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Start Here: “The Ultimate Guide to Habits”

How to stop feeling guilty

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We’re talking about the Year of Unapologetic Mastery. Yesterday I asked you to tell me what one of the skeptical people in your life — including yourself — would say to hold you back.

The comments are DISTURBING. If I had any emotions or functioning tear ducts, I would have cried.

Look at this comment:

“I’m my own worst critic. Here are my biggest goals for 2014 and what I tell myself about them:

  • Lose 16lb – ‘you’ll never manage it, you hate exercise and love cake. You have no willpower.’
  • Get my driving licence – ‘You’re a terrible driver and the driving test in this country is scary and horrible. Don’t even bother. Buses are cheap.’
  • Self-publish two ebooks – ‘When do you even think you’ll get the time to write them? And who do you think is going to buy them?’
  • Get a traditional book deal – cue hysterical laughter inside my head.
  • Freelance as a travel writer – the laughter has now devolved into gasping for breath and screams of ‘stop it, you’re killing me.’”

— Ellen

Ellen, I want to give you a big hug. Your guilty feelings are so common. So many of us swim in a sea of negativity — and the worst part is, we actually want to hit those goals! Why are we beating ourselves up? How do we stop feeling so guilty?

So many of the comments I read focused on our own negative self-talk. How many of us tear ourselves down over all the things we should be doing?

  • “I could never do that, I’m just not built for…”
  • “I never follow through, so I’m not even going to start…”
  • “Why would anyone listen to me? I don’t have enough experience”

These ways of looking at ourselves are so insidious, so twisted, that we sabotage ourselves before ever getting off the ground and then we feel guilty afterwards.

What’s the solution? Am I going to tell you to look up to the stars, raise your outstretched arms, and sing a spiritual hymn together? No, this isn’t a life-coaching blog that serves no practical purpose in life.

Yes, you ARE responsible for being stuck. No, it’s not your mom, or society, or the heteronormative patriarchal bonds that hold you down. (Do they have an influence on all of us? Of course. Can we control them? No.)

But you can control one thing: yourself. This might be uncomfortable to hear, but it’s true.

This is why I don’t talk about political inequality in America and class warfare. Of course it exists. But the practical change that you, as one person, can have is extremely limited. But if you focus on improving yourself — your career, your personal finances, your inner psychology — you can have a profoundly positive influence on the rest of your life.

How to stop feeling guilty with these two frameworks

I was surprised by all the negative self-talk and feelings of guilt in the comments on yesterday’s post, so I recorded this video to help tackle these crippling barriers. In it, I suggest some on-the-spot improvements. Check it out:

I never even realized how negative my own self-talk was.

Watch this short video to hear how I tackled it. Here’s the most interesting part of the comments: They own up to feeling guilty… but THEY DON’T DO ANYTHING ELSE!

It’s EASY to say, “I feel guilty.” So what? You feel guilty? What are you going to do about it?

It’s MUCH HARDER to say, “You know what, that guy at work was rude, but I probably played a part in that. Here’s how I’m going to tackle it next time.”

When was the last time someone told you, “You know, you kinda asked for it”? For most of us, NEVER! Instead, we almost always expect our friends to support our side of the story. And that’s good — we need that social support — but we also rarely shine a light on our own behavior.

In one of the most interesting articles on psychology I’ve ever read, the New York Times illustrates exactly this:

“I decided to push him. “Do you ever wonder why so many disappointing things happen to you?” I asked. “Is it just chance, or might you have something to do with it?”

His reply was a resentful question: “You think it’s all my fault, don’t you?” Now I got it. He was about to turn our first meeting into yet another encounter in which he was mistreated. It seemed he rarely missed an opportunity to feel wronged.”

What do you want from this site? A puppy? You want me to take you to eat croissants and listen to your problem, then tell you it’s not your fault? Not your surrogate Asian father.

Today we’re going to learn how to turn guilt into action…and by the end of today, we’ll break the mental habits that keep us stuck in a rut, making the same mistakes over and over again.

How freeing would it be to not feel guilty about the things you “should” be doing?

We all have at least one friend who is always on top of it. Think about them. How do they do it? Are they rushing from thing to thing, constantly frazzled?

I bet not. In fact, if you notice anything about them, it’s a sense of “ease” about what they’re doing (“I don’t know if it’s going to work out, but I’m going to give it a shot” — and incidentally, it almost always seems to work out).

You might also notice how they’re very selective about what they do: If they can’t make it to an event, they’re polite but firm about not being able to attend. They don’t say, “Sure, I’ll try to be there” and then not show up — either they say no, or if they say yes, you know they’ll be there.

In other words, they’re dependable to you…and to themselves.

What would it be like to live like that?

Turning feelings of self-doubt into action

What if you could turn your guilt into action? Here’s a video I put together on how to do exactly that:

How to stop beating yourself up all the time.

Feeling guilty is a choice — one that you can choose not to do through your actions.

The Framework of Personal Responsibility

Here’s the simple framework to use:

YES, IT’S MY RESPONSIBILITY!

If something goes wrong in a social situation, don’t blame the other person for being an asshole. Ask yourself: Hey, maybe they are rude, but what did I do to cause that?

See, guilt is the first sign that something’s wrong. But most people stop there. “I feel guilty” is not the end, but the beginning of taking action.

For example, I’ve told you how I was kinda socially awkward when I was a young guy. I would go into business meetings and try to make a point, and I would literally see people looking at each other, like “Oh god, not this guy again.”

The thing about socially awkward people is (1) they’re awkward (2) they don’t know they’re awkward. To my credit, I knew I was being awkward…I just didn’t know why.

I felt horribly guilty about being a weirdo in these meetings. I should have spoken up… no, I spoke too long… ugh, am I ever going to be as smooth as those guys from marketing? Is anyone ever going to listen to me?

If I had just sat around saying “I feel guilty” — and stopped there — what would have happened? Nothing. You would not see the smooth, debonair Ramit Sethi you’ve come to know, love, and lust after.


This is photoshopped, jackasses (Ramit on Instagram)

If I had just blamed other people for being mean to me and not respecting me because I was young, I would have felt good about myself. (Complaining feels great!) But nothing would have changed. And years later, frustrated with my lack of career progress, I would have blamed my stagnation on the economy, the political system, the Baby Boomers, anyone…except myself.

There’s a better way. When you take on this role — that I can’t control others but I can control myself — it’s actually empowering. Instead of the inchoate guilt you feel with no outlet for fixing it, you look at life like a series of experiments.

Responsibility Framework Example: Your family is skeptical of your choices

Let’s say you’ve decided to start freelancing on the side. If your family is skeptical of your new project (“Why are you doing that? You should just be lucky to have a job. And also, why would anyone use YOU when there are so many other health coaches out there??”), it would be easy to get frustrated.

What do we do? We tend to argue back, even though we’re not even sure if we’re doing the right thing.

Using our new approach of taking responsibility, we can change this. It’s not our parents’ fault that their skeptical. Of course they want safety and security for us — that’s what they know. So what could I do to assuage their fears?

One approach is to co-opt their fears and say, “You know what? I’m not sure if this will work, but I think it’s worth a shot. If you were in my shoes, how would you approach it?” Now they’re on your side instead of against you.

Another approach is to say, OK, instead of getting mad and storming out of dinner, I’m going to ask them what they think…what they wish they had done when they were younger…and what’s the BEST and WORST that could possibly happen. Gently guide the conversation in the right direction instead of walking in guns blazing.

See the difference?

You’re in control. Not the world. Not society. Not even your parents. You — and all because you adopted this frame.

One final note: At first, this seems daunting. Everything is my fault! I hate you Ramit! But actually, I find this liberating. Now I control it. If something doesn’t work, I can think back to what I did and change it next time so it doesn’t happen again. Just like riding a bike, each time you get better — and you learn to train and trust your intuition.

In other words, people avoid this approach since it’s scary to think everything is your fault. But when you put fault aside, and instead say “guilt –> action,” you’re in control.

How to stop feeling guilty by changing your own self-talk

I have a challenge for you today.

The path to unapologetic mastery starts with improving yourself from the inside out. This challenge doesn’t take a lot of time, but it is tough. Remember, I’ll be sharing more advanced material with people on my email list. (Sign up below.)

Action step: Think about the last time you struggled to finish something. Maybe you were procrastinating at the end of a big project, or maybe you just couldn’t force yourself to exercise for 5 minutes. What self-talk do you remember using?

Do any of these examples sound familiar?

  • “I really should put this ice cream away. I haven’t done anything all day. I’m such a lazy ass.”
  • “Come on, go talk to her. Don’t be such a wimp.”
  • “I HAVE to finish this. I am going to sit here all day and not take a single break until I do.”
  • “I am not the kind of person who can start a business.”

TODAY and TOMORROW, catch yourself whenever you use language like this. Then, instead of beating yourself up, change your negative language into something more positive.

Examples:

  • Instead of “I’m so lazy” try “I’m human. Everyone struggles with this.”
  • Instead of “I’m going to fail” try “I’ll be fine. Even if the worst case scenario happens and I do fail, I’ll still be ok.”
  • Instead of “I should do X” try “I’d like to do X.”
  • Instead of “I am not the kind of person who….” try “What if I tried to…”

That’s it. Just 48 hours.

Let’s practice in the comments below…

TO DO TODAY

We’ll work through together how to stop feeling guilty and turn your guilt into action.

Post a comment below that includes two things:

  1. A example of your own negative self-talk
  2. A new, positive perspective on the same challenge

My life changed when I started doing this. Yours can, too.

P.S. This week, people on my Insider’s List will be getting exclusive videos, strategies, and tactics to pursue mastery unapologetically. If you miss it, there won’t be replays. Trust me, if you’ve enjoyed this material, you’ll find the material on my private list potentially life-changing.

Sign up here for free:

Join my FREE email list

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[…] How to stop feeling guilty is a post from: I Will Teach You To Be Rich. […]

Julia Leszko
Julia Leszko
4 months 18 days ago

1. You’re a mess. You don’t have the experience and know how to pull off creating a business, landing the job, cleaning up your house.

Julia
Julia
4 months 18 days ago

oh! forgot 2nd part:
2. a. I am progressing to cleaning up b. I am learning new skill sets every time listening to Ramit. (I got temp agency to pay me more than listed max)

Mike
Mike
2 years 8 months ago
Ramit, I didn’t know you were writing today’s post specifically for me. Thanks for the consideration! In all seriousness, this post strikes at the core of the issues I posted in my comment yesterday and I see every day in my life. Moreover, I can also see how the people I love, in this case my girlfriend, struggle with these very same issues AND how I respond–often poorly, as in your example about someone asking you for advance on personal finance and blitzing them at 100 mph (my girlfriend won’t even talk to me about exercising anymore). Now, on to… Read more »
Kim K
Kim K
2 years 8 months ago

1. Why do you think you could do this? You bombed the interview last time and you’re probably going to do the same thing this year.

2. I don’t know I bombed the interview, I just didn’t make it into the program. This time I’m doing interview rehearsal and doing more research on what the board wants to hear from me (and what certain questions mean). I have more points before the interview than I did last time so my chances are improved.

Benson Chirwa
Benson Chirwa
2 years 8 months ago

This is great Ramith, while I have personally moved away from the guilt life, I hear a lot of people do this, they could greatly be helped with such insights.

Sarah
Sarah
2 years 8 months ago
Good challenge! My goal has always been to work abroad. I have come close many times, even gotten offers in some cases, but the roles were just not a good fit. Sometimes I beat myself up for this, that I should have taken these jobs. but the reality is, the goal I had at 18 is different now that I am a professional with skills and just working abroad is not enough anymore. I do want to still work abroad, but I would like to get clear on a more focused goal. Every time I start doing this, I start… Read more »
Chris M
2 years 8 months ago

Awesome story Mike, well done. Good luck Kim, you got it this time. Thank you Ramit for the words of wisdom. I am still thinking about everything that has been mentioned, don’t know where to start… I suppose writing down my thoughts will be a good start, then taking action on the first step. The Stuart message lead me to deep thoughts by Jack Handy, classic SNL.

Jill B
2 years 8 months ago

I’m not even done watching this but I had to comment because your supermodel body comment made me laugh and spill hot tea all over myself #I’mclassy

This is a great video- I always use self-deprecating humor as a defense mechanism and have a hard time when people say negative things (my mom is the worst). Thanks for sharing this!

Rowan
Rowan
2 years 8 months ago
There are literally about 10 projects either lying around my house or on my desktop that I chronically don’t finish. Normally, I tell myself that I don’t have time–even though I work for myself–and I never get things done. Examples: 1) house clearance, 2) house renovation, 3) fixing an old guitar (finished yesterday!), 4) filing my taxes (sitting compiled on my desktop), 5) publishing that e-book (sitting finished on my desktop), etc. The past few weeks I have been focusing on maximum two projects per day, and committing myself to getting some of it done. Luckily I’ve made excellent progress… Read more »
Steve
Steve
2 years 8 months ago

So a mere 5 minutes ago

Mid set in my workout “Damn you’re outta shape Steve! Quit now. Try again tomorrow. …maybe”

So I quit. Barely broke a sweat.

Insead I should say “I’ve done this before and I can do it again. Concentrate on form and I’ll be happy when I finish. Ill have more energy later and women will desire me like Ramit in a blue satin smoking jacket. I can’t win if I don’t even cross the finish line. You got this Steve!”

I’m already pumped up just from writinf this!

Thanks Ramit!

Steve Shane
Steve Shane
2 years 8 months ago

A day later,
mid push up,
when i was getting gassed….

i thought of that sweet blue satin smoking jacket. and i pushed through.

Michelle Keep
2 years 8 months ago

What I always try to focus on is that it’s never okay for a workout to be ‘easy’. If it’s easy, you’re not working out hard enough. No matter how fit you are, no matter how out of shape you are, that workout should make your muscles burn and scream (not in an actual pain way!) and your mind want to give up.

When I focus on that, it’s a lot easier to just push through.

Dana
Dana
2 years 8 months ago
Negative Self Talk: I’ve been struggling for probably 8 to 10 years with how to articulate the services that I can or want to provide (not necessarily the same thing). I have stumbled from opportunity to opportunity, without ever really spending the time to figure out what I want. I always give up because it is also impossible to break down a goal into actionable steps if you don’t know exactly what the goal is. Then I think, I’m 50 years old, it’s too late anyway. If I haven’t “figured it out” by now, I never will. I signed up… Read more »
nydia
nydia
2 years 8 months ago
Dana, Congratulations on choosing to focus on what worked for you. to paraphrase Edision each failure is a step towards your success. I am like you always doing what “needs” to be done but not really following through to figure out what I want to do. Diana’s story was inspiring to me too. I saw her on PBS and was blown away by her vitality and drive. I said to myself if she can do that at 64 after failing 5 times . I can set a goal to be a successful business owner and reach it at 47. Thank… Read more »
Meg Sylvia
2 years 8 months ago
You always deliver a message I need to hear at the right time! One of my big ones is a 30 Day Challenge I’m working on getting out the door. Self talk I’m hearing: “There’s so many out there already. Leave it to them!” “No one’s going to read this anyway. Can I quit now?” Instead, I should switch into: “Even if it fails, I will have proved to myself that I can create a major project. The worst case is that I will have a system in place for the next project I take on, with a better idea… Read more »
AP
AP
2 years 8 months ago

Fizzle?

Chrirstine
Chrirstine
2 years 8 months ago

“I have to finish these projects today” is what I say, then I fritter the time away straightening the desk, checking email and FB and the day is done and nothing else is.

“I am going to start with one sentence, then the next and start writing the project” is what I will do today. It will be done well because I am a very good writer and I will be very proud of the work that I will accomplish.

I will unapologetically master this project, and the next. It will be a very good day and year to come.

Thx, Ramit.

Michelle Keep
2 years 8 months ago

One thing that helped me was the ‘eat the frog’ mentality. If you have a task you do not want to do, do it first. That way it frees your mind of that lingering guilt and anxiety at not doing that thing.

Is there something specific about the project that you hate doing that’s causing you to put it off? If so, do it first!

Kelii
Kelii
2 years 8 months ago

Don’t write a comment, they don’t want to hear what I have to say.

Participate, I might have a breakthrough and learn something.

Ethan
Ethan
2 years 8 months ago

you’re right, you did 🙂

Namgyal
Namgyal
2 years 8 months ago

This!!

Alicia
Alicia
2 years 8 months ago

Your emails used to go to my spam box. But I started reading them and you make a lot of sense. It was the name of the blog that has always stopped me before, but you give some great advice. Now I have you marked as Not Spam and look forward to your articles. Thanks.

Gauri
Gauri
2 years 8 months ago
Negative Scripts: You don’t lived up to your potential. Look at how much the people around you have achieved, and look at how little you’ve done. You can’t make a decision to save your life. How hard is it to pick something and stick to it? You never finish what you start. You don’t have the discipline to really amount to anything. Positive Scripts: Every day is a new opportunity, and what’s past is done. Every person has their own path, so comparisons are useless. Instead of beating myself up, I’m going to focus on what I can control and… Read more »
Alixandrea
Alixandrea
2 years 8 months ago
Thanks for this Gauri, exactly what I needed to read! I too beat myself up constantly for failing to complete things that I start, especially courses. One of the reasons I’ve been bouncing around unfulfilling jobs and finally settled on a barely adequate ‘career’ is because I’ve stopped trusting myself to follow through with anything I start. But you’re right, I can develop discipline through processes and systems. I can create the systems for success (I have in fact been working on just that over the past week or so), and I’m going to focus on using and tweaking them… Read more »
Aerin
Aerin
2 years 8 months ago

Thanks Gauri, I have that same script on living up to my potential – I needed to hear that!

Sarah
Sarah
2 years 8 months ago
I have managed to convince myself that 2014 is going to be a year of change. I’m tired of empty promises from my full-time employers of rewarding those who perform well or letting me work from home eventually. I want to control my own future. However, while I’m in the midst of trying to flesh out my idea to earn extra income on the side, I keep hearing the nagging voice in the back of my head “Who is actually going to want to buy this? How is this ever going to be good enough?” I hear taunts from my… Read more »
Matt
Matt
2 years 8 months ago
My situation – I’d like to make money on the side teaching Italian to English people. 1. My negative self-talk: why do I think I’m good enough to teach this? I’ve never taught anything before. Why wouldn’t people just pay a native to teach them? What if they ask me the meaning of a word in Italian and I don’t know it? It would be embarrassing. 2. I’ve worked long and hard to learn Italian myself, so what makes me think I haven’t got a lot of knowledge and insight to pass on? Plus I receive a lot of compliments… Read more »
April
April
2 years 8 months ago

Hey Matt, just to encourage you, I took Italian lessons before my last trip to Italy to brush up on my skills, and my tutor wasn’t even Italian-American, let alone a native Italian. As a student, I just cared that she spoke Italian better than me, which she did.

Joseph
Joseph
2 years 8 months ago
I tried starting a business on the side last year. I was able to get in touch with potential clients and talk about what I can offer their businesses. Unfortunately, this never really got any traction. I became a victim of my own negative self-talk. I kept telling myself that I’m a fraud – that if they ever did hire me, I’d be stealing their money, and that I didn’t know shit about how to help them. This, of course, wasn’t true. As we talked about their current problems, ideas for solutions kept popping in my head that I was… Read more »
pibes
pibes
2 years 8 months ago
“I’m so lazy…why can’t I just work on my side project? I know that this is the path I want to take.” => “This is hard. If it were easy you wouldn’t want it so bad. Most people can’t do this, so just keep systematically working at it and you know you’ll get there.” “Why would they want to talk to me? It would be a waste of their time.” => “Why would they NOT want to talk to me? Why don’t I just go up there and give it a shot. The worst that can happen is they ignore… Read more »
Jasmine
Jasmine
2 years 8 months ago

1. What makes you think you can start a business on your own? The last business you had with a partner just failed.

2.What if I tried this, and saw what I could create? If I succeed, I’ll get what I want, and if I fail, I know I’ll be okay because I have just experienced that and I’m still alive and kicking. Also my first business succeeded, and the massage therapist who owns it now, has found it easy to continue because of what I built.

H
H
2 years 8 months ago

The negative self-talk kicks in before my mind even registers that they’re attractive.

“There’s no way you could talk to a group of attractive women by yourself.”
“You’re just going to get rejected.”
“You suck.”
“You’re going to run out of things to say.”

Let’s re-direct this.

“Worst case, you’ll learn something. What if we tried saying hello?”
“I’m not really doing it for them, I’m actually doing it for me.”
“Let’s just see what happens.”

Michelle Keep
2 years 8 months ago

When I was a dancer, I hated approaching customers. I was afraid of rejection, of saying something stupid, of not being able to hear or understand them over the loud music.

So some friends suggested I make a game out of seeing how many no’s I could get in a night. It forced me to get over the approach fear and see what happened.

Usually I couldn’t get past 2-3 no’s in a row, and after that my confidence came back and it was awesome. Your fear of what could happen is almost always worse than what will happen. Goodluck!

Caryn
Caryn
2 years 8 months ago
I’m excited about this years theme! I took this approach recently when apply to graduate school. I graduated in 2012 and flaked hard on applying to graduate school. I told myself my grades weren’t good enough, I didn’t have enough experience etc. I even told myself that I wasn’t adult enough for graduate school. I live with PhD candidates who are less put together than I am! So last summer I shoved those thoughts aside, told myself to apply and failure would be ok. I’m actually interested to see what I’ll do if I don’t get into the schools I… Read more »
Amber
Amber
2 years 8 months ago
Ok, I feel like this is really silly and stupid to share, but I am going to override my negative self-talk and comment anyway. 1. I’m not the type of woman who wears makeup. a. I prefer to be natural, and makeup feels fake. b. Who’s going to see me on the average day? I work from a home office. Who cares? c. Makeup is an expensive waste of money filled with nasty ingredients. 2. What if I tried to wear makeup for one week? a. I can still be natural and polish my appearance with a little makeup. b.… Read more »
positivecattitudes
positivecattitudes
2 years 8 months ago
I love this post! I don’t find it silly at all (definitely your negative self-talk at work). I have been working through a bit of a similar issue related to clothes/hair/make-up. I have spent the past two years mostly in sweats & T-shirt, rarely combed hair and rarely any makeup because I have felt so physically poor and mostly stayed at home or went to dr apts. One of my goals last year was to slowly change that and I was surprised at how much better I felt physically when I made those changes! Simply combing my hair, putting on… Read more »
Joshua Acosta
Joshua Acosta
2 years 8 months ago

I feel bad about succeeding more than some of my cousins and upsetting my family.

I will no longer care what they say or think and ignore their verbal jabs stating their displeasure.

True story.

Sean Mysel
Sean Mysel
2 years 8 months ago

Here goes:

“I’m probably the dumbest business person EVER! Seriously I’m surprised anyone even gives me the time of day when it comes to business advice…”

How I corrected:

“Dave Grohl said he sucked at playing a guitar… but he learned and kept trying to improve… so will I.” Got a bunch of courses and tested some theories out.

Now I have two full time copywriting clients and made one $21k with a single email last week.

Becca
Becca
2 years 8 months ago
Great Post Ramit! Negative Scripts 1.) I’m so far behind everyone else. Everyone else from high school already have their degrees and are in great careers. You will never catch up! 2.) I can never just make a decision. 3.) I want to help young women/teenage girls in my community that are having some difficult times. How in the world can I offer them anything? Positive Scripts 1.) The past is gone, and I have a lot more understanding about myself than I did back in high school. Comparing myself to others is stupid. Instead, I’m going to work on… Read more »
Akirah
2 years 8 months ago

I could list a number of ways I put pressure on myself to do it all! But I recently learned about the concept of self-compassion and it’s truly changed my life. I’m learning that treating myself kindly will help me when life gets rough and I’m feeling badly about myself.

Reframes are great, so I use them a bunch knowing that it’s also important for me to be kind to myself…so I’m not equating my self-worth with my achievements or failures.

Jeremy
Jeremy
2 years 8 months ago
My self talk begins with the lack of application that I have around what I learn. I have an MBA and even though I excel at “working” for a company, I wanted to be an entrepreneur…so I quit and now own a tattoo shop and run an engineering consulting firm. I am no 18 months in and struggling with cash flow just as bad as the day I opened….and so I am convinced that I should pack it in because I really don’t have what it takes to be self employed. To change that I am going to take each… Read more »
vijay
vijay
2 years 8 months ago
1) You are completely out of shape man..look like a crushed & soaked sponge with flab on unexpected side . You have been trying for 3 years and u have failed every time. What makes you think you can become fit now ? 2) I have done this 3 years back.I have run 5 miles everyday for 100 days continously.Felt fitter.Looked better.Participated in Marathon.Was flowing with confidence.I can do it again.All it needs is focus..Back then i had a fitness freak friend who ran with me everyday.I might miss him this time but his words and motivation are still in… Read more »
James
James
2 years 8 months ago
Example of negative self talk I had for the past few months: “No one will pay you to consult with youth athletes as a sport psychologist, what a silly idea…” I have now flipped that (and pitched my first client monday) to say: “Yes, this is definitely something that you don’t see a lot of, but with my 10+ years of coaching experience, I know the importance of a good mental framework for competition, even for teenagers. Since I’m good at motivating people to think better about themselves and their potential, I’m also uniquely situated to offer this as a… Read more »
Beth
Beth
2 years 8 months ago
My current negative self-talk is about whether or not I can start my own business. The words inside my head are “you don’t want to put in all those hours,” “you won’t be able to find the clients,” and of course “you don’t even know what type of business you want to do.” Last year I joined Dream Job and I did the work and nailed what was, at that time, my dream job. Is it still? I know I want to work in education, but I want more flexibility in my hours. I also want to be in touch… Read more »
KM
KM
2 years 8 months ago

1. You don’t have the focus, skill, or ability to be as productive as those around you.

2. Everyone has their own pros and cons, and everyone has a different way of working. You have excelled at times in the past, there is no reason why you cannot do so again, now.

SuzanH
SuzanH
2 years 8 months ago

1. You’re an idiot. Who do you think you’re fooling? You’ve missed your window of opportunity and don’t have what it takes to make enough money to be financially solvent or a great writer or be in good health. Ever.

2. There is no window of opportunity. You’re already taking steps to make extra money. You’ve been working on your manuscripts. And you’ve been doing yoga everyday. Baby steps are still steps.

I hope.

Michelle Keep
2 years 8 months ago

Hi Suzan,

I just want to say, I believe in you. Don’t give up on yourself. We only have one life, and we should make the most of it.

Here’s some inspiration for improving yourself no matter your age:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/phyllis-sues-/aging-gracefully-phyllis-sues-yoga-tango_b_2878155.html

Eric
Eric
2 years 8 months ago
Ramit, Just wanted to say that I am one of those people who thinks I’ll just never be “one of those people” (who has an online business, who actually successfully runs a fitness website or is comfortable interacting with people and being open, who is actually successful). When I’ve talked about this with others (family, friends) they say “it’s ok to just be normal and that’s probably just how you are.” But I feel more, I feel like this really can happen for me (at least at my best, at my worst I feel like I may never succeed at… Read more »
Sindri Björnsson
Sindri Björnsson
2 years 8 months ago

Hey Eric!

Wow this is just like coming from me.

I’m a professional poker player and I see myself fall into this thinking pattern way to often.

I hope you publish that e-book, the worst that can happen is nobody buys it, but the best thing is that it can make you a fortune.
Low risk/High Reward.

That’s a no brainier.
Publish that e-book!

Laura
Laura
2 years 8 months ago

1. I’m not good enough to get the jobs I want and earn more money.

2. I have a lot of good skills and experience. I should keep trying and demonstrate my skills more.

PamP
PamP
2 years 8 months ago

Negative: “You can’t sit down now, you have too much to do. You have to get everything done before you can relax.” If I give in and sit down anyway, the voice says, “you shouldn’t be sitting here, you’ve got too much to do.”

Positive: “What’s one thing I can get done now? When that’s done, I can relax.”

Incidentally, have you ever noticed that negative talk is full of “you’s” but the positive reframes are full of “I’s?” I wonder why that is?

Jennifer Bardall
2 years 8 months ago
It’s hilarious, in a sad way – I’m constantly encouraging people to up their game when it comes to ending the negative self-talk, and yet… Example of my own negative crap: “I should just look for a real job – I’ll never make this business work”. A better turn of phrase: “I wouldn’t have spent the past year learning all I’ve learned and being led to masters like Ramit (*shameless ass kissing, sorry*) if there wasn’t a reason for it. I have the skills and the smarts to make this work. All I was missing was the time – and… Read more »
Sasha
Sasha
2 years 8 months ago

Negative: I’ll never finish my friend’s website. It’s too hard and I don’t understand every minute detail of it, so I should just keep putting it off.
Positive: It’s okay not to know everything. Break it down into small goals that are achievable and give myself a high five when I accomplish one.
🙂

Sindri
Sindri
2 years 8 months ago

Good job!

Danny
Danny
2 years 8 months ago

I have come to realize (finally!) that I’m afraid of success! I’m afraid I won’t know what to do if lots of people signed up for my seminar, and actually enjoyed it! So I tell myself stories about how no one would be interested, and I shouldn’t even bother offering a seminar and marketing it. This year, I’ve been trying the “what-if” question with a positive ending. I’m also tricking myself into taking action. The conference room is booked for my first seminar! Now to get some attendees…

Luis
Luis
2 years 8 months ago

1. I’m not fit for teaching people online about programming since I’m young and English is not my native language. If I make a video, people could be put off by my accent

2. I’m good at programming and my English is impeccable, there is no harm in trying to teach people about programming online. Maybe it works and takes off and if it doesn’t, I’m still where I started, which isn’t anything bad at all.

Sindri
Sindri
2 years 8 months ago

Hey Luis, if you want we can make a win/win deal.

I need to learn programming and you want to improve your teaching in programming.

You can teach me programming(c++) and in return I’ll give you good points on how you can improve your teaching.

By doing that we use each other strength to help the other one and improve our weaknesses in the process.

Send me a mail on sindri90@gmail.com if you are up for it.

Gina D
Gina D
2 years 8 months ago

Example of my own negative self-talk: If I pursue this career and I fail I will have nothing to hope for. It’s always been the “If I could do anything” job. If I try and fail the romanticism will be gone.

Reframed: Great risk have great returns. I can learn from my “failures.” Unlike in regards to many other things I have passion/energy to persevere if things aren’t amazing right out the gate. I’ve succeeded in things I don’t really care about. What would happen if I tried something I do care about? My guess, great things!

k
k
2 years 8 months ago
my negative self talk 1) There are so many other people better than you in every way, failing at this , how can you think you will succeed? 2) even if you do better or the same as them how do you know you will get a job when its clearly stated they have only one position available and if you fail all your energy , time and money will go to waste 3) You are already 3-4yrs late for this which is a proof that you weren’t made for this , if u were or if you really wanted… Read more »
Sindri Björnsson
Sindri Björnsson
2 years 8 months ago
What a great article Ramit. I love how you just go straight to the point and give practical advice which people are capable of use in their life right away. I even saved this article on Delicous like you recommended. I’m definitely going to use this right now. I just cought myself doing this on three thing and I’m going to post it here what A example of your own negative self-talk: 1. I feel ashamed of myself letting other people see how bad shape I’m in so I shouldn’t go to the gym. 2. Why can’t I learn this… Read more »
Sindri Björnsson
Sindri Björnsson
2 years 8 months ago

Btw I’ve been cleaning my gmail subscription
(subscription subscription subscription subscription)
and only leave 3 left that I read/enjoy the most.

You were on that top 3!
Congratulation on that:)

Michelle Keep
2 years 8 months ago
I started going to the gym in November, despite telling myself how much I would hate it. Not only that… I started doing the group classes. And you know what? No one even hardly looked at me, except in a shared appreciation of what we’re doing. It’s hard work, and it’s hard work for everyone. We’re all working at our own pace, and it’s hard for all of us. We’re all sweating and panting by the time we’re done, and no one cares 🙂 So I just want to reinforce your positive talk as someone who now goes to the… Read more »
Joanna
Joanna
2 years 8 months ago

Please buy those suits, Ramit!

Christine
Christine
2 years 8 months ago
1. How can I charge that much? Is my work really worth it? What if my client says no and I could have gotten their business if I charged less? 2. I know other people in my specialized area charge that much, even if my clients don’t know. The fee will save my clients tenfold what they pay me. I will never grow my business and pay off my debt if I don’t charge what I’m worth. (And yes, I’m worth this amount … years of study and carefully acquired knowledge make me worth it. I will put more effort… Read more »
Karthik
Karthik
2 years 8 months ago

I tend to think: “Karthik, you’re so dumb, you would never be able to accomplish … (insert accomplishment here, let’s say get a job at the company I want to work at)”. Starting now, I am instead going to think, “Karthik, you are really smart and you will get the best job for you because you’ll have earned it.”

trackback

[…] How To Stop Feeling Guilty […]

Jeff J
Jeff J
2 years 8 months ago
Hey Ramit, I think my negative self talk at times is a psyche out. I know I can accomplish tasks, but I like to “mutitask” and when things get frustrating I like to turn to email/social media/another task to break the flow. Theres a fine line between the 5 minute walk away form your computer and using clutter to avoid facing work. I use those time management skills (mapping out how long it takes me to complete tasks) to show myself I waste time, then I try to prioritize. Instead of saying “I can get this done whenever, I work… Read more »
Mark
Mark
2 years 8 months ago
I’ve started my own business and it’s been a serious challenge. But a lot of people have already touched on careers and business, so here’s a slightly different situation: tiny helicopters. A friend of mine recently gave me a small radio-controlled helicopter, which I’ve never tried out before. Many crashes later, I found myself thinking, “My coordination sucks; the people who built this thing were morons; I hate this tiny helicopter; it’s probably broken anyways.” After reading your post, I tried another practice flight but started off by thinking, “Yes, flying this thing is hard. And that’s what makes it… Read more »
Fernando
Fernando
2 years 8 months ago
You called me out Ramit, I really thought those pictures were really you! Ok, negative self-talk. Let me start a few years ago, I started with your blog, read your book IWTYTBR, bought ebook “Negotiating A Lower Rent” which came with “30DayChallenge” and “Scrooge Strategy.” Saved beaucoup of mula. Then I proceeded to purchase Earn1K last year late January 2013 same year I got unemployed for personal reasons. So I figure I’ll stay unemployed, (cost of living paid from my saving which was made possible by investing in your material) and focus on Earn1k. Well Ramit…. (as I cringe cowardly… Read more »
Cherie
Cherie
2 years 8 months ago

Negative: You’ll never be able to write a A quality paper and prepare for your workshop with the time you have left.
Positive: If you work consistently, take breaks when your energy flags, and carefully define what an A quality paper looks like to you, you will be satisfied with your work.

HEATHER
HEATHER
2 years 8 months ago
Ramit, You are excellent and precise. You are not going to believe this- i was feeling a little tired, fighting off some cold or the other,so I said to myself “I am not going to post a comment today, I will open up my E-Mail and post a comment tomorrow. I thought what if I pushed myself and just scroll down, and leave a comment? Would I not feel better going to bed knowing that I pushed myself against my emotion and just do it! I feel so great while I was doing it. I am now encouraged even further… Read more »
Hanna
Hanna
2 years 8 months ago
This is part of my negative script (excuses) for my guilt over my awkward, inarticulate tendencies that leave lots of people scratching their heads, waiting for the main point, and having to clarify to make sure that is indeed what I meant to say. “I suck at making conversation with new people. I don’t know what to say. Every time the conversation is in my hands, I bring it to a dead end… Wait, was what I just said even related to what we were talking about? Why do they look so confused? Great, now they’ll probably be wanting to… Read more »
Debbie
Debbie
2 years 8 months ago

Why an I so tired all the time? I must be losing it.

it’s great that you are at work today, even if you are fighting off the family cold.

Michelle Keep
2 years 8 months ago

Hi Debbie,

If you really are tired all the time, there might be something missing from your diet. I was always exhausted, but then I started using a sunlamp and taking multivitamins and vitamin D, and that helped me. It might not work for you, but maybe talk to your doctor, especially if your tiredness is seasonal.

Shannon
2 years 8 months ago

1. This is not good. I’ve been staring off into space wasting time.

2. O look! I just gave myself a quick break without even realizing it. Now my mind is fresh and ready.

S
S
2 years 8 months ago

This is my favorite reframe!

Bill
2 years 8 months ago
I used to draw a lot as a kid. I’m definitely still an ametuer, but I would love to be able to do some kind of graphic work, as I’m kind of tired of current carrent path. So in 2013, I decided to work with a friend on a comic book. I’m on the last page (13 pages) of pencils and I can’t seem to get around to finishing it. I know what I have to do. It’s sitting on my drawing table everyday. I walk past it to go to bed and get ready for work. Here’s what I… Read more »
Ellen
Ellen
2 years 8 months ago

Hi, I’m here for my hug 🙂

An example from today:

Negative – Everything I wrote today was below par.

Positive – I wrote today, and there were a couple of lines in there that I really liked, and I can spot the things I don’t like. I’m looking forward to changing them and make the writing better!

Pieter
Pieter
2 years 8 months ago
Negative self-talk: 1. Don’t ask other people for advcie, they will think you are stupid to ask. 2. Don’t call to people, because you will interrupt them while they are doing something important. 3. You don’t have something usefull to say to people. Positive 1. People love to give advice, so ask the right person for advice on the things that are on your mind. 2. People love to have a conversation and when they are busy they will tell you and call you later. 3. Be interested in other people and try to give them advice, maybe it’s usefull… Read more »
Juan
Juan
2 years 8 months ago
Ramit, I think my biggest neegative self-talk it’s related with my college debt, every time I think of making a trip or buying something nice for myself or anything involving money I immediately think about how much I owe and the exact amount of the monthly payments, and say “I can’t afford to go there or buy that, I must pay the debt before I can do anything else and I mean anything travel, give to myself a nice birthday present (I’m turning 25 in two weeks), save more money, find a better – more fulfilling job, or going back… Read more »
Jennifer
Jennifer
2 years 8 months ago
I have to confess that I feel really guilty about seeking other employment. I have been with my current employer going on 9 years but the work has been uninspiring and my colleagues are at the end of their career so the team lacks motivation and ambition. Leadership has done a lot for me in the past such as providing flexibility when I was experiencing health issues, accommodating me with a remote/ part-time position when I moved to another city and creating a full time position for me when I returned to the area. There is zero turn over in… Read more »
Hal
Hal
2 years 8 months ago

Jennifer,

Sometimes people overreact when they don’t feel what they think they should feel.

Are you letting other people’s feelings determine your life’s path?

I ask because I struggle with pleasing people and wanting to be liked, to be loyal, to be a good employee.

Jeff
Jeff
2 years 8 months ago
I read so much information out there on the web, whether it’s Ramit, Tim Ferriss, Noah Kagen or anything else I can find but there’s 2 things I struggle with. One is not following up and the other is not retaining the information. Funny thing is that these 2 are probably linked. I know that if I followed up and made comments or took notes that I’d probably retain more info and be able to implement it into my life. I know that I’ve been thinking negatively by telling myself “I’m just not good at learning something I read” Now,… Read more »
Willie A
Willie A
2 years 8 months ago
My negative self-talk evolves around never finishing a majority of things I begin aka a habitual incompleter? lol One prime example , I signed up for the Dream Job last January and I’ve attempted it 3 times and never made it past week 4. I try not to think about why I barely ever complete so many programs or regimens. I also find myself just hopping on to the next program or regimen. I’m always excited to start something but once I stall in someway or form my guilt turns into denial and i quickly move on. I would like… Read more »
Ric
Ric
2 years 8 months ago

Read “Switch” by the Heath Brothers. Then breakdown a time where you’ve actually followed through on a program and try to find insights into what kept you motivated.

PROTIP: You’re looking at the programs to solve your problems. More information won’t help you, but it’s not where your issue lies. Duplicate your past successes instead. I’m sure you can do it!

Willie A
Willie A
2 years 8 months ago

Ric thanks for the insight will look into the book.

And you right i’m a information whore, I load up on information and rarely go to action.

Ric
Ric
2 years 8 months ago
I’ve already transformed my language from the “woe is me” to the “I can take on any goal and am excited by the pain and learning that comes with it,” so this comment is for those who are doubting themselves… First, for the doubters, here are my “credentials”: – Completely changed careers in 3 months: went from quitting a higher ed career to getting hired as a web developer without knowing how to write a single line of code when I first put in my 2 weeks notice. – Reduced “workweek” from 60hrs to 20hrs with an increase in pay.… Read more »
Willie A
Willie A
2 years 8 months ago

CONGRATS, you hit home with alot of your comments especially with your 2 insights:
i’m guilty of information binging and the mastering the art of ambiguous goals

nydia
nydia
2 years 8 months ago

LOL “reading too much is like masturbation” love the line.

Sindri Björnsson
Sindri Björnsson
2 years 8 months ago

Inspiring comment!

I can relate on considering me being smart and there for get allot less done.
Instead of considering me being smart I’m starting to do and then adjust

First of all that approach is much more fun and this helps me accelerate my learning process because I can adjust much better with more feedback.

I still feel the urge every day to read and read and read and read…………….

I’m working on that by limiting the amount I’m allowed to read.

Shanika Journey
Shanika Journey
2 years 8 months ago

Negative talk I’m having: I don’t think this writing will work on my site.

Positive talk I came to understand: write it now. Write it anyway. From the heart and truest reason why you do what you do. That’s how I’m inspired to follow others. And that’s how I will inspire someone to follow me.

Dien
Dien
2 years 8 months ago
I’ve held myself back from applying to a few competitive graduate programs and fellowships because 1. I’ve been down that road before and failed miserably and I’m too damn scarred to try again. I see this experience as proof that in anything I undertake, I won’t be able to keep up. I’ve resigned myself to thinking that I’m just not “that” kind of overachiever. Side effects include pervasive feelings of defeat in every area of life, and urges to run to the mountains and hide away from society. I’m not sure what I should be saying, but hell, I’ll try:… Read more »
Sam
Sam
2 years 8 months ago

Hahahahah! Perfect example was posting this comment. I initially said, “why would I post a comment, Ramit would probably skip over it and never respond.” I quickly changed this negative self talk to, “Well, Ramit may skip over this, but it is something worth doing and it only takes a second of my time, and also helps me get over something that has been plaguing me for years.” So to Ramit, if you read this, thank you for reading, if not, thank you anyways.

ThOmas
ThOmas
2 years 8 months ago
Hahaha, this reminds of something I used to get a lot where I’d speak to people and the other person seems to not REALLY be listening, or I’d feel like maybe they think I’m lying or some dumb crap or whatever and then I’d feel like sh*t about it, if I don’t get the response I was looking for. But this taught me ( in many times) – *Not to have my sense of ‘feeling good’ connected to something, outside of myself…like a getting a response…and getting someone to tell you ‘hey cool idea’. *Also in a way it taught… Read more »
Margaret
Margaret
2 years 8 months ago
A example of your own negative self-talk: Your body just looks like this. Your parents are both heavy and out of shape, and you’re lucky to be as thin as you are. Even if you waste time and energy exercising or learning to cook, you won’t see a lasting difference. A new, positive perspective on the same challenge: Everyone feels weird about their body, and wanting mine to be stronger, healthier and more agile is awesome. Besides, you love dancing and lifting weights, and even cooking has been fun in the right conditions, so even if you fail at changing… Read more »
Fit Missy
2 years 8 months ago

WOW! Excellent insight into psychology and how it can affect our behavior.

As a personal trainer I always get the same thing from clients – “I have tried everything and nothing works” which I think is very similar to “yeah I should…”

I can see how this can get you in the mindset where you feel that you are not “able” to do anything about your situation as I find myself struggling with the same things sometimes in other aspects of my life.

Great video!

Susan
Susan
2 years 8 months ago

I know it’s silly but I have a motto that helps me when self-doubt rears it’s ugly head. It’s from Toy Story “Combat Carl doesn’t give up, Combat Carl finds a way.” It helps me refocus and makes me feel strong.

Paul
Paul
2 years 8 months ago

“I’ll never finish this book”

Instead, “I’ll test some different times and places to find out what helps me write most effectively.”

Jeremy
Jeremy
2 years 8 months ago
1) Do you really think you can teach others? Who would want to learn from you? You might have lots of experience, but that’s all subjective. You don’t even have a degree! You probably won’t be able to find any students anyway, so why even try? 2) I don’t know whether this will work, but let’s give it a shot and see what happens! You’ve gotten loads of positive feedback on your talents, much more positive than negative. Might as well see how teaching turns out, it could be great! Even if it doesn’t work straight away, then you’ll at… Read more »
EN
EN
2 years 8 months ago
My biggest negative talk right now is related to career. I want to jump right through to active property investing (i.e. go out there, do renovation, sell, etc etc): “I don’t have any experience, what if I lost a lot of money and ended up worse?” “I need a lot of capital to do that safely!” “How can I do that if I can’t even drive?” “I can never drive a car as I’m scared that I will hit someone” How i get through it: “Of course I don’t have any experience. Most people took years to get where I… Read more »
Yanni Raz
2 years 8 months ago

These are great tips and a nice article. A lot of the time people that hold you back don’t realize that they are. They actually sometimes think they are doing you a favor. Just keep doing what you’re doing and try to make it work, not everyone knows what you are truly capable of, and sometimes you need to prove them wrong.

Nick
Nick
2 years 8 months ago
Goal: Join Ramit’s Brain Trust Facebook Accountability Group 1. Why am I not joining Ramit’s Brain Trust Facebook Accountability Group? Because I don’t think I’ll like the person I’m paired with 2. Why do I think I won’t like the person I’m paired with? Because I don’t think they’ll like me 3. Why do I think that they won’t like me? Because other people don’t like me 4. Why do I think that other people don’t like me? Because people don’t talk to me 5. Why do people not talk to me? Because I’m not approachable 6. Why do I… Read more »
Si
Si
2 years 8 months ago

This is hilarious! Somehow I feel odd fears about getting an accountability partner for the RBT group also. Mainly I’m afraid that they’ll think my tasks or stupid or inconsequential.

Are you planning on getting a partner anytime soon?

Meghan C.
Meghan C.
2 years 8 months ago

1. I can start my writing career anytime, I just don’t have time to write now, I need to be doing chores or work assignments when I have free time, not fiction writing. I may never make money from fiction writing.

2. What if I start writing for a few minutes every night after the kids are in bed and see how far I can get on my story?

Cecilia Gonzalez
Cecilia Gonzalez
2 years 8 months ago
I have been struggling with negative self-talk for a loooong time. Here are some examples, old and actual: – I am not good enough; haven’t study enough to deserve this or that. – My company is not doing good because I don’t have the right partners. – My company is not doing good because I have failed to give it structure by investing in employees. – I gained 7lbs, I will not get rid of them for sure. – I will never leave Panama because all the opportunities are here. And so… I have spent additional 4 years of the… Read more »
Laura
Laura
2 years 8 months ago
One of my most helpful mentors used a phrase with me after a couple of meetings that has done the most to help me change my perspective (as you suggest in this article). It’s been one of the most helpful things anyone ever said to me: “Most people need to stop “should-ing” on themselves.” Now whenever I catch myself thinking or saying, “I should…” the image that pops into my head is a powerful force to make me stop and re-evaluate what I’m thinking or saying. I take enough crap from the rest of the world, I really don’t want… Read more »
joey
joey
2 years 8 months ago

1. I want to get a job at an advertising agency, but I haven’t worked at one and I don’t know everything I need to know.
2. I am going to reach out to people who work at advertising agencies and read the right info to get on track to get a job at an ad agency!

Emma
Emma
2 years 8 months ago
I’ll go ahead and post my 5 why’s (or seven, as it turned out) 1. Why do I feel guilty? Because I’ve bought a domain, a logo and access to an email newsletter platform and it’s taking up server space doing nothing. I’m deducted every month for the platform and I’m just wasting money at the moment. It makes me feel sick when I add up how much I’ve spent doing nothing with it. 2. Why haven’t I launched the website yet? Because it’s not ready yet and I don’t have enough content. 3. Why don’t I have enough content?… Read more »
Melissa y
Melissa y
2 years 8 months ago

1. I’m too old to learn a new tech skill to switch careers.

2. I’m going to take it one day at a time and carve out some time everyday to get better at it. Eventually I’ll gain enough knowledge to become an expert.

G.
G.
2 years 8 months ago
1) *wake up at 4:50am 10 minutes before alarm is scheduled. Ugh, look at you up and sick to your stomach with stress/anxiety. The day is already ruined, you’re going to be exhausted, not work out, and work will be so overwhelming and you will fail. 2) Deep breathing and sitting with water/coffee- you’re excited to work out, so do the work out and go from there. You have your list of MITs for the day, so start from that when you get to work. One step at a time, it’s only 5:00am and you have a whole day ahead… Read more »
John
John
2 years 8 months ago
Here’s a simple trick for defeating negative self-talk: when you start psyching yourself out, remind yourself how many of your potential competitors have removed themselves from the field with that same self-talk. As in: “Start a consulting business? Why bother…there are tons of other people who want to do it…except wait, most of them aren;t even trying because they talked themselves out of it like I almost did there. So…most of the competition did me the favor of getting out of my way. Sweet.” Obviously this might not work for things that aren’t competitions, like weight loss, but it’s great… Read more »
Susan B.
Susan B.
2 years 8 months ago

Typically I might say: you’ve been thinking about starting this forever, and you have done hardly anything. What makes you think you can really start now? And if you did, why would it be any good?

Ramit-inspired words: It can be hard to get started but I only need to do a little everyday. I have to give a real commitment a try – if I don’t I will regret it.

Firdaus
Firdaus
2 years 8 months ago
Good stuff Ramit, as always. So here is mine. Negative talk- I can’t start a tech company because I am non-tech guy. Positive one- Isn’t an entrepreneur someone who would smash all the common mantra and change the status quo? If no one say you can, why don’t be the first?After all, there were people who already did it quite brilliantly. Use Resourcefulness. Learn all the tech stuff, I have a lot of time as a 20 something. Negative- It’s hard to stay on a good weight loss diet. Positive- It’s harder to keep an unhealthy life with extra pounds(… Read more »
Robert
Robert
2 years 8 months ago
Here are a few of my scripts and how I can translate them into positive action! 1. Arrgh (cuss word) I don’t believe it, I cant lose weight, I hate this scale – and then I stomp and kick it hard! It’s ok man! Everybody hits a plateau now and then, maybe we should just try to maintain the weight and focus on drinking more water, eating more protein, or having 1 less junk food. 2. I hate people I only hate their faults, but these faults are not them, they are only the person’s baggage! 3. I must finish… Read more »
Ehren
Ehren
2 years 8 months ago

“It feels like everyone is moving their lives forward but me. I’m not achieving anything.”

Solution: “Focusing on other’s lives doesn’t help your own. It’s okay to feel stagnant every now and then. Slow, steady progress leads to success. Ask the ‘Why’ questions again and find out what’s important.”

Ilya
Ilya
2 years 8 months ago

“I’m not experienced enough yet to freelance” / “It’s ok, keep learning, working, and practicing and you’ll gain the expertise bit by bit”

Gemma C.
Gemma C.
2 years 8 months ago
1. If you work towards that goal today you’ll be using valuable energy reserves that you might need tomorrow if you get sick. How will you cook and eat enough healthy food to stay functional if you use all your energy today on that novel writing you want to do? 2. You know what was making you sick and you’ve eliminated it from your life. You spent several hours writing beautiful emails to friends and strangers yesterday and you’re fine today. What if you spent just half an hour writing your novel today. Even if you are sick and exhausted… Read more »
Rowdy
Rowdy
2 years 8 months ago

1. I’m not the kind of person who can learn a foreign language. I’ll never come to grips with the subject as long as I live.

2. A foreign language is not impossible to learn. A lot of my friends speak more than one language. I’m going to spend the next several months teaching myself how to speak and write Japanese, and as a way to motivate myself to do so I will plan a trip to Japan in the summer.

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[…] I’ve been building these systems year after year — to earn more, find a dream job, improve social skills, become more focused — and I want to give them to you so you can live a rich life. This year, we’ll improve ourselves from the inside out (including yesterday, where we learned the psychological frameworks to stop feeling guilty). […]

Brooks
Brooks
2 years 8 months ago
1. I can’t finish a single thing I set out to do. I’m interested in too many things and end up not doing/finishing a single one. I won’t ever complete a single thing I set out to do. 2. I’m lucky that so many things interest me. I need to sit down and think about the following: which things make me happy, things I do for other people, things I genuinely want to try, things that I know I don’t want to do. I need to set a huge goal to finish one of the thing I set out to… Read more »
kirstin
2 years 8 months ago
negative: finding my next job/company is so hard… too hard. look how last year turned out – you worked your way into a new role you’re not sure you even want to do. now you have to keep looking, while you step into a new role/responsibilities. too hard! too stressful! i’m afraid i’ll find myself in the same place this time next year. positive: i spent a good part of last year working my way to a new role that does accomplish some of the goals i was working towards and along the way learned a lot about what i… Read more »
Kimber
2 years 8 months ago

I already screwed up my eating plan today – perfect opportunity to binge more on bread that I’ve been deprived of

I might have slipped on my diet – it’s tough to follow! But I’m dedicated and each food choice is an opportunity to achieve my goal.

Heid
Heid
2 years 8 months ago

Hi – I did it that way but it’s hard to keep it rolling;)

Negative:
I can’t understand investment appraisals, cash flows or any graphs of revenue or costs.

Positive:
Mathematics is not that complicate, you’re a smart person who already studied economics. Ask someone who is good in that. Or try to read and understand it with examples in practice!!

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peter
peter
2 years 8 months ago
Negative: “You’ll never be able to improve your memory, you’ll spend your life asking the people you know for their names every other day, and there’s nothing training or food can do…” Positive: So what If I struggle to recall names, and most of my past is obscured by the a black mist, Haven’t I already made some progress? I can’t remember the names of childhood friends, but I remember those of people I haven’t seen for 2 years !! I’m sure a bit of rearranging of my diet ( more brain foods, etc.), a more stable sleep schedule and… Read more »
Helen
Helen
2 years 8 months ago
I’m really excited that you’re focusing on mastery this year – I am someone who wants to do everything, and I know that I frustrate myself by not dedicating the time to get good at really one thing, I just jump from one thing to another decide I’m bored. It’s no wonder why I’m frustrated that at 30 I’m not where I thought I might be. As well as reading your blog I’ve picked up the 12 week year by Brian P.Morgan and set some time aside to think about what I want to achieve long term. Last year I… Read more »
Becca Tilley
Becca Tilley
2 years 8 months ago
My negative self talk (which I came up with yesterday in the Ambition post) 1. I’m not capable of this. (exercising, eating right, my music, my business etc) 2. I can’t improve my body without relapsing into unhealthy brain habits and being unhappy. 3. I’m going to end up injured/I’m going to fail/I’m wasting money. Positive: 1. No one is perfect at this right from the start. I’m going to start and work my way up and if I make mistakes, it’s because I’m human. 2. It might be a slow process, but I can take tiny little steps towards… Read more »
Jason
Jason
2 years 8 months ago
I’m already unapologetically awesome in my professional life (consistently reaffirmed by my coworkers and superiors), and that’s a process that started, first, by owning my mistakes and not letting them cause me to hide and shy and just addressing them matter-of-factly and moving on. It’s a part of what you’re talking about here, it started a couple years into my career, and there was more growth that needed to happen between then and now, but it couldn’t have started without that. I still struggle personally with my diet and exercise, and otherwise being as effective out of the office as… Read more »
Kim
Kim
2 years 8 months ago

1. “I’ll never be able to stand up for myself in the workplace.”
2. “I will be able to convince my bosses that setting boundaries between work and outside-of-work is the productive to do, to come back refreshed on Mondays for another week of productive work.”

Simone
2 years 8 months ago
These… A1 (not the steak sauce): “I can’t be a fitness coach. I wasn’t even athletic as a kid and I’m still not where I want to be. Why would anyone come to me? I can’t even get there myself yet.” (Double whammy! My mind says I can’t coach AND I can’t succeed in deadlifting 2x my bodyweight!) A2: “I really want to be a successful blogger, but I’m a dork. What would I write? Who would read it? What if no one likes me?” …will now become these: B1: “Because I’ve been on my own journey to fitness and… Read more »
Molly
2 years 8 months ago
1. Of course I’m capable of marketing my app, but why didn’t I do it 3 years ago? If I had started earlier, I’d be much more successful by now. Now that I’ve waited, what is the point of starting at all?..If only my mom hadn’t held me back from that advanced math class in 8th grade, I’d have created the next facebook by now. 2. I am choosing to market my app in order to build my skills. This will help me professionally no matter how successful the app is. I know that small successes lead to bigger successes.… Read more »
Tiff
Tiff
2 years 8 months ago
“You have no ACTUAL experience doing this job, why would they even consider calling you for an interview? And my resume sucks, I’m too literal and I can’t morally consider jazzing it up so it contains key words….that’s kind of like lying.” A better way to think – “I know I can do this job I’m interested in, what’s the worst that happens if you do get called for an interview? You get a chance to meet some interesting people, improve your interview skills and you get the opportunity to make your resume more relevant to today’s job market, and… Read more »
Vince
Vince
2 years 8 months ago
I wrote down what made me feel guilty and did the ‘why’ experiment. It was eye-opening. I realized that the reason I didn’t get someone to manage my money was because I thought I could do it and wouldn’t need to waste 1% of my investment to pay him. Why haven’t I done it yet? Because I am waiting to read your (Ramit’s) book. Why haven’t I read it yet? Because it’s on my list of books to read and I haven’t gotten to it. I remembered then, that I had started to listen to the audiobook when I first… Read more »
Nabil
Nabil
2 years 8 months ago

I know that it is not easy to do affiliate marketing online, I better stick with selling stuff on ebay.

Everyone struggles with affiliate marketing, people like Pat Flynn, Ramit Sethi, Glen Allsop have struggled with affiliate marketing. I’m not a unique one who can cast a magical spell and commissions will start rolling in my pocket. Even if I didn’t made a commission with posting in forums, social media, blogs etc. I know what doesn’t works. The next time I will try something different.

Amy
2 years 8 months ago
1. Don’t bother leaving a comment, you’ve never left one before so why start now. You’re already a day behind from when you first read the email and who actually scrolls down to the bottom to read anyway? Will now become…. So what? What you have to share is just as important as the next guy, and who knows, maybe someone else in the fence about posting a comment and now they will. 2. In regards to starting a 2nd business as a restaurant consultant who revises menus to be more in season, trendy, cost effective, health conscious and appealing… Read more »
ThOmas
ThOmas
2 years 8 months ago

Yeah, who the hell scrolls down the last comments anyway?

Michelle
2 years 8 months ago
I’ve always felt like I should call my parents more often. I would oscillate between blaming them and feeling guilty for our distant relationship. After reading this post and doing the five whys (why’s? whies?) exercise, I’ve come to realize that I don’t call them often because I haven’t learned how to take control of the conversation or of my reactions to things that they say. Or what I could even say to bring them on my side. Before today, I thought I would be stuck as an angry 15 year old forever when it came to dealing with my… Read more »
Maria
Maria
2 years 8 months ago

Thanks Ramit!
A example of your own negative self-talk:
I’m never going to lose this week and keep it off, it’s too hard. You’ve already tried and have gained it all back, why try again?

A new, positive perspective on the same challenge:
Every time I make an effort, I learn something new and establishing healthy habits. There are many examples of people that have lost significant amounts of weight and kept it off – even after trying and failing repeatedly. I can do it! I have control.

Michelle Keep
2 years 8 months ago
Most of my negative self talk is due to my depression, which I’ve battled for most of my life. Despite my negative self talk, my partner and I published 67 books (ranging from 3k words to 103k words) last year, found a group of authors who are amazing and supportive and immensely successful who are rooting for our success (seriously, that was a few of their New Years wishes was to see my partner and I find success), and made a lot of incredibly positive changes in my life regarding my diet and food choices. I’ve gotten better at graphic… Read more »
Natalie
Natalie
2 years 8 months ago

I failed to work on my priority list again today .

I did not work on my priority list today, tomorrow, I am going to schedule it first, before I start the day.

We will see 🙂

G
G
2 years 8 months ago

Really enjoyed the article. Thanks Ramit.

My unconfidence (especially with my work, which is a sales position) has a lot to do with these 2 things:

A. I feel I am less experienced than the other people.

B. I am afraid of speaking up because I am afraid I will come accross as arrogant.

It actually feels good to write these down. It is the first time I am leaving a comment somewhere. Thank you for this!

Deborah
Deborah
2 years 8 months ago

Guilt: I should have done my balance sheet months ago. So lazy.
Why: not sure how to do it. Downloaded software but not sure what I am doing. Don’t feel like bothering.
Abundance: I am a new business owner and many struggle with this. What if I buy a book on Quick ooks so that I understand what I am doing? If I can’t manage to get going with a book, I wi call my accountant and have him set it up to get it going.

michele c.
michele c.
2 years 8 months ago
“Last night I stayed up working on a project for a meeting this morning I had confirmed with the client Sunday (I confirmed 4 days earlier than my usual 24 hours). I went to the meeting as scheduled and the guy didn’t show! I came home really dejected. I spent about 15 minutes whining, “What’s the point? This is so hard! How am I supposed to get everything done and then people do this and not feel bad about it?!?” Then I thought to myself, “How does this experience change the quality of the work you do? Are you going… Read more »
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[…] want to check out this post from Ramit Sethi at I Will Teach You To Be Rich. (Not actually a scam. I’ve used his book […]

James
2 years 8 months ago

Negative
1. My boss doesn’t like me. My manager hates me. I’m so unproductive at work that all my colleagues look down on me. My work is never good enough and doesn’t produce useful content. I

Positive
2. If I continue to put in the effort, something MIGHT come out of it. But it’ll be a learning experience for me as well as my colleagues. My boss doesn’t hate me. My manager doesn’t hate me. Why would they and they haven’t shown any signs that they do.

🙂

Matt
2 years 8 months ago

I’m a photographer, and I often say I’m better on that side of the camera, because “The camera hates me.” I rarely see photos of myself that I like, I untag them instantly on Facebook. It doesn’t do much for my self-image, although I do care for my appearance, and I think I look good in the mirror, but I see photos and think otherwise. So a creative project for this year is to attempt at least one self-portrait a month, maybe I’ll get at least ONE that I like!

Mary Houlihan
Mary Houlihan
2 years 8 months ago

1. I’m damaged. I’m not smart or capable enough to be as successful as I dream of being.
2. I’m a human being with many gifts and many flaws, just like everyone else. How can I leverage my gifts to be as successful as I dream of being?

Janet Hill
Janet Hill
2 years 8 months ago

1. What I say to myself-
You’re 61 – what do you have to offer to a new job/ employer ?
2. What I should say-
I have a lot of experience in life and I am not too old to start over!

Lori
2 years 8 months ago

Typical self loathing comment:

I suck for not making phone calls today!

I’d like to make twenty calls tomorrow.

Joleen
2 years 8 months ago

I always use the lines “I don’t have the money” or “…that is so expensive”. It’s like I constantly tell myself that I don’t have money and that just makes me negative. Marie Forleo mentioned in one of her posts that when you pay for things to use a phrase like “…there’s a lot more where that came from”. I want to change that negative perception about money and how I perceive my finances.

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[…] I told you in Tuesday’s post, I had some interior decorator ask me if I really had any credentials to teach personal finance. […]

Jean-Michel
2 years 8 months ago

I won’t be able to make a difference in my workplace.

What is something I haven’t thought of that could make someone smile today?

Pattee
Pattee
2 years 8 months ago
1. Before exercise: “UGH. Why even bother? All those people on the street are just going to judge you. You’re too fat and useless and lazy. Omg you suck. Go kill yourself.” I try to replace this with “It’s not that bad. You’ve done this before. If you’re afraid of what others will say, go exercise somewhere there are less people! You’re not lazy. You’re weak now, but you WILL be strong.” (I found mentally chanting “You’re weak, you’re weak, you’re weak, but you’re becoming stronger and stronger” helps me when I’m exercising. I like reminding myself I’m improving while… Read more »
Marsha
Marsha
2 years 8 months ago
1. “Yeah yeah, you have all these big dreams and ideas, but you’ll never be focussed enough to get them done”. “You SAY you want to exercise 5 times a week but, when you’re not training for a marathon, when have you ever done that? Your life always gets in the way!” 2. “What if I try and knuckle down. Remember that it’s a CHOICE and I can focus. And use selfcontrolapp.com to lock myself out of social media for most of the day?” “I’m human. I’ll feel resistance. But I’d LIKE to exercise that often. And I’m lucky that… Read more »
Anthony
Anthony
2 years 8 months ago
I’m starting an online business and building a fitness program. Negative self talk: “No one’s going to buy it. I don’t have the money for paid advertisements. Where is the traffic going to come from? If I ask other sites for help, what if they say no?” Positive: “You know… maybe it will work and maybe it won’t. But these fears and concerns are normal — everyone who starts a business has thought about it. It’s perfectly normal. Now, let’s take educated risks, think things through, and act. If it fails, I’ll learn sooo much so I can be prepared… Read more »
D
D
2 years 8 months ago
A example of your own negative self-talk An example of negative self talk occurs sometimes when I think about challenges that I need help with, for example building new habits. I might find myself stuck on a particular instructor for a while when I know there are others out there. The problem is I view this testing negatively so I’m not getting the most from the experience because I feel like I’m missing out on something. What I’m missing out on likely doesn’t exist, but I do want to focus on the best possible material. To solve this I’m working… Read more »
Racheal
Racheal
2 years 8 months ago
Yes I do this EVERY day! About more than one issue but I was actually just thinking I need to exercise more and I won’t stick to the diet I’m on. In fact I’m scared to even say I’m actually doing well on my diet because I feel like that will jinx it and I will give up “like I always do”. Instead I’m going enjoy the progress i am making and recognize that this time I have a plan, realistic expectations, and accept that I’m human and will splurge but that I can just keep going forward and I… Read more »
Robert Putt
Robert Putt
2 years 8 months ago

1. I should get more organized because i don’t have time to get all the extra things done.
2. I’ll try complete just two things on my list today.

Jane
Jane
2 years 8 months ago
I’m scared to move to Greece because I have a successful business in the UK. Although I have the start of a business in Greece, and go there to work for 2 x 6 week blocks every year, I am afraid of losing my customers in the UK, and not getting enough business in Greece to pay for me to live there in the same comfort I have here. I fear the loss of my existing kudos and success. Self talk – I am such a scaredy, what if it all goes wrong and i end up losing the business… Read more »
Em
Em
2 years 8 months ago

I am preparing a voice recital, for me, a huge undertaking. Instead of, “I’m not singing (or pronouncing) that right,” I’m changing it to, “I need to drill that,” writing it down, and then in my next practice session, working my way through the list. It does get results! But it does start with changing negative self-talk to positive.

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[…] Useful thoughts here on change negative, guilt-based self-talk. “See, guilt is the first sign that something’s wrong. But most people stop there. ‘I feel guilty’ is not the end, but the beginning of taking action.” (I Will Teach You To Be Rich) […]

mamta
mamta
2 years 8 months ago

Hi Ramit

Ur blog is an antidote itself to my negative feelings. I am a single mom ..a doctor..on the verge of finishing my training. I am constantly worried about my precarious life. I am looking for jobs…have gotten socially awkward due to time restraints…as I find it easier not spendi ng time talking to friends..rather than finishing my assignments and teaching my child.

I feel lonely..but u know the Indian woman mentality..difficult accept or even look for another man…

I need the help of my surrogate Indian father…to help me out of negativity…tell me what I should do to improve..Help!!!!

Krystina
Krystina
2 years 8 months ago
1. I was not made to be an engineer. I forced myself to do math my whole life, and I am not infatuated with numbers. It takes me 10 times as long to finish the same task as some of the men I work with. I am so inexperienced. I am much happier when I am making music, but I can’t make a job out of that. Because I am a girl, it is harder for me to be an engineer. I was always so frustrated when I feel that I didn’t know something as a child, and I am… Read more »
Umar
Umar
2 years 8 months ago
Great post. Some examples of my negative comments: 1) I will never be socially active because I am so reluctant and awkward, so leave it – its something natural and hence I cannot EVER be better at it. Positive: Yes I am a bit lame at it, but I can atleast try testing one thing per week with my colleagues who are more ‘natural’ at it! 2) This DJ course I joined last year – I will never finish it because I am so lame and procastinate all the time. Positve: I am going to give it one hour per… Read more »
Roberto Moreno (@RobertooMoreno)
Roberto Moreno (@RobertooMoreno)
2 years 8 months ago

Hello! I’m from Spain and i started today reading your blog and I love it. I apologize and i feel guilty when i want to do some exercise. I usually say that the people is going to do jokes about me, and that kinds of things. I’m going to try to do some running exercise and to prove me that the people don’t talk as much i think about me and that i can do anything despite the opinions of people.

Lisa
Lisa
2 years 8 months ago
I am always talking negatively to myself. The biggest thing is about being unmotivated whether it’s not going to the gym or not doing enough to get my website updated, networking for my business, etc. I always feel I’m lazy or get sucked I to TV. Sometimes I even tell myself, “I’m not going to feel guilty today. I need a day to just watch movies, everyone does once in a while.” But what I really need to is to apply my feelings of guilt and inaction into action. Ramit, for me, I believe this is learned behavior. My parents… Read more »
Sara
Sara
2 years 8 months ago
I’m guilty of saying “I can’t afford that, I’m poor.” The problem with this is it makes me feel defeated and unmotivated to take action towards earning more. I’m trying to reframe it as, “I’m choosing not to spend my money on that at this time.” Which is true. As an American who lives fairly comfortably I’m not poor. If I really want something I figure it out. Poor is the people who I buy chickens from Heifer for. Poor is not having any shoes. I have a foyey full of shoes. Come to think of it, I have a… Read more »
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[…] I subscribe to and apply the life and finance techniques prescribed by Ramit Sethi.  Last week, he posted an article that just smacked me in the face. Really hard. Funnily, it had nothing to do with […]

Mark
Mark
2 years 8 months ago

I’ve been interested in starting a business for years.

my negative self-talk is:

“gosh what’s wrong with you? You must not have the initiative or the knowledge it takes because you haven’t done anything about it!”

my new, positive self-talk:

“starting a business is a challenge and a project. its natural to avoid something you might fail at. you’ve learned a lot, what can you do to actually get started?”

Michael
Michael
2 years 8 months ago

I should really make it to the gym today but I don’t know the best program to use to get in better shape.

Even if I’m not using the “perfect” program, I’ll just go and start to experiment with different lifts.

stacey
stacey
2 years 8 months ago
1. Mum and Dad are rednecks and so are the relatives. I will get kicked out of the family for being with a black is now: They stay stupid things now and then and it is a reflection of the time they grew up in however even they have admired different qualities in individuals they know from other cultures. I have to get boyfriend to meet parents and present him as conservative, nice and similarly human to them and as career minded and a good prospect for me. I want this to happen by Easter. 2. There is no way… Read more »
Matt
Matt
2 years 8 months ago

Negative Self-Talk: I’m just gonna fail again, why try.

Positive self talk: Do you have a CHOICE? What’s gonna happen if you don’t try again? You’re just gonna waste your life away masturbating and playing video games. FUCK THAT SHIT. This time it’s different. You had back pain and couldn’t get up for a couple days. Fine YOU CAN GET UP NOW. THIS TIME IT’S DIFFERENT.

linda
linda
2 years 8 months ago

Bought your book and this is what made the difference. Watching the ebb and flow of money in my automated bill pay has made me pay attention to increminates of change. Even five and ten dollars added to a bill on a weekly basis makes for huge results. Success is contagious and I uses this application in buying food; organizing my kitchen, smoothing out my daily schedule.. And now on to loosing weight and fine tuning my business. You have introduced to a mind set and a program for growth. Thank you Mr.Seti

Karl
Karl
2 years 8 months ago

This post hit at the perfect time for me – with the New Years (and new stresses) rolling in, I’ve found myself unwittingly feeling guilty about a lot of things I ‘should’ be doing. The concept of simply accepting guilt, and using it as a springboard to actually take action is so simple it’s almost like saying, “if I want to run 3 miles, I’ll start with 1/2 a mile and work up to it.” Duh.

But until someone actually phrases it that way, it’s far too easy to get stuck in a crippling all-or-nothing mindset. Thanks for the uncommon sense.

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[…] I read a blog post by Remit Sethi (the “I will teach you to be rich” guy) called “How to stop feeling guilty” and a lot of what he says definitely applies to voice actors. Just about every day, I get […]

JL
JL
2 years 7 months ago
1. I should breakup with my partner who is insecure, possessive, controlling, and disrespectful during fights. But I don’t, because I don’t want to, because the good things are good too. I’m afraid of the pain of breaking up, the uncertainty that this is REALLY the right choice, and the fear that maybe I jump from relationship to relationship without really giving them a chance (endangering my chances of getting married to a great person as I age). I’m also afraid of not having anything else going on in my life afterwards. Also, I don’t know when to do it,… Read more »
tonym
tonym
2 years 7 months ago

I need start up capital, some weapons, a place to stay and some gas.

High as a kiiitttttte now! Fuuuuuucckkkiinnnggg riiiiiiiiich!!!1!

tattoo ideas quotes
2 years 19 days ago

I am extremely impressed with your writing skills
and also with the layout on ypur blog. Is thks a pawid theme or
did you modify it yourself? Either wway keep up the nice quality writing, itt is rare to
see a great blog like this one thwse days.

ajay kumar
2 years 6 days ago

I really like your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you
make this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you?
Plz answer back as I’m looking to construct my own blog and
would like to know where u got this from. cheers

big bang season 9 episode 14
8 months 8 days ago

great points altogether, you just gained a new reader.
What could you suggest about your put up that you simply made some days ago?
Any positive?

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[…] is the overwhelmed sensation of thinking that “this is not for me, it’s too hard” because you’ve given a bigger step than what you […]

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