How to Break the Ice

Ask “Tell me about yourself”.  Then listen, don’t talk.

Ask any question and you will win over even the most reluctant person. 

Not just strangers – this works at work by asking an associate to “tell me about the ideas you have about this project”.

Everyone’s favorite topic is themselves and yet how often do we make it about us?

The secret to being not just a good conversationalist but a great one is to be genuinely curious and anxious to hear what others have to say without having to weigh in with your view.

Something as simple as talking in terms of another person’s interests can make you a happier and more effective person.

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Think This When You Feel Failure

The number one best-selling book series of all time is Harry Potter.

Yet 12% of more than 21,000 Harry Potter reviews are only 1-star – in other words the worst book I’ve ever read.

How could that many people be so wrong for author J.K. Rowling who made the most money in history as an author, an estimated $1 billion.

These unhappy readers may have hated the series, but so many more people loved it.

The next time someone hates on you – nibbles away at your confidence or your ability to succeed – remember Harry Potter. 

Others are entitled to their opinions but they should have absolutely no effect on your passion to succeed.

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Becoming More Self-Sufficient

People hover over you.

Give advice from their perspective.

Overreliance on others when the answer is to trust yourself.

Trust your instincts.

Self-help is an entire category of other people giving you their advice.

Real self-help is to rely on your own judgment.

You will fail sometime and succeed others – even Ted Williams, the best hitter in baseball, failed 60% of the time.  It’s okay.

Learn from others, then you decide how to proceed.

Spend more time on your confidence, less on taking advice of others.

Learn patience to prevent panicking into quick fixes. 

Being the best is not about being someone else’s best. 

Depend on yourself not someone else. 

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Giving Yourself More Credit

Name 5 faults you’d like to get rid of.

Now, name 5 wonderful qualities you have.

If you’re like most people, the faults will come easy and the list may actually be greater than 5.

Finding 5 wonderful qualities is harder to do.

Make it the other way around.

Be on the lookout for opportunities to congratulate yourself (“nice job handling an angry customer”, “I was a good listener to my mother this morning”).

Repeat:  positive self-congratulations is not egotistical, it’s self-care.

Never listen to unsolicited criticism.

If you don’t like yourself more often, how can you expect others to appreciate you? 

Looking for faults is self-destructive, looking for positives is an immediate confidence booster.

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Read some sample chapters of my book Out of Bad Comes Good, The Advantages of Disadvantages here.

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Managing Life’s Crises

A crisis either gets fixed or we learn how to live with it.

No matter how bad it is, the problem will get resolved.

The real problem is the stress, anxiety, upheaval, self-doubt, hurt feelings and outright fear that consume us in the meantime even though we know the two possible outcomes.

Don’t panic – toughen up.

Ask yourself what is the worst that can happen because it rarely does. 

Take a pad; write your fears in one column and the facts in the other.  Facts trump emotions in solving problems.   

Avoid people who make you feel more stressed, insecure, less confident or hurt.

Seek out people who see life with positivity to make you stronger and less anxious. 

No one gets to avoid major problems.

But the problem is not likely to get you, the lack of self-care while dealing with it will.

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Read some sample chapters of my book Out of Bad Comes Good, The Advantages of Disadvantages here.

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