Confidence Strategies For The Superhuman

Wouldn’t it be grand if we could just wake up in the morning, brush our teeth and put on our confidence for the day? If you could literally “Turn our swag on”?

Well, for those of us who don’t have a drawer full, here are 4 simple strategies that will help you build confidence.

1. Accentuate the positive.

Be your own best friend. What do you tell a friend who’s tried something new, whether or not it turned out well? At least you tried something new- good for you!

Accentuate the effort it took in doing something, rather than the final outcome. (You’d do it for your best friend, wouldn’t you?) We all have limitations. The key is to accept that you have them without dwelling on them.

2. Don’t be afraid to take some risks.

When you are about to embark on a new experience, do you find yourself worrying so much about the outcome you aren’t enjoying the moment? If you look at new things in your life as a chance to learn something, it opens up the possibility of you becoming good at that something.

If you spend your time dreading the outcome, you’ll turn any opportunity there might have been into a failure. What’s more, we can’t grow when we are frozen with fear. Don’t set yourself up to fail. If you do, look at number one, again!

3. Use self-talk to keep assumptions away.

We all use self-talk. The key is to use it in a way that we don’t form bad thoughts that can lead to permanent doubts. Catch yourself using negative self-talk and cancel it with something positive and not based on assumptions!

Build confidence by not expecting perfection from yourself at all times. Perfection is paralysis. It stops you from actually taking action. You can only do your very best at something. Nobody can do everything perfectly, so why do you assume that you should be able to?

4. Learn to rely on your self-evaluation.

If you always rely on the opinion of others, you’ll always be wondering what they think! That does nothing to build confidence – it tears it down, by giving away your personal power to others.

Focus on the real you, inside, to find out how you feel about your own actions, how you’ve been doing your job, etc. You’ll be developing a strong sense of who you are.

It’s important to remember that no one can be self-confident all of the time. In fact, the paradox is, you’ll build confidence faster and easier once your realize that.

Most people with low self-esteem or who lack in confidence are that way because of unrealistic expectations. They expect more from themselves than they do others.

A person with low self-esteem will think nothing about calling him or herself a stupid idiot. However, they wouldn’t dream of saying that to someone else. To build confidence it’s a good idea to be your own best friend. You know you are. So look into the mirror, force a big hearty smile and know that you’re imperfectly perfect! Look up: Wabi Sabi – Kintsugi, notice how the cracks of this style of pottery use gold, embrace your flaws and walk out of the door feeling like a king, queen or mystic! That’s all for today.

Listen to this binaural below for a confidence boost:

 

Remember to book a skype call with me – send me an email at coachingwithsume@gmail.com!

7 Creative Thinking Blocks And Their Solutions

We’re all skilled at creative thinking. It is, after all, the predominant way we think as children. The reason we lose the skill as we grow up is because of the blocks we put in the way. In this article I’ll show you 7 ways you can unblock your creativity and think like a child again.

Each of us has the power to be creative. It’s part of our natural make-up as human beings. The trouble is that, too often, we block our natural creativity and so make errors in thinking and give ourselves more problems than we should. Here are 7 ways to open up your natural creativity and keep the channels unblocked.

1. Don’t Make Assumptions. When we assume, we often make an “ass” out of “u” and “me”. Assumptions are examples of lazy thinking. We simply don’t wait to get all the information we need to come to the right conclusions. There is the story of the customer at the bank who after cashing a cheque and turning to leave, returns and says: “Excuse me, I think you made a mistake.” The cashier responds, “I’m sorry but there’s nothing I can do. You should have counted it. Once you walk away we are no longer responsible.” Whereupon the customer replies: “Well, okay. Thanks for the extra $20.”

Tip: When you feel yourself wanting to draw conclusions, just wait until you have all the information.

2. See Things From Other Points Of View. A truly open mind is willing to accept that, not only do other people have other just as valid points of view from theirs, but that these other points of view may be more valid. A story is told that the modernist painter Pablo Picasso was once traveling on a train across Spain when he got into conversation with a rich businessman who was dismissive of modern art. As evidence that modern art didn’t properly represent reality, he took out a photo of his wife from his wallet and said: “This is how my wife should look, not in some silly stylized representation.” Picasso took the photo, studied it for a few moments and asked: “This is your wife?” The businessman proudly nodded. “She’s very small,” observed Picasso wryly.

Tip: Don’t have a monopoly on how things are. Things aren’t always what they seem. Be ready to consider other points of view.

3. Avoid Yo-Yo Thinking. Some people tend to have a tendency to swing from a highly positive mood one minute to a highly negative one the next, all because of what they see in front of them. It’s like a yo-yo: up one minute, down the next. It’s far more healthy to stay neutral and not let emotions get the better of you.

Tip: Remember that things are rarely as good – or as bad – as you think they are.

4. Get Rid Of Lazy Thinking Habits. Habit can be a major stumbling block to clear thinking and another example of laziness. Try this experiment. Write down the Scottish surnames Macdonald, Macpherson, and Macdougall and ask someone to pronounce them. Now follow these with the word Machinery and see what happens. Most people are likely to mis-pronounce it. This is because we tend to think in habitual ways and don’t like what doesn’t fit.

Tip: Don’t think that, just because things happened in a certain way once before, that they will happen like that again.

5. Don’t Think Like An Old Person, Think Like A Child. Research shows that the number of synapses, or connections, in the brain is greater in a child of two than in an average adult. The reason for this is that, while a child of two has no limiting world view, as adults we do. It’s like a sculptor who starts off with a large block of clay, more than he needs, and then gradually removes the clay as he moulds his sculpture. If we use our brain like a child, accepting everything without judgment, we can actually halt and reverse the brain ageing process.

Tip: Don’t worry about the myth of age. With the right stimulus and a passion for learning, you can actually improve your brain’s powers.

6. See The Detail As Well As The Big Picture. You may know the poem by John Godfrey Saxe called “The Blind Men and the Elephant”. This tells how six blind men of Indostan go to see an elephant and each try to work out what it is from touching it. One blind man touches the tusk, another the trunk, another the tail, and so on. Of course, not being able to see the whole elephant, they come to wildly different conclusions.

Tip: Try to keep the big picture in front of you while looking at details. It will help to put everything in its proper place and context.

7. Think For Yourself. Taking time out to think is still frowned on in many organizations that prize activity over creativity. People who work in creativity-constrained organizations are likely to think the way they are supposed to think, or as others think, or as has always been the way to think. It’s like the blinkered thinking that Hans Christian Anderson describes in his story of “The Emperor’s New Clothes“. Everyone in the land refuses to see that the emperor is naked and has been duped into believing he is wearing a splendid costume for his coronation. Only a young boy who has been ill and not party to the cultural brainwashing can see the truth and cries out: “Look, everyone, the Emperor is wearing no clothes!”

Tip: Don’t let others tell you how to think. When others ask your opinion, tell it to them straight.

Once you make these 7 techniques part of your habitual thinking patterns, you will amaze yourself with how easy it is to come up with fresh, innovative and creative solutions to all of life’s problems. Go forth and create.

How to be a Responsible Coach

Coaching With Sume

Assuming the Responsibilities that come with Being a Coach

Who can forget the famous line of Spiderman’s grandfather? He said, “With great power comes great responsibility.”

Society expects Spiderman, a comic book, TV and movie superhero with extraordinary powers to be responsible for saving his town and the world from the forces of evil. And he never let us down. Despite the temptations of owning such powers, he uses his abilities only for the good of the people around him.

Being a coach has similar parallels. They don’t have superhuman powers such as x-ray vision or flying through the air with magic sticky ropes (though I do sometimes use a lot of post-its). But great coaches can have real power through their abilities to help others and with it, the responsibility to guide others towards success. This is REAL power that can be used to help real people in THIS world. Done well, coaches can help others turn around their lives. Done wrong, and a coach could guide a client down the wrong path.

So, with this power to coach your clients towards manifesting their personal and/or business vision comes responsibilities. Great coaches assume them all as part of the professional responsibility. This can include everything from making sure your client is moving in the right direction, getting them back on course when they are not, and developing and tracking their use of exercises to help them along the way.

There are a few things you can do to be a more responsible coach. Just as important, these same skills can be imparted to your clients to help them lead more responsible, integrity-filled lives.

How to Bring out the more Responsible You in Yourself and your Client

#1 – Develop self-awareness.
Learn and know your own strengths and weaknesses to be able to view your behavior objectively. Recognize your shortcomings, receive feedback, and make changes when necessary. The more self-aware you become of all your aspects, the more you will know what kind of clients you can coach best and ñ just as important ñ those best referred to others.
Dr. Gerard Bell, business consultant and professor at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, advises us on how to expand our self-knowledge. He said, study yourself closely and practice self-assessment techniques to learn how you behave, and the effects you have on others. As others for their option, feedback, and suggestions to become a better coach.
The lesson is simple: the more we grow, the more we can offer, and the more we can help others.

#2: Learn to Separate Responsibility from Worry

When we hear the word responsibility, we often think to ourselves, another task, another problem. However, responsibility is not about worrying over things give to us to work out.

Consider this story:

One night at the end of the second shift, the Head of Operations walked out of the plant he managed and passed a porter.

A porter he passed said, “Mr. Smith, I sure wish I had your pay. But I wouldn’t want the worry that goes with it.”

Mr. Smith answered, “I give the best I can when I am here. But I drop the worry when I leave so I can be 100% with my family when I’m at home.”

You, too, can learn to give your best to challenging work, but then leave it at the door when you’re off-hours. Worrying accomplishes nothing except to eat away at us, and actually ends up making us less effective! Don’t let worry taint your clarity of judgment and ability to take decisive action. You can learn this as you grow.

Carrying the responsibility of coaching should not intimidate you. It is the ability to help others that coaching is all about. Embrace the responsibilities that come with it.

Nothing is gained by worrying about whether your clients achieve their goals or not. Focus on supporting and inspiring them. Be their partner in their growth. Brainstorm with them when it is called for. But ultimately, it is your clients responsibility to assume responsibility for accomplishing their goals. You merely help them see and achieve this state.

#3: Take Calculated Risks and Learn from Your Mistakes

Effective coaches have the courage to ask their clients to take risks when results and success are uncertain. A willing ness to risk failure is a core attribute of all successful people.

As a coach you can help your clients work with risk and possible failure. Help them learn to analyze their situation and options. Work with them to list the pros and cons for each option, then assign each choice a risk factor rating from 1 to 5. Next, have them determine the likelihood of each occurring. This will help them quantify and manage the risk-taking process.
Also, lead them to a better paradigm regarding failure. What is failure other than great feedback that our current course of action isn’t the right path? Use this information for course correction. Failure doesn’t happen until we give up. If you don’t give up, then failure isn’t an option. A client once told me “I am a failure” and I responded “If you are a failure then how did you phrase that so succesfully?”.

#4: Own and admit our mistakes

Our greatest lessons and growth come through our mistakes. Everyone makes them; it is part of life. Help your client understand this, and they will be able to draw the necessary lessons and take corrective action. If we do the blame game, we don’t even take the first step (ie. ownership) in this process.

Not only does owning our mistakes and failures help us to be more truthful and powerful in our own lives. Owning and assuming responsibility for them lets others see the integrity and virtue within us, and hence further gain their respect.

 

Personal Mastery

What Is Personal Mastery?

Personal mastery is about approaching life from a unique or different perspective, putting on those paradigm-shift goggles.  Sometimes people would refer to it as a journey towards continuous improvement. Continuity and momentum is ideal in a personal mastery framework. There is a concept of Kaizen, a Japanese philosophy of continuous, small progressions of improvement. Personal  mastery can be seen in this light. It is guided with key principles like vision, personal purpose, creative tension, commitment to truth and understanding the power of the subconscious mind.

One of the most important fundamental aspects of personal mastery is personal vision.  Personal mastery when combined personal vision can create a framework or guiding philosophy on how you can operate and live your life.  Some people would say that personal vision serves as a guide that would keep you on track.

Followers of personal mastery see that there are great opportunities to improve their growth.  Followers recognize that there are many avenues for growth and opportunities like books, tapes, lectures and school courses. Investing in oneself unlocks this potential. People also benefit from organizations in their quest for personal mastery.

Personal mastery is about loving yourself and expressing your gifts to its fullest.  Some would think that personal mastery is controlling and limiting one self, but actually it is about understanding your personality.  To control or overcome some habits, it would be important to identify how ad why those habits arise.  The more you suppress things, the more you would have difficulty in conquering and overcoming it.

Personal mastery is self-discipline.  It is about taking responsibility for the direction that your life is going to take.  You would slowly realize that you can do anything with the aid of your skills and talents.  Discipline would clarify and deepen your perspective in life.  Those who quest for personal mastery would develop patience and see life objectively.

Personal mastery can actually help you become successful in life.  You can say that you have developed personal mastery if you are starting to fully understand your strengths, talents and your purpose in life.  Personal mastery enables you to be inspired, energized and happy with your life. You start to show a sense of commitment in changing on how people perceive life and the world.  The ultimate thing about personal mastery is that you would always feel that you are guided and supported by the universe, even if it feels kind of naive at times. I love the word Pronoia (opposite of paranoia) when describing this.

It is also important for a person who is in quest for personal mastery to develop integrity, humility, justice and industry.  Actually, these are rules on how we could conduct ourselves professional, socially and spiritually.

We live expecting ourselves to achieve mastery over ourselves with some sort of magic pill but it doesn’t work like that. It’s somewhat like a personality, its malleable like Playdoh and builds up over time. Peter Senge, a systems scientist has said that attaining personal mastery has no shortcuts or no quick fixes. Sometimes it would take a lifetime for personal mastery to be attained.  Personal mastery detaches a person from self-interest or selfishness and encourage people towards providing care and service to other people.  Also individuals who follow personal mastery see the connections in their surroundings and perceived everything as a whole.

Proactive behaviour is also something that personal mastery helps you to develop.  Reactive behaviour like thinking beforehand hand that you cannot do things is dealt with when developing personal mastery.  Actions and service that you provide are based on how you can creatively maximize your skills and capabilities.

To summarize it, personal mastery guides you to develop being aware with your beliefs, attitudes and behaviour impacts.  It also enables you to accept yourself and be responsible with your own action, attitude, and thought.

Experts would say that personal mastery could be truly gained by living purposefully and by living with integrity.  Living purposefully would include showing talents, gifts and strengths to achieve goals and be successful.  Living with integrity is by integrating your ideals, standards and behaviour.