Success Block #2 Interpretations

ELI MP logo v1Feeling stuck or without options can rob your energy and drain your confidence. Lots of people think there is nothing they can do but  just wait and see. However, by learning to look for these blocks you can gain a new perspective of your situation and break through what is holding you back (It’s much easier and much quicker to create movement by working with a coach who is trained to work with these blocks, but you’d be surprised what you can do on your own when you know what to look for). The 4 main blocks are assumptions, interpretations, limiting beliefs and the critical inner voice which resulted from your past experiences. I’ve already written about assumptions, so today I’ll discuss interpretations.

We see and make sense of our world as we are. It is our paradigm and is based on all we’ve ever read, experienced, places we’ve been, people we know. All of this past information acts as a filter for how you make sense of the world. The person sitting right next to you has their own ideas based on everything they’ve read, experienced, places they’ve been…….etc. Even though you are looking at the exact same thing at the exact same moment both of your interpretations will be different, right?

Let’s pretend a situation..let’s say you received a grade of D on a paper you’ve worked hard on and your thoughts reflect an old “program” which says you’re a failure; D is not acceptable. You might feel down and out and internalize the failure. But you can choose a different interpretation. What if that D tells you that this subject isn’t really your passion and helps you make the final decision to seek another direction. What a weight off your shoulders!

You can choose or re choose an interpretation. They affect your feelings and emotions which then effect your actions, your health and those around you. Choosing is one of the benefits of being a human. Now… the glass half empty or the glass half full?



Go For the Gold ! Confidence

Some people move into their confidence gently, little by little, and step by step until one day they wake up and just know that something is different. Perhaps they notice that they’re not irritated by the same things that used to bother them, they are not as worried about the future or feeling angry about the past. Truly their work has paid off; their confidence allows them to be free to be who they really are. They know the golden feeling of being a master of  life.

Others come to confidence out of necessity when life has handed them a hard blow and it’s comes down to a matter of sink or swim. Confidence was found out of a desire to keep on going. I’ll bet if people in this category had a choice they would have rather made the journey gently. I personally know several people who are grateful for “their wake up call” even though the going was tough. To them it was way preferable than being a member of the last group but still they wear a golden medal.

The last group of people never get to experience inner confidence in this lifetime. Oh, they may think that they are or people around them might perceive them as being confident. After all who would guess that someone who mastered their careers, earned tons and tons of money or perhaps sport the perfect “10” body wasn’t confident? We see these people everywhere. Perfect examples are Marilyn Monroe and other stars that we love or admire.

If you are feeling the pull to find your inner confidence, help is available. That feeling is your wake-up call and you don’t have to wait until you discover your confidence as a result of  a stressful event. Neither do you have to wait to do it all your own; that may take a long time when you can be enjoying it a whole lot sooner. Help can come if you ask and mindfully seek it out, knowing that you are worthy of all the riches life has to offer.

When you get the choice to sit it out or dance, I hope you dance.” ~ Lee Ann Womack

4 Blocks to Success

Do you ever wonder what you can do when you feel stuck or without options? The feeling, if it sticks around for a while, can sap your energy and drain your confidence. Lots of people think there is nothing they can do about it and they resign to their fate. However by learning to look for these blocks you can gain a new perspective of your situation and break through barriers. It’s easier to work with a coach who is trained to work with these blocks, but you’d be surprised that you can do some of the work alone. The 4 main blocks are assumptions, interpretations, limiting beliefs and the critical inner voice which resulted from your past experiences. Today I’ll discuss assumptions.

An assumption is a belief that is based on the premise that because something happened in the past, it is automatically going to happen again.

When you make choices based on your assumptions, you are letting the past control the future. Assumptions hold you back, because when you already “know” that something won’t work, you probably won’t even consider doing it. Even if you do attempt it, you won’t have a lot of energy for, or be engaged in, what you’re doing, since you don’t really believe it can work. When you hold on to your assumptions, you miss out on many possibilities.

Imagine this scenario: A new salesperson has done five sales presentations, and none of the prospective clients have decided to buy her product. If she’s makes the assumption that she is not good at doing presentations, then it’s unlikely that she’ll put her all into soliciting them. And, even if she does end up doing one, the catabolic energy she brings with her to the presentation may actually repel her potential sales (and without her even realizing it, she has created more proof that her assumption was correct.)

Here are some typical assumptions:
If I don’t do it myself, it won’t be done right.
My kids are lazy and unproductive.
I’m no good at math.
No one listens to what I’m saying.

Because assumptions are primarily based on personal experience, they are internalized and emotional, and somewhat difficult to let go of. Delving deep to remove the emotion of the past experience may be necessary before moving forward.

The main question to ask when challenging an assumption is simply “Just because that happened in the past, why must it happen again?”

This month, when you just “know” that something won’t work based on your past experience, recognize your assumption for what it is, question it, and consciously choose to let it go and to take positive action.





Roads to Confidence

“Confidence is the most important thing, more important than gold or currency.” ~ Wen Jiabao (Chinese premier)

Some people step into their confidence gently, little by little, and step by step. Looking back over time they can notice things that used to bother aren’t important anymore and now they don’t feel as worried about the future or angry about the past. Their confidence allows them to free to be who they really are.

Others come to confidence out of necessity; when life has handed them a hard blow and it comes down to a matter of sink or swim. In order to survive it takes strong will and determination. In the long run, that can wear you down. A women I coached, M. J., was in this category. She said she was tired putting out fires and knew there just had to be another way. M. J., however, is grateful for the “wake up calls to action” because it got the ball rolling so she didn’t have to become a member of the last group I’ll talk about.

The last group of people never experience total confidence in this lifetime. Some of these folks just walk through life waiting for life to happen to them. Others miss the mark thinking that money, their super body, or the strong, super egos they’ve developed is what confidence is all about. I don’t think so.

I think confidence is a way of being. For me it is automatically being in control of your energy, your thoughts, your feelings and reactions. It is a level of awareness. If you want more inner confidence, help is available. You don’t have to do it all by yourself because a good mentor or trained coach can help speed up the process, cutting off years of work. You just never know where the journey will take you.


Don’t Worry…Be Happy

Worry is your ego’s way of thinking it is in control – which is an illusion. In times when the situation is out of your hands (perhaps when your sixteen year old, new driver takes the car out for the evening) the truth is that worrying is not going work like a magic wand.” Well,” you might think, “if I don’t worry, it means I don’t care.” Let’s explore that thought for a second… can someone not worry and still care? Do you think perhaps worry might even be getting a reaction from other people and bringing the worrier attention and comfort in a round about way?

I consider worry a harmful, learned habit. In the third grade a bright girl in my class, Joanne, would come to school the day of a test and share her worries all morning long. Even after the test, she worried until she got her grade back. I thought somehow that her worries were how she always managed to get an “A plus” ( I usually got an A – or a B).  I figured that worrying worked to get what she wanted, then it must work, so I revved up my worrying practice. ( I still got the A – or a B; maybe I didn’t worry hard enough).

Worrying is a catabolic energy. It is a sign of lack of confidence, a negative outlook, a constriction, turning inward, standing guard, or other self-destructive emotions that break down cells, releasing unwanted fight or flight hormones into your bloodstream which all have a negative effect on your physical body as well as your mind.

Most of us are not even aware that we can change our habitual reactions like worries. A more anabolic or healthier approach would be to act proactively, but then to learn how to forgive and trust and remember the words to the song, “merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a dream. ”

Discover the Feeling of Confidence

I think we can all agree that confidence feels good. It feels strong. I  think that we can also agree, correct me if I’m wrong, that when you feel confident you’re more likely to move forward, take action or make a decision on something that is calling your attention. If you could see confidence floating in the sky would it be going fast or slow? Fast, right? We know that, because often confident people talk without hesitation and walk with determination. We might say that confidence is a fast-moving energy like the energy of trust. (Steven Covey’s book, The Speed of Trust, refers to this idea as well.)

Think of somethings you do that you really feel confident about; they can be anything at all, don’t think about their importance, that is not the point, the feeling is what is important here. Perhaps make a list of all the things you feel confident about and keep adding to it. Remember how it feels when you do these. Really take time to focus on the feeling not the results. You can call on this energy when you’re stuck……..  Discover and use the feeling of confidence. It will most likely help you get on your way.


Cooking Up Confidence in Carla’s Kitchen

Keep Commitments to Yourself

When there is a gap between what you say you will do and what you actually do, you rob yourself of confidence. For example, if you tell yourself you are going to cook a healthy meal after work, but change plans in order to go shopping with a friend, you chip away a little bit off of your confidence. Why? Because you compromised your word to yourself. Nobody else even has to know about. YOU are the person it has affected the most because you weren’t able to trust your own word. It’s the same with telling a lie. Even if no one else knows the truth YOU do. When it comes down to it, that’s all that matters.

You can also build your confidence back up bit by bit. Let’s say your goal is to lose some pounds but you don’t have the motivation to even start because you feel overwhelmed when you think of the long road ahead. Begin by setting a task for yourself. Make it a baby one at first, like….drinking one extra glass of water every day.  No matter what, pour yourself that extra glass even if you have to get up out of bed and put your mouth over the faucet because you forgot. When that new habit has been well established, add another small step. This time you commit to walking around only one small block a day. Nothing more, just one time around the block is all you have to do.The trick is to do it no matter what, even if it’s a wimpy attempt.  Before you know it, the once around the block may turn into two and…well you get the picture. You’re actually moving your body more. This strategy really helps with habits you want to build, not with habits you want to break like addictions. Those kind of habits sometimes require professional help of a different kind. However, this strategy can help you take an action such as making a call to find professional help.

In closing, I want to make three points. First, we ruin our own confidence when we don’t keep our word, even to ourselves. Second, confidence can be built. We are not stuck with the amount we presently have. And third, little steps are the way, not huge commitments that set us up to fail again and perpetuate the failure cycle.






Building Confidence

Very few of us are born into the perfect environment where our confidence is nurtured every minute of the day starting at birth. Our natural dispositions, our home environment, families, schools, teachers, religious training all play a big role, especially at early age, in how we perceive ourselves. They all have an effect on our level of self-confidence. Confidence determining factors continue through what we experience, read and see in life and from them we form our impressions and intentions. We create from our impressions and intentions.

The good news is that we can do something about raising our own self-confidence. It is ultimately up to us to make that happen. Yes, this will take time, raising awareness, insights, perhaps outside help, and the need to create new habits and let go of old ones. Brain research has proven that brain can change, it is not as plastic as they once thought.  A new way of thinking is possible.

Why Confidence? Confidence is the key to taking actions in order to make changes in our life so we can reach goals and realize our dreams. Without a healthy dollop of confidence to take actions, why even bother having a dream or wanting more? Do you know anyone who is stuck? What would a new dose of confidence do for them?

As I mentioned earlier, we can raise our confidence level. It takes awareness of both our inner and outer selves. By inner self I’m referring to knowing who you are in this world; not what you do and how you act, but rather who you really are. Your inner self is associated to your thoughts, your impressions, your beliefs and your “take” on what happens around you. We all interpret and make sense of the world differently. A self understanding is fertile ground to choosing responses to the world rather than reacting from emotion.

Your outer world  is how you operate in the physical world. It includes areas such as, how you dress, words you use, how you interact with others, tackle new projects; simply how you interact with life. The world acts like a mirror. What you think on the inside is reflected back to you in the physical world. When you make changes in your behavior you get different responses. Favorable responses from others add to your self-confidence.

There are many excellent books on the market promising to increase your confidence level so that’s a good place to begin.. However, just reading and knowing what to do is not going to make the difference you’re looking for. Putting the ideas to regular practice is the key so consider working with a coach to help keep you on track.

Here are few questions I’ll leave you with…..

1.How would you be living your life if you had more confidence to do whatever you really desired?

2. What have you been holding back from doing? What is the price you pay for not doing what you really want?

3. What will it take to move forward?




You Can Only Be You.

Comparing and Competing are the two tumor twins pointed out by Sean Covey in his book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens. Isn’t that what we do so often to ourselves to feel better or worse; putting ourselves up against  the next guy? Many people fall into the trap of measuring success according to what other people do, have and strive for rather than keeping their focus on their own magnificence.

Perhaps another way to see an example of where comparing and competing for success is senseless is in the physical world round us. There are countries that have thrived according to our Western standards and countries that have continued in a more primitive manner. Anthropologists have found reasons for the haves vs. the have-nots and it boils down to luck. Geography and natural resources of the land are the reason why some civilizations have progressed to be able to explore, conquer, and dominate while others have only the means to continue their primitive existence. It’s not a matter of harder work or smarter thinking. It’s a matter of where you were placed on Mother Earth, what animals are native to the area, what crops grow there and what the other natural resources are.

And so it is also with our lives. We can’t be true to ourselves if we compare and compete with the next person as a measure and a factor upon which we base our self-confidence  then our self-esteem . We have all been dealt a different hand, conditioned by our families and our communities, and life events in a different way.  We need only to look at our own lives and make the most out of who we are, being thankful for the human life we have the opportunity to enjoy and learn life’s lessons from. There’s more to our life than meets the eye and finding out about it is far more satisfying than playing only the material gain game. Make time to be with nature and yourself, listen to your inner voice and discover real self and passions will help point you on your way to happiness no matter where you are now.

Myth …..” I Don’t Have the Time to Be Coached.”

It makes me sad when I hear people think that coaching is only goal setting and adding more to their “to-do” list. Yet, I can certainly see why people might think that way. The term “Coach” is used so loosely now that the role has taken on many different meanings and connotations. To some it means mentor, to some counselor, to others supervisor or even a professional nag. Some coaches, often business coaches who are hired by a company and want to produce results for their own job security, have the business’s success as their top priority pushing aside the idea that the person being “coached” has a life with other areas that equally effect their work performance.

Coaching to me, and my friends who are also certified professional coaches, know that coaching is about creating a partnership. It is a relationship that focuses on the person being coached and helping them create their lives so they feel whole, balanced, confident and in control. Good coaches help people create more energy, the energy wanted to move ahead to do the things you want with passion. Good coaching liberates rather than constricts leaving room for more of the good stuff in life.