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.

Who Said Your Life Would Be Perfect?

PerfectRepeat after me – “There is no such thing as perfect – there is no such thing as perfect – there is no such thing as perfect”. Besides, perfect is over rated anyhow. It doesn’t have to be perfect – it just has to be good enough. The most important person in your life is you. Don’t worry about trying to please anyone else. If it’s good enough for you – it’s good enough. If it’s good enough for you – then you don’t need to change a thing. However, if you aren’t living the life you envisioned for yourself, then you need to stop talking, quit complaining and do something about it. You either have to change it – or change the way you are thinking about it. You are responsible for you. You are responsible for your own happiness. In the words of Larry Winget, “The Pit-bull of Personal Development” , your life is your own damn fault.

Worth Remembering … The only limits to the possibilities in your life tomorrow is the `Buts`you use today.

Take out a blank piece of paper and write a description of what a perfect life would look like to you. After you have done that – what things would have to happen for you to be able to live that life? Don’t generalize, be specific. To live the prefect life I would have to: Earn X amount of money per year, move to a  warmer climate, get married and have two children. What ever would have to happen for you to live your perfect life, take a moment and write it down. Now I know the list looks daunting, and you might be thinking that there is no way you can accomplish all of that. But trust me, you would be wrong. You would be selling yourself way to  short. If it’s worth dreaming about it – then it’s worth doing something about it. Wishing and hoping won`t make it so. Life – your life – is a planned event. So get busy! Put a plan together and start working that plan.

Worth Remembering … Once the what has been decided – the how will surely follow.  

I know I’m making it sound pretty simple. But, it really is about writing down your goals and then accomplishing them, one goal at a time. Remember.  a journey of a 1000 miles starts with the first step. You took the first step when you wrote down what your perfect life would look like. You took the first step when you listed all the things that would have to happen for you to live your perfect life. You took the first step when you wrote out your plan. Now it’s time for you to take the next step and start to work your plan. Remember, it doesn’t have to be perfect – it just has to be good enough. 🙂

Copyright (c) 2013. Brian Smith – Reformed Control Freak. Brian is available for speaking engagements, lunch-n-learns and seminars. Contact Brian today. He will work with you to insure your event is an overwhelming success. Email: briansmithpld@gmail.com. To find out more visit http://briansmithpld.com

 

Trick Question: Who’s Your Biggest Cheerleader? 6

Cheerleading Championships - Heidelberg

Who’s your biggest cheerleader? Your mom, dad, significant other? Perhaps it’s someone in your immediate family, a close friend or an acquaintance? However, If you didn’t put yourself at the top of that list – we need to talk because you’ve got a problem. It may be comforting to know that other people want you to be successful – to live up to your full potential – but unless you believe in yourself – what others think means absolutely nothing. They can’t do it for you – others don’t determine your potential – only you can do that.

Are you doing what you really love to do – what truly makes you happy – what you were born to do? Or have you settled for something less? When you get up in the morning do you hit the ground running – full of energy and excitement – ready to take on the day or do you roll over in bed and try to squeeze the last 10 minutes out of your morning before the alarm clock summons you again? If that sounds all too familiar – then it’s time for you to make a change.

In a perfect world – what would you rather be doing? Take a moment and think about that. If you could start over – what would your ideal life look like? I want you to take a blank piece of paper and write it down. If you haven’t figured out yet what you’d rather be doing then start a “Happy Journal”. For the next two weeks – every time you catch yourself smiling – write down what you where doing at that moment. After recording your happy moments over a period of two weeks a pattern should start to emerge. What ever made you smile – is what you are truly meant to be doing.

Are you prepared to do what ever it takes to realize your full potential? Are you prepared to put a plan together and work your plan?  If you believe you are mentally and physically capable of doing what you’d rather be doing – then the only person standing in your way is you. Once you’ve decided what your ideal career looks like – what new skills will you need to learn to accomplish it? Write those down on that piece of paper. What books will you need to start reading? What night courses should you sign up for? What associations or networking groups should you join? You need to surround yourself with “like” people. Think it, act it, and eventually you’ll become it. You aren’t born knowing how – but you are born with the ability to learn. Believe in yourself and never ever give up on becoming what you where truly meant to be.  You’ve got to get out of your own way. You need to be your biggest cheerleader.  🙂