ enormously in what makes us happy in life.

For some of us success in our chosen profession or a sense of accomplishment in establishing and growing a family are our greatest sources of happiness, but for others competition, winning or being successful social “up and comers” is more satisfying.

To put it succinctly, what motivates me will probably not be quite the same thing that motivates you.

"One of the strongest characteristics of genius is the power of lighting its own fire." - John W Foster

So what is it that motivates you to succeed in life?


standing at mountain top - what motivates you


What Motivates Us to Succeed in Life?


As humans, most of us are driven by one or a combination of the following:

  • Ambition
  • Independence - To feel in charge of your own life
  • A desire to be the best
  • Helping others
  • Recognition
  • Passion
  • Making a difference
  • Love
  • Winning and competition
  • Money and rewards
  • Status/Power/Prestige/Fame

In an age where materialistic things are so much the focus, some of us may be driven solely by desires based on getting or having material things, while others of us are much more influenced by our values, sense of or desire to do good and moral upbringing.

Or, we may have a bit of both elements (material and non-materially based desires) to motivate us and manifest our goals into reality.

Regardless of what motivates us to take action, when we’re motivated we all have an intrinsic desire to achieve what we’ve defined for ourselves as “being our best”.

That intrinsic desire is what makes us strive for improvement in our personal or professional life.

For example, if we have made a decision to lose weight, each day we’re accompanied by a level of consciousness to make the best choices in what we eat, what we drink, the kind of exercise we do, and the amount of sleep we get.

In other words, we reset our mind to choose the option of the highest possible level to achieve our personal best.


ever tried ever failed - what motivates you


But are we achieving our personal best?


With women especially, we face issues stemming from feelings of not being valued and heard that causes us to be unmotivated (and discouraged) and emotionally disengaged. In some cases, due to these and other factors, we may not feel good about our lives. We may instead feel .…

  • That we’ve lost our creativity, enthusiasm and joy for life
  • That we’ve mentally and emotionally “lost our edge”
  • That our excitement for life has gone
  • That we’re unproductive and unfulfilled
  • That we’re immersed in under-achievement
  • That there’s more to us than anyone ever sees
  • That we’re weighed down and on the verge of giving up
  • That we’re tired and have had enough
  • That we’re fed up with the routine of a “ho-hum” existence and want to start living a more exciting life
  • That question more we can do with our life?


do something great neon sign - what motivates you


Find Your Path by Discovering What Motivates You


The truth is the “down” moments of life may have so strained your emotions and depleted your motivational supply and reserve that you're left feeling empty and drained.

But the fact is that in addition to being a burden on your vitality, the down times have made you wiser and stronger.

Those down moments are also an indication that you need to set (or reset) your priorities from scratch, that you need to remember or redefine your goals, and that you need to value your needs too.

They indicate that it’s time for you to evaluate who and what is consuming your time and energy, and determine whether these people and situations are helping and promoting your best interests.

Are they really your responsibilities or not, and how can you take responsibility of your own life?

"Be miserable. Or motivate yourself. Whatever has to be done, it's always your choice." - Wayne Dyer

Things to do:

  • Find meaning in what you do.
  • Determine what drives you to keep going.
  • Identify what matters most to you in your daily struggle to achieve, and why.
  • Identify your strengths

Do it the fun way – solve a ‘what motivates you quiz’

“If we do not learn to motivate ourselves, the external motivation that we receive is useless.” - Bernardo Stamateas


wall inscription punch today in the face - what motivates you


Boost Your Motivation


  • Make sure to get up quickly from pain.
  • Don’t allow your dreams to remain fictional. Visualize them to propel yourself towards achieving them.
  • Continuously improve.
  • Instead of being a slave to your routine try something new every day.

“The secret of personal motivation can be summed up in four Cs: curiosity, confidence, courage and certainty.” -Walt Disney


pink be happy sign - what motivates you


Wrapping Up:


To achieve remarkable success in life, we must find out what motivates us in life.

Once we discover that, we must pursue it with the utmost tenacity and determination.

“Motivation is like bathing, you have to do it every day.” – Zig Ziglar –

Determining what motivates you is key.

Remember, having and enjoying the life you envision is largely up to you.

You are your own best champion.

Nobody else cares more or is in a position to do better on your behalf than you.

Stop waiting for your knight. Be your own best warrior!

Love and Peace!

If you like this post, please share it with your family and friends! Thanks!


Kimberly Clay

Kimberly Clay is the founder and creative force behind What She Say. She’s a business professional, writer and editor who’s been creating and managing digital content for nearly twenty years. Her work is now focused in the areas of self-improvement and personal development, and she is passionate about helping other individuals, especially women, to find a path for living their best life.

Read More
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