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How to Get Out of a Rut in 5 Steps!

Ruts suck man, I mean they really do, especially if you’re a two wheel drive truck. We can find ourselves in a rut when we get a little to comfortable or we let our circumstances get the best of us. Stuff settles in ruts. If you see a rut on the side of the road, what likely will you find in it? Trash usually. Ruts collect stuff and eventually become full to the point where they spill over. A rut either needs to be cleaned out, or it gets out of control really fast.

I have been a professional at unintentially getting into a rut. I didn’t plan on it but somehow I would allow aspects of my life to get me stuck in one. Whether you are stuck in a rut or just seem to be going in circles, the same applies. We are enduring people who can really take on a lot. It’s pretty amazing how robust we are. The human body and mind is a pretty amazing thing, but it is not infalable. We are a persistent people who can endure a lot to achieve what we want, but we often find a level of comfort or compromise that gets us stuck. Some will say that they seem to be stuck in a “negative cycle” where they try different things but seem to have the same unintended result. In my life, I have identified a few different ways I end up in a rut. Let’s take a look at those before I get in to the 5 Steps I Take To Get Out of a Rut.

Wishful and Unrealistic Thinking

Are you a list person? I am. I got that from my Grandmother who had a list for everything. When I have a task that needs to be done, it goes on a list. When I have an idea, it goes on a list. The problem with these lists is that they become a unrealistically long and I am not the best at pruning these lists so they get a bit unwieldy. When I look at my lists it is easier for me to see all of the things I have not done over the things that I have done which makes me feel uneffective.

Disqualifying Myself

I do this all of the time. I disqualify myself before even giving myself a chance. Since all you see online is people winning it makes it easy to disqualify yourself as not having what it takes. People don’t share the dark moments where they felt like giving up. I have been telling myself for a long time that I have no business talking about personal growth and finally decided that there is no better time to talk about personal growth than when I am in the middle of it. This is raw folks!

Inability to Cut My Losses

“The four most dangerous words in investing are: ‘this time it’s different.'” — Sir John Templeton

Some of us get a little too attached to things in our lives because we have invested so much time or money into something. We get discouraged because we are over invested in an idea or in someone we have invested a lot into that isn’t investing back into us. Because of this, we get stuck in a rut and find a medium where things are not great, but they are not painful enough to cut our losses and move on either. On top of that, cutting our losses is scary because you don’t often know what will come next.

How to assure you are always growing:

“Spend each day trying to be a little wiser than you were when you woke up.” — Charlie Munger

Ok, so here they are: How to Get Our of a Rut in 5 Steps!

How to tell if I’m in a rut: If you think you are in a rut, you probably are. We might be unrational at times but we are pretty self-aware people. What we don’t want to do is stay in that rut. Whether you are in a rut or not, the following five steps will help you be a more effective person.

1. Avoid Isolation

If you are in a true rut, you have probably isolated yourself from others in one way or another. You might not be isolated in the sense that you have nobody around you, but you have isolated. These days it is pretty easy to be invisible just about anywhere. People are so busy with their own stuff that the people around them go unnoticed. We all do this to the people around us at times, especially when we are feeling bummed out over something or depressed.

The problem with isolation is that it allows us remain trapped in our own little reality that can get warped at times. In isolation our vision narrows and all we can see are walls. Only when we break out of our isolation are we able to reconnect with others who can help us stay engaged. Remaining isolated keeps us disengaged from the world around us which only pushes us further into our rut.

2. Change Your Routine

We are creatures of habit and knowing what to expect brings us comfort. This is why we create routines. Men especially thrive in a routine. There is nothing wrong with having some predictability in your day but when you find yourself in a rut it can mean that your routine has become toxic.

I realized that my routine had become toxic when I noticed each morning I had anxiety about the work that needed to be done that day. It wasn’t the amount of work that I needed to accomplish it was a fear that I would procrasinate or get stuck in a loop on a task. I was more worried about being productive than I was about just letting my day flow. Then by the end of the day I felt anxiety again because I still had work to do but wanted to make sure I was home no later than 5:30 in the evening.

When I totally changed my routine by working at home I knew that I didn’t have to hurry up and get out the door. I could enjoy my family before they left for school, grab lunch with my wife, and when my kids got home from school I could either stop working or at least hear their voices while I finished up. No more anxiety at the beginning and end of my day.

Figure out how you can change up your routine. It could be as simple as waking up a bit earlier to work out or read. Maybe you need to switch to a different department at work, or get another job where you have more flexability in your day. Do as much as you can to change up your routine to prevent getting too comfortable.

3. Keep a Daily Log

Awareness is key because we tend to only remember what we want to remember. I have been told many times to start journaling, but that was hard for me because my handwriting is horrible and my hand cramps up from not being used to it. I have used Evernote for years but this year started using it to keep track of my tasks. I started adding in some notes about my day and then added in checkins which I do at least three times each day. I also set my intentions for the next day and read that first thing when I get out of bed in the morning.

I also add tags to each Daily Log which makes it easier for me to find Daily Logs that had things in common. Tags are like keywords that can be used to group Daily Logs together. Some of my tags include specific emotions, names of people, places, fears, and stuff like that. I plan to post more about my Daily Log process soon. Make sure to sign up for my email newsletter to be notified as I plan to publish a template of my Daily Log and go deep into how I use it.

4. Find Community

Those more suseptable to ruts often isolate more. Those who isolate more, don’t have a strong community around them. This is classic Jerad. I have always had a hard time connecting with others. Since I don’t have many who are close to me, I don’t have many people who can look me in the eyes and know that something is up. I don’t have many people to be sad with and I don’t have many people to rejoice with. It’s my own doing. I have had a lot of friends but I have been an isolater for so long and everybody’s life moves on.

There are many ways to find community. You can get into a hobby or start serving at church. Fitness bootcamps are a great way to find a community or you can start training in a martial art. There are more opportunities for community out there than ever, just make sure you choose some “in person” communities as there are also more online communities than ever and it’s too easy to remain isolated while being very involved in online communities.

5. Momentum Not Prefection

“There is no perfection, only momentum” — Jerad Hill (That’s right, I have a quote! There are many variations of this statement but this one is mine! Trust me, I Googled it!)

People like me, who get stuck in ruts often, have a hard time maintaining momentum because we are always seeking perfection. If we are not awesome at something immediately we stop doing it because it gets too hard. We don’t like hard, we like comfortable. The problem with comfortable is that you don’t need much momentum. You don’t need much momentum to put in minimal effort in work and life. It takes real momentum and in order to keep momentum going you have to continue to move. Seeking perfection will keep you frozen because deep inside you don’t want to give up the comfort to make it happen. Momentum is something we can manage one day at a time and sometimes one moment at a time.

Where to go from here?

Getting started is the first step. Momentum in these five areas will get you there so much faster than wasting time looking for the easy way out. There is no easy way out of a rut when you have been in there for so long. Because you have been in there so long, nobody is around to help you out so you have to do the work to get started. You have to decide that you have had enough and you have to line that rut with explosives and blow it up. Just make sure you put on a helmet first (I know I shouldn’t have to mention this, but please don’t blow yourself or anything else up for real). For me, I had to have help from God. I continually asked Him for help with everything. I would say to myself, “Good morning Lord, help me out of bed.” And then I would get out of bed. I would open up the refrigerator to grab some food for breakfast and say, “Lord, help me to make good food choices right now so I feel good and have energy this morning.” Now I could ask God for things like this until I was blue in the face but ultimately it was me that had to make the decision to get out of bed or to choose good food to eat. I had faith that after I asked I would make the right choice, and I did, every time.

Once you get started you will notice a new energy you have and that some of the things that would get you stuck in the rut no longer have the power to do that. Try things and see what works for you. I am trying to do my best to share what worked for me but that might not work for you or it might not be practical for your life. What is the same for you, me, and the next guy is that were stuck in a rut long enough to make it to the end of this post which means we have that in common. Now it’s up to you to put in the work. Record your behavior in a Daily Log and analyze that behavior. Look for trends such as how your day at work went and how that affected your attitude toward your family at home. When you start to notice behavior patterns, search yourself for their cause. It is likely that the behavior is a side effect of something deeper you need to zero in on. This is where the path of self discovery gets interesting.

For me, I have to continue to work on myself. I can’t get stuck in the ruts of my past again. I just can’t. I have had enough of the darkness that those ruts bring and that is why I am here sharing my experiences with all of you. I can still see my ruts in my rear-view-mirror so pain they caused is still fresh. Don’t allow yourself to stay stuck any longer, you were put here for more. I know it!

Let’s Connect

If you are open to it, share something about how you get stuck in the comments section below or shoot me a DM on social media.

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Disrupting My Own Life

Disrupting My Own Life

Most of us strive for comfort. I know I have. Our society is full of comforts and panderings to the smallest of inconveniences. As human beings, we don’t like pain, so we do whatever we can to get away from it. Some pain physically hurts. If something is wrong with our body, it often notifies us through the sensation of pain. If something traumatic happens to us, we experience emotional pain, and this is where pain gets really interesting.

I have had a lot of trauma in my life, most of it is self-inflicted trauma, but it was trauma none-the-less. When you experience trauma there are a couple of different reactions that are common. The first is to fall into the victim role and sometimes we are the victim. If the actions of someone else hurt you, you have a right to be a victim. The problem with being the victim is that it is easy to get stuck there. We live in a society that makes it very comfortable to be the victim, so comfortable that it is likely you will become the very trauma that you were once the victim of. We all want to belong to something and to be understood so when someone understands our trauma and sympathizes with us it is easy to become addicted to that.

The different traumas I have experienced in life have never been more talked about before and that is the case for most traumas out there. If you were molested as a child, people talk about that now whereas not too long ago it was something people hid from others. Considering all of the hurt in the world, it is a great time to be alive because of the breaking down of these kinds of walls in society. It is now normal to admit that you struggled with something and that is a great thing. Being able to find and converse with others who have gone through what you went through is a good thing. The problem is that many people have allowed their identity to become the trauma they experienced and outside of that, they have no identity. People end up reliving their trauma day to day because it’s the only thing connecting them to people “who understand them.” People, we were not put here on earth to get hurt and then shut ourselves in around others who were hurt in the same way. How will you ever grow and become stronger if the only thing holding you together is other hurting people?

The other reaction is to grow from the trauma you experienced. Now obviously the best way to grow as a person is to just live a life in search of enlightenment and self-awareness, but we were not raised that way. I was raised by the generation who believed all advertising was truthful and that the Government is only trying to help us lead healthier better lives. It is only now that some of the Babyboomer generation is becoming more self-aware and understanding that there is a better way, but they already finished raising us so now we have to figure out how to undo the tendencies we have to microwave our boxed dinners and wash them down with “Sugar Free” beverages laced with chemicals we don’t understand. We were raised by the first generation to experience true convenience living and the last to experience the real “American Dream” as it was. We have our own version of the American Dream but it looks different and does not revolve around a single career and home ownership. Or at least it shouldn’t.

So trauma has definitely put me on a different path than I would have been on without it. Some people don’t need to experience much trauma because they were either raised in a way where they were taught to seek enlightenment on their own or they were an observant enough person to see what was going on around them in the world and were able to learn from what was happening to others. While I believe I am very observant and can easily learn from the mistakes of others, that has not stopped me from making my own mistakes and allowing myself to fall victim to trauma.

So now that I have explained a bit about where I am at on my path to becoming a more enlightened and self-aware person, let’s talk about this whole concept of Disrupting One’s Own Life. What does it mean to purposely disrupt your life in a world where most people are looking for the least about of disruption? First, let’s take a look at where I’ve been the past few years.

About two years ago I made some decisions to start dealing with some of my own junk which meant talking about it. That started first with my wife, some family, friends, and getting a counselor. I was in a rut and I also felt that I was dragging those around me into that rut as well. There were some things I needed to talk about that I had never talked about and unbeknownst to me at the time, I would end up going super deep into those things with my counselor over the coming years. The decision to talk to a counselor, and the right counselor, not just any counselor, was the best decision I have ever made. I plan to talk more about the importance of having people in your life that are deep thinkers and how this has helped me. The problem is that at first, it was kind of depressing. A lot was coming to the surface and it was really bumming me out. All of this stuff I was dealing with was already there as it was stuff I buried down inside me so I was not dealing with anything new other than the realization that this damage had been done.

I apologize if some of what I am saying sounds a bit cryptic. I very much plan on getting into the deeper details of my past on this blog and in other ways in the future but I am also wanting to make sure that I do that in a way that is beneficial. There is no purpose in me simply dumping my mess all over the internet with no real context. I was not given the experiences I have had in this life to present them that way. I need to not only honor my past appropriately but also make sure I share it in a context that will be able to help people. Otherwise, what was it all for?

So for about a year, I was super depressed. I was so depressed I wanted to isolate myself from everybody. There were moments I believed in my mind (thankfully only moments) that my family would be better off without me. I would keep them supported financially of course, but they would be better off without me around. Thankfully those dark moments were nothing more than moments, but thoughts like that haunted me for quite some time. I was not a very effective human during those months. If I didn’t have a business to run and others whose livelihood was my responsibility, I probably would have gone deeper into that darkness, but thankfully I had responsibilities and enough resilience left to keep moving forward.

After Thanksgiving of 2017, I had had enough. I had spent enough time sad and needed out of the rut I had gotten myself into. I was not doing anybody any favors by living in the mindset I had been in so I decided to change it. I literally changed my mind and decided I was no longer going to be depressed about where I was in life at that moment. You see, I think that we have done ourselves a disservice by giving everything a name and a personality. Depression is a big thing and affects a lot of people but giving it a name and a personality has only grown the depression epidemic. More people suffer from anxiety and depression than ever before, even during the depression era where people had good reason to be extremely bummed out about life and the outlook of the future. A few months prior to pulling myself out of the depression I had gone to see a therapist through my medical provider. My counselor even suggested it. The Psychologist was quick to diagnose me as clinically depressed and recommended I start medication, which I did. The problem is that I took medication for about three months and felt no different. I was told and believed that the medication would make my life better, but that was not my experience at all. For all I knew I was taking sugar pills. After about three months of being on medication, I slowly backed off my dose over the course of three weeks to nothing at all. I don’t want to get into an argument with anyone here about whether the medication works or not, whether or not I was truly depressed or argue any other unknown factors influence on how it all went down, but I pulled myself out of depression, not medication. It is possible people (but please only do this after consulting with your doctor). You just have to have had enough. And yes I know that not every person out there is capable of this due to the varying degrees of mental illness. What I am saying though is that there are many people out there who were told they are clinically depressed when really they are just going through a patch of depression. I now know that there is a difference and I am sad that clinicians treat all depression and anxiety the same way.

Deciding to be done with sadness was not enough though. After deciding to pick myself up off the floor my life did not change. I still had the same struggles and battles to fight each day and I continued to fight them for almost an entire year. About five months ago, my last employee quit to move on to different work. That left me alone at my office. Each day I would go to work, and work alone. It was just me, the tasks I needed to complete, and my thoughts. At first, I had a lot of work to catch up on as I had enough work for two people, actually enough for four people, but two of us were supposed to be there for it. It took me until the end of September to get caught up, so three months after my last employee quit. After I was caught up I had some time to think and think I did. I found myself looking around my office at all of the equipment I had acquired over the years feeling anxious about it. I didn’t have to be at the office by any certain time anymore because nobody else was going to be there so I started looking into my daily routine, which seemed to have been causing me anxiety as well. I started making notes about my day and logging my activities which quickly led me to the realization that I was not being very effective with my time. I knew something with my work life needed to change.

I had also been chasing the goal of building passive income revenue streams that would offset and eventually replace my need for a traditional source of income. I have been chasing freedom from the traditional occupation for my entire life. Now not having employee overhead I realized that if I didn’t have the overhead of my office, I would already be there. Between the income I was receiving from my YouTube channels and online content combined with the recurring revenue from managed services I provide through my online marketing agency, I had enough income to live that freedom now. Recognizing that and the fact that I needed to change my current daily routine led me to the disruption of my own life, where I am at today, and my new plans for the future.

I started off this blog talking about comfort. It is comfort that is unnatural. We were not designed to be comfortable and comfort is why so many of us are unhappy and end up depressed. Comfort keeps us from living out our true potential and from becoming what we were told we could be when we were young which was “anything you put your mind to.” I knew that I needed to be more productive with my time and that was not going to happen in my current routine so I needed to disrupt it. The disruption started by deciding to close my office and work from home. I had worked from home before, so I knew I was capable of it, I just didn’t have three children before. Working from home meant that I would have to be as productive as I could during the hours they were at school. After they were home from school the house was theirs so my entire routine would need to change in order to make sure I got stuff done within this new window of time. To be honest, when they are home from school, I want to be able to hang out with them, not be stuck at an office until dinner time. I am running out of days where my kids will prioritize hanging out with me over friends. I need to prioritize them now when they are young. It would be much harder for me to make this change later in life when they are older and all they know is that there Dad works all day and gives them his leftover attention. They deserve the best of me and I want them to have that.

Because we live in a world of comfort I think it is important to disrupt ourselves from time to time. In the past, trauma has disrupted my life and I noticed that I have always come out stronger because of it. This time I wanted to be the one leading the disruption, not circumstances. This disruption is just the first of many to come as I never want to become complacent about where I am at or what I have achieved. Everything is an opportunity to learn and grow. I want to raise my children to be adults that see every opportunity as a chance to be enlightened. I want them to be self-aware and able to quickly recover from life’s hurts. On this Earth, we will never be free of trauma or pain, but we can choose to learn from it, better ourselves, and empower others through it.

Discussing what I have been doing with others seems to be unsettling with them, which is why I know I am heading in the right direction. Disruption is a good thing. It keeps us moving and learning. Industries are being disrupted because their providers got too comfortable. General Motors announced today that they are laying off 10,000 employees and closing down five factories when Tesla is hiring like mad and building factories. GM is refocusing on electric vehicle production and will scramble to catch up to companies that have been moving in that direction for years now. I want to be the one proactively disrupting my life rather than being reactionary to what is going on around me.

If this post stirred you in any way or if you are at all interested in what I am doing, I would love to hear your thoughts. Let’s talk about it in the comments section below this post. You can also be notified when I post new content by signing up for my email newsletter.

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How to Clear Your Mind of Negative Thoughts – 7 Tips!

How to Clear Your Mind of Negative Thoughts - 7 Tips!

Without constant monitoring, I end up with negative thoughts that slow me down. These negative thoughts can be tied to a variety of things, but if unchecked, they lead to procrastination, depression, anxiety, and general ineffective behavior.

To keep motivated, I have had to come up with a variety of methods to keep moving. I recognize that I must deal with the negative thoughts, but when I need to be effective, I put some of these things into practice.

This video is posted to YouTube and my new IGTV channel. Make sure to follow me on Instagram to get my latest videos on IGTV.

Video Transcription:

Hey what’s up, it’s Jerad. Today I wanted to start out the week by talking to you about negative thoughts and how to get rid of them. I’ve got seven tips on how to get rid of negative thoughts. Now, I suffer from probably various forms of depression and anxiety, I think I’ve battled with that for a long time and I’ve found ways naturally to cope with it and deal with it. Then, I’ve also found myself deep in the trenches and not necessarily understanding or knowing why I’m there.

For a lot of years I think I’ve dealt with fears. One of my biggest fears going in through my twenties and leading into my thirties was the fact that I didn’t get a college education. Now I’d been working for myself for along time, I’d been doing things for a long time on my own and had various forms of success but I still felt like that college education was that fall back that I knew that companies hired people just because they had a Bachelor’s. It didn’t even matter if had half a cell working in their brain, they would hire them because they’d managed to get through college, so I had fears there and I dealt with those for a long time.

Anxieties and different things had just came up over the years. I think these days we have a lot to measure up to. We’ve got more than just magazines on the rack like it was when I was a kid. We have social media and more television shows, more things than ever that are basically telling us this is what life looks like, this is what being happy looks like, and if we can’t measure up to those then it’s just a bummer and it’s kind of depressing.

Negative thoughts can definitely creep in and they can mess with you and so I found that I could really get into a funk easily and that can last an entire day. Then, it ruins my day and that just leads into another day and before you know it I’ve had a week that isn’t as productive as it could have been and I’m not as effective as a husband to my wife, I’m not as effective as a dad to my kids, a friend, and anything else so getting rid of thoughts is the key to it.

Here are seven things that I’ve figured out and as long as I can remember these things and implement them on a day-to-day I tend to have a great day.

1. Change Your Posture

Recognize and change my posture. I notice that a lot of times I’m sitting, I’m working, I’m on the computer or what not and my posture just starts to get really horrible. That’s kind of a tell tale sign that I just have negativity going on.

Now, I can definitely relax and you can slouch and just kind of chill, there’s nothing wrong with that but what often happens is that I will be just slouching. Maybe I have to write an email I didn’t want to write or respond to something that put out a fire or something like that and I just find myself just getting into this funky position in my chair and before you know it it’s affected me in more than one way.

I have to remind myself just to sit up straight and fix my posture, keep my back straight, not get too comfortable in the chair to the point where I’m slouching or what not. I want to be comfortable but I don’t want to get myself into a position where my body just feels achy because it’s been sitting and contorted in some way for so long in the chair so changing my posture is definitely huge.

2. Be More Mindful

Starting my day being mindful from the beginning. I think that if we start our days attached to whatever tasks and things, we have to achieve an email, we focus more on other things rather than ourselves, we’re starting the day off the wrong way. We need to start our day off mindful and that means making a list. I use Evernote and I make a list every single day of these different things including tasks and things that I have on my schedule for the day.

These things include gratitude, affirmation, what would make today great, and I set goals. I write all these things down every single day and on the days that I don’t do that or if I let too many days go by that I don’t do that then it starts to affect me. Some might say, “Oh, it’s kind of weird to write down affirmations about myself every single day, it seems kind of weird,” maybe a little … It’s just odd to write down, “I am blah-blah-blah,” every day but those are things that I need to do because I need to remind myself.

Even if it’s something as simple as reminding myself that I’m a good dad or reminding myself that I’m good at a specific task or something that I’m good at, that’s just starting off with one additional positive thing for the day so write those things down.

3. Be More Creative

We don’t get creative enough and we don’t creative in different ways. For example, I’m not much of an artist with a pen. I see people drawing and creating art and I’m just in awe. One of my cousins, his kid, his daughter is amazing, I didn’t even know this about her because I hadn’t seen her in forever. She’s just sitting there drawing and just is amazing at it and I thought, “Wow, it’s creative outlet is something that I don’t have.

Getting creating, having that outlet, and not necessarily having to be amazing at it but just having some sort of an outlet that creativity just flows out of us when we let it and it definitely takes negativity with it. Whether you can write, draw, reorganize things, whatever it is you can get creative in so many different ways. I’m not the best writer but I do like to write sometimes. I definitely am not any good at drawing and that’s something that I probably need to try and get better at because even if I’m not drawing anything too good it’s still just a good creative outlet.

4. Be More Active

This one used to be huge for me and I’ve been horrible at it since having kids. That’s going and working out, going and running, riding my bike, just being more active. I’ve found that my body just, and maybe it’s because I’m just a bigger guy, I don’t know, but my body just closes in on itself and if I don’t work out and stay active … I don’t know, I just feel like my body just wants to pull itself together into a little knot and then that’s it. Being active is a must for me, I have to be active. When I’m not I could feel it physically, and when I could feel it physically I could feel it mentally and emotionally as well.

5. Create a workflow.

Now, this one’s been huge for me and this is probably a whole video in and of itself but I’m going to briefly explain what a workflow is. Now in my line of work a workflow is a process that I take from start to finish of completing a task. I’ve found that when I’m further into a negative thought or I’ve found that maybe an hour has gone by and I’ve just been in this negative thought I need to initiate a workflow.

Here’s an example of one. It’s getting up, stretching, walking around, taking a drink of water, closing my eyes for around 60 seconds, and then sitting back down. Initiating that workflow interrupts whatever was going on and allows me to change things for a few minutes. Then I can go and sit back down and get back to work or relax or be there for my wife or my kids or whatever the situation is around me. Usually it has something to do with being at work so workflows are great because I can just initiate them, do whatever it is for a minute or two, sit back down, and then be good.

6. Take a Timeout

Sometimes as adults we need timeout. I was talking with one of my other cousins about this, this weekend, about parenting. Sometimes we have to give ourselves a timeout. Sometimes our kids need a timeout to correct behavior or to calm down or something like that. A timeout definitely is something that as adults we don’t give ourselves that often. We might feel like we give ourselves timeouts because maybe we binge watch Netflix for a few hours or something like that or have a glass of wine and just sit and read but we really, truly need timeouts. Timeout just to chill and initiate one of those workflows or be creative.

7. Leave

Sometimes you just flat out need to leave. If you can’t shake the issue, whatever it is, sometimes for me it’s shame, things that you’ve done in the past, things that have happened in the past that were out of your control, that you didn’t get to correct or fix. Sometimes you just need to get up and leave and change the atmosphere all together. Now at work that might be a little tougher so that’s why I wanted to give you six things that you could actually do before seven, which is get up and leave, but sometimes you just have to get up and leave and change things.

Conclusion

In closing, not all negative thoughts are bad. We have to be introspective from time to time just to remain normal and healthy so when you have those feelings of guilt, anxiety, shame, jealousy, temptation, fear, those are things that you do need to deal with eventually. You can’t just push them away forever or something is going to happen. I do recommend that you find somebody to help you with your thoughts, especially if it’s an ongoing issue for you, if it’s something that you think is chronic you definitely want to get that dealt with.

That’s going to do it for this video, thanks so much for checking it out. I know it was kind of fast, I went through a lot of things quickly. I may break these things down a little bit more but I’d love for you to chime in in the comment section below. Let me know your thoughts, let me know what works for you and let’s just do life together and help each other get through some of those times that definitely keep us away from achieving the things that we want to achieve. That’s going to do it for today, we’ll see you next time.

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Looking Back at 2017 Moving on to 2018

Looking back at 2017 Moving on to 2018

At almost this exact time last year, I remember telling myself that 2017 was going to be an amazing year. I thought about all of the projects I wanted to finally get completed and how they were going to change my life. I was going to get back into a gym routine. There were several ambitions I had planned in my head. However, 2017 kind of took me by surprise. What I thought was going to be a fantastic year, turned out to be probably the most challenging year I have had yet in my life.

Since around the age of 30-31, my health started to change. I became aware that I have an underactive thyroid and I was experiencing a lot of acid reflux issues. My doctor started me on medications for both of those issues which I was not thrilled about. All of the sudden I was taking two medications daily when prior to that I would take a Tylenol maybe once every other month. The next several years I would spend trying to figure out what was causing those issues. During 2016 I seemed to have figured out what was causing the acid reflux and managed to somewhat fix the problem without the continued medication. I was feeling pretty decent as 2017 approached.

The year even started out pretty good with a lot of new business coming in. I had a good feeling that January was giving me a good idea of what the rest of the year would look like. My wife and I had been working on our adoption paperwork and the only remaining items were my blood test and an in-home study before we could enter child search.

I typically have my labs ran every year but I had not had labs drawn in a few years. My labs ended up coming back with a few abnormalities. Nothing life-threatening, but I was not expecting the results I received. Up to this point, I thought that I was gaining distance from health issues, but there were lab results showing me otherwise.

Off and on during my 30’s I have felt kind of defeated in the area of my health. I was never battling anything major but the constant acid reflux and bloating really affected me emotionally because I generally didn’t feel like myself. With these new lab results, I ended up depressed and anxious about my current situation. I couldn’t get myself to the gym because I didn’t feel good both physically or emotionally.

Parenting got more challenging this year as my kids grew and become more independent thinkers. My struggle is mostly with finding the right balance as a parent. My oldest is now in second grade and I am starting to see that he holds in his emotions as much as a seven-year-old can. He has struggles and has not come to me with them. I want my kids to know that they can come to me with anything. The challenge is figuring out how to do that within the constraints of their personalities. This will be a lifelong process but it was tough this year because it was the first time I became aware of it.

My marriage also got really hard this year. This is my ninth year of marriage and my wife and I have discovered a lot about each other this year which started with me feeling the need to really open up in some areas. We have never been good communicators and that has allowed a lot of assumptions to build up. There are also a lot of things we found we have resented each other for that would not have been a big deal at all had we just communicated about it in the first place. We started counseling which has been really good for me. I have always left the past in the past but I am realizing that it is hard to understand why I am the way that I am without analyzing the past. It has been an interesting journey this year looking at myself in this way. It has not been easy and it has led to more depression and anxiety.¬†As a married couple, counseling is helping us become better communicators and we have never been so close to being on the same page with everything. It’s truly liberating.

With all of that said, my business has seen ups and downs this year too. The year started off really good but took a dive during the summer. I think that since summer vacation was shorter for most schools in this area most people went off radar through summer. Once school was back in, I was flooded with new business and was once again busy. What made it tough is that I did not expect it to go the way that it did. On top of that, I did no marketing for photography so I did not have much photography business to supplement the lack of clients for Hill Media Group. Because the first half of the year had been so busy and stressful, I did not have any time at all to work on my side projects, so they suffered a lot. I lost a lot of ground that I had with my side income.

There were some great moments in 2017. We had some fun trips with the kids, despite our camping gear getting stolen. There were memories made in 2017 that rise above the difficulties.

Looking back at 2017, it would be easy to call it a bad year. It was a tough year and not what I originally expected it to be. Regardless, I have learned a lot and am far enough removed from it all to know that 2017 was actually a pretty good year. Just because I felt that the year had defeated me doesn’t mean that it was bad. I am sitting here a few days into 2018 writing this and thinking about how much more aware of things I am. Everything that happened last year has made me a better husband, father, friend, and business owner. It was not easy by any means, but building character never is.

Going into 2018 I have some decent momentum behind me. I dealt with everything that happened in 2017 and am wiser because of it. I plan to continue to invest in myself in 2018 because if I am not healthy I cannot be the kind of man I want to be for those in my life. I can’t let anything that afflicted me in 2017 or the years prior determine who I am in 2018 and going forward. I am excited about this year, not because I think it’s going to be an easier year, but because I believe it will lead to more growth.

How did your 2017 go?