Archive for the Motivational Category

3 Ideas How to Take the Pressure Off

Posted in Motivational, Sales Coaching, Southwestern Consulting with tags , , , on February 8, 2016 by Dustin Hillis

We live in a world of unmet expectations. We are consumed with struggling through the daily grind to be successful, or stripping away stresses to find our inner-self and calmness, or indulging in everything life has to offer to just be happy. We feel “less than”, pressure, and frustrated when we don’t achieve what we are longing for. We make an idol of success, tranquility or happiness.

Tim Keller said it best in his book Counterfeit Gods, “When an idol gets a grip on your heart, it spins out a whole set of false definitions of success and failure and happiness and sadness. It redefines reality in terms of itself.”

It’s mind-boggling how some of the most successful people I know are so full of insecurity and self-doubt. The outside world thinks these people are the most successful people who have it all together, and the reality is they are freaking out on the inside and putting too much pressure on themselves. I remember feelings of extreme pressure that I would put on myself, and thoughts of being less than no matter what I accomplished or achieved.

I’m sure you’re asking yourself right now, “this sounds good, but how in the world am I supposed to do this?”

Here are 3 Ideas on how do we take the pressure off:

  1. Take a reality check. Ask yourself these two question:
    • During your idle time, where is your head at? What do you literally think about when you are left by yourself?
    • If you were 100% honest with yourself, where are you at emotionally?
  1. Find the root of the problem. Typically, there are three main root issues that cause us to put too much pressure on ourselves.
    1. “Comparison is the thief of all joy” – Any time we compare ourselves to anyone else, it creates pressure. There will always be someone else who is better, faster, better looking, stronger and smarter. We are all inadequate to everyone at something.
    2. Not having fun. – Your attitude is a choice. Your energy level is a choice. Choosing to have fun and be joyful in every single thing you do every single day is a choice.   Most people live in a reactionary state. They just let things happen to them and just think “woe is me”, or they take themselves so seriously they leave no room to simply have fun.
    3. Feeling like a failure. – Feeling like a failure is the granddaddy of all root issues when it comes to putting too much pressure on ourselves. Failure is part of life. No one is perfect. Anyone who expects to be perfect at anything will be guaranteed to feel like a failure because it’s impossible to be perfect at anything over a long period of time. At some point, we will all break. Often, it takes us reaching our breaking point to be able to accept our brokenness and dig down to the root of our problems.

3.  Focus on Unconditional Confidence.

In Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, the highest level is “self-actualization” which focuses on morality, creativity, spontaneity, problem solving, lack of prejudice and acceptance of facts.

Screen Shot 2016-02-07 at 7.36.14 AM

The difference between Maslow’s “self-actualization” and Unconditional Confidence is that Unconditional Confidence cannot be found inside yourself. Unconditional Confidence is not a goal or something you achieve. Unconditional Confidence comes from an understanding that you were created for a higher calling. You were created to die to your selfishness, and your highest achievement in life is to love, serve and care for other people. Another great book by Tim Keller – Every Good Endeavor – does an excellent job at describing in detail how to have Unconditional Confidence.

There are three types of confidences and our goal is to strive to be Unconditionally Confident.

  1. False Confidence – Faking it until you make it has its place and time. However, we need to quickly get ourselves out of a false confidence state once we embark on trying something new. False Confidence is saying you’re going to do something, or thinking you are good at something with no real evidence to back it up. There are plenty of people out there who say “I could have done that if I really wanted to” or “I’m going to be number one.” Etc.
  2. Conditional Confidence – Conditional Confidence comes into play after we’ve set the stage with our False Confidence. We’ve set an expectation for ourselves that we are supposed to be a certain way or accomplish certain things, and then when the results are less than what we hoped for, we feel defeated and less than. Conditional Confidence is contingent on results. If we win, we feel good. If we lose, we feel pressure. Conditional Confidence is equivalent to the 4th level of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs – “Esteem: self esteem, confidence, achievement, respect for others, respect by others”. Most of us get stuck with Conditional Confidence our whole life.
  3. Unconditional Confidence – People who are Unconditionally Confident have figured out their purpose in life and what they are called to do. Once we have figured that out, we then get to work every day knowing we are making a difference in the world through our work habits, not our results.

If taking the pressure off is something that you need to focus on, print off this quote and read it aloud every day for the next year:

“I do not expect success all the time, but due to the belief in my gifts and God-given abilities in addition to my knowledge and acquired skills, I can be fearless in the moment. In reality, self-worth has nothing to do with the outcome. So when the pressure comes, I cannot hesitate. Knowing sometimes I will do well and sometimes I won’t, regardless, I know failure is temporary and success will happen with perseverance.”

Being Positive vs. Positive Self-Talk

Posted in dustin hillis, Motivational, Sales Coaching, Sales Tips, self talk on January 12, 2016 by Dustin Hillis

Being Positive vs Positive Self-Talk

The Four Degrees of Selfishness

Posted in dustin hillis, Motivational with tags , , , , on October 2, 2015 by Dustin Hillis

It wasn’t until I fully understood the degree of my selfishness that I was able to change. Don’t get me wrong. I have not arrived, nor will I ever feel like “I’ve arrived”. However, I feel like God has me on the right path and I have to daily check my compass to make sure I’m staying the course.

All of my life I’ve been focused on looking good and impressing other people. Early in my childhood I developed a “Performer” mindset where performing = love. The need to always be perfect and always “on” is a scary place to be. The reason being, we are all human, sinners, and it’s inevitable we will make mistakes. For the longest time, I always thought the things I did and mistakes I made were unforgivable and caused me shame and guilt, and I never learned how to accept love. However, what God has painfully showed me is that the most heinous of all my character flaws is not the things that I’ve done my whole life, as C. S. Lewis says in his book Mere Christianity, “the chief of all sins is selfishness. Selfishness is the sin of the Devil.”

Mere Christianity


The first degree of selfishness: Nature – “Mine”

I’ve been selfish my whole life, ever since I could crawl and say the word “mine”. While getting my Psychology degree at the University of Tennessee, we studied child psychology and it is amazing understanding the concepts in nature versus nurture. Our human nature is to be selfish. No one has to teach us this; it just is the state we are born in. So many of us never leave the first degree of selfishness during our whole life. Like a little baby who thinks the whole universe revolves around them, we only look out for number one and think everything should be “mine”.


The second degree of selfishness: Nurture – “I deserve”

After evolving out of the first degree of selfishness, we become much more sophisticated with our egotism. We start playing the nice societal roles we are conditioned and “nurtured” to play. This is where we understand the universe doesn’t revolve around ourselves, so we then start thinking, “look at how sophisticated, smart and nice I am to share and understand the universe doesn’t revolve around me. Aren’t I special? I deserve respect. I deserve to be rewarded. I deserve to be special.”

Feeling like we deserve anything as a result of an act we did is the second degree of selfishness. The reality is we do not deserve anything for our acts. If we are called to be focused on serving other people and laying down our own selfish desires, then the idea of thinking about what “I deserve” is a recipe for disaster. Once the seed is planted that you deserved something, even if you get what you think you deserve, it will create an appetite for wanting more and feeling like you deserve more. The reality is that everything good in this world has been given to you by the grace, mercy, and love of God. Understanding that He is the giver of all good things helps take the focus off of feeling like you have to earn your way into something you deserve.


The third degree of selfishness: Narcissism

Definition – noun: narcissism:  Excessive or erotic interest in oneself and one’s physical appearance.

  1. Psychology: extreme selfishness, with a grandiose view of one’s own talents and a craving for admiration, as characterizing a personality type.
  2. Psychoanalysis: self-centeredness arising from failure to distinguish the self from external objects, either in very young babies or as a feature of mental disorder.

Origin: early 19th century: via Latin from the Greek name Narkissos (see Narcissus) + -ism.

After experiencing the hell of the third degree of selfishness, I know that with God’s grace and mercy I will never go back. The third degree of selfishness is where you stop caring about other people and all you are focused on is looking good, sounding smart, appearing to be in control, being respected, being recognized for achieving amazing accomplishments. As soon as we lose the ability to consider other people and cannot be authentic, transparent and tell the truth to everyone in our lives, we start to enter into the third degree of selfishness.

In 2010, I went down the third degree of selfishness path and truly hit rock bottom. I did things that have no justification at all. I was so consumed with what I deserve, looking good, sounding smart, being respected, appearing in control, and seeking recognition that I hit the self-destruct button on my entire life. Then a year later after realizing the degree of my selfishness, the damage had been done. So I did what my instincts told me to do… lie. Just hide and bury the truth and never tell anyone the degree of my selfishness. After all, there is no way anyone would respect, forgive or love someone who is this selfish.


The fourth degree of selfishness: Self Destruction & Addition


In The Furious Longing of God, Brennan Manning explains that Shame and Guilt are the tools of the devil. Any screw tape that you hear playing in your head revolving around shaming you or making you feel guilty is a message straight from the pit of hell. The fourth degree is the scariest place to be. This is where you can become so overwhelmed by shame and guilt you might feel like it’s easier to check out or possibly just end it. Most people turn to addictions in this phase to numb the pain of their shame and guilt. There are many, many forms of addictions. We could be addicted to work, alcohol, drugs, food, narcissism, pornography, caffeine, pills, etc. After several close acquaintances in my life commit suicide, hearing the news of their death always has the same effect on me of a tidal wave of emotions with shock, anger and sadness. After personally experiencing the full measure of the fourth degree of selfishness, I now have a very small glimpse of how people think it’s possible to take their own life. After all, it’s the ultimate form of selfishness.


The good news!

The good news is there is a Way out of this hell. There is a Light at the end of this tunnel. It starts with the Truth. THE ONLY WAY TO THE LIGHT IS THROUGH THE TRUTH. Brutal, relentless, honest, embracing, humbling truth. Start with taking an inventory of your life. Ask God to show you the mirror and reveal to you the degree of your selfishness. Write down all of the ways you are being or have ever been inconsiderate, unempathetic, damaging to others and selfish. This exercise will probably be the hardest thing you’ve ever done. Most of us couldn’t even handle seeing the degree of our selfishness through God’s eyes, so He will only show you what you can handle. You will know if you’re doing this successfully if you are absolutely wrecked, broken and ripped apart after praying for God to show you the degree of your true sins. Once you have an understanding of your selfishness, you need to own your mistakes and ask for forgiveness. Anyone you’ve ever hurt, damaged or caused pain in any way. Call them or take them out to coffee, look them right in the eye and tell them what you did to hurt them, own it, and ask for forgiveness.  Being selfish destroys trust. Telling the brutal truth is the only way to restore trust.  Start with telling yourself the truth that you are a selfish, self centered, ego-driven human sinner and without God’s grace and mercy you have no hope.


At the end of the day we are all called to die to our selfish desires. This is counter culture. The world tells us the opposite. We have a decision to make every single day. The decision is simple, but it’s not easy. Are you going to focus on yourself and what you deserve, or are you going to lay down your selfish desires and serve others? I promise the results of these decisions are vastly different.


Posted in Motivational with tags , , , , , on May 25, 2015 by Dustin Hillis

May 25th, 2015 – Memorial Day. Thank you to all the men and women who have valiantly made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. This blog is dedicated to you.


The free world is not run by oppressive dictators because of the bravery of the individuals who fight against the tyranny of evil. Some of my best friends and family members have been part of the war against evil. They have shared with me their personal stories of how they helped the people of other countries try to rebuild after the genocide of an evil dictator.

My favorite books to read and movies to watch are the ones based on a true story of epic heroism to overcome evil. Evil is the producer of fear, death, and destruction. King David was one of the most fearless warriors of all time and the Bible says he was a man after Gods heart. Another one of the most fearless warriors who’s ever lived was King Leonidas, (c. 530-480 B.C.), King of the Spartans whose bravery is shown in the Hollywood produced and dramatized, yet epic movie, 300. This historical account documents King Leonidas paying the ultimate sacrifice along with 300 of his most fearless Spartan soldiers at the battle of Thermopylae. They chose to die and inspired all the city states to unite and fight for their freedom!

We still have fearless warriors like King David and Leonidas protecting us today. One of those warriors is Adam Brown who’s life story is depicted in the book Fearless: The Undaunted Courage and Ultimate Sacrifice of Navy SEAL Team SIX Operator Adam Brown

Adam Brown - Fearless

Adam Brown – Fearless

Adam Brown believed that being fearless is what God has called us to be and do. “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” —Isaiah 41:10

On this Memorial Day we can all honor the fearless soldiers like Adam Brown who have died in battle by being fearless ourselves. When we have to make a sacrifice of personal gain to do the right thing, that is an act of fearlessness. Confronting a tough problem head-on is being fearless. Letting go of anxiety and worry and trusting God is being fearless. Most of all dying to ourselves and stamping out our own self-seeking desires in the service of others is the best expression of fearlessness.

Everyone has the ability to be fearless and good, and everyone has the ability to be selfish and evil. There is a battle happening everyday both in the physical world and the spiritual world. The battle for your mind and your heart is the scariest battleground. On any given day you can choose to be the fear monger like the evil tyrants or fearless like our fallen heroes. Today the challenge for us all is to put on our figurative armor that allows us to stand “in the readiness of the gospel of peace,”…. pick up our “shield of faith”, and draw the sword of fearless love to be a light in the world and honor the most fearless people of all. Thank you to all the current soldiers in the military and the families who support them!

How to Embrace Failure

Posted in Motivational with tags , , , , on May 20, 2015 by Dustin Hillis

high-ropes-course-234101_1280Most of my life I’ve wasted exorbitant amounts of energy trying to overcome my failures and manage my brokenness. I have fled from my failures, tried to hide my mistakes and put on a fake smile to mask my pain and regrets. In the book The Furious Longing of God, Brennan Manning provides keen insight into how God’s mercy is shown by Him not allowing us to fully see the depth of our brokenness, as we wouldn’t be able to handle it. The more of life’s battles I endure, the more it has become apparent that success has nothing to do with overcoming failures. God has called us to embrace our failures.

Failure is inevitable. If you haven’t experienced a multitude of failures in your life, it’s probably a result from an even more significant quandary of playing the game of life too safe, not taking chances, not putting your heart and soul into your passions in life, or you’re in denial. Chances are you have experienced failure and then felt shame or embarrassment about your failure. Possibly, you went into problem-solving mode to overcome and/or manage your failure so you could be proud of the fact that you are self-sufficient and overcame your weaknesses. Does this ring familiar?

C.S. Lewis said it in best in his best-selling book Mere Christianity that the scariest person is the one who thinks nothing is wrong with them. Trying to be in control, managing our mistakes and acting as if we are never wrong creates a façade and turns us into a pious, judging people which is not how God called us to live. Embracing our failures is admitting we’ve failed, committing to changing and being extraordinarily cognizant and intentional to not make the same mistake twice. Once we embrace our failures we will find grace, redemption, hope and love. Through grace, we can embrace our failures and grow.

Here are five ways embracing failure can work for you, according to Jeremy Bloom’s article This Is What It Means to Embrace Failure on

  1. We learn some of our best lessons through failure.
  2. Failure inspires us. If we look at it properly and don’t allow it to define us, failure can be a great source of motivation.
  3. Failure teaches us humility. We feel humble after losing and recognize that we are indeed human.
  4. Embracing failure allows us to take more risks. Once we come to terms with having failed and survived, we can take greater risks.
  5. Failure makes success taste even better. We have a better appreciation of success having failed a few times on the way up the ladder.


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