Affirmation Challenge Day 3 [Ability]: “I can achieve anything I want, as long as I set my heart to it.”

This is Day 3 of the 15-Day Affirmation Challenge where hundreds of participants around the world gather to practice positive affirmations for 15 days in July 2014. The challenge is now over, but you can do the tasks in your own time. Visit the overview page for all Affirmation Challenge tasks and posts.

Affirmation Challenge

Dear everyone, welcome to Day 3 of our 15-Day Affirmation Challenge! :D While we had 380 participants yesterday, we are at the 410-participant mark today!! :D

Here is the overview of all the posts for the challenge so far:

Uh… Hello? Where’s Everyone??

Here’s something interesting that I’ve observed — while we have over 410 participants in the challenge (and more if we include lurkers), there has been a remarkably low proportion of people sharing their results in the comments section!

For example, yesterday’s task on self-love only has 12 participants sharing their results (and these 12 participants — Vivian, Samuel, ASLO, Sarah, Jun Xiang, VickiB, Kae, etc. — have all shared very beautiful revelations that I encourage you to read), even though we have over 410 people participating!! Where are the other 398 of you?!?! O_O Hello? *looks around*

Wait, I get it:

  • Perhaps some of you are busy and you have only allocated a minute or two to glance through each day’s task, before moving on to your next to-do.
  • Perhaps some of you have done the tasks but are too shy to share your results.
  • Perhaps some of you lost interest in the challenge, decided that it’s not going to work for you (maybe the affirmations are too “positive” or too “far off” from your current place in life), and decided to drop out.

Whatever the reason, it’s totally understandable.

But… hey. Didn’t we all sign up for the challenge a week ago (upon the announcement of the challenge) and pledge ourselves to this challenge? Didn’t we agree to give this challenge a go and see what’s going to come out of it for us at the end of the 15 days? Didn’t we implicitly agree to put our best foot forward by virtue of signing up? After all, some of us have been stuck in our comfort zones for a while, repeating the same routine day after day, and perhaps we thought, Hey, this 15-day affirmation challenge may just be the right “kick” I need to move me in the right direction. I’m going to sign up and see where it brings me!

You know, honestly speaking, I’m just more than happy that you’re here reading PE and checking out these affirmation tasks, whether as an official participant or not. While I’m dedicating a good chunk of my day every day just to run this challenge (e.g., yesterday I cut short a meeting and rushed home just to finish up the blog post for Day 2; today I was out running errands for my house moving, skipped my appointment to view my wedding photos/videos (Ken did so on our behalf), and rushed home again to write the affirmation task for today), I’m doing this because I want to. Just like with the free articles I write on PE, I want to be here to support you to practise affirmations and make the right change in your life.

However, I can’t do much if you don’t step out, do the tasks, and share your results with the rest of us in the community! This challenge is designed with all of you in mind, so when I get few to nobody sharing, it’s hard for me to get a sense on what’s happening at your side of the world, and as such plan the next task. (Yes, I do dynamically create the challenge based on how everyone’s experiences at the moment, so every challenge I’ve run so far — Live a Better Life in 30 Days Program, Be a Better Me in 30 Days Programgratitude challenge, kindness challenge, healthy living challenge, etc. — has basically always been designed around you guys!) It’s like I’m groping around in the dark and trying to aim for the bull’s-eye when I don’t even know where the dartboard is. I have no idea who’s doing (or not doing) that day’s task, how his/her experience is with the task, and what help he/she needs if any.

Regardless of whether there’s going to be 100 or 0 people commenting/sharing in the subsequent tasks, I’ll still be here running this challenge, meticulously planning and writing each day’s task, creating the affirmation wallpapers, and posting each day’s post within the day — rain or shine. Even if there are 0 people commenting for the remaining 13 days of the challenge, I’ll still be here, turning up every day, till the last day of the challenge.

But I do sincerely hope that…

  • …for those of you lurking in the shadows, that you can step out to officially sign up for the challenge.
  • …for those of you who have signed up for the challenge but are just reading the posts passively, to take a few minutes of your day to just do the tasks that I have meticulously thought through and mapped out for you. Even if you may be skeptical of them, it doesn’t hurt to just take a few minutes to try something out, something new, for yourself.
  • …for those of you who are doing the tasks duly but are resisting sharing your results for whatever reason, to just take a tiny step and share some of your results (however little, however much) in the comments section, just so that others can learn from your experience.
  • …and for those of you who have been sharing your results openly or even blogging about them (thank you and thank you!!!), to check out a couple other participants’ answers and to offer a word of advice, support, or just a pat in the back for a job well done to them, where appropriate.

…because when you do that, you don’t just help the other participants or myself; you’re really helping yourself to learn, grow, and become better — precisely what you desired when you signed up for the challenge.

I also hope that none of you take the challenges at PE or my efforts for granted, because it takes quite a lot of work to run a challenge (much less of a high-quality one, AND at a scale of several hundred participants), and I’m not charging for any of this or earning a single dime from my work here. The challenge tasks don’t just magically pop out by themselves every day — I’m working hard in the background every day to make them happen, including taking time away from my personal life (e.g., my own free time, time spent with my husband Ken, time spent in house moving) and also putting on hold other projects that I can be doing (say, running a new course) since I’ve blocked out the next two weeks of July specially for the affirmation challenge.

Okay, enough with all this mambo-jumbo!!! This is probably the first and last time I’m going to appeal to you to actively participate in this challenge, as it’s not in my place/interest to push anyone to do things especially if it’s out of his/her  interest/comfort zone. Whatever will happen will happen, and I’m always ready to make the best out of any situation that happens.

Now, let’s move to today’s task! Today is Day 3, and we’re looking at…

Day 3: [Ability]

Affirmation Challenge, Day 3 [Ability]: “I can achieve anything I want, as long as I set my heart to it.”

 Today’s affirmation: “I can achieve anything I want, as long as I set my heart to it.”

How many times have you said, “I can’t do this,” even before you tried something?

I’m sure you have. I have as well.

The words, “I can’t,” are incredibly powerful and dangerous. If you have listened to my interview on BFM 89.9 last month on How Your Language Affects Your Success, you would know that I cited “I can’t” as one of the top five self-limiting statements that people make, along with “I won’t” and “I don’t know how.” When people say “I can’t,” it either suggests that they have a low sense of self-perceived ability, or simply a lack of willingness to try something (i.e. close-mindedness).

It really doesn’t matter if you say “I can’t” to small mundane things. For example, yesterday I was grocery shopping and I wanted to buy beverages for the household. However, I decided that they’re too heavy for me to carry home (since I had two full baskets full of grocery), so I thought, I can’t carry them home, and decided to get them in my next trip instead. It’s also okay if you say “I can’t” to things that you don’t believe in or things that you don’t want to do (i.e., learning to say no).

Where the issue of saying “I can’t” surfaces is when you say it to the important things: the things that matter, such as your biggest goals and dreams. Imagine the following:

I can’t achieve my dreams. They are too big for me. I best settle with what I have today.

I can’t blog (say, if your goal is to run a successful blog based on your passion). I don’t know how to blog and I’m not good at writing anyway.

I can’t quit this job I hate. It’s my iron rice bowl. There’s nothing else that I can do.

I can’t lose my excess weight. I’ve tried before and I just gain everything back. I’m doomed not to have a healthy body.

… and so on and so forth. Statements like these, they literally serve as the foundation for more negative, self-limiting, and self-defeating thoughts to harvest. When your thoughts affect your actions thereby affecting your results, you can be sure that thinking “I can’t” will almost always create a self-fulfilling prophecy. In a world where there are already enough challenges to live our dream life, do we really need to stand in our way to realize our own goals and dreams?

The truth is that you have all the power you need to achieve your goals and dreams, whether you believe it or not. The very fact that you have the ability to conjure up the goal/dream IN YOUR MIND is already the very evidence that you can realize it — otherwise, why would it even appear in your mind??? The universe allowed for this thought to manifest because it knows that you have the capability to MAKE IT HAPPEN. And in order to do that, you have to first get rid of those self-limiting thoughts, believe in yourself, and then take the subsequent steps to make it happen.

Today, your task is to clear your self-limiting belief(s) in a goal/dream and identify steps to make it happen. Let’s get started! :D

Your Task Today

  1. Identify a goal/dream that you’re blocking yourself in currently. For example:
  2. Identify your self-limiting belief(s) in this goal/dream. For example:
    • Say you want to quit smoking but you haven’t been able to. Your self-limiting beliefs may be:
      • “I can’t stop smoking because I’ve tried too many times but failed.”
      • “Smoking helps me to relieve stress, so I need it in my life. I’ll continue to smoke whenever I feel stressed up because it makes me feel good.”
  3. Change this self-limiting belief(s). Continuing the smoking example above, the new empowering belief(s) can be:
    • “It doesn’t matter how many times I fail smoking; what matters is that I learn from each relapse. I will identify the root causes of my smoking addiction and address them one at a time.”
    • “I have been using smoking as a stress reliever, so I need to find a different way to cope with my stress. This way, I’ll stop being reliant on smoking to relieve stress, because it really doesn’t — it makes me more stressed instead in the long run.”
  4. Identify action step(s) you’re going to take to realize this goal/dream. Include deadlines where applicable. For example:
    • Check out internet and library resources on how to quit smoking (Today)
    • Seek out quit-smoking groups (such as Nicotine Anonymous) and join them to get group support (This Friday)
    • Identify the root causes of my smoking and address them one at a time (Ongoing)
  5. Say your new belief(s), along with today’s affirmation:

    “I can achieve anything I want, as long as I set my heart to it.”

    (If you think it’s silly to say them out loud, you can say them silently in your heart.)

I encourage you to write down your new belief(s) and today’s affirmation so that you can always see them and commit them to your heart. Repeat them every day to yourself, for as many times and as long as needed, until they become part of your default thinking.

Affirmation Wallpaper: [Ability]

Today’s affirmation wallpaper, for download:

Affirmation Challenge, Day 3 [Ability]: “I can achieve anything I want, as long as I set my heart to it.”

Download (right click and save): [1920×1080] | [1600×900] | [1366×768]

Further Reading

I’ve written tons of material on achieving goals and cultivating positive habits on PE. Here are some material in reference to the goals I mentioned in today’s task:

Share Your Results!

Share your results, check out other participants’ responses, and interact with each other in the comments section! Remember, this challenge is a community effort: by openly engaging in the discussion, not only will you help others, you’ll also help yourself.

If you think today’s affirmation has benefited you, do share it with your friends and family via Facebook, Twitter, G+, or e-mail.

Once you’re done, proceed to Day 4 here: Affirmation Challenge, Day 4 [Setbacks]

Images: FlowerHot air balloon

  • ASLO

    Day 3!! I find every day of this challenge allowing me to go deeper within myself and reconsider and appreciate myself….affirm that I am all I seek, desire and deserve to be!

    To the tasks!

    1. Identify a goal/dream that you’re blocking yourself in currently:
    I cant lose weight
    I cant detach myself from material emotions

    2.Identify your self-limiting belief(s) in this goal/dream:

    I am not ready to devote time for myself in terms of cooking a different diet meal for myself.

    I am extremely emotionally weak, and every time I feel wronged or hurt, it sets me back in my pursuit of my goals.

    3. Change this self-limiting belief(s):

    I know the importance of being physically and mentally healthy. I shall never let the present situation affect my long-term goals! I shall make the progress of my physical and mental growth be the motivation for me to always keep in the pursuit of my personal excellence.

    4. Identify action step(s) you’re going to take to realize this goal/dream.
    I shall get more dedicated in my fitness routines and shall use all the books I have and the articles on PE to serve as my guiding way for my goals of fitness and emotional well being.
    Saying the affirmation out loud brings a sense of calm in my mind. It feels as though I have been handed the key to discovering myself! I shall never give in to my limitations again! I have the ABILITY and the desire to achieve! I shall, for I have the way, all that is left is to take the road not taken…..

  • Vivian

    Thanks for Celes pointing out that we are
    not all in. I have the same feeling when I am running training sessions in
    work. And I used to be the one to observe the session, what’s going on. However,
    I see the benefit when I stretch out myself, step out from my comfortable zone,
    through sharing my learning to others. It’s just simple as the apple to apple,
    we only have one apple if we exchange, but we will have 2 ideas if we share and
    learn from each other.

    Thanks for Celes speaking straight for
    this. Not everyone in life will say this, they will just allow what happen and
    let it go. I do appreciate your openness and caring to all of us.

    I signed up for this challenge. And I will
    step out to comments on others as well. I want to make a difference to people
    around me, this is the best opportunity god arranged for me. Thanks for encouraging
    us again!

    All your time and
    efforts will count and be missed, because you already made lots of difference
    in people’s life, and will continue do that. The sharing will always be there
    no matter what happened in life, Your wisdom will last forever.

    • Celestine Chua

      Vivian, thank you so much for your active support! I really appreciate your open sharing (your Day 2’s sharing was SO powerful) and even with you now taking the step to interact with the participants and giving inputs to their answers. You’re truly a leader and giver!

      I am running training sessions inwork

      That’s so awesome that you do training too! What trainings do you do, if I may ask?

      • Vivian

        Celes, It’s my pleasure to share, and thanks for encouraging us to interact with each other. This is the best way to drive the learning. I am just easy to share my thoughts.
        I did some trianing sessions for Administrators in my company about outlook, 7 habits, and exprience sharing session. I by chance found your blog in March, and been empowered by your blog.

        • Celestine Chua

          I’m really excited to have you here on PE, Vivian. Thank you so much for joining the affirmation challenge and giving me the opportunity to know you! :D I look forward to knowing you more in the next 12 days ahead of the challenge!

          You’re absolutely right that interacting is the best way to drive the learning; I’ve found this to be so in all the courses and workshops I run. When we share, the iteration process helps us to improve our clarity of thoughts as well as our own communication ability. It also gives others the opportunity to comment/input on what we have written. And then when we read others’ answers and respond to them, we learn further too through others’ stories.

          • Vivian

            Celes, i am so grateful to know you and PE.This affirmation challenge means alot to me. I wish i can join PE reader activity and meet you in person when i have chance to go Singapore.

            • Celestine Chua

              Hi Vivian, likewise! I have reader meetups in Singapore about once a year, and in fact I’m likely having one next month in August. It’s a pity that you aren’t in Singapore, or you could join in!

              You are from China, I believe? Actually I don’t know how big my Chinese audience is (might not be a lot, because I received feedback from a U.S. reader who moved to work in China that he couldn’t access my site in China sometimes — this was three years ago) — but it would be great if I get the opportunity to have a readers meetup in China next time! Which part of China are you from?

              • Vivian

                It’s so pity, my trip is around Dec.
                I am from Beijing, and i shared your website to some of my collegues in China. You are very special for us because I identified your ex-company.

  • Vivian

    Almost all the time. Whenever I got an opportunity, the first reaction is can I do that? I can’t
    do this. I can’t remember how many times I said this to myself, this already
    became my default thinking, self doubt thinking. I can’t do that, I am not
    ready, I am not good enough to do this. I don’t deserve this. Totally agree, I
    feel that I am stand in my way to realize my dreams.

    On one hand, I really work hard to pursue my dream, and spent lots of time and efforts, on the
    other hand, within me, I told myself, I can’t do this. Stop doing the stupid things, you will never get where you want. Because you don’t deserve this, because you can’t do that, because you are not ready.

    Both voice live in my heart, they keep talking. And most of the time, the negative voice won.

    I believe people have potential to achieve things. The important part is belief. We believe in
    ourselves, other believe in us can make it. I love the ability affirmation, I
    can achieve what I dreamed.

    Your Task Today
    1. Identify a goal/dream that you’re blocking yourself in currently. Overall, my dream is to doing
    a work which has lots of interaction with others, and through what I am
    doing, I can make a difference to others’ life, especially for people to
    live a world with happiness and peace. (HR in OD, trainer, writer)

    Career, I can’t be a trainer.
    Study: I can’t get my paper ready, for psychology master
    Relationship, I can’t improve the relationship with my father.
    English, I can’t speak English well.
    Confidence, I just can’t speak in public confidence.
    Finance, I can’t afford to buy the things I want.
    Dream: be a writer. I can’t be a writer.
    Habits: I can’t focus on one thing all the time, ,I just keep
    changing my focus.

    2.Identify your self-limiting belief(s) in this goal/dream. For example:
    I want to be a trainer, my self-limiting beliefs:
    I can’t be a trainer because I am too young.
    I can’t be a trainer because I don’t have good background, I
    am only a senior administrator in F500 company
    I can’t be a trainer because I am not looking good, my teeth
    not looks good, my voice doesn’t sound nice.
    I can’t be a trainer because I never did that. (although I
    gave outlook training to administrators, time management, 7 habits etc)
    I can’t be a trainer because I am not ready to do that.
    I can’t be a trainer because I can’t travel a lot, since my son is only 3 years old;
    I may be a trainer after 10 years, or 20 years later. When I
    get older and with more experience. …..

    3.Change this self-limiting belief(s). Continuing trainer example, the new empowering belief(s) can be:

    My age doesn’t relate to my experience. I want to be a trainer
    because training changed my life. I want to have chance to make a difference
    in other’s life.
    My experience in training. I already working in education/training
    industry almost a decade, and I enjoy talking with people. I almost have
    more than 1000 one on ones, and offer suggestions to people around me. Based
    on the feedback I got, some consider me as good mentor for them.
    I read thousands of books already, I have good knowledge system.
    There never be a moment when I am ready as a trainer. I can’t
    keep waiting, the some day will never come. And the only thing definitely
    will happen is I am getting older and I will die.

    My looking may relevant on the training delivery. But the key
    is the impact I made to others, the contents, and the way others being
    inspired. There are lots of people not look so good, but they still give
    nice training and changed others life.

    I am able to make this happen. If I don’t have the ability to
    do that, this idea will disappear.

    4. Identify action step(s) you’re going to take to realize this
    goal/dream. For example:

    Continue the affirmation challenge, and write my learning on
    my blog. No matter the kinds of walk, trainer, coach, writer, in deed,
    what I really want is just make difference to others life. Through blog, I
    can impact on those I never met.
    Continue my current work as training coordinator, build my
    capability and knowledge;
    Step out my comfortable zone as the training coordinator, act
    as I am the trainer already in all training I will be involved;
    Offer training/small talk to others in my coming 1 on 1s,
    Read get abstract summary every working day, I have blocked my
    Friday morning for training materials go through;
    Re-do the reflection one week later, to find the root cause on
    my self doubt. Unless I can release myself, otherwise, I will always in
    the self doubt story I created for myself. No matter what kind of opportunity
    come to me, my first reaction still will be I can’t do that. It takes
    time on this self realization journey, but I know I can make it. I can
    achieve anything I want, as long as I set my heart to it. I like the
    heart part, in the end, our heart will define the success/happiness of
    our life.

    5.Say your new belief(s), along with today’s affirmation:

    “I can achieve anything I want, as long as I set my heart to it.”

    I can be a trainer, coach, writer, a person who make a difference in others life, through continue sharing with others. This is the new beginning, I love myself, and I believe I have the ability to
    achieve my dream.

    Here is the link
    for day 3:

    • ASLO

      Hey Vivian, I can totally relate to you when you say “I can’t do this” every time I am pushed out of comfort zone, the same thought comes to my mind, Being in my comfort zone, I can overcame any obstacle no matter how difficult it seems (say for example it is something when am cooking, I can conjure a dish without any recipe) but something trivial and out of my comfort zone (like taking a picture from my phone camera, I’d think “I don’t know how to do that,it’d come blurry, I can’t”) but given today’s challenge, I have this immense A in my life! I have the ABILITY! I can, why cant I? I’m removing that troublesome t from my life! I CAN!

      And from reading your comments over the last 3 days, you have it in you! your english has just the right words to get the message effortlessly home and not just home. Your words have a soul and I you have the ABILITY to become a wonderful writer! Not just that, a wonderful trainer, coach, daughter and person. Seek and we shall achieve! Looking forward to reading your bit on tomorrows tasks

      • Vivian

        ASLO, You’re so nice! Considering the body/mental/heart/spiritual, Spiritual is the most important part for me. Your encouragement means a lot to me.

  • Madalina S

    While I do understand your confusion and/or surprise at seeing that not everyone is active (although this isn’t unprecedented: in many past challenges the number of persons who initially signed up kept decreasing throughout the challenge), I can only explain things from my point of view. I didn’t expect this challenge to go so in-depth on a personal level. There are things which I personally don’t feel ready or open to share with everyone else on the Internet. I wanted to write this comment to let you know, Celes, that I do read the articles and that I do appreciate your insights, but that I don’t post anything because I’m not comfortable yet with sharing so much about myself. Even in my journals in the forums I share only what I’m comfortable with disclosing, but the questions asked in this challenge are targeted at specific things, so you can’t avoid sharing more about yourself with everyone else. This isn’t to say that the challenge isn’t good or that the planning is faulty — not at all! It’s just how I feel about certain aspects of it.

    • Celestine Chua

      Hey Lina, thank you so much for your comment!

      although this isn’t unprecedented: in many past challenges the number of persons who initially signed up kept decreasing throughout the challenge

      Yes that’s definitely so; dropout rates is always common (even in paid courses/workshops too) for reasons that can be completely unrelated to the program itself. But the non-participation rate for this particular challenge is probably the lowest of all challenges I’ve conducted –past challenges participation to signup ratio usually ranges anywhere from 1:10 to 1:4 for the first few days’ tasks, meaning one out of every 4 to 10 people who sign up will post something in the first few days’ tasks. For the current challenge though, it’s hovering at about 1 to 30-40 (meaning one of 30-40 people has posted), which is about 4-10 times worse than average. I believe part of the factor is the more-personal nature of the challenge tasks, which links to the next part of your comment and my response:

      but that I don’t post anything because I’m not comfortable yet with sharing so much about myself.

      That is totally, totally valid Lina! And I reckon that this is actually very tricky for people who use their real names/photos in their profiles, such as for yourself. This is also why I encourage everyone to share whatever you’re comfortable with, even if it’s just a little. For example, even a 2-3 line vague response works too, if the area you’ve identified for the day’s task happens to be a very sensitive area.

      Perhaps not related to this, but one area that I’m sensitive about writing is about other people, such as friends or my personal contacts, because I never know who is comfortable with it and who ends up identifying him/herself from my writings (especially bad when the example I’m giving is not a good one). So one thing I do is that I try to be as general as possible, but still write it in a way where I can convey the lessons/keypoints, since the point of my sharing isn’t to finger point, but rather to share my revelations and lessons.

      I really appreciate you being a part of the PE community, actively sharing comments, and participating (which you already know as I mentioned this multiple times before), so thank you so much for being here. :D

      I want to highlight to the others reading this post that I’m not disgruntled or anything about the low-/non-comments/participation; honestly if I am I would have ended the challenge and just went about my own merry way rather than stick around and continue to prepare these daily tasks (which take a fair amount of time to write). My core objective is to create the best challenge experience for everyone, and part of that includes getting as many people involved as possible, another part includes tweaking the challenge tasks to improve engagement. One conflict I constantly have with challenge tasks is whether to make them “simpler” and “less intense” so that it’s easier for people to participate, or whether to go for a real deep dive and help them to achieve the real breakthroughs. I know that the former is definitely not my cup of tea, so I’m going more for the latter, but still simplifying the tasks as much as possible so they are doable for anyone (and there’s really a diverse group of people at PE) here in this challenge.

  • Chris

    I am following and active with the 15 days challenge.
    Feel better and calm. It takes time to digest all new information in
    my thinking. Sometime it feel so obvious and right but the world
    around me is the same.

    All the tasks which as to be done, must not be
    accomplished in one day. To prioritize the tasks get me feel better
    that it is due-able.

    With positive thinking I have realized that daunting
    tasks can be worth self-satifaction that one can be proud of, with a
    reminder that life is constantly a process of making decision, work
    and development into new discipline.

    Everyone face this challenges in life and one should
    reframe our life while we can, so life get more exciting. I do not
    compete the result with other only my meaningful goals.

    Thanks for sharing and showing your “road” of
    excellence, that we follow.

    • Celestine Chua

      Sometime it feel so obvious and right but the worldaround me is the same.

      What an astute statement. You are absolutely right, Chris, and you have also nailed the answer to this observation in your response too — that life is constantly a process.

      When we get an internal shift, the world around us (i.e. the people we are in, the groups we hang out in), don’t. So, it can be challenging living in this world, because we continue to meet people and hang out in environments that are aligned with our past thinking but not our present one.

      Is the next step then to return to our past thinking then? No! Not at all. As I tell my coaching clients, the people we are with, the environment we are in, are all the result of the actions and decisions of our PAST SELF. Hence, it’s more than normal that they are currently aligned with our PAST SELF, but not our present self. The next step is that to figure out a way to transit to our new path, to embody our new thinking, from where we are at the moment. (I’ve written more on this conundrum and how to break out of it in Living in Alignment with Your Purpose.) And like you rightly said, it’s not about competing with others, but ourselves to realize our own goals.

      Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom, Chris! :D

      • Vivian

        Sounds like move past back to the past, then there is nothing in our future. with that nothing, we can start to create.

  • 家梅 李

    Well, I have missed out the Day 1 and 2 tasks, and I have done it today. I will continue with this challenge with my best.

    Yes, my goal that I’m blocking myself currently is weight loss. As mentioned in Day 1 task, I can’t stop myself from the temptation towards chicken. =.=” And, whenever I have time, I always wish to take a nap, instead of doing exercise. I’m too enjoy with sleeping.

    However, this morning, it was a coincident that, I have declared to myself that I want to have weight loss. I want to let my boyfriend see how much I change. I want to buy nice dresses and clothes!! I want to learn to get myself be pretty. I want to see my boyfriend’s ego face to be with a pretty and good girlfriend. :)

    And, thanks to Celes’s earlier posts about weight loss. And, I will re-take 21DFC, eat less and take healthy food.

    I know I can achieve it!!

    • Celestine Chua

      Hey Jalae, I just read your task results for Day 1 and Day 2, and can empathize with your predicament about losing weight. It’s very reminiscent of my own struggles with weight loss between my early to late 20s.

      Have you ever read my emotional eating series before? I feel that may house one of the keys to your current situation!

      • 家梅 李

        Hi Celes, yes, I have read through the articles a long time ago. But it seems hard to be put into actions… And yes, I will take into actions seriously this round. No matter how many times I have failed, still, I will go on and try it out. I believe that I can make it one day with firm determination!! ^^

        • Celestine Chua

          Terrific, Jaleen! I also recommend checking out the How to Stop Stress Eating Program if you haven’t, which is my four-week course to overcome stress eating for life. The article series is helpful for a start, but this program is the holistic solution to addressing emotional eating, where I share the four root blocks to emotional eating. It’s basically a program that I designed to overcome emotional eating permanently based on all the struggles (and triumph) I had with this issue for pretty much over a decade. Many readers who emotional eat have received deep breakthroughs from this program; one reported losing much excess weight within weeks after, from applying the lessons.

          Like you said, no matter how many times the failure, simply continue on. It’s more important that you learn from each “failure” and emerge stronger the next time (and you’ll see that Day 4’s task relates to this!). If I’m not wrong, I recall you are a teacher, right? Your students are very lucky to have a conscious teacher like you; with you actively embarking on your growth, they are getting the best life lessons they can get from you — no schools can ever offer this!

  • Susan

    Hey Celes. I read your blog daily and I love the challenges, but I rarely post comments. Since you have wondered why some people don’t post, I thought I would let you know a couple of reasons. In my country, employers check up on their employees, and applicants for new jobs, by checking out their social media and internet posts. If they have party pictures on facebook, or brash comments on twitter, or weak/whiny comments on message boards, they are viewed as “not management material”. Also people involved in lawsuits or divorces are reluctant to put out anything personal about themselves, since opposing counsel (sharks) will exploit the comments in court. Internet privacy is a big issue here. While your blog appears to contain anonymous comments, anything can be traced back to the person with the right software. As a reader who has benefitted from your work, I do thank you for your service to this community, and I have purchased some of the material that costs money. But I cannot always “air my dirty laundry” comfortably.

    • Calae

      This is part of my hesitation as well — that “airing my dirty laundry” will prove detrimental to me somehow in the future. I’m posting about the challenge but mainly because I think I’m relatively safe in doing so. I’m still quite wary about it, and I might edit/remove things in the future. It’s also quite hard for me to post knowing people that know me may read my deeper thoughts; it’d be easier if I could keep my posts only to those that don’t know me in “real life,” but that’s not guaranteed at all on the internet!

    • Celestine Chua

      Hi Susan, you’re here!!! That’s totally fine and understandable, I appreciate whatever I can get, really (in terms of reader engagement, sharing, etc. in any challenge or any article). I understand the need for privacy; I do find that becoming harder in the world of social media — Facebook and the social media giants removing privacy options over time really don’t help, too.

      Usually engagement isn’t an issue with any challenge, but for this particular challenge it seems significantly lower than average (compared to past challenges) possibly because (as I’ve hypothesized in my comment reply to Lina) the nature of the tasks are much more personal than the usual challenge tasks. Among probably other reasons like people being busy, not having time, forgetting about the challenge, losing interest, losing self-motivation, etc. (All valid reasons.) I don’t expect anyone to post anything he/she isn’t comfortable with, or to “air dirty laundry” especially not if it can potentially bite him/her, so I encourage everyone to share however much he/she is comfortable with, even if very little and vague. Even posting under an alias and fake avatar is fine too.

      (On tracing back to the person, I gather it has to be some pretty serious shtick if it leads to internet conglomerates like Disqus (the third-party commenting system I’m using) releasing such personal data. I can’t comment much in this area, but I do know that posting while at the office / under the company’s IP is never a good idea, especially if it’s something personal and you don’t want others to know. Some company intranets track data like this, but whether they actively analyze and act upon this is a totally different deal altogether.)

      PS: Hope Cody and everyone in your family are doing well?? :)

  • Kirst

    Well done everyone who’s working on this challenge! I share the concern of others in that I am very careful about what I post-nothing too personal and nothing which I’m not happy for the whole world to know. So even though I blog, I never put out anything too personal or that I wouldn’t be happy for my father or a potential employer to read. For that reason, the examples I’ve given are of relatively small things (although they are important to me!). But that doesn’t mean they won’t help with bigger things!

    My blog post for today is at

    I enjoy the site and your articles, thank you Celes

  • Calae

    For me, the goal, the dream I have doubts about is my financial independence. I want to make money by doing what I want to do on my own time. I want to see my passions and values be the driving force behind the work I do. I want the freedom that comes with being your own boss. Not gonna lie, I’m heavily inspired by Celes — the maker of this challenge. It’s her life and accomplishments that have made me consider that I want a life like hers, too!

    While I don’t explicitly tell myself “I can’t,” I have plenty of nagging thoughts behind this goal:

    -I don’t have enough good ideas (or conversely, “What if I can’t create a focus?”
    -I feel like what I want to do has been done before
    -I feel like I have nothing new to share
    -I’m afraid what I’ll do is too similar to X/Y/Z
    -I want to be open about myself and my ideas, but I’m afraid of what others will think
    -I don’t think I have enough experience

    So now for the hard part: reframing these beliefs to be positive instead!

    -As I learn more and more about myself and what I’m passionate about, I’ll come up with more and more ideas to try out. There may or may not be a true “focus” to what I do, but that doesn’t need to be a bad thing.
    -Even if what I want to do has been done before, that doesn’t mean I can’t do it differently/better/with my own insights to offer.
    -Even if what I’m sharing isn’t “new,” there’s always new ways to share and present things. The uniqueness of my own voice and presentation is important enough in its own right. Besides, most likely I will have something new to add!
    -I don’t necessarily have to be open about myself and my ideas right away — that can always come later, or not at all.
    -The only way to get experience is to get out there and try.

    My next action steps will be as follows:

    1) Take time to think if there’s any other root cause of my hesitation to go after my goal, and if so, figure out a new line of thought
    2) Continue my course on Android App development that I’ve been putting off
    3) Identify my true passions and values — then brainstorm how to work them into my own independent creation!

    This is a summary of what can be found on my blog, here:

    • Susan

      Calae, I just love your statement that “The uniqueness of my own voice and presentation is important enough in its own right.” That is the key right there!

      • Calae

        Thank you, Susan! =)

    • Vivian

      Calae, For something new part. In fact, lots of lessens we learned from life been learned by our parents already, because the mother law never changed. In China, we have Tao Che Chi which over 2500 years, and we have wisdom in Bible, and both still inspire peope to be good.

  • Ashish

    I missed on the Day1 and Day2 tasks… But I am in today… :)


    Goal – Handle annoying people

    Self limiting beliefs in this goal –

    1. I cant speak harshly or for that matter in a way due to which I will be hurting others emotions.

    2. I think of future and feel that this is a small world and our roads may cross over again.

    3. I never have the boss feeling.

    4. Most of the time I try to ignore the point and this keeps on piling in my mind and hurts me more rather than the one who was has to be the ideal sufferer.

    Change this self limiting beliefs:

    1. I can handle people like these. I meet them each day and need to spend more time with them actively. (Here I mean, comapred to the quality time I spend with my family). So I cant limit myself of facing these people anymore. I may face people like these at any given workplace I go. So I need to find way to handle them more efficiently and keeping my principles intact.

    Action Step:

    1. Stop avoiding people like these. The more I face them, the more I learn how to handle them.

    2. Start replying them in clear way and avoid piling up of such thoughts with me.

    3. Start reframing the same message which I need to convey in a much different manner. We can also call this approach as diplomatic approach.

    4. Stop taking the actions others perform too personally. Even tough the opposite person is wrong, I need to find a way to convince him/her of the correct approach.

    My today’s affirmation#3:

    I can achieve anything I want, as long as I set my heart to it.

    This challenge is indeed a very nice platform to start working on yourself with a gentle push from mentor, eventually helping you somewhere…. :)

  • Sarah M

    Hey Celes, first I have to tell you that one of my fav. Email folders “The personal excellence blog” ;) . I keep all your articles/newsletters there to get back and read for more motivation since years . So, what you’re really doing is really inspring and helpful for me and I’m sure for many people as well … thank you is not enough, REALLY!
    And also I want to point out that this is the first time to join a community … as an introvert I didn’t like to get involve in any discussions … observing any process without sharing was better for me “as I thought” untill I started to feel that I didn’t feel comfortable around people at all and that was the warning alarm for me that I’m turning into an antisocial person not just an introvert. For those who doesn’t share their experience or their daily tasks and “just observing” I advise them –> please don’t do this to your self … I’ve been there and it’s totally unhealthy.You have to join and get to know people and their different experiences , because it will expand your self growth.
    About today’s task, I always discourage myself when it comes to any “artistic creativity” and go mad saying “I can’t do it”. And that’s because I love to create professional art with a very high quality. Therefore, I will change “I can’t do it” into “simplicity is the key”. I will try to take baby steps and keep everything simple to achieve a good quality and stop chasing perfection … I won’t reach it anyways And will also keep developing and growing.

    • Celestine Chua

      Hi Sarah, thanks so much for your kind words!! :) I really appreciate it. I think it’s really amazing that you are here sharing your results so openly as someone who didn’t like to get involved in any discussion before (I wouldn’t have guessed!)!! So thank you so much for having the courage to step out, participate in this challenge, and share your results so earnestly.

      Totally agree with the importance of baby steps — it’s also the key lesson that I was advocating in my new year’s resolutions interview on CNA this year. Chasing perfection is okay (it means you have high ideals), but don’t let that create an “all-or-nothing” mindset because that’d defeat the purpose of having high ideals! Sarah, I don’t know you but I believe you have it in you, so don’t ever think otherwise!

  • Karen

    Hi Celes! The affirmations have been really inspiring so far! I’ve been journaling about them but not posting comments since I usually go to bed pretty late! But today, let’s see – I’ve decided that I say “I can’t” to bettering my health way too often. “I don’t have time to work out” “I don’t have access to healthy food all the time” and so on. This applies to a few things in my life as well, but currently my health is a pretty big goal so I decided to focus on this today.

    So today I decided to take my “I can’t”s and focus on what I CAN do: I can do small things every day that are good for my health. Today I decided that I would look up calorie info for lunch and find a healthy place to go, I’d workout for at LEAST 15 minutes, and I would get off the computer by 10pm and do yoga, journaling, and my meditation. Well, today I ate lots of fruit, had a healthy salad for a late lunch/early dinner, listened to by body when it said to stop eating a piece of cake that distributed for an employees birthday, and I’m soon to get off the computer. I didn’t end up working out, but I do yoga for at least 20 minutes almost every night so I’ll count that as a double challenge that I can do today! I’m trying to be gentle with myself and listen to myself every day! :) That’s my update for today!

  • Alia

    For a long time I’ve been struggling with my fitness and nutrition goals. I’ve been telling myself that
    I can’t get fit because I’ve tried many times to start exercising and have kept giving up on it after a few days, or I can’t eat healthy because the options are confusing/overwhelming,
    and my house is usually full of unhealthy options, which causes me to
    keep slipping back into old habits.

    But in changing my thoughts, I am choosing to tell myself that no matter how many times I fail, I have the choice to start again, and be better this time. I will educate myself on the choices available and choose the best
    option for myself. I will select healthier choices for myself and
    discourage others in my family from buying unhealthy food options. I
    will work on my self discipline to be able to make good choices even if
    there are unhealthy options at home.

    I’ve written a bit more here if anyone would like to read: :)

    P.S. It’s been wonderful reading everyone’s comments! I can see similarities between many of us, and it’s great to know that we’re not alone and are among others who are striving to make positive changes in our lives :)

    • Vivian

      Alia, happy to hear that. I believe life is about choice, and we can choose. Choose to do, or not to do things. We always have choices.

  • Katherine Galvin

    My goal is to be a published author someday. I’m doing Camp NaNoWriMo in conjunction with this, so my results reflect the current goal of a 15k short story. Here is my result for Day 3 from my blog post:

    “One way my friends and I are getting ourselves to work on our Camp
    projects is to assign Generic Writing Prompts to our group as a whole.
    We then tell each other how we incorporated the prompt into our piece.

    I’ve recently finished up describing part of the house. In an effort
    to tackle my goal of 15k, via a sound-bite, I’m going to introduce my
    main character and just focus on him.

    Instead of taking people’s observations of what they see as failures
    to be just that, observations of failure, I’m going to use them as the
    rubrik of how I actually do things and maybe I’ll finally accomplish
    something. Mom said I live my life in sound-bites so a novel was a pipe
    dream. Rather than be discouraged, I will do exactly that. Write in
    sound-bites and tackle my novel one mouthful at a time.


    You can read the whole post here:

  • Kae White

    Hi everyone. Todays challenge is another deeply personal one for me. I am going to focus on my weight and look at what happened in my past and the beliefs that I have developed while growing up. I know that my issues are not related to what I eat as I have had nutritional advise and I exercise most days of the week. I am going to try a cognitive behavior therapy trick and challenge my negative thoughts that I have around food in writing. I have used this technique previously with good results.

    Having said all of that I need to be a bit more focused with saying the affirmations. It can be a bit of a struggle to do especially when busy at work…still every bit counts!

    • Celestine Chua

      Hi Kae! It seems like quite a few participants have weight struggles (and in relation, dietary struggles), and I can really empathize as I used to have them too as detailed in my body image and emotional eating series.

      I was wondering, what is the weight “issue” you’re talking about (e.g., difficulty in gaining weight? losing weight?) and do you know the root of this issue (e.g., is it an eating issue)? If it’s a stress eating issue, I’m not sure if you’ve read my emotional eating series — I believe it’ll really help to draw insights on (stress) eating behavior and some of its roots.

      • Kae White

        Hi Celes, I too noticed that there were lots of other people with weight issues. I think that the problem had many angles. In the past (most likely since teenage years)I have suffered from depression (which with professional help have gotten past) and do still suffer from some anxiety and a whole bunch of issues growing up.

        I have read the articles on emotional eating and they were a great help. They helped me to get in touch with deeper aspect of who I am. I am going read the article again. I am a believer of re-reading books and articles because you never know what you might discover that was missed the first time. ;-)

  • Vivian

    Vicki,I wish your husband will be better soon. Have you tried MOOC, which combines lots of course from the Universities? May work for you, only need access to internet and free, you also can get certificate. I believe i am a life long learner as well. We can learn everything with the open heart to learn.

    • VickiB

      Vivian, thank you for your suggestion of MOOC. I believe that FutureLearn is similar, being a group of universities offering free courses via the internet, and you can get a certificate.

      Also thanks for the wishes regarding my husband. He is 63, and has had type I diabetes for 46 years. He also has heart disease and kidney failure, and a good many other problems. He is in a wheelchair most of the time, and uses a walker sometimes. He cannot walk even a few steps anymore without support. It may sound like he doesn’t have much hope of getting better — but he has surprised people before, including the doctors. He had bypass surgery and was in intensive care for less than 12 hours, and was discharged on the sixth day… they said he would have to have his foot amputated but he didn’t … they said he probably would not live to be sixty and he did…

      • Vivian

        Vicki, Thanks for your trust to share this to us. I heard a term big relationship with himself, both you and your husband are strong. And your support and accompany must be reason for him to continue. Another feeling i want to let you know, you is the reason for him.and his love to you is another reason. I tried hard on the words as nonative English speaker. Hope my intentioncan be crossed. wish you both in peace and happiness.

        • VickiB

          Yes, your intention did come across. Thank you! I know that his love for me and my love and support for him have helped him exceed the limitations that others have placed on him. He is an inspiration to me to not let obstacles stop me from doing things that I really want.

  • Mikey

    A goal/dream that you’re blocking yourself in currently:

    I need to get everything in order to be happy.

    Self-limiting belief(s) in this goal/dream:
    I need to have everything in place and in order to be happy.

    Change this self-limiting belief:
    Life is always going to be a work in progress. There’s always going to be a “better.” I need to be mindful of the present and focus on what is here and now. My happiness is not fully dependent on having everything right (though I can’t be happy if everything’s wrong!). Focus on what I have already and keep improving.

    Identify action step(s) you’re going to take to realize this goal/dream:
    Make a couple lists of what I already have in my life, what I want to have to be happier. Evaluate the first list and see if I can be happy with what I already have. Then evaluate the second list to see what I can do to improve, and whether I can let go some of those blind pursuits.

    Say your new belief(s), along with today’s affirmation:
    There’s no point seeking to have everything in order. The green lights will never line up straight. Focus on what I have and what I can do. Keep improving, but I can start to be happier now.

    “I can achieve anything I want, as long as I set my heart to it.”

  • Jun Xiang Tan

    Hi Celes, thanks for posting another day worth of powerful messages! So glad to be mentioned in your post! Here’s my summary for the task today:

    Identify a goal/dream that you’re blocking yourself in currently.
    – I can’t communicate and express myself well to others.

    Identify your self-limiting belief(s) in this goal/dream.
    – I can’t express myself as I am afraid of my friends would judge what I say or what I do and most of the time I would follow try to fit in to their personality.

    Change this self-limiting belief(s).
    – It doesn’t matter how my friends judge me for what I say or what I do. In order to gain genuine friends, I will express my concerns to my friends

    Identify action step(s) you’re going to take to realize this goal/dream.
    – Stepping out of my comfort zone and sharing life stories.
    – Get active and join a few sports to gain more common interests.
    – Start of by caring and communicating to my family members.
    – Communicate with random strangers with my own personality.

    And Finally,
    I can achieve anything I want, as long as I set my heart to it.

    • Vivian

      Jun Xiang, i used to do this. Some learnings:1feel fake when I can’t express myself fully2 have impact on other area of mylife and work , too care what others think3impact on productivity, because i want to maintain my image 4 real friend doesn’t care the words you said,they care your heart and how you feel.

      • Jun Xiang Tan

        Wow Vivian, Thanks for the amazing replies you have provided me. I’ve read your comments and it’s really awesome to see you helping so many others and your posts that motivates me daily to post more as well. Thank you!

  • Renu Seth

    I share the thoughts of some our participants, i missed the day one and two tasks and wrote about them today. I enjoy learning about life and understanding one’s self – so why should i not continue with the Affirmation challenge ! I have grown big in the past few years and have gained so much weight – I have started to do things to be fit and this time i have something inside me supporting me in taking care. I wish for more strength – I will do it.

  • Fufu

    I have to be honest, I did #3 task first than the one from day #2. Why because yesterday I was literally about to finish my rpg video game demo which I’ve been working on every day for 2 hours or more for a month now!! I was so excited and then I saw the title of the Challenge and that was enough to make me compromise, I just need ot fix 2 or 3 remaining bugs and I’m DONE!! My goal yesterday was to simply finish the demo yesterday and I went on an excited working frenzy for about 4 hours non-stop and I made it..

    I finished my demo! I didn’t even finish reading this article, I just skipped to the action step because I knew in my heart that if there’s anything I believed I could do was finish that demo yesterday. Even though they were 4 long hours it felt like I was so alive. I’m incorporating the scripts of my novels to the video game and I realized I seriously love writing stories. It doesn’t matter to me in what format, what way, I just love it plus I recently discovered my passion for programming thanks to all the video game programming that has been done. I’ve realized blogging ins’t for me. I was denying my real passion for story writing because I was afraid. I thought blogging would be easier to gain a public but it just wasn’t my passion. My love is in my novels.

    I decided to do task #2 of self love today (which today is technically task #4 but I’ll do it today too. Yesterday I felt like I couldn’t show self-love to myself yet. My mind was set on writing that demo, so on this task it rain straight in line with my goal. I’ll write in day 2 task as soon as I can access a computer again how I decided to show self-love to myself after a long month of working on my demo and also of dealing with the obstacle of my next obstacle which is a second demo for another story which I’m interested to incorporate into a video game but which I’ve been restricting from doing so out of fear, but I’ll enter into detals of that on comments of task #4.

    This has been as far one of my favorite challenges so far!! :) It’s true what some people say, we touch some really personal things every day but if you really dig deep the results are amazing!

    About today’s questions I already knew the answers automatically. here are the answers. The goal I was blocking was finishing my goal. Even while working every day I had been reducing my hours this week because I was frustrated, I just wanted to finish but I arrived from College so tired so I kept posponing the deadline. My self limiting belief was that I was tired, it was so frustrating that bugs kept popping out and the editing of small details was such a pain, I loved doing it but it was still hard to keep on and not give up.

    Me new self-limiting belief yesterday was simply I”ll finish TODAY and I did :) My action step was immediatly dedicating the whole day to wrap everything up once and for all.