Find Happiness From Within, Not From Others

1. Don’t compare yourself to others.

Growing up, I constantly compared myself to others. I analyzed their success, their looks, their personality, their skillset, and saw something that I wish I possessed. I found myself losing these inner-battles with my low self-esteem and in turn, I was losing myself. When good things came my way – no matter how hard I worked for them – I felt unworthy and undeserving. I was self-sabotaging my own happiness. I was never good enough for myself.

It wasn’t until I recognized this that I was able to being rebuilding my self-esteem. Over time, I found solace in mindful thinking, yoga and meditation, and began to find my lost soul. This re-construction (as I like to call it) allowed me to lay a foundation of a calmer me so I wouldn’t react with anger, sadness or jealousy when I reverted to my old ways. When I was at my lowest, my guard, self-security and happiness was stripped from me. Being able to repair those wounds has helped me to form a positive mind frame and thicker skin. I have totally built a more balanced and nuanced perspective towards my surroundings and towards myself.

I have made a lot of mistakes in my past. For years, those mistakes I was so ashamed of haunted my thoughts as I incessantly over-analyzed them. After I realized how paralyzing this was, I found the strength to forgive myself and view my mistakes as a lesson learned. The lessons I have learned have allowed me to move forward, let go of what can’t be changed and focus on the present.

2. Be confident

I have always struggled to believe in myself. After being diagnosed with General Anxiety Disorder, my entire life was put into perspective. Every question I had about why I behaved the way I did or thought the things I did, made so much more sense. So I started to take actions to change that.

First and foremost, I recognized my weaknesses and accepted them. I stopped trying to analyze them or ask why I wasn’t better at this, better at that. I started implementing balance in my everyday small tasks. I may not be able to control every outcome, but I can control the way I live. Rather than living in a state of mess and chaos, I find order in my daily chores. Every morning I make my bed, I always wash the dishes after a meal, do my laundry every other day, and make sure my apartment is immaculate. Chaos ensues more chaos. Being clean helps me to restore balance. Maybe your balance consists of something different, whatever it may be, embrace it. These small tasks give you a feeling of control. It’s hard sometimes to do this after a 12-hour work day, but you have to push yourself. Procrastination is a grave in which dreams are buried. Always push to make changes. Small steps. Always know that you can handle whatever life throws at you next and find strength in your convictions.

If someone criticizes you, channel that into something positive and let it be an opportunity to improve. Accept it with grace and appreciation. Learn from everything and be inspired by others. Be confident in your potential. It takes practice to be confident but that practice will make you whole.

3. Not everyone will like you.

Anyone who knows me, knows that I’m a people pleaser. My opinions may be strong, but I like to make people happy. Recently one of my oldest and dearest friends began to drift away from me. She stopped including me in her plans and left calls and texts unanswered despite my attempts to save our friendship. This happens in life of course, but it’s been a struggle for me to accept. It just didn’t make sense. I needed the validation of her friendship. But one day, I stopped reaching out. Realizing that you can’t always change the way people think of you, I’ve stopped worrying about how she views me. It was emotional poison that I didn’t need to dwell on.

People come and go – it’s a part of life. And despite how long you’ve known them, they’re relationship has touched your soul and will always be a part of you even after they’re gone. Understanding this has helped me more than I can explain. It has given me peace of mind and has allowed me to just let certain people and situations go.

Our friendship has run its course for now and that’s ok. Everything happens for a reason. Accepting that not everyone will like you and still being confident in who you are, is the start to building a strong self-esteem. There is a huge amount of freedom that comes to you if you don’t take anything personally.

4. Learn to say ‘No, thank you!’

I was always afraid to say no to people. I would jeopardize my own boundaries to make someone feel better even if I didn’t agree with them. I know it’s hard, but something you just have to do it. Saying no to things you don’t believe in or won’t bring you happiness, can give you strength.

My entire life, I’ve always been a helper. Helping my mom in the kitchen, helping my employees to understand something – I find joy in helping people. And that has contributed to my feeling of self-confidence. It’s a part of me. But doing something about your core beliefs leads to self-destruction and guilt. Trust me, in the long run it is better to say no to doing something that doesn’t agree with you. In the end, your emotional well-being will be sacrificed.

Everyday brings joy and struggle. Enjoy the joy, but also ironically enough, enjoy the struggles because they are coming your way for a reason. The challenges you face will  shape you, guide you and, most importantly, teach you a lesson. So when life throws some obstacles in your way, don’t take them personally. The struggles we go through are apart of life – everyone has to deal with them. How you deal with your struggles can either make you stronger and make you miserable. This choice is on you!

 

Mental Detox: 7 Ways to Stay Positive

The January Blues (n.): a form of sadness or depression brought on by gloomy seasonal weather and the 2017 Presidential Inauguration (kidding…kind of).

If you think you are experiencing the form of seasonal affective disorder I described (and possibly made up) above, you are not alone. The sun has been hiding for weeks, the holiday hype has worn off, work is slow, and logging into Facebook is like watching a Presidential Debate, only much nastier (if that’s even possible). Our country is at odds and while we have made great strides in the last 8 years, it feels as though we are taking one  giant step back.

But at the same time, we are also uniting. Maybe not in the way we had hoped, but in a different way. Change does not lie in the hands of one man, but rather a group of people united by a belief.

My point is – regardless of your political views or if you have any at all, this time of year somehow always feels a bit bleak. Sometimes we all need a detox from the negativity in our lives to make room for positive growth. Even if your moodiness is due to the weather! Make these 7 changes in your day to day life and you’ll be feeling a little lighter on your feet in no time.

Exercise

I didn’t step into a gym until I was 30 years old. Now, I don’t know what I would do without it. And not just because it keeps me in shape. When you exercise it releases ‘feel good’ chemicals called endorphins that help you to relieve stress and boots energy. Regular exercise can help you rewire the brain in very positive ways – for your body and mind. At least 30 to 45 minutes a day should be dedicated to exercise. Trust me, you’ll see what a difference it can make.

Don’t Worry, Be Happy

Plain and simple: stop complaining. Constantly worrying and overwhelming yourself with negative thoughts is like a dehabilitating disease. It can overpower you and cloud your entire outlook on life. Worrying is like a vicious cycle. Remember that making yourself miserable will never change the outcome. Just focus on what’s right now. That is what is important. Focus on how you can make a situation better. As someone who is a constant worrier, I have developed my share of exercises. Whenever I have an obtrusive and negative thought, I take a moment to recognize it. I then try to change that thought into something positive and let it go. Don’t feed on it. Don’t analyze it just let this go.

Eat Healthy

This is a tough one that I often struggle with. As you all know, I own a bakery. AKA all day long I am surrounded by the most delicious desserts and cakes. Building my will power has been quite the task. However, I am not saying to cut out unhealthy foods all together. I am saying to save it for your cheat day. Try to balance it all. What you put into your body can drastically change how we are feeling. We often use food or alcohol as a way to cope with our emotions. This will never make you happy. I mean it may for few minutes or even a for a night. But then you feel guilty and even worse than before causing you to self medicate with these things yet again. Another vicious cycle. Try to avoid the temptation by switching your focus. Remember – your body is like a  temple. It only deserves the best.

Take a Deep Breath

When you are feeling anxious or stressed, breathing deeply and slowly is one of the best remedies to help regain focus and positivity. When you recognize that something bothers you, try to disconnect, close your eyes and focus on your breathing. Even if just for a minute. You will see how wonderful that can be. It will totally change your focus and bring you back to a more positive reality.

Hit The Snooze Button

I know how hard this one can be. Trust me. Being an entrepreneur, every minute feels like an enormous challenge – who has time for sleep?! It’s extremely hard sometimes to disconnect after an eventful and challenging day. But without a good night’s sleep, you won’t be on your A game the next day. Our body needs sleep. Remember to stay away from your phone. Plug it in away from your bedroom. In the avalanche of social media and email notifications these little sounds can be annoying and distractive. If you have a TV in your bedroom put on a sleep mode so it can turn off otherwise your sleep will be distracted and interrupted.

Social Media Detox

Social media can be an amazing tool to see what’s going in in your friends and family lives. But it also can be mentally deteriorating. While many posts are positive and uplifting, others are hurtful and unnecessary. Especially when it comes to political views. These posts can trigger insecurities, unhappiness, and destroy your positivity. Sometimes a break from social media is good for our minds. We aren’t distracted by factors we can’t control. We are able to live in the present. Once you return to the social media world, it is important to stay away from negative posts and messages. Keep your negative feelings to yourself. If someones posts something you don’t agree with unfollow them (unless they are your Grandma or something). If someone doesn’t bring anything into your life, unfriend and let it go.

Maintain Your Daily Routine

Sticking to a regular routine as much as possible is crucial to fighting sadness, fatigue and depression. Try to engage step by step taking one task at the time. Focus on current actions. A routine demonstrates that you are not only capable of getting though the day, but you complete the day feeling productive.

Photo by: Patrycja Zak of Good Time Photography
@goodtimephoto

10 New Year’s Resolutions You’ll Actually Keep

I’m so sorry I haven’t posted in a while, but you know how the holidays can be. Hope you all didn’t miss me too much! In light of the New Year, I want to dedicate to today’s post to resolutions. I’m not talking about crazy and impractical goals like “I am NEVER going to eat chocolate again.” Alright for some people that may be plausible, but you get the picture.

After the holidays robbed our bank accounts and added 5+ pounds onto our physiques, New Years could not come at a better time. While NYE is a celebration of the passage of time and coming of a new year, it also gives us the chance to hit ‘reset’ on our lives. But by making unrealistic goals, you will only let yourself down. We need goals that we can rely on and better ourselves from.

A year ago, I was in a very different place in my life. I felt lost and disconnected from who I wanted to be. On January 1st, 2016 I vowed to workout everyday, pursue my dreams, and live an overall more rounded life. And I did just that. Not only did fitness become a part of my daily regimen, but I also started Well-Tailored Life.

This year, let’s reach our goals together. Check out my list of New Year’s Goals You Can Actually Keep below and join me in my 2017 resolutions. Let’s do this!

10 New Year’s Resolutions You Can Actually Keep

  1. Write a happy thought every morning when you wake up
  2. ‘Unplug’ for at least 1 hour a day to reflect.
  3. Turn off all lights when you leave your home
  4. Put away $20 a week to save up for something
  5. Opt to take the stairs instead of the elevator
  6. Stop procrastinating and make a To-do list
  7. Spend more time with family
  8. Drink 8 glasses of water a day
  9. Get more sleep
  10. Learn something new everyday

Love Yourself: Avoid These 6 Types of Toxic People

My entire life I have struggled to distance myself from manipulative, unapologetic, and judgmental individuals. Over the years, I have come to realize that there are people in this world who can’t separate themselves from negativity. In fact, they thrive on putting others down to cope with their own deep-rooted insecurities.

While I firmly believe in living in the moment, I also think it’s important to recognize how our past can affect us. As someone who has dealt with bullies since a young age, it has taken me a substantial amount of time to recognize this and begin to mend the damage it had done.

I have no tolerance for negative and unappreciative individuals who refuse to see the positive. They wallow in their problems and fail to focus on finding a solution to their unhappiness. These people want you to join in their pity so they can feel better about themselves for a brief moment in time. I used to get caught up in this toxic behavior and just played along, despite how wrong I thought it was.

But over time, the negativity began taking a toll on me and I had to learn how to stop this pattern. Especially with those closest to me. I adore my family and respect them for the obstacles they have overcome, but their critical and sometimes judgmental ways were hurtful. I started setting boundaries on what I could handle and distanced myself when necessary. Rather than give into these negative tendencies to appease them, I have found that changing the subject to something nice and positive was not only better for me, but better for our relationship.

Also, I try to maintain a healthy emotional distance from people. I’m not saying to close your heart from love or refuse to open up emotionally. But before I was like a sponge absorbing everyone’s energy. Whether they were sad, angry, jealous, etc. I became too invested and it affected my emotional state. If someone is flooded with derailed thinking, sometimes the best way to handle it is just smile and nod.

But of course, this is often easier said than done. Especially when this negativity is often targeted at you. For a long time, I struggled with what other people thought of me. I was more focused on their opinion, instead of focusing on being myself. When your sense of pleasure and self is acquired from the opinions of others, you can’t master your own happiness. And I couldn’t.

Until my friend gave me a book called The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. After reading one chapter, something inside me clicked. I felt relieved. I felt confident. I felt proud to be myself. This book taught me how to ignore what others thought of me and never take anything personally – especially from negative individuals. Emotionally intelligent people feel good about themselves and their actions and they won’t let anyone’s opinion take that happiness away from them.

I finally stopped comparing myself to others because my self-worth comes within.

The Top 6 People to Avoid:

1. Gossipers
It’s easy to be sucked into gossip – we are all guilty of it every now and then. But there is a line that is crossed from petty gossip to intruding on someone else’s personal or professional life. And for some people, this line is VERY blurred. Not only is it bad karma, but feeding on the misfortunes of others is bullying and wrong.

2. Flaky People
We all have them in our lives: unreliable and dishonest procrastinators. They never keep their word. They’ll tell you they are going to do one thing and they never do. It is important to surround yourself with loyal and dependable people who will always have your back. Not ones who bail on your when you need them most.

3. Arrogant People
Don’t confuse confidence with arrogance. Confident people inspire while arrogant annoy and intimidate. Plain and simple.

4. Debbie Downers
Someone who is always negative and drain your positive energy immediately. They will always discredit every idea you have. Rather than giving you support, they will point out every little thing that will go wrong.

5. Liars
Chronic lairs are harmful because you never know what to believe so you can’t count on their promises or their word.

6. Manipulators
Those who disguise your interests as their interests for their own selfish advances. These people only think of themselves and never have your best interest at heart, despite how much they say they do.

You are the only person that controls your happiness. These 6 types of people will always be in your life. It is inevitable. But it is how you handle them that will make or break your relationships. Be confident and happy within your self – don’t rely on others to make you feel better or let them affect that positivity. Love yourself and the rest will fall into place.

Monday Morning

Monday morning: the inevitable start of the work week you spent all Sunday evening dreading. After a weekend of fun activities, it can be a physical challenge to drag yourself out of bed at 6am knowing the busy day you have ahead.

But why?

Sure you’re exhausted, but come Monday you get a clean slate. A new beginning, if you will. For me, Monday is fun. It’s a fresh start– an exciting time to embark on adventures, set new goals for yourself and build the foundation of a successful week.

I’m sure you’re all thinking, “Who the heck is this guy and is he out of his mind?”

Well, maybe. But I prefer to think of it as a fresh perspective.

Here are the 4 things I do to ensure I start the week off right:

1. Set the tone: plan.

Monday morning allows us to plan out the week, prioritize your schedule and decide what you need to accomplish. I am a planner. I have to lay out my whole day, otherwise I am a mess. Planning gives me something to work towards; something to strive for.

2. Break the cycle: think positive.

Most of us are hit with negative thinking in the morning. And believe me – I’m a victim of this too. We find ourselves being grouchy and sluggish thinking about the to-do list sitting on our desk. It’s the idea that come Monday, freedom has slipped away from us as work consumes us until Friday afternoon. And then the cycle starts all over again. This cycle provokes negativity. The mood you create for yourself on Monday morning sets the tone for the rest of the week. Count your blessings and be thankful. There are far worse things than client meetings and conference calls.

3. Early bird gets the worm: create a morning routine.

As the old saying goes, I truly believe that waking up early is the sure sign to a good day. Every morning I wake up at 4:30am to start my daily routine. Over oatmeal and coffee, I use this time to start my morning off right. I stretch to loosen my muscles + warm up my limbs and reflect on the day ahead of me. By 5:30am I am off to my morning workout to empower my mind and strengthen my body. While to most it is quite the opposite, getting out of bed at 4:30am to start my routine is invigorating and I feel thankful for it every day.

4. Get your blood pumping: work it out.

If you really want to feel great and tackle your Monday (or every day for that matter) – exercise. I exercise not only to maintain my physical health, but more importantly my mental health. Sure it’s great to have a nice physique, but working out releases endorphins to relieve stress and clear your mind. After you exercise, you can immediately feel the change in your mood. Starting the day off with this morning high sets the tone for the next 24 hours. It doesn’t even have to be an intense full-body workout; a simple exercise to get your blood pumping and heart rate going is perfect. Every morning I am setting the tone for my day – powerful and motivated – and preparing my mind + body to be the best I can be.

So wake up happy and ready. Even if it’s Monday.

jacob-neminarz-of-well-tailored-life-morning-routine

Glass Half Full

While it may seem easy to be a ‘glass half full’ kind of person, staying positive can be a hard feat to tackle. As an entrepreneur I have learned that positivity requires constant hard work. You’re going to face challenges, hardships and failure, but it’s how you view and overcome those obstacles that make you a positive person. I found that my biggest difficulty was how to channel my negative, self-deprecating thoughts. It took me a significant amount of time and effort to learn how to look at those thoughts proactively rather than reacting rash and responding to people or events in a negative manner.

Being positive is a choice. How you choose to respond to a conflict reflects the kind of person you are. To make room for optimism, here are the nine types of negative thinking to remove from your life.

  1. All or nothing thinking
  2. Negative self-labeling
  3. Catastrophizing/Exaggerating
  4. Mind reading
  5. Neediness
  6. Disregarding/Taking advantage of the present
  7. Dwelling on the past
  8. Pessimism
  9. Jumping to conclusions

A few years ago, I made a promise to myself that I was no longer going to be stuck in this negative way of thinking. I was going to try to be more proactive than reactive. That one promise has completely changed my life.

For as long as I could remember, I had handled stressful situations poorly causing unnecessary confrontations and drama. Once I began recognizing those negative thought patterns, the rest slowly fell into place. I realized that these persistent pessimistic thoughts were unproductive, self-belittling, and could create deep rooted negative emotions. In my case? Anger.

From then on, I chose to utilize a more positive reaction to my problems. While this didn’t come without difficulty, now I can hardly remember feeling angry anymore. I have chosen to go with the flow and live life to the fullest, because it is truly so short. Nothing is worth the time and energy it takes to be angry.

Despite the bad choices I’ve made in my life, I believe that everything happens for a reason. Since I started practicing kundalini yoga I became the “Watcher” of my mind. I am aware of my thoughts. I don’t act on them – rather watch them and if they irrational and negative I simply let them pass.

By bringing your conscious attention to your thinking patterns you bring in a new higher dimension of awareness. You become mindful.

Accept the thought. Observe it. And then let it go.