How To Avoid The 7 Deadly Sins Of Value-Breaching

By Dan Munro

Before we talk about the 7 deadly sins of value-breaching, let’s first discuss what it means to live by your values. This concept is core to all of my work, and I believe it to be the foundation of self-confidence. It is the cure to neuroticism, helplessness, and lack of purpose.

Living by values is about knowing the difference between the Real Self (who you are being right now), the Ought Self (who you’ve been conditioned into believing you ‘should’ be), and the Ideal Self (the person you wish you were, living by your values consistently). Quite often we are confused about the difference between our core values and the expectations of others. If you’re not sure, I suggest you read this

When you live by your values you won’t feel any need to explain your behaviour to yourself (e.g. “I didn’t say hi to that girl because she’s on the phone”), because you’ll feel deeply satisfied with your actions. You’ll know deep down you did the right thing for you. Explaining it to others will seem pointless, because you’ll feel that it has nothing to do with them.

Conversely, whenever you have to justify, rationalise or otherwise explain your own behaviour to yourself or others, there’s a good chance you’ve breached your values and are trying to rid yourself of the guilt associated with this.

With valued-living you are following a code, but it’s about motives, not rules. You are not bound to what you do, instead you focus on WHY you do it. It’s all about reason and purpose. Values may look different in actions from one day to the next, but the reasons for those actions are consistent, e.g. to be honest, or courageous.

This style of living is all about action – thinking and talking about your values is not the same as living by them. Stop telling people you are [insert value here, e.g. honest], and show them you are instead.

HOW DO WE KNOW IF WE ARE NOT LIVING BY OUR VALUES?

Learn to recognise the feeling I call The Authenticity Gap – a shameful sensation of conflict between your Real Self and your Ideal Self (after filtering out the distraction of the Ought Self). This guilt usually arrives some time after the action is taken, and often is most recognisable as regret for missed opportunities. Any time you think “I should have done X”, you are probably experiencing The Authenticity Gap.

This guilt about past actions, based on how they let you down, is related to your beliefs about what is ‘right’. In an emotional moment, such as feeling afraid, it’s easy to forget what we believe is right. Later on, upon reflection, we realise we did not live by our values. Valued-living, when done right, will never leave you feeling guilty.

The Authenticity Gap is caused by your normal human desire to stay in your comfort zone. It’s all about safety. We are most likely to sacrifice our values for the perception of safety, such as a secure relationship, career, or finances. To engage in valued-living, we must be willing to risk all of these things and more.

Values require you to accept that you have nothing to lose.

Generally the question becomes “Would I rather be safe or have integrity?” – you will rarely be able to guarantee both at the same time. Think about this: people can stop loving you at any time, redundancy is always a marketplace-shift away, and money is easily lost; so there’s no such thing as safety! You may as well aim for values; at least you have control over those.

THE 7 DEADLY SINS – HOW ARE YOU BREACHING YOUR VALUES?

So let’s have some fun with this and look at how people breach their values. For the sake of context I thought it would be interesting to use the 7 deadly sins as a basis for this. After each I’ve listed some values you could focus on to rid yourself of the sin. Here we go…

WRATH – Trying to get retribution because you feel something has been taken from you. This often follows irrational blaming of external sources for your internal pain, such as thinking that society is at fault for you having low self-worth. Wrath builds from feeling that life is somehow “unfair” and that you are entitled to ‘pay-back’. At its worst, wrath involves wanting others to suffer to appease your own suffering.

Examples: not allowing someone into your lane when you’re mad about traffic; talking crap about someone when you feel they have betrayed you; hitting someone when you’re upset.

Values breached: abundance, acceptance, giving, love.

GREED – Neediness through seeking of external validation, often demonstrated by attachment to possessions. You’ll find yourself allowing others to be harmed in order to externally benefit yourself, such as sleeping with someone on false pretences. Greed stems from being unable to find internal satisfaction without external rewards. Like all of these sins, it is based on core insecurity (ironically, this is exactly what valued-living cures).

Examples: selling something you know is low quality; hiding something from others that you would feel forced to share if they knew; keeping secrets; hoarding possessions and money.

Values breached: presence, compassion, empathy, abundance, acceptance.

SLOTH – Most often demonstrated as procrastination and avoidance of doing what is right for you. Laziness is a common way of describing it. The short-term focus on being comfortable right now, rather than creating a long term rewarding life, leads to constant instant-gratification decision-making, which is the cause of most peoples’ long-term suffering.

Examples: putting of what is important; sleeping too much; bingeing on television and other unproductive time-wasters.

Values breached: courage, determination, decisiveness, leadership.

PRIDE – An unhealthy and insecure attachment to an externally-validated identity. Proud people often take credit for good luck instead of being grateful for their privileges. Pride creates a belief that you are better or worse than other people, as an entire person, and facilitates a constant comparison with others. You’ll find you are not able to enjoy situations unless you ‘win’, and you’ve lost joy in the process of living in the moment. Life for proud people tends to only exist briefly, when achievements occur, and the rest of your time is spent just worrying about the next win.

Examples: feeling attached to identity (e.g. “I am the Nice Guy”); avoiding things you feel you won’t be good at; getting upset when someone challenges your beliefs.

Values breached: gratitude, honesty, presence, patience.

ENVY – The toxic and cowardly state caused primarily by being attached to external measures of self-worth. Envy is the process of attributing excuses to your failure to live by values, by claiming others have advantages over you, so that you can relieve the guilt of not taking courageous action yourself. Through feeling entitled to rewards without requiring effort or having to endure discomfort, you’ll blame others for taking away opportunities you believe are yours by right.

Examples: blaming others for your negative mood; coming up with reasons why you can’t succeed the others do (e.g. “They are naturally charismatic, I can’t do that”); disliking people because they are successful.

Values breached: honesty, responsibility, courage, passion.

LUST – Simply put, lust is about wanting to GET; having an unhealthy attachment to external rewards. If you feel entitled to receive external pleasures without having to earn them, and you are focused on instant gratification, this is probably an apt translation of lust. The entitlement leads to a lack of restraint and patience – you’ll start bulldozing your way to gratification rather than enjoying the process of getting there. Then you’ll feel resentment when rewards are withheld.

Examples: lying to get what you want; manipulating others into doing things for you; forcing someone to give something to you by guilt-tripping them.

Values breached: giving, respect, gratitude, presence.

GLUTTONY – Through an excess of external comfort sources, wasting resources, and an imbalanced use of fuel, you become a glutton. Your neediness drives a desire to consume as much as possible, most likely to relieve pangs of perceived scarcity. By deriving comfort from consumption you become locked into a cycle of bingeing and avoidance of pain.

Examples: pigging out on high-sugar foods; hoarding; watching the entire Game of Thrones series without break (actually, I’m OK with this one).

Values breached: respect, presence, discipline, abundance.

VALUES REDEMPTION

You can always go back to living by your values, there is no ‘failure’. When you commit one of the value sins, it means that you simply went off track. Your values are patiently waiting for you to re-join them. No matter how long you’ve been off track, all you have to do is live by your values in a single moment and everything is OK again!

I once worked with a gang member who had consistently harmed people for over 20 years. Then one day he started being honest, caring and productive. As soon as he started doing that he felt an immediate boost in self-worth. The past no longer mattered to his measurement of self. Valued-living is what you are doing RIGHT NOW, and to quote Metallica; nothing else matters.

The key to redeeming yourself after sinning is to take action. Rather than trying to ‘not do’ something, identify which value has been breached and create an action to live by it. Trying to not sin gives you no direction and nothing to work with. Aim to eliminate the sin through positive action instead, e.g. ask yourself “What could I do to be more honest today?” and follow through on the answer.

You’re human, which means that you will always have times where you breach your values. So forget about being perfect. It’s about getting back on the horse and reducing the amount of time you wallow in sin. You can’t undo your past errors but you can make up for them. Rather than wishing for a different past, create a rewarding or reparative present action.

Self-honesty and acceptance are the key elements to managing value-breaches. First admit you did it, then accept it happened – only then will you be able to do something to get back on track.

Your Man Doesn’t Want To Have Sex With You? Here’s Why …

By Dan Munro

There’s something uncomfortable we all need to talk about.

This is for you women out there who are in a relationship with a man who does not try to have sex with you at least a few times per week, if not daily. And of course it’s for the men I’m talking about.

Note: for the sake of making this easy to write I will use heterosexual relationships as examples, but I’m sure this will apply to all types of sexual relationships involving modern men.

In my years of diving deeply into the intimate details of peoples’ lives I’ve been struck by a recurring theme: lack of sexual leadership by men. By this I mean guys who do not boldly and directly initiate sex with their partners (and women they’re attracted to in general), men who use indirect methods to meet their sexual needs (manipulation), and men who rely mainly on pornography for sexual stimulation.

Ever been with a man like that?

These men tend to be passive and avoidant in all forms of sexuality, including touching, kissing, and verbal sexuality (dirty talk). These men wait for a ‘green light’ from women before making a move. They will not attempt any sexual move that puts them at risk of rejection. They get emotionally agitated when rejected sexually, demonstrated by completely fake acceptance (masking rage) or by taking it personally.

This has a disastrous outcome. Women around the world feel unattractive, frustrated, confused, and forced into masculinity. They feel that their partners do not find them attractive, or that their dates just want to be friends. And everyone misses out on playful, uninhibited nooky.

Let me make a couple of points clear here:

  • It has nothing to do with sexual desire. You put almost any man in the dark next to a naked feminine body and he will want to have sex with it. Despite what they claim, men are fairly basic mammals.
  • It is extremely rare for a straight guy to have a genuinely asexual platonic relationship with a women. This doesn’t mean they can’t be your friend, just understand there will often be attraction and they definitely have at least considered shagging you. There’s nothing wrong with this. Relax.

So what’s going on here? Why are men hiding their sexuality and avoiding rejection? Has your man really lost interest in you, or is there something else going on here?

I want to help women with these issues in two ways. Firs, understand what is happening psychologically with your man (or that guy you just dated who didn’t try to kiss you). And secondly, what you can do to change it.

There are a number of contributing causes to male passive sexuality. I’ve learned of many, through my own experiences, psychological research, and the many anecdotes of both my male and female clients. Here we go…

1. MISUNDERSTANDING FEMINISM

Like all extreme movements, feminism went too far in some areas. Namely, feminism became synonymous with man-hating. In the 60s and 70s the message was clear: all men are selfish rapists. This may not have been the intended message, but it was certainly the one that many men received.

It became the least fashionable thing in the world for a man to show sexual attraction to a woman. Even a wink was considered assault. It became difficult for men to safely understand the difference between harassment, assault, consenting flirting, and foreplay.

The stage was set for a whole generation of men (who of course were to become fathers and role models) to be scared and confused about their own masculine sexuality.

2. SEXUAL SHAME

Boys are conditioned as they grow older to feel ashamed of their sexual desire. They are told that it is materialistic to be attracted to girl before you ‘get to know her’. Romantic movies portray the asexual friend as a hero, and the sexually dominant male as a sleazy sadist. Words like ‘sensitive’ and ‘respectful’ are over-emphasized and misunderstood by men to mean ‘you have pretend to care more than you actually do before you can shag her’.

Many boys are raised almost solely by women. Fathers are away working and emotionally distant (and they are victims of this shame as well so their role modeling is no help), and most school-teachers are female. This means that boys’ model of what a man should be comes either from female interpretation or from media.

Women have the best of intentions when they tell a boy how he should treat a woman. Unfortunately this description often includes complete lack of sexuality and leadership, and gives the boy a picture of a lower-status, passive and asexual friend (be polite, compliment her, buy her dinner etc.). When you ask a women about her ideal man, she will often describe the caring and nurturing side. This is not what she is sexually attracted to. It would be pretty rare for a mother to tell her son “On your first date, make sure to playfully spank her on the ass, and don’t wait to the end to go for a kiss”.

Women are also caused to feel massive shame about their sexuality, thinking that wanting sex is ‘slutty’. This causes women to pretend not to have high sex-drives, further conditioning men to believe women do not welcome sexual attraction. When I first learned that women actually enjoy sex I was in my mid-20s! And I’m not even one of the worst cases. One of the reasons men become initially obsessed with pornography is because it’s the only media outlet that shows women enjoying sex beyond the traditional relationship model.

Combine all of this with the boy’s first sexual experiences in early teen years. If he’s been conditioned to think that sexual desire is shameful, and then he gets rejected when asking a girl out, he will consider this as solid proof that he should be passive. He will then wait patiently for a girl to select him, causing him to forever place women on a pedestal of status above him. This makes him even more ashamed of ‘defiling’ one of these goddesses, and eventually he will settle for any woman who is willing to initiate.

Movies and TV programs give boys the impression that men should not develop sexual feelings towards a woman until after they are attracted to her personality. This does not line up with reality. A man decides whether or not he wants to sleep with you in less than 0.000001 nano-seconds. He does not need to be attracted to your personality to want to have sex with you. It’s the way men are biologically wired – accept it, or be forever disappointed. So this is a common example of men being told that their natural desires are wrong.

Want to know what happens to men who are constantly conditioned to believe that they should repress sexual desire? They eventually snap. Just look at what happened with the Catholic Church.

In the end, you get men who think it is basically wrong to want sex. It’s as simple as that. There are plenty of exceptions of course, but if you’re a sexually active woman then you’ve almost definitely had these men in your life, many times.

3. THE FEAR OF REJECTION

At the bottom of it all is a dirty, shameful secret: these men are terrified of being rejected by women. TERROR-fied. Overcoming fear of rejection is the most frequent conversation I have in the coaching I do.

Due to everything we’ve discussed already, and combined with genetic predispositions around social harmony, men associate rejection with feelings of intense anxiety; a constant dread. I know men who are quite successful with women yet still feeling massive anxiety at the thought of going up to a girl sober and telling her that she’s gorgeous. Men require alcohol, signs of attraction, anonymity (e.g. online dating), long-term friendship, and other crutches before they can feel safe to express attraction.

Expressing attraction is a risk-taking behavior. The fear gives them a vague dread about what would happen if the attraction is not reciprocated. When I ask my clients “What are you actually afraid will happen?” their answers are never clear, with hints at reputation and embarrassment. They’re so afraid of rejection they can’t even explore the idea of it without support.

This continues well after a romantic relationship is established. I used to think that every time a girl I was seeing said ‘No’ to sex, that it was all over (often it was, due to my other people-pleasing behaviors, which further reinforced this false belief). Men in relationships continue to be sexually passive because of the underlying fear that sexual rejection will signal the end of the relationship entirely. It’s like Billy Connolly once said:

“Women need to feel loved to have sex; men need to have sex to feel loved”.

I am NOT advocating sexual assault. No means no. But waiting for a clear invitation is passive and will leave many women waiting in vain. Men have to take a risk. But they often don’t, because…

4. AFTER VALIDATION THEY DON’T NEED TO ‘CHASE’

Women often wonder why their guy stopped trying after the initial courtship. What happened to the roses and dinners and romantic gestures? Often this stuff ends shortly after putting out for the first time. Is it because guys are shallow manipulative sex-fiends?

Actually, no.

What was happening was the guy was trying to feel good about himself. He has been conditioned to worship and seek the approval of women (remember all the female teachers etc.?) and cannot function without it. The courtship was not really romance, it was a toxic attempt to receive validation.

The ultimate validation for these poor damaged men (I say this with love; I used to be one) is sex. When a Nice Guy gets laid he finally feels that he has received your acceptance. So he no longer has any reason to keep manipulating you into liking him more.

It was never about you.

5. FEELINGS OF WORTHLESSNESS

You can imagine what happens to man over time when he is programmed to see sex as the only proof that he is a good person. He starts to feel worthless. And worst of all, he creates a pattern that amplifies this effect. Because he is so passive around sex (waiting for you to initiate), he rarely gets it. He’s not making any effort to turn you on or initiate, so you think he’s not interested, and sex just stops happening.

Now he feels even more worthless. In his mind, even his partner doesn’t want him. And when you finally do get drunk enough to initiate, it only enables this process even more, because now he’s getting intermittent rewards. This is a psychological concept that explains why people love to gamble; we are wired to become more obsessed with occasional unexpected rewards than we are with consistent rewards.

He has now made you responsible for his self-worth, and blames both you and himself for the lack of sexual activity.

And a final point, one I’m no expert on, is that men these days simply have less testosterone. Our diet and behavior are increasing estrogen levels, which exaggerates these issues. It’s hard to feel like a man when you’re flooded with female hormones.

WHAT CAN YOU DO ABOUT IT?

So there you are: with a man you love, or on a date with an interesting guy, yet suffering through a boring sex life. What can you do to change this?

First, try to understand what you’re dealing with here: a frightened little boy. A man who has been brainwashed into thinking that women are the leaders in sex, and that he should wait for full outright expressed permission before even considering sex.


I’m here to help. This kind of stuff is my specialty and I’ve had these conversations with dozens if not hundreds of people. Email me your questions at any time dan@theinspirationallifestyle.com


Here are my top tips for de-programming your man and helping him find his masculine, powerful sexuality:

  • Tell him what you want. The upside to these guys is that they are eager to please you sexually and get a massive thrill from your pleasure. Use this to your advantage. Give him explicit instructions on what to do physically. The more he sees himself as sexually successful, the more courageous and risk-taking he will become over time.
  • Encourage him to be sexually dominant and tell him to lead. Give him permission to initiate without needing a ‘sign’ from you. Tell him things like “It would turn me on so much if you just randomly grab me and kiss me”.  Spell it out for him at first so he can test the boundaries. He’s going against his programming here, so be patient and relentless. Do NOT take over leadership responsibilities out of frustration, as this is only a short term solution that actually increases the problem.
  • Talk openly with him about his views on sex and leadership. Ask him who he thinks should lead and initiate. Let him know it’s okay for him to do this with you. Create a safe space for him to speak openly about his sexual shame.
  • Call him out on his shit! I once had a girl tell me that it was annoying that I made jokes about how I didn’t get laid. This was a total revelation – I thought it was a good thing to show lack of sexual activity, until this happened.
  • Spend a weekend away with him, naked and debaucherous. Dedicate a few nights to exploring all of your fantasies and his. Show him that nothing he wants sexually is ‘wrong’ (of course it’s still okay to say no to it, just don’t call him a freak). This weekend will make him much more sexually comfortable around you.
  • Encourage leadership, but don’t nag. Force him to make decisions for the both of you outside of the bedroom. Allow him to take risks, in fact, encourage it. Don’t allow his passive feminism to force you to be masculine. E.g. if you’ve just started dating, make him choose where and when. Encourage his masculinity in other areas, like health and career.

And my NUMBER ONE TIP:

Get him to read “No More Mr Nice Guy” by Dr. Robert A Glover. Go through the book with him and encourage him to do the exercises. It will be painful for both of you but may save your relationship.

Good luck! And let me know your thoughts.

The Power Of Writing Down Your Goals: 5 Tips For Success

By Dan Munro

Goal setting is a very powerful practice.

Strategic goal-setting will help you define the activities you will undertake to achieve that dream life you always wanted. You can easily plan, step-by-step, the pathway that you will walk down to achieve your ultimate lifestyle.

In order to achieve something huge, you will be most effective if you break it down into manageable steps and focus on the process. You simply cannot jump straight to the finish line.

Most people do not achieve a majority of their goals for a number of reasons. These are the problems I see time and again with my clients, staff and friends:

• They only have goals in their head and never write them down or otherwise make them “real.” This means that the goals are never clearly defined and the barriers are not planned for, so they can never figure out what went wrong if it doesn’t work out

• Their goals are too broad and do not provide any guidance on how to actually achieve them; with goals like “I will become a millionaire.” This gives the goals an intimidating quality that reduces a person’s motivation and courage.

• They are not challenging enough to cause any major life improvements. Or, there are too few of them, like “I will get a promotion sometime in the next 5 years… and maybe also buy a dog.”

Every highly successful person I know has followed a written plan of action to achieve their success. OK, actually there are a couple of people I know who have just winged it and relied on blind desire to get them through. I don’t consider them to be any less successful. However, I do wonder if they could have achieved success quicker, easier, and more enjoyably if they had tried less of a brute-force method.

Imagine this:

You are challenged to build a structure out of blocks of Lego. For those of you who have never heard of Legos, they are small plastic blocks designed to cause excruciating pain when stepped on with the soft arch of the foot.

Anyway, the structure is to be a detailed, 50 foot high, exact replica of the Eiffel Tower, complete with all of the complex girders and beams.

Now, if someone dumped a truckload of grey Lego blocks in front of you, along with a photograph of the tower, and then just said “Build!” you wouldn’t stand a chance. A small few of you may be able to do it, but like the brute-force friends whom I mentioned earlier, it would take you a very long time and you would have to make thousands of mistakes.

Imagine the same scenario, but instead of a photo of the tower, the person hands you a set of detailed blueprints; step-by-step numbered instructions on how to assemble the blocks. These instructions not only guide you on how to connect the blocks, they also give you:

– a timetable to follow that ensures progress and makes efficient use of your time
– regular reminders about why building this structure will benefit you, so you stay motivated
– a guide on how to overcome some of the problems you are likely to encounter over time
– contact details for people who have already built one so that they can give you advice

All of a sudden, this imposing 50 foot structure becomes a relatively straightforward process you can follow. Each step along the way is challenging but entirely manageable.

Take those dreams of a better lifestyle and break them down into daily, weekly, and monthly activities which are entirely achievable. You’ll find that your waking life will transform slowly but surely until it becomes a series of challenging but enjoyable activities

This will ensure that you are achieving, instead of just living out your time. You’ll find that after a few months of doing, this you won’t ever be able to go back to just winging it; your ambition to succeed further every day will drive you for the rest of your life.

Here are some rules for writing your  goals:

1. Try a simple model – “DRM.”

I like this model because I made it up myself … anyway, it stands for Detailed, Realistic, and Measurable. Write your goals in such a way that a complete stranger could pick up what you’ve written and achieve the goal. DRM ensures you don’t have to problem-solve along the way, you just follow your own instructions.

2. Have no more than 10 goals at any given time.

You’re better off getting a few things done well than procrastinating on 100 things half-completed.

3. Aim for the smallest reasonable “next step.”

Start with the big picture in mind and then work backwards in logical steps. Keep working backwards until you arrive at where you currently are. You now have your next step. Until that’s completed, none of the other steps matter, so forget about them

4. Tell others about it to hold yourself accountable.

However, double-check to make sure you don’t need anyone or anything else. Goals should only need one person to complete them: YOU. Re-write any that rely on other people. That said, telling other people you plan to achieve your goal puts positive pressure on you to get it done. Secrecy leads to quitting.

5. Create a clear link between the goal and your overall dream.

Make sure it’s impossible to forget WHY you are trying to achieve this goal. Have a clear path from the goal to your dream life. When you’re trying to do 100 crunches, it helps to remember that this pain will lead to a six-pack.

Stop “Believing In Yourself”… Just Do It!!

By Dan Munro

The education system you were raised with, if you went to a traditional school, is basically the same around the world. And it is completely messed you up.

As described in this awesome TED talk by Sir Ken Robinson (click here to view), there is a globally recognized hierarchy of subjects. Most of the world’s schooling systems subscribe to this, despite research often showing that there is no longer alignment between this hierarchy and the highest paying jobs (most are in psychology, medicine and IT, for which there are almost no specific subjects available until university level). So, the first problem is that you were discouraged from pursuing your natural talents and passions unless they aligned with this hierarchy.

The second and far more insidious problem is the structure of learning. In school you passively learn a new concept before you apply it (i.e. take action). You sit in a classroom being bombarded with information without being encouraged to apply it practically until the last minute, often in an unrealistic pressured situation.

In some high-ranking subjects, like English, the ratio between passive information and application (essays, exams, assignments) is ridiculous. You sit for 1-2 hours per week in class, for up to 40 weeks (60-80 hours of passive learning), and are then asked to apply it in high pressure exams (3-6 hours) and unsupported assignments (another 3-6 hours). So your opportunity for trial and error learning, which your brain is wired towards as a preference, is a mere 5-10% of total learning time.

Simply put, we are raised to believe that we somehow learn before we apply. For some reason, this has not been questioned by the schooling system.

In my coaching work, I’ve found that an opposing approach is far more productive. It’s all about re-framing your understanding of learning, from sitting there and passively absorbing information to getting active and trying ideas spontaneously.

There are few obstacles to this approach. Once you overcome these, your progress will skyrocket (or your money back!)

Fear of Failure

In school, you were taught to be afraid of failure. I call this the “red pen effect.” Every time you venture an incorrect answer in school you’ll face a high likelihood of punishment, through either embarrassment, dismissal, degradation, or rejection.

You learn quickly that it is safer to avoid answering a question than to guess. This is supposed to condition you into studying so that you know the answers prior to the class. That’s like asking someone who’s never driven a car to tell you the best way to parallel-park. It makes absolutely no practical sense.

In school, mistakes are highlighted and ridiculed. The teacher will write disparaging remarks in red pen next to guesses or incorrect answers. You will get into trouble if your grades fall low enough. You will be placed in “special” education, learning at a slower rate than the others, if your grades continue to remain low.

Bear in mind that this is all related to learning mostly about subjects which are not linked to the highest paying jobs!

In the real world, the ability to continually face failure is rewarded. The most successful people on the planet are those who have been through mistake after mistake, and learned from those. There are very few overnight successes in the top 1%, nor are there many people who played it safe.

Failure is something to be admired, not feared. Every time you screw up you are one step closer than 99% of people to success in that area.

Not Knowing Where to Start

School conditioned you to follow instructions and wait for guidance on how to get something started. In real life, no one tells you anything unless you’re a wage-slave.

If you want to be free, you need to accept the responsibility for initiation. It is your job to start things, even when you don’t know how. I’ve worked with some very ambitious people who had great ideas but never took action on them. It was like they were waiting for permission, or for someone to convince them that everything was going to work out fine.

There are no guarantees. Let go of the need for them. Instead, like serial entrepreneur Marie Forleo says: “Start small and sucky.” As soon as you have your first rough draft idea, take action. Even if the action is a dismal “failure,” you are now at least one step into your journey instead of sitting on the bench.

Temptation of Passive Learning

We feel good when we sit still and absorb information. It feels like real progress. This is because we were conditioned to feel rewarded for attendance. In school, you get more social reward points for simply showing up than you do for innovation.

As Eben Pagen says “Without action there is no learning.”

We feel good about ourselves when we absorb new information. This is why seminars by certain motivational speakers sell so well. You get there, you feel pumped and excited, and you are exposed to a bucket-load of new information. You walk away thinking “Wow, I learned so much!”

Fast-forward three months later, however, and your life has not changed a bit. All those revelations and epiphanies you experienced have not resulted in actual, measurable changes to your life.

“What happened?” you ask yourself. You figure it must be your fault, and that perhaps another seminar is the way to go. I mean, you felt so good the last time, right? That must be the answer.

Nope.

You’ve fallen for the oldest marketing trick in the book: you’ve been made to feel that you received value while your problem remains unsolved. This turns you into a repeat customer. Time for you to attend another seminar, or by the book, or subscribe to the monthly video series. None of which will solve your problem.

Without action there is no learning. Without learning there is no change. Without change in behavior, the results remain the same. Why is sitting there and absorbing information so tempting? Because it is EASY.

School has us believing that we are entitled to the good things in life if we just attend what we are asked to attend. It’s not the case I’m afraid.

If you want results, you need to take action. Period.

The only people who walked away from the seminar and saw actual improvements in their lives long-term were the ones who put the ideas into action. They set goals, based on behavioral changes, and went to work making them happen. They faced setbacks, misunderstandings, fear and embarrassment in order to implement the changes.

They got their money’s worth.

Focus on Outcome Instead of Process

Sometimes we do take action and yet feel like nothing’s changed. I see this all the time with clients who start working out and going to the gym, or changing their diet. Months go by and their frustration goes up due to lack of “results.” It’s only a matter of time before they give up.

You cannot control results.

Let me say that again: results are not under your control. Predicting the future is impossible.

So what does attaching your self-worth to the outcomes/results you’re after do? It puts your confidence in the hands of forces outside of your control, which will inevitably turn against you over time.

It all comes down to how you measure yourself. Let go of the results and focus on the part of the journey that is completely under your control: the process. Focus on the actions you take and efforts you make. It’s all about the attempt, not the outcome.

Let’s say you have a potential promotion coming up, and there are two choices: 1) try to write a perfect job interview script based on articles and hope to land your dream job (passive learning first with a focus on outcomes), or 2) practice being interviewed by friends you can trust and aim to use the job interview as a learning experience for your career (active learning first with a focus on process).

Which option leaves you feeling better about yourself? Which is more likely to get the result you desire?

Conclusion

You may be wondering about the title implying that “believing in yourself” is wrong. Let me clarify; this process I’m advocating is actually all about believing in yourself. But the perspective is different.

Rather than trying to be perfectly prepared before you take action, believe that you will learn what you need to learn from the experience. Believe that you will be able to handle getting it wrong. Believe that you a strong enough to face fear and rejection.

Actually, you don’t need to “believe” at all. Don’t trust it, just test it.

Use passive learning to understand your mistakes better after the attempt. By the time you attend the seminars, they should simply confirm what you’ve already found through trial-and-error, and give you ideas as to how you could do things better in the future. Make the first thing you learn be based on experience.

Just do it.

Facing Fears: “The Walk Of Shame”

Are you afraid that people are always judging you? Do you always care what other people think? If you do, you might not feel that way after watching this video. One or our very own Experts at A BETTER ME, Dan Munro, proves to you that no one really judges you as much as you judge yourself. As a confidence coach, he is living proof of it. Watch his hilarious yet inspirational video as he faces everyone’s fear and comes out of it smelling like a rose.

5 Things You Didn’t Know Were Confidence Issues

By Dan Munro

As a former sufferer of low self-confidence (without knowing it), I really sympathize with everyone out there. When clients finish my coaching program, we often discuss how they see the world differently now that they are confident. Without exception, one major change is always that they finally see how lacking in confidence nearly every person is.

Before, when they lacked it themselves, they thought everyone else had it all sorted out. Yet, it only takes a little personal experience of stretching your own comfort zone to start seeing how no one else is doing it.

I can’t work with someone until they’re ready to see that they are not living up to their potential. Sometimes, I can help someone see that by creating an internal crisis by pointing out the signs of low confidence.

If you think of yourself as confident and yet aren’t totally enjoying life, check out some of these common examples that might be sneaking past your conscious awareness…

1. Procrastination

Many people think of procrastination as some sort of uncontrollable pattern of behavior. They will often justify it by downplaying the task they’re procrastinating on, giving it a lower perceived value or importance.

Procrastination is actually caused by many different confidence issues.

The fear of a wrongful decision: being so unsure of your own ability to call the shots that you think it’s safer to not make any calls at all. The fear of failure: avoiding the risk of getting something wrong by not completing it. The fear of rejection: staying away from the task most at risk of getting a negative reaction from others.

Basically, it’s all about the secretly perceived consequences of actually doing the task.

When you procrastinate, it’s not because you’re lazy, busy, or overloaded. It’s because you are scared. Simple as that.

Solution:

Eat the big ugly frog. To translate: do the biggest, most uncomfortable task first, every day. This is almost always the most important activity for the day, and the one most likely to get the results you seek. Tell yourself you cannot even check your emails or eat breakfast until it’s done. Then you won’t having it eating away at your attention and confidence all day!

2. Obsession With Busy Work

This is often another form of procrastination, but the reason I separated it is because it’s so much more than that. The more someone is bored with their job, the more likely they are to remain as busy as possible. Chores, multi-tasking, rushing around, and doing lots of little tasks on the to-do list.

Quite often, I even see people somehow creating crises for themselves, as if to sabotage their own ability to find time. You know the ones I mean; their car always breaks down, there’s always some relationship having issues, or they’re often late.

Being busy is a nice easy distraction from the painful questions our Higher Self is trying to ask us. Questions like “Why do you keep making things worse?”, or “What the hell are you going to do with your life?”, and even “What’s the point of all this?”

Be keeping yourself physically occupied, you are essentially plugging yourself into the Matrix. You give yourself the illusion that you are productive and purposeful, because gosh, you’re just so busy, aren’t you? That must mean something, right?

Solution:

Do less. Sit down and write out a story about who you wish you were. List the kinds of behavior you would see in someone you admire. Admit and accept the time wasted that you regret. And then, every day, instead of doing a million things, just do the few things that actually matter.

Start living up to a higher standard rather than just running on fumes the whole time.

3. All Information and No Transformation

The self-development industry has a crucial flaw. It perpetuates the notion of being able to change without taking action. Life simply doesn’t work that way, but boy don’t we wish it did?

We can convince ourselves that we are improving by doing lots of nice little safe things. Reading self-help books, attending seminars, watching videos, and asking for advice. Feels like you’re doing a lot to improve yourself, right?

Wrong.

Seriously. Just wrong.

None of these things will create a single microscopic fraction of improvement until you take action. When you learn of some potential improvement strategy, the thing you dread most – trying it out – is the most important step of all.

Change is painful. Accept this fact or be doomed to a life that stays the same. If you want all that information to work for you, it will require facing failure, rejection, uncertainty, frustration, and lots of hard work.

And it will be totally worth it.

Solution:

Put down the books, trade in your seminar tickets, and stop asking questions. Take the information you have so far and go and put it into use. Measure your attempts as objectively as possible, and aim to make small improvements each week. Focus on your behavior rather than the results you want.

4. Reasonable Excuses

Rationality is what fear likes to hide behind. Excuses are the number one cause of quitting.

You can sit there and tell yourself all tons of interesting, credible, and completely understandable reasons as to why it’s not the right time to do that important thing. Or why you can’t afford it. Or why it would upset other people.

Blah. Blah. Blah.

You know you’re lying to yourself! That’s the most messed up part: you have to first lie to yourself and then go through the laborious journey of making the lie true.

The ironic thing is, it’s actually easier to just face the fear and do it. I know because I’ve been both the excuses guy and, later on, the guy who just went and did it.

Solution:

Start approaching life with the assumption that 99% of what you believe is not accurate. That everything in your head telling you “No, not yet!” is actually your fear sabotaging you. It’s trying to keep you safe, a slave of beliefs that do not help you achieve your dreams.

Every time you think that you “can’t” do something, test it out. Design an objective way of testing your beliefs, and measure the evidence. Prepare to be wrong, time and time again, and prepare to be glad you were wrong! Failure is your friend, you simply haven’t been properly introduced yet.

5. Anxiety Before Work

This should be an obvious one, but it isn’t. We’re raised to believe that work is a suffering we must endure to survive. We should be slaves for wages, and be grateful for the opportunity.

Can you really be a confident person if you’re feeling anxious every week? Can you really have high self-worth if you think your job is pointless and unrewarding?

Most people can convince themselves that their job doesn’t suck, or that they have no choice. This is to avoid the pain and guilt of wasting their time. But some part of them still knows. That’s why they feel the anxiety.

I used to wake up every day with excuses I could use to call in sick. For 15 to 30 minutes each morning, I would lie in bed debating whether or not to use them. Most times I could drag myself to work, after a long battle convincing myself that it was worthwhile, that people needed me.

Solution:

Figure out what your dream job is, and then put together a step by step plan as to how you could achieve it. No matter how “impossible” it seems, assume that you will find a way to make it work. Then, in your spare time, put as many hours aside as possible to take those steps.

Just one at a time.

When You Build Your Confidence, You Understand These 5 Things

By Dan Munro

Most people have low self-confidence, but yet they never do anything about it. I was one of them until 5 years ago. Now I want to give back what I have learned.

In my coaching career, I have come to realize that everyone already has what they need, they just can’t access it due to confidence barriers in their heads. These barriers include our inability to overcome feelings of fear, doubt, and discomfort.

So come with me and take the steps toward higher self-worth today, because it will be a step away from the boredom and impotence of a life half-lived.

Here are 5 things I’ve learned:

1. Everyone else is scared, too.

You know that voice that keeps you up at night? The one making you doubt yourself, the one preventing you from making moves? Yeah, everyone else hears it too.

There is no such thing as being “fearless.” Anyone who claims otherwise is either psychopathic, deluded or just full of it.

“We all have a story playing in our head; the ‘I’m not good enough’ story.” – Dr Russ Harris

It plays continuously in the background, and has no association with logic, reason or evidence. Sometimes it’s loud and it’s all we can hear, other times it is blissfully drowned out by positive thoughts. Either way, it is always there. And it’s there to stay. Unless you decide to change your story.

2. There is no such thing as a pain-free life.

“Life is suffering” – Buddha (apparently)

Continuing on from point 1, pain is also a crucial part of life. The pursuit of happiness implies that there is some magical stage of life you can get to which will be pain-free. Pain is the natural by-product of experience. Think of all of your favorite activities, relationships, and experiences. There is always some sort of pain involved.

Try to re-frame pain. Think of it as the reference point for joy, meaning, and fulfillment. You simply cannot enjoy life without knowing what the opposite of enjoyment is. You can’t appreciate something unless you can understand the inevitable tragedy that it will one day be taken away.

You don’t have to enjoy pain, you just have to accept its presence. Welcome it like you would the burning feeling you get lifting weights. It is a necessary part of our experience in order for life to have meaning.

3. Happiness is just a temporary feeling.

I often jabber on about the pointlessness in pursuing “happiness.” Building confidence will open your eyes to something very important: happiness may never be a permanent state.

Again we come back to the ‘points of reference.’ Life is a rich tapestry of emotion, each with its benefits for our experience. There is peace in sadness, there is confidence in fear, and there is passion in anger.

All the emotions you think of as “bad” are far from it. By definition, happiness requires other emotions to exist. You cannot be permanently happy, as it would eventually just end up being the worst state you can possibly experience: BOREDOM.

4. People do not ‘have’ status, you give it to them.

People tend to look at others as either better or worse than themselves. Depending on the situation, you are either The Man/Woman, or A Loser. There is a system in your mind that compares you constantly to others.

This leads always to seeing some people being seen as above you. You will cower, bow and scrape to those who you see as better. This might include people you are attracted to, your bosses, socially confident people, and anyone else whose presence makes you feel like either withdrawing or showing off.

Confidence building will make you realise the truth: we are all the same. People are only better than you when YOU think they are. Best to just stop comparing altogether.

5. Slavery is mindset, not a situation.

People mostly think of themselves as “free” because they are not technically slaves. In fact most people are either slaves or prisoners. I have met very few people in my life who I consider to be “free.” Sometimes I’m not even sure I am free (but I’m definitely getting closer).

What is the definition of slavery? Being owned and controlled by someone else.

What defines being a prisoner? Being in a place where you cannot escape.

If you feel you cannot talk back to your boss because he will fire you, then you are technically a slave. He owns you. And in a more practical sense, he exchanges money for your time. If that is not completely of your free will (i.e. some part of you believes you MUST accept it and you cannot walk away at any time), then you have the mind of a slave.

If you feel like you can’t pursue your passions because of your restrictions and obligations, then you are a prisoner. You have put up walls around yourself. Your life cannot be escaped, and your limitations dictate your options.

Slavery and imprisonment can only happen inside your mind.

Prove to yourself that there are no limits. Ask yourself “If I could do anything, or be anyone, what would that look like? What would need to change in my life? What would I have to do differently?”

Then act on the answers to those questions.