Positive Self-Talk is More Than a Sound Bite

self-confidenceThink it, Act it, Become it. Perception is reality – your reality. It is what ever you think it is which is why positive self-talk (what you say to yourself), is more than a sound bite. Your self-talk has the power to move you to action – or in action.  We all feel insecure and unsure of ourselves at times. We all lack self-confidence, especially if we are attempting to do something we’ve never done before. But, you must not let your self-doubt get in the way of you stepping out of your comfort zone and expanding your growth zone.  We must not let fear of failing get in the way of the attempt.

Worth Remembering … “Lack of confidence is not the result of difficulty. The difficulty comes from the lack of confidence.” – Seneca

World class athletes, just like world-class actors visualize a gold medal, Oscar-winning performance. They set themselves up for a positive experience by visualizing in their mind’s eye what their performance will look like. They see themselves in the winners circle. And then they go out and replay that winning performance in real-time. You need to see yourself as the hero in your own movie.  Think it, Act it, Become it. The more you do it – the more you will become it. Being successful in any endeavor is a learned behavior. When you change the behavior you change the result.

Worth Remembering … “Confidence is that feeling by which the mind embarks on a great and honorable course with a sure hope and trust in self.” – Cicero

Here are some helpful tips on how to boost your self-confidence. Pick one or two and give them a go. You just may end up surprising yourself.  Failing in your first attempt is never the issue. Not giving it another try is.

  • Focus on your achievements rather than your failures: Nobody is perfect but everyone has the capacity to grow and get better. Focus on what you did well and what you are going to do better on your next attempt. Progress happens in baby steps not gigantic leaps. 
  • Focus on your good qualities: Stick with what you do well and reach out to others when you get stuck. There is no sham in admitting that you need help. Have a short list of mentors and coaches that you can call on for words of encouragement or advice when needed. 
  • Be prepared for the task at hand: Nothing beats thinking and planning it out. You can’t be prepared for everything but you should be able to anticipate what could go wrong and decide ahead of time what you are going to do to overcome them. 
  • Set reachable goals for yourself: Don’t set yourself up for failure – set SMART targets. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely) Anyone can eat an elephant one bite at a time. 
  • Reward yourself when you succeed: No victory is too small. You have every right to be proud of yourself and what you’ve accomplished. Do something nice for yourself and don’t feel guilty about it. 

Remember – We are not born knowing what we need to know to do all that we want to do. Success and being successful is a learned behavior. Successful people have learned to get out of their own way. You can do the same thing. You just need to believe in yourself. Now get out there and give it a go. 🙂

Copyright (c) Brian Smith. Not to be reproduced without permission. Looking for a keynote speaker, planning a lunch-n-learn or workshop on a variety of soft-skills topics or leadership development? Give Brian a call. http://briansmithpld.com

Life in The Land of Shoulda Coulda Woulda 6

images (23) Perception is reality and reality is what ever you perceive it to be. The things you do most often becomes you. If you believe you aren’t worthy then you will continue to hold yourself back. If you believe you aren’t deserving of the all the good things that may come your way, then you’ll continue to put yourself down. We know that behaviors can be managed and improved upon, and results are simply the cause and effect of your behavior. Your level of self-esteem is in direct proportion to your internal dialogue – the things that you tell yourself and what you think of yourself.  We all feel insecure and unsure of ourselves at times. We all have bouts of self-doubt – especially if we are attempting to do something we’ve never done before. No one wants to look silly in front their peers or make a mistake. Most humans would rather walk backwards into the future than turn around and face new challenges head-on. What would be worse? Taking on new challenges and discovering what you are capable of or letting your low self-esteem banish you to live your life in the land of shoulda coulda woulda forever.

Worth Remembering – “Lack of confidence in oneself is not the result of difficulty. The difficulty comes from the lack of confidence in oneself.” – Cicero

There are a number of great books on how to develop your self-esteem. One of my favorites is Nathaniel Branden’s book  “The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem”. Dr. Branden has done more than any other theorist to advocate the importance of self-esteem to your well-being. He believes the value of self-esteem lies not merely in the fact that it allows us to feel better about ourselves, but that it also allows us to live better – to respond to challenges and opportunities more resourcefully and more appropriately. If you have a poor opinion of yourself, and remember an opinion is rarely based on fact, then that poor opinion of yourself translates into a lack of confidence – which causes us to think negative thoughts. Negative thoughts in turn causes us to hold back and give up easily rather than face tough challenges. Self-doubt is a deal breaker in so many ways.

Worth Remembering … “If one advances confidently in the direction of their dreams and endeavors to live the life they have imagined, they will meet a success unexpected in common hours.” – Henry David Thoreau

Read over the list below and decide where you want to start. Remember – You are the boss of you. No one has the power to take your self-esteem away without your permission. You must believe in your heart of hearts that you are worthy – because the truth of the matter is – you are.

  • Stop comparing yourself to others. You are unique. There is no one else who is exactly like you. Different is just different and different is OK.  
  • Stop putting yourself down with negative thoughts. You are good enough. You have all the tools you need – you just need to get out of your own way.
  • Surround yourself with positive, supportive people. The truth is not everyone wants you to be successful and leave them behind. But do it anyway.
  • Get involved in the work and activities that inspire you. If you knew you couldn’t fail – what would you rather be doing? Go and do that.
  • Give more of yourself to those around you. Volunteer, become a Big Sister or Big Brother. Pay it forward. Help those less fortunate than you.
  • Respect your own needs. Stop putting everyone else’s needs ahead of your own. You have nothing to feel guilty about. You have a right to be happy.
  • Stop trying to be perfect! You don’t have to be perfect. You just have to be good enough.
  • Stop listening to the should-do’s. Stop listening to people who tell you that you should be doing this or doing that. Do what you think is right for you.

People with low self-esteem see themselves as unworthy and undeserving. They will discount any good fortune that comes their way as being a fluke. If others are nice to them – they tend to think the person must have an ulterior motive – they must want something besides my friendship. In the words of author David McRaney, you tend to fulfill the labels you accept. It’s time you start accepting all the good fortune that is coming your way. Your lease has expired. It’s time you move out of the land of shoulda coulda woulda.  🙂

Copyright (C) 2013. Brian Smith. Looking for a speaker, planning a lunch-n-learn or organizing a training session? Brian specializes in soft-skills training and leadership development. He will work with you one-on-one to insure your event is an overwhelming success. Contact Brian today – briansmithpld@gmail.com or visit http://briansmithpld.com to find out more.