Want to Sound More Confident?

I don’t read a lot of books, since I have a hard time remembering BUT I do love the core principles Valerie Burton outlined in her book, Successful Women Think Differently.  

Your thoughts create your actions.  I have said it a million times, think negative thoughts and more negative things happen.  Think positive thoughts and more positive things happen.  For me, sometimes I don’t realize I am thinking negative thoughts.  Crazy, right?  How many times have the words “don’t” or “need” or “won’t” been in your thoughts?  The Universe seldom hears things after these words.  I never really understood it until I started a list of positive mantras and read them every morning.  I claim the things I want and I am getting them – slowly but they are coming.

When you become aware of what you are saying to yourself about things, you can consciously decide if the thought is moving you toward your goals or farther away. Thoughts don’t just lead you to take actions,  your thoughts also shape the sound of your voice. Yes, the tone of our internal voices will reflect on the outside and others will see it.

Our voice is an expression of our internal state. If our internal state is anxious and you think danger is imminent, our voice will reflect anxiety. I have seen this play out so many times.  On the inside, I am stressing about money, relationships, business or whatever – on the outside, I am snappy and tense.  Our body responds to our thoughts.  No matter how hard you try, you won’t be able to hide it.

Here is the “technical reason”: The sound of your voice is regulated by the vagus nerve, which is central to the parasympathetic nervous system. When the vagus nerve is stimulated, which can happen as a fight-or-flight response to anxiety-producing thoughts, the vocal cord muscle spasms. This can cause your voice to quiver or ‘sound nervous’. Additionally, when stressed or nervous, you typically don’t breathe deeply. As a result, you don’t have the air which creates the pressure needed for a strong, consistent voice quality.

How can you change things to sound more confident?

1. Become aware of your thoughts and redirect counterproductive ones. Basically, go from a negative thought to a positive one.  Instead of “No one wants to book parties” or “It is taking so long to pay off my debt”, intentionally change the thought.  If you can, change your environment – go for a walk, a ride or just sit out in the sunshine and watch the clouds.  Choose a new thought – like “I am a booking machine” or “I have enough money to pay off my debt”.  Do something (anything) to get your mind moving in a new direction.

2. Exercise. Exercise purges negative energy.  It is true.  I don’t mean you have to go to the gym to exercise, unless you want to.  For me, it means a walk around the block or some housecleaning or turn on the music and dance.

3. Practice. We have heard most of our lives “practice makes perfect”.  While we aren’t looking for perfection, we are looking to feel confident.  Need to do a presentation in from of a group and you feel uncomfortable or anxious – practice what you are going to say in advance. Some will say you should even record it and listen to find the areas where you want to improve. Take a video on your phone or have someone else film you.  Then watch it back.  Don’t be overly hard on yourself, just look for ways to improve.  You don’t need to be PERFECT but you want to get rid of the nervous energy.

4. Hydrate. Hydration alleviates dry mouth. Drink water before or during important conversations.  In the beginning of talking to a group of any size, I am nervous.  I usually ask for a glass of water or keep a bottle of water handy.  When I feel like I am talking too fast or my nervousness is showing, I stop, take a sip of water, breathe and move on.  It really does make a difference.  It is like the water washes away the nervousness.

5. Talk it out. This one is tough for me because when I have the negative thoughts and I try to share them, I get emotional.  I have been blessed with friends, old and new, who help me to put my negative thinking into perspective.  Be careful and choose wisely.  Be sure you pick someone to share with who will help put the negative thoughts into perspective restoring a sense of confidence and calm.

These are some basic steps which will help, I know because I continue to practice all of them at some point in my life.  As you become more aware of the negative thoughts, you will be able to convert them to  positive thoughts and actions to help you move forward.

What thoughts make you anxious and chip away at your confidence?

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!

 

Grow Your Confidence – Part 2

Last week, I talked about growing your self confidence and I received a lot of feedback.  I won’t say i am surprised because despite all of the overwhelmingly positive posts on Facebook and Instagram, there are people who struggle. They struggle with standing tall and proud letting their sparkle shine through.

So here are a few more things which might help you boost your confidence…

1. Take some time for personal care.   I will admit, I am the worst at this.  When I am feeling yuk, all I want to do is lay around in my sweats.  The truth is, we should really nudge ourselves to do something for us.  Now, I don’t mean spend a fortune. How about pulling out your favorite shaving cream and shaving those legs? The warmer weather is coming.  How about deep conditioning your hair? Or even soaking in a bubble bath?  Pamper yourself with something you enjoy doing for you. Give yourself permission to enjoy life. Giving yourself permission to relax and even PLAY, will pay you back ten fold.  You will gradually change your mindset so the fun times come more naturally.

2. Visualize and Reframe.  This is going to sound a little crazy since I always talk about how important positive thinking is BUT believe me it works.  Take a few minutes to reflect on the problems you are facing in your life. Feel the feelings associated with the problem.  Do you naturally assume the worst – let’s REFRAME the problem and the solution!  Nothing is hopeless but when you believe it is, all you will feel is unhappiness and that you are a failure.

So, I want you to pick one problem and look at it in a new light by recreating a positive outcome.  I know it can be tough but you can do it.  Imagine a positive solution and really feel the feeling of the new positive ending to your story. Now, make the new ending happen!

3. Make a List of Your Positive Attributes.  Yes you do have them.  We all do even if we don’t always see them.  For many years, I heard “you are your own worst enemy” and I know I am not alone.  It is time to make a list of your positive gifts (physical and mental). We need to find an inner love for ourselves, instead of looking to others for approval.  I struggled with this exercise for years and then with the help of a friend, I reached out to several close friends and asked for their help.  I asked them to describe me in just 3 words.  I was blown away by the response. Once I wrote them all together, I put them into positive mantras I could repeat until I really started to believe them…

4. Fake it till you make it.   I know this sounds easy and hard to believe it actually works, but trust me it is easy and it does work. Remember those negative thoughts like:”This day sucks”, “I feel ugly” or “I am not good enough” guess what? Those thoughts radiate and everyone knows how you are feeling.  You need to keep your thoughts in check, so when the negative self talk creeps back up- proclaim the opposite. This will help you to build your self worth cause the negative inner gremlins can get pretty sneaky.

5. Get enough sleep.   I know as busy women, who has time for a good’s night sleep, right?  What is the definition of a good night’s sleep?  Is it 5 hours or maybe less?  Maybe it means a night when the kids aren’t climbing in your bed.  When you are tired and your body is run down, it’s difficult to feel good about yourself. Your body is dragging, and the negative inner gremlins are ready to rear their ugly heads. As much as you may hate to hear it, your body needs a solid 6-8 hours of sleep – peaceful uninterrupted sleep. I used to live on about 5 hours then age creeped in and health struggles.  I am grateful my hubby got me into a routine of at least 7 hours of sleep.  There are days when I get less but I can tell because my sparkle dulls just a little.  I know it is not always easy but find a happy medium for you so you have the energy to fight off those nasty gremlins.

I would love to hear from you and know what you do to boost your confidence on those tough days.  

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Changing Your Intent Will Change Your Situation

Happy Monday! You have the CHOICE to make today whether to have a good day or a bad day?  Which will it be? Struggling with the Monday morning blues?  Let’s shift your mindset so you can change the way the day or week will go….

One of my goals every day is to show up in my life – in my relationships, my work, my finances, and with my health.  Am I always successful? NO!  Do I keep trying? YES!  Why?  Because when I continue to show up reflecting who I want to be, I begin to see changes in my life making it easier to reach my goals.

What is challenging for you right now?  Is it work?  Your marriage/ relationships? Finances?  What if you could change the intent to see if it changes the situation.  Pick one area of your life you would like to see a change.

For example, if work is challenging for you right now, you could set an intention for how you want to show up at work:

“My intention is to maintain my calm and peace in the midst of the storm going on at work.”

“My intention is to keep making calls to customers despite the answering machines or negative attitude some may have”

A simple change in your mindset will help you change your response when things get frustrating during the day.  Not sure you will remember your intention?  I know it is hard when you are in the moment of chaos.  How about setting a reminder on your phone (hourly, multiple times, whatever) to remind you of your intention?  Know you are going to be in a stressful situation, set the reminder for about 15 minutes BEFORE the meeting or event to take you mind from the negative to the positive.  I do this on days when I am struggling with depression, it helps to clear my head of Negative Nellie and Doubtful Debbie.  

Changing your intention will also change the way others respond to you.  Changing your intention will change how situations unfold.  The best part is changing your intention  is it will allow opportunities to find you. You will be feeding the Universe with your positive energy.  Positive attracts positive, right?

What is your intention for this week?  What would happen if the best version of you showed up all week, you know the one you are proud of?

Imagine for a moment what it would look like to show up as your most powerful, authentic self in whatever situation you are struggling with…. what would change?

Share your thoughts with us..

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Stop The Comparison Game

12414868-Stop-sign-illustration-Stock-Vector-noWOOHOO!  It is the weekend, okay, the start of it and it is Feel Good Friday!  The day when we squash those inner gremlins who want to keep you from being happy…

When was the last time you compared yourself to someone else?  Over the years, I’ve compared myself to others when it came to school, looks, money, my business and more. The first step in stopping the “comparison game” is to acknowledge it.  The truth is everyone has done it at one point in their life. The difference is what happens after the comparison…

Some people compare themselves to others to determine their personal value which usually ends up with us feeling like crap, right?  Negative thoughts bring more negative thoughts.  Or do you play the comparison game and get inspired.  Does it motivate you to change your situation?  Honestly, this doesn’t happen to most people and in the end results in more negative thoughts.  Either way, by comparing yourself to others, you are holding yourself back.

Sure, you may not be able to reach a goal as quickly as someone else or it may require more hard work, but it doesn’t mean everything is impossible for you. Everyone is on a different path, and there are people who are better or worse off than you.  Instead of comparing your path to those around you, why not focus on what you can do to make your dream a reality.

Here is how you can stop comparing yourself to others…..

#1 – Realize comparisons are often negative and most of the time they do not help.

As Theodore Roosevelt said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.”  Be happy for others and instead of feeling jealous be happy for their success of others.  Good things can happen to other people, it doesn’t mean your life is any less important or any less of a success.  By being happy for others, you’ll learn to accept yourself and let more positivity into your life.

#2 – Be motivated, not competitive.

Be inspired by other’s success or happiness. The next time you find yourself comparing yourself to someone, think about how you could possibly do something similar (if it’s what you truly want to do). Use others achievements as inspiration for your own life and goals.

#3 – Take a break from social media.

This is tough in today’s world so why not “stop following” those who you play the comparison game with.  I am still friends with some people BUT I don’t check their news feed for snipits of their wonderful life.  Social media can be fun but you are just seeing carefully selected pieces of someone’s life.

#4 – Be confident.

I compare myself to others because I tend to lack self confidence.  While I’m not as confident as I would like to be, I am getting better.  Gaining confidence can help you too.  Yes, you can learn to be more confident.  When you are confident, you will learn how to stop comparing yourself to others because you believe in yourself.

#5 Be positive and happy with who you are.happy dance

No matter how life may be going for you, I believe a positive outlook can help to improve your life. It’s all about being grateful for what you already have. Everyone experiences sadness, anger, being scared, etc., and sometimes it can be difficult to see the positive or to be happy in spite of the circumstances.  Negative thoughts keep you feeling stuck with the feeling like there is no way out of your problems, and zero options. While being positive helps you realize you are able to do things, you are in control of your life, and the little things will not kill you.  You will be able to move on and deal with stressful situations better.

#6 – No one is perfect.perfect1

Accept your past and present, realizing you can make changes for the future if you truly desire to do so.  You may be at the beginning of the journey while someone else is at the middle or end.  You don’t know what they’ve been through, so you can end the comparison game.

 

These things are sometimes easier said then done.  Pick one and focus on it if you can’t fathom doing them all at once.  Find YOUR dream, then figure our YOUR action plan.

How could you stop comparing yourself to others?