Wednesday, May 24, 2017

What is Your Reputation With Yourself?

Matt has been a supervisor for several months, yet he continues to struggle with the image of himself in his new role.  He knows his job is to lead and manage people, but he doesn’t believe in himself or trust his ability do this well.

Matt’s challenge is that he doesn’t value himself as a person.  He thinks he’s an OK guy, but his self-esteem, which is his reputation with himself, is low.  He doesn’t particularly like himself. So even though he is smart, capable, and has a lot of knowledge about the company, he doesn’t see himself as functioning well in his new job.

Matt’s employees like him as a person, but have picked up on his insecurity and low self-esteem. As a result, they don’t trust him to lead them as they move ahead in the workplace, and they feel leaderless and lost.

There are many people who are just like Matt.  People who are trying to lead or manage others without the benefit of healthy self-esteem. Whether you are a business owner, CEO or scout leader, your job is to lead and manage others.  If you want to do this well, and want others to trust, respect and follow you, you must first trust, respect and believe in yourself.  You must have high self-esteem.

When Matt came to me for coaching he said he was confused because he’s been at his company for years and knows the products and customers well.  He’s very confident about this.  However, when he tries to see himself in a leadership role, his confidence disappears because he has low self-esteem.

Self-Confidence or Self-Esteem

He hadn’t realized that self-confidence and self-esteem are not the same. Self-confidence is how he feels about his ability to effectively function at any given moment, and can be affected by everything from his current health to the weather. There will be some days when he feels strong and in control of his life, and other days when he’d rather stay in bed and let someone else take care of everything. He learned that self-confidence might fluctuate daily and even hourly.  Much like a tiny boat on the ocean, that can be tossed about or sail smoothly depending on surface conditions

Self-esteem is a constant, and is not affected much by everyday events.  Self-esteem is the unwavering acceptance, compassion and non-judgmental love he feels for the person he is.  Self-esteem can be compared to the depths of the ocean, which remain calm and unchanged even during violent storms.

Matt realized that in order to have positive self-esteem he has to know, accept, and love every part of himself. To accept his "humanness" he needs to be able to take honest pride in his many talents, strengths and unique qualities, as well as have compassion for the part of himself that is not always perfect or positive. True self-love is nonjudgmental.

He also learned that having nonjudgmental self-love and acceptance does not mean he believes he is perfect or has no need for personal growth or improvement. It simply means he is aware of all aspects of himself, the ones he’s satisfied with and the ones he may want to change, and that he accepts rather than rejects the total self.

Where Does It Come From?

Matt wondered why his self-esteem was so low, so we looked at where it might have come from.  Over the years he has gathered incredible amounts of data about who he is. Input from the people and events in his world have helped create how he currently defines himself.

His concept of self – who he is – began when he was a baby, and grew into how he feels about himself today. It’s a composite of all the input, positive and negative, verbal and nonverbal, that he has received throughout his lifetime.

As we looked at this, Matt remembered a childhood filled with negativity.  His parents’ anger and bitterness about the hand life had dealt them was often taken out on him, and he was never given positive messages about who he is.  Since children believe the adults or authority figures in their lives, he incorporated their negativity into his self-image. He learned that he was defective, annoying, stupid, unlovable and easily rejected. That negative self-image resulted in poor self-esteem.

As we worked together Matt learned that how others respond to him does not actually define who he is!  Their responses only reflect who they are, and whatever is going on for them at a particular time.

How To Change

This was an amazing awareness for Matt, who then set about changing his perception of himself.  He:
·        Looked at the values of his parents and authority figures, and decided if they fit the adult he is today. If they fit, he kept them, but if they didn’t, he let them go and created new values to fit the person he is now.
·        Looked at the validity of the negative messages he received, and began to see that they were a reflection of the people saying them, and weren’t true about him.
·        Once he saw they weren’t true he allowed himself to let them go, and created new, positive messages to take their place.
·        Began to take responsibility for how he feels about himself, his abilities and his life, instead of allowing others to define him.
·        Focused on appreciating his accomplishments rather berating himself for not achieving perfection, and viewed mistakes as learning opportunities instead of failures.
·        Identified the negative people in his life, and began to spend less time with them, and spend more time with positive people who value and support him.

As Matt improved his self-esteem, he began to recognize that he has the ability to do well in his leadership role.  This increased his confidence, which became apparent to his team.  As a result they felt more comfortable following his lead, and the morale and productivity of his department increased dramatically.

So, what is your reputation with you?  Is it possible that poor self-esteem may be holding you back from being as effective and successful as you can be?

It’s something to think about.

Please comment, so others will benefit from your wisdom and experience.

For FREE worksheets on ways to empower yourself, see the Resources page on our website.

If you want to begin creating the life you've always wanted,  be sure to check out the Rapid Power Pack.    This amazing Pack includes several articles, worksheets and a powerful hypnotherapy session, all designed to guide you as you rediscover the powerful person you have always been. 

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Are You Frustrated?

David is a middle manager in a large company.  On our last coaching call he talked about his frustration with how things at work are done and what he can and cannot do to change them.  As a middle manager he has some power to control his department, but not to change company policies he disagrees with.

After he vented, we looked at the reality of what was going on for him. David realized that feeling frustrated is a “red flag emotion” that lets him know he is feeling powerless and out of control.  “Red-flag emotions” are feelings we experience to let us know how we are reacting to our environment.  As with all “red-flag emotions”, once he acknowledges its message, David can decide what to do about it’s cause, and then let the emotion go.

Have you ever felt frustrated with a business or personal situation? Maybe you have to wait for others to make decisions or take action, you might be trying to control uncooperative people or things, or you may be dealing with something like the weather or natural disasters, over which nobody has control.

In all of these instances frustration is a signal that you are feeling a loss of personal power. It's an indication that you feel blocked in some way and are not in control of what's happening to you.  Feeling this way for very long can decrease your self-confidence, cause stress resulting in unhealthy consequences, and diminish your sense of being a capable, competent person.  Since you probably don’t want to experience these things, the thing to do when you feel frustrated is to find a way to regain control and feel powerful. 

David realized that in frustrating situations he has several choices:
  1.  If  it’s a situation over which he has control, he can take action and impact it in some way.
  2.  If it's a situation over which he has no power, he can choose to let go of his need for control.  He can also break it down into smaller parts, and find ways to deal with each of them separately.
  3.  He can simply decide it's not worth putting energy into.

David acknowledged that he was powerless to impact the corporate culture and decided to focus on the things he does have control over.  He talked with his boss to share his thoughts and suggestions, and then put his energy into his department and empowering his staff.  He let go of his need to fight a system he cannot change, and moved ahead in ways he could.

He realized that he always has the power to choose how he reacts to a situation, and to decide what he wants to do about it. Then he can make decisions about how to proceed.  Once he took charge of his feelings, the frustration disappeared and he again felt powerful in his world.

What about you?  Is there a situation in your life that's causing you frustration because it’s not within your power to change? Or is it one that's not worth your time or energy? You may want to ask yourself if there is any aspect of it you can control, and then do that.  Then let go of the frustration.  Since being frustrated drains your physical and emotional energy, confuses your thoughts and blocks you from being productive, you might want to eliminate this emotion from your life.

It helps to remember that:
1)     When you feel frustrated it’s because you’re feeling powerless or out of control.
2)     Frustration tells you something is not working as you hoped or planned.
3)     To relieve frustration, find a way to regain control over something.  Take action if you have the power/ability/authority.  Do whatever you can (which might include removing yourself from the situation entirely) and then let it go.
4)     Confronting and overcoming frustration will add to your self-esteem and sense of personal power.

So, how do you deal with frustration?

It’s something to think about.

Please comment and share your thoughts below so others may benefit from your wisdom and experience.

For FREE worksheets on a variety of ways to empower yourself, see the Resources page on our website.

If you'd like to begin creating  the life you've always wanted, be sure to check out the Rapid Power Pack! This Pack includes several amazing articles, worksheets, and a powerful hypnotherapy session, all designed to guide you as you rediscover the powerful person you've always been.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Compliment, Endorse or Acknowledge?

Last week I was talking with a client who mentioned something I had done and referred to it as “a good job”. As pleased as I was to receive this compliment, I noticed that in some way it felt a bit empty. It was nice that my client felt positive about what I’d done, but I still had no clue as to what he liked about it or how it had helped him. It was pleasant but vague.

This started me thinking about the difference between compliments, endorsements and acknowledgments. What my client said to me was a compliment. A compliment is a positive statement about a behavior or thing. Emotionally it’s detached. Comments such as “great job”, “nice play”, “beautiful jacket”, or “good work” are all compliments. They are nice to receive, but really don’t say much about the person who is receiving them.  Compliments are appropriate for showing appreciation to people you don’t know well such as the gas station attendant who washes your windows or the clerk in the grocery store, but may leave someone you have a relationship with feeling appreciative but empty.

An endorsement is much more fun to receive, because it’s a positive comment that is specific and personal. An endorsement is focused on a person’s ability or skills, and says something about them and how capable and competent you think they are. Examples of endorsements are: “You really have a talent with numbers”,  “Your athletic ability is outstanding”, “You always look so stylish and chic, you make that jacket look great”,  “The warm friendly manner you use to answer the phone makes people want to call us”.

An acknowledgment is even more personal and is the best of all, because it’s a positive comment that focuses on who the person is. It acknowledges the unique individual they are underneath all the talents, skills and facade. An acknowledgement is affirming and empowering, and can be a great motivator to encourage a person to continue with desired behaviors.  Some examples of acknowledgements are: “You are such an intelligent person, I can always count on you to get it right”, “You are a natural athlete and have a can-do attitude, which makes you a joy to coach”,  “Your eyes are so lovely, and that jacket really brings out their incredible color,” “You are thoughtful and kind and it shows in the way you treat our customers.” 


Compliments, endorsements and acknowledgements can be delivered separately, and in situations where you don’t know the person well, but want to give praise for something, a simple compliment is appropriate. However, the most effective to give and the most fun to receive is a combination of all three.  When a compliment, endorsement and acknowledgement are combined it’s a very affirming and motivating experience for the recipient, and is a “feel-good opportunity” for the giver. Examples of the combination are: “Great job!  You really have a talent with numbers. You’re such an intelligent person I can always count on you to get it right!”, or “Nice play. Your athletic ability is outstanding.  You are a natural athlete and have a can-do attitude, which makes you a joy to coach.”  “Nice jacket. You have a talent for choosing just the right thing to wear, and this outfit emphasizes the lovely color of your eyes.” 


Giving praise and appreciation not only applies to how you speak to others, but also to how you talk to yourself. Hopefully your self-talk is positive and helps you feel validated and motivated. Remember that when you speak to yourself you can choose to be vague with “nice job”, or specific and affirming with an endorsement, acknowledgement or combination.

Of course, it goes without saying that compliments, endorsements and acknowledgements should only be given when you truly feel what you’re saying and are sincere with your comments. People can detect insincere praise instantly, and you will loose all credibility if you give praise you don’t feel.

So, I’d like to suggest that in the next week you take some time to notice how you verbalize your appreciation for others and yourself. Do you thoughtlessly hand out compliments, or do you give thought to what you want to say and take the time to share a heartfelt endorsement or acknowledgement? You may find that as you do more endorsing and acknowledging, your clients/customers, employees, family and friends will seem to blossom, and you will blossom along with them.

It’s something to think about.

Please comment and share your thoughts so others may benefit from your experience.

For FREE worksheets on active listening and communication skills, see the Resources page on our website.

If you want to begin creating the life you've always wanted,  be sure to check out the Rapid Power Pack!  This amazing Pack includes several articles, worksheets and a powerful hypnotherapy session, all designed to guide you as you rediscover the powerful person you have always been. 

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

The Red Flags of Worry and Guilt

Last week I was talking with a client names Jim, who was telling me that he was worried about the status of a proposal he'd submitted for a big job.  He said he was so distracted with worry that he'd been neglecting the other things he needs to do to keep his business running, and he was feeling guilty about that.

I asked him if worrying and feeling guilty would impact whether he won the contract.  Of course he answered “No.”  I then asked him what he was getting out of all that worry and guilt he said “a lot of stress, anxiety and sleepless nights.”

So now I’m confused.  He’s choosing to spend his time and energy engaging in two activities (worrying and feeling guilty) that do not positively affect anything, and that only bring him stress, anxiety and insomnia.  What’s up with that?

Learned Behaviors
After some discussion Jim realized that he had learned to generate these two emotions for himself when he was very young.  He lived in a home where his parents always worried about the future, and used guilt to control their children and make them behave.  Therefore he learned to create these emotions when confronted with certain types of situations.

He can now see that these learned behaviors accomplish nothing positive, and actually drain his energy and distract his brain so he can’t focus on the things he wants to do.  He also realizes that he has the power to decide to not take on these feelings.

The Purpose of Guilt
Many people are confused about guilt.  It has a purpose, but it’s NOT to make you suffer.  Guilt is like a red flag that pops up when you have done something that violates your values, or the values of those who raised you.  

The ‘guilt flag’ pops up to get your attention and let you know that you have done something that doesn't feel comfortable for you and your current value system, that you feel is ‘wrong’. Its purpose is to remind you to look at and learn from your thoughts or behavior.

Guilt may be self-imposed, or come from other people who try to ‘make you feel guilty’ in order to control and influence you to do what they want.  As with Jim when he was a child, his parents ‘made him feel guilty’ whenever he acted out or did something they didn’t like. The nice thing is that once you are an adult you can choose to ‘pick up’ the guilt that others lay in front of you, or you can ignore it and choose to not take it on when it doesn’t fit.

What To Do
Whether it comes from your inner voice or from another person, guilt is NOT an emotion that you need to hold on to.  Once you’ve noticed that the red flag of guilt has popped up in your world, your job is to:
  • Figure out what value you are violating
  • Take whatever action you choose to deal with the situation
  • Mentally PUT DOWN THE FLAG!!!

The Purpose of Worry
It’s the same with worry.  We worry when we are confronted with situations whose outcome we care about.  Worry is a red flag that pops up to let us know that something pending is important to us. Often we worry about things we have no control over, like the weather or someone else’s decisions.

Just like with guilt, once you notice the ‘worry flag’ it’s time to look at what the situation is and decide if you have the right and the ability to impact it.  You have the right if it’s truly your problem.  You don’t have the right if it belongs to someone else.  (For example, Jim has the right and responsibility to make decisions regarding his business.  However, he does not have the right to make decisions about his adult daughter’s business, even though he cares about what happens to it and her).

If you determine that you do have the right to impact the situation, then stop worrying and take action to influence the outcome.  If you’ve already done all you can, or it’s something over which you have no control (the outcome of a contract once it’s submitted, the world situation, the health of a loved one) then it’s time to stop draining your focus and energy, let go of the worry and PUT DOWN THE FLAG!!!

Put Down The Flag
It’s been my experience that people usually worry about things over which they have no control.  It’s almost as if we believe that by worrying we are doing something constructive which will influence the outcome.  However, the reality is that no amount of worry will accomplish anything positive.

So the next time you notice you’re feeling guilty or worrying, instead of holding on to these emotions and allowing them to add stress to your life, ask yourself what their message is for you.  Then thank them for what they have shown you, take action to rectify the situation if possible, and PUT DOWN THE FLAG!!!

For a free worksheet to help you look at how Guilt and Worry impact your life, go to our website at and click on Resources.

If you're ready to begin the journey of discovery that will lead to the life of your dreams, we've created  The Rapid Power Pack.  A group of great articles and worksheets, and an amazing Hypnotherapy session, all designed to guide you as you become aware of the incredible person you've always been.