Confidence

The easiest way to have confidence is to act confident.

To assume that you are even when you’re not.

If you think that is insane, consider what we do instead – rely on others to give us the confidence that is missing.  It rarely sustains itself.

Confidence is the belief that we can rely on ourselves.

Acting like you have confidence precedes actually becoming confident.

Faking it is arrogance, outsourcing it to others is weakness.

Confidence starts within.

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Hot Streaks and Slumps

When everything is going our way, it’s magical how much confidence we can feel.

Nothing succeeds like success.

We come to expect things to go our way.

It’s like a hot streak for an athlete – they somehow keep overperforming because they expect it.

Until, a slump.

Then doubt creeps back in, everything becomes less confident and sometimes trying too hard when it wasn’t necessary before makes things even worse.

Life is full of ups and downs.

You ride a hot streak out and enjoy it all the way.

When a rough patch occurs, adding self-doubt does not make things get better.

In hockey, when a player is on the schneid and can’t score a goal for extended periods of time, they bear down, grip the stick too tightly and continue to be frustrated.

When they finally get off their own backs, a cheap goal slips in the net and they are visibly relieved.

And on the way to the next hot streak.

Pressure does not cause success.

Bearing down never works.  Letting go is the secret.

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Deconstructing Anxiety

If we feel comfortable speaking to one other person, why does speaking to 5, 10 or more make us anxious?

Professional speakers say they address an audience as if they are talking to only one person – all of us can do that.

Why do we hang out with people who make us feel stressed when we could just as easily keep company with people who make us feel calm?

Or keep working in stressful situations when we could make it a priority to find other work?

Anxiety is like tape – when you come in contact with it, it sticks to you.  To get it off of you, you have to peel it off.

High expectations, social media networks, being hounded by digital devices is not going to stop anxiety, it’s going to make it worse.

Get a leg up on anxiety by peeling it off once you realize it is sticking to you.

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Seeking the Approval of Others

We spend our lives seeking the approval of others but why is it that when we finally get it, we are also most likely the ones to demean ourselves?

Starting with not being able to take a compliment.

Then acting less than sure that we can keep it up.

Letting doubts creep in.

Finally, criticizing ourselves even when others are not.

This isn’t uncommon, but it is unnecessary.

Once earned, no one can take away your successes and that includes you.

Turn every success into an IOU that you can use later when going through a rough patch.

Those who doubt themselves should not be seeking the approval of others before they grant it to themselves.

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Being Good Enough

Most of us aren’t good enough.

But that’s not terminal because we can always get better.

For some reason when we think we’re not good enough or worse yet when someone tells us we’re not, we wind up accepting it.

Good enough gets better by working harder, longer – never giving up.

By being less concerned with winning big, more concerned with being the best at what you do.

It’s a lifetime and that’s a healthy way to look at it.

We live in a lottery rich world – hit it big, get a break and win.

Truth is you win by being good at something.

Then better.

Best is relative.

We want a single – not hit it out of the park.

Good is doable and it’s more than enough.

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