January 20, 2009
Do you talk yourself out of being excited and hopeful every time you feel good about yourself? Do you often start out feeling confident in yourself and your abilities, and then drop to zero confidence when your inner dialogue kicks in?
This negative thinking is something many people struggle with, but there’s a better way.
You can combat negative thoughts with positive-self talk instead of letting an automatic negative thought process rule your life.
Negative Thinking, Positive Self-Talk, and You
Many people lack the confidence to realize that they deserve to feel good about themselves. These people never pay attention to the fact that they are the ones telling themselves that they don’t deserve rewards.
Are you one of these people? You can discover if you are sabotaging yourself by tuning into your thoughts and listening. What do you hear? Are you encouraging yourself with positive thoughts? Or are your thoughts filled with negatives?
* You may not even realize how negative thinking may be dominating your life. This may be something that you deal with daily and have come to see as normal. However, it’s only normal if you allow it to be that way!
Positive self-talk is the practice of responding to negative thoughts that run through your mind. For example, when you tell yourself that you can’t possibly land the job because you aren’t good enough, you can respond with positive thoughts that do not leave room for negativity. These thoughts can be as simple or complex as you like. The important thing is that you continue to think positively.
* Positive self-talk allows you to be the one controlling your thoughts!
Many people pair positive self-talk with affirmations. Affirmations are simple statements you can repeat to yourself over and over again. You can allow these thoughts to become true for you. The process is as subconscious as it is conscious.
When you continue to reaffirm the positive thought, you will make it true for yourself until you eventually don’t need to remind yourself to think that way.
* Affirmations are positive statements that replace your negative thought processes. You can change your life one thought at a time!
When you are feeling low and thinking negatively about yourself or your future, try saying, “I give myself permission to be successful,” or “I see myself in the winner’s circle.”
Strive to replace your negative statements with positive thoughts when you repeat your affirmations. Soon it will become second nature to repeat your affirmations anytime that you start to think negatively.
* With positive self-talk you can truly change the course of your life. You can go from being a negative person with no hope for the future, to being an optimist who can achieve anything you put you mind to.
Does this mean that there won’t be challenges along the way, or that you’ll never fail? No, because those things are a part of life. But what it will mean is that you’ll have a better attitude, which will allow you to grasp the very best that life has to offer.
Positive self-talk isn’t difficult and it’s worth the effort that is involved because it can truly change the way you view yourself and the world that you live in.
January 19, 2009
Each day, there are dozens of tasks that are calling your name, both at work and in your personal life. With life being so busy it’s easy to lose focus on the big picture.
How many times have you gone to bed wondering what you actually accomplished that day? Or have you ever felt like your day was somehow wasted?
To avoid these feelings, you can try a few different methods to get yourself back on track. Rather than bemoaning your wasted time, resolve to regain your focus and get back on task.
There’s a famous quote about focus by the great philosopher Confucius: “If you chase two rabbits, you catch none.” True, there might be people who are able to multitask and do it relatively well; but more often than not, people who split their attention between two different tasks have a more difficult time completing both tasks well.
Here are five ways to regain your focus and get back on task:
1. Eliminate the distractions. Get rid of the barriers that are causing you to avoid getting things done – it’s that simple! Forget about checking email every five minutes; those emails will still be there when you complete your task. Make a list of distractions and eliminate!
* Turn off the phone and let the voice mail take over.
* Close the blinds in your office.
* Turn off the music if you find yourself singing more than working.
* Simply closing the door to your office can give you more privacy and more focus.
2. Prioritize your work. Rather than working on projects simultaneously, take one thing at a time, focus on it, and worry about all the other projects later. Ultimately, you’ll get a lot more done and you’ll finish it more quickly. You’ll also be recognized by the high quality that you deliver when you’re free from distractions.
* Find a way to prioritize that works best for you. Choose either the project that has the earliest deadline or the one with the least components so you can finish it quickly and get it out of the way. There are pros and cons to both systems so tackle it whichever way works for you.
3. Tell everyone to respect your time. There are many nice and respectful ways to tell people to back off. If you’re finding yourself in a time crunch and can’t seem to get away from others, consider letting them know that you need time to finish some important tasks. There are a lot of different ways to do it – just make sure you do!
* Set times that you’ll accept phone calls and even visitors. Tell them to contact you by email and then set a regular time to check your email.
* Set business hours during which people can expect you to return their calls or emails.
4. Set some limitations with your internet access. The internet is wonderful but it can be a huge time waster, especially if you work at a computer all day long. Regain your focus with some self-imposed rules.
* First, close all those windows you’re not using. Avoid MySpace or Facebook, quit searching on eBay, and leave messenger alone!
* Establish certain times each day to use these fun things and just focus on what you have to do. You’ll quickly accomplish more!
5. Have confidence in your abilities. This may seem like a really small thing when it comes to focusing and getting back on task, but believing that you can get everything done that you set out to do puts you in a positive frame of mind and you’ll be less distracted with stress and worry.
* Have confidence that you can complete each task with ease and believe in your ability to deliver. If you’ll just have the confidence, you’re sure to have the focus!
Now that you’ve been introduced to five ways to focus and get back on task, it’s up to you to take action and learn how to focus your thoughts. If you’ve got to get stuff done, follow these steps so you can put yourself – and your goals – first!
January 18, 2009
Everyone has a dream – many dreams actually – but few believe that they can actually achieve them. Nevertheless, some people achieve their dreams while others live lives of regret. Some are inspired and follow through, while others delay or give up entirely on their dreams in exchange for whatever excuses they comfort themselves with.
What are the factors that make that difference between the person who achieves and the one who regrets?
Here are three simple steps you can take to help you live the life of your dreams:
1. Motivation. Everyone has their own motivations for their dreams. Consider what motivates you towards your goal. It could be financial freedom, more free time, or a second home in the Caribbean. Whatever it is, remind yourself of it on a daily basis.
For example, having pictures of your dream Caribbean home hung on the fridge or in your work space will remind you of your dream and refresh your mind with motivation.
* When you suffer inevitable setbacks or frustration, a visible reminder of your dream will help motivate you to do what is necessary to get back on track toward your goal.
It is also important to give yourself rewards along the way. Rewarding yourself after making a breakthrough, such as acquiring a new client, learning a new computer program, or sharing a smile with your teenager, is absolutely necessary to effectively following through on your path to success.
Treat yourself to a nice dinner, take the day off for a game of golf, or reward yourself with something else you like. Your reward will give you a refreshing break from the trials and tribulations on your path to success and bring you new energy to continue working toward your goal.
* Giving yourself a reward here and there along the way will reinvigorate your motivation with its positive result.
2. Planning. Although developing a systematic plan may seem obvious if you want to achieve your goals, many people overlook or downplay this process and then wonder why they aren’t moving forward toward their goal. Be sure to take the time to plan your path for greater success!
* Once you have a broad plan to reaching your goal, you must fine-tune all the details. Put it down on paper, even if it’s an emotional or psychological life goal, and determine the steps necessary to make that goal a reality.
* Put a time frame on it. Put all excuses aside with a finite deadline for each step.
* Be realistic of your own competencies.
Creating a realistic step-by-step plan with a deadline will bring your dream to life. Setting definable little goals to achieve on the way to your desired large goal will enable you to follow your plan through to success.
3. Action. Lastly, no dream or goal can be achieved without action. If you’ve developed your plan as recommended, you will see that there are a number of little steps you must take on a daily or intermittent basis that will further you on your path to your ultimate goal.
* Your little steps give you the map to your treasure. Take action to follow your map. Each step you complete brings you closer to your goal.
* Evaluate your actions and revise your map as necessary. If a plan falls through, then be adaptable to change it until you find yourself back on the path to success.
Motivation, planning and action will enable you to create and live the life you’ve always wanted. It may take some time, but following these steps will guide you to success.