If I weren’t afraid, I would …

While I was considering whether to post this or not, I could say that even the existence of this post would follow the title. I am writing this in the hope that this exercise will help someone in the same way it helped me. I am reading a new book which I would not like to disclose more about here, as, I need to get a firm grip of how I can put its content into words, without sounding like a weirdo. In this book, I am learning about myself. One of the things explained there, relates to our spirits.

Our spirits give us life.

fearless

Recognizing that it’s your spirit that gives you life helps you recognize the formidable force that is YOU. Your spirit has its own presence – a unique vibration, that’s totally distinct from your personality (which to a large degree is formed as a defensive shield around your spirit). The best way to connect with your spirit is to start recognizing what makes you come alive. Why do you need to connect with your spirit? So, that your life can follow its destiny easily, so that your life flows, so that you are happy and content and you get the best chances to fulfill your life. The book highlights specific questions we can ask ourselves to explore what our spirits are really like. These questions seem more like those questions for personal development and career discovery tools. They are something like this: Where in your life do you feel the most competent? or What activities engage you so fully that you lose yourself? or What lifts and inspires your soul? Now, these questions I have come across a myriad of times and they never really spoke to me deeply. I could not relate that much. However, there is one question, which you can guess from the title, or more, an affirmation exercise, which clicked something in me. It made me open up. This is as follows:

If I weren’t afraid, I would …

overcoming fear combating fear

If I weren’t afraid, I would share with you everything that I wrote for this exercise. But I am still learning to do that. 

If I weren’t afraid, I would resign and move back home, rent a 1 year studio, live life with my husband as if we were rich and find our exactly what we want to do and do everything we have never done before together.

If I weren’t afraid, I would buy a camera and a good laptop and start doing Youtube professionally or creatively.

If I weren’t afraid, I would take all the courses I wanted to take part in all these past years to see why they are of such interest to me and to have more knowledge about the subjects, get a diploma, maybe even reveal my vocation.

If I weren’t afraid, I would visit Portugal, Italy, Greece, Spain and other foreign places.

If I weren’t afraid, I would play more (for example I would make my own dresses based on dresses I love from designers I can’t afford now)

how to deal with fear and failure

If I weren’t afraid, I would dress up more.

If I weren’t afraid, I would play with make up.

If I weren’t afraid, I would have a cat or 2.

If I weren’t afraid, I would buy a piece of land and do my own ecological house. See this link so you can understand what I mean.

If I weren’t afraid, I would create a digital magazine.

If I weren’t afraid, I would be less secretive…

If I weren’t afraid, I would have more fun. Be more open. Believe more in people.

how to stop fear in your life

If we weren’t afraid of our self-critiques, we would feed more our spirits and be more fulfilled. We would be better equipped to deal with ourselves first and foremost, and then, be prepared to help others do the same. We could live in paradise. Do you know what experiences, activities and energies give you strength and fortify and nourish you at your core, leaving you feeling satisfied, content with life and comfortable in your own skin? I do know, deep down inside. If I weren’t afraid, I would pursue that. I would share that. I would act on it. I could be successful.

What delights and surprises you, what draws you into life, helping you to embrace it head on and brings you to peace within yourself? That’s what this If I weren’t afraid, I would… exercise is all about. This specific exercise awakened my spirit and when this happens, you are more connected with yourself and are able to see your path clearer. When this thing happens, the next one is that, you start implementing small changes which will lead you to your joyful life goal and purpose.

I have learned to take notice of what fortifies and feeds my own unique spirit, paying special attention to how sensitive and aware I am of it.

Do you nurture your spirit with the experiences it needs in order to thrive? 

how to live with fear

Fall in love with your job

There are 3 ways you can fall in love with your job. The first one is to work in that field you have a passion about. The second is by achieving success in that type of activity you do, which ultimately will lead your heart to loving the job you are doing, because you are successful and you are valued for what you deliver. The third is when you try to accommodate yourself to the job, by using your skills, talents or passions at your current workplace, by either doing some extra activities (usually not paid) but that you truly enjoy and make you really love your job or by actually moving into a new role simply because the company you are working for needs that and you happen to be the right person at the right time. But this rarely happens. Or I have not come across this very often.

There is another way that can help you adjust yourself to start falling in love with your job. It is called using your character strengths in your current role or when you are searching for a new job.

A team of German researchers found that those who consider their job a calling use between 4-7 character strengths while performing it. The less character strengths you use, the less interested you are in what you do.

Therefore, once you know your character strengths (you can go to www.viacharacter.org to take the free survey to discover it) you can start using it at work or when you want to apply for a new position.

fall in love with your job character strength

I find this survey extremely helpful, because sometimes the character strengths that portray something we really love is not something we know how to name. I read about this research made on a tribe who had specific names for all green shades, which they could name, even though they were very close in shade. The researchers put these people to name our specific shade of green (the color green as we see it) that we can all name as green (as we don’t really use shades to name the green, it’s just green in our eyes for every shade of green) and they could not name it because they did not see it before. They had no idea that particular shade of green existed prior to the research and they still could not name it. That’s because we grow up with specific notions and concepts and those concepts make us understand the world. If we do not hold a concept for a specific thing, not only we cannot see it, but we cannot name it. And even if we can see it, we won’t be able to describe it. Which makes it harder to act on it.

I feel the same thing happens when we need to pin point what is it that makes us happy at work. First of all, no one teaches us how to do that and secondly, there is no notion of attributes we should have to love our jobs. So, this specific survey The Character Strengths will reveal to you your true traits. The traits that lay hidden inside you, that you can rely on when you are in the state of flow, but that which you cannot name. As you do not know how to name something you appreciate and enjoy doing. I am referring to something very specific in a particular task. As an example, my core character strength is appreciation of beauty and excellence, followed by creativity, honesty, love, judgement and love of learning. Now, if you think about it, what jobs do you see advertised that can offer me that? The feeling of appreciation of beauty and excellence, creativity, honesty, judgement? It is a feeling I experience when I create on my blog, but then, who will pay me for my blog? I must have a huge following to start receiving an income just from my writing or sharing stuff here.

My core virtues are transcendence, wisdom, courage and humanity. This translates to me in a job related to healing, teaching, even artists. It is hard to find a job description saying we require artists. So, the true value of this survey consists in the fact that you get to have a name for what makes you happy when you work, you get to have a concept for that specific thing you experience when you are in the state of flow, you get to finally understand yourself better and to make the best of your time at work by following that which brings to you that creative freedom.

Therefore, I strongly recommend for you to take the survey, get a notion for your pleasurable attributes for working and start incorporating that more into your day to day working life or lifestyle in general. I guess it is fine to not necessarily work having to use all your character strengths, but will you feel happy to have that job?

We now have this opportunity to discover those traits and start acting on it. Because just as the people who could not name the green color, yet they could name all shades of green, we have a lack of understanding the basics. The very thing that makes all shades of green. 

And we only need between 4-7 character strengths to say that our jobs bring us joy. Have your first 7 core character strengths revealed here

fall in love with your job core character strength test

6 Neil Gaiman inspirational lessons to take in the 2017 New Year

Make Good Art was a speech that Neil Gaiman delivered for some graduates at an university back in 2012 and it was after that event, that it was put into a very beautifully designed book named Make Good Art that I read and even though its teachings refer to what it needs to be done to accomplish a good art in the arts field, I believe I can twist them and make them be valuable as a inspiration to take on for the 2017 New Year for anything that you wish to accomplish. Or for your New Year’s Resolutions’ tools to help you attain the goals you have set up to.

how to follow your passion in 2017

First of all, Neil Gaiman says that “When you start a career in the arts you have no idea what you are doing” and that is an awesome aspect because if no one knows then there were no rules set up, and if there are no rules, then no one can tell you that something in particular it’s impossible because no one has went beyond any boundaries, since there were none discussed.

I would put that into whatever career you start, you have no idea where it is going to take you or if it is going to take you anywhere as nowadays every day a new career appears with the emerge of technology, social media and overall the internet. Therefore, even though there are specific rules for each job you take, it does not mean that you cannot innovate and try out things or recommend ideas. Be open to opportunities, but make sure to take those that take you closer to that career you seek. Which can change in the future as much as you change your path through those opportunities you take, that make you grow and thus, change your ideas of your career.

“If you don’t know it’s possible, it’s easier to do.” Neil Gaiman

how to follow your passion in 2017

The second lesson is that if you know what you want to do, then just go ahead and do it. #justdoit right? Neil Gaiman discussed that in the field of arts it is hard to establish a balance between what you want to achieve and what it is correct to do taking into account that you need to pay debts, rent, food and life in general and at the same time, work on your creative dreams. What the author mentions worked for him was to imagine he was walking towards a mountain that was his dream and if at any point in time, he would be uncertain about what he should do, he would then stop and ask himself if that road it taking him closer to the mountain and taking him away from the destination. That links to the first thing to be open to opportunities but pay attention not to be diverted to someone else’s mountain when taking specific opportunities. This applies to all jobs and all life events, not just in the creative fields.

The third lesson is the one that we encounter in every book, with any motivational or inspirational figures out there, and that relates to dealing with failures, resilience, self-esteem and confidence in what you do that it will work out.

“The problems of failure are problems of discouragement, of hopelessness, of hunger. You want everything to happen and you want it now. And things go wrong.” Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman advised us not to do anything just for the money as it will turn out we will not have anything else apart from the experience of the money, usually spent or maybe not received.

He says “nothing I did where the only reason for doing it was the money, was ever worth it”.

There are always problems of success. Sometimes you take on jobs that you not necessarily like, but they pay the bills and you start creating a comfort zone, a lifestyle that you cannot give up because it won’t be able to be paid by what you actually want to work. Neil Gaiman shares the following: “the biggest problem of success is that the world conspires to stop you doing the thing that you do, because you are successful”.

The forth lessons connects with the previous ones, because it is connected to failure. ” I hope you make mistakes” it’s Neil Gaiman’s message. Because it means you have tried and you have learned something from it to take on in the future. It means you have tried what you wanted to try and you will have no regrets.

how to follow your passion in 2017

“Fifthly, make your art.” Neil Gaiman

Do that thing that you are passionate about and that only you can do. You are unique and your passion will thrive if you put your skills up to work it out. There is no one else in the world like you to do it and have the success that you can have. I want to share with you another paragraph that I found very inspirational and motivational to keep going on and to follow that passion you have:

“The moment that you feel that, just possibly, you’re walking down the street naked, exposing too much of your heart and your mind and what exists on the inside, showing too much of yourself. THAT’S THE MOMENT YOU MAY BE STARTING TO GET IT RIGHT.” Neil Gaiman

Lastly, the sixth lesson to take in the 2017 New Year is that you need to have 2 of the following 3 traits in any passion you follow and in any job you apply for:

  1. Your work is good
  2. You are easy to get along with
  3. You deliver your work on time

2 out of 3 is fine 

because:

  • “People will tolerate how unpleasant you are if your work is good and you deliver it on time.
  • They’ll forgive the lateness of your work if it’s good and if they like you.
  • You do not need to be as good as the others if you’re on time and it’s always a pleasure to hear from you.” Neil Gaiman, Make good art 

At the end of the speech and of the book, because I read the book, Neil Gaiman shares the best advice he had ever received and it was from the Sandman’s book written by Stephen King that says:

“This is really great. You should enjoy it.”

how to follow your passion in 2017

Enjoy your journey to your destination. Being too much worried will take that joy and that’s ultimately what matters, that you have lived each day consciously. In the present, Now.