nav-left cat-right
cat-right

Confidence: How To Fake It Until You Make It

 

I’m not confident 100% of the time.

It’s tough to admit sometimes, but it is true. There are times when I’m not sure that I’m making the right decision. I’m often my own worst critic, second- and third-guessing myself to the point where I feel like the best decision might be to not make a decision.

Or there are those times when I’m given a job I’m not sure I know how to do, but I don’t want to give up the opportunity because I’m unsure of when the next one might come around.

The simple fact is that every person on this planet feels this way at some point in their lives. When this feeling occurs, a crossroads decision must occur. The choice is simple: fake the confidence until you’re actually confident… or give up and start over from Square One.

Let’s choose the “fake it until you make it” method. It works for me and I’m confident [see what I did there?] that it will work for you.

#1. Look at the opportunity. Being nervous is natural and this tends to be the source of uncertainty. Any time I do something new, I feel nervous. Instead of butterflies in the stomach, I’m pretty sure there are stingrays swimming around in there. Yet the more I look at the opportunity I’ve been given, the more I realize that this is a challenge I can embrace instead of a worry that requires anxiety medication.

 

#2. Take it one step at a time. I used to think that I had to make a huge positive first impression in order to be remembered. Now I’ve come to realize that getting the job done, step by step, is more important than becoming “famous” because I knocked one out of the park on Day One. Or as one of my favorite movies would say, “… Baby step onto the elevator…. Baby step to four o’clock.”

 

#3. Learn by osmosis. Sometimes I’ve found you need to go out and find a mentor that knows what needs to get done. There’s no need to form a relationship with that person either. If I just watch the person doing the job that I need to do, then I can absorb that information and repeat it when it’s my time to show-off. Ask questions if there’s something confusing. Just make sure there is more than one person being observed – it’s no good to cheat off of the person who isn’t doing the job right.

 

#4. Be bold. Nearly 90% of our communication to one another comes from non-verbal sources. This means if you can be confident in your body language, any uncertain words will still drip with soothing confidence. Sit up straight. Try to avoid crossing the arms. Keep your head held high. When I act like I’m self-assured, I become less guarded, feel more optimistic, and that often creates the results I was unsure I’d be able to create.

 

#5. Watch out for the red flags. I know sometimes we’re all asked to step so far outside the box, it feels like a passport should be required to complete the journey. Being creative should not create circumstances for failure. If I get nervous about trying to fake my confidence, then that’s a red flag telling me I should do something else. There’s no need to make the situation worse by creating a negative spiral of emotions that really will take me out of the job I’m trying to do.

 

Confidence can come naturally, but sometimes it needs a little courage to become part of the daily routine. These methods have helped create the foundation for future confidence… how have you built up your confidence in circumstances that were uncertain? I’d love to have you share your story with me.

7 Ways To Know If You’ve Got an Amazing Boss

There are good leaders. There are great leaders. Then there are an amazing few who are the best bosses in the world. These elite few have specific traits they have developed and refined over the years and this helps them and their team accomplish great things. Here’s how to tell if your boss is amazing.

#1. They lead people instead of managing teams. Managers are essentially just workplace firefighters. They get told what to do and then they make sure their team gets the job done. The focus is always in the present moment. Amazing bosses make their teams great by being a leader at the individual level. They adapt to each personal need.

#2. They always look for the purpose. There are two ways to judge an action: 1) by making assumptions about why someone would do something a certain way; or 2) by asking questions to see why someone would do something a certain way. Amazing bosses don’t make assumptions. They ask questions.

#3. They value feedback. No one can get better at what they do unless they receive feedback. Amazing bosses realize that positive and negative feedback given to them from their team helps them become even more awesome. They also know that they must give consistent feedback to each individual on their team if growth is going to happen.

#4. They practice active listening. Nothing is more frustrating than having someone interrupt you constantly while you’re having a conversation with them. Amazing bosses know that more information can be gleaned when they are listening instead of talking over their team. This gives everyone the opportunity to offer new ideas, feel safe in leaving feedback, and fosters communication throughout the entire chain of command.

#5. They are consistent. The best leaders are able to separate their personal emotions and issues from their professional responsibilities. That doesn’t mean their feelings or their home life is unimportant. It just means they are able to set priorities for their day and stay consistent with them. A team should always know what to expect from their boss. If that isn’t present, then more time is spent making sure the boss isn’t offended by something and that means less overall productivity.

#6. They really have an open door policy. Being a leader means being there for your team. There will always be times when a boss needs to close their office door to have a private meeting. The best bosses, however, make sure that door stays open when there isn’t a need for privacy so that any concerns a team member may have can be addressed immediately.

#7. They create future leaders. There are many bosses who are afraid that they might lose their job one day to someone who directly reports to them. Or worse – maybe a team member will get a promotion that the boss feels is personally deserved. An amazing boss knows that part of their responsibility is to foster leadership qualities in others. They’ll encourage taking supplemental education credits, training seminars/webinars, and others specific tools for each team member to use so that everyone can maximize their potential.

Far too many people wake up every day and dread going to work because they don’t like their boss. Life is too short for that kind of daily stress. Use these traits to find the most amazing bosses in your industry [or become an amazing boss yourself] and work can become an exciting place to be once again.

7 Ways to Increase Your Happiness

1   Get physical.

Physical activity is a great way to reduce our stress levels and pump up the endorphins. Sometimes the best way to increase our happiness level is to have a good workout. If you are feeling lacking in the happiness area think about the last time you worked up a sweat. Physical activity boosts your confidence and your mood.

2   Outweigh negative thoughts with the positive.

Give your negative thoughts a spanking and slap on three positives to outweigh the negative. Figure out where your negative thoughts are coming from by trying to find three positive things about the topic. If you find more positives than negatives keep the source around. If you don’t, it is time to toss it out and start thinking instead about the positive effects of moving away from the source of your unhappiness. Take action towards the positive instead of letting the negative thoughts consume you.

3   Drop the worries—focus on what you can control

If you can’t control it don’t worry about it. So many of us get wrapped up in what-if land that we start feeling at home in it. Figuring out solutions to worst-case scenario gives us a false truth that we are somehow more prepared or more control of things that we have no effect on. It is better to focus your energy on things you can control and things that can make you happier.

4   Do a happy activity every day. Give yourself small acts of kindness.

Consider a time you were really, truly happy. How did you feel in that moment? Don’t you want more of that? Figure out what things make you happy and do one thing that makes you happy every day. This way, when things are not going as well as we hope they would we can find ways to lighten our mood and change the direction of our lives back to happy land.

5   Smile—a smile attracts happiness of others! It is a magnet that lights up the world.

One of the most unique things each person has is their smile. The shape of our teeth are actually pretty interesting and I don’t think I’ve ever met a person who looked better frowning than they do with a big ol’ smiley face! I honestly believe that we are each here to make a positive impact on others in our own unique way. One way to do that is to smile at others let them smile back and enjoy the unique energy flow that comes from a smile exchange.

6   Accept your life.

When we focus on our dreams we are more likely to achieve our dreams and as a result feel more content with the direction our lives have taken. To do this most effectively we have to push past the life un-acceptance speeches that start with “What if?” “If only? or “Someday” and rewrite our mentality with action verbs towards our dreams. Like Chris Prentiss says in Zen And the Art of Happiness “Everything that happens to me is the best possible thing that could happen to me”. Be the author of your moments and do what you can with your resources to reach your dreams but also accept life for what it is. You can’t change the past nor should you try. You are exactly who you are for a beautiful reason. Each of our happiness really depends on doing the work required to allow that reason to be expressed to the world.

7   Live in the present.

It is happy time all the time! Every moment is a new opportunity for us to be more alive and more in tune with the sounds, actions, and feelings of each moment. When we are present or “in the moment” we once again take our happiness away from its dependency on the happiness prescribed

Defeat Workplace Stress Using Mindfulness Meditation

Stress is a major health problem for many workers and the issue only continues to grow. One of the primary reasons why stress levels are going up today is because many workers are only distracting themselves from the issues at hand. Listening to music, watching TV, eating a favorite food… these are call distractions.

To relieve stress, it is necessary to cope with the difficult emotions and circumstances that have caused it in the first place. This is where mindfulness meditation can become a powerful tool to use. Instead of running away from the stress to deal with it on another day, it becomes possible to resolve stressful situations as they happen, leading to a healthier body and mind.

Why Is Stress So Bothersome?

Stress is an internal trigger which causes a personal crisis situation. It creates negative emotional energies that start a cycle of anger, bitterness, and/or resentment. As time goes on, a downward spiral forms as these events repeat themselves over and over again. The mind becomes focused only on the past.

To defeat stress, the past must not be allowed to continue operating as an internal trigger. With mindfulness meditation, the perspective shifts from the past to the present. Instead of worrying about what happened to create stress, the focus becomes on what is happening right now, at this one given moment, and to explore what this one given moment contains.

How Does Mindfulness Meditation Work?

Stress is best described as an iceberg. You’ll see a small portion of ice floating at the surface, but underneath lurks a dark and hidden amount of stress that is much larger than what others can see. Mindfulness meditation helps to melt this iceberg because it focuses on recovery instead of the stressful triggers.

After you’ve isolated yourself to begin your meditation, begin to explore your point of view. Why was so much stress created? Summarize the thoughts that come your way that look at your reactions. Then connect the stress to the feelings you’ve experienced.

Mindfulness meditation also offers alternatives to a stressful reaction that can be implemented almost anywhere. Deep breathing to explore your internal feelings can change a perspective. Even experiencing the textures and flavors of a favorite food can become a form of mindfulness meditation.

Mindfulness Meditation Requires Practice

Most workers decide to give up on mindfulness meditation because it doesn’t seem to work right away. Like any new habit or skill, this will take time to develop. Instead of giving yourself 2-3 days to experiment with it to control stress and internal triggers, give it 2-3 weeks instead. Keep practicing mindfulness meditation in different situations to discover where it can be the most beneficial.

Then you’ll be ready to go back to work with a focus on the present or the future instead of the stressful events of the past. Stress will always be around thanks to the high pressure professional environments that workers have every day. Using mindfulness meditation to control that stress can help every worker enter this environment prepared for the challenges they may face.

7 Proven Ways To Keep Yourself Relevant

You have a great idea. It’s selling well. You’re getting yourself in line for a promotion at work or seeing an uptick in sales with your business. As time goes on, however, the ideas you’ve offered become stale. They’re no longer exciting. People have moved on to the next great idea.

If that has happened to you, then here are 7 proven ways that will help you get relevant again and then stay relevant in the future.

#1. Be like a cat. Cats are famous for being curious. You’ve got to keep learning, striving, and growing to stay engaged. If you ride one great idea for months, eventually that rut will cause people to look for something that’s fresher and newer to enjoy.

#2. Read something different. Salespeople read sales books. Religious people read religious books. Marketers? They read marketing books. Don’t do this. Read something different and you’ll challenge yourself with a fresh perspective. As a bonus, the side effect of reading something new is that you’ll develop a deeper niche expertise in what you already do well.

#3. Use your ears. There are thousands of unique podcasts that are available for free on the internet today. Sometimes they focus on education. At other times, they just offer a fresh perspective. Either way, you’ll stay up to date with what is going on and be able to offer relevant advice from what you’ve learned.

#4. You can learn something new every day. There’s always a way to be a little better today when compared to yesterday. Tomorrow should be better than today. You can accomplish this by finding something new to learn. Think about joining a conference, making time for a webinar, or even giving your own seminar on what you do.

#5. Go back to school. You don’t have to pursue a degree to enjoy a good class. If you don’t want to pay a college for class materials, there are numerous free college courses that are published online today to further the learning curve. When you’re well-rounded, you will be more relevant.

#6. Have a mentor on standby. The most relevant people are always questioning, always testing, and never really satisfied unless 100% perfection has been achieved. By having a mentor available when the chips seem down, you’ll have the chance to process through difficult events and talk out some fresh ideas.

#7. Go out and meet someone. You don’t have to be a socialite or networking genius to benefit from meeting someone new. We’re like sponges. A little bit of everyone we meet is absorbed into our own perspectives. Positive people will keep you moving forward. Keep your network fresh with new faces and you’ll stay relevant.

It can be difficult to purposely create change. Sometimes, however, change is needed to stay relevant. Incorporate these ideas to get yourself out of that stale rut and you may just find opportunity knocking at your door.

Can You Actually Visualize Real Success Before It Happens?

Many athletes talk about seeing themselves win a big game before they go out to perform. Business professionals visualize seeing themselves closing a big deal before it happens. Study after study has shown that visualization can lead someone to more consistent success, but why? Can you actually visualize real success before it happens?

Some people might put faith in premonitions and dreams for this, but anyone who visualizes success before it happens will increase the chances of actually being successful. This is because the mind has a unique ability to gain skills from this exercise. When you run a visualization through your mind, you’re actually running a simulation where you can mentally practice how to get the best outcome.

If you haven’t tried visualization before, then here are some tips to help get you get started.

#1. Visualize the perfect scenario. Perfect practice is what leads to perfect results. Imagine what the perfect scenario will be so that you can achieve the best possible outcome for whatever upcoming event you have going on. Now run through the various tasks, conversations, sales pitches, and other work you’ll need to accomplish to achieve that best possible outcome.

#2. Treat this time as real work. Far too many people use visualization exercises after hours or right before they go to bed. Instead of fitting in visualization during your spare moments at the beginning or end of the day, schedule time during your work day to do it. A best practice here is to schedule visualization time somewhere in the first 2 hours of your day because your mind is the freshest at this point in the day. Even just 10 minutes to visualize how to achieve success can be a very worthwhile investment.

#3. Follow through like you would a business plan. When you create a business plan, you’re outlining specific goals that must be achieved to accomplish a specific end result. In visualization, the task is the same. You’ll need to progress through the different goals that you have, see how they can be accomplished perfectly, and then simulate how those results can translate into the overall plan in place that needs to be achieved.

#4. Think about roadblocks that may get in your way. Visualizing perfection is wonderful, but it cannot be truly successful unless you’re also willing to take a look at the various obstacles you may encounter. Think about the roadblocks that could get in your way and then visualize how you would get around that obstacle. Take several routes, see your success in each one, and then you’ll be prepared for virtually any scenario that may come your way. Do not allow the obstacle to win – ever.

#5. Make your visualization as detailed as possible. If you can include specific details within your visualization session, then you’ll be better prepared for the real life situation. Think about sights, smells, and even touch as you proceed through each task. Remember what each situation is like, how it makes you feel, and how you react to them.

Page 1 of 912345...Last »