What Turns You On?

There is a wave moving across this planet awakening people to embrace their unique purpose and message and for the people who are bold enough and empowered to passionately exercise their gifts, talents and express their message, they are not only happier for following through on their purpose but often find they are rewarded financially, if given the opportunity.

How would you like to do that you love and get paid handsomely for doing it? This is one of the best benefits of living your life on purpose.

what turns you on

You can look for clues to uncover your purpose in life. You can discover your unique message and starting singing your song, just by taking a look at your life. For instance,

What’s that thing you love to do? That thing when time just seems to disappear when you’re immersed in a particular activity?

What’s the thing that you do – that comes easily for you – and not so much for others (and they’re likely to mention it to you or ask, “How do you do that?”

When someone complimented you on something you said or did, saying, “That was amazing!” what was it?

What is the thing that people keep coming to you for? What kind of advice, tip or type of encouragement are folks attracted to you for?

If your friends confide in you, is there a general topic that they seek you out and find comfort in your support?

What kinds of books, magazines, television shows or movies are you attracted to?

What talents and special abilities did you possess as a child?

What would you like to be remembered for, long after you are gone?

What activities would you engage in, if the doctor told you that you only had one week to live, and finances were not a concern?

The answers to these questions should give you an idea of what the universe is calling you to accomplish with your life.

Start writing, journaling; create a collection of words, writing down your ideas a feelings about what turns you on. Your words do not need to be masterful. You just need to start documenting your feelings about these things. As you do, you find a clarity developing.

Also consider asking yourself what extreme challenges have you endured and overcome (or are in the process of overcoming)?

You may be the only person whom others who are facing the same challenges can relate to. How can you reach out to help others in this area?

Start writing… keep writing… Writing not working so well? No problem. Get a recorder and start recording your words. Recordings can be transcribed (there are even programs and apps that you can speak into and they will type out your words for you).

Then just be open to the idea of allowing people who are attracted to you regarding your message to pay you for embracing your calling.

You can become a coach or consultant and start talking to people about your message or mission and charge by the hour. You can start a support group and charge a fee at the door.

You can write, publish and sell a book, ebook, emagazine, newsletter, membership site or fraternal organization.

You don’t need to work out all the details… Just doing the work and being open will attract opportunities and the right people to help you make it so, as you move forward in faith.

Don’t Should on Yourself

I work with people who come in covered head to toe in should. How can anyone have any quality of life when they’re covered in should?

I should do this, I should do that… There’s should over here, should over there. How can you get anything done when you’re so full of should?

don t should on yourself no should
Don’t Should On Yourself

Nothing good ever came from should.

Take a good look at your should, what do you see? A big, ol’ pile of should that is at the very least unsettling to examine if not totally disgusting.

Should is rooted in negative, guilt-ridden angst and needs to be eliminated from your life; otherwise it festers and piles up inside of you making you feel worse about yourself, doubt your ability to be productive, lose faith in yourself and can lead to self-loathing.

Should Elimination Cleanse

It’s time to take a big should elimination cleanse.

What’s on your Should List?

Get out a sheet of paper and write down all the things that you tell yourself that you should do on your should list. I should lose weight. I should write Aunt Emma. I should get a better insurance company. I should clean out the garage. I should get a better job. I should start working out. I should spend more time with my kids. Also include those things you feel you shouldn’t do, like I shouldn’t spend so much time with technology, I shouldn’t watch bad news, I shouldn’t drink alone, I shouldn’t show up late, I shouldn’t scream at the kids, I shouldn’t put others needs before my own, and the list goes on and on…

Look at the size of your should list. It’s overwhelming when you realize that you’re so full of should. We’re getting rid of your should list, although you get a chance to cull some of the things from the list and move them to another list.

To clean up your shoulds, get another sheet of paper, this is a list of goals. If you feel compelled to keep some of the shoulds, you may convert them to a goal only if you are willing to take action on it.

That’s the difference between a big pile of should that bogs you down and drains your enthusiasm and goals that inspire you to take action. Shoulds are the things that you don’t do and goals are the things that you do do. Shoulds feel bad because how long have they haunted you? They bombard you and overwhelm you with guilt and make you feel unworthy, that you’re not good enough or like a loser. If something’s been on your should list for more than a year: Really? That’s a lot of unnecessary self-abuse. But, if you’re willing to transfer it to your goal list, you’re only allowed to if you’re committed to taking an action on it within the next seven days. Otherwise, it’s gotta go.

You can revisit the eliminated should at a later date. If it is something you really would like to accomplish at some point, you can re-evaluate it when it’s more likely that you will take action on it and make a goal of it. In the meantime, there’s no more should about it.

Burn your should list. You’re done with that should. No should.

If you’ve transferred it to your goal list and not taken action on it in the seven days, take that should and burn it. Burn that should.

No more should.

You’re not taking any should any more. You’re shouldless.

And that’s just you shoulding on yourself. How often do you should on others?

You know what it’s like to be shoulded on. You don’t like to be should on, so stop shoulding on others.

And if people are shoulding on you, then put them on notice. They are not allowed to should on you again. You’re not taking any more should; not from you, not from anyone.

Enjoy living your new should-free life.

Love Is What Is Love

Sometimes in life, your desires for love fall flat compared to your expectations.

There are four basic types of love, such as

4 types of love world friend family romanceOne World Love

There is an innate part of us that expects that all peoples can mutually respect, love each other unconditionally and live in harmony. We all want to love and be loved without division, no matter what. Yet, we are disappointed to find division prevails so predominantly that we are more often than not at odds with each other and peoples find themselves warring against each other.

Love Between Friends

You have grown up with someone or met someone with common interests and something in you reaches out to them connecting with them in an effort to appreciate them, feel an affinity, even love them for who they are, what they stand for and you feel compelled to protect the relationship between you. You hope that this friendship-type-of-love will last forever. It doesn’t take long to find out that people are often not who they appeared to be, as we project ourselves onto them in an effort to establish such a love, nonetheless, some deep friendship connections do withstand the test of time.

Love of Family

When a mother gives birth to a child there is a deep connection a love-bond that is possibly closer than any other bond between two people. This love connection can spread throughout a family with the possibility of establishing a love relationship amongst all family members. Some love among friends can grow to familial proportions. While some families are united in love, some family and friends are united by bonds fueled by other adhesives.

Even though we want to love our parents and want to be loved by them, often the love we desire is not the love we receive, so we are inclined to accept whatever love we can receive from parents and/or family members if we are able to receive any at all.

Romantic Love

Romantic love is the most potentially powerful love between two people. So powerful in fact that the participant (or participants) in this type of love are willing to risk with in the belief that the potential for living the highest quality of life is more meaningful and enjoyable when shared by two of the most intimate of partners. This love includes a deeply emotional and strong sexual attraction, the feelings that fuel this type of love often do not last long but the relationship can survive out of a sense of duty or necessity.

Why is it that most all the love we desire seems to elude us?

Try this:

exude the love you desire to receive regardless of the circumstances or lack of reciprocity

Exude the love you desire to receive regardless of the circumstance or lack of reciprocity.

If you feel separate or different from the other people in the world, send love to the world, love all other people, even if they do not appreciate or love you. Love your neighbors and friends likewise, even if they mistreat you. Love your family members as if they loved you more than anything, whether or not you feel there is any evidence of their affection or support for you.

The love you seek would be a combination of all these types of love and you may be surprised to discover you will not find it outside yourself until you’ve found this degree of love within. Only then can you expect to attract the kind of person who also has the same capacity of love.

So ask yourself, “What would it look like if I loved all the people of the world, my neighbors, friends, family, and potential mate completely?”

Love like it’s the only thing that matters

because it is.

 

Setting Boundaries

Are you ready to move your life to the next level?

It’s necessary for you to clearly define your work area. It’s the same thing as having an office at your workplace so that you can have the ability to close the door and concentrate on the important things that need tending to in an effort to maximize your effectiveness.

The same goes for your life. You need to create for yourself a safe area to do the work of planning, preparing, growing and expanding so that you can move to the next level. To accomplish this, you must create healthy boundaries.

setting boundaries

Establishing Healthy Boundaries

Before you can go about setting boundaries to hold the sacred space for you to conduct your personal work, you might consider taking some time to go inside and discover within yourself where your boundaries ought to be located.

You know when someone in your circle of influence says or does something that doesn’t make you feel good. In fact, it may make you feel downright bad. Easy: draw a line in the sand right there. Write it down and keep going, until you have demarcated your personal safe zone.

But wait, there’s more…

Who are the people in your life who drain your personal reserves, toxic people who destroy your sense of wellbeing, who disrespect, hurt or abuse you? See them clearly for who they are, and begin to consider protecting your sacred space from these emotional (and/or physical) intruders.

Setting Boundaries

Find ways to either control the space between you and them or protect your personal space from their negative influence. Inform people what is acceptable and what is not acceptable as you define and protect your sacred space with love and respect.

This was an expensive step for me in my practice as I work with a lot of type A personalities who regularly disrespected me – not in an effort to berate me directly, but as a way to fully express themselves while we conducted deep work – while is it was effective, it didn’t make me feel good in those moments.

I had to establish a boundary and be willing to back it up. The day I drew the line in the sand, I called each person who would have crossed the line in the past, had I established it. I clearly communicated to them about my decision to set this clear boundary and enforce it. Enforcing it would mean severing our professional relationship. I had to come to the point where I valued myself enough, that I would no longer let people disrespect me, no matter how much they were willing to pay me to let them do it.

Some of the clients were offended and severed the relationship at the conclusion of the call. A few stayed but crossed the line and I promptly cut them off, and they departed disgruntled, while others continued to work with me, keeping their emotions in check when directed at me.

This helped me to create an exciting safe place for me to work, filled with love and mutual respect, empowering my clients and I to flourish within the space that we do our best work together.

Setting Boundaries

Once you establish a boundary, you must go about the work of setting boundaries by clearly defining them with the potential offenders, as they should be allowed the courtesy of honoring your boundary out of respect to you.

In terms of the more violent offenders, it may be counterproductive to approach them face to face. You need not face extraordinary drama or abuse when setting boundaries. In this case, it may be in your best interest to just create distance – a safe space – between you and the more difficult people in your life. You will be better off without them.

Enforcing Boundaries

Unfortunately, setting boundaries without enforcing them is folly. Enforcing the boundaries you have set can be the most difficult part of the boundary process. It may include saying goodbye to people you care for, love, admire, respect (or in my case, pay you good money). Nevertheless, if you’re setting boundaries, you must enforce them.

You will discover, as you define and protect your space, you will attract more centered, supportive and loving people to fill the vacancies left by those who moved away from your circle of influence and thrive as you continue to pursue the sacred work of you and achieving your highest and best.

 

Success Characteristics

You can determine whether someone has the innate characteristics of a person who is likely to succeed if you know where to look for clues revealing their potential for success.

Amidst the landscape of prolific achievers are wolves in sheep’s clothing who understand these attributes and find ways to appear as though they possess these qualities in an effort to manipulate or defraud their unsuspecting prey.

While predators attempt to play the part to take from others to achieve their goals, there are also the authentic and integrous successful people who always seek win/win scenarios and to do no harm in the process.

success characteristics

You will find clues to one’s true character by observing the following six areas of one’s life:

Intimate

Maintaining a level of intimacy that stands the test of time is an excellent characteristic that begins at birth and continues throughout life. Intimacy in relationships are not restricted to romantic relationships, though one’s romantic relationship does have strong indicators.

Being able to maintain intimate relationships indicates the ability to trust and be trusted, to make commitments, be at least somewhat dependable and willing to compromise in a give-and-take relationship.

Good

It’s more than good things happen to good people. Successful individuals have a strong moral compass and are empathetic. They can imagine what it must be like to walk a mile another man’s shoes.

A good person who can enjoy a high degree of success possesses a full range of emotions and has the ability to control them, so as not to let them interfere with the greater good of his or her project or quality of life.

Friends

While the most successful people may not have a lot of inner circle friendships, they do maintain friendships that stand the test of time. This indicates the ability to relate to others with a certain degree of social adeptness while indicating degrees of tolerance and endurance.

A lack of close-knit friendships are likely to indicate excessively self-centeredness, inability to play well with others and may be insensitive or rude.

Brilliance

While they might not be the smartest person in the room, they command an intellectual awareness and exude a certain confidence in their ability to think on their feet, problem-solve, access and process data efficiently.

They are good sports, have a propensity to look outside the box for solutions, possess the ability to convert their thoughts into actions and have a good sense of humor.

Initiative

They have an inner compulsion to do things. They have the habit of setting and achieving goals for themselves, supporting their ability to push through barriers and achieve success.

Their drive is not powered by sense of duty or in lock-step militaristic fashion. Instead look for the person who enthusiastically embraces challenges and pursues life with passion and independence. One who is likely to succeed regardless of nay sayers.

Happy

The person who is prone to being successful exudes a joyful countenance. They find happiness within and find it in meaningful relationships and simple things not materialistic keeping up with the Joneses.

They find pleasure in examining obstacles and find peace in resolution of challenging circumstances. The most successful individuals may be as fearful of engaging difficult situations but are willing to take the risk to enjoy the fruits of expansion and personal growth.

August Image Directory

Wrapping up the month of August, here’s a quick screen shot review of the month’s news. Let me know which ones you like the most. Thanks for your input, -David M Masters

perception interpretation what is truth rash decision perception is realityPerception Interpretation how to build self esteem building self esteemHow to Build Self Esteem Top 5 Social Skills for Success opportunity assessment brand integrity persuasion blend in emotional connectionTop 5 Social Skills for Success
How do you feel about yourself when you look in the mirrorHow Do You Feel About Yourself? free things to do with friends for fun and a better lifeFree Things to Do what type of money person are you spender miser slacker hater money personalityWhat Type of Money Person Are You?
what do you think positive thinking negative thoughtsWhat Do You Think? enjoy life feeling good people 5 step feel better 21 day challengeEnjoy Life Feeling Good People fear of loss investing safe investing conscious investing parable of the talentsFear of Loss
plug in turn on brain chemistry increased concentration creativity unplugged plugged in brain scans the zonePlug In Turn On Apple leads the pack in reinvention reinvent yourself for success think different reinvention mastersReinvention Masters counselor coach consultant training counselors coaches consultantsExpectation Imposition
ROFL what do you and famous celebrity failures have in common return on failure learningROFL Return On Failure Learning be your own boss fire your boss start your own businessBe Your Own Boss mediocre personal best moment of clarityMediocre Personal Best
how to write a book about my lifeHow to Write a Book about My Life find friends frienships relationshipsFind Friends match book advertsing tiny ads matchesMy Tiny Ad Obsession
dont judge a book by its cover things arent always what they seem matchbookDon’t Judge a Book by Its Cover sabbatical self discovery reconnection take a breakSabbatical Take a Break gossip rumors dirty laundry talking behind my backGossip Dirty Laundry
soulmate drawSoul Mate Draw When you see a falling star do you make a wish or wonderOnly Visiting This Planet building your dream teamAssemble Your Dream Team
love gets better with age the best is yet to comeThe Best Things in Life are Worth Waiting for the best story ever and you are the hero in the pivotal sceneThe Best Story Ever You are not your job there is more to life someone call a handymanYou Are Not Your Job
attitude adjustment and vibration interuption law of attraction loaAttitude Adjustment and Vibration new thought ideas and inventions origin genius information downloadNew Thought Ideas and Inventions intolerance tolerate much dont laugh at other people make fun ridicule or put downTolerate Much?
demon hunters and ghostbustersDemon Hunters and Ghostbusters

perception-interpretation-how-to-build-self-esteem-top-5-social-skills-how-do-you-feel-free-things-to-do-money-person

Perception Interpretation

How many times have you found yourself offended by the words and deeds of another person that may have been unwarranted? Even if you knew your feelings were likely unjust, still you found yourself filled with angst and fury and lashed out or made a rash decision based on the emotional whirlpool pulling you down to your lowest desperate state.

So you strike out, do or say something in your defense because in this emotional chaos, you can think of nothing more than self preservation at all costs.

You rationalize your thoughts and actions based on the truth you are able to extract from the all the data that you have access to. Using your perception you convert the results of your research and statistics to come to a cognitive conclusion justifying the torrential chaos you felt in that moment based on your interpretation.

perception interpretation what is truth rash decision perception is reality

This happens every day, and how can you blame anyone for perceiving everyday occurrences via their individual perception? You can’t. Why? Because we can only determine that is really truth from within. Only we know what is true for us based on our own interpretation of the information available to us at the time.

In example, take a look at Jasmine and Darnell. They are in their early thirties, recently involved in a romantic courtship and things are going so very well. They are professing their love for each other and even talking about spending the rest of their lives together.

On their six month anniversary, Darnell makes reservations for a quaint bistro, picks up a card and a teddy bear with a heart on its tummy and presents them to Jasmine when he comes calling to pick her up for their scheduled date.

Jasmine greets him at the door enthusiastically. Darnell holds out the bear and card to Jasmine, as her countenance immediately shifts to contempt and anger. She throws the bear into the street, rips the card into pieces and throws the pieces at Darnell’s face and kicks him off the porch while shouting disrespectful obscenities and slams the door as Darnell falls to the ground.

After driving away and pulling over to the side of the road, Darnell texts Jasmine, which does not go through, then tries to call to discover his number’s already been blocked.

Looking for emotional support, the couple reaches out to their friends in an effort to cope with the ensuing chaos. Jasmine tells her friends that Darnell is a manipulative predator, nothing short of a rapist, while Darnell spins tales of Jasmine’s severe mental disorders. Friends rally around the couple. Damages follow, some that are irreparable.

Knowing the details of Jasmine’s struggle with her past doesn’t justify her outburst and reaction to the otherwise innocuous display of affection. Issues she’s been battling within since childhood predicted her response with high-precision accuracy. Likewise, Darnell’s accusations of Jasmine’s mental instability were based on triggers from his past.

From their perspective they are both telling stories based on the truth they believe, as real to them as gravity, yet things aren’t always what they seem and neither of them have as much information as I have (purposely filtered) additionally I am certain there is much more information yet to be uncovered.

Jasmine would fare much better in the same circumstance today, because she has worked though many of the unresolved issues of her past and while she still tends to be quite impulsive, is training herself to pause (and count to three to herself) before responding, reacting or pressing “send” when she is feeling overwhelmed. This brief hesitation gives her just enough space to consider possibilities, ramifications and helps her to manage her truth and consequences.

Don’t judge someone based on surface information because you may have no idea what lies beneath the surface. We all have lives consisting of a plethora of past experiences, beliefs and misinterpretations the sum of which has gotten us this far. After all, we’re all doing the best we can with what we have. This is why we are cautioned to never judge a book by its cover.

If we are to have any faith in our ability to successfully share this planet with other inhabitants, we must find ways to stop dividing us one against the other, discover how to get along with each other and accept that we are all parts of the same soup, even though we all are so very different.

No one is blaming you or me for our perception or interpretation, because in heat of the moment it’s all we have to determine what is truth as it influences how i feel about you, how you feel about me and how we feel about ourselves.

In fact in all things perception is reality and subject to change pending accumulation of additional data.

Pausing in an effort to avoid making a rash decision or burning a bridge beyond repair like Jasmine does now, might be sound advice for all of us.

All you can do is to try not to judge or react too promptly, accept others for who they are and where they are at in their life’s journey and discover how to make yourself happy as you live a better life. A little tolerance goes a long way.

For me, I try to imagine what it must be like to the person who is reacting, put myself in their shoes and look for the love. While I haven’t perfected this method because I too, can react in self defense in the heat of the moment… but as immediately as possible look with empathy for love in the wings.

We’re all in process, for if we weren’t, we would not be. Let’s make the best of it.

How to Build Self Esteem

Self esteem is basically how you feel about yourself as a person. It’s not so much focused on your competence or abilities as your inner dialogue and feeling about yourself, the things you do and how you do them.

how to build self esteem building self esteem

Low Self Esteem

It’s not good or bad to have low or high self esteem, it is what it is and we’re all doing the best we can with what we have. Nonetheless, the people I work with find it beneficial to build their self esteem because it seems to be associated with a certain degree of worthiness.

Good things happen to good people and the better you feel about the good things in your life, the more good things will come to you. Call it what you want, wishful thinking, pop science or new age mumbo jumbo, regardless statistics verify this at a high level of accuracy.

An example might be, let’s say you have had the opportunity to apply paint to paper or canvas in such a way as to result in an artistic rendering. You put it up on the wall and say to yourself, “Oh, jeeze, I wish I had better skills then this thing might be worth looking at.”

Before you have a chance to take it down, a friend shows up unexpectedly and notices your painting, “Oh, my,” he/she says, “I didn’t know you painted. That’s really nice, you have real talent.”

You might reply, “Oh, that? That’s nothing. I was just experimenting. Sometimes I wish I could paint, so I dabble, only to discover I can’t.” While you think to yourself, “Ugh, I suck at this. I don’t even know why I did it in the first place.”

Your friend assures you that it looks marvelous and that you may have more talent than you give credit to yourself and departs. You take down the painting and berate yourself, while thinking that your friend was only saying those things in an effort to be nice.

If you have low self esteem you’re likely to be your own worst critic, with a self-loathing voice often disrespecting you, your value and any good you could possibly bring to the world. Even if you’ve accomplished a good thing, there is little sense of accomplishment (as if you’d barely gotten through it at all) and certainly no celebration or sense of pride in a job well done. And if someone attempts to validate your efforts by paying a compliment, you’re likely to discard it.

Somewhere at the root of lack of self esteem, is feeling that you’re not good enough.

Yet, there is an innate part of us that aspires to feel good, so we try to feel the void of not feeling good with other things that will make us feel better or distract us from our own self-deprecation.

People with low self esteem attempt to fill the void with accomplishments, social status, fancy things, degrees, wealth, surrounding one’s self with influential people, thrill-seeking, extra-marital affairs, feeding addictions such as alcohol, drugs and/or food, etc. only to find the underlying feeling of unworthiness remains.

Comparison

Often how we feel about ourselves is based upon our inner system of weights and balances used when comparing ourselves to other people. When you look at someone else, do you believe that you are as attractive, intelligent, successful, deserving of love and happiness as anyone else?

If your tendency is to feel as though you are less of a person than someone else, then you will be prone to deliberate compromises that are not in your best interests, such as being a people pleaser, submissive, a perfectionist, suffer from mood imbalances, depression, even more unworthiness or a compulsion to prove that we are somehow better than someone else or they are undeserving.

High Self Esteem

If you are blessed to have high self esteem, it was likely the result of your familial or social upbringing that influenced your sense of not only being good enough, but deserving of all the best things this life has to offer. For the most part, this is the story of your life. You are one of the good people that good things keep happening to.

You might have been raised in an environment that supported a high perceived value of self in respect to family, love, religion, friendships, team sports or other relationships. When surrounded by your circle of influence you are ecstatically empowered; this sense of worthiness and power is ingrained enough to carry you through most anything.

Then there are those who have achieved high self esteem based on performance or competency. These are those who invest their efforts to support their family, their professions or the community at large and feel a strong sense of worthiness based on the kind of person they are and the things they do.

The downside to high self esteem, is running the risk of being viewed by others as selfish, conceited, arrogant, or narcissistic; so tempering high self esteem with humility produces a healthier balance overall.

How to Build Self Esteem

The first place to start is to recognize your inner voice eschewing any sense of worthiness you might have. Listen for your self talk and stop it. In the style of the late, Gene Wilder in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, “Strike that. Reverse it.” Then repeat to yourself just the opposite.

Think about it this way; I think we all can agree within us resides a small-child version of ourselves. If we could imagine inviting that little person out to stand in front of us and say to that child the negative things we say to ourselves, it would likely drive that little person to tears. We would never say those kinds of things to a child. What would we do instead? We would offer words of encouragement, edifying and uplifting the child for doing the best he/she could and you affirm the results were magnificent based on their level of performance and even alludes to possible greatness. Right?

It doesn’t matter what other people say. What matters is what you say to you. When you feel negative thoughts this is your cue to give yourself some loving support. Stop berating yourself.

The next thing to do is to start acting as if you have high self esteem.

If you have high self esteem:

  • You know you are worthy of all the best things this life has to offer
  • You take good care of yourself
  • You help others, but only after tending to your own needs first
  • You take care of your body, eat well, exercise and have good sleep habits
  • You manage your time well
  • You set boundaries in respect to yourself
  • You find excuses to celebrate and have fun
  • You are financially responsible. You spend less than you earn, save and invest
  • You are confident in your skills and abilities
  • If you fall short, you do not beat yourself up over it
  • You take personal responsibility for everything in your life
  • You are the manager of your emotional state
  • You readjust and reaffirm the best things in life the best you can considering the current circumstances (which could be dire)
  • You do not allow your appearance, circumstances, status, social interactions, wealth or relationships to dictate your emotional state
  • Nor do you rely on addictive behaviors to affect your state of being

These are the goals to set and achieve as you build self esteem, and as you practice these attributes they will become more and more a part of who you are. You will fall in love with the magnificent person you are – and always have been – and enjoy the presence of the person reflected in your mirror.

You are amazing!

 

Top 5 Social Skills for Success

There is no doubt that in business, or nearly any area(s) of life, those who wield the best interactive social skills have a huge advantage over those less adept at social interaction.

Some people are born with it; others make the effort to develop these social skills to increase their advantage in the world as we know it. It really all comes down to economy of effort, meaning that the most successful people are able to accomplish so much more in much less time.

Top 5 Social Skills for Success opportunity assessment brand integrity persuasion blend in emotional connectionThe best equipment you could have at your disposal would include these top five specialized social skills tucked away in your tool belt:

  1. Opportunity Assessment
  2. Brand Integrity
  3. Be Persuasive
  4. Blend In
  5. Emotional Communication

Opportunity Assessment

This ability would be considered self-serving by most of the general populace, but being able to quickly identify people to interact with that can best benefit you is a key skill that should be mastered by the successful businessperson or entrepreneur.

Think of it as having two minutes to make the determination whether the individual will be beneficial to you, your professional concerns, or may have skills that will help you to further your purpose.

You must always be polite, never rude, as you quickly express your purpose and try to learn as much as you can about the other person, limiting yourself to your 30 second elevator speech, then ask questions to determine whether there exists a potential opportunity.

Brand Integrity

Take care when interacting with others in the boardroom, in public, from the stage, during interview and face-to-face to stay congruent to, promote and protect your brand. Be cautious.

For some people, it is the person that is their brand; their name, their appearance, their convictions and public persona. Whenever possible in all the things you say and do, be consistent to the image that you want to be remembered as.

For others their brand may be a product or service. Do not expose behind-the-scenes information or data that might reflect poorly on your brand. This means that some topics may need to be avoided in order to protect your brand.

Be Persuasive

One of my mentors insisted that, “salesmanship,” and/or persuasion was the single most important skill to possess if you intend to enjoy any level of intentional success.

Obviously, having the ability to promote and sell your perspective, product or service on-demand can have huge impact on your overall success.

If you’re not born with a persuasive personality, this could be (and often is) the most challenging skill to adequately wield, as it can be the double-edged sword that improperly used could actually backfire and cost you a sale, potential client or cause people to question your motivation. This is a delicate balance that takes both balance and practice. You don’t want someone to remember you as the pushy salesperson or jerk.

Nevertheless, you must be able to encourage others to see from your perspective, whether they are friends, potential fans (who will promote you and/or what you do), customers or clients.

Blend In

This is the ability to relate to anyone on their terms. That means, regardless of whether you are speaking to a group of people or in a one-on-one conversation, you have the ability to see from their perspective, being thoughtful enough to use a similar style of speech (as long as it does not interfere with your brand).

Not just for those with political aspirations, being able to blend in is skill of adapting to any unique social setting and maximizing one’s exposure without standing out too much and being mindful of brand protection.

Emotional Communication

Interact with people in such a way that demonstrates that you are compassionate and passionate with a full array of emotions, communicating with feeling. When active in communication use voice inflection that enables your audience to perceive that you are enthusiastic, confident and competent.

People love emotions and they listen for your emotion in your vocal interactions with them. Speak from your heart to theirs, making an intimate connection.

If you feel as though you do not possess this skill, you can practice, practice, practice with a simple audio recorder. Practice reading and talking using a variety of vocal styles. If you have young children, reading children’s books and stories and vocally representing the voice of different characters is perfect practice (plus your kids will never forget your story-telling abilities).

How to Build Your Social Skills for Success

The best way to start building these skills is to start hanging out with other folks who already possess the skills you desire. Keenly observe them and model their behavior. Go to seminars, events and watch videos of live presentations. Study how others perform their social magic, take notes and practice doing what they do.

How Do You Feel About Yourself?

The better you feel about yourself, the more you will have and be able to give to a troubled world.

How do you feel about yourself when you look in the mirrorIf you are not feeling good about who you are as a person, you are more likely to be tired, depressed, feeling as if you are all alone in this world, anxious or unhappy.

How you feel about the person you see when you look in the mirror affects the entire world that surrounds you; your relationships, your career, satisfaction, and overall quality of life.

Here are a dozen questions to ask that can put you on the path of becoming your highest and best enabling you to have more of yourself to share with a world that needs your positive impact.

How do you feel about yourself What does my inner voice say about me

 

1. What does my inner voice say about me?

Sometimes our own inner voice is our worst enemy; old recordings that play on in continuous loops touting self-criticism or unworthiness.

You can interrupt the pattern with a strike-that-reverse-it strategy. There are many methods to approach this kind of negative self-talk but I have found that the most immediate and abrupt interruptions and reversal methods work best.

Snap It Out

For instance, wearing a rubber band on your wrist and snapping it immediately when you sense the negative thought. This creates a stopping point.

Next, you want to say (out loud, if you can) the opposite, positive reinforcement or reframe of the negative thought three times (this can be silently to yourself if you’re in a public environment where this might be inappropriate).

You might also consider a simple tapping exercise that I encourage my clients to use that goes like this:

Tap It Out

Let’s say your negative thought was, “I’m stupid.” Immediately cock your middle finger with your thumb and flick your ear (just like you might do to your little brother, or maybe you grandmother did that to you to interrupt your pattern of behavior, while remembering that this is not punishment, only a strong signal to stop the thought in its tracks).

You don’t have to flick your ear but I do suggest that you flick yourself somewhere around the vicinity of your head because this recognizes and identifies the location where the transgression originated. With a little practice you can develop a flicking method that couldn’t even be discerned by the unsuspecting public around you.

Then with the same finger that you flicked yourself with, tap the inside center of the palm of your opposite hand repeatedly. While you tap continuously say the negative thought (out-loud, if you can) three times with as much negative emotion associated with the words that you can muster. While you are doing this, imagine seeing the thought travel from your brain to inside the palm of your hand while you are saying the words. Then close your hand tightly, as if you are gripping the thought so as not to release it.

Next, turn over your clenched fist and tap repeatedly at a rapid pace, just like you did before, only this time repeat the opposite supportive positive phrase (out-loud if you can) that counteracts the negative thought. In this case if might be something, like, “I am getting so much smarter and brilliant every day. I’m a genius!” After the third recitation seal the deal by an affirmative closing statement, like, “I love the new me!”

Then, open your hand and let the negative thought fall down to the ground like a rock. Brush the insides of your hands in a cleansing motion and go on about your day a little better than you were before.

Amazingly, the next time that negative thought interrupts your daily life (if at all), you will find that you have less emotional attachment to it. This is an effective method that breaks the pattern and also removes the psychological pain associated with these negative invasions.

This works for my clients – and it will work for you – if you give it a chance.

Some other questions you might ask could be:

2. How positive is my personal outlook?

We all have heard about how we are supposed to maintain a positive mental attitude ad infinitum. But it can sometimes be a challenge top think positively when you’re not feeling so good about yourself or life in general.

It’s not enough that we are bombarded by life circumstances that may be less than desirable but we are commonly exposed to negative influences that are quite easily monitored and filtered by simply paying attention and taking action to protect your personal space.

Find ways to focus on the positive. Start looking for the silver lining in everything in your life and avoid or eliminate anything that does not resonate with your happiness.

3. Do I open myself to destructive programming?

The phrase Garbage In Garbage Out (GIGO) originally used amongst computer programmers to refer to erroneous programming code or input producing unrecognizable output. We are not that much different; what we allow as input to our central processing unit (CPU) may produce a perception, belief or feeling based on data that may not be in our best interest.

If you want to take control of how you feel about yourself, it is imperative that you take action to control what information your mind has access to and/or how much attention you will give to certain kinds of data.

I routinely get exposed to data that is extremely interesting to my scientific mind. Then I have to ask myself, “Am I willing to dedicate a great deal of my life’s work and energy to this topic?” One must manage the economy of time, effort and concentration. Learn how to say, “No,” to some projects that would be better served by someone else’s expertise. Learning to tune out unnecessary input can help reduce the white noise in your thoughts.

You might consider monitoring, filtering or eliminating other input representing vibrational incongruencies, like media, TV, news, magazines, tabloids, etc… Intentionally seek out more sources of positive input from cognitively selected books, web sites, recordings, videos that are more in line with what you want.

4. What is the quality of my relationships?

You can immediately affect the quality of your self-worth by hanging out with a higher quality of friends and associates. Simply stated, ditch the nay-sayers, nervous perfectionists and compulsive conspiracy theorists and begin to surround yourself with more supportive and positive people.

Some people have a toxic affect on your life. You can tell by the way that you feel after you’ve spent time with them. Ask yourself, “Do I feel better when I’m around them?” Or do they make you feel drained? If they do not make you feel better, then they are not the kind of people that are in your best interest. If they drain you or are toxic, you need to stop spending time with those people.

Start making more time for the people that make you feel better about yourself. This raises the vibration of your personal power bubble.

5. How much gratitude do I exude?

The more thankful that you are for all the things that bring you joy or that you appreciate in your life also raises your self-esteem. To keep from taking things for granted every day, consider taking a daily 2 Minute Gratitude Break.

It’s a good way to take out a couple of minutes to reflect on the day’s events and activities. In a seated upright position with your feet flat on the floor, arms relaxed on your legs with hands palm up, take a deep breath in through your nose and let it out through your mouth, repeat as you relax… Concentrate on three things that you are grateful about yourself today (they don’t have to be big things).

Consider getting a small notebook to record the three things that you are grateful for each day. Review the list by reading it back to yourself out loud and smile. You may be surprised that as you look for the things that you are thankful for, you will find more good things happening in your life as you look for them.

6. At what level do I maintain strength and honor?

When you do the right thing, keep your word and stay true to what you believe in, you bolster your self-esteem. This makes you even stronger as you feel better about yourself and more confident about whom you are as a human being.

Mean what you say, say what you mean, let your word be your bond. Make your handshake and the words you express be integrous and trustworthy.

If you are in a leadership or influential position, don’t tell others what to do (especially if it sounds like judging others or preaching). Instead, lead by example. Let others see your good works and allow them to emulate your performance.

Become predictably dependable, giving others confidence in your ability to do what you say you will do.

7. Am I a perfectionist?

For the perfectionist, you need to lighten up and learn to let go of your rigid perfectionism.

Consider cutting yourself some slack and you’ll be surprised at how much more you accomplish in your life which will also make you feel better and better.

It is better to get a thing done than to do nothing from fear of not being able to complete it perfectly (or procrastination).

Perfectionists have a tendency to lean towards private self-abuse, condemning themselves for falling short (refer back to #1).

Embrace adequacy when doing a project. For instance, if you need to write a report, give yourself a deadline; a date and a time. When the time is up; you’re done. Move one and let it go. You could write and re-write for days… Sure, you could re-edit it at another time, but if you do; create a new deadline and stick to it.

I’m not saying to settle for mediocrity or to compromise your integrity, just to cut yourself some slack… for you. You are amazing and you deserve it. And you might be surprised at how much people appreciate your new level of increased performance.

Perfectionists also tend to expect more from their peers, which tends to be a constant cause of frustration. Learn to be more tolerant and let others do the best they can with the tools that they have (not everyone can be as wonderful as you, and that’s okay). Learn to let others be.

I know, it seems impossible… but it gets easier.

8. What if I Blow it?

You have to stop the self-deprecation. You are no longer allowed to put yourself down for shortcomings.

From now on, you must learn to forgive yourself and learn to let things go (see #1). Some people ride themselves so hard that they get physically sick.

If you blow it, remember that you are a good person and you’re getting better every day.

Then take a look at the facts; what made you do what you did? This is an important step because we all make mistakes, but if we examine the evidence and identify where we broke weak, we are more likely to prevent stumbling again. (At least in this way, because let’s face it, we all misstep sometimes. Nobody’s perfect.)

Congratulate yourself for figuring it out and make yourself a promise to look out more for yourself in the future. You have just completed another course in what not to do next time.

Always look for the silver lining, use positive reinforcement, forgive yourself, give yourself a big hug and tell your inner self, “I love you. You are awesome.” Because you are.

9. How Do I Treat Others?

Helping others makes you feel better about yourself. Be kind and generous. Commit to random acts of kindness. Volunteer your talent or time to an honorable cause. It feels good to help others who are less fortunate than you.

There’s nothing better than The Golden Rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” (Jesus’ sermon on the mount, Matthew 7:12). No matter what you station in life (even if you feel like you’re at the bottom), there’s always somebody worse off than you.

I know that I help people every day, and some days… when I feel like I have nothing to give (yes, even I have my down days), but when I force myself to go through the motions on the behalf of someone else; it helps me to resonate with my strength and I get re-charged when my life affects someone else’s in a positive manner.

Just a simple compliment can make someone’s day, makes you feel better, and others feel better about you, too.

10. When’s the last time I tried something new?

Doing something you’ve never done before (especially something you may have avoided because the thought of it made you uncomfortable) builds self-esteem.

It can be something that you’ve always wanted to do, or maybe something that may not have even occurred to you.

As you look for opportunities to experience something new, they will appear before you… and engaging in these activities – even it if turns out that you don’t like them – gives you self-confidence and assurance in yourself.

It is better to say, “No thanks. I tried it and didn’t like it,” than to shy away, just because you’ve never done it before. (Note: this does not apply to illegal activities, which would be contrary to your strength and honor. See #6.)

11. Do I Compare Myself to Others?

Most of the clients I attract are upwardly mobile, focused and committed to high levels of personal excellence and they do tend to struggle with comparing themselves to others. Simply stated, comparing yourself to others drains your personal power.

So what, if someone’s better at something than you are? Guess what? You’re better at something than someone else. Instead of trying to beat out that person’s performance in that area, congratulate them on their strength in that area and move on.

Appreciate others for their unique abilities and you embrace your uniqueness.

Use healthy modeling. When you see in someone else an attribute that you would like to adopt as your own – go ahead – set a goal to attain it for yourself. Try it on; if it doesn’t feel comfortable, no problem. You can still have access to that attribute in your life by outsourcing it.

Make a friend or hire a professional that has that attribute as their innate skill.

If you compare yourself to anyone, compare who you are today to whom you were yesterday and continue to grow, measure your growth regularly and applaud your progress.

12. Who could I be?

Whoever you want to be: Be that!

Your path of personal growth is constant and never ending. You are continually growing, changing, reinventing, recreating and expanding into the new, improved you.

As an author, I am discouraged sometimes about the trail of documentation that I leave behind me that is a constant reminder of who I was yesterday. Does that slow me down? No way; onward and upward I go!

Don’t get stuck in the past and resist letting it drag you back from whence you came.

Model your mentors and heroes, act as if. I hear you saying, “You mean to fake it?” Yes, fake it ‘til you make it. It’s what everyone learns to do; royalty learns to act like royalty by “acting the part,” just like an actor plays a part. As his or her highness is adequately groomed and coached, they appear to be the person they are supposed to be.

When they feel that sense of 100% congruency with whom they are supposed to be; who knows? (Truth be known, they may never feel worthy of the role that they play.)

Dress nicer, groom yourself better and smile. Celebrate the you who is everything that you could be and remember that no matter how far you’ve come it can be even better.

Invite a glowing self-image by pretending that you have the highest self-esteem ever, and this feeling will find a home to live within you.

There is no higher calling than to accept the call to be your highest and best. I applaud you for the new you that you are becoming.

You are the lighthouse shining light beaming out of the darkness to help show others the way. You might be experiencing a metamorphosis, becoming a mentor to help others lost in the darkest night.

Let it be.

See also: How to Build Self-Esteem