Marissa Raisor

Posted: September 30, 2014 in October

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Excert from

HMag had the opportunity to sit down and chat with Miss Hooters International, Marissa Raisor. She is just as humble as she is beautiful and has the most infectious giggle paired with a smile that is sure to make your heart melt. Born in the small town of Shelbyville Kentucky, Marissa admitted that she hadn’t been exposed to much, so when she was given the chance, she took it and ran with it!

It all started at her local store in Newport Kentucky where they hosted their annual District Bikini Contest. Marissa took the stage by storm and people noticed. She placed first in her district and then moved on to the Regional Bikini Contest which gathered some of Hooters finest from Kentucky, Tennessee, Indiana and Ohio. When she placed within the top five she was then told she would be a part of the Miss Hooters International Pageant in the famous city of Vegas!

Marissa arrived in Vegas, lucky enough to do so with her two best friends who were in the pageant as well, one of them being Kathy Deihl, HMag’s very own Bright and Beautiful

(see pg. 60). Marissa was able to enjoy the city a little bit before the rigorous schedule of rehearsals began.  She recalled visiting the Bellagio Fountains and thinking “Man, I really live under a rock!”, she has a funny sense of humor like that. Before she knew it 5am had arrived and she was being woken up for Hair and Make up. She soon realized taping up her feet to help endure the lengthy rehearsal days in pageant heels would have to be added to her daily beauty routine. However, those long days she spoke of seemed to have worked out in her favor.

Then the moment had arrived, it was down to the final two, Marissa was one of them. Just happy to be there and have been given the opportunity, her excitement out weighed her nerves, however, when Marissa Raisor was announced the new Hooters Miss International, she was suddenly flooded with shock and emotion. Since that defining moment in her life, Marissa has been able to travel and experience things she never thought imaginable.

Just recently she was made the Cover Girl in the 2014 Hooters Calendar, threw the first pitch at the Cincinnati Reds game and she landed a role in Adam Sandler’s most recent movie Blended, all within the first 4 months of her reign.

Marissa held her head up high and proud when she spoke of being a brand ambassador for Hooters and that she looks forward to the future possibilities with the company.



Dreamchasa Mag. Publisher Vernon Amare Allen and Marissa Raisor Hooters in Taylor, MI.



Explore the premium skincare boutique at Somerset Collection.

Nearly 160 years ago, Kiehl’s was founded as an old-world apothecary, providing natural skin moisturizers, eye treatments, body oils and lotions in New York’s East Village neighborhood-—and the brand became popular around the world.

Now, Kiehl’s has opened Michigan’s first flagship store in the Somerset Collection in Troy, featuring throwback charm with its men’s shaving bar, personal consultation tables and Kiehl’s signature motorcycle.

Chris Salgardo, president of Kiehl’s USA, said the company opened the store because metro Detroiters were traveling as far away as New York City to shop in an actual store instead of a department store.

The 720-square-foot store, featuring exposed brick walls and a restored wood floor, is stocked with all Kiehl’s products, including its most popular Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado, Blue Astringent Herbal Lotion, Rosa Arctica Youth Regenerating Cream, and the best-selling Ultra Facial Moisturizer.

“This is the No. 1-selling moisturizer for us around the world,” Salgardo says. “It’s a great moisturizer that basically provides 24 hours of hydration from the moment you put it on.”

Writer: Vernon Amare Allen

JROTC Programs Prepare for Leadership

Posted: September 30, 2014 in Local


Detroit-area Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps military-based programs prepare nearly 3,000 Detroit high school students for leadership roles in their communities.

When Kelvin Felton saw the Junior Reserve Officers Training Corp (JROTC) class on his school schedule at East English Village Preparatory Academy, he shrugged his shoulders. He didn’t pay much attention in the first couple of classes, but when Sgt. 1st Class Roddie Arlien engaged him, a light went on.

“He made it real fun—real interactive,” says Felton. “He gave us something to look forward to, and that’s when I just really got into it.”

Felton is one of 460 students at Village Prep enrolled in the JROTC program, which is offered to more than 2,700 students at 13 Detroit high schools. The federally funded citizenship course, sponsored by the U.S. armed forces, prepares students for leadership roles while making them aware of their rights and privileges as productive members of society. Trained by U.S. Army officers, students wear military uniforms once weekly and learn the basics about the military, as well as current events, military history and international affairs.

Students seems to stand taller and walk straighter as they learn respect for authority, marksmanship and how to think critically.

Arlien says JROTC’s mission is to motivate young people. The program also encourages cadets to be good planners, make sound decisions, write a resume and manage a budget.

“What we’re trying to do is bring out the best in them,” says Arlien; “their leadership skills, abilities and gifts.”

During special occasions, ceremonies, and at school on Wednesdays, cadets are required to wear the JROTC uniform, which consists of green slacks, a light green shirt and accessories to reinforce the importance of self-appearance and attention to detail.

Felton says that when he wears his uniform, decorated with his ranks and ribbons, symbols of his accomplishments in the program, he feels a great sense of pride.

Dakharia Hemphill, a senior at Village Prep, has participated in JROTC for four years. The battalion commander mentors other cadets. Hemphill says the difference between cadets and “When we have them do things correct and in order,” she says. “It sets them apart from everybody else.”

Writer: Vernon Amare Allen


Delectable Delights

Posted: August 18, 2014 in Local, Uncategorized


After surprising her at-the-time boyfriend with chocolate covered strawberries for Valentine’s Day, Jennifer Floyd says that after a few tries they turned out to be pretty good.  She says she’s been making chocolate favors ever since.

Floyd describes herself as a “True Chocolatier” and currently works under the company name Chocolate Candy by Jennifer.  She says she provides customers with high quality chocolate and ingredients to ensure that her product is distinct and delectable.

“I can virtually create, mold, dip, and drizzle anything with chocolate.  If something is edible, I will find a way to incorporate chocolate,” says Floyd.

When asked what distinguishes her chocolate from others, Jennifer said it’s her individuality that sets her apart.

“My candy is made by me!  I focus on a lot more details than most,” says Floyd.  “. . . I paint with needles and I even use syringes . . . I also provide sugar-free candy upon request.”

While Chocolate Candy by Jennifer caters to individuals, it also services celebratory events such as weddings, baby showers, birthdays, Valentine’s Day, graduations and many others.

Floyd says that her candy is becoming increasingly more popular, with the most popular items being the chocolate covered Oreos and the pretzels.  She also provides adult candy which she describes as “a real favorite for romantic holidays and bachelor/bachelorette festivities.”

Floyd encourages anyone who is interested to visit her website at to see the wide variety of products she offers.

“There is no event or occasion where chocolate(s) would not be appreciated,” says Floyd.

Writer: Vernon Amare Allen

Bernice Burgos

Posted: May 29, 2014 in May

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Meet Bernice Burgos, a 100% Puerto Rican actress, print and video model from the Bronx, New York, who has appeared in a movie, several urban magazines, websites, and Hip Hop music videos. Burgos has appeared in various print publications including KING Magazine, Show Magazine, The Source, XXL Eye Candy, SHOW Black Lingerie #14 and video shoots with Black Men Magazine and Hot New Hip Hop.

She has appeared in several music videos including “Rick Ross featuring Drake and Wale’s “Diced Pineapples,” J-Cole’s “Work Out”, Hal Linton’s “Southern Hospitality” and Jaheim’s “Ain’t Leaving Without You”.

Bernice also appeared in the 2009 movie “Notorious”, remembering the late great Notorious B.I.G.

Bernice stands 5’7, weighs approximately 120 lbs. and her measurements are 36-25-40.


Connect with Bernice

Twitter: @berniceburgos

Instagram: realberniceburgos


Dreamchasa Mag. Publisher Vernon Allen and May Beauty of the Month Bernice Burgos in Detroit.


20-questions-your-mindIn the long run, the simple questions you ask yourself on a regular basis will determine the type of person you become.

“Today, I miss who I was.  I miss the girl who had something to be proud of.  I miss the girl who was genuinely happy in her own skin.  I miss the girl who was innocent and free and thought for herself.  I miss the girl who would look in the mirror and not see every flaw.  I miss the girl who didn’t let the negative words of others bother her.  I’ve transformed myself to make everyone else like me.  But now I don’t like me.  I really miss who I was.”

That’s the opening paragraph to a long, heartfelt email I received last night from a reader named Lori.  Her email goes on to, inadvertently, describe nearly a dozen self-defeating questions she asks herself on a regular basis – questions I know for a fact she doesn’t even mean to be asking.

Negativity often breeds not from the answers we receive from this world, but from the questions we ask ourselves every day.  Like Lori, if you ask negative questions, you will get negative answers.  There are no positive answers to:

  • “Why me?”
  • “Why didn’t I?”
  • “What if I’m not good enough?”
  • etc.

Think about it.  Would you allow someone else to ask you the demoralizing questions you sometimes ask yourself?  I doubt it.  So stop and swap them for questions that push you in a positive direction.  Here are some ideas to get you started…

  1. What could you be grateful for and positive about right now, if you really wanted to? – Your greatest weapon against stress and negativity is your ability to choose one thought over another.  Happiness escapes from those who refuse to see the good in what they have.  When life gives you every reason to be negative, think positive.
  2. What’s one problem you’re thankful you don’t have? – Smile right now; not because life has been easy, perfect, or exactly as you had anticipated, but because you choose to be happy and grateful for all the good things you do have, and all the problems you know you don’t have.
  3. What are you holding on to that you need to let go of? – Oftentimes holding on actually makes us weaker, and letting go builds our strength.  Does that thing you were extremely upset about six months ago, or last year, really matter now?  I bet it doesn’t.  And if you’re still thinking about it, it’s not serving your best interests.  (Read The Untethered Soul.)
  4. Who, or what, needs your forgiveness? – Forgiveness doesn’t always lead to healed relationships and situations.  Some relationships and situations aren’t meant to be.  Forgive anyway, and let what’s meant to be, BE.  Go ahead and set yourself free.  When you hold resentment toward another, you are bound to that person or condition by an emotional link that is stronger than steel.  Forgiveness is the only way to dissolve that link and break free.
  5. What’s the right thing to do? – Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.  Just because it’s easy, doesn’t mean it’s worth your while.  Do what’s right, not what’s easy.  It’s a far less stressful way to live.
  6. What’s something nice you can do for someone else right now? – Do all the good you can, to as many people as you can, as often as you can.  No act of love and kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.  Good vibes always come back around.
  7. What compliments have you received lately? – Remember, butterflies don’t know the color of their wings, but the human eyes know how beautiful they are.  Likewise, in the haste of your busy days, you likely don’t notice just how great you are, but others nearby still see that you are incredible.  When someone says something nice about you, it’s worth remembering.
  8. What do you know you’re great at? – Although it’s nice to hear people compliment you, it’s not essential to your self-worth.  And if no one offers to give you a compliment, give yourself one.  You are GOOD enough, SMART enough and STRONG enough.  You don’t need other people to validate you every minute; you are VALUABLE!  Notice your strengths, focus on them, and celebrate them.
  9. What would you do differently if you knew nobody would judge you? – Truth be told, you can’t please everyone and you shouldn’t try.  Care less about what the haters say about you and smile more about what you know is true.  Live your life and be happy with yourself, without their negative judgments.  Practice listening to compliments and constructive criticism, and ignoring insults and negativity.  It’s far from easy, but it’s worth working on.
  10. What activities help you feel most like yourself? – In other words, figure out what motivates you to grow into your most authentic self.  And remember that you can’t grow unless you’re willing to change.  But as you grow you’ll notice you don’t change much… you just become more of who YOU are.
  11. What gets you excited about life? – Think… If you truly wanted to be excited right now, what could you get excited about?  Find it and focus on it more often.  When you truly believe in what you’re doing, it shows and it pays.  Success in life is for those who are excited about where they’re going.  (Angel and I discuss this concept in more detail in the “Passion and Growth” chapter of 1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently.)
  12. What excuses do you need to stop making? – As George Washington once said, “It is better to offer no excuse than a bad one.”  Nothing could be closer to the truth.  If you are good at making excuses, you will never be good at anything else.  No matter what the obstacles are that you see in front of you, the only thing truly standing between you and what you want is the excuse you keep telling yourself as to why you can’t achieve it.
  13. If you learn from your mistakes, why are you always so afraid to make a mistake? – If you want to do it right, make lots of mistakes and accept a great deal of discomfort along the way.  It might sound crazy, but it’s worth your while.  In life, mistakes make you smarter and discomfort makes you stronger.  Both are necessary growing pains.
  14. When was the unexpected better than what you expected? – When something goes wrong in your life, just yell, “Plot twist!” and then do your best to adapt.  You won’t always get where you intended to go in life, but you will eventually arrive precisely where you need to be.
  15. What do you now know better for next time? – Don’t let your fear of past events affect the outcome of your future.  Live for what today has to offer, not what yesterday has taken away.  There will always be obstacles, but we are confined most often by the walls we build ourselves.  What we see depends on how we look at it.  Forget what you’ve lost and focus on what you’ve learned.
  16. What’s the next best step forward from here? – Every unwelcomed event, person or situation is really just a doorway into the next YOU.  A stronger, wiser YOU.  (Read Change Your Thoughts.)
  17. What’s priceless about this moment? – Step forward, but don’t rush.  Don’t completely waste the season of life you are in now, simply because you want the next one to begin.  There is always beauty waiting to be realized.  Notice the goodness happening around you right now, even if you have to look a little harder than usual.
  18. When was the last time you noticed the sound of your own breathing? – Relax.  You are enough.  You have enough.  You do enough.  Breathe extra deep, let go and just live right now in the moment.
  19. Who do you need to spend less time with? – There are over seven billion people in the world right now; don’t let a handful of negative ones ruin your happiness.  No, you can’t choose every person you meet in life, but you can choose who you spend your time with.  So be thankful for the people who walk into your life and make it better, but also be thankful for the freedom to walk away from the ones who don’t.
  20. How have insignificant past rejections messed with your self-confidence? – Don’t let old rejections take up permanent residence in your head.  Kick them out on the street.  Realize that sometimes you have to try to do what you think you can’t do, so you realize that you actually CAN.  And sometimes it takes more than one attempt.  If ‘Plan A’ doesn’t work out, don’t fret; the alphabet has another 25 letters that would be happy to give you a chance to get it right.  The wrong choices usually bring us to the right places, eventually.  You just have to believe in your own potential to get there.


Life is filled with unanswered questions, but it is the courage to ask enough of the right ones that ultimately leads you to an understanding of yourself and your purpose.

You can spend your life wallowing in fear by avoiding the obvious, or asking negative questions like, “Why me?”  Or you can be grateful that you’ve made it this far – that you are strong enough to breathe, walk and think for yourself – and then ask, “Where do I want to go next?”

Your turn…

What did I miss?  What encouraging questions do you need to start asking yourself?  Leave us a comment below and let us know.

Writer: Mark and Angel 

holding back from success

Over the last three years, I’ve studied what helps to make people successful (particularly young people), regardless of their age, industry, background, etc. Some of the reasons these people are successful in areas spanning from weight loss to entrepreneurship are obvious, yet some of them will surprise you.

Are any of the following things holding you back from success? If so, how are you going to tackle them head-on today so you can ultimately be successful?

 Here are ­­­10 things that hold people back from success:

1) Perceived Risk

When people think about what they want to do in life and what they may have to change or give up to get there, they get scared. It’s human nature. However, most people don’t look at the risk they take by remaining at the job they hate, the station in life they are in, or by remaining complacent in general.

As an entrepreneur, if you think it is a risk to leave a salaried job to try and fend for yourself, think about the risk you run leaving your livelihood in the hands of one or two people who can take away your source of income and stability in one or two swift decisions if they really wanted to. Most people think going after their dreams is a big risk, but it’s really just skewed perception. The real risk is not giving yourself the opportunity to be great and staying where you are in life, only to regret not chasing your passions.

2) They Haven’t Found Their “Zone of Genius”

Many people know what they are good at, but still haven’t found success. Still others know what they are truly passionate about in life, yet they too have also not yet found success.

One thing that may be holding someone back from achieving success is that they haven’t taken time to find their “Zone of Genius”, or where there passions and skills intersect, allowing them to be one of the best in the world at what they do. Take time to do the simple exercise of listing your skills and passions on two different sides of a piece of paper, and try to connect things from both lists until you find a mixture that you can capitalize on given the fact that you’ll be good at such an activity and that you’ll be passionate about the same activity.

3) They Just “Kinda” Want It

If you haven’t watched this video with voice-over from the “Hip Hop Preacher”, stop reading this article and go do that. The video is of a football player who is training extremely hard, refusing to let his dreams pass him by without a fight. As you watch the player train, you’ll hear Eric Thomas (the “Hip Hop Preacher”) in the background talking about success. Through the story Eric shares, he shows that most people don’t really want to be successful desperately enough; they just “kinda” want it. He boils it down to this:

“When you want to be successful as bad as you want to breathe, then you’ll be successful.”

The sad truth is, most people want to hang out with their friends, watch TV, or even sleep more than they want to be successful. If you want to be a success, go after something with 100% of your passion and effort!

4) They Don’t Bounce Back

If you haven’t noticed, life isn’t easy sometimes. In fact, if you are chasing lofty goals, there’s going to be a lot of resistance. Whether it is internal conflicts in the mental, emotional, or physical realms (sometimes all three at the same time!) or external pressures like doubt from others or competitors attempting to shoot you down and stop you from achieving your goals, it is obvious that the people who are being held back from success are those who don’t bounce back.

2 Billion Under 20 contributor Jack Andraka emailed hundreds of scientists before one unenthused professor agreed to let Jack work in his lab. Jack went on to develop an early detection system for pancreatic, lung, and ovarian cancers that helped him win Intel’s ISEF competition at just 15. Similarly, another 2 Billion Under 20 contributor Sam Mikulak hurt both of his ankles just one year out from Olympic trials for the USA Men’s Gymnastics team. He bounced back, made the squad for the 2012 London Olympics, and garnered 5th place in the highest level of competition possible in his sport.

5) Excuses

We all struggle to stay motivated every single day. Even the hungriest of individuals have trouble not hitting the snooze button every once-in-a-blue-moon, going hard in every workout, or doing the things necessary to scale a business. However, when excuses are lurking around the corner, that’s when it is time to look inward and remember exactly what you are chasing in life and why you are chasing it. Many people will say they don’t have enough time, money, energy, etc to change their life, but what separates those who achieve success with those who don’t is how they handle potential excuses that enter their thoughts.

Don’t be afraid to start a side business to get out of a 9-to-5 job or begin science research on something that has never been attempted before.

No more excuses pic quote

6) They Don’t Share

Helping others may be the single biggest thing you can do to catapult your way to success quickly. Don’t hoard your network, knowledge, or anything else for that matter. Successful people are happy to make introductions between two people who may benefit from knowing one another, mentor others who may need a helping hand, and build a community of others to connect with around them as all the members of 2 Billion Under 20 have come to be a part of.

No matter how independent someone is, they can’t achieve success alone, and those who are struggling to find success and are not giving back to their community, offering help, and being of service to others are doing themselves a big disservice.

7) They Don’t Surround Themselves With Winners

Many people are held back from being successful because they associate with the wrong groups and types of people. If you associate with negative people, people who aren’t successful, and people who aren’t motivated, don’t share, or (fill in the blank), then you will soon develop these unfortunate traits in your own personality. This includes your love life – your significant other may be holding you back from success if he/she isn’t pushing you to chase after your goals and become a better person. Similarly, you need to have peers, mentors, and communities that challenge you and pull you up to their level of success rather than drag you down when you are attempting greatness.

8) They Listen To Too Many People

If you were trying to start a successful business, would you take advice from a Starbucks barista?

Or if you were trying to lose weight, would you take work-out tips from someone who was out of shape?

It may seem obvious, but many people who haven’t achieved success yet suffer from taking too much advice. Many of these people mean well (which is actually the worst trap because you know that their words come from a place of trust and care), but at the end of the day, they don’t really know what they are talking about and are feeding you or others with information that won’t help you (and may even hurt your chances of being successful).

People who are being held short of success need to filter the good advice from the bad advice and listen to fewer, more strategic people, which brings us to our next point…

9) They Don’t Listen To The Right People

Most successful people have multiple mentors to call upon who can guide them in the proper direction in pursuit of their goals.

Whether it’s a coach, boss, professor, industry veteran, or other experienced person, these folks are goldmines for information about achieving your goals. Many people who are short of their goals are depriving themselves of this amazing resource, and by not listening to the right people, they are missing out on chances to be successful.

10) They Haven’t Defined What Success Is

I saved this for last because it is probably the most painful and obvious. What is the definition of success? Well, it differs for each person, but the people who don’t have that defined for themselves will obviously never achieve it because they don’t know what the benchmark is. It has been shown time and time again that those who have goals achieve more than those who don’t, and people who write down their goals are even more successful than the people who have goals but fail to convert them to paper and pencil.

People that are falling short of success may not know what type of lifestyle, job, or platform they are reaching for, which probably means they will never find it.

Whether these points can be directed to someone else you know or perhaps even yourself, note that all these points are things you can control! So get out there and chase after success!


Analicia Chaves

Posted: March 28, 2014 in March

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Height: 5′ 7″
Weight: 118 lbs
Bust: 34″
Waist: 25″
Hips: 37″
Cup: B
Dress: 0
Shoe: 8.0
Hair color: Black
Hair length: Short
Eye color: Hazel
Ethnicity: Other
Skin color: Brown
Shoot nudes: Yes
Tattoos: n/a
Piercings: n/a
Experience: Some Experience
Compensation: Depends on Assignment
Genres: n/a

Analicia Chaves is a model from Boston, who is now based out of Miami, Florida. She is 24 years old. asked Analicia a couple questions to get to know her a little better…


Hi I’m Analicia Chaves. I’m 22 Years and I’m originally from Boston, Massachusetts. I just moved here to Miami about seven months ago to pursue my modeling career. And my nationality is Portuguese and Cape Verdean.


My favorite place I ever went to is Dubai. I shot a video there once (Flo-Rida “Wild Ones), it was amazing, it was beautiful. I also like to go to the Caribbean. The Bahamas and Jamaica are both really beautiful as well.


My favorite thing about Miami is definitely the weather. I come from Massachusetts and its really cold there during the winter. So the fact that we get to be in the sun by the beach all the time is really the best thing I enjoy about Miami.


So I got into the modeling industry when I was about 18 years old. I was traveling between Massachusetts and New York looking for high fashion modeling agencies. I ended up going to a casting for America’s Next Top Model and made it in the Top 50. So there, I thought that maybe I could really do this. The agencies in New York wanted girls that were 5’9″ and taller and I’m 5’7″. So that worked against me. I figured that if I moved to Miami to pursue work more with more of a commercial look.


I like a variety of things. I definitely like hip-hop and R&B. I just now started getting into House music. And I like some Hard Rock. When I’m working out I like to listen to some Rock.


Well it just depends. During the day I like to be classy and sheik and just laid back. And then at night I like to spice things up with my little dresses and high heels. I like to switch it up.


I like Prime 112, which is really good. I love Italian food, steaks and mostly pastas.


I’m learning. I don’t really know how to cook that well. But I’ll blame that on my age for now. [Laughs]

Connect with Analicia Chaves







In what way is the fear of rejection holding you back?  How would your life be different if you didn’t care whether everyone liked you and agreed with you, or not?

To answer these questions, we must understand that the vast majority of our fears and anxieties amount to one thing:  Loss.

We fear:

  • Losing our youth.
  • Losing our social status.
  • Losing our money.
  • Losing control.
  • Losing our comfort.
  • Losing our life.
  • Etc.

We also fear, perhaps more than anything else, being rejected by others.  This kind of fear is widespread and debilitating if left unaddressed.  Why is this fear so deeply entrenched in us?  In ancient tribal times, being rejected from the safety of the community could have meant death.  So it’s no wonder, really, that we want to be accepted by others.

Fear is an instinctual human emotion designed to keep us aware and safe – like the headlights on a car clearly illuminating the twists and turns on the road ahead.  But too much fear, like high beams blinding us on a dark, foggy road, can cause the loss of the very thing we feared losing in the first place.

This is especially true when it comes to fear of rejection.  Let me give you an example from my own life:

When I was a teenager, I was always the outcast trying desperately to fit in with my peers.  I bounced around to three different schools, and various social circles in each school within a four-year timespan, and I faced rejection after rejection.  I can distinctly remember shooting hoops on the basketball court by myself on numerous occasions, always the new kid, always longing for acceptance.

For the longest time, I thought these childhood “outcast” experiences were the root cause of my obsessive, people-pleasing ways in my adulthood.  In my twenties, I was always looking for signs that others didn’t like me.  I would seek reassurance, always wondering what people “really” thought of me.

Do you look for acceptance and reassurance from others too?

Constantly seeking acceptance and reassurance from other people is a dead end.  These things can only be found within you, not from others.  Why?  Because any look, word, or reaction from someone else can be warped and misinterpreted as an upcoming rejection when it simply isn’t.

My fear also extended beyond my personal relationships.  I was a budding writer and hesitated to start “Marc and Angel Hack Life” for several months, for fear of having my writing judged and rejected by others.

In this post I want to share some tips that helped me feel self-assured and eventually allowed me to overcome my fear of rejection.

1.  Realize that fear itself is the real enemy.

Franklin D. Roosevelt so profoundly said, “Only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”  Nothing could be closer to the truth.  This is especially true as it relates to self-fulfilling prophecies.

A self-fulfilling prophecy is a false belief about a situation that motivates the person with the belief to take actions that cause the belief to come true.  This kind of thinking often kills opportunities and tears relationships apart.  For instance, you might wrongly believe that a group of people will reject you, so you become defensive, anxious, and perhaps even hostile with them.  Eventually, your behavior brings about the feared rejection, which wasn’t there to begin with.  And then you, ‘the prophet,’ feels that you were right from the very beginning: “I knew they didn’t like me!”

Do you see how this works?  Look carefully at your own tendencies.  How do your fears and beliefs about possible rejection influence your behavior toward others?  Take a stand.  Instead of letting fear show you what might be wrong in your relationships, start looking for signs of what might be right.

2.  Let go of your “end of the world” thinking.

All variations of fear, including the fear of rejection, thrive on “end of the world” thinking.  In other words, our emotions convince us that an undesirable outcome results in annihilation.

  • What if they don’t like me?
  • What if he rejects me?
  • What if I don’t fit in and I’m left sitting alone at the party?
  • Etc.

None of these things result in the “end of the world,” but if we convince ourselves that they do, we will irrationally fear these outcomes and give our fears control over us.  The truth is, we – human beings – are inefficient at accurately predicting how future misfortune will make us feel.  In fact, most of the time we avoid consciously thinking about it all together, which only perpetuates our subconscious fears.

So ask yourself: “If disaster should strike, and my fear of being rejected comes true, what are three constructive ways I could cope and move forward with my life?”  Sit down and tell yourself a story (write it down too if it helps) about how you will feel after rejection, how you will allow yourself to be upset for a short while, and then how you will begin the process of growing from the experience and moving on.  Just doing this exercise will help you to feel less fear around the possibility of rejection.  (Angel and I discuss this in more detail in the “Adversity” and “Relationships” chapters of 1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently.)

3.  Question what “rejection” really means.

If a person discovers a 200-carat white diamond in the earth but, due to ignorance, believes it to be worthless, and thus tosses it aside, does this tell us more about the diamond or the person?  Along the same lines, when one person rejects another, it reveals a lot more about the “rejecter” than the “rejected.”  All you are really seeing is the, often shortsighted, opinion of one person.  Consider the following…

If J.K. Rowling stopped after being rejected by multiple publishers for years, there would be no Harry Potter.  If Howard Schultz gave up after being turned down by banks 200+ times, there would be no Starbucks.  If Walt Disney quit too soon after his theme park concept was trashed by 300+ investors, there would be no Disney World.

One thing is for sure: If you give too much power to the opinions of others, you will become their prisoner.  So never let someone’s opinion alter your reality.  Never sacrifice who you are, or who you aspire to be, just because someone else has a problem with it.  Love who you are inside and out, and keep pushing forward.  No one else has the power to make you feel small unless you give them that power.  And when someone rejects you, don’t inevitably feel it’s because you’re unworthy or unlovable, because all they’ve done is give you clear feedback about their own shortsightedness.

4.  Let your presence overpower your fear.

Ever noticed how people who are struggling with emotional problems tend to tell you how they don’t want to feel?  Fair enough, but at some point we all need to focus on how we DO want to feel.

When you’re in a social situation that’s making you anxious, forget what you don’t want to feel for a moment.  Work out how you DO want to feel right now in the present moment.  Train yourself to live right here, right now without regretting how others once made you feel, or fearing the possibility of future judgment.

This is YOUR choice.  You CAN change the way you think.

If you were delivering life-saving mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on your mother in public, you’d be 100% focused and present.  You wouldn’t be thinking about what bystanders thought of your hair, your body type, or the brand of jeans you were wearing.  All these inconsequential details would vanish from your consciousness.  The intensity of the situation would motivate you to choose not to care about what others might be thinking of you.  This proves, quite simply, that thinking about what others are thinking about you is YOUR CHOICE. (Read The Power of Now.)

5.  Let go of your need to always be right.

The reason your fear of rejection sometimes gets the best of you is because a part of you believes you’re always right.  If you think someone doesn’t like you, then surely they don’t.  Right?  WRONG!

People who never learn to question their emotions, especially when they’re feeling nervous or anxious, make life much more difficult than it has to be.  If your perception is always so accurate, why do you make so many mistakes?  Exactly.  It’s time to let go a little.  Being more confident in life partly means being OK with not knowing what’s going to happen, so you can relax and allow things to play out naturally.  Relaxing with “not knowing” is the key to confidence in relationships and peace in life.

So here’s a new mantra for you – say it, and then say it again: “This is my life, my choices, my mistakes and my lessons.  I have nothing to prove.  And as long as I’m not hurting people, I need not worry what they think of me.”

6.  Embrace and enjoy your individuality.

Constantly seeking approval means we’re perpetually worried that others are forming negative judgments of us.  This steals the fun, ingenuity, and spontaneity from our lives.  Flip the switch on this habit.  If you’re lucky enough to have something that makes you different from everybody else, don’t be ashamed and don’t change.  Uniqueness is priceless.  In this crazy world that’s trying to make you like everyone else, find the courage to keep being your remarkable self.  And if they laugh at you for being different, laugh back at them for being the same.

It takes a lot of courage to stand alone, but it’s worth it.  Being unapologetically YOU is worth it!  Your real friends in life will reveal themselves slowly – they’re the ones who truly know you and love you just the same.  Bottom line: Don’t change so people will like you; be yourself and the right people will love the real you.  (Read The Mastery of Love.)

7.  Use rejection as a priceless growth opportunity.

As soon as someone critiques and criticizes you, as soon as you are rejected, you might find yourself thinking, “Well, that proves once again that I am not worthy.”  What you need to realize is, these other people are NOT worthy of YOU and your particular journey.  Rejection is necessary medicine; it teaches you how to reject relationships and opportunities that aren’t going to work, so you can quickly find new ones that will.  It doesn’t mean you aren’t good enough; it just means someone else failed to notice what you have to offer.  Which means you now have more time to improve yourself and explore your options.

“Will you be bitter for a moment?  Absolutely.  Hurt?  Of course, you’re human.  There isn’t a soul on this planet that doesn’t feel a small fraction of their heart break at the awareness of rejection.  For a short time afterwards you will ask yourself every question you can think of…

  • What did I do wrong?
  • Why didn’t they like me?
  • How come?
  • Etc.

But then you have to let your emotions fuel you!  This is the important part.  Let your feelings of rejection drive you, feed you, and inspire one heck of a powerful opening to the next chapter of your story.

As you look back on your life, you will often realize that many of the times you thought you were being rejected from something good, you were in fact being redirected to something better.  You can’t control everything – especially the opinions of others.  Sometimes you just need to relax and have faith that things will work out.  Let go a little and just let life happen the way it’s supposed to.  Because sometimes the outcomes you can’t change, end up changing you and helping you grow into your strongest, smartest self.

Writer: Marc



There is little difference in people, but that little difference makes a big difference.  The little difference is attitude.  The big difference is whether it is positive or negative.
―W. Clement Stone

When I was a teenager I was the primary target of an extremely persistent bully at my high school.  One day I came home in tears and wrote this on the whiteboard hanging on my bedroom wall:  “I hate bullies.  They make me feel like a loser.”

The next day, while I was at school, my grandmother erased what I wrote on the whiteboard and replaced it with this:  “An entire body of water the size of the Pacific Ocean can’t sink a ship unless it gets inside the ship.  Similarly, all the negativity in the world can’t bring you down unless you allow it to get inside your head.”

And from that day forward I felt better.  I made a conscious decision to stop letting the bully get inside my head.  I changed my beliefs about his level of importance in my life.

It isn’t easy to remain positive when negativity surrounds you, but remember that you have full control over what you choose to believe.  You can effectively defend yourself against all kinds of negativity by adopting simple, yet powerful, beliefs that support a positive outlook in the face of seemingly negative circumstances.

Below you will find 15 such beliefs that have helped free me from the grips of negativity.  I have these beliefs written down in my journal, and I review them on a regular basis, as needed, just to keep them fresh in my mind.  I hope you will join me by adopting them into your own belief system as well…

  1. What other people say about me is their problem, not mine. – Don’t take other people’s negativity personally.  Most negative people behave negatively not just to you, but to everyone they interact with.  What they say and do is a projection of their own reality.  Even when a situation seems personal – even if someone insults you directly – it oftentimes has nothing to do with you.  What others say and do, and the opinions they have, are based entirely on their own self-reflection.
  2. I am free to be ME. – Can you remember who you were before the world told you who you should be?  Happiness is found when you stop comparing yourself to everyone else and what they want.  Stop living for other people and their opinions.  Be true to yourself.  You are the only person in charge of your life.  The only question is: What do you want to do with the rest of it?
  3. Life isn’t perfect, but it sure is great. – Our goal shouldn’t be to create a perfect life, but to live an imperfect life in radical amazement.  To get up every morning and take and good look around in a way that takes nothing for granted.  Everything is extraordinary.  Every day is a gift.  Never treat life casually.  To be spiritual in any way is to be amazed in every way.  (Read The Happiness Project.)
  4. It’s okay to have down days. – Expecting life to be wonderful all the time is wanting to swim in an ocean in which waves only rise up and never come crashing down.  However, when you recognize that the rising and crashing waves are part of the exact same ocean, you are able to let go and be at peace with the reality of these ups and downs.  It becomes clear that life’s ups require life’s downs.
  5. Even when I’m struggling, I have so much to be grateful for. – What if you awoke today with only the things you were thankful for yesterday?  We tend to forget that happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but of appreciating everything we do have.  Stress thrives when your worry list is longer than your gratitude list.  Happiness thrives when your gratitude list is longer than your worry list.  So find something to be thankful for right now.
  6. Every experience is just another important lesson. – Disappointments and failure are two of the surest stepping-stones to success.  So don’t let a hard lesson harden your heart.  When things go wrong, learn what you can and then push the tragedies and mistakes aside.  Remember, life’s best lessons are often learned at the worst times and from the worst mistakes.  We must fail in order to know, and hurt in order to grow.  Good things often fall apart so better things can fall together in their place.
  7. Not everything is meant to stay. – Change can be terrifying, yet all positive growth and healing requires change.  Sometimes you have to find the good in goodbye.  Because the past is a place of reference, not a place of residence.  Be strong when everything seems to be going wrong, keep taking small steps, and eventually you will find what you’re looking for.  Learn to trust the journey, even when you do not understand it.
  8. Being wrong is the first step to being right. – Sometimes the wrong choices bring us to the right places.  To be creative and productive in life, you must first lose your fear of being wrong.  And remember, a fear like this can only survive inside you if you let it live there.
  9. I do not need to hold on to what’s holding me back. – You are not what has happened to you; you are what you choose to become.  It’s time to break the beliefs and routines that have been holding you back.  Respect yourself enough to walk away from anything that no longer grows you.  Listen to your intuition, not your ego.  When you stop chasing the wrong beliefs, you give the right ideas a chance to catch you.  (Angel and I discuss this in detail in the “Adversity” chapter of 1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently.)
  10. My happiness today is simply the result of my thinking. – Happiness starts with you – not with your relationships, not with your job, not with your money, but WITH YOU.  It is not always easy to find happiness in ourselves, but it is always impossible to find it elsewhere.  Regardless of the situation you face, your attitude is your choice.  Remember, you can’t have a positive life with a negative attitude.  When negativity controls your thoughts, it limits your behavior, actions, and opportunities.  If you realized how powerful your thoughts were, you would try your best to never think another negative thought again.
  11. Who I spend quality time with matters. – Surround yourself with people who lift you higher – those who see the great potential in you, even when you don’t see it in yourself.
  12. Drama and judgments are a waste of perfect happiness. – Make a promise to yourself.  Promise to stop the drama before it begins, to breathe deeply and peacefully, and to love others and yourself without conditions.  Promise to laugh at your own mistakes, and to realize that no one is perfect; we are all human.  Feelings of self-worth can flourish only in an atmosphere where individual differences are appreciated, mistakes are tolerated, communication is open, and rules are flexible.  (Read The Mastery of Love.)
  13. Most people are judging me far less than it seems. – The truth is, while you’re busy worrying about what others think of you, they’re busy worrying about what you think of them.  Crazy?  Yes, but true.  The good news is this knowledge instantly frees you to let loose and do more of what YOU want.  And while doing so, you’ll also liberate others to do the same.
  14. I can make the world a happier place. – Do your best to help one person every day in some small way.  By becoming the answer to someone’s prayer, we often find the answers to our own.  When the people around us are happier, it’s a lot easier to smile.
  15. The work is worth it. – Lose the expectation that everything in life should be easy.  It rarely is.  In fact, there are no shortcuts to any place worth going.  Enjoy the challenge of your achievements.  See the value in your efforts and be patient with yourself.  And realize that patience is not about waiting; it’s the ability to keep a good attitude while working hard on your dreams.  It’s knowing deep down that the work is well worth it in the end.

Writer: Writer