Monthly Archives: June 2011

Re-frame Your Perspective as You Build Confidence

confidence

I’m in the process of building confidence in my life.

It can be a big struggle.  I’m sure that you can fully relate to the experience- especially if you try to accomplish things outside your “comfort zone”.

There are definite parts of life where we can build confidence.

With this post, I hope I can help you re-frame your perspective.  As I’m making a conscious effort to “re-orient” my thinking, my own quality of life is improving.

Our Perspective about our Past “Failures”

Whenever we fail in a certain area of life, it’s easy to get side-tracked, discouraged and give in to a bleak outlook for the future.

Failure can be devastating if we take it personally.

When I fall short of the things I intend to do, I’m developing a new habit of looking at it as a learning experience and as a challenge for greater personal growth.

For instance, we can gain wisdom from our past struggles, failures and disappointments.  We can move forward with courage and strength.  We can also build hope for a brighter future.

I’d like to encourage you today to re-frame your own perspective on any failure you encountered in your past.

Use it as a stepping stone to your future success.

You can use it as a learning experience.  What would you have done differently?

For instance, I’ve failed at certain things in life due to a lack of focus, interest and purpose.

I’ve learned about the importance of developing enticing goals and new beliefs about myself and life’s opportunities.   As I have embraced my life’s purpose, I’ve been more productive and have made greater progress in achieving the goals I’ve set.

Our Perspective on Change

You may recall an old saying from years ago- “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks”.

When we read about stories in the newspaper about people who went back to college or university – and obtained a degree in their 70′s or 80′s, we clearly see that this old saying truly is a myth.

If we tell ourselves that we can’t make meaningful changes in our lives, we’ll never take steps and adopt new and better lifestyle habits.

For example, I’ve learned a great deal about the value of improving my thought life.  As I have ongoing battles with “I can’t” or “I’m not able to achieve this goal”, I now defeat those thoughts with affirmations and thoughts of courage, hope and strength.  Many of these thoughts are related to my own personal faith.

You also may struggle as you battle thoughts of self-doubt.

Recently, I was away for a brief holiday.  I ate out at a restaurant where people wrote really positive thoughts on the walls.  It was a really neat setup.  It was an interesting and inspiring place to eat.

Someone wrote- “Don’t believe everything you think.”

For example, you’ve likely had fearful thoughts that never came to pass.  You likely had the experience of anticipating an event with anxiety – such as an upcoming flight.  I had these thoughts with the trip I just took.  The flights went fine, even when I came back home an hour after a big windstorm.

Making changes in your life may require you to “venture” outside of your comfort zone.

Many times, your natural response will be “it’s too difficult”.

I have decided to re-frame my perspective on the topic of change.

I’m now embracing it- and I’m discovering that the quality of my life is improving.

For example, I’m now setting and reviewing my goals, building my confidence as I review my “accomplishments” document, elevating my mood as I refer to personal affirmations, exploring areas of life and faith that are most meaningful to me, and am building courage and strength in my life as I step outside my “comfort zone” and take action.

Our Perspective on our Capabilities

I’d like to encourage you to develop the following perspective:

You are capable of moving forward and making outstanding progress in your life.

In a previous post, I recommended that you create an accomplishments list.

In this list, you’d list your Top 15 accomplishments in life that you’re most proud of.

This morning, I briefly reviewed my own list, which I called “Top 15 Achievements”.

Develop and keep a list.  It’s a positive reminder that you are more than capable of meeting the challenge you face today.

This type of list will be meaningful when you’re feeling doubtful about your abilities and your potential to achieve your goals.

Your accomplishments list will give you a valuable reminder about previous goals you’ve achieved.  It will remind you about the courage and strength you’ve demonstrated, your perseverance and determination and your dedication to making a positive difference in the lives of others.

Better yet, it will remind you about the fulfillment and satisfaction you felt as you “took life on” and achieved your goals.

Our Perspective on Our Intrinsic Value and Significance

One of the easiest things to do in life is to link our self-esteem with our accomplishments.

For example, yesterday I wrote out three tasks to accomplish on my Monday morning, and I only accomplished two of them.  It’s easy to berate myself for the goal I didn’t accomplish, rather than affirm or congratulate myself for making progress on the two tasks.

This morning, I reviewed a few self-confidence affirmations that have been most valuable to me.

One of the affirmations says:

“I love and approve of myself aside from my accomplishments”

For most of my life, I’ve tied in my results or behaviors with who I am as a person.

If my results were great, I’d feel good about myself.  If my results were bad or mediocre, I’d tie it in to my personal worth.  I would say “I can’t do this. Who am I to think I could achieve this goal?”

I’d like to encourage you today to build on and reflect on your intrinsic worth- you have value, significance and personal worth- aside from anything you do.

As you build upon a solid self-image, you’ll achieve far more than you’ve ever dreamed, and you’ll discover that you’re improving confidence in your daily life.

With today’s blog post, I hope I’ve encouraged you to change or re-frame

  • your perspective on past failures- as learning experiences and as an opportunity for personal growth
  • your perspective on change- from being “too difficult” to “an opportunity for improving the quality of your life”
  • your perspective about your capabilities- from “I can’t” or “this won’t workto “Based on my previous accomplishments, I’m capable of making outstanding progress in life.”
  • your perspective about your intrinsic worth – affirming your value and worth aside from your accomplishments.

In my next post, I’d like to share with a few self-confidence exercises that will improve your productivity and quality of life.  Until then, have a great day.

confidence Re frame Your Perspective as You Build Confidence

Develop the Habit of Self-Recognition for Daily Inspiration

LoveisPresent

Progress is an important word and value for our lives.

We can use it as a tool to inspire us, motivate us toward greater action and of course, it helps us achieve our goals.

If you’re like me, whenever you make progress- you get a feeling of “empowerment” or well-being.  You’re making a difference in your life.

Rather than just “letting life happen”, you’re creating the life you desire.

I encourage you to develop greater approval of yourself and your progress – each step you take towards achieving your goals.

You’ll be encouraged to carry on even when you fall short of a short-term goal.

I’d like to give you a definition of self-recognition- as I’ve defined it in my latest eBook (which I hope to make accessible very soon):

It’s the awareness and recognition of:

  • your willingness and ability to set short-term and long-term goals
  • your accomplishments toward your goals
  • your importance and contributions to the lives of those around you (at work, with your family, etc..)

As I review and reflect on this definition – I feel inspired and encouraged.  My hope is that this blog post will help in boosting confidence for you today.

Your Willingness and Ability to Set Short-Term Goals

Looking back on the past, I wish I’d taken a bit of time to develop goals and take action on them.  I tended to “drift” through life.

In the last few years, as I’ve begun to set goals, I’ve felt more inspired and encouraged.

I’ve gained greater meaning, purpose and enthusiasm for life.

Our goals and dreams need restoration sometimes.

Maybe that’s why new year’s resolutions are so popular.  We all tend to set aside some of our goals and dreams and say “I’ll do that someday”.

I’d like to encourage you to become more willing to develop goals for your life (if you haven’t already done so).

I think my heart reaches out to those who are discouraged- and those who despair in life and feel no purpose.  I know the feeling because I’ve been there.

There’s no shame in feeling overwhelmed, confused and uncertain.

I never want to get to a place where I don’t feel the desire to reach out and try again in life.

That’s my hope for anyone who reads this post.

If you’re struggling to reach your goals, that’s okay too.

Whenever I fall short of where I intend to be, I’m beginning to tell myself:

“My goals are worth pursuing.  I approve of myself for being willing to try again.”

My hope is that you’ll do the same.

Recognize your ability and willingness to make an attempt in life- you’ll be able to develop unstoppable confidence.

Your Accomplishments towards Your Goals

It’s been awhile since I reviewed my accomplishments.

I have a document on my computer called “Top 15 Achievements”.

This morning, I briefly reviewed this document.  While doing so, I felt encouraged and motivated to work on my goals (and even do the things that are outside my “comfort zone”).

I’ve been reminded of the struggles I faced.

Yet I was fortunate and blessed to experience a few success stories along the way.

As you recall and review your prior accomplishments, you’ll remember how good it felt to achieve your prior goals.  You will also be inspired to persevere through any challenge you now face.

Your “Top Achievements” list will be a source of great encouragement to you.

You’ve overcome great challenges before- and you can do so again.

Your Importance and Contribution to the Lives of Others

I encourage you to reflect on prior contributions you’ve made to the lives of other people.

For instance, you may have done volunteer work.

Your presence, support and help may have helped other people in their time of need, or during a time of crisis.

Looking at it objectively, you could create a brief list.

For instance, if you think back carefully to your past and present life, you’ve offered friendship, love, companionship, support, encouragement, help, guidance, wisdom, and other great things to the lives of those around you.

I have kept many personal cards and notes- some go back many years ago.

To me, they’re messages of encouragement to me.

When I read them, it reminds me of the ways my life has impacted other people.

I was surprised that my life provides such encouragement to others.

I’d like to encourage you to recognize that your life has meaning, value and significance to those around you.

Our own words, actions and confidence levels truly affect the lives of others.

These things can inspire or demotivate, encourage or discourage, build faith or dissuade others through doubt or pessimism.

Be encouraged to daily remind yourself that your life has a type of impact, contribution and meaning to the lives of others.

That way, you can reach out and make a great difference in the world around you.

To sum it all up, I hope you’ll be encouraged to recognize:

  • your willingness to set and achieve your goals
  • your daily accomplishments, and
  • your significance and value in the world

This is all part of self-recognition.  I hope you’ll be encouraged to make it a daily habit.  It will help you achieve your goals in life.

In my next post, I’ll provide a few tips for re-framing failure and boosting confidence in your life.

Until then, have a great day.

Service Develop the Habit of Self Recognition for Daily Inspiration

Why Confidence Starts with Self-Acceptance of Your Value

Happiness

If you’re like me, it’s tough to just “pretend” to be confident.

I know there are many who have a “just fake it ’til you make it” type of philosophy.

It may have its place in different scenarios.

There have been many times where I’ve experienced doubt, worry, and uncertainty about the things I could do with my life.

This blog is one illustration of that.

The easiest thing to do when we venture outside our “comfort zones” is to become overwhelmed with self-doubt.  We often ask ourselves “who am I to try out a new career?” or “who am I to achieve my goals, plans and dreams in life?”

In this post, I’d like to challenge your current beliefs about your potential, capabilities and future.

I’ve been held back so much in the past by negative emotions of doubt and fear. A lack of self-acceptance has held me back in life.

I’d like to help you in this post – with three exceptional benefits of increasing your level of self-acceptance.  It’s a first crucial step to greater confidence in life.

Achieving your goals in life and enjoying the journey towards your dreams is worth it, wouldn’t you agree?

Self-Acceptance Helps You Recognize Your Inherent Worth

For me, it’s been a battle to try to distinguish between what I do with who I am as a person.

I think we run into dangerous territory when we tie our behavior or “life results” with our inner self-worth.

For instance, if I fall short in the goals I’ve set as I work on my blog and website courses, I can react one of two ways.

I can give myself credit for the things I did accomplish- for the progress I’ve made.

Unfortunately, I can also exercise the choice of fretting about the things I was unable to do, doubting myself along the way as I ask myself “who am I to try to accomplish these lofty goals I’ve set?  I’m not capable of following through.  Look at how I didn’t follow through on things in the past!”

With the first response, I have given myself credit for trying- for reaching “beyond” my comfort zone.

With the second response, I have told myself that I can’t accomplish the goals I’ve set- that I’m somehow worthy, incapable or inadequate.

I like Merriam-Webster’s definition of the word “inherent”:

Inherent: involved in the constitution or essential character of something: belonging by nature or habit.

Think carefully about your essential character.

You have inherent worth, value and significance.  It’s an essential part of you as a person.  You have a sense of uniqueness- and a purpose for being here.

These things are all part of your essential character or “essence”.

I encourage you to elevate your level of self-acceptance each day.  You’ll get more out of life that way- and you’ll be able to accomplish great things.

Self-Acceptance helps you gain Strength and Courage

We all need greater courage and strength to face life’s challenges.

One book that’s been very valuable to me was written by David J. Schwartz called “The Magic of Thinking Big”.  I highly recommend it.

In his book, the first chapter is titled “Believe You Can Succeed and You Will”.

Schwartz uses a really good analogy.  He likens our minds to be like a “thought factory” producing countless thoughts under the charge of either one of two foremen: “Mr. Triumph” or “Mr. Defeat”.

He says that “Mr. Triumph” specializes in producing thoughts of why you can, why you’re qualified and why you will.  In contrast, “Mr. Defeat” develops reasons why you can’t or why you’re inadequate.

I’d like to back up this analogy a little bit.

When we set up a foundation of thoughts that we can characterize as “self-accepting”, we’ll be in a better position to build upon thoughts that give us courage and strength in our daily lives.

For example, I like to refer to a few self-confidence types of affirmations I received from a personal coach.

Here are a few of the ones I try to refer to frequently:

  • I love and approve of myself aside from my accomplishments.
  • I am loving and accepting of who I am and who I am becoming.
  • I recognize and honor my true talents, abilities, and skills.

The first affirmation really gives us a great definition as well for self-acceptance.  The second one is almost a type of “filter” for thoughts that might tend to tear us down (like the types of thoughts that tear us down). The third one is a good reminder and value of recognizing your capabilities and potential in life.

Self-Acceptance is “Empowering” rather than “Victimizing”

If we lack a core of self-acceptance, our evaluation of ourselves can even be subject to the “limiting thoughts” others may place on us.

The other day at work, I listened to some “unsolicited” feedback from a co-worker.

She thought it was her place to tell me that I should show more “initiative” and figure things out on my own.

To “make a long story short”, her feedback was contradictory to management’s direction.

I considered what she had to say, and had to reject most of her feedback.

I could have walked away and sulked about it, but decided to take it just as her opinion, and not a reflection of my worth or my daily contribution to our company.

I found it empowering to not let it get to me, and to think about all the times I’d taken initiative to help other co-workers.  The weight of evidence was on my side that I do take initiative on the job.

I’ve begun the process of “self-acceptance” and find it to be quite empowering.

My hope is that I’m encouraging you to make it a daily habit.

Be assured that this great habit will make a tremendous difference in the quality of your life.

My next blog post will be about building confidence through self-recognition.  I’ll share a few ideas that will help you boost your daily confidence.

Until then, have a great day.

Happiness Why Confidence Starts with Self Acceptance of Your Value

The Value of Questioning Your Naturally Occurring Thoughts

courage-1c

Our thoughts tend to lead to the emotions we feel.

In the past, cognitive psychologists have made advancements in this field.

I have some really good books and audio programs that deal with these advancements.  Many people have been helped with valuable ideas and insight.

I think that’s the major purpose of this blog.

It’s been an interesting, yet challenging experience for me.

My hope is that you’ll be able to apply ideas I’ve learned – many times through trials and difficulties- to build a happier, more meaningful and inspired life.

I think that part of experiencing a better quality of life involves taking better care of the thoughts we choose to dwell upon.

Questioning the “Validity” of our Thoughts

If you’re struggling with emotional stress of fear, anxiety, anger or discouragement, ask yourself:

“Are the thoughts I’m adopting coming from a valid source?”

When we’re struggling with thoughts of discouragement, it’s a worthwhile exercise to evaluate two things:

  • the validity of the thought, and
  • the validity  of the source

For instance, someone else’s opinion of you, your potential, your work, or your inherent worth is simply that: someone else’s opinion.

I have written that last phrase in italics- as it’s worth emphasizing.

In the past, I became distressed if I didn’t meet another person’s approval or acceptance.

I’ve recognized, though, that there are as many opinions out there as there are different faces.

We can learn to deal with the stress that comes with rejection, disapproval or a lack of acceptance.

We’re able to handle these things more effectively when we question the validity of the things we hear about ourselves.

I like how Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary defines the word “valid”:

“Well-grounded or justifiable: being at once relevant and meaningful”

When our emotions are fed by thoughts of stress, anxiety or discouragement, it’s valuable to ask ourselves:

“Is this thought valid?  Is it one that would be well-grounded, justifiable, relevant or meaningful?”

If it’s not, make it a point (and a practice) to discard it.

Sometimes the source of our gloom is the opinions and perspectives others try to impose on us.

Naysayers and critics will never help you get ahead in life.  If there’s a grain of truth to what they say, use it to your advantage.

Otherwise, my recommendation would be to reject the ideas that don’t fit the definition I’ve given for the term “valid”.

If we accurately evaluate the people we end up listening to, we’ll recognize sometimes that their ideas hold very little relevance and meaning for our lives.  In such instances, we need to run from those who hinder our progress in life.  It’s sad but true.

Questioning the Truth of Our Thoughts and Beliefs

For me, this is a big one.

If we accept as true that life is overwhelming, there’s no point in making progress, achieving goals, then we will feel overwhelmed, hopeless about making great strides in life or in achieving our goals.

There’s a natural link between our thoughts and our emotions.

To me, that’s why I’ve needed to be careful about the ideas, values and beliefs I’ll go ahead and adopt in my own life.

If there’s no truth or “basis for reality” for any kind of thought or belief, you’re better off making a conscious effort to question its validity and then reject it without reservation.

It’s not something I’ve made a habit of doing, but I’m now realizing how valuable it would have been to me if I’d done so in the past.

Would You be able to Classify Your Thought or Belief as Final?

As children, there’s a sense of adventure to life.  Their lives are often filled with anticipation, hope and optimism.

For example, the great enthusiasm they’ll have for their last day of school and upcoming summer vacation illustrates my point.

As we grow, we encounter a mixture in life.  We may have a few good friends and close relationships, in which we experience enjoyable times with.

We may have had a few mentors, teachers or classmates who tried to tear us down, or tell us that we’re incapable or somehow inadequate- that we don’t “measure up”.

Why do we accept their words as final & without need for further question or evaluation?

Their ideas held no finality.

They knew nothing of your capabilities, skills, values, ideas, courage to face detractors in life, or the strength to endure and overcome adversity in your life.

In the same way, if you’re telling yourself that you can’t, that you’re incapable or inadequate to meet your current challenge…how do you know?

You don’t really know how capable, strong or courageous you will be to meet future challenges.

I have discovered in my own life that I’ll make greater progress as I reject limiting beliefs.

I think I could safely assume that you’d be honorable in your dealings with others.

Each day, it’s quite likely that you don’t go around and impose limiting beliefs upon other people.

If so, why would you do so with yourself?

- Reflect on the past- there are struggles, challenges and trials in life you never thought you’d see the “light of day” so to speak.

If you’re to tell yourself you can’t make it through your current challenges- you have something from the past to draw upon.

This is where valuable past experiences come into play.

I hope I have encouraged you to question and think differently about any limiting thoughts or beliefs you now hold.

Your life, significance, goals and purpose are worth defending and nurturing.

All the best to you in your quest for an inspired and successful life.

My next series of posts will be on the topic of Building Confidence.

I encourage you to test the validity, truth and finality of any thoughts you struggle with.

Until my next post, have a great day.

courage 1c The Value of Questioning Your Naturally Occurring Thoughts

Becoming Skilled with Our Inner Communication or “Self Talk”

success-and-belief

Our inner communication affects so many aspects of our lives.

I’ve found this to be particularly true in my own life.

My inner thoughts- or “self talk” affects my actions, how well I do what I set out to accomplish, whether I’m resilient or not and my entire outlook on life.

With this post, I’d like to provide a few tips that will help you get a better handle on decreasing stress in your own life- as well as for generally improving your own outlook on life.

Your productivity, happiness and well-being depend a great deal on your own inner dialogue.

Value Progress not Perfection

This tip or idea has been a challenge for me to follow.

I tend to be very goal-oriented- and I have an over-arching type of goal to stay on track and make progress each day.

I have a very busy work schedule.  I only have certain portions of time during the week to attend to my blog and online business.

When I fall short of what I intend for a certain morning, it tends to set the tone for the rest of the day.

I begin to question my capabilities and adequacy for the goals I’ve set.

Many doubts begin to surface in my mind, such as:

“How will I be able to handle this?”

“I’ve fallen short again.  Maybe this isn’t for me.  Should I consider a different career path?”

On and on it goes with such thoughts.

If you listen to your own inner dialogue, you may find that it can easily become defeating, discouraging, filled with uncertainty or fear.

Each thought of doubt tends to raise more questions.

I have heard it said that if we can’t come up with answers to “why” types of questions in life, our minds will tend to come up with even more unanswerable questions.

This morning is a prime example of valuing progress, not perfection.

There were certain things I wanted to accomplish, but I didn’t get to them.

As I focused on one thing at a time, I valued the progress and good things I did accomplish.  My mood improved and I carried forward with the actions I could take.

I like how Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary defines progress as “a forward or onward movementas to an objective or a goal.  A related word they used is advance.

Here are a few benefits of advancing, moving forward and making progress in life:

  • You feel better about yourself- as you’re striving towards the goal you’re dreaming of achieving
  • You can experience reserves of strength and courage you never knew you had
  • You can become involved or engaged in an enjoyable process or journey towards your goal (an exceptional benefit of goal-setting)

If you’re struggling with self-doubt- or with perfectionism in your life, I encourage you to reflect on the above benefits.

I’m feeling more encouraged about what I’ve accomplished so far- as I reflect on the benefits I’ve just written.

I’m grateful that I’m experiencing these benefits, and hope that you’ll be encouraged to move forward.

Develop Thoughts of Unconditional Love and Acceptance

I think affirmations have great value for our lives.

I’m not overly fanatical about repeating them.

However, they can be greatly beneficial in defeating the doubts and for combating the negative thoughts we tend to have.

I’ve had a battle in my own life with self-acceptance.

It’s a personal thing that I would rather not admit.

I think there’s a value within the struggle I’ve faced.

The ability to reach out and help you in this blog is something I wouldn’t trade in or give up easily.

I think there’s always a reason for the challenges we face.  Eventually, as time passes, we may discover a greater purpose because of our “valley experiences”.

As you know, I have learned many things along the way (through trial and error).

I’m grateful for teachers, mentors and the coaching I have experienced.

I’m valuable apart from my accomplishments.

Here are a couple of affirmations I like to refer to when self-doubt tends to “rise up” in my mind:

“I love and approve of myself aside from my accomplishments.”

“I am loving and accepting of who I am and who I am becoming.”

It will always move you forward in life as you affirm your own value and worth aside from the things you accomplish.

Recognize the “Process” of Fine-Tuning Your Inner Thoughts or Dialogue

It’s always helpful to remember that we haven’t yet “arrived”.

Recognizing the benefits of growth, learning and development helps us value these activities more and more.

For instance, as you step out beyond your comfort zone with new ideas, a great deal of growth takes place.  You’re developing and becoming the person you’re meant to be.

Life takes on a sense of adventure for you.

You can experience greater motivation, inspiration and enthusiasm for your goals.

This is the power we can all experience as we develop an “empowered” thought life.

Supporting ourselves is an active, ongoing choice that we need to make.

I’m recognizing more and more each day that my thoughts have become my own personal choice- and that each day I’ll have many occasions to exercise this choice.

I encourage you to exert your own power of choice with any self-defeating thoughts you experience.

Recognize as well that it’s an ongoing process.  It will go on throughout your life.

I’ve had to realize this- I’m not “bad” or “abnormal” for experiencing self-doubt, fear, and anxiety about the future.

Growth and development are becoming daily choices for me.

I saved a printout of an Abraham Maslow quote from a few years back.  For me, it’s very meaningful and valuable – and hope it will be of great encouragement to you.

Here is the quote:

One can choose to go back toward safety or forward toward growth.  Growth must be chosen again and again; fear must be overcome again and again.”

All the best to you today as you pursue your goals in life.

In my next post, I’ll provide four valuable ideas to monitor and questioning limiting thoughts.

Until then, have a great day.

success and belief Becoming Skilled with Our Inner Communication or Self Talk