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Seven Reasons To Believe In Yourself Again Even If You Don’t Feel You Can (And How To Do So)

Seven Reasons To Believe In Yourself Again Even If You Don’t Feel You Can (And How To Do So)

Sometimes life sucks. That’s just the way it is. We’ve all heard over and over again that it’s through the tough times that we learn to appreciate the great times. It’s easy to say but when you’re at a low point how do you find the energy to pick yourself up off the floor and get back on track?

When your confidence is in the doldrums here are seven facts to build your self-belief and ignite the fire in your belly.

Your strengths are powerful

If you find yourself focusing on your weaknesses, it’s time to reconnect with your strengths. Knowing and developing your character strengths can have a significant impact on your quality of life as well as a positive effect on your relationships, your career and your personal growth. Take the simple free survey at www.viacharacter.org and 15 mins later you’ll have a report that outlines your top strengths. Who knows you might even by pleasantly surprised what turns up.

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“Being confident and believing in your own self-worth is necessary to achieving your potential.” – Sheryl Sandberg

You have choices

Our lives are the result of the choices we make. Pure and simple. Becoming more aware of how we make our decisions is crucial. If you find yourself in the habit of negatively reacting to people or events, next time just try to pause and think then make an informed decision on your next action.

“You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.” Maya Angelou

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You are one of a kind

Besides the physical what also makes us unique is our individual collection of experiences, abilities, thoughts and dreams. Spend some time to reflect and get clarity on the magic that exists at the intersection of what you care about and what you’re good at. When you are clear and can operate from this intersection life will start to flow. A way to discover this is to answer two questions:

  • What really pisses you off? Not the immaterial stuff like missing out on a sale or the bus being late but at a deeper level, that you really care about and that you feel needs to be changed.
  • What did you want to be when you grew up? Think about the qualities that were necessary in that profession. Odds are that these are things you’re naturally good at and related to your strengths.

“You have to believe in yourself when no one else does – that makes you a winner right there.” – Venus Williams

You can make a difference

Find your magic then pay it forward so that others can find theirs. In his popular TED talks, Simon Sinek explains that when you help others, both you and the person you serve get a release of oxytocin. Not only does it give you the warm fuzzier but oxytocin boosts our immune systems and enables us to be better problem solvers. So find a charity or a cause that means something to you and get involved.

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“Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.” – Oprah Winfrey

You are tougher than you think

Human beings are remarkable things. Examples of people overcoming extreme hardship who go on and thrive, are all around us. No matter where you find yourself, someone has been there before and they are stronger from it. You can be too. While you might not be feeling like you’re the best version of yourself right now, even the fact you are reading this is the first step to finding what you are truly capable of.

“Do not be embarrassed by your failures, learn from them and start again.” – Richard Branson

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Your energy is infectious (and so is your smile)

One of the best ways to feel better is to make other people to feel better first. Every day is filled with a series of energy exchanges. Make the effort to be an energy giver and you’ll find it not only coming back to you but spreading to those around you. Start every interaction with a smile and take it from there. For more tips on managing your energy check check out this article.

You can create your own destiny

Your life is yours and yours alone to create. Whether you choose to make it grand or humble is up to you. Comparing your vision to others is irrelevant. What is important is that it is fulfilling and meaningful for you. Take these seven facts and start now.

“We are not in this world to find ourselves, we are here to create ourselves.”

Featured photo credit: https://twitter.com/viktorhanacek via picjumbo.com

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Last Updated on May 21, 2019

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

Example 1

You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

Example 2

You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

Example 3

You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

Example 4

You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

  • Understand your own communication style
  • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
  • Communicate with precision and care
  • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

1. Understand Your Communication Style

To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

2. Learn Others Communication Styles

Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

“How do you prefer to receive information?”

This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

3. Exercise Precision and Care

A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

The Bottom Line

When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

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