Gaining Confidence Is An Ongoing Process

I have been having one of those weeks…. yup, fear and doubt has crept in.  My confidence has been shaken and I am wondering what my purpose is in life.  What happened?  I’m not sure except I have had some weird health days.  Days of feeling unsure.  Most days I can shake it then there are some when I need a confidence booster.  Surrounding myself with supportive  friends and family is part of it BUT sometimes I need to work on me.

Here are some things I do to help shake those nasty inner gremlins:

1.  Share Your Gifts & Passion with Others

Everyone has gifts and talents even when our confidence is lacking.  When I have days like this, I start writing.  Because I know sharing my struggles with others is one of my gifts.  You have accomplished great things – don’t downplay what you have achieved.  I know I am guilty of this all of the time.  The truth is, we are all good at something and there is always someone who wants to learn.

2. Forgive Yourself for Your Mistakes

When I have days like this, I tend to focus on all of the mistakes I made in life. Remember negative thoughts brings more negative thoughts.  When we hold ourselves or others to high standards expecting perfection, we are usually left feeling less than, a failure, and unworthy. Give yourself a break!  Self-forgiveness is an important step towards building your self esteem and confidence.  Everyone make mistakes, you are no exception and you deserve to be forgiven.

3. Pay it Forward or Pay Yourself

Are you looking to right your wrongs or make a change due to mistakes from your past which may be holding you back?  We can’t wave a magic wand and make them go away BUT we can change the outcome.  Didn’t make school a priority in your life?  Go back and take some classes.  Maybe you weren’t there for friends and family – make amends.  As a recovering addict, my mission is to help those who are struggling because others helped m.  What mistake can you forgive yourself for so you can move on?

4. Be Solution Focused

I always say negative thoughts brings more negative – positive brings more positive, it is the way of the Universe.  So, when you are always complaining about not having enough (of anything), nothing gets accomplished. Look for solutions when things aren’t going as planned. This will take some practice before it becomes natural.  In the end, you will be able to approach a problem from a mindset of how to solve it instead of WHY ME victim mindset.

5. Smile

I know it is hard to smile when you are feeling less than BUT a little smile goes a long way. You would be surprised how it can actually change your mindset. It makes me feel good to smile, and it can also brighten someone else’s day.  In some cases this is where I advocate, fake it till you make it.   I don’t mean being fake to others, it is about learning to pick your head up and feel good along the way. The more you do it, before long, you will forget you were “faking it” and actually feed better, maybe even GOOD or GREAT!

6. Fear is Your Friend

FEAR is huge when we are not feeling confident (at least for me).  I am trying hard to use fear to my advantage! Think about it – fear shows up when you are about to step out of your comfort zone, stretch yourself and build your confidence. This is your secret weapon to growing.  When you recognize it is about to get scary, you are about to expand yourself which is HUGE confidence builder.

Despite popular belief (and my constant writing about it) I do struggle with confidence.  I am always amazed how I am more confident around people I don’t know then I am around friends or business colleagues.  Those nasty inner gremlins love to play the comparison game.

Share your struggles and your successes with us.  Let’s BUILD each other up so we are all successful in our business (and our lives).

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Your Life Purpose

Have you ever wondered why you are here?  Could be in this house? Or this job? Or with this person/ spouse/ partner?

In the movie The Color Purple, there is a scene in which Miss Celie finally musters the courage to leave Mister. He’d just finished saying some pretty nasty things to her (paraphrasing): “You’re poor. You’re black. You’re ugly. Nobody wants you.”

To which Miss Celie replied, “I’m poor. I’m black. I might even be ugly. But I’m here!”

There is a reason each of us is here.  We have lost family and friends who were here last year and who aren’t now.  Some have passed on fulfilling their purpose on this earth.  But you are still here. And your most important job in life is to know why.  I know pretty heavy for early morning, right?

I have been pondering this question for the last week or so since my birthday.  What is my purpose in life?  There are days when I think I know but more times then not, I’m clueless. I could blame it on the MS or the lack of memory or 100 different things but the truth is some days I feel lost.  What about you?

Can you state your purpose in a single, simple sentence?  If not, ask yourself this question:

How is someone’s life better when they cross your path?

Whatever your answer, is, can you say it quickly – in under 15 seconds.  Why so fast?  Because in most cases we only have a few seconds to share with people we meet.

I believe my purpose is to “bringing hope and a smile to those who are struggling, reminding them they are special and worthy”.

For some, it may sound kind of cheesy.  The simple gesture of bringing a smile to the face of others makes a difference in their life.  It can make a dark day sunny.  It can dry a tear in their eye.  It can change their negative mindset to positive.  YES!  A simple smile can do it.

Your purpose is about how you uniquely serve the world and make it better in some way. It uses your unique gifts, strengths and experiences. It is something you do well. And it comes naturally to you.

I think about my success as a Social Work…. it was the answer to the question, how is this person’s life better because I met them?  In my family, it answers, how is this family better because I’m here?  Some may think this means I am self-absorbed or conceited.  I am actually humbled by the blessing I am able to give to others.

Today, I challenge you to take a few minutes and answer the question. Once you get the answer, write it down. Don’t forget it. Make it your mantra. A fulfilling life is a life lived with purpose.

How is someone’s life better because they cross your path?  Share your life’s purpose with us.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Grow Your Self Confidence

Did you know 62% of all girls feel insecure about themselves?  How about 4 in 5 women have low self-esteem?  For some low self-esteem feels like a life sentence with no chance of escape.

Self Confidence by definition is realistic confidence in one’s own judgment, ability, power, etc.

With such a simple definition, why is is so hard at times to wrap our head around the idea?   I battle the inner gremlins of low self-esteem as well as a lack of self-confidence.  Honestly, I don’t know when it all started but I’m sure it goes back to those formative years in middle school.  I’ve learned (okay, so still learning some days), we each have our own unique story, and with help we can rebuild our life and rewrite our story.

The words self-esteem and self-confidence are usually interchangeable when we talk about our struggles but there is a distinct difference between the two:

Self Esteem is determined by whether you believe you’re worthy of respect from others

Self Confidence is whether you believe in yourself.

When we rebuild our confidence, we are actually retraining our brain to recognize our worth thereby increasing our self-esteem. Here are a few of my favorite tips which have helped me fight those nasty inner gremlins.

1. Dress for Success.

I am guilty of NOT dressing for success when my confidence is waining and my self-esteem is low.  How often are you worried about what others will think of you based on how you are dressed?  Feel like you are stuck in a rut? Battling with self-consciousness?  Take a minute to focus on your appearance. Scary, right?  When you feel good about how you look, your confidence will shine through.

Have a favorite outfit which always gets you compliments?  Wear it.  Need a hair cut?  Pamper yourself and get one. What makes you feel good?  It is a simple pedicure – go get one.  I’m not saying go on a spending spree, but you need to dress for success.  Use the things in your closet or check out a local thrift store for some great finds.  Working from home, I have found the sweats and no make up are an every day thing.  I find when I “dress” for work even at home with a little bit of makeup, I feel good.  When I feel good, I am confident.

2. Positive Thinking

I know I talk about it a lot but the truth is changing the way we think can change the outcomes in our life.  There are some amazing people out there who teach this – Dana Wilde at Train Your Brain; Eryka Peskin with her fierce cheerleading; and of course, Norman Vincent Peale in his book Positive Self Image or The Secret.

Negative thoughts bring more negative thoughts.  When you learn to shift your mindset, you gain the ability to see things in a new light, which in turn provides new alternatives and better outcomes.  Daily affirmations from Dana Wilde and The Secret have helped me to fight and win most days the battle with the inner gremlins.

3. Invest in others deeply

This one probably sounds the craziest right?  If you have low confidence and low self-esteem, how can you possibly get to know others and build a relationship with them?

By taking the focus off of you and putting it on them.  As you start getting to know someone else, asking questions beyond the surface they will see you are genuinely interested in them.  As we start to care for others helping them to feel seen and heard while building a rapport with them, we are letting our own light shine.

We talk about this a lot in direct sales but the truth is when I do it every day, I have gained confidence.  I started many years ago as a newly recovering addict who was helping individuals during the early years of the AIDS epidemic.  My focus was on helping to improve their quality of life and through it, I became an expert in my field.  Confident, letting my light shine.  Most days, I consider my work in direct sales the same way.  Helping others with organizing or gift giving or just feeling good about themselves.  When I focus on helping others instead of “needing sales”, my confidence sparkles.  As an introvert (yes, I really am), I know it can be hard so it is something I am aware of and practice being more open to receiving every day.

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What is your best tip for boosting your confidence or has helped you to raise your self-esteem?  Share them with us…

Have  ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Are You Afraid to Say “No”?

Do you know what day it is?  It is WOOHOO Wednesday which means it is HUMP Day.  Today is when we take time for us.  Whether it is celebrating an accomplishment (large or small) or practicing some self-care or learning to step out of our comfort zone – it is all about becoming the YOU who YOU want to be.

The hardest word for me to say is “no”?  What about you?  I don’t mean the times when you have a scheduled conflict, I mean those times when you really don’t want to go or to do the requested task.  Do you get so anxious about saying “no”, you end up going against your better judgment and saying “yes” or just avoiding the conversation altogether?

I have been there more times then I care to count.  The proverbial people pleaser in me is learning to be more comfortable with the word “no”.  It could be because I am learning to “go for the no” in my business without taking it personally or maybe I am just feeling more confident in who I am.  Either way, I like the change.

Here are a few ways to help you when you really want to say “no”.

1. “Let me think about it.”

Sometimes, we’re just not sure we want to say “yes.”  Maybe it doesn’t feel right or it is a request you need to really think about.  Why don’t we just say, “Let me think about it and get back to you.” This may be tough at first if you usually say “yes” much too quickly and then end up regretting it.  This statement can and should then become a habit.  It will give you some breathing space to process the request and build the courage to be honest in your response. Then, if the answer is “no,” one of the next three statements can be your follow up.

2. “That’s not going to work for me.”

Whether it is a conflict in your schedule or a conflict in values, “that’s not going to work for me” is a boundary-setting statement.  Of course my problem is I usually follow it up with an explanation, but the truth is there is no need to explain.  This statement indicates your decision is about your needs and/or boundaries.  If the request can be negotiated, it lets the person know the only way to get a “yes” is for them to adjust the request to meet your needs.  If they really want you to do something, they will adjust and ask again.  Saying this statement takes some practice.

3. “I wish I could say yes.”

Are your riddled with guilt by saying no?  Are you afraid the person will be upset with you?  Yup, I tend to fall prey to all of those things.  So, when you feel bad about saying “no,” you could say this statement.  It lets the person know you want to be able to help, but you simply can’t.  Of course, this could also lead to some negotiating from the person requesting so be prepared.

4. “No.”

Again, every time you say “no”, it doesn’t require an explanation. Try a simple, “Thanks, but no thanks,”.  How many times has your “no”  turned into a “yes” due to a long explanation?  Why not try saying “no” then stop yourself from saying anything else. No really is a complete sentence – event if we don’t think so.

Remember when the situation arises where you need to say “no,” tell the truth and just say “no”.  You need to trust things will unfold as they should.

So, where are you saying “yes” way too often and as a result getting overwhelmed?   What is the worse case scenario if you say “no”?  Is it really as bad as we make it out to be in our heads?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Does Perfect Spoil Your Dream?

“A successful life is often expensive. It will cost you something to become a champion.Time. Energy. Focus.” – Mike Murdock

January 10th, I made the decision to leave my part-time job and pursue my business full-time.  Was (or is) it scary?  YES!  Having a regular paycheck is now my responsibility, not my employer.

Over the last few weeks, I have seen MAJOR changes in my business. Parties/ Hostess I didn’t think would turn out have, customers have been placing retail orders, and I have potential new recruits.   Do I think it is anything special I did? NO! Do I believe God is working in my life? YES. There is one other thing which has changed – I have accepted I am NOT perfect and I don’t NEED to be in order to work my business and be a success.  Yes, I said it!  For some, I am sure it is a no-brainer BUT for me, it is an ongoing process.

I know I sabotage my success waiting for everything to be PERFECT. The perfect time.  The perfect vendor event. The perfect hour to make calls.  I know I am not alone in this, right?  You do it too.  Did you realize those thoughts are de-railing your business?

How often have you thought?

  • I’ll make reach out to my contacts as soon as I have the perfect (or the right) script.
  • I’ll book my first parties as soon as I learn how to do a party.
  • I’ll start sharing the business opportunity as soon as I know what to say.
  • I can’t work if my office is unorganized so I’ll clean it first.

Let’s be honest, we have all said it, thought it or done it right? Here are some tips to help you reach those dreams and allow yourself to be “Im-prefect”.

1. Does practice really make perfect?

The truth is, even with the right words and scripts, you’re going to mess it up a number of times before you’re really good.  And just when you think you are really good – you will mess up.  Accept it and move on!

Practice = better.
More practice = good.
More practice = great!
Did you see the PERFECT anywhere?

2. If it was easy – everyone would be doing it.

Easy is not the path to true happiness in any area of our lives. A great marriage is hard work. Raising great kids is really hard work. Earning a degree is hard work, and so is building a solid, successful direct sales business. WOW! I bet no one told you that when you signed up to be a consultant did they?  It may be easy at times but then the “pink” cloud will burst.   Things will be a little tougher and you may need to work a little harder. It will be worth it in the end – every bit of effort will pay off.

“If we do the things we need to do when we need to do them, the day will come when we can do the things we want to do when we want to do them.” – Zig Ziglar

3. The ducks probably won’t cooperate.

Resist the urge for perfection. Perfection is just another word for procrastination.  Don’t wait until all your ducks are in a row. because the truth is the pieces won’t ever all be in the perfect place. We won’t ever know everything we need to know to do it perfectly.

What have I done differently to make a difference in my business?

FIRST – I trust I am on the path God wants me to be on. I am not looking to be perfect or to be in the spotlight. That is not my God-sized dream. My dream is to have a self-sufficient business which provides my husband and I (and my family) with the extras – having financial freedom and being able to travel when we want. When I let go of the woulda, shoulda, coulda, and trust in God – things happen.

SECOND – I am stepping out of my comfort zone and trying.  Sounds easy, right?  I am learning to “bless and release” when negative things happen then keep moving forward.  If I stop trying, failure will be the option and my goal is for success.

Are you looking to be perfect? Is it affecting YOUR business? Share your thoughts with us..

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!