Quitting.

Sunday Inspiration.     Post by David Joel Miller.

Quitting

Quitting.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Quitting.

“You have not failed until you quit trying.”

― Gordon B. Hinckley

“I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion’.”

― Muhammad Ali

“Once you learn to quit, it becomes a habit.”

― Vince Lombardi Jr.

Wanted to share some inspirational quotes with you.  Today seemed like a good time to do this. If any of these quotes strike a chord with you, please share them.

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Ways you are preventing success.

By David Joel Miller.

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.

How to fail –Getting F’s may be harder than you think

By David Joel Miller.

All F’s are hard to get. Consistent repeated failure is harder than you think.

Success and Failure

Success and Failure.
FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Every semester we who are teaching, have to put together a syllabus which describes the things the class will cover, what you have to do to get a particular grade and the other things you need to know.

Wouldn’t it be nice if the rest of life came with that sort of clear directions?

How come we get a syllabus in college but not in life?

I have become convinced that many of the same factors that result in successes or failure in school also apply to life in general. There are certain things that will result in good grades and others that will result in consistent failure.

What surprises my students each semester is when I tell them that most of the time getting an F is more work than getting an A.

Here are things you will need to do to fail in school and these tips can help you fail in life if you so choose.

Drinking a lot of alcohol and doing a lot of drugs ensures failure.

Studies have consistently shown that the more drugs you do the lower your GPA. Drink enough and you will stop coming to class. Not showing up helps in your quest for failure.

There are lots of other escape mechanisms to let you run from your problems. Once you avoid a problem by using a crutch the problem gets bigger and you become more dependent on that crutch.

To avoid learning do not read the book or take notes.

Avoiding any new information assists in the art of failure. While you may not know enough to succeed you already know more than enough to fail.

This aversion to new knowledge can increase the chances of failure where ever you apply it. Jobs change so do relationships. The person who does not learn new job skills will become obsolete. The person who does not put anything into a relationship eventually finds the affection account has run dry.

Do not do the work and you are on the way to failure.

Work is an interference in the failure filled life. Do too much work and you might get something right. Those who do best at failure try the least.

Continue to insist that things should come your way by luck or as something you are owed. Never consider that effort could be necessary.

If by accident you did the homework, do not turn it in.

This is a sure-fire method for grabbing failure from the jaws of success. Leave the homework at home; keep that report in your desk until it is past the deadline. Never start anything until it is too late and you can avoid even the semblance of success.

If you do make some effort, minimize it, discount it and avoid letting anyone see what you have worked on. In a failure filled life, it is necessary to keep your efforts a secret.

Miss as much class as possible; don’t show up for anything in life that matters.

Nothing so improves the probability of failure as to not be there when things are being done. Miss enough work and you will not need to come in anymore. Salesmen if you stop making calls you will be assured of a sales free month.

Do not take any tests and you can’t ever pass one.

Avoiding any midterms or the final is a way to get the total points down below the passing level. Don’t show up for job interviews and you will not need to go to work. Avoid any evaluation and you will never have any big successes.

The consistent application of these principles will radically increase the chances you will have a life full of failure.

For maximum failure stop trying.

Still having a life full of deliberate failures may not make you a failure. To assure that you and others will consider your life a failure it is necessary to give up trying anything and everything and avoid all success no matter what the cost.

To begin to have a successful life do the opposite of these tips and begin to live your life by making the efforts needed to succeed. You might be pleasantly surprised how an occasional success can result in a positive attitude and that new improved attitude can result in a progressively longer string of success.

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.

Social or anti-social drinker? Dangers of emotional drug use.

By David Joel Miller.

Using drugs to regulate emotions is a high-risk behavior.

Bottles of alcohol.

Alcoholic Beverages.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

We have all heard and seen the use of drugs, especially alcohol to alter mood. Media has bought into this and it is a common perception. If you feel badly then you need a drink.

This is the worst possible way to use any substance.

People who are sad drink, to cheer themselves up. The angry person has a few to calm down why doesn’t this work?

Absolutely drinking and other drugs can change the way you feel. You feel a little down so you have a few. For a while, you feel better. That drinking makes you forget why you were down in the first place. Then it wears off.

As the alcohol wears off the feeling returns only now you have the consequences of drinking, money spent, maybe a hangover, maybe just an empty feeling that you are sad and nothing is getting better. So you need to drink again.

Each time you drink you feel a mood swing. When it wears off your mood moves back where it came from. Once you learn the mood swing that accompanies the use of your drug of choice it is reliable. Too reliable.

Over time, as tolerance builds it will take more of that drug to get the same feeling. Or the same amount will do less. Either way, the tendency is to do more, drink more, to try to change the way you feel. Each time the drug wears off you end up lower than where you were before you used.

Eventually, you need to drink or use all the time if you want to keep feeling good or stay out of that blackness. Then something changes.

You find that when the drug wears off you feel worse than before. You need to drink a few now just to get back to where you started. Eventually, you will need to drink just to feel normal. Whatever normal is for you and for many of us that normal was the reason we started to drink or use in the first place.

At this point, no amount of use will get you back to the feeling OK place. If only using and drinking could help you cope but at some point that substance that promised to be your solution, it has become your problem. Now you are drinking and using just to get by. You may reach a point where you can’t get back to normal anymore. Now you need some of that hair of the dog that bit you just to be able to function at all.

People who use alcohol because they are angry, find that once drunk they lose control of their emotions. That alcohol, it reduces inhibitions. A couple of drinks makes you social in the beginning but later a few drinks can make you antisocial. Under the influence, disinhibited, you may do things that you never would have done sober.

That person who needs a few to get up the courage to say what they think is now acting on that suppressed rage. One survey concluded that the vast majority of people in prison were drunk or high in the 24 hours before they committed the crime that sent them away.

That supposed friend that was helping you cope, your drug of choice, has it become the reason you are in jail or homeless?

People who are sad. Who drink to cheer themselves up, find they can forget their troubles for a while but eventually those troubles find them. And now those troubles have become worse because of failed responsibilities and things done and said while under the influence.

We know that people who are sad and depressed who drink are 55 times more likely to attempt suicide. Often with completed suicides and overdose deaths, there is alcohol in the bloodstream that reduced the inhibitions and permitted the act that brought this life to an end.

A single drink on a social occasion may make for fun. But if you find you need that drink to have fun, that without the drink, or the drug, your life is full of emotions that you just can’t stand, then that drink or drug is not your friend anymore, it has become your tormentor.

Having to drink or use to regulate emotions places you at high risk for addiction. Alcoholism, suicide or homicide. It also can induce mental and emotional illnesses or make a pre-existing mental health problem significantly worse.

You can’t learn much when unconscious and those emotional regulation lessons you learned while under the influence, there is a strong chance that you got those emotional lessons wrong.

Drinking and using for emotional reasons can take you in a really bad direction.

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.

I could never do that – Talking yourself out of success

By David Joel Miller.

When we talk to ourselves our brain believes us.

Ever wondered how someone achieves something great despite overwhelming obstacles? The secret to those high achievers is that they believe in themselves.

Tell yourself that you can’t do something and the chances are you won’t be able to do it. Tell yourself that you can be successful and the chances you will become successful increase dramatically. Tell yourself you “are a failure” and you will become one.

Tell yourself often enough that you can’t accomplish anything in your life, that you don’t deserve success, and your brain will start believing you. It will make sure to pull back just as you get close to your goal.

Your brain can actually begin to protect you from success. It knows you “can’t do this” and it makes sure you can’t. Since you have trained your brain to serve you it is hard for it to disagree with the “fail” instruction.

The salesman who goes to work thinking he will make a big sale that day has a better chance of making a sale. It may not be the big sale he expected, but it is something.

The salesman who expects to fail will probably fail to make a sale most of the time. More than once in my life I have gone to a store expecting to buy something and left without making a purchase because the person who was supposed to be helping me was so negative about everything they deflated my desire to buy.

Negativity can be contagious. So can positivity.

One way to improve your chances of success is to begin to believe that you can do it. You also need to believe that you deserve it. We all deserve to have a happy life. The important thing is to define what that success, that happy life, would look like for each of us individually.

When we don’t feel worthy, that this last success was an undeserved fluke, we can stop trying, not expecting anything to go our way again. We can also self-sabotage because we don’t feel that we deserve this benefit.

Many of us learned these negative “fail” messages early in life. We were told we were “stupid” or “worthless” and we began to believe these messages. We repeated them over and over and eventually our brains stored them away as a way to explain life. We avoided trying because we expected to fail.

Sometimes people break out of this trap of negativity and self-doubt because someone else believes in them. One teacher or counselor who believes in a child can make a world of difference in that child’s life.

Other times people find they have to become their own cheerleaders. They begin by telling themselves positive things each day. We call those thoughts positive affirmations. Giving the brain the same message over and over will cause it to believe that message.

Repeatedly I have seen older students who didn’t believe they were that smart, return to school out of desperation. They needed to get a degree that would lead to a job, any job. Along the way, to that degree, they discover that they are a lot smarter and a lot more capable than they ever thought.

They had stopped telling themselves they couldn’t and started telling the brain they had to and the brain came through for them. They did succeed.

Every therapist could tell you stories of clients who came to therapy defeated and discouraged. They believed they couldn’t. Over the course of therapy the client’s perception changed first to maybe I could, and then to I think I can.

As a result of that change of thinking people have gone on to achieve great things. They have finished school and gotten a degree, found jobs or established and improved relationships all while staying clean and sober and out of their depression.

All these things happen when you begin to believe in yourself.

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.

Success or failure?

By David Joel Miller.

Are you a success or a failure?

Success and Failure

Success and Failure

Men and women seem to understand success and failure differently. The kinds of things that most men see as successes and failures are different from those experienced by women.

I know those old gender stereotypes are not always true and things are changing, but when it comes to issues of success and failure the problems that bring men and women to the counseling room are usually different. Men in counseling may say they are not very successful. They want to be more successful. Women rarely say that.

When men say success they mean money or accomplishment.

Men talk about not being successful in terms of money, income, being a good provider for their family. They also think in terms of accomplishment. Men feel good about themselves when they win a contest, are famous for some sport or activity or because of education and promotions, they assume a position of authority.

It doesn’t always have to be about the money, it can also be about the position or the activity. A pastor, priest or director of a nonprofit may not make a lot of money but they can think of themselves as successful if they are able to see their organization accomplish its mission. If they feel that the role they fill is important.

Women worry about relationship failure.

Women, on the other hand, are more likely to see their therapist because they perceive that they have “failed.” They report they have “failed” at marriage or “failed” at motherhood. Traditionally men and women have evaluated themselves differently.

Men think they need to have things.

Men are most likely to evaluate themselves based on what they have or “are.” They have a nice house, they drive a new prestigious car, they have a good-looking “trophy” wife. Lacking a lot of expensive toys a man can still feel good about himself if he believes he “is” something worthwhile. He can be poor and still have “status” if he is a priest or pastor, a doctor or a professor.

Women tend to evaluate themselves based on their relationships. They can feel like a success if they have good children who love them. The love of their husband is likely to be more important than his income. Women have told me they don’t care if they have to live in a car as long as they know their man and their kids love them. Now clearly there are materialistic women just like there are men who are more motivated by love. But overall women may look for a man who can be a good provider for them and the children, but having made their choice they are most likely to feel they are successful if the relationship is going well rather than if he sends the money home from a place where he lives with someone else.

In therapy, people get a chance to take another look at their understanding of success and failure. They decide just what they need to do to feel successful and they learn new skills to move to the position of feeling good about themselves. Sometimes they discard the yardstick they have been using to measure success and get a new understanding of what success and failure mean to them.

Whether you feel like a success or failure then is not all about the money or the relationship. It is mostly about the yardstick you are using to measure success or failure. How do you measure your success or failure? What would you need to have or accomplish to feel successful and what are you doing to get there?

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.

Creating failure from success – 9 ways to Self-Sabotage

By David Joel Miller.

How to self-sabotage.

Many people seem to get right to the threshold of success and then suddenly do exactly the wrong thing, the one action that is likely to create failure.  Here are ways that you might turn your potential success into a failure and some reasons why you might be doing just that.

1. Don’t believe in yourself.

The belief that you don’t deserve success can undermine any effort to improve your life. People who tell themselves they don’t deserve things can’t accept success even when they achieve it. Believe that you are worth having happiness not because you are more special than someone else but because you are the only unique you there is. You are special just like everyone else.

Saying positive affirmations and working on your belief that you deserve success can help this.

Believe that if you try you will be more successful than if you don’t try.  Self-efficacy is the belief that if you make the effort you can do this. Foster that belief in the “Yes I can” times of your life and in the lives of your family and children if you want to risk success.

2. Underestimate yourself and aim low to create failure.

People who believe they can’t do something are rarely surprised. If you aim low enough you will not be disappointed. You can’t hit a target if you don’t aim for it. Closely related to the belief “I can’t do it” is the belief that it is better to not try.

People who set high goals for themselves and then accept that what they achieve is better than not trying are happier and more productive than those who never try for fear of failure. Failures are required for learning and growth. Make lots of mistakes, learn from them and grow. Try to not make huge costly mistakes or repeat the same mistake over and over. But when you do fail, dust yourself off and try again.

Not trying at all will guarantee failure.

3. Accept nothing short of perfection.

Lots of people see things as black and white. They think that if they can’t do something perfectly they are a failure. If you require perfection from yourself eventually you will fail and that just confirms that you are no good and shouldn’t try.

Great basketball players do not hit every shot but they do keep putting the ball up there. Unless you are aiming for failure you need to cut yourself some slack.

Not trying at all is a sure shortcut to failure.

4. When things are going well look for something irresponsible to overdo.

You can work hard for months to become successful and then if you work at it, you can destroy all your progress with a single act.  People, who are working on their finances, trying to get out of debt, can always find something to splurge on and put themselves back in debt.

Have you been looking for work for months? Finally got that interview for a wonderful job? The night before the interview did you go out and get drunk? If you have a really bad hangover you can flush that interview without even trying. Showing up late and hung over eliminates the worry of getting that job.

Better yet, call that prospective new employer from jail. Apologize you can’t see him until you get out, ask for help with bail.

5. Keep testing yourself – find a way to fail.

Trying to stop drinking? Go visit your friends at the bar and see if you can spend the whole evening there without drinking.

On a budget, do lots of window shopping, check every sale and see if you can resist.

Test yourself with temptations you known will sabotage your life reputedly. It is nice to known that it is too hard staying on track and it was not your fault that you yielded to temptation.

Repeat this mantra – “The credit card made me do it.”

6. Never do today what you can put off until tomorrow, or the day after.

Always show up late. Put things off until they are no longer an option. When your ship comes in make sure you are still in bed asleep.

Procrastination is the enemy of success. We all do it because it avoids pain. Sometimes progress is painful. If you are looking for failure you will want to practice procrastination.

7. Never prepare for anything.

People who plan ahead run the risk of accomplishing something. If you fail to plan you have a great plan for failure. Never research anything. Make all decisions impulsively and based on ignorance. Why confuse yourself with facts when you can make lots of mistakes based on no information.

Practice in sports and in life is for winners. If you want to fail, avoid this one.

8. Spend as much time as possible worrying and brooding about your problems.

If you concentrate on worry you can allow your problem to grow while you stay stuck in inactivity. A worried about problem expands until it is impossible to solve. This avoids the need to actually take any action.

Frequent long worry sessions will keep you too busy to do any problems solving.

9. Never evaluate or revise a plan that fails. You knew that nothing was going to turn out all right anyway.

Successful people are constantly reviewing and revising their goals and plans. You don’t want to be like that, do you?

Could you be your own worst enemy?

FINAL THOUGHT

If all of these ideas on how to self-sabotage and prevent success won’t work then you just may be stuck –  Planning ahead, taking action, aiming high, accepting yourself and your successes, learning from and forgiving the times you fail and revising your plans to increases you rate of success.

Best wishes on creating the happy life you deserve.

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.