Yes, you do have a say in your life. Remember, No excuses. Find a way. Believe for a miracle. Press on till you win. Don't quit! What is your relationship with your health and money? Explain. What is your level of discipline over your health, and finances? Are you more disciplined over one than the other? What action(s) can you take to create a balance? Do you have a trusted financial adviser, CPA, and/or attorney who can guide you with money matters? If so, who is he or she? If not, have you considered speaking to one? Do you have insurance policies in place for sudden and unexpected emergencies? If so, what are they? If not, when will you start? Are you ready to get out of debt? If so, when do you plan to take action? When do you plan to start saving for your future?

Create your action plan. Rewards is a strategy that I use pretty often. After I finish this section, I will take a break and give myself a cup of decaf coffee. I could just leave it like that, but I'm specifically telling myself that the coffee is a reward. That gives me more incentive. Or after I finally get the tax papers to the tax lady's office and go over them with her, my wife and I will go out to dinner as a reward. It's good to have a break after completing something difficult, because there's always the next thing that needs doing. If I just go from one thing to the next, because I feel pressured or rushed, because there seems to be so many things to do, then I don't receive positive reinforcement for what I just got accomplished. This reduces my overall motivation to keep going. And working without breaks becomes pretty demoralizing and tiring after a while. I need to pause and relax and spend a little time feeling good about what I've just finished, give myself a little applause, a pat on the back, some positive self-talk. Those are rewards too. Lots of things can be used as rewards, depending on the size of reward needed and on what's possible. I had a photo of my plan in my smartphone so it was easy to find. I took a break from the pain by using a hot pack and surfing the Internet. I calmed my body and mind by doing brief guided relaxations and calling a friend each day for a chat. I also challenged myself by doing light stretches throughout the day. I set a small goal for each day that got me up and moving a little bit. How did that work out in the end? I was relieved that my pain flare-up was shorter than usual.

I felt so much less helpless and frustrated than I used to. Pain is a warning system designed to help you stay safe. Please note that this is not meant to be used as a tool to diagnose a specific type of anxiety disorder. There are many different anxiety disorders, and only a professional can help you properly identify the exact nature of the problem you are experiencing. That said, because each of the above questions points to a symptom potentially associated with a serious problem with anxiety, if you have 2 or more points, you should speak to a professional counselor to discuss possible treatment options. Remember, anxiety is highly treatable. The quicker you get appropriate help, the sooner you can experience full recovery and start leading a more peaceful, confident, enjoyable life. Pain is a complex sensation. It is a part of the nervous system: pain signals travel through nerves into the spinal cord and brain. The brain evaluates all messages from the nervous system and generates your experience of pain. The experience of pain is always changing. Pain does not always mean that there is damage to the body. There are things you can do to change your pain system in a positive way. Understanding the science behind how pain works can lower fear and increase activity levels. Finding ways to take breaks from the pain, calm the nervous system, and challenge the body with gentle activity can help change the pain experience. You will be in excellent company on your journey to becoming more metaphysically secure! The history of thought contains gems of wisdom that can help you create a rational plan of action to overcome your self-defeating emotions and behavior that stem from demanding perfection and to attain greater metaphysical security. For example, ancient Stoic philosophers such as Epictetus admonish us to distinguish between the things within our control and those outside of it; modern thinkers like the contemporary French existentialist Jean-Paul Sartre instruct us to accept probability, not certainty, as part of the human condition. So if you demand that you always, or almost always, be in control, or demand certainty before you are willing to act, these profound thinkers can help you formulate philosophically enlightened ways to reframe your thinking and acting to improve your self-control, foresight, courage, prudence, and other rational habits to manage the challenges of human existence. Metaphysical security is multidimensional because there are so many different aspects of reality.

You cannot control everything in the world, be certain about the future, always have everything neat and tidy, never have anything bad happen to you, always be treated fairly by others, and so forth. As such, there are different types of metaphysical security. For example, authenticity is a type of security that can help you overcome self-defeating demands for approval; unconditional self-acceptance is a type that can help you overcome perfectionistic and self-abasing demands to achieve. Again, I call these types of metaphysical security guiding virtues. As virtues, they represent human excellence: habits developed and reinforced through practice, to manage excellently, but never perfectly, the challenges of living in an imperfect world. Anxiety is sneaky. It wears many masks. The more intensely a person experiences anxiety, the more difficult it can sometimes be for them to tell the difference between anxiety and a host of heightened emotional states such as excitement, anticipation, surprise, stress, nervousness, agitation, anger, frustration, and others. This confusion can be especially strong when a person is struggling with panic attacks. In such cases, something as benign as simply feeling excited about an upcoming birthday celebration can sometimes trigger fear that another panic attack is just around the corner if they allow themselves to get "too overstimulated." Ironically, obsessively attempting to live a less stressful or stimulating life can become its own stressor, as the person feels both overwhelmed by the impossibility of the task and suffocated by the sense that their life just keeps getting smaller and smaller. Agoraphobia -- where a person can become so fearful that they cannot leave their house -- is a perfect, albeit extreme, example of this. I need to choose the reward before I start the task in order to increase my motivation, and to help turn on my focus center. Then when the task is done I need to give myself positive reinforcement for having accomplished it. I also need to give myself that break in between things so that I don't burn out or get that "poor me" overwhelmed feeling, which is an impediment to any further functioning. We may be able to teach our significant others to give us positive reinforcement when we do something they like. This turns out to a more powerful motivator than is criticism or nagging. Often we have to do the positive reinforcement for ourselves. Just crossing a completed task off a list feels good, gives us a concrete visible response to our accomplishment, and it's positive reinforcement. Even people who do not experience crippling levels of anxiety can be helped by learning how to distinguish between the various emotional states that are often confused with or can lead to anxiety. Doing the exercises is key to overcoming your particular type/s of perfectionism.

Each exercise set requires you to push yourself to do things you may feel disinclined to do. This is the nature of a habit. It offers resistance. But there is an immeasurable reward in freeing yourself from an oppressive habit. And to reinforce the constructive changes you make, the final step for each type requires you to reward yourself when you accomplish something in your plan of action. This can be anything you really like: your favorite food, entertainment, or whatever floats your boat, as long as it's legal! So far I have focused on self-care through diet, exercise, improved relationships, stress reduction, meditation, and even finances. I have talked about defining moments and discipline as well as how to be the authority of your life. Most importantly, you have seen that tapping into your deep beauty is a circular process. You need to practice self-care to achieve deep beauty and inner worth, and you need to draw on the well of deep beauty and inner worth to transform your life through self-care. The concept I would like to discuss now is how to live your purpose. You may ask, Don't you need to have a purpose before you can begin embracing self-care? I don't think so. Yes, it would be nice. In my experience, however, it is really difficult to have a clear purpose if your life is in turmoil. As you start transforming your life, often your purpose becomes clearer and your need to live it every day increases in importance. You no longer want to simply survive. You find yourself with a deep desire to thrive. We receive a lot of criticism from ourselves and from others, and we see many of our efforts as ending in failure. This feeds our shame, negative self-image, and pessimism, and is very anti-motivating.