Friday, February 25, 2011

Follow These Three Easy Tips to Survive your Breakup

George Patton said that next to war, all other forms of human endeavor pale to insignificance. General Patton probably forgot, in the heat of military battle, the consuming pain and heartache of learning that a lady friend was leaving him. Paradoxically, this is often also the time that many men realize for the first time that they love the woman who's about to walk out of their lives. Despite that realization, this is often a time when men seem to go out of their way to find stupid things to do, further alienating their sweetheart.

The purpose of this article is to enumerate a few points that might be of assistance to a man who's in the process of breaking up at different points in the process.

1. A breakup is a tragic loss that should be mourned

It's a societal expectation that men not cry regardless of the reason. Crying in front of a woman is seriously discouraged, especially by men. The fact is, though, the bottling up of emotions within ourselves is harmful to our long-term emotional and psychological health.

There should be no feelings of guilt associated with mourning over a lost relationship. When you learn your relationship's dying, you may feel terrible pain and want to cry. Don't be embarrassed because of this - it's natural, and if your girl sees you, well, there's no shame in her finding out about your humanity, is there?

2. Look to the future, not the past

If you're still grieving over your old relationship and hoping to be able to get back together with your ex, you're going to short-change any women you try to get involved with. Relationships can be rescued, of course, and you've got a better chance if you start before they're actually broken up. Has she made specific complaints, identified certain behavior? If she's right, or if you're willing to try to change them to appease her, by all means go ahead. Take a look at your physical appearance as well. Consider some new clothing in a style different from what she's gotten used to. Think about getting a new hairstyle. And make certain you tell her directly just how much you love her and how much you need her.

There exists the possibility that you won't be able to win her back, and you two will break up. If that's what happens, then you'll need to realize that some things, no matter how good they seem, just aren't in the cards. Once you really understand that, you'll be ready to move on. While it's true that you cannot start up with another woman until you've put this relationship behind you for good, don't forget that these things take time. With all the beautiful women walking around, have faith that there are many who'd love to spend time with you - the real question is which one? And won't it be fun finding out? But you had better be certain that you're over the old relationship, because if you aren't, it'll make starting a new relationship almost impossible.

3. Your ex has hurt you - now forgive her.

Our society and our religions teach us the value and the power of forgiveness of those who injure us. Like a genuine apology, forgiveness has the power to heal your own heart. It's important to lift these negative feelings from your heart because they'll interfere in almost everything you do.

Without your forgiveness, even though she's no longer your girlfriend or even in your life, your ex will start to have more and more control over you and your life - even if you never see her, you'll be dealing with an imperfect image you've created in your heart, tied up in those negative emotions. You'll wind up wasting more time and energy trying to forget her.

5 Great Tips to Develop Positive Thinking

Having a positive mindset is essential in so many areas. Studies show that positive thinking improves productivity and quality. When we feel positive we naturally are more creative and so perform better. When you are on top of your game, your confidence levels will be sky high and this benefits all areas of your personal and work life.

Fear can stop you in your tracks; it can stop you thinking productively. Fear of showing ourselves up, of being proved wrong, or losing what we have, can stop us making beneficial decisions. If negative thinking leads to bad judgement, we become hesitant when challenged by adversity. We then see an opportunity as an impossible test and instead of seizing the day, allow the moment to pass, while the rest of the world moves onward and upward. Negative emotions like fear, regret, anxiety, jealousy, anger and sadness are not only capable of having a huge physical effect on you, but they can also impact significantly on how you conduct yourself through life. Negative emotions can cement bad decision making habits.

A huge benefit of personal development is that it can persuade the healthy parts of us to expand and the less acceptable to wither away. It can improve our overall state of health and give us inner peace, as our emotions, values, attitudes, motivations and beliefs are all linked together.

Right, let us look at ways to help maintain a positive outlook:

Set goals

If life was a piece of cake then we would not need motivation. That is why setting yourself regular challenges and goals - for example taking up a new hobby that requires creativity or learning a new language ? can help develop a well-trained, disciplined mind that will aid you in many other parts of life. Keeping confidence and motivation going is key to achieving long term success. However, to achieve long term success you need to set and accomplish short term goals! Giving yourself a small reward as you hit each short term goal will also help maintain motivation.

Believe in yourself

This is crucial. There is no point in setting goals if you don?t believe you can achieve them! Believe that you can achieve. Very few people find success without believing in themselves or in what they are doing. Visualisation may help. See yourself reach your goal; feel the immense satisfaction that comes when you do so and how positive you feel.

Value yourself

Think good things about yourself. Treat yourself as you would a valued friend. Instead of being your own worst critic become your own best supporter. Be aware of negative comments you think or say about yourself. Change these into positive comments that encourage you.

Develop an action plan

Having eradicated these negative thoughts, focus on developing an action plan which will form the foundation for your positive mindset. Add reward days into the planner for extra motivation. Of course, your plan should be unique to you, allowing for your own needs. Personalising it like this will show you that you can control your own future. Having a clear idea of what to do will help you focus on the task in hand. No longer will you feel helpless and directionless.

Keep a journal

Keep a daily journal in which you note down the progress you are making towards your goals. Also note down how you are feeling about yourself. Keeping tabs on your progress is certain to help foster a positive mind-set. Naturally, honesty is key for this to work. Don?t lie to yourself otherwise you are unlikely to achieve your goal.

Follow these strategies, they work. You will soon find yourself becoming more positive and enjoying life more. Make it happen!

5 Ways to Overcome Anxiety and Stress

The never ending search for ways to overcome anxiety and stress most certainly has increased over the recent past. Work related stress in particular has become more commonplace due to the tough economic environment. Many people have lost jobs and much more. On the other hand those that haven't suffered jobs losses yet experience constant anxiety attacks over if and when they may lose theirs. As it stand there does not seem to be much relief in sight therefore it is all the more important to find ways to minimize anxiety attacks and to reduce stress.

By consciously adopting certain patterns of behavior we may not be able to rid ourselves of the many causes of stress we encounter but we can reduce its harmful affects.

Here is a simple survival guide for you reviewing 5 ways to minimize anxiety attacks and relieve the stress that comes with it.

Gain Separation

Gain physical separation as soon as possible to help diffuse the rising tension both within you and the situation itself. Nothing good comes from allowing the 'cauldron' to boil over so let it cool off at the first opportunity.

Out of sight out of mind!

Close Your Eyes

If you can not immediately leave the source close your eyes. This allows you a 'quiet' moment even in the company of others which will help you regain your composure. Once again 'cooler heads' always prevail and when you can not get physical distance 'escaping' into your thoughts is the next best thing.

Find Solitude

If possible locate a calmer environment that allows you to process things without the 'static' or disruptions you can expect in a busier environment. This will allow you to 'regroup' your thoughts and calmly 'calculate' your next move without emotions clouding your ability to reason.

Go Outside

There is ALWAYS something to be said about the 'great' outdoors. Besides the fresh air and change of scenery the reminder of how grand Mother Nature can be is always humbling and helps put things into perspective.

Breathe Deeply

Oxygen helps you think more clearly and slow up your 'accelerated' system by focusing on the deliberate act of breathing. Also when you are very tense the body usually reacts by shortening your breaths thereby adding to the tension you may already be feeling.

Recent times have sent everybody scrambling for ways to overcome anxiety and stress due to the current turbulence in many economies. Work related stress in particular has catapulted through the roof with people losing their jobs or in fear of that possibility. Since these causes of stress are not going away anytime soon we need to adopt certain patterns of behavior that will help us cope with the situation a little better. By exercising the 5 aforementioned techniques above we should be able to take the necessary actions enabling us to reduce stress and maintain a healthier balance in our lives.

Loving Yourself First

"I have an everyday religion that works for me. Love yourself first, and everything else falls into line."
--Lucile Ball, 1911-1989, Comedienne and Actress

Lucile Ball was a very smart woman!

Do you believe that if you put others first, they will love and value you and you will feel loved? Has this worked for you?

Do you believe that if you love yourself first you are being selfish? Is it selfish to attend to your own feelings and needs so that you are not needy of others attention to you? Is it selfish to learn how to fill yourself up with love so that you have plenty of love to share with others, or is it actually selfish to expect others to do this for you?

Who is really being selfish?
People who are self-sacrificing and then expect everyone to give them attention and praise?

People who demand that others give themselves up and do what the demanding person wants?

People who attend to their own feelings and needs so that they are not demanding and needy of others?
In my definition of selfish, the first two examples are of people who are being selfish, and the third example is of people who are being self-responsible.

Loving yourself first is self-responsible. Loving yourself first means that:
You learn to define your own worth so that you are not needy and dependent upon others doing it for you.

You take care of your own painful feelings so that you are not blaming others for them.

You take responsibility for what you need to do to feel happy and joyful so that you are not expecting another to make you happy.

You take care of your own needs so that you are not demanding that others take care of them for you.

You take care of your body so that you do all you can to not be dependent upon others doing it for you.

You take care of your finances if you are physically able to do so, so that you are not dependent on others doing it for you.

You do all you can internally to make yourself feel safe, so that you don't need others to make you feel safe.

You have a consistent spiritual practice that fills you with love so that you have love to share with others rather than needing someone else to love you to feel okay.

It is true that everything else falls into line when you take care of yourself first. Far from being selfish, it is actually the opposite of selfish.
Why don't more people do this? If you are not doing it, why not?
Do you believe that others loving you means more than loving yourself?

Do you believe that you are not capable of loving yourself? That others are better at it than you?

Do you believe that your best feelings come from others loving you, rather than loving yourself?

Do you believe that you are not worth loving, so others have to love you to prove that you are worth it?

Do you believe that others should love you and make up to you what you didn't receive as a child?
If you are operating from any of these false beliefs, then you are likely stuck abandoning yourself rather than loving yourself.

"Love yourself first, and everything else falls into line." This statement is absolutely true. If you are not loving yourself first, then it is likely that things are not falling into line for you. Consider changing your intent from getting love to being loving - to yourself first, so that you can then share your love with others.

Dealing with Manipulative People: How To Break Free From Their Manipulative Control

Dealing with manipulative people is an unpleasant - but sometimes necessary - part of life. You can't always avoid them because there's almost no telling what kind of person someone is unless you get to know them better. You can have co-workers who seem so nice only to find out that they're not who you thought they were.

Dealing with manipulative people is tough. But by equipping yourself with the tips below, you'll be able to handle them without feeling frustrated or helpless.

1) Learn From Past Mistakes.

Saying sorry is easy. This is why you cannot always accept a person's apology and go on living as if nothing happened.

When dealing with manipulative people, you need to be on your guard all the time. If you've been played with once, don't be too quick to trust that person the second time around. That person's apology could easily be another ploy to manipulate you into doing or feeling something you shouldn't have to in the first place.

My advice is to accept the apology, but let that person be aware that you don't forget easily. That should keep the manipulative person on edge - and you on your toes.

2) Practice Saying "No."

Manipulative people choose their prey. They'll scope around and look for someone who can't say "no." If you're naturally generous, you'll probably have a hard time refusing somebody’s request or order.

This is why you have to practice saying "no." Do it with a friend who can act as the manipulative person. Every time someone asks you a favor, weigh the options. If it will take away precious time from you, say "no." If they can do it by themselves, say "no."

They need to learn how to be independent. And truth be told, so should you. Don't expect to be rescued from every situation you get manipulated into. Learn to take charge of your life.

3) Surround Yourself With Genuine Friends.

Dealing with manipulative people is made easier when you're backed up by your loyal friends. You know who they are. They will protect you from being talked into something that you don't want or you don't have to do.

Plus, friends also give you honest advice. No matter how difficult it may be to hear the truth, you know that they're just looking out for you. Besides, manipulative people find it intimidating to go against someone with a back-up team.

Not everything in life can go smoothly. Dealing with manipulative people is part of interacting with the rest of the society. However, you don't have to keep getting victimized over and over again. Follow these tips and learn to break free from manipulative techniques.

How To Deal With Rude People In 3 Simple Steps

If there was a special enchantment that would make it easy for us to learn how to deal with rude people at work, then that would be perfect. Unfortunately, you can't just magic these things away. There are some things you must learn to face on your own.

If you want to learn how to deal with rude people at work, you're going to have to rely on your own values. But don't worry, this article will guide you through it step by step.

Step 1: Don't Just Stand There.

Rude people think that they can get away with treating you poorly. The trick here is to take charge of the situation.

Tell them (in a nice way) that you don't deserve to be treated that way. Nobody wants to start a fight and nobody has to.

But you do need to confront those who are rude to you. Sometimes, it's important to stand up for yourself and be brave enough to tell somebody off.

Step 2: Be The Example.

Sometimes, people don't realize that they're being rude. One effective tip on how to deal with rude people at work is to help them correct their ways.

When somebody - for example a messenger - rudely tells you to pick up your package by the lobby, don't respond in the same heated manner. Instead, smile and thank them for informing you.

The same response can be used for those who are knowingly rude to you. They'll be so ashamed of how immature and impolite they're being, that they won't likely be rude to you as before.

It's a technique that throws people off. They often expect you to react a certain way, but doing the exact opposite makes you a difficult target.

Step 3: Avoid Further Interaction.

Sometimes, rude people just can't help but be impolite. If you don't want to deal with them, keep your interactions to the bare minimum. If you can avoid contact altogether, that is fine. But if you do have to communicate with them, keep it short and sweet.

Focus on what needs to be done rather than the person itself. You'll be too wrapped up in your goal that you won't have time to be affected by somebody else's mood swings.

It's important to learn how to deal with rude people at work. You can't risk losing your temper because that would only end up reflecting your values in a negative way.

Positive Steps To Achieving Your Life Goals

To carry on in a progressive energetic world you need to be a contemporary energetic person. Accepting that transformation in the world is essential is a useful initial step to take. Now ask yourself this question, ‘Am I willing to make the most of my own potential in this world too?'

If you have answered no problem (as I hope you did) then let’s think about the steps you can take to make the most of your ability and realize your goals. Take advantage of a world of infinite possibility and you place yourself in the driving seat for a transformation.

Becoming Aware

This possibly will sound straightforward but believe me it is not as straightforward as it appears. Analysis lacking awareness results in faulty judgments and defective reasoning. Do you remember the cartoons where a devil and an angel would appear on a persons shoulders whispering into alternate ears? Well our minds are not all that far from being wired like that. We are often driven by conscience and rash impulse in equal degree. A dollop of awareness puts you in the driving seat to formulate the appropriate choices.

Internal conflict comes hand in hand with being the amazing life-form that you are. Some folks fail to make the appropriate judgment calls and finish up being trapped in a state of eternal flux. Others finish up making the very worst judgment calls and finish up on life’s scrap heap.

Awareness means being able to produce the appropriate call on when to take a punt or when it is correct to err on the side of caution. Develop it with introspection, honesty and ordinary sense. Listen to the advice of others but remember to permanently be your own master.

Define Your Success

What in fact is success? One way to look at it is the achievement of a pre specified target, outcome or goal. However, success is a highly subjective phenomenon that implies diverse things to different folks. What would equate to being a success for you? Would it be discovering the flawless partner, becoming a better comrade, making lots of money?

Clearly mark out what success means to you and lo and behold you have your goal. Think on how you would know that you are thriving in your own right. What is it about you that is special that can make you realize it? Try to condense your definition of success into aims, methods and outcomes.

Think on Desirable Outcomes

People experience a tendency to characterize an event based on the way they felt at the time rather than with hind sight. Actually we are much wiser subsequent to an event than we are in the excitement of the minute. The terrific thing with regards to keen introspection is that you are able to think with greater clarity and focus about all outcomes.

Learning from experience is the single preeminent way to develop introspection. It gives you the confidence to try diverse things, and to experiment with diverse approaches. To get to your desired outcome you solely need to think about it like a challenge to be solved. Use your awareness to create a curiosity about the world and your surroundings. Outcomes are best achieved with a flexible and adaptive state of mind.

Use Your Intuition

We all have gut feelings regarding different things. Many of the world’s most significant decisions have been made with intuition.

The eureka flash we perceive every now and again is a finely tuned version of this. Why is it that certain of our finest moments take place when we are not even thinking about it?

There is no apparent reason in favor of this but it seems to be down to a relaxed state of mind. When the mind is not under pressure it has time to dedicating it’s self to creative and productive thinking. Relaxed focus is one of the most powerful tools in the personal development locker.

Try not to over evaluate a position too much and you will benefit from greater clarity of thought in your decision making.

The Top 10 Germiest Public Places

The Top 10 Germiest Public Places
Playgrounds are not the only public places that call for a good hand-washing after using them. Following are the top 10 germiest places the researchers found (germs are able to survive on these surfaces anywhere from just a few hours to a few weeks).
  1. Playgrounds
  2. Bus rails/armrests
  3. Public bathrooms
  4. Shopping cart handles
  5. Escalator handrails
  6. Chair armrests
  7. Vending machine buttons
  8. Shared pens
  9. Public telephones
  10. Elevator buttons

Revealed: How to Build Self confidence

If you want to know how to build self confidence, it's important to acknowledge that you can become more confident. Being self confident is all about having a can do attitude and focusing on the possibilities in life. Confidence boosters are great assets to those who want to have high self esteem. Overcoming a lack of self confidence starts from within each individual and it requires an increase in self awareness.

The following strategies will lead to higher levels of self confidence and ultimately high self esteem. They will show you how to build self confidence through proven techniques that have worked for others:

1. Believe you can succeed. Simply hoping or wishing you could have high self esteem will not work. You must believe you can succeed. That means believing in yourself and knowing that you can tap into your internal resources to identify strengths and opportunities as confidence boosters.

2. Recognize your values. Self confident people have strong values and they live their lives based on their values. Identify your personal values and what you want to accomplish in life. Live life according to your values and your self confidence will improve.

3 . Face your fears. Improving self confidence and creating high self esteem comes from knowing what holds you back and what you fear. Increasing self confidence depends on your ability to face your fears. If you're afraid of public speaking, acknowledge it and create steps to overcome it. Identify and face your fears and your self confidence will escalate.

4. Take action. The more interactions you have with people and situations, the more you learn. Taking action gives you a sense of accomplishment and pride and increases confidence. Taking action may require reading a book, participating in a forum, speaking to a group, or any number of things. Take action to overcome your fears and your confidence will rise. Take action to leverage your strengths and add value for others and your self confidence will soar. Don't sit and wait for things to happen. Take action.

5. Prepare for life. Arthur Ashe, a great tennis pro, once said, "One important key to success is self-confidence." An important key to becoming more self confident is preparation. You can prepare yourself for situations in many ways. Maybe you need more education, rehearsal, practice, or other activities. Perhaps you need to read a book, watch a video, or practice a speech in front of a mirror. Preparing for things in life will give you greater self confidence and ability to succeed. Don't obsess over what you don't know. Prepare by taking action!

6. Accept that you are not perfect. No one is perfect so why do you expect yourself to be perfect? You will make mistakes and encounter challenges. But your confidence will increase with every encounter. Don't become paralyzed by fear of failure. Accept that you may not always be perfect and you can live life with enthusiasm and adventure and build self confidence. Learn from your mistakes and keep moving forward. As Peter McIntyre once said, Confidence comes not from always being right but from not fearing to be wrong.? Now that?s success!

If you really want to know how to become more self confident, then start looking inwardly at yourself. Identify your strengths and accept your weaknesses. Learn to take action and learn from all that life has to offer. Do not fear failure, but view it as a gift that offers you insights into how to improve the next time. When you are self confident, you will find that high self esteem follows and is a gift that enables you to add greater value to the world and those around you.

Take advantage of confidence boosters and improve self confidence with every situation in life. Increase your self confidence, go forward, and live life to its fullest potential every day.

How To Take Criticism Better In 3 Simple Steps

We’d all like to learn how to take criticism better. But it’s just a little too difficult to think sometimes, especially when you’re placed on the hot seat. It’s all you can do to keep from defending your work and lashing out.

Don’t worry though; that is a perfectly normal reaction. You can learn how to take criticism better than that. Read this article and find out how.

Step # 1: Brace Yourself.

So you really want to know how to take criticism better? As simple as it may seem, you just need to prepare for it, and even be willing to accept it.

Don’t go into the office thinking that you’re going to be singled out as the only one who do things right. Most likely, your boss will chew you out on the things that he or she thinks went wrong.

Before going into the office, tell yourself that you’ll be ready for whatever your boss hurls at you. Knowing what awaits you makes the situation more bearable.

Step # 2: Focus On What You Need to Improve.

If you want to learn how to take criticism better, I suggest you concentrate on what needs improvement instead.

If your boss, for example, tells you that your report is difficult to understand, look over your work and see which parts he or she is talking about. Ask your boss what you can do to make things better. It’s a sign that you’re willing to correct your mistakes and that you’re committed to doing your job well.

Step # 3: Keep Negative Thoughts Away.

The final step on how to take criticism better is to keep negative thoughts at bay. Although it’s easy to feel offended or inferior when someone says bad things about us or our work, we should learn not to take said comments personally.

Dwelling on negative reactions will only make us suffer even more. Worse, it shows on our face and is reflected on our performance.

Think of the people you admire at work or even on television. All of them have had to deal with criticism at one point or another. But do you see them whining about it? No. Instead, they work harder at their craft, enabling them to become the person they are now.

Learning how to take criticism better is extremely crucial if we want to improve ourselves. Everyday is a learning process. Someone once said that we don’t learn anything from success, but we learn everything from failure. The next time somebody criticizes your work, don’t take it personally. Instead, see it as an opportunity to grow.

Self Development - 3 Surefire Tactics To Eliminate Your Procrastination Starting Today

It goes without saying, that to enjoy any level of self development success, you must be able to get things done. So, if you're the kind of person that struggles to get things done because you're always procrastinating, then you have come to the right place. In the next few short minutes you'll discover three simple ways to get yourself into action.

1. Optimize your environment.

If your home, office, work, car or anywhere else that you regularly spend time is cluttered, then you can expect your thinking to be the same way. If you are surrounded by distractions, like having the television on, music blaring, whatever it happens to be that takes your mind off the job in hand, then that must be eliminated.

Having an organized environment, coupled with discipline and a lack of distractions will lead to a more productive lifestyle.

2. Don't leave everything to the last minute.

This is hugely important, if you want to have a productive and fruitful lifestyle, you must stop leaving things until the last minute to get them done. Think about it, is it really doing your project or even yourself any good by leaving the required actions to the very last moment? I doubt it very much.

If it is a big task that lies ahead of you, remember that old system of chunking. Quite simply take 5 minutes to plan ahead and break down the task into smaller pieces divided into daily action plans. By doing this you will have more time to do the things you really want to do in life, and also get by with a lot less stress.

3. Keep your thoughts positive.

If you are doing a task that is not your favorite, then it is vital that you do not concentrate on the fact that you don't like it. The more you say to yourself that this is not an enjoyable task, the longer it will take to complete, and the more you will procrastinate and do anything else rather than the task in hand.

There are two things that you can do in terms of keeping your mind positive during a less than enjoyable task. You can either concentrate on the things that you actually like about the task, or, keep your mind focused on how good it will feel once you have completed the task and the benefits you will receive from getting the job done.

So, in summary, make sure you're living and working environment is in good order, take a little time to plan ahead and don't leave things to the last minute, and finally keep your thoughts positive and focus on why you are taking action in the first place. Following these simple steps will aid your ongoing self development and breakthrough procrastination.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Roar Behind The Lion (Perception Management)

The male lion isn’t the smartest animal in the jungle. Apes, Elephants and Parrots are more intelligent. He is neither the largest animal nor the largest cat. The tiger is. He isn’t the fastest animal or even the fastest cat. The cheetah is. He isn’t even the hunter among his own pride. It’s the female lions that track and subdue prey.

Then, why is the lion considered the king of the jungle? It is because he has an impressive mane and a big roar.

This doesn’t mean the lion is a fraud. If called upon, he can back up that roar. However, what makes the lion special is the combination of genuine power and behavior that effectively communicates that power to the world.

If we want to be lions – that is to say, the "kings and the queens" of our own profession – we need to adopt the same approach. Those of us who are on the path to corporate leadership should spend time perfecting the types of communication skills that generate respect and influence others.

People reach highly influential positions because they understand the power of perception and know how to leverage on it. They use these skills to establish how they are perceived by others and to manage their reputation throughout the organization, stake holders and the public.

The way we are perceived is the reality in the eyes of our colleagues, friends, managers and definitely the media. Abraham Lincoln said, "Public sentiment is everything. With it, nothing can fail; without it, nothing can succeed".

The biggest potential mistake is confusing perception with manipulation. We will achieve nothing by manipulating others to follow our ideas, beliefs, or vision. Once we shift from being someone who influences through manipulation to being someone who influences through persuasion, we can’t lose.

To ensure the respect of our peers, employees, bosses and eventually the general public, we can use the power of branding to further our careers and personal goals. How do we improve the way we are perceived by others? How do we build a strong personal brand?

First, we identify changes in attitude, behavior and character that will strengthen our brand. Then commit to them. For example, this blog is a commitment to change. Writing my commitments and sharing them with the public reinforces my behaviors.

Second, we assess how we are perceived by others. Feedback gathering could be a painful task especially if we are sincere about receiving honest criticism from our peers, bosses and employees. The self-assessment and feedback-gathering are worthless if we are not making adjustments along the way.

Third, we discover our personal power by focusing on building credibility. Let people understand who we really are. Let them figure out that we have changed and we are different. We should not shy away from our new brand.

Fourth, we may become the living embodiment of our new brand quickly (or not), but it will take time for others to notice, especially if a shift in perception is required. The process takes time so don’t be discourage if results aren’t immediate.

Fifth, we grow as we go. We keep what works. We revise what doesn’t. The most important part is to enjoy our journey. Good things will happen to us when we stick to our commitment to ourselves regardless of the time it takes. The consequences of our actions, behaviors and decisions will empower us to reach our goals like never before.

Most importantly, we must be genuine with our intentions and maintain a congruence of our image brand with our true selves. If gaps exist between what we want to be and who we really are, we need to work to align the two. Otherwise perception management isn’t real, it’s only a façade.

Ten Tips for Avoiding Business Failure and Overcoming Challenges in a Down Economy

1. Create a clear vision for your business - a statement of possibility about what your business will become over the next several years. Visions need to be bigger than what you believe and
must truly resonate with you. The clearer you are on what you want the quicker you will draw it to you.

2. Identify your ideal clients - your target audience, very specifically, and create a plan on how you will attract them to your business.

3. Plan, Plan, & Plan - create a business plan which includes your financial projections, marketing strategies, and competitive overview. Formulate a strategic plan to implement your goals.

4. Identify your team - who are the experts who will perform the services you need (e.g. legal,bookkeeping, business coach, etc.) while you concentrate on what you do best. Remember studies show most of us only do three things well.

5. Work on yourself - understand the habits, attitudes, and beliefs that will create doubt and fear. Work on these with a coach, mentor and/or in workshops.

6. Utilize affirmations - these serve to reprogram your thinking. Recognize that the most powerful instrument for success is your ability to think positively.

7. Have commitment - all achievement starts with desire, a powerful intense emotion about what you are doing. Without persistence and passion you will be defeated in today's competitive environment.

8. Practice the Law of Reciprocity - people naturally want to return favors to those who have done good things for them.

9. Live up to your full potential - become the best at what you do and become everything you are capable of becoming-constantly work on gaining new knowledge and staying ahead of the game.

10. Learn the art of social networking and use it - this is the wave of the future and cannot be overlooked. Technology and online networking is only going to expand and become more valuable. LinkedIn, and other sites, are a must for all business people. It's not who you know,but what you know about social networking sites that will help you to increase your connections. If you don't know where to start, find someone who can help you.

Time Management In 7 Simple Steps

The internet is one of those things in life that borders on the verge of a good versus evil battle. It can be the greatest money making tool in existence, or the most malicious time waster. When people venture into the business of internet marketing, they often think it's going to be a piece of cake. Most people who decide upon internet marketing as a business venture love the internet to begin with and want to unleash its evident power to their advantage.

Sometimes these web lovers are sorely disappointed because it seems that they work for hours upon hours and don't get anything accomplished. That, my friends, is the nature of the beast!

If you intend to do business on the internet, you absolutely have to be disciplined in order to manage your time. Here are 7 steps to doing a better job of it:

1. Set work hours

It is so easy to waste time when you should be working and to end up working unreasonable hours. Internet work can seemly turn into an addiction overnight if you don't set specific work hours and stick with them.

2. Schedule play hours

Don't spend your work hours playing - surfing the net, visiting internet forums or participating in chat rooms. Set aside leisure time for such activities if you are prone to them.

3. Schedule communications

Set specific times during your work hours to open email. This should usually be the first thing and the last thing you do each work day. If you open your email periodically and respond to it, your work hours can be eaten up in a hurry! Turn off any indicators that tell you you've got new email.

4. Block the SPAM

Use a SPAM blocker to isolate or block SPAM email and keep it up to date. Use a separate email address for your business and personal email. Open personal email during your leisure time and business email during your scheduled communication time within your work hours.

5. Make a long-term plan

Make a long-term plan of what you wish to accomplish through your internet marketing. Having a vision with milestones and deadlines will keep you focused and working purposefully day after day.

6. Plan your days

Plan your days ahead of time with a "to do" list that ensures important things will get accomplished. Always plan a little time for unexpected interruptions or demanding little emergencies.

7. Kill the messenger

If you use messenger programs such as MSN Messenger or Yahoo Messenger, log out during your work hours. If you conduct business communications through the messenger program, open separate accounts or block contacts so that only your business associates that you need to be available to can contact you via the messenger program during your work hours.

Implementing these 7 simple tips will help you to master your time and will skyrocket your productivity!

3 Tips For Developing That Winning Attitude

What is success? The answer depends on who's responding to the question. There are as many definitions of success as there are people. Success involves every facet of life: your relationships with others, your ability to make it in the business world, the health that you need to preserve, and the happiness that you enjoy. It also involves a security that goes well beyond financial security; I'm talking about the security of knowing that you have the love, trust, and support not only of family but of friends and associates as well.

However, success does include a degree of financial prosperity. (Money isn't the most important thing in life, but it's reasonably close to oxygen on the "gotta have it" scale.) To be candid, we all like the things that money can buy: houses, cars, clothes, vacations, and so on. You don't need to be super-rich, but you should have a great need not to be poor!

In addition to the financial prosperity that just mentioned, success should also mean success at home, success in your profession, and success with friends and associates. It also means peace of mind.

The question is, what can you do to achieve this balanced success that involves your personal, family, and business lives as well as your physical, mental, and spiritual well-being, with a recognition of the need for financial prosperity? It starts with developing the right mental attitude.

Your journey toward success will flow more smoothly if you ride the "right" attitude all the way to the top. "I think I can" beats "I can't" every time. A can-do outlook on life helps you to achieve goals in record time and make friends and lifelong business associates along the way. Everyone enjoys being around someone who is a solution-finder and who looks for the good instead of the bad in everything.

Here are some important points about attitude to keep in mind:

1. You need to have the right attitude toward your family, friends, and associates. An attitude of acceptance, forgiveness, love, kindness, respect, and consideration goes a long way in any relationship, including those with family members, friends, and business associates.

2. You need to have an accepting, open-minded attitude toward your personal growth and education. The world changes constantly; as they say, "Change is inevitable - except from a vending machine." Unless you change with it, you're destined for mediocrity at best.

3. You must have a sensible attitude toward positive thinking. You may hear some people say that "Attitude is everything" or that "With positive thinking, you can do anything." Careful analysis forces you to realize that this idea is simply not true. Of course being positive is a much needed tool for success, but it takes action, planning, and work - as well.

The Powerful Results You'll Achieve Through Negative Thinking

Before the movie "The Secret" a long line of writers and thinkers has promoted the self-help powers of positive thought as long back as man pondered his own existence.

Reams of research have shown positive thinking to be good for your health. A positive attitude and optimistic thinking are healthy. The power of positive thinking is shows that those who remain positive are healthier, live longer, and report greater satisfaction with life than those who might be labeled pessimistic.

But, what about negative thinking?

Here's a story about how negative thinking can affect your health. (I'll have to paraphrase it; I heard it off a seminar by Bob Procter.)

One night a night watch man was patrolling a railway yard to check that no one was breaking into the containers and stealing the contents of them.

He came across a container that had its door open. He walked over cautiously to see what was going on and could find no sign of life around so he took a quick look inside.

The container was empty, but as he walked in the door of the container closed behind him and he found himself locked in. he pushed on the door for a while to see if it would open but it was completely stuck. He then started to yell for help but there was no answer.

As he resigned himself to being looked in the container he started to look around and noticed that the container he was in wasn't a normal but that he was locked in one a refrigerated one.

After a while he noticed that he was getting colder and colder. Because he didn't think he was going to get help any time soon he decided to write on the wall of the container to tell of his experience.

He wrote that he was getting colder and colder and starting to lose feeling in his body.

After a couple of hours it got harder for him to write but his last comments he wrote that he was going to die soon because it was so cold.

The container was opened later that morning by some work men who found the night watch man dead body in the corner.

If I finished this article you would say it was a tragic accident and it would be, but the tragic part is that the container the night watch man locked himself in was having maintenance done it that day. The part that was broken on the container was the refrigeration mechanism.

The temperature inside the container that night was no different to the temperature outside.

So what caused the man to die? Was it his thinking? Had the negative thoughts he was having about his situation caused him to give up his will to live?

You may have your theories, but I think you can see that not matter the situation you find yourself your thoughts either positive or negative can affect how you deal with your problems whether real or imaginary.

Regenerate your Self-Confidence With These 5 top Tips

Nobody can hurt you without your consent. There are many instances in life where your confidence is hit hard. Sometimes you overcome life's hardness, sometimes you get overwhelmed. Sometimes your courage and confidence sees you through, but sometimes your self-confidence gets a beating. However, the point here to remember is that "nobody can hurt you without your consent."

The problem is not as important as the impact it had on you, rather the impact that you let the problem create on you. In life pain is inevitable but suffering is optional, as the saying goes. It's purely your choice, and whether you choose to bounce back or suffer is entirely your prerogative.

There can be many reasons that your self-confidence is hurt. You may have had a bad marriage and now are heading for a divorce.

You were not chosen for your college's football team; you may have been laid off. There's definitely a lot of pain involved in any of the situations. But you don't necessarily have to suffer. You must arise and resolve to get back your confidence.

The following five ways would help you do just that.

1. Look at the brighter side. If you have been laid off, it would be okay to feel bad about it for a day or two but not more than that. Losing a job is a terrible thing, but it does not mean the end of the world.

Who knows it might be a blessing in disguise. Maybe you have got some time to review your life, get aware of where you are going, have a look at your likes and hobbies which you could not develop because of pressures of your job. Maybe this is an opportunity to start afresh and live your life a new way which is more in sync with your abilities and aptitude.

Similarly, a divorce may cause great pain but then you weren't too happy in your marriage either. It probably was just not meant to be. Now you have a chance to rebuild your life the way you want it to be.

2. Stop comparing yourself with other people. When we have a problem we always question god - "oh, god, why me?" Certainly god gave you a lot of rewards as well.

Did you then get up and ask god -"oh god, why me?" That's what human nature is all about. We complain and remember god when we are in trouble or else we are too busy with ourselves.

Stop looking at other people who seem too happy and comfortable to you from a distance. Stop comparing their comfort with your suffering.

This will only frustrate you further. Focus on yourself and make every effort you can make to go out whenever you are feeling down.

3. Self-pity is very addictive and capable of destroying lives. Instead of indulging in self-pity (though we all do from time to time), take control of your life and take responsibility for your actions, learn from your mistakes and make a fresh start.

4. And yeah...don't be bogged down when you hear a "no". A "no" is something which even greats like Edison and Ford, too, had to face. If you look at them positively, you will find that each "no" actually takes you closer to a "yes." It's been reported time and time again that Edison conducted more than a thousand failed experiments before he actually made an electric bulb! So get going and take an occasional no in stride.

5. Are you standing in your own way? You will notice that shadows are caused when we stand in the path of sunshine. In our lives, too, we cause a lot of shadows by standing in the way of our own happiness. In today's world, it is important to be flexible. A lot of people will look for a job for months, yet still reject work coming their way because they are not willing to adapt to some new job requirements.

Jane, a schoolteacher, was laid off from her job. She kept trying for months to get a job as a teacher while rejecting opportunities such as taking private tuitions, being a nanny, doing copy- editing work as a freelancer. The long wait hurt her self-confidence even more. Sometimes it is wise to be a little flexible and adapt ourselves to new job demands rather than to look exactly for what we lost. It helps regain confidence quickly which brings along enough energy to get an even better job in the field of your choice!

Don't forget, there is always a way to regain your lost self-confidence. You just have to look for it. Because finding is reserved for those who search. Are you searching for an answer?

Dating Advice: Work on the similarities

What is it that makes you attracted to someone? The look? The character? The way he or she makes you laugh? Well, that is a few possibilities. Now let me ask you another question. What is it that you feel that makes a couple go on a date together, dates after dates? Think about it. Remember they have a choice of saying no to a date. Very simple, there is something of similar liking between the both of them, something which both enjoy doing together, over and over again.

Ask yourself this question, would you go on a date with someone whom doesn’t enjoy dining, watching movies, coffee at café etc. Not a thing at all of what you enjoy doing?
For a couples to remain together, there has got to be something similar between both. Similar liking, interest, characteristic etc. The more the similarities there is between the both of you, the better the chances of a development of a further relationship there will be.

What are the similarities between both that you can work on? First of all, the physical appearance of course. Your physical appearance is the very first thing that catches a person’s eyes, the eyes of that special someone. Take note of the type of dressing style he or she likes? How is he or she normally dressed? A trendy and hip? Casual and sporty? Smart casual? Try to dress so, dress in the style he or she would like.

Think about it, if you were someone who is very concern with the neatness and cleanliness of your physical appearance, would you like someone who is always so shabbily dressed?
Naturally, a person would tend to enjoy the company of another who generally dresses similar to that of him or herself. Don’t you find it so within your usual group of click?

Next would be the hobbies and interest. What sports does he or she like? Does she play the piano? What type of movies does he or she enjoy watching? Does she love animals, dogs? Does he love fishing? What flowers does she like? Hmm… knowing his or her habits will be good too. Where does he or she normally hang out? Does she hate crowded places? How many cubes of sugar she like for her coffee? Does he hate shopping? Well in simple, find out anything possible under the sun about him or her. Not a clue where to start? Friends would be a good source to start with.

Ok guys, now that you know what she likes, it is time to plan for a little nice and enjoyable date with her. It is afterall still a guy’s job to ask the girl out, right? Notice I used the word "enjoyable" instead of a nice and "romantic" date? Well, a date involves two persons. To allow the chance for a further development of a relationship, the chance for a next date, you have got to make her enjoy the date, enjoy the time spent with you.

Take her to places that she likes, serve her food that she enjoys eating. "Oh medium cooked for the lady please" Present her with flowers that she likes. She will be so surprised and impressed by you. "Oh Rick, how do you know that I love Pink Tulips? It’s so sweet of you" Plan activities that she has always enjoyed. Watching a movie that she likes at her favorite cinema? Bringing her to her favorite musical, "Phantom of The Opera"? Ha as usual, me and my ideas again. Well, I know you can definitely plan for yourself a more perfect enjoyable date. In simple, create a familiar environment for her, a date that she will feel comfortable. Naturally, she will enjoy herself, enjoy going out with you, having your company, developing a further liking for you.

How Thoughts Can Become Real

We've all heard the saying that "talk is cheap." In fact we've heard it so often it's become a cliché. Like most cliché's the law of familiarity has set in and keeps us from actually absorbing the true meaning of the phrase. We've grown so tired of hearing it that we don't really listen to it anymore. The fact remains that talk is cheap. It is easy to talk about things and most people do. In fact most people "talk a great game" on a regular basis. The difference in people, however, is not in what they say they will do but in what they actually do.

We don't really judge people by what they say but rather by what they do. We judge people by their behaviour and by their actions. The reason for this is that deep down inside we all know that words have no real power to create anything in itself. It is only when the words are backed up by action that you have the power to create any real results. The ironic thing is that although most of us know this we get caught up in accumulating knowledge. We learn something and get really interested in the results we think the information can produce for us. In pursuing the results, we often confuse it with getting more information so we end up gathering and accumulation tons of information and knowledge without producing the result we wanted in the first place.

The proper fruit of knowledge is action. It is true that gaining knowledge can make us feel more capable but knowledge in itself will not produce the results we really desire. One of the biggest myths that is prevalent in the information age is the notion that knowledge is power. Knowledge is not power. It is only potential power. What you do with what you know is where the real power is. The difference in people comes in what they have done differently from someone else with the same information. The reality of the world we live in is that information on almost anything is freely available to anyone, quite literally at the push of a button.

Even though you have all the information at your fingertips, still, the most valuable resource you have to create results in your life is your ability to take action. An action always produces a result. When you take action you bring an idea into effect and you use your will to do something to achieve a specific purpose. When you do this you actually create in the true sense of the word as you turn an idea into reality; you express something that was internal on the outside. Every action is a cause set in motion and for every cause there is an effect and it is the effects or results that we are all really interested in. You don't want to know that you can be wealthy. You want to experience it by seeing and touching it and the real satisfaction comes from turning your ideas into reality.

There is a big difference between knowing what to do and doing what you know. Most people know what to do to be able to make their lives work but knowing just isn't enough - we must act and use what we know. Something intangible happens when you take action on an idea. You set in motion a series of events, events that you don't always know the full consequences of. Like throwing a stone in a pond, the ripple effect of the water affects the whole pond and moves everything that is in or on the pond. This illustrates how a single action can have a significant impact even if you aren't always aware of it. On a more practical and tangible level you start getting feedback from your actions and you learn things that you can only learn as a result of your actions. These are things you simply cannot learn from merely listening to others or reading books.

Think of your knowledge and ideas as an elastic band. It has the ability to be stretched, but until and unless you stretch it you are not using it for its real purpose. Information is usually something external. When you learn it you transform it into knowledge and when you act on it, it becomes part of your life. To truly experience anything in life you must take action. Knowing simply isn't enough. We all want to feel and this only comes from engaging "all of you" - by engaging all of your senses to experience the fullness of life in all its abundance.

It doesn't take many ideas to change something in your life. Neither does it take a complicated idea. It takes ideas that you can use and act upon to give you what you really want. Rarely is it the information or ideas that you really want as it is almost always only the means to an end. What you truly want is results and this will only come from using what you know. Don't get caught in the flood of information and knowledge. Start to focus your mind on action and on applying ideas instead of accumulating them. Slowly feed yourself more information and knowledge, but let your actions be your ultimate guide. After all it is not what you say you will do but what you actually do that will determine the quality of your life and what you achieve or fail to achieve.

Emotional Dependency or Emotional Responsibility: Which Stance Are You Taking in Your Life?

Emotional dependency means getting one's good feelings from outside oneself. It means needing to get filled from outside rather than from within. Who or what do you believe is responsible for your emotional wellbeing?

There are numerous forms of emotional dependency:

* Dependence on substances, such as food, drugs, or alcohol, to fill emptiness and take away pain.

* Dependency on processes such as spending, gambling, or TV, also to fill emptiness and take away pain.

* Dependence on money to define one's worth and adequacy.

* Dependence on getting someone's love, approval, or attention to feel worthy, adequate, lovable, and safe.

* Dependence on sex to fill emptiness and feel adequate.

When you do not take responsibility for defining your own adequacy and worth or for creating your own inner sense of safety, you will seek to feel adequate, worthy and safe externally. Whatever you do not give to yourself, you may seek from others or from substances or processes. Emotional dependency is the opposite of taking personal responsibility for one's emotional wellbeing. Yet many people have no idea that this is their responsibility, nor do they have any idea how to take this responsibility.

What does it mean to take emotional responsibility rather than be emotionally dependent?

Primarily, it means recognizing that our feelings come from our own thoughts, beliefs and behavior, rather than from others or from circumstances. Once you understand and accept that you create your own feelings, rather than your feelings coming from outside yourself, then you can begin to take emotional responsibility.

For example, let's say someone you care about gets angry at you.

If you are emotionally dependent, you may feel rejected and believe that your feelings of rejection are coming from the other's anger. You might also feel hurt, scared, anxious, inadequate, shamed, angry, blaming, or many other difficult feeling in response to the other's anger. You might try many ways of getting the other person to not be angry in an effort to feel better.

However, if you are emotionally responsible, you will feel and respond entirely differently. The first thing you might do is to tell yourself that another person's anger has nothing to do with you. Perhaps that person is having a bad day and is taking it out on you. Perhaps that person is feeling hurt or inadequate and is trying to be one-up by putting you one-down. Whatever the reason for the other's anger, it is about them rather than about you. An emotionally responsible person does not take others' behavior personally, knowing that we have no control over others' feelings and behavior, and that we do not cause others to feel and behave the way they do - that others are responsible for their feelings and behavior just as we are for ours.

The next thing an emotionally responsible person might do is move into compassion for the angry person, and open to learning about what is going on with the other person. For example, you might say, "I don't like your anger, but I am willing to understand what is upsetting you. Would you like to talk about it?" If the person refuses to stop being angry, or if you know ahead of time that this person is not going to open up, then as an emotionally responsible person, you would take loving action in your own behalf. For example, you might say, "I'm unwilling to be at the other end of your anger. When you are ready to be open with me, let me know. Meanwhile, I'm going to take a walk (or hang up the phone, or leave the restaurant, or go into the other room, and so on). An emotionally responsible person gets out of range of attack rather than tries to change the other person.

Once out of range, the emotionally responsible person goes inside and explores any painful feelings that might have resulted from the attack. For example, perhaps you are feeling lonely as a result of being attacked. An emotionally responsible person embraces the feelings of loneliness with understanding and compassion, holding them just as you would hold a sad child. When you acknowledge and embrace the feelings of loneliness, you allow them to move through you quickly, so you can move back into peace.

Rather than being a victim of the other's behavior, you have taken emotional responsibility for yourself. Instead of staying stuck in feeling angry, hurt, blaming, afraid, anxious or inadequate, you have moved yourself back into feeling safe and peaceful.

When you realize that your feelings are your responsibility, you can move out of emotional dependency. This will make a huge difference within you and with all of your relationships. Relationships thrive when each person moves out of emotional dependency and into emotional responsibility.

The Number One Secret of Self-Esteem to Implement In Your Life

Have you ever thought about what really creates self-esteem? Having a deep sense of inner worth is important to all of us, but many people have some false beliefs about what creates confidence in our own merit as individuals.

Some of the common false beliefs regarding what creates self-esteem are:

* I will feel good about my self when I'm making $______(fill in the amount) a year.

* I will feel worthy when I am in a relationship with a (beautiful) (handsome) (wealthy) (loving) (fill in own) person.

* I will feel worthy when I get enough approval from enough people.

* I will feel adequate when I have a baby.

* I will feel adequate when_______( fill in desired outcome that you attach to your sense of worth).

However, there are many people who have all of the above and still do not feel a deep sense of self-esteem. That's because self-esteem has nothing to do with anything external, such as looks, approval, money, relationships with others, or having a baby.

Self-esteem, or the lack of it, is solely the result of how we treat ourselves. Those people who attend to their own feelings and needs with loving action on their own behalf feel good about themselves, while those people who ignore, invalidate, or judge their own feelings and needs feel badly about themselves.

For example, Anna grew up with parents who were hardworking and very caring about their children, but who didn't take good care of themselves. Both of her parents smoked, drank too much, and didn't eat well. Neither of them took responsibility for their own feelings, so both of them were anxious or depressed much of the time. Even though her parents were loving to her, Anna does not take good care of herself, having had no role modeling for personal responsibility, She doesn't eat well or get enough exercise, doesn't stand up for herself at home or at work, and doesn't get enough rest or playtime. She is very attractive, makes lots of money, has a husband and children, yet often feels very insecure.

If you imagine that her feelings and needs are like a child within, you can begin to see why she doesn't feel good about herself. Treating herself badly will always result in feeling badly. You might be tempted to think that she treats herself badly because she doesn't feel good about herself, and that's true, but she will not feel good about herself until she treats herself as a worthwhile person. Her good feelings will come from her loving action toward herself. The more loving action she is willing to take on her own behalf - taking physical, emotional, financial, organizational, relationship, and spiritual responsibility - the better she will feel about herself.

How can Anna be motivated to take loving care of herself when she doesn't feel good about herself? It seems like a vicious circle, yet there is a way out. Anna doesn't feel motivated to take care of herself because she thinks that who she is, is her ego, the wounded part of herself whom she doesn't like. Yet if Anna opens to knowing who she really is - that she beautiful and perfect child of God, that her essence, her true Self is a spark of God, created in the image of God - she will want to take loving care of this wonderful soul within.

When Anna begins to take loving care of herself, her wounded self - the part of herself that has low self-esteem - begins to heal. The more Anna feeds herself well, gets enough exercise and rest, speaks up for herself and tells her truth, takes care of her financial situation, organizes her time and environment, treats others with kindness and compassion, and opens to her spiritual Guidance or Higher Power, the better she will feel about herself. Self-esteem is the result of taking loving action, not the cause of it. Since we all have free will, we each have the choice to take loving action on our own behalf.

It doesn't matter how badly you were treated as a child, or how badly your parents treated themselves. Your actions need never be governed by your past. If you devote yourself, moment-by-moment, to taking loving action on our own behalf, you will discover that the result is high self-esteem.

3 Actions You Can Take Right Now to Bring Your Dream to Light

You hear it all the time; "follow your dream", "discover your dream", "dreams do come true". The way people talk about LIVING YOUR DREAM, it’s as if everyone must have one!

I think they do, which means I think YOU do! So, if in fact the rather bold statement I just made is true, how do you go about bringing your dream to light? These tips will help.

1. ALLOW yourself to dream.

We STOP dreaming because at some point in our life we were told the dream we had was unrealistic. And after hearing it enough times from others we started believing it too. A dream that once felt so good to think about and seemed so possible to achieve, suddenly left us feeling silly for ever having it. So we did the only thing we could do, we packed our dream(s) safely away, not to be shared again.

Just because your dream is packed away for safe keeping, doesn’t mean it no longer exists. In fact, it might be the thing that keeps trying to get your attention! If you’ve ever had a notion there was "more" to life, listen up – your dream is talking!

How can you gently coax your dream back into the light?

You can ask yourself: "If money was no object, and failure was not a concern, what would I do with my life?"

As we get older we get more practical. But when you’re trying to unleash a dream there’s no room for practicality. Asking the question above will give you free rein to dream away! There will be plenty of opportunities for practical matters later on. For now, give yourself permission to once again dream and when you do, dream BIG!

2. Don’t judge your dream.

There isn’t a scale on which dreams are measured. In other words, one dream is no better or worse than another dream. Your DREAM is YOUR dream!

If, since the time you were eight years old, you’ve wanted to study the life and habitat of iguanas, perhaps your dream is exactly what you need to do to feel your best and to live a life you find meaningful.

The consequence of not living your dream? What about the poor iguanas!

There’s a reason you have the dream you have. In the big cosmic picture of life, your dream serves a purpose to all life on this earth. If you don’t live your dream, the rest of us are missing out.

The second tip for bringing your dream to light: Don’t JUDGE your dream. Rather, embrace it – it’s yours for a reason.

3. Practice patience.

Dreams take time to unfold, especially when you haven’t allowed yourself to dream for awhile.

Some people know their dream from an early age. For the rest of us, we need to remain open and curious as to what our dream is. Listen to your gut, heart and soul and trust they have the answers you seek.

It may take some time for your dream to be revealed. Therefore, the last tip is to HAVE PATIENCE. It may take time to bring your dream to light, but it’ll be worth the wait.

Allow yourself to dream, don’t’ judge the dream you have and practice patience: three actions you can take today to bring your dream to light.

"There is a giant asleep within every man. When that giant awakes, miracles happen." Frederick Faust

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


The universe will give you what you give to the the world.

6 Easy Ideas For Boosting Self-Esteem and Confidence

Whenever one is beset by a situation that he or she is unsure of - facing someone admired, having to perform in front of an audience, or simply talking to others - he or she is facing a goodly amount of stress. Confident people are usually able to face these situations without blinking; but the rest of us will probably melt away and try to run away from the situation.

For most people facing this kind of low self-esteem, these situations present an opportunity for them to make fools out of themselves. This is a very embarrassing prospect.

If you are one of the millions of people that would like to stop fidgeting in front of others, trying to squirrel out of such situations, and being so unsure of yourself when facing presentations, here are a few tips to set you on your way.

1. Competence is Confidence - Some organizations, like the Toastmasters, help those afraid to speak in public toughen up by stressing this credo - and it really works. One secret to confidence and self-esteem is to be able to trust what you are able to do. This comes with a lot of practice and study. Whenever you practice a given skill, you increase your own confidence in your capability to perform even in front of other people.

Before a big presentation, study up. Try to know everything about the topic before you step in front of the audience. If you have practiced way before the presentation, you will be in a better position to knock their socks off.

Practicing in front of supportive people you trust will help you get feedback on how to improve your performance.

2. Believe in Yourself - One of the reasons people are not confident in themselves is the fact that they are already convinced that they will fail even before anything happens. Never underestimate the power of the mind. If you believe you will fail, you indeed will! A better exercise would to be to believe that you can succeed. Set your mind towards succeeding and you probably will!

3. Take Criticisms, whether Good or Bad - Most people are bad at taking criticisms. Instead of taking the criticisms personally, use every comment and suggestion to make yourself better. However, you will also have to look out for some criticisms that were never meant to benefit you. Ignore them and move on.

4. Remain Calm at All Costs - Panicking never benefited anybody. If you are suddenly in a situation where you are unsure of what to do or what will happen, keep your composure. If you don't know the answer, say so calmly. If you do not know what to do, it would not be bad to admit it. However, beneath your cool façade, always try to keep a deliberate, quick thinking, demeanor. This itself could take a lot of practice, but it is well worth it.

5. Don't be Afraid to Fail - Many people are afraid to fail; they quit trying because they are not confident in their skills. If you are afraid to try, you will get stuck where you are. Failure can only make you better. Remember that every great man took risks and failed a lot before arriving at greatness.

6. Don't Base Your Confidence on What People Think Of You - While other's opinion of you can be important, it should not sway you from thinking that you are important. They do not know you better than you do. If you free yourself from the shackles of peer opinion, you will be free to try new things and learn new skills. It does not matter if they think you cannot accomplish anything - take whatever good that can be gleaned from their advice and move on.

Sometimes Being "Right" Has A High Price to Pay

One of the highest prices we pay in life is the cost of being right. Some of us will sacrifice almost anything just in order to be the last one standing. A person who had been surrounded by their peers now sits alone, safe in the knowledge that he or she is right in their viewpoint even though they have alienated everyone around them. The ego is a mighty powerful entity left unchecked.

Have you ever attempted to reason with a child who knows everything? It's their way or no way at all. They simply cannot understand the concept of another person's point of view. Children go through a stage where they are extremely self-absorbed. Everything is 'mine' and they will not share. The world revolves around their desires and needs. This is a normal stage of childhood where the child is asserting their individuality and independence. The problem arises when the behavior is carried over into adulthood.

People who need to be right have little patience for others. They perceive their ideas as the right way to do things and their viewpoints as the right way to think. A differing opinion is a direct affront to their sense of well-being and they become extremely aggressive in their defense of themselves. They tend to alienate others due to their insistence on being 'right'. The importance of the issue in question doesn't seem to have any relevance. A simple trip to the store can end in disaster. Anger and a lack of empathy seem to be the rule of thumb.

People are different. We each have a totally unique set of DNA that will never be replicated short of cloning. I do not think the same as you do and vice-versa. Our brains are wired differently. What seems totally natural and easy for me to do may be close to impossible for you. Oftentimes we get caught in the thought pattern, " If I can see this so clearly, why in the world can't you?" "If I can perform this task, why can't you?" But the reality is that just because I can do something does not mean that you can. Nor does it make me better or right. Just different.

What is right and wrong? I bake a cake a certain way and I determine that it is the 'right' way to bake a cake. Yet my next-door neighbor uses an entirely different method and guess what? Her cake is just as good. Short of a cake being inedible, there is no right or wrong, just different ways of baking the cake. Some ways may be more efficient, true. But not necessarily the only way of doing it.

Webster's dictionary states the following as a definition of the word right: conforming to facts or truth; most favorable or desired. Can someone's opinion or idea be right because it is considered as conforming to the truth or a fact? By the way, whose truth? Or better yet, two viewpoints can each conform to the truth so which one is more right? Can someone's stand on a subject be the most favorable or desired? That is highly relative and I think that is the point. It's all relative.

Having to be right seems to be more akin to the definition of self-righteous which Webster's defines as convinced of one's own righteousness (being right) especially in contrast with the actions and beliefs of others: narrow-mindedly moralistic. Aha! Now we are getting closer. Someone who needs to be right would seem to be self-righteous, I.E., someone who feels that their way of seeing and doing things is superior to that of others.

This brings to mind the religious zealots who believe that their way of worshipping G-d is the only true way and that anyone who does not hold to their dogma is not only a non-believer but also an infidel. They have the deep need to convert the non-believer, believing that unless you hold to my way of thinking, you will be condemned to hell. My believing something different is considered a threat. This of course is an extreme case of but it certainly reveals the nature of being right.

What also pops up for me on the subject of being right is what often happens in a divorce. We all have stories of an acrimonious divorce where two people spend insane amounts of money to argue about trivialities just to get even and be in the right. The antagonists will pay their lawyers thousands of dollars in a fight over a living room chair just for the sake of besting the other person. Once again it shows the price people are willing to pay in support of their ego.

Why the intense need to be right? Myriad reasons come to mind: self esteem issues, low self-confidence, the past running the present, remnants of childhood adaptations, ego-centric behavior...the list goes on and on. I am of the opinion that it isn't so much the reasons (although it is important to understand why we do certain things) behind why we need to be right rather the self-knowledge that we are indeed involved in this kind of self-destructive behavior. We must first become aware of our need to be right and then examine the costs involved in our behavior.

What are the costs of being right? We come across as a know-it-all, which alienates people. We are unyielding and do not work well with others so we have a tendency not to be part of the team or community. We isolate ourselves. We turn away connectedness and love. We become an island unto ourselves. Most impactful is the fact that we close ourselves off to what the world has to offer because we know best.

"...people find it far easier to forgive others for being wrong than being right."
J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince

We will never recognize where our next opportunity lies if we do not remain open to possibilities. To remain receptive to what the world has to offer, we must keep an open mind and heart. We must learn to listen to what others have to say. We must be aware and conscious of what is being offered to us at any given moment. We must realize that there is much to gain from listening and not speaking. If I am too busy pushing my agenda, I cannot possibly hear what is being said and therefore I may miss out on what could be an opportunity to experience deep learning and personal growth.
Looking at the big picture versus the immediate helps put things in perspective. If I don't get my way, is it a matter of life and death? Will I even remember this incident in ten years from now? Some things are simply not worth the effort and being right all the time fits into that category.

Think of what it is like to be heard? How do you regard someone who takes a sincere interest in you and what you have to say? Those people who hold a genuine curiosity about others are magnets. We are attracted to them because they make us feel good about ourselves. They in turn are rewarded with deeper friendships, better working relationships, more meaningful and loving personal relationships and a universe that continually opens with more possibilities.

Start by simply noticing if you are overly invested in being right when you have a discussion with others, be it at work, at home, wherever. Just notice how you are being and perhaps, why? In the noticing you will become very aware of how you interact with others. Imagine being in their shoes and seeing through their eyes. What do you look like from their viewpoint? Is it a picture you like? If not, how could you do things differently?

As you notice and do things differently you may start to see dramatic changes. Or the changes may be subtler. As you do things differently, people will start to react differently. Your world will open up. You will start feeling more connected. You will learn new things that had remained closed off to you before. New possibilities for a life that is more meaningful and fulfilling will appear.

Being righteous and being self-righteous are at the opposite ends of the spectrum. It's the difference between people who are full of themselves versus people who do the right thing. Who do you choose? How do you want to be perceived? A life well lived is a life where being right is not the be-all end-all. The be-all end-all is a life well lived. Luckily, as human beings we were given free will and the ability to choose for ourselves. It all comes down to choice.

3 Keys To Boosting Your Inner Confidence

There are all kinds of strategies, ways of thinking, patterns of behavior and practical tips for improving your life and feeling better about yourself, but they're all redundant if the foundation isn't there. That foundation is the real you, the you that you know deep down you are. The trick is that it takes confidence to find that and to bring out who you are – here are the three keys to real inner confidence.

1. Get To Know Your Values

Personal values are a big passion of mine and I often get carried away with myself when I talk about them. I make no apology for that though – they’re one of the most important things you can know about yourself and are vital in getting genuine inner confidence. Your values are ten thousand feet down inside you, right at the very core of who you are; and they’re the building blocks, the foundations and cornerstones for you. A value is something in yourself, in others or in the world that’s most important to you, and could include things like respect, progress, family, fun, nature, achievement or freedom.

Why is it that some people and situations leave you feeling angry, frustrated, demotivated or deflated? It’s because one or more of your values is being denied, suppressed or repressed – and we experience that as a negative experience because it’s denying a fundamental piece of who you are. You know those times when you’ve felt really alive, amazing or buzzing? Those are the times when one or more of your values are being honored, and you can get more of that by living according to them.

Your values are all yours, and no matter what happens, no one can ever take them away. You can have absolute confidence in them because they’re there all the time just waiting for you to notice them and use them. When you get to know your values, you can start to make choices and align your life around them. It’s so simple and it feels amazing because all that really means is that you’re allowing who you are to live in the real world.

2. Trust Yourself

People spend too much time looking for signs that they’re doing the right thing or on the right path. Sometimes we get that by hearing that we’re doing well at work, sometimes it could be encouragement from a friend or loved one, and sometimes we get that feedback by seeing our material wealth or possessions growing.

But rather than looking on the outside for those signs, how about looking on the inside at what you’re telling yourself? How about trusting yourself to do the best thing and make great choices? How about trusting your own insights and using your own intuition? I’ve seen those ideas scare the bejeezus out of people and you know why? Because it makes you accountable and responsible for what you get. If you trust yourself implicitly and you make the wrong choice, you’ve got nobody else to blame.

But the fact is that we all make mistakes and we’ll all continue to make mistakes. So how would it be if you could trust yourself to get through anything and trust yourself to continue making choices that serve you well – even if sometimes you screw up? That’s the kind of trust I’m talking about, and that’s genuine inner confidence.

Start by listening to yourself and noticing what your intuition is telling you. Be aware of that little voice inside you or those gut reactions you get and pay attention to what they’re telling you. Trust yourself to make decisions, trust yourself to adapt and trust that you’re good enough to have, do or be whatever you want. True confidence will follow.

3. Exercise the Muscle

Confidence is a muscle, and like any muscle you need to exercise it so that it doesn’t shrink and waste away. The problem is that unlike your biceps or glutes, which tend to stay in the same place, your confidence muscle can be harder to find. How do you develop your biceps or firm up your glutes? By doing exercises that are designed to work that muscle over a period of time until you see the results you were looking for.

It’s just the same with confidence. Let’s say that you’re the kind of person that doesn’t take many risks, the kind of person who goes through each day doing what needs to be done and doing it well, but not really stretching yourself. You might talk yourself out of doing something because it’s too scary or because you think to yourself ‘I’m not good enough,’ ‘that’s not who I am’ or ‘I don’t really want it anyway.’ That kind of person lives within what they know and what keeps them safe and comfortable. The fewer risks they take, the less confident they need to be and so the less confident they become.

To work your confidence muscle you need to be prepared to take risks – big or small. You need to be willing to stretch yourself in an unfamiliar direction, to try something new or try something in a slightly different way. You need to open yourself up to the possibilities around you and push yourself to increase what you know, what you do and who you are. The more open you are to risk, opportunity and possibility the more confident you need to be, and so the more confidence you’ll develop. That’s your confidence muscle – the question is, what are you going to do to exercise it?"