Confidence, It’s All Inside!

Confidence, It's All Inside!When I was in middle school, we had numerous fundraisers.  You know the kind.  Sell candy, sell magazine subscriptions, sell this, sell that, sell your soul….well, okay, we didn’t go THAT far.  But hey, in order to get that free trip to Victoria, B.C. in 8th grade, I would do just about anything!

I remember one time, selling magazines, when I wanted to be the top seller!  So, I hit all of the easy targets…my parents, my neighbors, my family.  Except that, when I called one of my uncles up, and asked if he would buy a magazine, he asked me for my pitch.  Well, I didn’t know what a pitch was, other than something that happens in baseball.  Turns out my pitch was, “Umm, do you want to buy a magazine?”  SALESMAN OF THE YEAR, FOLKS!!!!

Anyway, back to my demanding uncle.  He said that he would LOVE to buy a magazine from me, but I would need to come up with a pitch.  When I did, I was to call him back and pitch it to him.  If it was good enough, he would buy a magazine.

Honestly, at this point, I was ready to just move on to my next family member who would just buy from me, no questions asked.  But, something clicked.  Something about what he said, made sense.  So, I sat down with my #2 pencil and wide-rule paper and made my “pitch.”  Now, this story would be AWESOME, if I still had that pitch and could give it to you.  But I don’t.  So, this story just gets to “mediocre” level.

So, what’s the point?  Well, it turns out, my uncle gave me a swift kick in the rear, opened my eyes to a new sales technique, and you know what?  I was top fundraiser that year.  AND the next year.  AND I got to go to Victoria, B.C.

See, what he did, unknowingly, was give me an opportunity to grow.  To build confidence.  This confidence was always inside of me, it just needed an outlet.  And selling magazines at age 12 was the magic trick!  That confidence is still inside of me and it is what propels me through life.  I’m NOT afraid of what is to come, because I am confident in myself and in my ability to take whatever comes and deal with it accordingly.  No need to Examine THAT Glass, because I already know it’s well more than half full!

So, what about people who may not share this confidence?  Is there a way to BUILD confidence?  YES!  Believe it or not, everyone has it inside of them, they just need to bring it out.

So, here’s the plan.  When you wake up in the morning, set a small goal for yourself.  And I mean SMALL.  Like, I’m going to skip that soda at lunch today.  Or, I am going to smile at every stranger I see today.

If you ACHIEVE that goal, reward yourself in some way.  Or just congratulate yourself and take pride in knowing that you’ve just accomplished something you set out to do.  What’s going to happen is little by little, day after day, that “small” goal will get bigger and bigger.  Eventually you’ll start changing things in your life that you have wanted to for a while, but never thought that you could.  But now you KNOW you can.  Duh-Da TADA!  CONFIDENCE!

No no no….don’t thank me.  Thank my Uncle!

Examine the Glass, make the change.  You won’t regret it!

Good Tired and Bad Tired

Good Tired and Bad TiredI will be quoting Harry Chapin here, and I will forewarn you that I will probably quote Harry Chapin more than once in this blog.  His music and lyrics probably have influenced my views a lot, so here we go.  Here is an excerpt from a monologue about something his grandfather told him:

“he said, ‘Harry, there are two kinds of tired: there’s good-tired, and there’s bad-tired.’ He said, ‘Ironically enough, bad-tired can be a day that you won. But you won other people’s battles, you lived other people’s days, other people’s agendas, other people’s dreams and when it was all over there was very little “you” in there, and when you hit the hay at night, somehow you toss and turn–you don’t settle easy.’ He said, ‘Good-tired, ironically enough, can be a day that you lost. But you don’t have to tell yourself, ’cause you knew you fought your battles, you chased your dreams, you lived your days, and when you hit the hay at night, you settle easy–you sleep the sleep of the just, and you can say “take me away.”

So, what kind of “tired” are you?  My favorite part of this is when he says “there was very little ‘you’ in there.”  That is how I see a lot of people.  They go to work day in and day out, strictly for a paycheck and not for any sort of enjoyment.  Yes, this economy is hard and yes, you can’t be choosers when it comes to being gainfully employed.  But it doesn’t mean you have to give up and I have seen a lot of people give up.  Or seem to.

Is this you?  Why?  What has happened that makes you lose all hope of becoming your dream?  Bring it back.  Examine the glass and find out what it is that makes you happy.

My cousin (favorite?) recently started baking classes.  She has wanted to become a baker for a long time and she is finally taking the steps to do so.  It makes me REALLY happy.  Whether or not she follows my blog, she has in essence, “Examined her glass” to find a way to start making her dream come true.  It may not happen this year, it may not happen next year, but she has taken a strong step forward and I am proud of her.

As for being good tired or bad tired….well, that is for you to figure out.  If you are bad tired, stop!  Start making the change you want to see in yourself today so that tonight, you can be good tired!

Take me away!

Mind over matter

Mind over matterWe’ve gone full circle, now it’s time to bring it back to YOU.  Most everyone has heard of the term “mind over matter.”  Like this blog, it is a simple idea with a more complicated execution.  But the gist of it is to not underestimate the power of the mind.

To be cliché’, whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.

The easiest and most prominent example I have for this is endurance running.  Over the past five years I have worked with some amazing people, helping them achieve their goals of completing a half or full marathon (that’s 13.1 or 26.2 miles, respectively, running or walking).

To the beginner or non-runner, you may think that this is just a feet and leg thing.  And to a certain extent in the beginning it is.  However, feet and legs are just muscles, just part of an overall system that is controlled by the brain.  If the brain is not on board, then it won’t matter how “ready” your legs are.

I’ve done this for the past 5 years because it is an amazing experience to watch the realization set in.  To see people start to believe that they can do something that until very recently they thought was impossible.  And to see them complete their goal and be happy with their results, that is a great thing to see.

From experience, I can tell you that the number one reason someone does not reach their goal in endurance running is because they stop (or never start) believing that they can do it.

Such is with life.  That was one simple, albeit a bit long-winded, example.  But it can be applied to ANY part of your life.  The moment you START believing in yourself is the moment you START to succeed.  The moment you STOP believing in yourself is the moment you START to fail.

Simple, yes.  Easy, no.  But it all starts with one thought, one choice.  Which one will you make?

Be true to yourself

Self ConfidenceYeah, you are awesome!  Just remember that.  If nothing else prevails today, know that you are in the best position to make yourself the best person you can be.  Today, take a look at those around you.  Don’t compare, just take a look and ask yourself, “Do they have self-confidence?” and then ask yourself, “Do I want to be like them?”

The answer of the first should dictate the answer to the second.  But then again, you don’t want to be someone else, you want to be you.  The best YOU possible.  That all starts with what’s inside.  It really counts, that stuff inside.  No no no, not the cream filling.  Though that is delicious and satisfying…I’m talking about the essence of you.

Having trouble finding it?  Think back to when you were a child.  What made you the happiest?

WARNING: here’s where we get deep and meaningful!!

So, say for instance, swinging on the swings made you the happiest.  Then maybe the essence of you is the part that reaches for the sky.  Always wanted to go higher and higher.  If that’s so, then tap back into that inner swing swinger and see where in your life you can make changes to reach higher….then REACH!

Or, say that playing board games or doing puzzles or reading made you happiest.  Then maybe the essence of you is to keep a close circle of confidants.  Family, friends, whatever.  Maybe that part of your life has gone missing.  If so, reach out to old friends.  Reach out to family.  Try to make the connection again.  It might not happen overnight, but the effort is what will make miracles happen.

Whatever it is, if something is missing, then the first step is to figure out what that is.  Bring it back, little by little.  A happy you is a productive you.  Remember, you are AWESOME….even if that awesome part is hidden, it’s there.  Today, I challenge you to go find it!

Examine the glass, my friends, and you will see that a small change today can make tomorrow brighter!