Jack Klemeyer founded Grow Your Business Coaching because he is passionate about helping business professionals grow - in business and as people. He help companies to grow their business with team development in both leadership team and sales team.
Six Simple Strategies to Increase Your Productivity
Productivity gets people moving. This is one thing that helps them achieve goals that they have set for themselves. Experts like Brendon Burchard, author of High Performance Habits, say that to be able to succeed and live a comfortable life, everyone needs constant productivity. As a matter of fact, Increasing Productivity is Habit #4 of High Performance Habits. Productivity is important because when people are working to be productive, they become more aggressive in achieving their goals and dreams in life. Here are six strategies you can do to increase your productivity:
always have a dream and hold on to it. Since productivity is a not an easy task to start with, it’s best if you start now by having a dream, a CLEAR Goal, that you can hold on to. The scale or the size of that dream doesn’t really matter, it can be a big thing or a small thing, what’s important is that you’re willing to do everything you can to achieve that dream. For some people, having big dreams work on them because they are looking forward to big rewards in the future that is why they are giving their best this early. The late Jim Rohn said, “The reason to set goals is for you’ll become as you achieve them.”
– avoid too much thinking. Work to manage yourself and stop over thinking. Here’s why, over thinking will only bring in a mix of emotions that typically makes it harder to handle and manage later on. To keep constant productivity, work to veer away from negative thoughts and focus on the things that lead to something good. Adding the secret ingredient of gratitude helps too to escape the overthinking trap. When you start to overthinking, stop and recognize something to be grateful for in your life.
– let go of the past. Whatever your past experiences have been, the first step to be productive is to forget the failures and mistakes that you’ve had in the past. Realize that there are things that are beyond your control, I give you full permission to forgive yourself and start anew. When you keep thinking of the past, it serves as a reminder of your failure or someplace where you didn’t perform as you wanted and you don’t need that. If you keep thinking about your defeats, you will undergo a never ending cycle of blaming yourself for the things that you did not really opted to do.
– set your own pace. While it is true that being competitive is a key in terms of achieving goals, there can be times when you will get tired of running after so many things because you don’t want other people to finish before you. Being competitive is both a blessing and a curse. To be able to increase productivity, it is best if you run a race at your own pace so you won’t get tired, distracted or frustrated.
– think and take one step ahead. To be able to increase productivity, you need to plan ahead and do things ahead of time so you will be given more opportunities or chances in case the first plan did not work. Taking and thinking one step ahead are the best foundations of being productive because when you develop these, it will be easier for you to take tougher and bigger problems or challenges along the way.
– keep a journal of your progress. Keeping a journal of your accomplishments and struggles allows you to go back periodically and reflect on your activities. Doing this gives you an omniscient view where you can truly see where you might have been thinking incorrectly or correctly and then make the necessary changes. Making those needed changes moves you closer to your goal of being more productive. Remember the palest ink it better than the best memory.
Here’s to your success in being productive. Apply these six strategies and watch your productivity increase. Let me know how these strategies work for you!
Self-sabotaging behaviors prevent you from conditioning yourself for success. Just when you get things going, those dang (wanted to use a stronger word) self-sabotaging behaviors show up and keep us stuck… right where we are and not moving forward. The fact is that changing those long, established self-sabotage behavior patterns can be as difficult as recognizing and understanding them.
The questions becomes, how, then, can you eliminate sabotaging beliefs and emotions?
First, understand and accept yourself before attempting to understand and accept others… Habit Five from Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People: “Seek first to understand and then to be understood.”
You have to take a journey within for personal evaluation. This means looking inside yourself and listening to your inner dialogue, you know, your self-talk. Use your journal to track that conversation that’s going on in your head. Remain open minded to what you see and hear when discovering and then understanding your beliefs. This is essential when making constructive changes in your behaviors. Deciding how far and deep you want to go before introspection is your decision. You can take your life, your relationships and your business to a new level when you discover empowering insights to eliminate damaging self-talk and undermining behaviors.
Deciding to let go of self-sabotaging behaviors that prevent you from changing takes courage and a personal commitment to develop more effective actions. Before you go around believing you can change the beliefs and behavior of others, you have to first change yourself. This means overcoming resistances and sabotaging behaviors that have prevented you from experiencing an optimistic attitude. No matter what obstacles you face, developing an optimistic attitude, and changing unrewarding behaviors and beliefs, will awaken you to eliminate self-sabotaging behaviors.
Use these specific actions now, today, to become aware of and overcome your self-sabotaging beliefs and self-defeating emotions?
Recognize that you are at the crossroads where your decisions and choices are yours and yours alone.
Realize that you’re the one making the conscious decision to change your damaging self talk and undermining beliefs and behaviors. No one else can do it for you.
Change “I can’t” or “I won’t” to “I Can, I Will” on a consistent basis. Pay attention to the emotional changes going on within you. Be prepared to physically describe your changes and write them down. Repeat the process of writing down your changing feelings and behaviors and compare your notes every day. Measure your progress by the visible reoccurrences of positive self-talk and healthy behaviors. Continual negative self-talk will create resentments and disempowering beliefs. Self-resentment is the seed that grows into self-sabotaging behaviors.
Plant the seeds that produce positive, empowering beliefs and actions. Ask yourself, “Are my actions linked to pleasure-producing situations or to pain-producing situations?” Take the road that gives you pleasure, not grief. The personal growth experienced from facing a fearful or painful event, or adversity, is important for self-improvement. Make sure you don’t make a steady diet of it. You can grow and change by cultivating positive emotions such as joy, excitement, and happiness.
Try these and let me know how it’s working for you. I’d like to hear from you!
“Everything rises and falls on leadership,” says America’s recognized leadership guru and author John Maxwell. “Everything” is the key word in that statement. As a leader, your success depends upon your ability to get things done: up, down and across all lines. To survive and succeed, you must learn four essential skills of persuading people creating influence. You must convince others to take action on your behalf even when you have no formal authority.
Persuasion is an essential proficiency for all leaders, requiring you to move people toward a position they don’t currently hold. Maxwell also says, “Leadership is influence, nothing more, nothing less.” You must not only make a rational argument, but also frame your ideas, approaches and solutions in ways that appeal to diverse groups of people with basic human emotions. You must know your audience!
Preparing the Way
Any direct attempt to persuade may provoke colleagues to oppose and polarize, they’ll simply push back on your ideas and initiatives. Remember, the quality of your communication can be judged by the results you get. Persuasion, creating influence, is a learning and negotiating process, it must include three phases:
• Preparation and
Before you even begin to speak, consider your position from every angle. Presenting your ideas takes planning to learn about your audience and prepare your arguments. Here is where the NLP Presupposition, “an ounce of framing is worth a pound of reframing,” really makes sense.
Dialogue occurs both before and during the persuasion process. You must invite people to discuss solutions, debate the merits of your position, offer honest feedback and suggest alternatives. Include more people at all levels in the decision making process. It’s best to test and revise ideas to reflect colleagues’ concern and needs. Success depends on being open-minded and willing to incorporate compromises. Remain flexible, another NLP Presupposition really fits here nicely. It comes from Systems Thinking and it’s called Requisite Variety, the element in a system with the most flexibility will be the controlling element. Stay flexible.
Four Steps to Successful Persuasion
Leading through persuasion requires you to follow four essential steps:
1. Establish credibility. Credibility develops from two sources: expertise and relationships. Listen carefully to other people’s suggestions. Establish an environment in which they know their opinions are valued. Prepare by collecting data and information that both support and contradict your arguments.
2. Understand your audience. Frame your goals in a way that identifies common ground. Your primary goal is to identify tangible benefits to which your targeted audience can relate. This requires conversations to collect essential information by asking thoughtful questions. This process will often prompt you to alter your initial argument or include compromises. Identify key decision makers, stakeholders and the organization’s network of influence. Pinpoint their interests and how they view alternatives.
3. Reinforce your positions with vivid language and compelling evidence. Persuasion requires you to present evidence: strong data in multiple forms (stories, graphs, images, metaphors and examples). Make your position come alive by using vivid language that complements graphics. Join in the conversation that’s already going on inside your audience’s mind. In most cases, a rock-solid argument:
• Is based on emotion and is logical and consistent with facts and experience
• Favorably addresses your audience’s interests
• Eliminates or neutralizes competing alternatives – Overcomes the objection before it comes up!
• Recognizes and deals with office politics
• Receives endorsements from objective, authoritative third parties – Incorporates social proof.
4. Connect Emotionally. Your connection to your audience must demonstrate both intellectual and emotional commitment to your position. Successful persuaders cultivate an accurate sense of their audience’s emotional state, and they adjust their arguments’ tone accordingly. Whatever your position, you must match your emotional fervor to your audience’s ability to receive your message.
In today’s organizations, large and small, work is generally completed by cross-functional teams of peers, or outside virtual partners. It’s a real a mix of some remaining baby boomers, Gen-Xers and millennials who show little tolerance for authority. Electronic communication and globalization have further eroded the traditional hierarchy. People who perform work don’t just ask “what should I do?” but “why should I do it?”
Leaders must answer the “why” question effectively and consistently. Answering the “why” question only once is a fools folly. Persuasion aka the ability to influence, is an essential proficiency for all leaders who want to succeed today, tomorrow and in the decades ahead. How are you increasing your skill at influencing? I’d like to know…
Self-talk is that inner chatter that accompanies us in most of our waking moments. Much of the time we don’t even notice it’s going on. Your self-talk, internal dialog, can be a powerful aid to your performance, or it can be destructive.
What do you say when you talk to yourself? If you’re like many of us, your self-talk is a caustic mixture of judgments, complaints, and verbal abuse, in the form of “tapes” – mental recordings – that you’ve imprinted on your mind and play over and over again. No wonder it’s easy to feel down and depressed.
You can change the tapes you play, and your self-talk, as soon as you become aware of what you’re saying to yourself. Changing your self-talk will turbo-charge your life and enhance your performance in everything you do.
The first step to change: Recognize your thinking!
You can change your self-talk right now
Let’s try a little test. Say to yourself, silently or aloud: “That was a stupid thing to say. How could I say _________ (pick any verbal blunder you can remember). I’m so stupid.”
How do you feel? Perhaps you feel sad, or anxious. Take a moment to track your emotions in your body. Perhaps you have a sinking feeling in your tummy, or your face is becoming hot. Your self-talk immediately affected your body, your mental state and your emotions.
Now let’s try some positive self-talk. Take a couple of deep breaths, smile, and say to yourself, aloud or silently: “I’m happy, strong and confident.”
The second step to change is: Change your thinking or change the way you think about something.
How do you feel now? Feel your emotions in your body. Repeat the words “I’m happy, strong and confident” several times – keep smiling as you do so. If you’re like most people, you probably felt an emotional lift, even if slight. You can give yourself an emotional boost at any time, just by changing your self-talk. If you make it a habit to repeat motivating self-talk to yourself, not only will you feel better, but you’ll perform better in everything you do.
Self-talk is powerful, and it’s free. It’s the best thing you can do for yourself.
Erase old self-talk tapes: make new tapes
The third step to change: Create a routine to reinforce the new way you think about things or the change in thinking you created in step two.
Affirmations are a form of self-talk, and you can create your own affirmations to use as self-talk. However, the best way to change your old self-talk tapes, is to make a new tape every time you catch yourself replaying an old tape.
For example, if you hear yourself saying: “I’ll never get this project done. No one’s helping me with it, I’m always left to do the hard work and others get the credit…”
The late Jim Rohn said, “Forget about the thief waiting in the alley; what about the thief in your mind?” It’s one of my favorite quotes by Jim, he is one of my favorite authors and mentors.
Change your self-talk immediately. Write down your new self-talk tape which will over time erase the old self-talk tape: “This project’s interesting. I’m going to have fun working with it. I’ll ask ___ and ___ for their input right away. I’m taking charge of this project, it will be done in no time, and I’ll claim the credit because I deserve it.”
Now repeat your new self-talk to yourself as often as you need to, particularly as soon as you can hear any faint whispers of the old self talk. Boost the new tape with affirmations, like: “I’m confident, capable and strong. I CAN do this!”
Start today: use powerful self-talk to enhance your performance in everything you do.
10 Tips to More Referrals
Tip # 1
Discipline Yourself to a Routine of ‘Asking’
Here’s something profound. The reason most of us do not get referrals on a routine basis is because we do not ask for them on a routine basis. Well, it’s almost that simple. What would be the upside on your year-end bottom line if you asked for 2 referrals from each of your new customers? Let’s say you average 6 sales per month. That would be 12 referrals per month or 144 per year. Conservatively, you close half of those because they are warm referrals. Multiply 72 by your average revenue per sale. Then calculate your commission percentage off the total revenue sold. Now ask yourself if you can afford not to ask for referrals on a routine basis.
Tip # 2
Develop a process to ‘Set the Stage’
Asking for a referral is one thing, but how many times do you actually get one? Execute a Powerful Routine after you acquire a new customer, and request permission for 3 additional minutes to get their professional feedback. Ask a series of questions soliciting their opinion on ways you can be more effective with your sales process, from initial contact to point of sale, with individuals in the same industry and parallel titles. You are now setting the stage for your future success. Over time, your contacts will give you a free ‘Masters Degree.’ Remember to ‘Pack your bags, but set the stage.
’Tip # 3
Communicate to a “Win-Win” Agreement
Be honest and sincere in reference to the importance of referrals for running your business effectively. Tell your story. If you have a high referral ratio let them know that and why it is high. Customers respect a good businessperson more than a good salesperson. Try to pick a time when the contact would feel comfortable giving a referral to help your business. That may not be at the point of sale, but upon service implementation or some time in the future when you have proved you delivered what you promised. The important point is you must define with the contact when it can happen or what criteria need to be met for it to happen.
Tip # 4
Follow through in order to receive a consistently high ratio of referrals.
You may not ask for a referral until (a) the service has been implemented and (b) the customer is satisfied. But as described in Tip #3, you want to minimally set a referral foundation at the point of sale and receive a commitment to when you’ll receive one. Now, this is very important. Always write in your day timer, planner or mobile device in front of the contact when the expectation is set, and let them know you are making note of it. Treat it like an appointment for your future success. It’s found business and will afford you a higher closing ratio, shorter sales cycle and most importantly, more referrals! So, follow-up and get it!
Tip # 5
Develop a Referral Program
Be creative. Give up some money or give some unique gifts. Maybe it’s a gift certificate to a local restaurant (hopefully a customer) or a graduated percent off of their next invoice. An entrepreneurial mind will come up with a few flexible programs that fit your level of buyer. After all, you’re not putting anything out until the referral is sold. The old saying, “money makes money” is still true. Beside the potential tax benefits (check with your accountant), contacts absolutely enjoy getting a little something. Measure the ROI and the benefit will be evident. Make it a system and follow the system.
Tip # 6
Become the Messenger
Be sure to give the referral gifts out promptly on sold referrals. Deliver it in person, since it also serves as an excellent time to prime the pump for additional referrals. Don’t underestimate the power of this simple discipline. I have experienced ‘millionaires’ who reopened their black books after receiving $20 dollar gift certificates. It’s probably one of the reasons they become a millionaire. After all, it’s not the amount but the gesture. And because you are spending your valuable time being the messenger, you will without a doubt focus on receiving one or two more warm leads.
Tip # 7
Promote a Grass Roots Chamber Program
Offer local Chambers a deal they can not refuse. Chambers want to offer their membership a better deal, one that their members can not receive from regular street pricing. They are open to donations to help their chamber and are also motivated to grow their membership. Instead of offering a residual based off of sales, offer to bring them in a certain number of new members each month. After all, a certain percentage of businesses you call on will not be members, and if you can show them a return on their investment, they will certainly join the Chamber to receive it. By helping others you will see your referral ratio reach the sky!
Tip # 8 Identify Potential ‘Bird Dogs’
‘Bird dogs’ are used by hunters to point and fetch game birds for their owners. In sales, a ‘bird dog’ is someone who has multiple relationships with your potential customers and they are motivated to routinely feed you contacts for your marketing efforts. Research potential business people that may fit into this profile, and take them out to lunch. Explain your referral program and how it could supplement their core business revenue stream. For potential ‘Big Hitters’ be prepared to customize your referral program to align with their motivations. Treat them like gold and they will open up their address book.
Tip # 9 ‘Get Married’ to a Collaboration Partner
There are companies that provide products or services in your ‘value chain’ but do not compete directly with your product or service. Those companies and the professional individuals that sell for them should be a point of concentration for you to identify and contact for strategies of collaboration. I refer to this relationship as “Natural Marriages.” Contact 3 sales professionals that seem to indicate a ‘natural marriage’ for you and them. Outline what’s in it for them. Then ask them what you could reasonably expect over time. Several people you know have the ear of your customers and prospects… partner with them.
Tip # 10 Join or Start a Lead Group
You have to eat lunch, right? So why not join or consider developing a Lead Group of entrepreneurial individuals who are motivated to get together twice a month or better yet, weekly to share referrals. Find individuals who are accountable to bringing in the minimum amount of leads each meeting as outlined in your group’s business rules. Make sure every member is covered by the 80-20 rule, getting 80% of their leads from 20% of the members. And don’t be shy about having to pay a membership fee. That way, members have some ‘skin’ in the game. I suggest BNI – Business Networks International because the system is created and it works.
Today we all have a lot on our minds. We are constantly thinking about our To-Do lists, who we need to contact, our schedules, meetings, family obligations, dinner… you name it.
I’m sure you’ve been in this situation before, imagine when you are in a meeting or listening to a presentation there may be a tendency for the mind to drift off thinking about all the various things we need to do when we get out of this meeting. The truth of the matter is these distractions prevent us from focusing on what is going on in our current surroundings. It impairs our ability to learn and oftentimes we miss critical elements of what’s going on or what is being told to us.
For me personally, it is usually “a trigger word” that the speaker trainer uses that gets my mind on to another subject. Let me give an example: perhaps I am in a meeting where the speaker mentions having “time pressure” for a certain project. The words time pressure trigger in my mind my task list. Immediately, I start wondering if there something I’m forgetting? Inevitably I start running down my list of tasks one by one which in a fact does not give my mind the clarity to listen to what the speaker is saying. For you, your trigger may be something else. It could be sights such as pictures on the wall, computer screensavers or a co-worker’s doodle on their notepad.
So how do we stop ourselves from drifting off into other thoughts and worries while someone else is speaking or while we are supposed to be paying attention? If not dealt with, people may think you are ignoring them. Perhaps they will follow up with you later asking you if you have done your part of the project, when you completely missed what your part was! (Remember? You were thinking about something else when they told you that the “TPS Report” was due tomorrow and needed your input?)
One method I have been using for several years to combat this mind wandering type of behavior is to bring one or two index cards or my journal and a pen to every meeting, seminar or church service I attend. I keep the note cards or my journal handy so when these type of mind wandering items pop into my head, and they always do, I can immediately jot down a word or two to remind me about it later on. By doing so, I can then refocus on what the speaker is saying.
Here’s how it works, listening to a presentation I may be feeling anxiety about my task list I simply write down “review tasks” on my note card. Then, I immediately say to myself “Done! Now I can listen.” By doing this 5 second exercise, my mind becomes free to re-focus on what the speaker is saying. The speaker probably thinks at this point that I’m writing down something he or she said. So there is no offense taken.
Many times all I need to do is write down one word. After all, it was one word that got me into distraction — so one word will most times get me out. As an example, if the speaker is talking about e-mailing to the network group, the word “e-mailing” may trigger in my mind a thought like “Oh yeah, I need to reply to Bob‘s e-mail!!” So all I need to do is write down the word “Bob” on my index card or in my journal, say my mantra of “Done! And, I’m back to listening.” Later, when I review my index card I see only the word “Bob” and like the word “email” was a trigger, the word “Bob” is a trigger too. I remember I will need to e-mail him back. See how quick and easy this is?
After the meeting, I place the index card into my front pants pocket; the same place I keep my car keys. Keeping the card in a place I can’t avoid ensures I will find it later. So when I reach in my pocket to get my car keys the index card is there reminding me I have a few things to do. That way, I am not misplacing the list or forgetting that I’d need to add items to my task list.
For me, this simple strategy has cut back on a lot of stress and anxiety that I’ve felt over the years since I started using it. It allows me to focus better during meetings instead of missing things that people have said. When the speaker has my full attention, I learn better and I can get more done without the stress and extended distraction.
Try this strategy and let me know how it works for you. If you have a different strategy, please share it back with me. All of us are smarter than any one of us.
Breaking the Bad Habit of Not Having Enough Motivation.
Finding the thing that motivates you is one thing, it is quite another to stick with it. And even while you have already succeeded in identifying what motivates you, the temptation to give in to more convenient, easier things like procrastination are much more powerful than getting yourself up and going. At the time it doesn’t seem like it will hurt… “I’m just gonna sit here for one more…” Hey, I’ve been there! How about you?
Identify that lacking motivation or deliberately making yourself feel demotivated is one of the worst of bad habits. Something isn’t quite right when you refuse to wake up on time to get to your office. Or, when you allow yourself to be overwhelmed by the power of procrastination when you have deadlines to beat. You know that something is going wrong inside you when the task you have to finish several days ago sits idly on your desk, untouched. And something is not right when you can’t even force yourself to confront a problem that has been gnawing your will to live fully. You lack even the motivation to accept that you are not motivated. So how do you build your motivation from the ground up? Start with…
Identifying the things that sap out your motivation. It always starts with very simple things in a very natural manner. Then it starts to affect the other aspects of your life, which are not entirely connected with the thing that triggered your lack of motivation. Maybe you just didn’t feel like getting up after your alarm rung off one morning. The next day, you did the same thing and on and on until you developed the bad habit of not feeling motivated to do anything.
The first effective step to gaining back your sense of motivation is to figure out the thing or things that sap the energy out of you. It could be a small thing like not waking up in time or a really serious thing like hating everything about your job.
No matter what the form, you can identify the things that sap out your energy by their power to make you feel discouraged. Start with the sample exercise of listing down the areas in your life where you find no motivation to pursue at all and the particular things which you think makes you feel disheartened. This will help you gain some perspective on the entire issue. You can even derive solutions in simply knowing the cause. This will shed clarity on your issues with motivation.
Then you can move on to evaluating the risks and benefits of not feeling motivated. Believe us, there are benefits to having no motivation – immediate self-gratification in the form of rest for one. And there are risks, for sure. Plenty of them. And the risks oftentimes outweigh the benefits. Discovering the risks and benefits of not feeling motivated could be very enlightening. In general, you would realize that it is never worth it to procrastinate, to give in to the temptation of hating to move a finger to finish your tasks, or to deliberately believe that it is much more gratifying to lie around and do nothing.
Finally, commit yourself to change. This is not easy, it never was. But try to set the date for mustering your sense of motivation. Check in on yourself on a regular basis that you’re still on track!
Staying calm, composed and maintaining strong self-esteem in today’s tough environment can be difficult but is not impossible if you follow a few simple guidelines. Here are 6 tips you can use as a starter guide to be a better you.
You need to be aware that everything and everyone else around you can affect your self-esteem. Other people can deliberately or inadvertently damage your self-image. Unchecked people and circumstances can ultimately destroy your self-esteem and pull you down in ways you won’t even notice. Don’t let these influences get the best of you. But what should you avoid? Remember what my friend Paul Martinelli, president of the John Maxwell Team says, “If someone else can make you sad, mad or glad… you’ve been had.”
1 : A Negative Work Environment
Beware of a “dog eat dog” environment where everyone else is fighting just to get ahead. This is where non-appreciative people usually thrive and working extra is expected and not rewarded or worse not acknowledged. In this environment no one will appreciate your contributions even if you miss lunch, dinner, and stay at work late into the night. Unless you are very fortunate with a good leader or boss. Most of the time you will work too hard with no help from the others around you. This type of atmosphere will ruin your self-esteem. This is not just healthy competition, at its worst it can be brutal and the damage lasting.
2: Other Peoples Behavior
Bulldozers, brown-nosers, gossipmongers, whiners, backstabbers, snipers, people walking wounded, controllers, naggers, complainers, (I feel like Ralphie in the movie, A Christmas Story, when the lug nuts hit the snow as I list these off…) exploders, patronizers, sluffers – whatever you want to call them, all have one thing in common – an overriding desire to prosper at the expense of others. Avoid them and do not be tempted to join them. They may get some short term advantage with their behavior but deep down most are very insecure, unhappy and ashamed of their behavior. For most their self-esteem disappeared a long time ago. Seeing someone like this prosper is sickening but do not join them – you are better than that!
3: A Changing Environment
In today’s fast moving society it is difficult if not impossible to avoid change. Changes challenge our paradigms and tests our flexibility, adaptability and alter the way we think. Changes can make your life difficult and may cause stress but, if it’s inevitable, you must accept it, don’t fight it and in time find ways to improve your life. Try to manage change and try to avoid multiple changes at the same time. If a particular change can’t be avoided welcome it. Change will be with us forever, we must learn to live with it. The element with the most flexibility will be the controlling element. Stay flexible.
4: Past Experience
We all carry “baggage” – past experiences which have molded us to who we are today, but some people live in their past experiences – usually something that hurt and still hurts. It’s okay to cry out when you experience pain but don’t let pain dominate your life as it will transform itself into fears and phobias. If something painful happens, or has happened to you, find a way to minimize the effects. Change your thinking and if you can change your thinking, change the way you think about it. Discuss it with a friend, a family member or a professional if necessary and move on. Don’t let it continue to dominate your life and dictate your future actions. Because something bad has happened doesn’t mean it will happen again. Learn what you can from any bad experience and move on. Ask yourself, what did I learn? How can I grow?
5: Negative World View
The television news is full of doom and gloom and it is true that around the world there are many people suffering war, famine or other natural or man-made disasters. While I don’t suggest you not care and do nothing, remember that there are many beautiful positive things happening too. Don’t wrap yourself up with all the negative aspects around the world. Learn to look for beauty too for, in building self-esteem, we must learn how to be positive in a negative world. Remember the old saying by World War II General, “Vinegar” Joe Stillwell, “Illegitmi Non Carborundum.”
6: Determination Theory
Are we a product of our biological inherited characteristics (nature) or a result of the influences we absorb throughout our lives (nurture)? I believe how we are is due to a mixture of both nurture and nature and as a result our behavioral traits are not fixed. Whilst it is true that some things are dictated by genetics (for example race, color and many inherited conditions) your environment and the people in your life have a major effect on your behavior. The late Jim Rohn said, “You are the average of the five people you hang around with.” You are your own person, you have your own identity and make your own choices. The characteristics your mother or father display are not your destiny. Learn from other people’s experience, so you don’t suffer the same mistakes.
Are some people are born leaders or positive thinkers? I don’t believe so. Being positive, and staying positive is a choice. Building self-esteem and drawing on positive experiences for self-improvement is a choice, not a rule or a talent. No-one will come to you and give you permission to build your self-esteem and improve your-self. It is in your control.
It can be hard to keep positive, especially when others and circumstances seem to be conspiring to pull you down. You need to protect yourself and give yourself a chance to stay positive. Improving your self-esteem gives you that protection.
One way to stay positive is to minimize your exposure to harmful influences while using affirmations to boost the positive influences in your life. Constantly reminding yourself of the good things in your life will keep the impact of negative influences to a minimum. Another way to stay positive is to make sure your goals are set and set correctly. A “compelling why” will surely pull you through when you need it.
Planning for success is an important way to overcome fears and barriers to growth. It’s similar to taking a vacation. You need a guide or a road map to keep you on course and give you direction. Would you attempt to navigate a ship on the open sea without a chart or map? Of course not. Even the ancient mariners used the stars and constellations to find their way.
A plan is a powerful tool for achievement. It’s a magic key that helps you reach your goals and gives you the momentum to get through difficult passageways. Planning prevents unnecessary detouring, and helps you take responsibility for your actions. Goals are what keep you going and give you your focus. Keep focusing on your goals and continually take the needed steps to reach them. Your ability to keep moving after achieving one goal depends on how clearly you see the next step to set new goals.
Goal-setting is an ongoing, reciprocal process between you and the world. Accomplishing your goals helps you to overcome inner barriers of fear, and affirms your self-confidence. Goal-setting is not a mundane process. It generates out of your human need for self-drive and accomplishment. This drive for accomplishment is innate, it comes from within you. When you set goals, it solidifies you physically, mentally and emotionally. You begin to feel more connected to yourself and to the world.
There are six ways to focus on your goals and plan your success. It is important to include the following in your goal-setting procedure:
1. Identify your goal and make it a realistic one. You must care about it.
2. Select a goal that you can work on, rather than something someone else has selected for you.
3. Make sure it’s specific, not vague. For example, choose a skill like “Communicating more effectively with your friends by using positive vocabulary,” or “Managing your time more efficiently by stating a time and date for getting your goal accomplished.” Selecting a goal you can do something about gives you the power and influence to actively and assertively accomplish your goal.
4. Have at least one goal or objective every day. Feel a sense of joy and fulfillment whenever you take a step toward accomplishing your goal, or objective.
5. Experience how your feelings and thoughts are pulled by your stated goals.
6. Reward yourself for every goal or objective that gets accomplished. Remember to be consistent when rewarding yourself as well.
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