You Are Afraid of Freedom

You are afraid of freedom. You think this statement is absurd.

How can freedom be something to fear?

You think freedom is the very thing you need! You think it is your right! And it was taken from you against your will!

You did not show freedom that you wanted it. With Freedom comes responsibility. To deny one, is to deny the other.

You are afraid to take responsibility. Maybe you are still afraid.

And if you do not face that fear. If you do not face yourself.

You will forever deny responsibility to yourself.

You will forever deny your own freedom.

When will you grant yourself the freedom you seek?

Do not fall victim to the illusion of freedom being granted upon release.

You can physically be free and yet still be a prisoner.

Have you not been a victim of life? Have you not been a victim of your thinking?

You risk forever being a prisoner of your own mind.

You are in chains. And yet you have the key.

What will it take for you to release yourself?

External forces and occurrences come at you from the outside.

You think the meaning and effect of these forces and occurrences is already written.

But you are wrong. These forces are neutral. It is you that gives them meaning and power.

You may not be the creator of these forces. But you decide how it is written.

This is responsibility. This is freedom.

Many link freedom with the image of an Eagle.

You see the eagle breaking the chains of gravity.

You see it soar beyond the grasp of the earth.

And you think this power is of its own making.

Look closely. And reconsider the image that is formed in your mind. What gives the eagle flight?

It is the wind, and the updraft.

This same wind destroys trees, creates thunderous waves, and brings storms beyond reckoning.

But the eagle knows its own strengths. It shapes its wings and writes the story of the winds force, for its own making.

This is how the eagle breaks its chains from gravity.

It takes responsibility for the part it plays with the forces of the wind.

And so, it finds its freedom.

You are not the rabbit on the run. You are the eagle upon the rabbit.

Stop blaming the forces upon you. Stop blaming those that have wronged you. To blame these forces is to blame yourself.

Turn upon those forces, those evils, those wrongs that brought out the worst in you.

Face them and no longer allow them to limit you to a reactionary and angry state.

Re-write these forces for the greater good. Re-write these forces for the good of yourself and pay it forward for the good of others.

Now the forces, the occurrences, and the happenings come at you with immense power.

But now you know the truth. Now you know the part you play in the dance and drama with these forces.

You know who you are.

You are the eagle.

You do not run and hide. You square yourself. You face the forces upon you.

You spread your wings and shape your own story.

You claim responsibility.  You claim your freedom.

And you soar.

Thanks for Reading.

Sincerely, Kurt Petersen aka TheDreamHustler

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Who Are You – Identity Maps

Finding the answer to the question “Who are you” can be like walking through a maze full of distorted mirrors and mirages.

Making an Identity Map of ourselves can be a first step in giving us a point of reference. After all, there is no way to get to a destination, if you can’t find the starting point on the map.

Consider an Identity Map to be the starting point.

First, a word of encouragement:

You are a Bad Ass.

You may not know it yet. You may not believe it yet.

You just need to get to know yourself. I mean REALLY get to know the amazing Bad Ass person you really are.

Getting to know ourselves can be a real challenge. And there is no way to cheat the process.

Like anything in life…what you put into this process is what you will get out of it.

But you and I? We got this. We are courageous and worthy of the effort.

There is a lot I want to get done in my lifetime.

I have goals, dreams, and a purpose.

Still working on the defining of that purpose, but dammit I know I have one! 🙂

We all have a purpose to fulfill. None of us are here for nothing.

But in order for you or I to get to where we are headed. We need to know where it is we are meant to be going.

So who the heck am I anyways?

And who the heck are you?

Creating an Identity Map

can provide us with a start

on the mapping of the journey.

Identity Maps Highlight:

  • How you view yourself in relation to people such as family, neighbors, friends, and community
  • How you view yourself in relation to activities such as work, hobbies, and how else you may spend your time
  • How you view yourself in relation to personality, interests, and whatever is most important to you

Don’t Overthink It: Here’s Mine

  • Clarity of Who I am
  • Reminder of What is Important to Me
  • Remind me of my Purpose
  • Strengthen my Resolve
  • Clarify a Vision

Your turn…:)

  • How do you view yourself?
  • How do you describe yourself?
  • What is important to you?
  • What makes you who you are?

We can learn about ourselves by comparing our identities, perspectives, and experiences with others.

For example, look at the difference between your own Identity Map and the one I created.

What differences do you see?

You can learn a lot through comparison and contrast.

And by observing others, you can learn and identify more about yourself.

Important: Your Identity Map is not something that is fixed and eternal.

Obviously, you cannot change your ethnicity or nationality.

But other characteristics such as personality, physical fitness, and hobbies change as we grow and develop throughout our lives.

Your identity map reflects a state of mind and self-perception in the current moment.

Nothing is fixed and we are not meant to be stationary or remain unchanged.

We are called to question, learn, grown and develop into all that we were meant to be.



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Strengthen Your Motivation With Purpose – 3 important Questions

There are 3 important components to building lasting motivation.

The final step is to find and define the purpose for what you do.

Here, I will touch on what I have learned about Purpose and it’s 3 steps from my study of Behavior Change. But first, a few quotes to give weight to my argument, and just maybe a story or ramble to express the passion. 😉

While there are BLOG posts written for the first two components, I started with step 3- Purpose – because it is what I believe to be the most important piece of motivation.

“The human brain cannot sustain purposeless living…Its systems are designed for purposeful action.”          


“As human beings, we are not machines that are caused to do things. We are human agencies that do things for reasons: to achieve the purposes, goals, and meanings that we set for ourselves.”                                


Okay…Quotes and Pics in Place. Now you know it’s true and no more excuses. Here are the 3 steps you’ve been waiting for. See? I didn’t even Ramble!…yet.

Number 1 – Ask Yourself Why What You Do Matters

Number 2 – Ask Who You Can Help

Number 3 – Ask What You Can Help Others Do

Now can I ramble a bit? Perfect…

Getting Personal

Starting this website and BLOG has been scary at times! It has taken guts to look at all the things I have felt I was missing and to take a next step. I never, ever in my wildest imagination, thought I would have the courage and the audacity to tell my story, BLOG, and help people in such a public way.

The fear has NOT, I repeat NOT subsided. There is still so much to learn and to do. Social Media, SEO, finding and using my own unique voice, and keeping up with a time-line of scheduled articles.

Purpose, I repeat, P-U-R-P-O-S-E is how this is still happening.

The images below show the boards that I created to remind me of the ‘why’ and the deeper meaning for my Goals. When I become frozen and afraid of failure, these images move me forward.

While not categorized as Questions 1, 2, 3…these boards remind me of who I am doing my work for, what matters to me most, and how my openness and courage will hopefully help others.

Your Turn!!!

No doubt you and I have lofty goals. We are after all, experienced and chronic Dreamers. But dreaming isn’t what gets us to the Finish Line.

So you’ve done the work. You have taken the vision of your ideal future, and you have broken it down into actionable chunks.

You have your next steps and you are certain they will lead you to the Finish Line.

But watcha gonna do when the going gets tough?

How will you ensure that you keep your promise to yourself?

The answer is?…Find Your Purpose!!! Did I say that already? 😉

“Give life to your dreams, strength to your visions, and light to your path”

“Grant your journey the assurance of a safe arrival”

Shad Helmstetter, PhD

Sincerely, TheDreamHustler

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The Power of Thought

Many of us can imagine the following scenario from personal experience –

You have something that needs to get done. Maybe it’s a school project, an application for a job you really want, or any first necessary action that will lead to your goals and dreams. But when it comes to starting this first step, you are frozen with self-doubt and the infamous “what-ifs” set in.

Why don’t we minimize their power and let the negative thoughts and self-doubt pass?

Why do we hang on to them and let them stop us from achieving our full potential?

How can we stop this so that we can live the life each of us deserves to live?

The Power of thoughts 

Recent research has shown that our thoughts can change the physical structure of our brain, a phenomenon known as neuroplasticity.

Whatever “thoughts” we have programmed, or allowed others to program into our brains, are affecting, directing, or controlling everything about us.

So, what is a “Thought”?

Thoughts are key electrical impulses that direct us, control us, and wire neural networks into our brains.

While many of these thoughts are automatic and often reactionary, we have the ability to control which thoughts we attach significance to.

Our brain is a machine…a thinking machine.

We have over 50,000 thoughts per day.

Our brain is unbiased in its production of thoughts. It has no agenda. It creates thoughts from every end of the spectrum.

Our brain presents thoughts to us and waits for us to choose which ones to make true and which ones to throw away.

“Sometimes our mind is like the equivalent of a funhouse mirror, distorting and contorting and blurring our lives and our potential” -Gary John Bisho

A thought does not have any meaning or value until we choose to give it meaning and value in our lives.

What is the Solution? How do we conquer the thoughts in our head?

It is difficult to speak about the power of thought without addressing the power of Belief.

It is in our Beliefs that our true power and authority exist.

We Learn to Believe.

This simple fact opens up the doors for us.

“Belief does not require something to be true. It only requires us to believe that it’s true – most of what reality is, to each of us, is based on what we have come to believe – whether it’s true or not.” – Shad Helmstetter, PHD

If we can identify the negative thoughts about ourselves that we learned to be true…we can then unlearn them and change our beliefs about ourselves and the world around us.

By changing our beliefs about ourselves and our world we can change our circumstance.

Confirming and Actualizing our beliefs –  Making our Beliefs True through Action

A ‘Thought’ is just a thought. It is not True or False. And it has no power until we choose to give it power.

A thought does not have any meaning or value until we choose to give it meaning and value in our lives.

Doing and action are the quickest ways to change our thoughts.

Yes, thoughts can become our reality. But, when we act on things that are in our best interest, it has been shown that our thoughts will shift to match this.

Consider a time when you or I faced our fear and acted anyways…what happened?

For me, I would learn that

1) there was nothing to fear in the first place, and

2)my action became more powerful than my thought and so my positive action defined me in that moment and not my thought!

How about you?

“While your thoughts can become your reality, it’s only through your actions that your thoughts actually become your life” – Gary John Bishop

Dream to Reality – Steps of the Hustle

Let’s say we want to become a runners. To be more specific, let’s say we want to complete a 5k run.

We have never run before, or at least we have never considered ourselves to be athletic. Our thoughts in our heads are on repeat.

We choose to focus on the thoughts circled in the image above.

We choose to believe only those thoughts.

Now we run 50 yards. It doesn’t matter how long it took, how how slow we ran.

All that matters is in that moment we were running. In that moment, we are runners.

Remember that moment. Then repeat the action, adding another 10 yards. And again, in that moment we ARE running.

Each day. We add 10 yards. Each day we run. Each day through action, we are running.

Our mind cannot deny this fact. We have proven it and made it true through action.

We teach our minds to believe. We implant a new permanent thought and belief system into our minds through action.


We can be runners. We can run. We have been running. We ARE Runners. We ARE competitors in a 5k run.

Final Thoughts

Remember, we are not our thoughts. We are what we do.

Trust that action can come before belief. Action can speak louder and redefine thoughts.

And if we align our actions so that they lead us to face our fear and overcome our self-doubt, then our thoughts will follow suit.

I hope that each of us learns to change our Beliefs. And that we choose to grow those thoughts that bring us eternal peace.

Thanks for Reading


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Achieving Authority of Self – Who Are You?

Authority of Self – Be Your Own Compass. Part of knowing where you are going comes from knowing who you are.

“To know yourself, you must sacrifice the illusion that you already do.”
Vironika Tugaleva, The Art of Talking to Yourself

I invite you to ask yourself the following question…

Who Are You?

Learning how to answer this question can be daunting at first.

But the search for these answers can be a worthwhile investment in your peace, happiness, and success.

I am an introvert. And, like any introvert, I prefer to be alone. However, because I was so misunderstood, and because I did not understand myself, I often felt alone in the world.  

To clarify…for me, loneliness has little to do with physically being alone. It is about feeling alone. This feeling of loneliness stems from not being understood by others.

Even as an introvert, I crave the human connection. This connection starts with an understanding and appreciation of each other.

But how can we ourselves be appreciated if we don’t know who we are?

I Don’t Know Who I Am…So What?

“Tell me about yourself”

“What do you like to do for fun?”

And worst of all….

“What do you want to be when you grow up?”

“What would you like to do next in your career?”

“What are your strengths? Weaknesses?”

I used to get a lot of anxiety from these questions. Correction, I can still get anxious from these questions.

But I have learned that my anxiety comes from Not knowing the answers.

This has not only affected my personal life.

It has limited my confidence at work and caused me to limit myself and to get in my own way.

I have lacked clarity and purpose in my life for many years.

I have allowed myself to be defined by labels because without self-awareness, I had no means of creating and defining the labels for myself.

It is time for a new mindset.

So…Where Do We Start?

Here are some key Questionnaires, Personality, and Career Models that I believe are worth looking at.

  1. Meyers-Briggs Test – MBTI

I have taken the Meyers-Briggs test. It was a great help and it gave me confidence by allowing me to clarify to myself and to others who I am.

I don’t believe the solution ends at identifying results from a test or questionnaire.

True learning and true achievement is found in the act of doing.

A great book that will enable you to bridge the gap between learning and doing something about it is the book, “Do What You Are” by Paul D. Tieger, Barbara Barron, and Kelly Tieger.

  • Enneagram Model

I have not yet taken the Enneagram Model Questionnaire.

My research of the Enneagram Model identifies it as a great tool for discovering insight into motivation theory.

I will be taking the test this week and will be sure to share my results and feedback.

There is a great book on the Enneagram Model – “Understanding the Enneagram” by Don Richard Riso and Russ Hudson

It is my hope that this book again, is a tool that helps bridge the gap from learning to doing.

  • The book “What Color Is Your Parachute?” by Richard N. Bolles

A great book which enables us to identify our strengths.

This book helps us utilize our strengths in our current roles.

And, it can help us identify our future dream jobs and transition into them.

What Have I Learned So Far?

Learning about myself and taking ownership of who I am has allowed me to understand how and why I think or perceive the world around me the way I do.

It has allowed me to begin to see that I have a purpose and unique gifts to bring to the world that can add value to others. 

And yes, I have begun to learn the answers to those dreaded questions I listed above.

As I have begun to take seriously the task of learning about myself and who I am, there have been positive affects in my life I did not anticipate.

I developed confidence and my anxiety has become significantly reduced.

I have made the realization…

If we don’t know who we are, then how can we make sure that our actions are aligned with our beliefs?

My work with others…

It is how to work with others that is the secret equation that must be discovered.

This equation is different for each of us.

Whether we have developed the words for the question we are asking is irrelevant.

The question we are asking each other is, “how best do I work with you?”

“What do you need from me in order for this relationship, work/personal or otherwise to make this work”?

We are asking for parameters and understanding of each other so that we are comfortable with each other and can move forward in harmony. 

By knowing who we are, we allow for others to not take us personally. We learn to clarify what it is we need and provide for others, a basic understanding of ourselves.

This not only alleviates stress or anxiety in the other party. It alleviates a huge amount of stress and anxiety from ourselves.

Once I discovered this, I felt an immense amount of freedom for the first time since I was a child.  

A Call To Action – Discovering Who You Are…Finding Clarity and Purpose

“We have no greater leverage over our own lives than through the development of self-knowledge” – Charles D. Hayes, Proving Your Qualified

“The only way to be truly deliberate is to understand yourself” – Charles D. Hayes, Proving Your Qualified

What is your purpose?

What are you living for?

If you have the answers to these questions…you are well ahead of me.


If you have any hesitation…

If there is the smallest piece of you, some corner uncovered…

I urge you.

We only live once. Get moving.

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We Are the Ultimate Variable in Our Lives

I have been participating in a course entitled, “The Psychology of Personal Growth”.

One of the lectures touches on how varied our perceptions can be based on our personality and our state of minds. All of which can be affected and influenced by the people and experiences that have shaped us.

These influences by people, circumstances and occurrences in our lives are all ‘variables’. They are what is responsible for much of the uniqueness in the world when it comes to our personality, attitudes, and beliefs.

Each one of us is a product of different combinations of these variables.

This got me to thinking…

The very word, “variable” means that they are factors or influences that are not fixed. In addition, we can control these variables affects on our lives by adjusting their meanings and how we interpret them. In other words, we can change their affect on us by changing how we choose to view them. In so doing, we change our beliefs and so change their meaning in our lives.

A mountain can appear to be an enormous obstacle to overcome or an opportunity to achieve an unforgettable view of the world. By changing our belief of the variable (the mountain), we inadvertently change the meaning of the variable and its’ effect on us.

So often we think that our lives are left up to fate.

We begrudgingly hang on to statements like “the glass is half full”, “the grass is always greener”, or “the sky is partly sunny” as if we are too accept our fate as the co-pilot to our lives.

But the truth is much greater and brighter than that. We are given the power of Belief and Perception.

We are the Ultimate Variable in our lives.

We can change our minds perception about what was, what is, and what will be.

In the final movie of the Harry Potter Series, there is a scene after Harry is killed in which he asks the Professor a question. Harry asks, “Professor, is this really happening or is it all in my head?”. The Professor’s response is, “Of course it’s in your head Harry…but when does that make it any less real?”.

What we choose to believe is real IS what will be real and true for our lives.

For so long we have let others determine our fate by convincing us of what is real and true about our own lives. Be your own vote on the matter and choose for yourself what your truth will be.

We can change the meaning of what fate delivers by changing our beliefs about an occurrence. By changing our beliefs, we literally change the circumstance. And by changing the circumstance, we change our lives…Awesome!!!

-Thanks for listening


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4 Levels of Self-Talk

Levels of Self-Talk

“May we learn to speak to ourselves in a more deserving manner. May we achieve a level of self-talk that tugs at our hearts, touches our hopes, and paints in the pictures that color our dreams. May we strengthen the armor of our spirit and harden the steel of our determination.”

Self-Talk is a way to override our past negative programming by replacing it with conscious new positive direction.

It offers us the opportunity to no longer be the product of conditioned response and instead to be governed by personal choice.

Level 1 – The Level of Negative Acceptance

Represents our simplest misgivings and our worst fears we have about ourselves.

It is the source of our hesitation, questioning of our capabilities, and our justification for accepting less than we know we could have done.

It turns self-assurance into self-doubt and chaos.

Level 2 – The Level of Recognition and a Need to Change

“This level is beguiling”. On the surface, it looks as though it should work for us. But instead, it works against us.

This level recognizes the need for change but still leaves us with an internal message that sounds like…

“I would really like to be…but I am not”…which leaves us stuck in place.

Level 3 – The Level of Decision to Change (“I never…” or “I no longer…”)

This is the first level of self-talk that works for us rather than against us. In this level, we recognize the need to change and make the decision to do something about it.

We state our decision in the present tense as though the change has already taken place. We have faith in the fact that the subconscious mind will believe anything you tell it as long as you tell it long enough and strongly enough.

Level 4 – The Level of the Better You (“I am…”)

This is the kind of self-talk that is needed most. This level of self-talk inspires, encourages, urges, and implores. It excites, demands, and pushes us forward.

At this level, we paint a completed new picture of ourselves the way we really want to be. We plant this picture in our subconscious making it become true.

We state our new picture and behaviors in the present tense and give our brains a completed picture of the task and goal we wish to accomplish.

Notes Taken From:

Helmstetter, Shad, (1982). What to say when you talk to yourself. Scottsdale, AZ: Grindle Press

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Achieving Goals – What to Say When You Talk To Yourself

“Give life to your dreams, strength to your visions, and light to your path”

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Grant your journey the assurance of a safe arrival

Give Life to Your Dreams, Give Strength to Your Visions, Give Light to Your Path

Set Worthy Goals:

Setting goals, and working at reaching them, is an important piece of becoming a healthy human being.

Worthy goals are essential to true and lasting fulfillment.

Choose the Right Words:

Grant your journey the assurance of a safe arrival.

Give to your goals the gift of your own self-assurance.

Add the words of daily direction and encouragement of self-talk to your goals.

Any well-set goal deserves the benefit of well-said words.

Practice Mindfulness:

Monitor your self-talk by practicing mindfulness – a concept from the practice of meditation.

Mindfulness heightens our awareness and helps us take control of the story we tell ourselves.

Mindfulness is the presence of a calm, alert, and deliberate awareness of the present moment.

-Notes from the Book “What to say when you talk to yourself” by Shad Helmstetter, PHD.

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