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11 Promises You Should Make to Yourself

11 Promises You Should Make to Yourself

Which promises to yourself are worth it?

The mantra of “live your life to the fullest” is often repeated. You see this in books, in movies, in songs, in poems and even in speeches. In the course of living your life, you’re often instructed to live wisely, live freely and live happily. Sometimes, though, this mantra is already viewed as a cliche. People take its meaning for granted because the mantra feels empty—sure, you want to live life to the fullest; you want to go out there and make the most of your life; and you want to help others to the same.

You want to do all these things, but the question is how can you do this?

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You can do this by making—and keeping—the following promises to yourself:

1. “I promise to myself that I will accept my strengths as well as my flaws.”

Remember that you are here in this world to serve a purpose. You are worthy of existing, of believing and of living. For you to feel sincerely worthy, though, you should get rid of all your low self-esteem and instead adapt a self-loving and self-approving attitude. You can only do this if you display an unconditional acceptance of yourself.

2. “I will speak lovingly to myself.”

A lot of people in this world take joy in bringing you down and destroying your sense of self-worth: don’t be one of them. Be your biggest fan, not your number one critic. Speak encouragingly to yourself. Help yourself get up each time you’re struck down; when worse comes to worst, you are going to be your own life coach.

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3. “I will always keep in mind that I cannot control everything.”

The idea that you can control everyone and everything in your life is utterly wrong. You can never live a happy life unless you accept this fact. People always have their own battles, businesses always have their own agendas and everyone has his own priorities.

Don’t despair too much, though. The reality is that you don’t really need to control your external surroundings in order to live your life to the fullest. You just need to control your own way of thinking.

4. “I will choose my battles wisely.”

Most of the time, you’ll get invited to a lot of battles. Keep in mind that you don’t need to prove anything to anyone. Really, you don’t. Choose wisely as you don’t need to go to every battle you’re invited to.

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5. “I will forget the pains of the past but remember their lessons.”

There’s no use in re-living the pains, frustrations and anxieties of the past. You’ll only make yourself feel worthless if you do this constantly. Instead of moping around and stressing about your mistakes, look at your past objectively and find out what you could have done better. Yes, you can’t go back, but you can always move forward.

6. “I promise to myself that I’ll maintain a stable peace of mind.”

Believe in inner happiness: no-one can break you down without your consent. Choose to be proactive rather than reactive, and grow from your challenges. You can never bloom with only water, right? You need the glare of the sunlight as well.

7. “I won’t compromise my values for anything.”

You’re the best person who can identify your biggest values. Number them and stick with doing them up to the best of your ability. Don’t let the temptation of money, fame, fortune or success turn you into someone you’re really not.

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8. “I’ll learn to live in the moment.”

Savor that bite and let the flavors melt in your mouth. Aim to listen and really understand what your best friend is talking about. Lend your presence to the people you love. Don’t rush things and don’t take them for granted either. Life isn’t a competition—it’s a wonderful adventure best taken at your own pace.

9. “I promise to let go of the things that are holding me back.”

Life is too short to stay holding on to people and things which corrupt your mind and leave you hanging. Don’t settle. You know you’re better than that.

10. “I will stay motivated to pursue my innermost dreams and strong passion.”

Don’t be afraid to pursue your passion, equip yourself with knowledge and continue doing what you love. Your passion gives you the greatest purpose to continue living! Nourish it, develop it and consistently find ways to help it grow.

11. “I promise to myself to always see the fun and fulfillment in every activity I partake in.”

Taking yourself too seriously can burn you out and frustrate you to no end. You’re not supposed to end up tired, stressed and mad, are you? No way. Seek balance by combining discipline and fun. In the long run, though, working for the sake of happiness is infinitely better than working for the sake of preconceived success.

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Last Updated on April 11, 2019

How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

Possessing strong communication skills will help you in every phase of your life. This is especially true in the workplace.

I have personally worked with several leaders who were masters of communication. A few were wonderful speakers who could tell a great story and get everyone in the room engaged. Those of us in attendance would walk away feeling inspired and eager to help with what came next. Others were very skilled at sharing a clear direction and job expectations.

I knew exactly what was expected of me and how to achieve my goals. This was the foundation of an energized and vibrant role I was in. What I have found is strong communication skills are incredibly helpful and sometimes critical in how well we perform at work.

Here we will take a look at how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

How Communication Skills Help Your Success

Strong communication skills pave the way for success in many ways. Let’s look at a few of the big ones.

Create a Positive Experience

Here are two examples of how well developed communication skills helps create a positive experience:

When I first moved to the city I now live in, I began a job search. Prior to my first live interview, I was told an address to go to. Upon arriving at the address provided, I drove around and around attempting to find the location. After 15 minutes of circling and looking for the address, I finally grabbed a parking spot and set out on foot.

What I discovered was the address was actually down an alley and only had the number over the door. No sign for the actual company. The person that gave me those very unclear directions provided a bad experience for me.

Had they communicated the directions to get there in a clear manner, my experience would have been much better. Instead the entire experience started off poorly and colored the entire meeting.

As a recruiter, I frequently provide potential candidates with information about a job I’m speaking to them about. In order to do this, I also provide a picture of the overall company, the group they might be joining, and how their role fits in and impacts the entire company.

Time and time again I have been told by candidates that I have provided the clearest picture of a company and role they have ever heard. They have a positive experience when I clearly communicate to them. Even when the position does not work out for them, often times they will want to stay in touch with me due to the open communication and beneficial experience they had during the interviewing process.

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Strong communication skills will provide a positive experience in virtually any interaction you have with someone.

Help Leadership Skills

It’s certainly a skill all its own to be able to lead others.

Being a mentor and guiding others towards success is a major hallmark of great leaders. Another characteristic of effective leaders is the ability to communicate clearly.

As I referenced above, having a leader who can plainly articulate the company’s mission and direction goes a really long way towards being the Captain of the boat that others want to follow. It’s like saying “here’s our destination and this is how we are going to get there” in a way that everyone can get on board with.

Another critical component of everyone helping to sail the boat in the right direction is knowing what your portion is all about. How are you helping the boat move towards its destination in the manner than is consistent with the leaders’ vision?

If you have a boss or a manager that can show you what it takes for not only you to be successful, but also how your performance helps the company’s success then you’ve got a winner. A boss with superior communication skills.

Build Better Teams

Most of us work in teams of some sort or another. During the course of my career, I have led teams up to 80 and also been an individual contributor.

In my individual contributor roles, I have been part of a larger team. Even if you are in business for yourself, you have to interact with others in one manner or another.

If you have strong communication skills, it helps to build better teams. This is true whether you are in an IT department with 100 other fellow programmers or if you own your own business and have customers or vendors you communicate with.

When you showcase your robust ability to communicate well with others while interacting with them, you are building a better team.

Now let’s jump in to how to improve communication skills to help you pave the way for your workplace success.

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How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

There are many tips, tricks, and techniques to improve communication skills. I don’t want to overwhelm you with too much information, so let’s focus on the things that will provide the biggest return on your time investment.

Most of these tips will be fairly easy to become aware of but will take time and effort to implement. So let’s go!

1. Listen

Ever heard the saying you have two ears and one mouth for a reason? If you haven’t, then here’s the reason:

Being a good listener is half the equation to being a good communicator.

People who have the ability to really listen to someone can then actually answer questions in a meaningful way. If you don’t make the effort to actively listen, then you are really doing yourself and the other person a disservice in the communication department.

Know that person who is chomping at the bit to open his or her mouth the second you stop talking? Don’t be that person. They haven’t listened to at least 1/2 of what you’ve said. Therefore the words that spill out of their mouth are going to be about 1/2 relevant to what you just said.

Listen to someone completely and be comfortable with short periods of silence. Work on your listening skills first and foremost.

2. Know Your Audience

Knowing your audience is another critical component to having strong communication skills. The way you interact with your manager should be different than how you interact with your kids. This isn’t to say you need to be a different person with everyone you interact with. Far from it.

Here is a good way to think about it:

Imagine using your the same choice of words and body language you use with your spouse while interacting with your boss. That puts things in a graphic light!

You want to ensure you are using the type of communication most relevant to your audience.

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3. Minimize

I have lunch with a business associate about 3 times a year. We’ve been talking for several years now about putting a business deal together.

He is one of those people that simply overwhelms others with a lot of words. Sometimes when I ask him a question, I get buried beneath such an avalanche of words that I’m more confused than when I asked the question. Needless to say this is most likely a large portion of why we never put the deal together.

Don’t be like my lunch business associate. The goal of talking to or communicating with someone is to share actual information. The goal is not to confuse someone, it’s to provide clarity in many cases.

State what needs to be stated as succinctly as possible. That doesn’t mean you can’t have some pleasant conversation about the weather too.

The point is to not create such an onslaught of words and information that the other person walks away more confused than when they started.

4. Over Communicate

So this probably sounds completely counter intuitive to what I just wrote about minimizing your communication. It seems like it might be but it’s not.

What I mean by over communicating is ensuring that the other person understands the important parts of what you are sharing with them. This can be done simply yet effectively. Here’s a good example:

Most companies have open enrollment for benefits for the employees in the fall. The company I work for has open enrollment from November 1 to 15. The benefits department will send out a communication to all employees around October 1st, letting them know open enrollment is right around the corner and any major changes that year. There’s also a phone number and email for people to contact them with any questions.

Two weeks later, we all get a follow up email with basically the same information. We get a 3rd communication the week before open enrollment and another one 1 day before it starts.

Finally we get 2 emails during enrollment reminding us when open enrollment ends.

There’s minimal information, it’s more of a reminder. This is effective over communication.

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5. Body Language

The final critical component to how to improve communication skills for workplace success is body language. This is something most of us have heard about before but, a reminder is probably a good idea.

When I am in a meeting with someone I am comfortable with, I tend to kind of slouch down in my chair and cross my arms. When I catch myself doing this, I sit up straight and uncross my arms. I remember that crossing arms can many times be interpreted as a sign of disagreement or conflict.

In general, the best rule of thumb is to work towards having open body language whenever possible at work. This means relaxing your posture, not crossing your arms, and looking people in the eye when speaking with them.

When you are speaking in front of others, stand up straight and speak in a clear voice. This will convey confidence in your words.

Conclusion

Possessing strong communication skills will help you in many facets of your life and most certainly in the workplace.

Good communication helps create better teams, positive experiences with those we interact with, and are critical for leadership.

There are numerous tactics and techniques to be used to improve communication skills. Here we’ve reviewed how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

Now go communicate your way to success.

More Resources About Effective Communication

Featured photo credit: HIVAN ARVIZU via unsplash.com

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