4 Habits of Determined People
I am a very determined person. But there is a part of me that still holds onto this “learned behavior” of freezing when things get hard.
It’s not that I would “give up,” but rather, I would freeze.
I wouldn’t know what to do next. The fear of failure or worst making the wrong decision and others being disappointed would paralyze me. Others being “unhappy.”
Last week I was talking to my mentor and telling him about a decision I need to make. And he immediately looked at me and said:
“Hope…you are not responsible for other people’s happiness”.
No, follow up statement. No nothing. I felt the irony of that statement: when he said it, he wasn’t worried if it would make me happy or not. He said it because it was the truth.
For years I had it ? ALL WRONG. ?
I put so much of my energy into ensuring others would be happy. In return, I was killing myself, exhausting myself, to the point I was becoming bitter.
I would be temporarily happy because of my doings… But it never lasted. I would soon need another fix. I could never win.
See, I had being kind and helping others mixed up with making others happy…
I use to think that the only way to make others happy was to put them as a priority over myself. To give them everything they ask for. To self-sacrifice, put me at the bottom. Do the “poor me” dance.
This learned behavior was slowly killing me just as fast as my eating disorder was.
Over the last several years, I have been working diligently on cutting the cord of this person’s pleasing disease.
Here is what I know to be true…
❣️I believe we are all put here on this Earth for a God-given reason.
❣️We all have gifts, talents, and paths.
❣️We all are meant to shine, no one brighter than the next.
❣️But it is up to us as to how we choose to shine-dim our light or turn it up super bright.
My people-pleasing disease was strangling my natural determination superpower. I was driven, focused, and always wanting to do my best. But every time I would get the car running to accomplish BIG things, my people-pleasing disease would step in and sabotage my success. Over the years, I have learned how to effectively harness the skill sets and mindset to drive to my destination with less distraction.
Four Attributes of Determined People:
- Most successful people are great at delaying gratification. In the words of Beluga from Willy Wonka, “Daddy, please, I want it now.” And we all know what happened to Beluga. Part of my recovery was learning to sit with ill feelings and emotions. And learning they will pass. Right now, my parents are selling their house, and for my father, this is a roller coaster of emotions because when things don’t happen immediately, he just wants to make rash decisions. Dropping the price dramatically, thinks no one wants it… on and on. He just wants it over. But remember those feelings you are feeling are just feelings, and they will pass. Breathe my friends, and if you can delay that gratification for a bit longer, you may be surprised what you get in the end.
- Most successful people are great at withstanding temptation. I see this as several things. Are you trying to lose weight? That chip looks so good at 9:30 pm, doesn’t it? You have a deadline that would skyrocket your business, but you are organizing your office. You want a new job but have yet to do anything that would push you towards that goal outside of Netflix and Chill. My point is this; the temptation is just that-temptation. It’s enhancing immediate gratification for having it later. There is a form of resilience being cultivated when you say no so you can say yes then. You can do it!
- Most successful people are great at overcoming fear to do what they need to do. Most of my life, I have had a fear of rejection. Small, large, it doesn’t matter. And overcoming this has been a lot like going to the gym. If you want to develop a specific muscle or muscle group, your best work it and do things that are hard to strengthen that muscle then and, as a result, get better at them. So in my business, I have learned just to do it (thanks Nike). And if I lay out who I need to call the next day and put it in my calendar like an appointment and then just do it before I can overthink and my emotions wiggle their way in, success is within arms reach for me. The result, I’m less anxious around this and have taught myself that rejection is made up and that no’s only lead me to the yes’s waiting for me on the other side.
- Most successful people don’t set priorities; they do the things they decide are most important. What is important to you? It’s hard to figure this out without setting goals. Where do you want to go? What do you want to do? Where do you want to be? When we see the destination (no matter how crazy it might sound), knowing this will help you figure out what is essential. I see these things as choices. We all can make choices. What are you choosing to do? Are those choices aligned with what you say you want?
Remember this: Do not ever feel bad for how bright your light is.
And if it makes someone else unhappy, that is for them to fix—not you. But equally as much, learn to be happy when others have a win. In the end, this simple practice will almost always return to you as a win as well. Determined is not just to reach your goal. It’s also to support others when they reach theirs.
Let me ask you this: Who do you know that is doing amazing things? Who do you do that worked hard for something and got it? Who do you know that has achieved a win, goal, or accomplishment. Now it may be something you have been working your butt off to achieve, and they got there first. Remember that you do not know their past details for detail and do not know their future. But you can choose to be a part of that win by celebrating it with them. Who knows maybe they will inspire or share what they did to get there with you simply because you supported them.
Full disclosure, I did not grow up in a home where this was a regular practice. When others achieved things around us, there were not supportive cheers; there were usually negativity and sarcasm: jealousy and an unwillingness to step up and be a part of the celebration. Now things change, I’ve changed and refuse to be a part of that type of mindset. And have also come to realize that we only know what we know, and how we behave is sometimes a protection mechanism from pain or rejection. (PS I love all my family, but this is a reality that I think we all can learn from).
It occurred to me a few years ago that when I try to “make others happy,” I am taking away from them the opportunity to cultivate the necessary skills, talents, and pathways they need to find happiness on their own and keep it.
That it is not for me to judge if they have to go through discomfort, challenge, even rejection to get there, that is their path.
?That conversation reminded me that even though I have come so far, I still have some work.
?That conversation reminded me that I could spend my time trying to make others happy or find myself and be a light showing others how to cultivate it.
?That conversation reminded me that happiness is not something you can “give” people; it is something you can lead others to find themselves.
Today I want to encourage you to take a moment and ask yourself, “what makes YOU happy”?
And before any lame excuses pop into that conversation, ask yourself, “what is the reason you aren’t doing that”?
In keeping my focus and staying determined in my life, I try to do two things daily:
1. Set goals. Long term goals and short term goals. This helps me stay on track and also evaluate time suck activities-like jealousy and envy, scrolling Facebook to no end, and “organizing.”
2. Staying Grateful. Every night before my kids go to bed, our entire family (me, my husband, and our three kids) pray together, and after we say prayers, we go around and say a prayer for someone and what we can be grateful for. Doing this as a family has brought us closer together, and being able to get a glimpse of what my kids see and then share is impressive. When you go to bed at night, what you are thinking about is what your subconscious meditates on. So if it’s hate, jealousy, lack, and frustration, then that is what you are embedding, not your brain, body, and beliefs—such a simple act with such a powerful result.
So my reminder today is simple: you are not responsible for another’s happiness.
❣️Be a mentor and show others how to cultivate happiness.
❣️Be a mentor and assist others in creating the skills to discover happiness.
❣️Be a mentor, and do the things that make you happy.
Because what good is another’s happiness if you can’t enjoy it with them???
Your happiness has nothing to do with them… and everything to do with Y.O.U…
Check out some of Hope’s other blogs that focus on goals and the art of being determined:
5 Steps to Take Ownership Back Over Your Life
Dear Driven Woman,
Keep going. I get you–I see you–I am you. Even though you may feel alone at times, you are not. To get where you want to go isn’t easy. It will take every ounce of you but I know you can do this. I believe in you.
I AM DIFFERENT
It is said that adversity reveals one’s true character. For me, this couldn’t have been truer.
I never really put much thought into the “type” of person I was. Growing up, I realized at an early age that others didn’t think like me. They just weren’t motivated like I was. However, as I struggled with an eating disorder and an endless list of additional “problems”, it wasn’t until then that I truly saw the depths of my own character. I WAS different.
CHOOSING TO THRIVE
As I was working through my recovery, not one but THREE doctors all told me the same thing–“Best case scenario, Hope, is that you need to learn how to ‘function’ in this world, on medication.” I KNEW that wasn’t my destiny and I wasn’t going to be satisfied with simply surviving in life. My destiny was to thrive and I was going to do it my way–because I was different.
Hope Zvara of Mother Trucker Yoga
We are all different and have different values. There are certain things that drive us, motivate us, and push us over the edge. For me–I love working and enjoy contributing. Idle downtime is the devil for me. My idea of “downtime” is yoga, going for a walk, working out at the gym, or playing with my kids. Working and contributing allows me to thrive in life rather than simply surviving. To be honest, working and contributing helped me recover and continues to help me stay the path. That’s me. For you–you might be the complete opposite and that’s okay. It’s what makes the world go round.
NEVER APOLOGIZE FOR BEING YOU
Continually over the last 15 years, countless onlookers have said to me:
- “You are so busy.”
- “Hope, you do way too much.”
- “How do you have time to do ______?”
- “You should slow down and take a breath.”
- “Hope–you just never stop, do you?”
- “Listen, you should slow down and take a breath.”
Well, guess what–this is just HOW I AM! I never see working or contributing in life as “doing so much” or “being busy.” I have goals, dreams, and the determination to get there. I am driven and recognize that no one will build the life I want except for me. My purpose surrounds my family and my job. Both enable me to stay healthy. I built a successful business and my family continues to thrive. I will not apologize for this–ever. I’ll never apologize for being me.
So, what you may view as “busy,” is me being me. When you say, “Hope, your plate is too full”, well that is me filling my cup with great things. When you suggest that I “need to slow down”, it’s me actually being driven and focused. Furthermore, you should never judge a book by its cover.
BUSY VS. PRODUCTIVE
I learned a long time ago–there is a difference between busy work and doing things that build something great. No matter who you are that may be worth reflecting on.
Being busy just for the sake of being active is a waste of time, energy and will eventually break you. But entering into tasks, ideas, and projects that build what you want and where you want to go, is a smart and effective use of your time and talents.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
I’ll leave you with this: To all those out there who are highly motivated, go-getters, and dream seekers–keep doing you I see you, I get you, I’m cheering for you.
For those people that have time to judge the actions of others, I urge you to consider that maybe you could be a bit more motivated, driven, or purposeful. And, please, consider what comes out of your mouth and how it may affect the person you are saying it to. Words hurt.
PS. I am confident that someone will read this post and take offense. To those people, I urge you to dig a bit deeper and ask yourself why. You may be surprised as to what you find.
Have you ever been told to “take a deep breath” when something in your life has caused you to feel frustrated or overwhelmed? Chances are, you have. If you haven’t, you’ve definitely given this advice to someone else at some point or another. But why?
Stress in Life
With the ever-increasing demands and challenges in our daily lives, it’s easy to see why many of us suffer from high levels of stress. Stress activates your sympathetic nervous system, releasing hormones in the body that spark the “fight or flight” response. This response triggers the release of hormones that prepare your body to either stay and deal with a threat or flee to a safer place.
To deal with the stressors in our daily lives, many of us turn to things such as alcohol, food, exercise, or television shows to distract us. Why? Well, the answer is pretty simple–we don’t seem to have the proper tools or knowledge to be able to manage stress more effectively. And because breathing happens naturally, many of us don’t give the concept of breathing much attention.
However, breathing slowly and deeply can create a relaxation response within the body. Breathing exercises bring life back into your thirsty body, mind, and soul. It cleanses you, relaxes you, and it makes you whole.
What is F.O.R. Peace Breathing?
Pause F.O.R. Peace Breathing was introduced to me when I first started on my yoga journey. It wasn’t fancy, it wasn’t complicated, and it didn’t require any equipment. All it needed was you and your willingness to step back and breathe.
When you stop and take a breath in a stressful situation, you stop the hormones released by the sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight response) and start to live again. It is a simple tool that you can use every single day to prevent and release stress when it starts to bubble up.
Steps of F.O.R. Peace Breathing
Pause F.O.R. Peace Breathing un-complicates what our minds often make complicated. It makes you STOP and use the tool you were born with to deal with stress in your life.
What Does “F.O.R.” in Peace Breathing Stand For?
Focus on one, long, deep breath. Inhale deeply, feeling your diaphragm and belly expand (not your chest). Exhale through your nose or mouth for the same count, or longer. Be fully conscious of this breath.
Observe your mind. Does it wander during this breath? Where does it go? Can you try again to be right here, right now?
Refocus if you need to. Bring your mind back to your breath. If your mind wanders, return to one deep breath.
The next time that you are feeling stressed, uncertain, foggy minded, and in desperate need of relaxation, Pause F.O.R. Peace Breathing and take a breath. You will be thankful you did!
Today, I will Pause F.O.R. Peace Breathing and enjoy the power of my breath. I encourage you to join me, friends. What can it hurt?
If you’re looking for more ways to enjoy the power of your breath, check out these resources:
Meditations for Stress Relief
5 Simple Solutions When Life Feels Like A Mess
Meditation is an approach to training the mind. It’s just like how an athlete trains their body for a game.
Even though the thoughts of meditation can seem challenging, it is actually pretty simple. First, you choose something to focus your attention on. Once you’ve decided on your focus, the goal of meditation is to keep your attention on it for as long as possible.
So, why should you meditate? Well, meditation has been proven to temporarily alleviate stress, strengthen the mind to cultivate inner peace and improve your overall mental well-being.
The Benefits of Meditation
The benefits of meditation are limitless. In my opinion, meditation is the most valuable activity you can engage in to improve your self-awareness. Self-awareness means recognizing what you are thinking, feeling, and doing when you are doing it. It is a practice of mindfulness, which is the idea of being 100% present and engaged in whatever you’re doing–free from distraction or judgment.
A recent article by Healthline identified the following 12 health benefits of meditation:
- It’s a good way to manage stress
- Minimizes anxiety
- Improves self-image and promotes a positive outlook on life
- Increases self-awareness
- It can be practiced anywhere
Just as there are many different reasons why people meditate, there are also many different types of meditation.
Types of Meditation
Just as there are many different reasons why people meditate, there are also different kinds of meditation. Breath awareness or mindful meditation, is by far my favorite. It helps to reduce stress, anxiety, and anger, and sharpen your concentration and attention skills. When you become more mindful, you are able to accept your thoughts and feelings without judgement. Overall, meditation is about finding awareness and achieving peace in whatever way works best for you.
Here are some great meditations to help focus your mind and relax your body:
1. Mindful Breathing Meditation
Mindful breathing meditation gives you an anchor—your breath—on which you can focus when you find yourself distraught by a stressful thought. Mindfulness distances you from your thoughts and feelings, which can help you work through unpleasant feelings rather than becoming overwhelmed by them. Clear your mental clutter, relax and renew with this 30-minute guided meditation audio.
2. Centered Breathing Meditation
A heart-centred breathing practice focusing on developing appreciation, love and connection all on the waves of your breath. Centered breathing guided meditation uses simple counting to help focus the mind and relax the body.
3. Body Scan Meditation
Body Scan Meditation is designed to help you develop a mindful awareness of your bodily sensations, and learn to release the stress in your body and mind. This mindfulness practice can help to reduce stress, improve your overall well-being and decrease aches and pains. This body scan meditation audio will guide you through gentle exercises to guide you to deeper body awareness.
If at first you don’t succeed, keep trying! Just like many of the other things you set out to do in life, the effort you put into meditation will be directly reflected in your success or lack thereof. When you learn to enjoy the process itself—and work to get better at it—then you are more likely to keep at it long-term and give yourself the best possible results.
Stress. Stress can be overwhelming and even debilitating. It can cause headaches, muscle tension, difficulty sleeping, irritability, and negatively affect our immune system. Obviously, we all know that stress isn’t good for us physically or mentally. However, how do we keep stress from manifesting itself into our daily lives?
Life Is About Choices
The great American philosopher, Ralph Waldo Emerson, wrote a letter to his daughter who was worried over a mistake she’d made. This is what it said:
“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders, losses, and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can.
Emerson’s quote serves as a reminder to us that we must give ourselves permission to make a few mistakes, be imperfect, and “fall off of the wagon” from time to time. Accept what you were able to accomplish and leave yesterday in the past. Do not let stress and mishaps prevent you from moving forward.
In an article that appeared in Medical News Today, discusses how “Stress, in everyday terms, is a feeling that people have when they are overloaded and struggling to cope with demands. These demands can be related to finances, work, relationships, and other situations, but anything that poses a real or perceived challenge or threat to a person’s well-being can cause stress.”
You may not always be able to control what happens in your daily life, but you can practice healthy habits to manage stress.
17 Ways You To Mindfully Reduce Stress in Your Life
- Go to bed on time. What does that look like? I can imagine watching T.V. until nearly midnight is not what we had in mind.
- Get up a few minute earlier than planned and take some time to be silent, meditate and visualize how your day is going to be great.
- Learn to say “no”. Say no to projects that won’t fit into your time schedule, your vision, or may compromise your mental and emotional health.
- Allow others to help you. If they did’t want to help, they shouldn’t have asked. And that my friend is not your concern.
- Allow extra time. Cutting it close or under budgeting time because you think that will make others happy will eventually backfire. Consider allowing more time and getting there or done early. Now that is a bonus!
- Have a back up. Have a back up plan, a back up car key, a back up babysitter, a back up ride home. Anything. We think that takes too much time to prepare. But imagine how long it takes to find something that was never planned for?
- K.M.S. (Keep Mouth Shut). This single piece of advice can prevent an enormous amount of trouble, concern and pain. Ask yourself: “is what I am about to say helping or hurting”? And go from there.
- Eat right. Start with one right choice. An apple. A glass of water. No need to bulldoze your life today. Just add in one new food or simply drink more water and see where it takes you.
- Listen to relaxing music, or guided meditations. Choose uplifting or motivating broadcasts or shows. Stay away from music, broadcasts and entertainment that only causes more pain, confusion, agitation, and anger. You can choose what you listen to.
- Laugh. Every single day. Laugh. Laugh so hard you cry. And better yet, laugh with a friend. Laughter releases endorphins that you desperately need to stay happy.
- Keep a gratitude journal. When is the last time you really stopped and reflected on all you have to be grateful for. The news and social media do a good job of showing us where we are imperfect and lacking. Remind yourself you have so much to be grateful for.
- Surround yourself with people who lift you up rather than tear you down.
- Take ONE DEEP BREATH before you say or do anything more.
- Be kind to unkind people. Kindness matters. Being kind doesn’t mean you agree with them, or even want to be their best friend. But if you won’t be kind, then who will be?
- Slow down. Most of us are all in overdrive in multiple areas of our lives. What’s the hurry? What if you will get there at the exact right time, every time?
- Live within your budget. It’s not something we all want to hear. And there are times in life you need to take a leap. But when is the last time you wrote down all your expenses and asked yourself “is this necessary? what value does this bring to my life”? Hard truth, most of it is unconscious spending and as a result we are unable to afford the essentials.
- Meditate, pray, practice yoga. You don’t have to do them all. But when is the last time you unplugged with something that will plug you back in?
Finding the best mindful stress relief strategies may take some time. Don’t give up if one doesn’t work; Simply move on and try another. However, it’s important to keep looking for the tools that will help you manage life’s ups and downs in a healthy way. Keeping stress at a manageable level is important for your overall well-being.
Surround yourself with people that support you in your journe and leave those that don’t, behind. You won’t regret it.