Assume You Can Do It

Confident people always seem to be ready to do almost anything.

But when we are exposed to negativity, we become less confident.

Shakespeare said “assume a virtue if you have it not” and here’s how that works in our modern lives.

Saying “I can’t” or “I don’t think so” is you hurting yourself.  Why do that?

All we have to give is 100% of what we have – everyone can do this.  No exceptions.

When in doubt, think about something else you did that took courage even if it wasn’t similar.

Create IOUs to yourself for bravely doing things you didn’t think you could do and cash them in the next time you’re challenged.

Fear of failure is worse than failing from trying.

Banish that thought.

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Difficult Days

Adversity sucks.

But it has its virtues.

The way we handle hard times can be transformative.

We constantly look for an end to our difficulties that is why adversity seems to never end.

Recognizing progress makes difficult days when nothing seems to go right better.

Surviving the last few hours – progress.

Coming up with a plan of action – that deserves a pat on the back.

Waking up the next day and attacking your problem anew – progress we often fail to recognize.

It’s progress that allows us to deal with adversity.

Measuring progress transforms us from poor victim to handler of life’s ups and downs.

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Confidence in a Hurry

It’s easy to forget your many successes in a fast-paced world.

If you want to constantly doubt yourself, keep focusing on what you think is wrong with you.

If you want to gain confidence, celebrate every success big and small.

Start a notes file on your phone. 

Every time you have a success or accomplishment, add it to the list (latest first).

Scroll down often during the day and review all the things that you have accomplished.

It’s a human condition to think about faults rather than accomplishments, but people who exude confidence make it a commitment and daily ritual to remind themselves of what’s right about them.

You are the best source of confidence.

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Letting Go of the Past

Think of how much time we waste trying to rewrite the history of our lives.

Regretting past mistakes.

Holding on to anger.

It’s almost as if we’re trying to engineer a better past or future.

What we’re living now is the only thing that is guaranteed. It’s the only thing we have for certain.

It deserves 100% of our attention.

The past is an old file that we pull to learn lessons and then put it away.

The future is a blueprint for anticipating a future – glance at it and return to now.

Spend most of your time in the present where life happens and where you can fix past mistakes and hope for better days ahead.

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Outperforming Co-Workers

Two things.

  1. Do what you say you’re going to do, do it earlier than promised and exceed expectations on every occasion.  

Wouldn’t you like to have that person working for you?  Be that person.

  1. Keep confidences

Channel the deepest CIA-agent in you and do what very few people can actually do – never discuss conversations, gossip, observations or other breaches with any one.  The person who can reliably keep confidences, gives the assurance that they can be trusted.

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Making New Friends

Be the one to break the ice and start conversations.

Talk about them not you (“tell me about yourself”).

Everyone likes a good listener – develop the skills and focus necessary to be 100% present in conversation.

Start by looking for things you have in common.

But it is far more interesting to look for someone who is very different.

In friendship, it never helps to write the other person’s lines.

A friendship is not about controlling the eventual outcome.  It is about the wonderful small steps that lead you to the warmth and enjoyment of two people who never knew that they wanted to meet each other.

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Dealing With Hate

The moment we allow ourselves to hate another person is the exact time that we risk becoming like the person we dislike.

Dislike the deed, not the person no matter how evil they may be. 

Never react, always respond (the difference is asking yourself how you feel first).

If your animosity grows, visualize yourself wearing a shirt with a big red button on it and vow not to let anyone push that button.

We hate when others make us feel badly about ourselves – although think kindly of yourself and this will not happen.

Your mission is – be the person you want to be.  Not what someone else may try to make you.

Best thought for rejecting haters – feel sorry for them (“It must be awful to have to go around making others feel as bad as they do”). 

Just the mere awareness that someone is getting your goat is the first step toward taking back control.

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Calming Workplace Anxiety

Bosses and associates bring their own issues to work and that multiplies anxiety by the number of people exposed to it.

It’s tough enough dealing with your own stress let alone having it amplified by others.

Heavy workloads rarely cause anxiety, living with the unwanted stress of others or personally-inflicted sabotage to your own confidence does.

Be keenly aware of others’ anxiety and reject it at every turn.

Be proactive not passive in standing up to the unwanted anxiety of others at work.

To get through it, think of yourself as your own boss when doing your work reminding yourself that you are the person in control.

When you first feel uncomfortable, act.

Repeat often:  I have earned the right to have this job.  

Let go of your stress and feel it flutter away like a butterfly – visualize calm. 

When any job becomes not worth it because it makes you feel more stressed, even the act of looking for alternative employment has an immediate stress reducing effect.

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Trusting Yourself

When it’s a matter of life and death, men and crewmembers survive sinking ships in greater numbers than women and children.

It’s truly every man for himself.

Maritime disasters are tragic events but they show us how ordinary people react under stressful situations.

So it’s back to you trusting you in everyday life.

You can’t expect the trust of another if you’re not willing to 100% trust yourself first.

You have all you need for trust.

Start first by listening to your instincts. 

No one knows you better than you do, that counts for a lot.

Trust is not a wish or hope, it’s a hard choice that precedes the end result.

When you doubt yourself, you are hurting yourself.

The word trust has the letter “u” right in the middle – what a convenient reminder. Subscribe to these Day Starters for free here.

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Deciding What To Do With Your Life

Why do we pressure ourselves to pick one thing?

Why do we limit ourselves because of age (too young, too old)?

You don’t have to decide once and for all – you can do it again and again. 

Life happens, things change, you morph into a different person so why pressure yourself into a decision that may be wrong?

Renew your “contract with yourself” every year – if you like what you’re doing, vow to continue for another year.  If you’re antsy for change, pursue the change. 

Don’t be the one to put limitations on what you want to do and certainly don’t accept limitations from others. 

Even if you’re not qualified, dream on – you can acquire the skills if you’re really motivated.   

Don’t give up before you decide.  Excuses like “I don’t have the education or background” are self-defeating.

It’s your dream not what others want you to do. 

Money is an excuse for not even trying to attain the life you want – no one successful has been rolling in money on the way up. 

Think of your life as a canvass – it’s yours to paint on as you wish.

Picasso wouldn’t hand a brush to someone else and say “here, you paint my picture”.

As long as you are alive and able, see your dreams and then see them through. 

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