Should You Quit Your Boring Job To Pursue Your Dream?

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No doubt, tons of people ask themselves this question when they are passionate about an activity and can see its potential, but they also fear losing what they have to pursue that nebulous dream, even if the job is boring and unfulfilling. It is not an easy question to answer, especially when one has to be practical on financial matters. After all, the current climate is not good for new creations. if we take the UK as an example. In the first quarter of this year, according to the Office for National Statistics, over 137,000 businesses closed – that’s a whopping 23% up on the same period in 2021. During that time, the same number of new businesses were created as the year before, showing clearly the effect of the pandemic on existing businesses.

However, despite the grim figures, quitting your job depends on one main factor: the self-belief in your own success. We so badly want to succeed in our dream and vision, but that little self-belief, and any obvious obstacles to making it work, set up the doubts. This makes us hang on to the mundane job because we need something to pay the bills, not fully committing to it, yet not fully believing in our dream either.

In the end, neither of them is likely to work because neither is getting the full attention each deserves. We only keep getting more frustrated with the job, while the road to our goal keeps faltering, and nothing much is achieved in the end. If we truly believe in our dream, we should give up our mundane job and pursue it fully, so that it gets a real chance of coming alive.

This post reminds me of when I was in teaching and wanted to leave it to write. But teaching paid my bills, and I did enjoy it, too. I just loved writing more. I started off as a freelance writer but that did not satisfy me after a while, neither did it give much money. One day I worked out how long the savings I had would last me before I needed another job (4 months!) and then gave up my teaching position, decided to open my own magazine in Britain, and made history doing it as the first Back woman to ow a national education publication. 

It was no easy task, by any means. But despite some hardships along the way, I have never regretted my decision because it led to many other unforeseen achievements and accolades – like pioneering a national awards in people management that influenced thousands of businesses in the UK. Above all, it made me extremely happy and contented! The important thing is that I believed in myself and what I wanted to do, and felt that it would be successful financially. In fact, 10 years after I closed it I was amazed to still get a sizeable cheque for royalties from the magazine that was still being photocopied by educational establishments in other parts f the world! 

The interesting fact is that becoming a writer has never made me a lot of money, but it developed my skills as a public speaker (which gave me the money!), motivator and empowerment expert which affected the lives of thousands; it led me to be a pioneer in my expertise in the UK, hence the national awards, and showed me my purpose in life. I haven’t looked back since.

If you BELIEVE In what you are doing, and can visualise its outcome, you will make it happen. You just need to take that first steps which will show you the next steps to follow, and trust you own judgement and ability. 



PREMIUM: How Successful Could You Be? The 7 Attributes of The Highest Achievers

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Success is clearly one of the values we most cherish: in essence, to take advantage of opportunities that present themselves, in order to make something of our lives we can be proud of; something that we can look back on with joy and satisfaction, and even bequeath to the world as our own individual contribution. But what really makes a successful person in whatever strand of life one chooses? What makes such a person different from one who has had problems in achieving their desires? What is the key to turning those desires into reality?

If we study the lives of many millionaires, and those whose dreams have materialised to their satisfaction, certain qualities stand out above others. It seems there are seven key attributes that are important for real success, and they occur in the following order:

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Why Some People Hesitate, ‘Fail’, Or Get Stuck in a Rut

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Just before the first COVID-19 lockdown in the UK, having watched an episode of the latest series of the popular BBC cult drama, Death in Paradise, my partner and I decided we wanted to watch some more. It was a strange decision because I had watched a few episodes when the drama first began a few years before and was not too impressed by its overt nod to colonialism. Any reminder of that oppressive period in any 21st century entertainment was not entirely welcomed.

However, the most recent series seemed better produced in numerous ways, and perhaps with the world beginning to reel from a growing pandemic, the key elements of the programme came in handy at this time: like its humour, escapism, apt multicultural cast, cheerful colourful atmosphere, great setting, police inspectors with their varied emotional issues, and the dastardly convoluted and entertaining plots that only the genius inspectors could solve! We both got hooked on this simple, formulaic programme and decided to watch every one of the 66 episodes from then on.

Halfway through Series 6, the very shy and reticent bachelor, Inspector Humphrey Goodman (played by Kris Marshall), met the lovely Martha who bowled him over. For me, as a relationship guru, it was so simple: boy meets girl, they explore possibilities, and get on with it to see what’s possible! But what followed was excruciating to watch as Humphrey’s bumbling, fearful actions threatened to make a mess of it all! The couple clearly loved each other but were afraid to admit their feelings openly, in case the other person did not reciprocate. His attempts at expressing how he felt to her were repeatedly sabotaged by his own fears, which made me want to tear my hair out in exasperation!

But his situation confirmed a Eureka! moment I had already experienced some time back when I realised why some people succeed at whatever they were trying to do, and others repeatedly hit setbacks. Humphrey Goodman was shy, yes, but that was not the key reason for his frustrating actions. The cause of his shyness, like other shy people in real life, could actually be put into a formula to demonstrate why he was shy – a simple formula that revealed the root of all successes and ‘failures’. So, while I was watching that couple in their painful attempts to meaningfully engage each other, my unique and almost fool proof formula for success gradually came to life!

However, before using The Winning Formula for Your Success! to help you appreciate Humphrey Goodman’s dilemma, let’s look at the whole concept of ‘success’ in more detail.

The Most Effective Unspoken Rule of Success

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Quite simply, it is Self-Belief.

No matter what you attempt in life, if you only partly-believe you can do it, you are operating on only 50% of your capacity and you won’t be able to really give it the action, determination and commitment it deserves. You will always be plagued with doubts about your capacity to achieve what you want.

Belief is the bedrock of success. The famous ,successful American car maker, Henry Ford, once said: “If you believe you cam, or if you believe you can’t, you’re right on both counts.” If you do not believe you can, you simply won’t. Why? Because everything you do, the way you perceive others, approach situations, and the way you act, will confirm your belief that you will fail.

For example, you wish to start a business but don’t believe it will be successful because you need a loan to launch it. You don’t believe the bank manager will give you the loan, or you won’t get enough money from an investor either. That belief will prevent you from appearing prepared, committed, capable and professional to impress the bank or investor. You might sound convincing to them to some degree, but you won’t sound passionate about your idea or capability because you truly don’t believe it yourself. And if you don’t believe your own aspiration, why should anyone else believe its potential, either?

No matter what you are doing – whether applying for a job, for a promotion, starting a business, taking part in a competitive event or simply achieving a cherished goal, belief is where you have to start – the strongest acceptance that you can do it. Belief is the foundation of success, and if it is not there, everything else is unlikely to materialise, too.

Self-belief controls your level of confidence and self-esteem. It also means that if you have a high belief in your abilities, you are going to deal with problems and setbacks in a much more positive way – focusing on answers than just problems – than someone with little self-belief and a great deal of fear. Nothing is ever exactly as we want it, but our confidence will do much to shape our circumstances to our own satisfaction, and this confidence comes from personal power: the power of self belief and faith in our dreams and potential to achieve them.

How Prepared Are You For Success?

This book should show you you your personal potential and what might be holding you back.

Life Lines on Influencing Others….from Dale Carnegie

Over 80 years ago, successful business trainer, Dale Carnegie, felt that people needed training in ‘the fine art of getting along with others in everyday business and social contacts’. Writing in 1936, in a masterful bestseller (How to Win Friends and Influence People) that is still making waves today, Carnegie advocated three main bits of advice on how to make real friends. According to him:

1. Never criticise, condemn or complain.

2. Give honest and sincere appreciation (we all have a need to feel we matter).

3. Knowing a person’s name is to acknowledge an important part of them.

He quoted a survey from the University of Chicago that sought to find out what adults wanted to study: “The survey revealed that health is the prime interest of adults – and that their second interest is people; how to understand and get along with people; how to make people like you; and how to win others to your way of thinking.”

Yet, as Carnegie pointed out, the best intentions around winning friends and influencing others often fall by the wayside because, “When you are displeased, it is much easier to criticise and condemn than to try to understand the other person’s viewpoint. It is frequently easier to find fault than to find praise. It is more natural to talk about what you want than to ask about what the other person wants”.

Fast forward a few decades, and his observations apply even more now than they did then! The influence of his book has been so pervasive that, in 2011, How to Win Friends and Influence People was actually number 19 on Time Magazine ’s list of 100 most influential books, having sold over 30 million copies worldwide! Sadly, we are more self-centred than ever, while we become increasingly isolated and friendless, despite the numerous followers and ‘friends’ we might claim to have on social media. Most of us have few clues as to how we go about making friends, and keeping them as friends after we have made their acquaintance. This tends to create a continuous revolving door of acquaintances, and dates, without any long-term associations resulting from them. setting aside the different cultural expectations of the time this book was written, Carnegie gives some essential guidance to that dilemma.

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What is The Real Value of Self-Help Books?

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There are thousands of books and oceans of internet information available on how to help one’s self and resolve personal problems. The self-help market is booming as many people try to make sense of how they feel, to improve their mental health, attempt to get their life on track, or to simply boost their opportunities for success. But for others (particularly men), self-help books have not really worked, perhaps because of the sceptical way they view such books. 

In fact, research on the sales of self-help books has revealed that 70% of women read them, compared to only 30% of men! It means that one section of our community is always being more self-aware than the other, which is bound to cause mismatches in perception and expectations, especially on gender lines. Erroneously, many people are inclined to believe that, if they are using a ‘self-help’ book, they must have some ‘problems’ which they need to sort out. They perhaps cannot afford professional counselling and turn to cheaper options. While that may be true of some people with that perspective, they are not likely to get the full benefit of what they are reading because they have already limited the validity, scope and effect of the material.

Self-help is not about merely dealing with problems you might be encountering. That’s just one part of the overall use of such books. The real meaning of self-help is discovering potential and possibilities for yourself; to find out what you are capable of, how you might be limiting that potential with narrow beliefs, attitudes and approaches, and how you can make the best use of those possibilities to achieve whatever it is you yearn for.

The key thing to note is that utilising any kind of self-help material suggests that the person does not accept everything about their life as given. He/she makes a conscious decision not to be a hostage to their genes, their past or their environment. They will decide how their life will unfold and the best way to do that. They will not simply conform to expectations or predictions of what they should or ought to do with their life. They accept that life has its difficulties, its ups and downs, but they refuse to be constrained by them or dictated to by specific situations. They need objective answers in helping them to expand their knowledge and to reinforce their direction, and self-help books are essential in this regard. As author Tom Butler-Bowdon (50 Self-Help Classics) pointed out, self-help books, “can reveal your unique course in life, form a bridge between fear and happiness or simply inspire you to be a better person”.

It means that self-help books are not really about dealing with personal problems, per se, but are the key to educating you about your potential, especially regarding a way of life which enables you to make a difference to both yourself and your world. In that way you not only transform the way you think, and how others perceive you, but you also transform your future, all by yourself, and in the most effective way you see fit.


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Problem Point: I Was a Smart Independent Teen. Why Do I Feel Immature And Slow Now?

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This situation is normal for some people, especially those of low self-esteem and lack of confidence. It is likely to come about for the following two reasons:

  1. In your teens, you did not have all the EXPERIENCE of life and responsibilities you have now. You were carefree then, allowed to develop to suit your personality and dreams. However, what is likely to have happened is that you got a few disappointments since then, knock-backs, obstacles you thought you could overcome, but didn’t, which would have dented the confidence and the certainty you had about life. You have gradually discovered that you didn’t know all the answers, and your trust has been lost in some people, which have made you doubt yourself and a lot of what you believed. In the process, your sense of invincibility has been crushed and you started comparing yourself to others who have appeared more worthy, the more disappointed you feel.
  2. The effect of all that is most noticeable on your self-efficacy and feeling of competence. It has nosedived so that everyone now appears better than you are. You are also focused on your weaknesses instead of the strengths you nurtured and enjoyed when you were a teen, being blind to the goodness and talents within you. Your setbacks have been blown up to look like immovable mountains instead of just taking them in your stride, bouncing back, and carrying on with your life, more knowledgeable and resilient. You don’t trust your judgements or beliefs any more, so, IN YOUR EYES, you are just a plodder who is worse than anyone else. However, people cannot treat you better than you treat yourself, and you need to give yourself some slack, acknowledge and accept that no one is perfect, that BOTH good and bad are part of our lives, and MOVE ON, more competent and confident than before.

You need to allow your mistakes, allow your bad days, remember how optimistic and smart you were when you were younger, and recapture those times. Forget the disappointing experiences and remind yourself that everything is only ever TEMPORARY. Nothing lasts forever, so to use your past negative experiences to control your actions and thoughts will only deprive you of an enjoyable, productive and satisfying future.

Life is a journey of ups and downs. Don’t make it into a dead end to suit your fears and disappointments. Only you can change your current state through ditching the negative thoughts, the comparison with your old self, and the need to be perfect. Begin the process of LIVING instead of just existing in a void controlled by your past. No one else can do it for you.

Remind yourself, DAILY, of the awesome person you are. The only difference has been your experience, which should be used to enhance you, not make you feel worse. Moreover, you cannot compare yesterday with today because you would have changed in age and experience in the meantime. Ditch the need for perfection, accept yourself as you are. Keep out of the past and appreciate your life NOW, as well as your loved ones, and go for it!

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The Fitness Booster: See This Week’s Motivation Tips!

Do you tend to feel shy, afraid, and anxious? Sometimes life can feel overwhelming, especially when you have disappointments, or things are not going as expected.

• Do you dislike your reflection when you look in the mirror?

• Always finding fault with yourself, with what you say, and your actions?

• Is there something you would love to do but feel afraid of doing it, because you fear failure and messing it up, which is more overwhelming than the possible gains?

If you don’t feel particularly confident about yourself, achieving your dreams or having great relationships, and could do with a boost in your self-esteem and self-value, The Fitness Booster Newsletter is just for you! It complements this blog, and covers a wide range of mental health and emotional health issues, giving useful tips on what to say in tricky circumstances and how to execute routine actions in a confident, winning way.

SUBSCRIBE FREE TODAY on Substack for regular posts and podcasts on improving your self-assurance and feeling more worthy and competent in your activities.


Should Making Money Be the Measure of Self-Worth? 

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It shouldn’t, really, but there are key factors why it often is.

Money is only ONE way of measuring self-worth. The whole notion of self-worth is not a social barometer. No one outside of you can tell you how much you are worth. You are the only one who can do that through the level of your SELF-ESTEEM and what MATTERS to you.

For example, monks and nuns who devote their lives to God and have forsaken money would value the number of people they can impact and save, rather than the money they might have. In fact, they would see money as useless to them except to maintain their survival. Their self-worth would come from their ability to serve their God in ways that make them feel good.

The same with me. I write to share my knowledge, to link up with positive people who share my inspirational approach, and, above all, to make a difference to others. It means that, no matter how much money I might earn in the process, my self-worth will only be validated TO ME when I see the effect my writing has, the way it is received, and the number of people who might benefit from it.

However, if someone is from a culture where money and wealth are prized highly above everything else, they will grow up believing that their personal worth is based on how much money they make, and that will be their key goal in life. That would matter to them great deal, especially if people like them are also reinforcing similar actions by valuing their money, too. However, in a culture where money is only one way of measuring success, no matter how much money one might have in the end, it won’t matter to those who couldn’t care less about it, which in turn, would do little to enhance their own self-worth.


Which Teaches Us More? The Success of Others, or Our Own Failures?

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We tend to learn from both examples, but the success of others tends to teach us far more about what we, too, could achieve, than our failures. Of course, everyone is unique, and their approach might not suit our personality or objectives.

However, when we have setbacks or failures, unless we learn the lesson they give us, we would be no nearer to improving our approach, expectation or life situation. We would just keep repeating the same mistakes again and again, and getting the same old results.

What the success of others do for us is immediately show us what is possible, especially if that success is associated with people who are culturally like us (whether in age, gender, colour, etc.). It suggests to us that we, too, can make it, especially if we had thought we were excluded and didn’t stand a chance.

For example, in the 40s and 50s America, it was assumed that only White players could play baseball. That assumption prevailed for a long while to justify racism, while the recruitment to the sport continued to mirror the racial stereotype of suitability and success. Enter Jackie Robinson to win the first Rookie of the Year award in a national league (1947), becoming the first outstanding Black player, although Moses “Fleet” Fleetwood Walker was the first African-American to play professional baseball in 1886, changing the White narrative of sports history.

Robinson’s successes inadvertently showed that minorities could play the sport, too. and it led to a stream of Black players after that, mainly because other minorities were influenced by the success of the early role models and wanted to be part of the action. Today the thought of only one colour of player in the game would be unthinkable.

The same with the advance of women. For example, in 1849, Elizabeth Blackwood became the first female doctor in America after being rejected by at least 10 medical schools. The first Black doctor, Rebecca Lee Crumpler, gained her qualification 15 years later, and their successes served to inspire many women into the profession and other fields.

The success of others is always more powerful and encouraging in its effect on us. Failure of any kind shows what we cannot do, while success reinforces what is possible for us, creating new undreamt of opportunities. Hence why success is likely to be a more effective influence on our future actions.