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Archive for October, 2013

V – Visualize how you want to be.  Years ago I thought about selling Avon, but the idea terrified me.  Ring doorbells and talk to people I had never met before!!!   Encouraged by family and friends, I decided to give it a try.  The first few times I visited my territory, I drove around the neighborhood for awhile and then went home and told my husband that no one was home.  I couldn’t admit that I was afraid to ring that first bell.

My best friend Trudy was an Avon Lady, so I visualized myself as her.  I cast myself in the role of a successful, outgoing Avon Lady.  And that was the internal message I played over and over in my head when I started ringing doorbells.  Now I wish I could tell you that I was wildly successful and made lots of money selling Avon, but that wasn’t the case.  But what I learned about myself was priceless.  I could talk to people I’d never met.  I wasn’t completely comfortable doing it, but the people I met never knew.

Now I feel quite comfortable connecting with all sorts of people.  I begin with a smile and then a brief comment on whatever is going on in the moment.  Sometimes we continue the conversation and sometimes it’s just a brief, but pleasurable encounter, leaving both of us feeling good!

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A – Accept what you can control and dive in knowing you will give your best effort, but aware that you are not always responsible for the outcome.   When my daughter was playing in a sectional basketball game in middle school, they were ahead by one point with only a couple of seconds on the clock.  Just as the buzzer was about to go off, a girl from the opposing team hurled the ball from half court and miracle of miracles it went in.  It was a fluke and even though my daughter’s team had played really well, they lost that game. 

Most times the outcome is out of your hands, but you can always celebrate your personal effort because that is all you have control over.  Your lists, planning and action are all within your control and that is powerful.  If things don’t work out exactly as planned, there may be a lesson in that and opportunity for growth. 

Recently, after careful planning and rehearsal, an event did not go as I had hoped, and the next day my daughter just happened to share this quote by the Dalai Lama:

 “Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.”

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Rehearse.  Go through the motions even if you doubt yourself because sometimes you don’t really know what you are capable of until you try.  When I rehearse for a part in a play, I always rehearse in the shoes I will wear as that character.  Then I am in role from the bottom up. 

If you are going to dance – put on your dancing shoes.  If you are going to run – put on your running shoes.  You can begin by walking, but you’ll have the right shoes when you are ready to pick up the pace.

The more times you say out loud and put into action a new idea or behavior for you the more likely it will become second nature.  Don’t worry about being embarrassed if your partner or family catch you practicing in front of the bathroom mirror.

Enlist mentors so you can rehearse your ideas or presentations for them and get honest feedback and increased confidence.  Also let them know that you are ready for critique and will not be defensive.  This is the time for you to be open-minded and accepting.

And make sure they are positive people who will pump you up.  You don’t have to be famous to have a fan club.

Next up – A

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Using the word brave, we’ll start with the letter B.  Brand yourself internally.  We all have those little voices in our heads and some are louder than others.  Companies pay thousands of dollars for ad agencies to develop a brand so that the business is readily recognizable.  “You deserve a break today . . .”  

 We brand ourselves, often unconsciously, by our internal dialog.  There is a body of evidence that proposes that language influences how we think.  Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “We are what we think about all day long.”  Replace any negative talk inside your head with positive talk.  Recall the words I used to describe a psychological fall: mistake, failure, fiasco, catastrophe.   How you label the “fall” will influence whether you try again. 

If you replace the word failure with lesson, for example, you are more likely not to give up.  That’s what Thomas Edison did and 10,000 lessons later, he had a light bulb.  

 Use the word catastrophe as the descriptive and that’s when you crawl in a hole and never come out.

 The word failure gets a bit tricky, because there is also a difference between calling something you did a failure and calling yourself a failure.  Pay attention to how you speak about yourself to yourself.  Calling yourself a failure can become a self-fulfilling prophesy.

 Developing a positive self-image and a brave heart starts with what’s inside your head!

Next up – R

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