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.
Happy New Year! It’s an opportunity we get every 365 days. What a great feeling! A new year, a new perspective, and a fresh start.
As a new year begins, many people make resolutions in an effort to better themselves. However, I don’t necessarily like resolutions. Resolutions tend to set people up for disappointment. So, instead of making resolutions again this year, set goals.
To be honest, I’ve never used to spend time to sit down and set goals for myself. Of course, I always had an “idea” of what I wanted to do each year but that’s pretty much it. So, when I sat down to write out my personal and professional goals for next year, I realized that I had NO idea how to do it. What was I supposed to do? What was the point? None. However, it’s something that I needed to figure it out and figure out quick.
Enter, John Maxwell.
John Maxwell is the New York Times bestselling author of How Successful People Think. In his book, Maxwell’s advice really hit home. He encourages people to be “big-picture thinkers.” Big picture thinkers keep broader, bottom-line goals in mind no matter what the task is and no matter how big or small it is. He states that “the purpose of a goal is to focus your attention and give direction, not to identify a final destination.” Finally, something that makes sense! Set smaller goals to reach your bigger goal–GENIUS!
So, as I sit down to set my goals for the new year, I now have a plan. My smaller goals will allow me to reach my bigger goals. I have my goals written down and for the first time in forever– I know what I need to do and I know what I must do in order to get there. There is a lot less “I wonder” and “I hope” thoughts filling my head and to be honest, it feels good. I am approaching the new year with the confidence and tools that I need to be successful. What a great feeling.
Whether you are beginning a fitness routine, creating a better plan of attack for meal planning, or yes, tackling the task of running your own business–set goals, stay the path and remain mentally clear. You can do it!
Check out these 5 Tips on Setting REALISTIC Resolutions!
Here’s to an amazing New Year! Cheers!
Is your child a warrior?
Your role in your children’s lives is crucial. As a parent, you walk alongside your child through their most developmental years. If you aren’t familiar with how to build your child into a Warrior, take the following notes into strong consideration.
Here are 3 Reasons You Should Teach Your Child to be a Warrior:
1. Empower Your Children to Feel and Know That They can do Anything
From a young age, kids are told what to do and when to do it. They aren’t often given the option to make a decision or feel in control. In every part of their lives, seek to give them options and let them make a choice.
In yoga, a pose like Warrior allows children to feel the empowerment like that of their superheroes. This pose will empower your children to feel and know that they can do anything. Give them choices (hey, there are several variations of Warrior pose!) and allow them to make decisions.
2. Your Children Need Courage
A warrior is about courage. It is important to explain to your children what courage is and looks like. Show them examples from stories in books or movies so that they can have role models. This courage that they learn is what they will need to try out for the football team, raise their hand in class, stand up to bullying and speak up for what they need.
If you have any great story or movie recommendations, leave them in the comments below!
3. Teach Your Children to Never Give Up
To a young child, ‘being a warrior’ means that they won’t give up. They will stand for what they believe in and pursue it until the end.
As a yoga teacher for over a decade and a mother of four, I find it is vital for young children to really understand what it means to try and keep trying. As the parent, be there to encourage your little warrior(s) to never give up. Your support is instrumental, especially on the bad days.
For More Resources Related to Parenting, Read These Posts:
Don’t Sit Still and Listen: Backyard Parenting to Homework
Mental Health and Parenting: What No One is Talking About
The HOPE Process: Breath, Body, Belief for Addiction & Grief
Remembering: Infant Loss Awareness Month
This post was originally published in Jan 2018 on Team Mom n Dad.
Much of my life has been as an addict. And many of us on some level are all addicts. But for others, their addiction becomes who they are: their identity, their only lifeline.
It may be slowly killing them, but it is also what is keeping them alive.
For me, there is no question that yoga saved my life. Yoga found me when I couldn’t pretend to save myself any longer. Ever been to a high-security prison? That is what a full-blown addiction feels like-24/7, except you are trying to live a normal life at the same time. You are usually trying to hide it or pretend it doesn’t exist. My life was much to this drum, a ten-year battle with a wide variety of eating disorders, depression, drugs, and anxiety. Ten years ago I would be asking for your pity, now I am hoping to help.
Yoga Showed Me Addiction is Not a Choice
Imagine having an evil twin that never leaves your side. Imagine that every move you make, every bite you take, every breath you take is being ripped apart constantly by someone else.
Addiction is not a choice, you don’t wake up one day and decide, “Hey I am going to start bingeing and purging all my food from now on,” or “Maybe today I will starve myself to get attention.” Addiction doesn’t work that way. As an addict forever in recovery, I get this.
I did not choose to starve myself, to drop 32 pounds in 60 days at the age of 15. I didn’t choose to relapse and binge and purge up to eight times a day, as I put stress on my heart, rot my gums and teeth, kill my stomach lining, messed with every system in my body. I, like many struggling with addiction, spent many hours, days and months in this horror. I was trying with all I had to be normal, to fit in, to hide the only thing at that time in my life I could control.
As an addict, you realize that the numbed feeling or “high” you get from your drug of choice (food, alcohol, medications, exercise, restriction of food, smoking) is what you have been searching for. Nearly half my life I spent in addiction, where I cycled anorexia and bulimia. I dabbled with drugs, found myself binge drinking (under age of course), made several attempts at suicide, experimental cutting, and was obsessed with calorie counting, exercise, my weight, my size, every pimple on my face, every imperfection possible… I was obsessed with it.
And at one of my lowest points, this craziness wound me up in the hospital with gastric obstruction surgery after I swallowed a toothbrush, desperate to purge just one more time. To many, you may not understand, but for some, this rundown seems like a horrible mirror.
Yoga Was My Path to Recovery
If you are struggling with addiction and are at a place that you know you want to move forward, you probably already know that it’s one tough uphill battle. Yoga was what kept me holding on to that tiny microscopic string. My Wednesday night yoga class kept me hoping and praying I could do this. I could survive. In my first few classes, while still struggling with an eating disorder, my mom and I attended yoga together. That one class each week was a new chance. I remember many nights walking out praying to God, “Please help me to go home and not binge and purge, praying with all my might that tomorrow I’d wake up and be normal.” I probably wouldn’t have gone each week if my mom wasn’t going. Not knowing, she kept me accountable and kept giving me my string of hope each week.
You can’t think straight as an addict. The Yoga Sutra talks about eliminating the dualistic mind – you ask any addict, and they totally understand the double mind. You have your “eating disorder mind” saying one thing and your “sane mind” saying the other. For many years, I couldn’t even hear my sane mind.
Yoga has saved my life. Yoga has given me a second chance, and has taught me to live in the most in-touch, real way possible. Yoga has taught me how to breathe again, feel again, and somehow someway it has helped me loosen the grips on life a little and trust a little more.
For a long time I didn’t believe that there was anything from my past that could have triggered this experience in my life, but yoga has helped me to realize that some of this was learned behavior. Some of this was the reaction to cruel kids in school, and some was simply fear of not being enough in my life. At some level, we have all been there. We have all cried tears of fear, control, sadness, imperfection. And to all of you out there still walking up hill – it’s way easier with a yoga practice.
Yoga teaches you to want to live again. It teaches you what it really means to be in the moment. Those struggling with addiction know better than anyone what a moment is. Because on the same note, you are trying to stay alive or sober for just a moment.
Yoga lets you know it’s not your fault; even when you feel alone you are feeling, and that is a start. Don’t stop feeling, let the feeling pass, and they will.
Yoga gives you a second chance a million and one times. It reminds you that your life is just as valuable as everyone else’s, in your own unique way.
Today is a call to action.
If you struggle with addiction, I beg you to try yoga.
Be careful – us addicts gravitate to that which can feed the need. So mix it up, most recovery programs that incorporate yoga use styles like Yin, Hatha, or Restorative. These styles are great to really help you learn how to be present, be still and be in the feeling. Don’t throw in the towel and don’t hate your first class because it asked you to step out of your comfort zone. Keep at it. If you want to live, if you want to come out on the other side… for me it wasn’t a choice anymore, it was a matter of life and death. And I chose life, and I continue to choose life each day.
If you are an outsider to a person with addiction, most likely they know there is a problem. Don’t shove food in their face, point out their appearance, or tell them they are killing themselves. Ask yourself this: “Am I helping or hurting?”
Addiction hurts loved ones too, but be a forklift as a friend, bring your friends up with you.
Take them to a yoga class and keep taking them.
In Savasana, hold hands with them.
Say “I love you” with no strings attached.
Be there for them instead of telling them where to be.
Most importantly, don’t give up.
This content was originally published in the June 2012 edition of MindBodyGreen.