Posts Tagged ‘Confidence’
Wednesday, March 13th, 2013
When I was in college I took the train into Manhattan to spend some time with my dad. We went to his favorite restaurant for lunch and I felt like I was sitting next to a movie star. People kept coming to our table to talk to him and nearly everyone who walked through the door knew his name . I remember thinking, “Wow, my dad is famous.”
Dad was one of those people who loved the world. He was honest but more than that he was careful with his words. He believed in people and had a way of making them believe in themselves. When you talked to him, he listened. Then he’d ask questions and listen some more. He made you feel like you mattered, regardless of your circumstance. My dad’s attitude was magnetic. He was confident and humble at the same time. He didn’t expect the world to be fair, he just expected to be able to handle the unfairness. People were happier if they were lucky enough to cross his path so when they saw him coming, they crossed his path.
My dad wasn’t world famous; he was famous in his world and it had little to do with his success as a businessman. He was famous because he was a servant. Life wasn’t about him, it was about you.
Monday, January 28th, 2013
The first rule of the February Challenge requires you to drink a half cup of warm (not hot) water with the juice of half a lemon…with intention. This rule could be the key to your success.
Seven great reasons for warm water and lemon are explained in an article I found on MindBodyGreen.com. According to them, it boosts your immune system, balances pH, helps with weight loss, aids digestion, acts as a gentle diuretic, clears skin and hydrates the lymph system. I don’t know about you but just one of those benefits is reason enough for me.
I’ve been testing this concoction for the past couple of weeks. I thought it would be too tart…it’s not. I thought it would be too much work…it’s not. I’m already a fan. The thought of starting my day with something so simple, so clean, makes me happy. But what makes it powerful is adding intention.
“Intention” is an internal statement or conversation about what you intend to accomplish. For the purpose of the February Challenge, your lovely morning lemon drink is accompanied by very specific thoughts and plans for the health choices you will make TODAY, only today. Sit down for a few minutes, savor your warm lemon water and visualize your success.
It might go something like this: “As this water cleanses my system, I know I’m going to follow it with healthy food all day. When I get to work and I’m faced with the candy jar, I’ll walk by and immediately feel proud of myself (see yourself doing that). When Jane brings in her grandmother’s homemade baklava and insists I make an exception because she has never visited this country before and I’ll never get the chance again(these things always happen), I’ll realize the trap. I know baklava won’t help me succeed. It’s just sugar and fat in a tempting little package. That’s not who I am today so I’ll say, “Thanks, but no thanks, not today, it looks great but I really don’t want any.” After she picks her jaw up off the floor and walks away, I’ll feel crazy happy. Today, every time I walk away from temptation, I will become stronger and happier.”
You get the idea. You have to imagine your success in the face of things that have tripped you up in the past and you have to imagine how great that feels. If you take a few minutes every morning to set up the day, you will win. But remember, it’s just today. Don’t take on the whole month of February. Just take on today…and then do it again, tomorrow.
A half cup of warm water with the juice of half a lemon and a few minutes of intention = the beginning of a great version of you.
Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013
There’s a difference between being victimized and being a victim. You’re victimized when something bad happens to you. You’re a victim when you let your past define your future.
When I was 15, I was victimized by a rape. I didn’t talk about it at the time. Instead, I handled it alone. At some point I decided your opinion of me determined my value. As a result, I became a victim. The choices I made in an attempt to be “good enough” led to eating disorders and failed marriages. Somewhere in my head was a little voice that kept saying, “I can’t…I’m not…If only…” Maybe it’s easier to live the life of a victim because as a victim you always have an excuse.
I have a close friend who recently made a New Year’s Resolution. She vowed to start an exercise program and eat healthier. Her goal was to lose the 20 lbs that we’ve listened to her complain about for years. She did several things in preparation. First, she joined a health club. Then she cleaned all the junk food out of her kitchen, putting the ice cream and fudge (left over from Christmas) in the basement freezer so the kids could still have it. She even bought a journal to record her eating habits. On New Year’s Eve we went out to for one final night of gluttony. She bragged about the great things she would accomplish next year and we were ready to support her efforts.
The next morning, January 1, she got out of bed, went to the basement, got out the fudge and the ice cream and took them up to the kitchen. She carefully warmed the fudge in the microwave and then topped it with ice cream, caramel sauce and nuts. She ate it. When she was done, she called me and confessed.
“What are you thinking?!” I asked.
“It was too much pressure. I needed to end it. I’d only fail anyway. I couldn’t deal with it and truthfully, I’m relieved.”
So that’s that. She’s done. She quit before she started. My friend is another great example of living life as a victim. She has failed before so of course, she will fail again; at least that’s the convenient line of thought.
Unfortunately, it gets you nowhere. Her sources of happiness are external. They come from the things her kids do, the shows she watches on TV or the short-term reward she gets from some kind of comfort food.
Don’t do that! Stop being a victim and become a champion. You’re not defined by your past, you’re defined by the way you move forward. Make this year different. Fight for change. I promise you, through the struggle, you’ll find self-esteem, confidence and joy.
Happy New Year.
Friday, December 7th, 2012
I used to think high school boys didn’t talk much about their conquests. I also didn’t think they cared about the amount of sexual experience a girl accumulated. It makes sense that boys who want experience look for girls willing to play the game. I’m sure they’re grateful when they succeed, too. However, I never realized how disrespectful they can be.
Having teenage sons is eye-opening. I’ve overheard some disturbing comments in the past two years but this particular conversation proves how dangerous it is for teenage girls to trust their reputations with teenage boys:
Boy #1 commented on how “hot” a particular girl was.
Boy #2: “Na, you’re better than that. She’s been tapped a few times already.”
Boy #3: “Ya, and so have most of her friends. There’s not much left in that class.”
Boy #4: “That’s why I like Taylor. She’s respectable, not like the overly experienced girls.”
The worst thing about this conversation is that I later learned that boys 1,2,&3 are experienced. They encourage girls to “give it up” and then apparently, they turn around and talk about them like they’re objects.
So ladies, what side of that equation do you want to be on: the respectable side or the overly experienced side?
Here’s a thought. If you think it’s too late…it’s not. You have all the power. You decide how much respect you deserve. Next time you’re dating someone and it quickly goes in a physical direction, shut it down. Be confident enough to say something like, “You know what, I’ve been there, done that and if that’s what you’re about, go somewhere else. I’m not an object. If you want to get to know me, chill.”
If he goes away…lucky you. Over time, you can build any reputation you want. Rock on, Ladies…you’re worth it.
Tuesday, November 20th, 2012
Why do you do what you do? Or as my thirteen year old likes to say, “Why are you why you are?” Then he adds, “They’re just letters, Mom.” (YRUYUR).
I’m a professional speaker and author, not because I’m a rape survivor and not because I’m an Ironman. I’m a speaker and author because I want you to become your own champion.
Becoming your own champion is about finding your voice. It’s about being authentic in a world that’s often anything but authentic. It’s about becoming a great student, a great friend, a great employee, a great leader. I want you to love the amazing gift of your own unique life in spite of the pressures you face on a daily basis to meet the expectations of a world that’s constantly bombarding you with messages about how to look, how to act, how to think, how to feel, and what to believe.
I want YOU to own your life, to wake up in the morning excited to seize the day. I want you to fight to become the best possible version of yourself. No excuses, no regrets, no blame on bad luck or misfortune…none of that!
Yes, life can be incredibly unfair. You will struggle. So you have to remember that you’re defined, not by the challenges you face, but by how you face those challenges. When the going gets tough I want you to understand how to rebound because you’re worth it.
I speak and I write because it took me thirty-five years to get it right. I want you to get it right today.
Monday, September 24th, 2012
Disclaimer: I realize I’m working with a stereotype with this analogy but if you have a teenage daughter you may want to share it with her.
If boys were different kinds of boats they’d all start out as row boats. In middle school they evolve into boats with engines. Teenage boys are fascinated with their motors, if you know what I mean. By the time they get into high school many of them continue to evolve, turning into fishing boats, throwing out their lines to see what they can catch. Some boys even subscribe to the catch and release program, hooking up with as many girls as possible. Other boys work on building muscles and turn into speed boats. They expect girls to be impressed with their physical prowess. Be careful ladies, with a speed boat, the relationship is NEVER about you.
The bottom line is boys want experience. The problem is rarely does a boy tell a girl that he just wants experience. Instead, he’ll say whatever he needs to say to score. It’s unfortunate when a girl expects the relationship to last forever.
But all is not lost. As boys get older, some of them continue to evolve. A few boys even turn into yachts. A yacht is a man who treats a woman with respect. He adores her and supports her dreams. Please, ladies, don’t waste your time with fishing boats or speed boats. You are yacht worthy.
Wednesday, July 11th, 2012
A kid on my son’s basketball team asked, “Why is it harder to succeed than to fail?” The answer seems obvious however the question is valid. Very few people set out to fail. This young man wants to succeed but he’s distracted by negative influences so he struggles to stay on track. He can choose to please the people around him in the short run or struggle to make choices that will lead to happiness in the long run.
His challenge is everyone’s challenge. How many people wish they could lose 10 lbs? How many people wish they had a better relationship? Success requires discipline, determination, perseverance, accountability, and focus. It’s hard to succeed but the reward is increased self-esteem, confidence, and joy. The struggle is what makes the accomplishment so great.
And, by the way, if you think you’ve found success without any challenges along the way, maybe, just maybe, you didn’t set the bar high enough.
Wednesday, June 13th, 2012
Be your own champion. You will run into plenty of detours in life, some more challenging than others. It’s not the events in your life that define you, but how you handle those events. You can be a victim or a champion. You can lament over your problems and hope someone will fix them for you or you can chart a new course and move forward with confidence. When you choose the latter, you find happiness.
If you think of great sporting events, you’ll realize the ones you remember the best are the come from behind victories. In basketball, it’s the double over-time game that’s won with a last minute shot. In golf, it’s the chip-in that wins the tournament on the final hole. There is no greater sense of accomplishment than winning against the odds.
A champion never gives up. Be your own champion.
Wednesday, March 28th, 2012
Most of our behaviors are habit driven. The way we walk, the way we brush our teeth, the way we deal with stress, how much we chew our food, etc… It’s fascinating if you really think about it. It’s also important. Our brains love patterns. Habits free up our brains for other tasks. If we don’t have to think about routine things, we can use that energy to learn more or to be more creative.
Habits are an important part of our success so we need to evaluate them once in a while and make sure they’re helping, not hurting us. If you’ve developed a pattern that’s working against you, change it. Create a better pattern and keep repeating it until it becomes automatic. For example, if you always eat something before you go to bed and you want to change that, brush your teeth earlier and read for twenty minutes instead. You’ll struggle with the change for a few weeks, but if you stick with it, you’ll eventually be proud of yourself for creating a healthier pattern.
Life is easy when your habits work in your favor. Make your life easy.