Experts say that our confidence comes from our inner perception of our abilities to fulfill jobs and tasks that are before us. In other words, if we feel that we can do something great we will have the confidence to do it. On the other hand, if we feel that we are not capable of success we are more prone to be apprehensive. A great writer said it this way, "Confidence comes naturally with success, but success comes only to those who are confident." Boosting our confidence must come from genuinely increasing our inner strengths. Let's look at some non-verbal languages that are reflected in our outward confidence.
Appearance – First impressions are hard to erase so we must be mindful of what we look like at all times. We are painting a picture of who we are every day. Our images speak greatly to the things we like or dislike. It may not be fair but we are judged by our appearances long before we open our mouths. Therefore, our appearances should reflect the inner confidence of quality and success.
Show your confidence and successful mindset through your appearance by aligning it to reflect your desired image. True confidence should come from building good character within first and then reflected outwardly among the public.
Stride – How we walk shows the public how we feel about ourselves. Does our walk display a slow, tired, or painful stride? Or, is it spirited, energetic and purposeful? Our confidence level is shown to others in the way we move from point to point. In the wild, a sluggish stride is an easy prey. Opportunities can miss us when we carry ourselves disconnected from our purpose.
Walk with confidence and purpose. Hold your head up so you can see where you are going. Pick up your pace because you have places to go, people to see, and important work to do even if it is going home. Confidence is gained by choosing to be an important person of purpose and walking as if so. Establish your purpose and make every step purposeful to fulfill it.
Posture – Our greatest possession is our bodies. We use it every day to accomplish tasks and duties. How we carry ourselves is known as our posture. It tells a story about our level of confidence. When we sit or stand with slumped shoulders and move lethargically with our tasks, we can be viewed as having low self-confidence.
Boost your posture by standing erect with your shoulders back. When you speak to people, make eye contact and shake their hand firmly but not too tight. Let others know you are interested in them by giving them your undivided attention. This is showing that you respect their time and who they are too.
Summary - Your confidence level can be increased by displaying an appearance that is positioned towards your direction for life, walking as if you have a purpose, and maintaining a posture of preparedness for whatever comes your way. Be sure to keep your confidence high because of your inner integrity found on truth. Push your arrogance low with humility that displays control.
There is a phrase that says, "No magic potions. No fairy dust. No one to do it for you. Just me. I will push you, show you how to put one determined foot in front of the other. That's what I'll do. I am inside you... I'm called your inner strength. Your dignity. Dig down deep and you'll find me."
Deep within us is an area of our beliefs that feed our emotions. It defines our reactions that we possess in the present and for the future. Dr. Donna Hicks says that one of the deep down beliefs that we crave is "dignity". Dignity is the quality of being worthy of esteem or respect. Even if we don't deserve it, everyone wants to be treated like they are special (respected). But there are two challenges that we face with dignity. The first is, we must possess the qualities that match the high esteemed dignity we desire. Second, is showing others dignity (respect) even when we don't feel it's deserved. To have the total success we desire requires us to possess dignity and give dignity.
3 Dignity Lived Out
1. Acceptance – Let's face it no one is exactly like us. Even if we were twins we would have different views because of our different perceptions and perspectives on what we have experienced. Since everyone has their own uniqueness we can assume that no one will meet our exact standards. With that being the case we must be open to accepting and working with other's differences.
To show dignity (respect) to others, approach people as being neither inferior nor superior. This might require you to be more tolerant of others instead of being critical of their differences. It's also good to give people the benefit of doubt. Assume that others have integrity (no hidden alternative motives) before putting them in the wrongful or offensive category. Give dignity to others because it is what you desire from others.
2. Inclusion – It can be laborious to incorporate people that we feel are weak or would slow down what we want to accomplish. However, improvement in this area requires us to work on making others feel and be a part of what's going on. When I played neighborhood basketball I experienced the power of inclusion. When a team captain picked me to be on his team I was excited and empowered with esteem and worth (dignity). I had an increased desire to do my best and be of value to the one who selected me.
Inclusion goes two ways - You being apart of others and others being apart of you. You can add value to people by taking a moment to include them into what you do and you can increase your value by finding areas to get plugged into.
3. Understand – Steven Covey says we should, "seek to understand before we seek to be understood". Gaining an understanding of what's going on is a part of living out dignity (respect). Recognizing someone else for their talents, hard work, thoughtfulness, and/or assistance is priceless and valuable.
Show dignity with your thoughts and words. Work to treat others justly, without discrimination. Believe that another person's thoughts matter by giving them a chance to explain and express their points of view. Be willing to actively listen for understanding. That is showing dignity to others.
Summary - Learn how to increase your dignity (respect) by determining what you value and showing it to others first. If you want to be accepted, then accept others; if you want to be included, then included others; and if you like to be understood then work to understand others. Personal dignity is only increased when given first.
Dave Willis says that we should, "Show respect even to people who don't deserve it; not as a reflection of their character, but as a reflection of ours." Yes, it's hard to respect someone that we have issues with. But, "who we are" must be greater than the problems and issues that we face with others. Being disrespectful in a heated situation is similar to fire, it grows hotter when feed. Let's look at some ways to build our respect.
3 Areas of Respect
1. Internal Problems – I had a car that I spent hours washing to make shine. I had the interior and the exterior spotless. But under the hood was an internal spot that I didn't want to address. The transmission was slipping. Since it was still moving fine, I continued to drive it on a prayer, hoping it wouldn't let me down. But, as we all know, all unaddressed problems tend to show up when not needed. And it did. Our lives can be the same way, if we fail to address our internal problems of respect, we can find ourselves in some really messed up situations.
One way you can spot internal slippage is when you see your respect for others drop. If you are saying and doing things to others that you wouldn't want to be done to you, there are some key respect issues that need to be addressed. Take some time to analyze what you do, diagnose why you do that, and optimize your actions by finding ways to improve your behavior. Work on improving your internal respect for others with clean positive motives.
2. Short List – I recently was being pushed to a point of anger. I was losing respect for the person I was talking to. I felt that I needed to express what I was feeling inside and it was not pretty. But as I took a moment to breathe I was able to see that I was connecting old hurts to the issue. I was not being fair to the other person. The author of "Anger: A Practical Guide to Anger Management", Hal Goldblatt says it this way, "It is not whether we have anger—everyone has anger. Rather, it is what we do with it that makes the difference between an angry person and a calm one." Anger can blind us to many things. We should be careful not to dumped our past on others. We must continue to work on the current issues and keep our past experiences as points of reference.
When you are dealing with hurtful things, it is good to have a short list of past hurts for yourself and others. The past viewed negatively can easily bring a need to be disrespectful. Work to allow the initial feelings of past hurts and resentments to be erased so you can be able to effectively handle what's current.
3. Add Chemicals – In the kitchen, I have noticed that some old messes on the stove required more than elbow grease to remove. They need an additional cleaning agent to help break down the hard stuck on messes. Fixing our disrespect is not a one time wipe and it's gone. Becoming respectful requires changing the way we think. Disrespectable people tend to curse, swear, or speak in highly colorful terms that reflect their inner thoughts. If we see ourselves showing signs of disrespect we must work to replace our negative thoughts with more rational ones. This is applying the chemical of positiveness.
In your life, like mine, there are some hard messes that have been around for a while and are stuck pretty hard. The chemical of positiveness is probably far from thought when in the heat of the moment, but if allowed to penetrate it can break a lot of tough issues. True respect is not based on what others say or do; it is based on what you value. Allow your values to affirm what you think, say and do. Remind yourself that getting angry is not fixing the problem, it's actually creating more work for you to clean up in the long run.
Summary - Proper thinking before responding defeats disrespect. You can justify disrespect just like most of us, but to achieve a higher level of success requires you to remember that the world is "not out to get you" and you can only increase the respect you receive by change you. Life is full of messes that are loaded with people you might not respect. However, when self-healing starts, self-respect is boosted and in-turn respect for others is valued.
Increase your respect by searching internally, keeping a short list of past messes, and adding the chemical of positiveness. Allow the present to be a gift that you cherish. Each day is an opportunity be a better person with everyone.
I see improvements, modifications, and developments happening all around. People are building and upgrading things. I'm sure they have good reasons for investing in change. In life, improvements are not only needed but necessary for success. There are areas in our lives that require specific repair on a constant basis. Let's seek them out successfully with these three "E's"!
3 Steps to Successful Improvements
1. Evaluate – An assessment is normally made before repairs are started to calculate what needs to be kept, added to or removed. During this phase even what looks good is assessed to see if it can handle the upcoming needs. Our lives are similar. We too must evaluate our lives to see what will work with the upcoming goal. Whatever the case we should have an attitude like Lowes, to "Never Stop Improving!"
Find out what’s going on in your life. It is easy to get into a grove or habit that really isn’t the best for you. Step back and ask yourself, "Is this something I need to be doing?" Work to develop your internal voice by looking at everything through the lens of your ultimate purpose. Self-evaluation is the place to start with self-improvement.
2. Exonerate – This is a big word that means to forgive. When improvement needs to take place we must stop reliving the past. Mistakes are common on the road to success. What was done yesterday is history that can't be undone. We must stay focused on the objectives for making things better.
Exonerate (forgive) and learn from your past. Forgive yourself for past mistakes and past problems. John Maxwell says it this way, "Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn." Learn from your past failures and improve who you are each day. Keep in mind that failing is not a pass card to irresponsibility but an opportunity to refocus yourself for improving. Exonerate (forgive) and love yourself for who you are improving to become not for who you use to be.
3. Esteem – A building will not get needed updates if the changes are not regarded as a high priority. When improvements are a must, time and resources are given to make it happen. We must see self-improvement as mandatory.
Put being better high on your list. Take time out to invest in your dream. If you don't, no one else will. Loving yourself is like strengthening your muscles. The stronger and bigger you want your muscles, the heavier and more intense the weights must be. So to have stronger self-love requires some heavier loving of things that improve you. As you esteem to be more loving of yourself, the better you will be able to love others in the same regard.
Summary – Improve your life by first evaluating it and then exonerate the mistakes. When that is done you can esteem into action the points that will help you be more effective at life's greatest challenges.
Satisfaction is a forever moving target. We are never truly satisfied. But with an attitude of reflection, I think we can learn to appreciate the lessons learned and the struggles overcome. Let's face it, like it or not, we are in our present situations because of our past choices. And the places we will be tomorrow will be because of where we decided to go today. Whatever your status I feel that we can gain contentment from a proper focus on our past. In the end, success isn't always about what we have accomplished but more about who we've become on the journey there. Let's look at three points to reflect on pursuing.
1. Values – Our attitudes reflect our values. Each day we spend countless hours thinking and doing things that we consider important. I believe that if we were told we had 24 hours to live we could sum up our values on one hand. We would probably find ourselves trying to maximize those final moments with specific people, places, and things. Those are the people and things we should be content with reflecting and building on daily.
Work to pinpoint your values so you can have clear reflections and directions. Clear values will be those strong physiological guides that are needed to make it through life's difficulties. Your true values might not be lengthy or complex but they will be those simple precise principles that enable you to push through frustrations. Once found, reflect and build strength there.
2. Beliefs - What we believe about life is what we reflect on often. These crucial thoughts cause us to respond productively or unproductively with our lives. Whether by choice or not we formulate our attitudes on the outcomes we believe are going to happen. We find ourselves talking about it, dreaming about it, and ultimately living it.
Direct your beliefs to reflect the truth. Clear and purposeful beliefs that's accurate will escalate you into a clearer focus for success. Pursue what you believe. But know the facts behind them. A solid foundation that you believe is a good reflection to look to during the difficult times of life.
3. Expectations - What we expect is a gauge that determines the direction of our future. High goals result in an attitude that pushes for them to happen. Low goals result in an attitude that's satisfied with whatever happens. We can't have a positive reflection if we have negative images of ourselves and our goals.
Make your expectations realistic but big enough to push your limits. Then set your attitude to reflect positively about reaching your goal. You are the one that determines your outcome. If success is what you expect, settle for nothing less.
Summary - Having a positive teachable attitude is key to succeeding on all levels. Make sure your attitude is focused on what you value the most, rooted in true beliefs and set with realistic expectations that reflect an ultimate objective of long-term goals. You will arrive at the place where you reflect your attention, so reflect positively.
Life is full of delays, denials, and devastations. If we live we will encounter all of them at some point. However, back-to-back problems tend to make us question life's purpose. This month's challenge gives you a boost to stay positive in the face of challenges. Let's look at some ABC tips to help boost your attitude in the face of adversity.
1. Attention – It may be a secret to some but an extra boost is given to the things that demand your attention. When something grabs your attention you tend to loose focus on all surrounding things for that moment. For example, if you were walking on a straight line and put your eyes in another place other than the line, you would drift in the direction of your focus. The same is true in life. Your delays, denials, and devastation could be due to distractions that are holding your attention.
Be smart. Boost yourself by regularly realigning your attention to your goal. Remember, your reality will only convert to becoming the destiny you desire because you have given your undivided attention to your goal.
2. Believe – Every now and then you and I can get into the "I can't help it" mode. But I've come to realize that if my behavior is missing the mark, I need to check what I really belief. You see, your actions always flow from what's believed. If you believe you can, you probably will. Your goals won't happen if you don't believe in yourself. Don't wait for someone else's approval to act on what you know is 100% right for you. It's your goal that you're required to fulfill not theirs.
Be confident in your strengths but be humble enough to know your weaknesses and ask for help. Remember, life works on principles. So continue to turn the odds in your favor with a persistent effort of doing the right things.
3. Character – Who you really are is the person you display in the absents of opposing consequences. And striving to do what's right when no one else agrees is the epitome of good character. An Albanian Proverb says, “Ability will enable a person to get to the top, but good character is what will keep them from falling.”
Experience a boost in your character by deciding to be consistent in all areas, not because it's easy but because it's right. Continue to work on your character being top notch in the face of life's challenges. It's those tough times that the true you is seen and your character is developed.
Summary – Getting a boost to overcome life's obstacles can be as simple as ABC. Put your attention in the right spot, believe that you can accomplish your goal, and make sure your character aligns itself to what's right. It's doing what you should on the days you don't feel like it that count and position you for long term success.