Step One: Learn That You’ve Got More Control Than You Think

First off, I understand that things can be scary, negative and challenging – absolutely. However, think of things this way: There will always be things that happen in this world that will upset us, and there will always be curves that life throws our way. What makes the single-biggest difference in how your life turns out? Your daily thought patterns.

That might sound boring or cheesy, but listen to me here!

I faced my own death during a suicide attempt in 2011, so I know all about depression, feeling lost, hopeless and furiously angry within – angry with the world and people in general. That happens sometimes when we get overwhelmed and find ourselves focusing on what isn’t going right. Re-read that last sentence…

We’re all human! This stuff happens. The difference-maker is when you make it a daily habit to be aware of your thoughts, your feelings and your decisions. Sure – it’s easy to take the lazy way, coasting through life on autopilot, “going with the flow” all the way and taking what comes. That’s also a recipe for disaster for most of us (though balance is also needed in letting go of the need to control everything, which simply isn’t possible and brings on huge amounts of stress, as I learned the hard way).

Step Two: Decide To Work Through Perfectionism, Self-Doubt and Shame (It Only Holds You Back!)

This is huge – you might not even realize it, but how we were raised and taught in school has a massive impact on who we become, since we learn things like competitiveness, shame, perfectionism and self-doubt from the very people who aim to teach us to be the best human beings we can be. The truth is that they’ve gone off of what they were taught by their own parents and teachers, so once we realize that, we start to see the power we have in changing our own patterns of thinking (if we want to).

Parents that watch the news all the time and are stressed from their careers naturally transfer a lot of their negative thoughts and fear-based patterns onto their kids, and it can take a lifetime to realize the damage that we, as those children growing up, have incurred.

Teaching ways to break through shame from our past, toxic, debilitating perfectionism and self-sabotaging thought patterns is a huge task, but it doesn’t have to be hard when we make it our goal to improve the way we think, how we see this beautiful world and change our focus to one of empowerment, hope, a growth mindset and kindness, no matter what’s in the headlines or coming out of the mouths of people we work with, socialize with – whoever.

Step Three: Be Gentle On Yourself as You Go! Self-Compassion Is A Lesson Millions of Us Never Received In School

We all screw up – mistakes are the keys to growth and success (they really are, we just need to take a step back and realize it once some time has passed from when any given mistake was made)! Through trial and error, I have learned to start every single day with a sense of gratitude, hope and forgiveness both with myself and to others (even if I had to break free from them and they made me very angry for some reason – forgive and move on!). If you and I don’t put in the daily effort to think for ourselves and choose to focus on the world of opportunities and kindness around us, the media will think for us (and believe me, negative garbage sells television ratings, which says a lot about humanity).

I’ve barely scraped the surface here, so stay tuned for a ton more on changing your life by changing your daily thoughts! I’m proof that this works, going from sheer despair and hopelessness through decades of inner struggles of trying to find myself and success in life all the way to being happily married, signing a book deal, building a global following of people who come to me for empowerment and living the life I could only have imagined in the past.

How do you overcome fear and negativity in your life? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Yours in fierce purpose,

Jeff Emmerson