Handling disappointment.

Disappointment.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Do you frequently feel disappointed?

Disappointments are a common occurrence in life. Some people experience disappointments more often than others. Knowing that disappointment is common doesn’t make disappointments any easier to handle. It’s tempting to get stuck in negative thinking as a result of a seemingly insurmountable disappointment. Learning to overcome life’s setbacks and see things more positively will improve your resilience and make your life more positive.

Frequent disappointments, as well as huge disappointments, can be challenging to handle. If you struggle with disappointments, this can lead to poor mental health, and ultimately to depression. Here are some things you need to know about disappointments and how to manage their effects.

Being disappointed is a result of your expectations.

To reduce the impact of disappointment, you need to learn to manage your expectations. High expectations, particularly those that are coupled with absolute statements, are hard to manage. Avoid telling yourself that things “must be” or that they “should happen or should not happen” in a certain way. Absolute expectations set you up for disappointment. Learn to view things as preferences. Tell yourself that you would prefer to have a specific outcome but don’t get tricked into believing that if things don’t turn out the way you wanted them to, your life is a failure.

Don’t let your desires ruin your successes.

Some people don’t feel comfortable with their accomplishments. They tell themselves they should have done something better, done it faster, or that what they accomplished was no big deal. Minimizing your successes can result in feelings of disappointment, even when you have achieved your goals.

If you have built up a goal in your mind to excessive proportions, you may be disappointed. Believing that if you only had a particular job, got into a relationship, or out of one, then you would be happy, are sure paths to disappointment. If you’re not happy during the journey, you’re likely to be disappointed when you reach your destination.

Accept that you feel the way you feel.

Give yourself some time to get over that loss. By that, I don’t mean to wallow in your disappointment and get stuck there. Just recognize that the larger the disappointment, the longer it may take to get over it. Accept that sometimes in this life you will feel bad, and that’s okay. Don’t deny your feelings but don’t get stuck there either.

Surround yourself with positive people.

If you want to be a winner, you need to emulate winners. Beware the adage that misery likes company—people who are miserable, like the company of other equally miserable people. Avoid sharing your disappointments with people who tell you how awful it is. Also, beware of those people who say to ignore your feelings. Neither of these is a path forward. The more time you spend with positive people who are moving forward in life, the more likely you are to move past your disappointment.

Learn to roll with it. Pick a new goal.

One key to overcoming disappointment is to avoid hopelessness, but instead to cultivate your hope. Two things lead to feeling hopeful. One is to believe that if you try again, you can be successful. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that one disappointment means you will forever be disappointed. People who are successful in life often experience a lot of disappointments. If you try enough things, some of them are bound to work out.

The second large factor in nurturing your hope is the ability to create new plans for reaching your goal. If what you tried didn’t take you where you want to go, create a new plan, pick a new route, begin your journey anew.

Become a happiness expert and look for the positive.

Avoid selectively focusing on only your disappointments. This will make you an unhappiness expert. The more you look at something, the more it takes over your field of vision. Make sure that you continue to look for the positive things that are happening in your life. Don’t let happiness, contentment, or joy go by unnoticed. The more time you spend paying attention to life’s disappointments, the more disappointed you will become.

Cut yourself some slack; sometimes, life is hard.

Even the greats strike out sometimes. Avoid having unrealistic expectations. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you need to be better than everyone else to be okay. Life can be difficult. Some people experience more difficulties than others. To create the life you want, you must keep moving forward. Avoid the temptation to lie down and give up. Remind yourself that even highly successful people strike out sometimes.

Avoid handicapping yourself and self-sabotaging.

Some people get into the habit of making excuses for why they can’t accomplish something even before trying it. This behavior can be the result of the way you were brought up and early life experiences. You don’t avoid disappointment by telling yourself that there’s no point in trying. The biggest regrets most people have when they reached the end of their lives are not for the mistakes they’ve made, but for the things that their fear of failure kept them from trying.

Don’t take everything personally.

If you don’t get the job, you applied for, avoid believing that you are inadequate and will never get a job. Some people experience a relationship breakup and conclude that no one will ever love them. If you experience a disappointment in employment, relationships, or other life activities, hold onto your hope. Failing at one thing does not make you a failure. You may have to reevaluate your goals or learn new life skills. Even the most successful people experience some disappointments. Learn to view life’s disappointing events as another challenge you can overcome.

Have you experienced disappointments? How would you manage to overcome them? You can leave a comment below or contact me using the contact form.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Seven David Joel Miller Books are available now!

My newest book is now available. It was my opportunity to try on a new genre. I’ve been working on this book for several years, but now seem like the right time to publish it.

Story Bureau.

Story Bureau is a thrilling Dystopian Post-Apocalyptic adventure in the Surviving the Apocalypse series.

Baldwin struggles to survive life in a post-apocalyptic world where the government controls everything.

As society collapses and his family gets plunged into poverty, Baldwin takes a job in the capital city, working for a government agency called the Story Bureau. He discovers the Story Bureau is not a benign news outlet but a sinister government plot to manipulate society.

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Dark Family Secrets: Doris wants to get her life back, but small-town prejudice could shatter her dreams.

Casino Robbery Arthur Mitchell escapes the trauma of watching his girlfriend die. But the killers know he’s a witness and want him dead.

Planned Accidents  The second Arthur Mitchell and Plutus mystery.

Letters from the Dead: The third in the Arthur Mitchell mystery series.

What would you do if you found a letter to a detective describing a crime and you knew the writer and detective were dead, and you could be next?

Sasquatch. Three things about us, you should know. One, we have seen the past. Two, we’re trapped there. Three, I don’t know if we’ll ever get back to our own time.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

For videos, see: Counselorssoapbox YouTube Video Channel

Ways to perform well when you’re under pressure.

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Performing well under pressure.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

How do you perform when you’re under pressure?

Are you one of those people who are at your best when under pressure? Or are you one of those people who choke when the pressure is on?

People who perform well under pressure have developed the right mindsets, attitudes, and skills. Challenges don’t derail them; they energize them. You too can learn to perform well under pressure. Here are some of the techniques that will help you do better when the pressure is on.

Giving yourself as much time as possible reduces the pressure.

Some people delude themselves into believing that the way to get something done is to wait until the last possible minute. They tell themselves that they perform better under pressure. Unfortunately, what many people do when the pressure is lower their standards. Students who wait until the night before the paper is due can get an essay written in a very short amount of time. They also often do poorly and then use the lack of time as an excuse. Start as soon as possible on any new project. That allows you to correct mistakes. Build some extra time in your plans for those tasks, which ended up taking longer than you expected.

Practice skills beforehand reduce the pressure.

When under pressure, humans tend to revert to their usual way of doing things. To be able to make use of skills you are learning, you need to over-practice those skills until they become automatic. The better prepared you are for the challenge, the less stressful it will be. If you have thoroughly practiced a necessary skill, your muscles will remember it and perform that task automatically.

Use positive affirmations to reduce stress.

Putting yourself down will damage your performance. People who believe in themselves do better. Positive affirmations shouldn’t be a matter of lying to yourself. Tell yourself you can do it, and you probably will be able to. Tell yourself this will be the best performance anyone has ever done, and your brain will know you’re lying and try to sabotage you. Positive affirmations are a way to psych yourself up and maximize your performance.

Developing a positive stress mindset improves performance.

Viewing the task ahead as stressful makes it more challenging to accomplish. Looking for opportunities to grow and develop improves your performance. People with a positive stress mindset are energized by opportunities rather than being exhausted by them.

Tell your inner critic to shut up.

The evidence from psychology tells us that self-criticism is rarely helpful. Everyone has an inner critic telling them they can’t do this, or they’re not good enough. Some people are so used to listening to the inner critic that they find daily life stressful. Other people have practiced ignoring that inner critic enough that they rarely hear the inner critic’s voice anymore. The time for evaluation of what you have done is after everything is over, not before. Don’t start making excuses before you even begin the project.

For more on this topic see this article.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Seven David Joel Miller Books are available now!

My newest book is now available. It was my opportunity to try on a new genre. I’ve been working on this book for several years, but now seem like the right time to publish it.

Story Bureau.

Story Bureau is a thrilling Dystopian Post-Apocalyptic adventure in the Surviving the Apocalypse series.

Baldwin struggles to survive life in a post-apocalyptic world where the government controls everything.

As society collapses and his family gets plunged into poverty, Baldwin takes a job in the capital city, working for a government agency called the Story Bureau. He discovers the Story Bureau is not a benign news outlet but a sinister government plot to manipulate society.

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Dark Family Secrets: Doris wants to get her life back, but small-town prejudice could shatter her dreams.

Casino Robbery Arthur Mitchell escapes the trauma of watching his girlfriend die. But the killers know he’s a witness and want him dead.

Planned Accidents  The second Arthur Mitchell and Plutus mystery.

Letters from the Dead: The third in the Arthur Mitchell mystery series.

What would you do if you found a letter to a detective describing a crime and you knew the writer and detective were dead, and you could be next?

Sasquatch. Three things about us, you should know. One, we have seen the past. Two, we’re trapped there. Three, I don’t know if we’ll ever get back to our own time.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

For videos, see: Counselorssoapbox YouTube Video Channel

How to Find Success and Avoid Failure.

How to Find Success & Avoid Failure.

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Success or failure sign

Success or failure?
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

How do you become successful?

You will reach a destination faster and more surely if you have a map. Far too many people head off looking for success with no idea where they are going or how they will get there. They are surprised when after years of traveling life’s roads they still have not found the success they were looking for.

If you want a life that fails, you can avoid doing most anything, but to have real success will require some planning. Be careful about following other people s directions, they may not be headed where you are going.

If you want to be successful in life invest some time in creating a road map to success that is specific to your life journey.

What does success mean to you?

To reach success you need a clear vision of what it will look like when you get there.

Not paying attention to this one has disastrous results. Lots of people go along following other people’s rules; doing what they are supposed to do, only to find when they reach the destination they are not where they wanted to be.

Did you say you wanted to make a lot of money? Are you willing to do anything to get it?  Spend some time at the begging of your success journey thinking about what is most important to you. What are your values and goals? Will it be success, if you earn the money you want by doing things that you consider morally wrong?

How much more will you need to get paid to compensate for a life of doing work you hate?

We find in career counseling that people, who are doing work they like, and that they have the abilities for, are more likely to be successful.

Get to know yourself well. You should be your own best friend. The more self-knowledge you have the more likely you are to set course for yourself that will be enjoyable and successful.

Lots of money won’t mean much if you are miserable and need to spend it all on therapy to solve your misery.

Investigate all the possibilities when you plan your success.

Be sure you have a clear, accurate understanding of what it will be like to reach this goal.

Say you decide, that for you, success is living at the beach- one time I was driving along and saw a sign that said something about an ancient beach. I took the turnoff and drove for hours. Eventually, I discovered I had ended up in the middle of the desert. There was a beach there all right. An ancient beach complete with fossils. But there had not been any water near there for a gazillion years.

So often clients tell me they perused a dream, an idea of success only to find out that the reality of the destination was very different from what they expected. Make sure you know, if you become a novelist – just how much money does the average one make?  Do you know how many hours per week the top business managers work?

Would it really be worth it to you to go to college for 8 years to become a professor and then maybe work for what that school you are interested in pays? Today student debt is at an all-time high. People are finding that they can’t make enough in their chosen career field to pay back that college loan.

People can pursue career goals, go to school for a new occupation only to find out that they will need to move cross country to be where the jobs are. Is success for you getting your dream job and moving to a new city to start a new life or is it getting the best job possible while living your life in your home town?

Before you take a training class on becoming a jet aircraft mechanic, find out if there are any airports in your area that have jets. And when was the last time, they hired a mechanic at that airport?

There are plenty of posts in the blog-o-sphere about the importance of enjoying the journey. I tend to agree with that. The destination will be a lot less enjoyable if you do not enjoy the journey.

But life is not all about the journey. Failing to plan and going with the flow may mean you end up somewhere you never wanted to go.

Lots of people struggle to reach a goal thinking that will mean they are successful only to discover the goal does not meet the need they have. In some disciplines, half of the people completing a college degree never work in the field. Either there are no jobs, none in the town they live in, or they decide they really do not want to do that kind of work.

Where are you now?

Thousands of kids tell me they want to play professional sports. One look at many of them tells me they are not likely to make it.

If you hate math and science should you really pursue an engineering career?

I am not telling you that you should chuck your dream. Some skinny kids do become Olympic weightlifters. But it is a long road. Do you enjoy doing the things you need to do to get there, and when you reach the goal will it really have been worth it?

There are two approaches to getting from where you are now to where you want to be. Find the things you are strong at and build on those skills or find the things you are weak in and develop new skills.

What does not work is build a definition of success that requires you to become good at things for which you have no skills, and which requires doing things you do not like to do.

What roads will you need to follow to get there?

If you can see the path from where you are to where you want to go clearly and that is a path you chose to travel, then go for it. But a little planning, in the beginning, can help you avoid a ton of failure.

Does the job require education? Do you like going to school? If the job you want requires meeting the public and promoting the company, are you a social person and will you enjoy making public appearances?

Lots of small business owners get into a bind when they create a business that involves them doing a lot of things they like to do and then as the business grows, they find they are having to do everything and that there is very little they can turn over to others.

If you are a creative artist do you want to do your art, or do you want to create an advertising company and spend time selling to clients, while having to turn the creative work over to others?

Failure to consider the roads you will need to travel results in lots of people being unhappy along the way as they find themselves having to do things, they never wanted to do to reach a success goal that is no longer appealing when they get there.

Starting today, begin developing a plan that will take you to the place you call success.

If you enjoyed this post or think others might enjoy it please click on one or more of the “Like” or “Share” buttons on this page.

Other posts on this topic are in the category success.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Seven David Joel Miller Books are available now!

My newest book is now available. It was my opportunity to try on a new genre. I’ve been working on this book for several years, but now seem like the right time to publish it.

Story Bureau.

Story Bureau is a thrilling Dystopian Post-Apocalyptic adventure in the Surviving the Apocalypse series.

Baldwin struggles to survive life in a post-apocalyptic world where the government controls everything.

As society collapses and his family gets plunged into poverty, Baldwin takes a job in the capital city, working for a government agency called the Story Bureau. He discovers the Story Bureau is not a benign news outlet but a sinister government plot to manipulate society.

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Dark Family Secrets: Doris wants to get her life back, but small-town prejudice could shatter her dreams.

Casino Robbery Arthur Mitchell escapes the trauma of watching his girlfriend die. But the killers know he’s a witness and want him dead.

Planned Accidents  The second Arthur Mitchell and Plutus mystery.

Letters from the Dead: The third in the Arthur Mitchell mystery series.

What would you do if you found a letter to a detective describing a crime and you knew the writer and detective were dead, and you could be next?

Sasquatch. Three things about us, you should know. One, we have seen the past. Two, we’re trapped there. Three, I don’t know if we’ll ever get back to our own time.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

For videos, see: Counselorssoapbox YouTube Video Channel

When should you give up?

By David Joel Miller.

Quitting

Quitting.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Should you give up or keep going?

You read a lot of advice that tells you to never give up. But I think we’ve all seen people who continue doing something which never had a chance of success. I notice a lot of people starting businesses full of hope, and over time they pour everything they had into that business only to lose everything. We also see people who gave up just before success could have happened. How do you decide when to persevere and when to give up?

People don’t like to quit but sometimes quitting is the smart thing to do.

I recently came across a Seth Godin book titled “The Dip” that talked about precisely this dilemma. There are several reasons you might have to choose between continuing and giving up.

In the beginning, you don’t know what’s ahead.

Many people get themselves into something, a job, a career, or a relationship, without knowing what’s ahead. That can be the result of not researching your planned course of action or not spending the time to get to know the person you’re getting involved with. A change of path can also happen because situations in the world have changed.

Many things sound a lot easier and more enjoyable than they actually are. Being a rock star musician is a common fantasy. But unless you really love playing your instrument and performing in front of people, trying to make it to the top can be a painful path. Being a rock star looks attractive, but the thousands of hours of practice and the long stretches of playing one-night stands in small clubs deters a lot of would-be rock stars.

Quit when the things you must do, don’t match your values.

It is imperative that you be clear about your values. Sometimes you start on something only to discover that what you’ll have to do will not be consistent with your values. In that situation, many people compromise their values. Sometimes it pays to re-examine your beliefs. But if what you will have to do does not match your core values it’s time to give up the pursuit of that goal and headed in a different direction.

When your approach stops working you should change tactics.

No matter how well thought out plan was, if it doesn’t work it’s not the right plan. Many people invest so much pursuing something they want that they find it impossible to give up the pursuit of that goal even when they know what they’re doing won’t work. Working longer and harder won’t help if you are using the wrong approach.

It’s time to change when you are putting more in than you’re getting back.

We never seem to have all the information we need before starting on a project. If you find that the cost of reaching your goal will be more than you have or more than that goal is worth, it is time to change your plan. Many people succumb to the sunken cost fallacy. They tell themselves I put so much into this that I must keep going. What you put into it in the past is irrelevant. Past efforts and past expenditures are gone. What’s important is how much more will you have to put in and will the result be worth the additional investment.

Abandon a course when it’s not taking you where you want to go.

Sometimes life’s maps turn out to be inaccurate or missing details. If you set off in one direction and discovered that the effort you’re putting in is not taking you where you want to go, don’t keep wandering in the wrong direction. People can spend their whole lives saying that they’re working to make money so that someday they’ll be able to do what they want. Unfortunately, far too often people run out of life before they make the change and headed in the direction they wanted to go. For many things, the journey will take you a long time, don’t wait too long to begin heading in the right direction.

Are there things in your life you need to re-examine? What goals should you abandon and what will you need to dedicate yourself to?

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Four David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

Planned Accidents  The second Arthur Mitchell and Plutus mystery.

SasquatchWandering through a hole in time, they encounter Sasquatch. Can they survive?

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

Books are now available on Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, Barnes & Noble, and many other online stores.

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

For videos see: Counselorssoapbox YouTube Video Channel

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter.

20 Reasons you’re not reaching your goals.

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Success

Reaching goal.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

What is getting in the way of reaching your goals?

You started out with a lot of goals you wanted to reach, but along the way, something went wrong.

Things are not turning out the way you wanted them to and are taking longer than you expected.

Sometimes you may feel like that hamster stuck in the wheel, running harder and harder but getting nowhere.

What can you do to finally reach your goals?

Here is my top 20 list of reasons you’re not reaching your goals.

1. Chasing someone else’s goal takes you in the wrong direction.

Make sure your goal reflects your passion in life. Pursuing someone else’s dream for you results in you neglecting your own dreams. Examine the goal you are working towards, are you the one who selected this goal and will reaching it satisfy you. If you are pursuing a goal to make someone else approve of you, it’s not your goal. You won’t be able to put your all into building something that’s not meaningful to you.

2. You’re pursuing the wrong goal.

Chasing money will not get you to love or happiness. Don’t make the mistake of pursuing one goal when what you want is something else. Many people make the mistake of pursuing money thinking this will get them the love and respect of others. Everyone needs enough money to meet their basic needs, but beyond that more money will not necessarily make you happier. Don’t tell yourself your pursuit of money is for your family if it takes you farther and farther away from them.

3. Your goals are fuzzy.

Beware of nebulous goals that are hard to define. You need to write goals down and research them. If your goal is success, you need to know how that success will be measured. Do you want to have a lot of friends? Do you want to do important work? Which would more say success to you, spending years alone in a lab in finding a cure for a rare disease or spending night after night on stage with people laughing at your jokes?

4. You’re waiting for “someday.”

Make inertia work for you. A body at rest requires a lot of energy to get it moving, once you start moving it takes a lot less energy to keep the progress going. Most people, when they reached their retirement years, find that their greatest regrets are not the things they did that didn’t turn out well. The biggest regrets with the things they said they would do something but never got around to doing them.

5. You’re not clear on your priorities.

If the goal you are working towards is not your top priority, it’s likely to keep getting pushed back. What you spend your time on each day is how you spend your life. As the time passes, if you’re not working on the thing you say is your goal, you haven’t made it your top priority. If you’re too busy to act on reaching your goal, then what you have in mind is a fantasy, not a goal.

6. You’ve left out some steps.

You tell yourself your goals to become a professional, a doctor, nurse, or lawyer but you have left school. Before you can be a teacher or any other professional you first must learn. If you don’t seem to be making progress toward your goal, re-examine your plan and see if there are any steps you need to take that you’ve left out of your planning.

7. Trying to do too much.

Trying to rise to the top of a profession requires you to start at the bottom. Whatever you want to accomplish, you must put in the time practicing. Working on too many things at once dilutes your effort. Highly successful people weed out the unimportant things and focus on their top priorities.

8. Trying to reach your goals too fast.

When you look closely at overnight successes, what you often find are people who spent years learning and honing their skills. Don’t be disappointed when reaching your goals takes longer than you expected.

9. You’re using the wrong tools.

Looking for a better paying job, when you require more education or training won’t get you where you want to go. Are the skills you have the ones you need to reach your goal? The world keeps changing. If you’re not updating your skills, they are becoming obsolete.

10. Your goals are negative and punitive.

Set positive goals. The evidence doesn’t support the helpfulness of using negative self-talk or punishing yourself in reaching positive outcomes.

11. You failed to develop your team.

Everyone needs a support system. The journey to reaching goals involves many people. If you want to reach goals, look for teachers, mentors, and companions for your journey. Some things you will need to become an expert on, for other tasks you will need to learn to identify the experts who can support you in your quest.

12. The closer you get to your goal the stronger resistance becomes.

Don’t slack off when you get close to your goal. If you go to college for three years and then quit what do you have? You don’t have a degree. In my lifetime, I’ve known several people who always wanted to write a book. Some of them even had a manuscript tucked away in a drawer. What they didn’t do was write that last chapter, send that book off to the publisher, or learn the skills they would need to publish it themselves. In the early stages of your journey towards your goal you can see the progress but the closer you get to your goal, the more effort it takes to break through that resistance and reach the finish line.

13. You aim low and hit the mark.

Your goals should encourage you to stretch. Many people self-handicap. The set their goals so low that they can’t possibly fail to meet them. If you repeatedly set low goals, you are planning a life of low achievement.

14. You’re not reviewing and updating your goals.

The goals you set in middle school won’t mean much when you are middle-aged. Some of the goals no longer fit you. Reevaluate those goals. If you are no closer, revise your plan. If you met them all, you might have set your expectations too low and need to raise the bar.

15. You’re using the wrong “worry process.”

Some people try to protect themselves from failure by considering every possible thing that could go wrong. They worry endlessly that they’ll make a mistake or something bad will happen. The worry-about-everything approach leaves you paralyzed in inaction. People who reach their goals consider the big possibilities. They use a “worry-enough” process. Once they have thought it through enough, they stop worrying and take action.

16. You talk about your goals rather than working towards them.

Psychologists discovered that people who talk about their goals a great deal get their satisfaction out of discussing those goals with others. As a result, they rarely take significant action. People who reach goals discuss them with fewer others. Limit your discussion of your goals to mentors, advisers and those who can support you in the process. Don’t tell everyone, but do have a few accountability partners who will encourage you to keep working towards your goals.

17. You don’t recognize what you accomplish.

Many people who feel they’re not reaching their goals have failed to recognize all the things that they have accomplished. Your big goals need to be broken down into smaller segments, and you need to recognize each of those smaller goals as you accomplish them. You don’t get a college degree by taking all the classes at once. You take a few classes each semester, and at the end, your payoff is the degree. If you’re writing a book, you write it one chapter, maybe even one paragraph at a time. Pay attention to the things you accomplish. Don’t dismiss your achievements as unimportant. Not giving yourself credit where credit is due will leave you too discouraged to continue your journey towards even larger goals.

18. You have not learned from the mistakes of others.

Whatever goal you are pursuing, make it a practice to look at how others have tried to reach similar goals. Learn from their mistakes, so you don’t have to make them all yourself.

19. You can’t picture what reaching your goals would look like.

High performers can picture what their life will be like once they reach their goal. Olympic athletes practice imagining that perfect performance, then standing on the gold medal stand. If you don’t believe you can succeed, you sow seeds of doubt in your mind. Your mind is likely to protect you by creating that failure you imagine. Avoid fantasy images of sudden wealth and fame. Picture the very real results of long, hard, work towards your goals.

20. You haven’t become your own best friend.

If you don’t like yourself, no matter how many goals you reach, it will never be enough. Spend time getting to know who you are and work on accepting that how you are right now is adequate. Self-acceptance doesn’t lead to complacency. Negative self-thoughts become obstacles in your path to reaching your goals.

Take another look at your goals. Re-examine your plans and your attitudes. Change the things you’ve been doing that are not working and head back out there in your pursuit of the life you want to have.

You will find related posts under –

motivation 

success

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

David Joel Miller MS is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) and a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC.)  Mr. Miller provides supervision for beginning counselors and therapists and teaches at the local college in the Substance Abuse Counseling program.

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

Obstacles to reaching your dreams.

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Barriers to dreams

Obstacles to reaching your dreams.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Don’t let these things get in the way of reaching your dreams.

You have dreams. You have goals. Time passes by, but you don’t seem to be getting any closer to reaching your objective. If the harder you work, the farther away your dreams appear to be, take another look at the way you’re going about your pursuit of your goals. You may be the one placing obstacles in your way. There are some common ways that you may be preventing progress towards your desired outcome.

You don’t believe in yourself.

If you don’t believe in yourself who will? Spending lots of time in self-doubt distract you from progress towards goals. Believe in yourself. Picture your goal already accomplished. Don’t send your brain mixed signals. Get very clear on what your goal is and stay focused on your vision.

Lack of knowledge.

Not having the needed knowledge or skills will get in the way of reaching your objective. Plan your course of action. Do an inventory of the skills you will need to reach your objective. If there is knowledge or skills you don’t have, decide which knowledge you will need to acquire. You won’t need to have every possible skill. Decide which knowledge you will need to acquire for yourself and which skills you can hire. Don’t try to do everything yourself. Then acquire the skills you will need to chart your course.

Ignoring the advice of your coach or mentor.

Choose your advisers carefully. Pay attention to the advice you get. The smartest and most successful people pick good coaches, and they listen to that coach’s advice. A good mentor is someone who has traveled part of the path you will need to travel. Pick coaches who will tell you the truth. Avoid yes men or overly agreeable women. Hearing others repeat what you said does not add value to your conversations.

Ignoring the details.

In the pursuit of your dream, you need a broad picture of where you’re going. Make sure to fill in the little details you will need along the way. Your plan must not leave out steps you will need to take. Great structures can collapse when you leave out part of the foundation.

Mistreating others.

In your pursuit of that dream, treat others kindly. The people you mistreat may try to prevent you from reaching your goal. Along your journey, it will help to have allies. When others see you mistreating people along your path, they will not want to assist you.

Taking care of your physical health.

Being physically healthy will aid you in the pursuit of your dream. Poor health will become an extra burden. Failure to take care of yourself will not speed your journey. Time spent neglecting self-care becomes an obstacle on your path. Physical health can deteriorate a little at a time. The longer you neglect your physical health, the larger an obstacle your poor health can become.

Poor mental or emotional health.

Mental health issues, depression, anxiety, anger, are needless obstacles to reaching your dreams. There’s no virtue in needless suffering. You will spend your whole life with you. Become the happiest, best-adjusted person you can be. Poor mental and emotional health is a major obstacle to reaching your life dreams. The sooner you clear these obstacles out of your path, the easier your journey will become.

Not Enjoying the present.

Make sure to enjoy the process of moving towards your goals. There will be times when you must work hard and do unpleasant things. If the process of pursuing your dream requires doing a lot of things you dislike, your failure to enjoy the process will become a major obstacle in the pathway to your goal. Failing to enjoy the process is an unnecessary obstacle.

Not Getting help when you need it.

Don’t be afraid to help others or to accept help from them when you need it. Getting the help, you need, will remove obstacles. By not seeking help or accepting it, you are creating additional barriers to achieving success.

Failing to plan.

Not planning is the equivalent of trying to build a building without a blueprint. A plan does not need to interfere with creativity. Creative types need to plan for an environment that is conducive to creating, and they need to plan for the materials they will need to execute that creative product. The lack of a plan will leave you wandering in life.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

Keys to success.

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Keys

Keys to Success.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Use these keys to unlock your success.

Many people have the belief that the way to achieve success is to find someone to open doors for them. Most successful people will tell you that you cannot wait for someone to open the door for you. To achieve success, you need to be able to open a lot of metaphorical doors. Develop the right skills, talents, and abilities to put you in a position to open many doors until you find the success you are seeking. Here are some access keys you need to acquire and keep on your key ring.

Get clear on what success means to you.

Not everyone means the same thing when they say success. For some people, it’s having a certain amount of money in the bank. For others, it’s having good relationships and a happy family. Your version of success might include building a company, playing in the Super Bowl, or helping the poor and homeless. Make sure that you are trying to unlock the right door.

Plan alternate routes to your goal.

Which door?

Doors to success.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

You may think that your success is behind the door that says, athlete. However, that may not be where you will find it. Very successful people often must open many doors. If you try something, and it does not succeed, this does not make you a failure. Learn from each attempt. One path to your goal is blocked, immediately head off using an alternative route. Your first business may not be profitable. Learn from that experience, and subsequent ventures probably will do better.

If your goal is helping others, you may find some people are not yet ready for help. The help they need may not be the type you plan to provide. Continue seeking to be of service.

Use success words and have an optimistic vocabulary.

The words you tell yourself sets a course for your brain. Negative words create a failure or scarcity mindset. Don’t tell yourself you have failed. Tell yourself you completed another leg of your journey. If you tell yourself, you can’t, you won’t. Don’t say “if I ever succeed.” Tell yourself repeatedly “when I succeed.”

Picture your goal already accomplished.

You can’t build a building from an unclear blueprint. You can’t create success until you have a clear image of what that success looks like. Each day as you move toward your goals, picture in your mind what it will look like when you reach that objective.

Make time for happiness.

If the journey toward success is full of pain and unhappiness, you are likely to abandon the trip. Enjoy the journey. Behind each door, you open, expect to find some happiness and joy.

Believe that good things are possible, it is a just world.

A positive attitude is an essential tool for creating success. Your brain will resist creating something you do not believe is possible. If you cannot believe that hard work is rewarded, that good things can happen to you; your brain will be unable to create the actions needed to make your success a reality. If you do not believe in yourself, begin by working on you.

Hold onto your dream.

To have success, you need to have a big dream. Hold onto your dream, your belief in yourself and the rightness of achieving your goal of success. Don’t expect the journey to success to be an easy one. Your destiny may not be immediately behind the first door you open. Even if you should be fortunate enough to open the door to your success on the first try, following the path behind that door will take you a lifetime.

Engage your passion.

The majority of all learning is emotional, so is the doing. If you are working toward something you are passionate about, you will stay engaged and on track. If your day is spent doing things you love, you can hardly call it work. Seek to make your life’s work also your life’s enjoyment.

Use confidence, optimism, tenacity, and enthusiasm.

In building your success, develop the key of confidence, in yourself and your goal. Create a large supply of optimism. Know when to employ tenacity and refuse to give up on your dream. Cultivate enthusiasm. Enthusiasm is the key that will keep you opening doors until you finally find your successful life path. Once you have found that life path, success consists of continuing to walk the path you were destined to take.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

Ways you are preventing success.

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Roadblock to goal

Roadblock to Success.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

How many ways are you standing in the path of becoming successful?

Some people rack up a lot of successes in life, other people find that mostly they fail.  Successful people always have a few failures.  But if you find that mostly your life has been a string of failures with few successes you may want to look at what is causing that.  There are some habits, which some people have, that we sometimes call self-sabotaging.  Some people are able to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.  If you find that the dominant theme in your life is failure, you may be engaging in some of these success preventing behaviors.

You blame others for your failures.

The road to success involves taking a lot of personal responsibility.  If you find that when you fail you are always blaming someone else, your lack of looking at your own part in these failures may be creating a repeating pattern.

You spend a lot of time doing things you don’t care about.

To be successful you have to put in the work.  Doing the practice that is required to develop skills takes time.  If you find that you are spending a lot of time to doing things that aren’t important and you don’t really care about, you are wasting valuable practice time on things that don’t add to your success.

You let your fears keep you from trying.

It’s possible to try and fail.  But you will fail at 100% of the things that you don’t try to do.  You will never have any big successes if you let your fears keep you from trying things in the first place.

You make a big deal out of your failures.

The more time you spend focusing on the things you fail at, the less time it leaves you for planning and executing possible successes.  Don’t stay focused on the things that didn’t succeed.  Devote your energy, your time and your thinking on planning for the projects of the future.

You spend a lot of time regretting the past.

People whose life theme is failure spend a lot of time rehashing the past.  To increase your success percentages, focus your time on planning for the future and work on your projects in the present.

You constantly worry about future.

It’s important to consider the future, to plan for it and to plan for all eventualities.  But there’s nothing you can do today but today’s work.  Worry doesn’t keep you safe.  Working, planning and preparing for the future increases your chances of success.

You can see the negative in everything.

The pessimist sees the negative everywhere they look.  Pessimists don’t create grand successes.  If you spend all your time focused on the negative, you have no time to create a positive.

You try to please everyone all the time.

Trying to please everyone all the time is playing to the lowest common denominator.  You can’t please everyone.  Innovative ideas require taking chances.  If you are creative few people will have thought of your idea before you.  Successful people get off the beaten track and do new novel things.

You believe goals are waste of time.

If you believe that goals are a waste of time you are not going anywhere.  Successful people have goals to direct their path.  The goals keep you from spending most of your time wandering aimlessly.  If you don’t know where you’re going you won’t recognize it when you get there.  Is your failure to plan a planning for failure?

You have forgotten how to have fun.

If the life you live is a life of drudgery, nothing will make you feel successful.  Life has its ups and its downs.  Make sure that you enjoy the journey or you will arrive at the destination worn out from the road.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

Eight steps to clearer thinking.

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Become a more efficient thinker.

PNG of brain.

Clear thinking.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

There are those people who are really clear, efficient thinkers.  Have you ever wished you were one of those efficient thinkers? There are ways that you can become a clearer more efficient thinker.  The skills needed to be an efficient thinker are not something people are born with.  Good thinking is a skill that you can develop. Start by getting your brain running at top efficiency.

Eat a healthy diet.

Your brain consumes a significant portion of the calories you use each day.  By some estimates, your brain uses 20 plus percent of the calories you burn each day.  To think well you need to fuel that brain.  Give your brain a healthy diet if you want to get good work out of it.  Not only do you need enough calories, but you need enough of all the basic nutrients.  Work on including healthy ingredients in your diet.

Get enough sleep.

Lack of sleep will make you a groggy, fuzzy headed thinker.  Begin your day the night before by getting to bed at a reasonable hour.  Efficient thinkers have well-rested brains.  You can’t think at peak efficiency with a tired out brain.  During sleep, your brain is cleansed of all the waste products from the thinking work you do each day.

Do healthy exercise.

To be a clear thinker you need a healthy body.  Keeping your body healthy requires a good balance between exercise and rest.  Improve your thinking clarity by getting up from your desk and moving around.  Include some standing, walking and other exercises in your daily routine.

Store information in multiple ways.

The brain stores information that comes in through different channels in different locations.  If you want to be a clear thinker you need to be able to find information stored in your brain.  One way to do that is to store it in multiple locations.  Listen carefully to what you hear.  Take the time to really look at things.  Writing things down helps you to store the memory in another part of your brain.  Some people find it useful to sing or convert things they want to remember into rhymes.

Become more mindful.

Mindfulness is a useful way to train your brain.  Mindfulness practice can help you learn to be less distracted and more focused on the thing that you are trying to concentrate on.  Mindfulness teaches you the skill of ignoring extraneous thoughts and staying on task with a really important thought.

Read to improve your thinking ability.

Reading expands your ability to think clearly.  We think in words and the more you read the more words you become familiar with.  Read widely and increase the number of ideas you are familiar with.

Excite your brain.

Do mentally stimulating things.  Seek out novelty.  An enthusiastic brain produces better results.  The majority of all learning is emotional, not intellectual.  If you are interested in a topic, if it excites your mind, this thought becomes easier to remember and make use of.

Match your speed to the project.

Some projects require slow methodical thinking.  Other tasks benefit from a more rapid, creative approach.  If you’re working on a very detailed problem in mathematics or engineering, you need to slow down your speed to avoid errors.  If you need more creative thoughts, keep the flow moving.  Some of the most creative ideas come from brainstorming where you come up with as many ideas as rapidly as possible without censoring them.

Hope these ideas will help you improve that clarity of your thinking.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

Ways you are preventing success.

Success.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Are you getting in your own way?

Creating the life you want takes work. Whatever your goals and those goals should reflect your values, it can be difficult getting things done. A successful life does not need to be all about money, though having the funds available will allow you to accomplish more.  With all the hard work you put in it is important to not do things that undermine your own success

Regardless of whether your life plan includes helping others, being a great artist or athlete, having good children, a financial goal or some other accomplishment, reaching those aims takes effort.  Make sure you’re not putting roadblocks in your own success path.

With all that needs to be done to create the life you want, you do not want to be doing things that undermine your progress. Many people are unconsciously engaging in thoughts and behaviors that make reaching their desired outcomes that much harder.  Take a look at the list below and see if any of these items apply to you. How many of these goal interfering things are you doing?

Saying it can’t be done.

If you say you can’t do something, if you say it can’t be done, you have prevented that outcome from ever happening.  Positive self-talk can help motivate you to reach your goals.  Negative self-talk is your own mind getting in the way of you accomplishing things.  Make it a habit of approaching your tasks with a positive frame of mind.  Positive affirmations set you up for success.  Negative affirmations tell your mind you don’t really believe in yourself.

Waiting for the right time.

There is no right time hiding off in the future for following your dreams. Every day is today and today is the only possible time to begin to work on yourself.  Accomplishing great things requires putting in the work.  Successful people are skilled at what they do.  Developing that success requires a great deal of practice and patience.

Looking for someone to blame.

Focusing on others, what they should do and shouldn’t do, does not get you moving. You are the one who controls this instance. You may have limited choices over some things, but blaming others avoids focusing on the things you do have control over. People who fail have lots of people to blame.  People who succeeded in reaching their goals take personal responsibility for their progress.

Saying you don’t have the time.

We all have the same amount of time each week as every other inhabitant of planet earth. You get 168 hours this week. Use this time wisely because once this week is gone it will never come again. Do not put off taking the actions today that will create your tomorrows.  Every day life happens.  Don’t expect suddenly to have an open period in your life when you have nothing to do other than work on your success.

Your background is preventing you.

People from any possible background have accomplished great things. Then there are those who appear to have had all the possible advantages and still, their life went nowhere.  Other people struggle with great adversity and still reach their goals.  No matter where you started or what should have been, many things are possible.

Don’t spend your time focusing on the things that can’t be done.  Look for those things that are possible, that move you forward in a positive direction. Take the life you have had so far and use that to push you forward to create the best possible future life.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.