I Promise Myself…
to laugh as if nobody’s watching, and love as if I’ve never been hurt before.
to live as if I were to die tomorrow, and learn as if I were to live forever.
to let go of the heavy burden of my past. To turn my wounds into wisdom and my
difficulties into opportunities.
to love myself as much as I would like others to love me.
to die to the past every night, so that I can be born again each morning.
to never speak from a place of hate, jealousy, anger, or insecurity. And to always evaluate
my words before I let them leave my lips.
to forgive so that I can heal, and let go so that I can grow.
to learn from every experience and every interaction life sends my way.
to always look for the good in people. To treat everyone with love, kindness, compassion,
appreciation and never speak badly of anyone.
to allow life’s many challenges to make me better, not bitter.
to complain less, and live my life with an attitude of gratitude.
to create a sense of purpose and bring meaning into everyday life. No matter how many
times I fall or fail, I promise myself to never give up on myself or my dreams.
to let go of all the drama in my life, and only hold on to those things that bring me joy.
to live my life in a way that inspires others and strive to bring out the best in them.
to surround myself with people who make me hungry for life, touch my heart, and nurture
to think less and feel more. To judge less and trust more. To fear less and love more.
to walk away from everything that no longer serves me, grows me, or makes me happy.
to spend more time connecting with my authentic self, and less time chasing the love and
approval of those around me.
to show the world who I truly am and not consider what people might be thinking about me.
to transform my inner vision until I see nothing but light, my own and all those around me.
to let go of any bad habits I might be holding on to, and walk away from all those things
that hold me back in life.
to let go of all blame and take full responsibility for my own life.
to allow the world know me as I am, not as it thinks I should be.
to be tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving,
and empathetic of the weak.
to clothe myself with love and wear this love wherever I go.
to care more about being kind than I do about being right all the time.
to give more of my time to those who are special in my life, and show them how much they
really mean to me.
to trust my inner voice and intuition more than I trust the loud voice of those around me.
to expect less from others but more and more from myself.
to allow those I care for to be perfectly themselves without trying to twist them to fit my
own image. Loving them for who they are and not for what I want them to be.
This article was written by John Shearer
Click HERE to Learn more about John’s work.
"Knowing who you are is confidence. Confidence, not cockiness. Cockiness is knowing who you are and pushing it down everyone's throat." -- Mila Kunis
Do you know anyone who constantly tells you how great they are? Whether it's a blatant statement of bragging or a masked self-compliment, it's easy to recognize those who swagger. They are the ones who like to 'up' your story, who always have a better, bigger, or bolder experience than the one you shared.
They often are the loudest one in the room (though not all loud people are cocky--don't confuse that!), are able to speak over others, and are inclined to tell long, detailed stories, rarely pausing to read the expressions of those around them, assuming everyone is deeply fascinated with their tale. They interrupt. They have this uncanny way of steering every conversation back to them. When you speak, if you get the chance, you wonder if they are hearing anything you say.
There's something in them, some sort of inner need, that has to let you know that they are smart, successful, and superior. It's the kind of person we try to avoid at the office, at a party, or when we're out and about. And though they can appear to be quite confident, I think, deep down, their need to boast comes from a place of inferiority.
"Let another man praise you and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips." -- ancient proverb
And then there are those who struggle with having any confidence at all. These people live a cowardly life, tending to avoid confrontations and have difficulty speaking their truth. They sometimes stumble over their words and/or don't speak loud enough for you to hear clearly. They lack confidence in their own judgment, hesitate to try new things, and avoid challenges like the plague. Because of this lack of trust in self, they question their own abilities and often feel powerless. Those who struggle with personal power tend to have difficulty setting appropriate boundaries and can be "yes" men/women.
Somewhere in between the two extremes lies the emotionally intelligent competency of personal power.
"Confidence, like art, never comes from having all the answers; it comes from being open to all the questions." -- Marianne Williamson
Personal power, that sense of self-confidence and an inner knowing that you can thrive through life's challenges, can sometimes be confused with cockiness, but it's not that at all.
Those who have personal power -- who are strong in this understanding of their strengths (and areas of growth) believe they can set the direction of their lives. They are not victims to the winds of change but sense when things need to shift and take action to make that happen. They have a calm inner conviction about who they are and their abilities. Those rich with this competency tend to know what they want and go after it, and can speak their truth and give voice to their values and convictions.
Though they are the ones that make things happen, those with strong personal power don't always have to do it brashly and loudly. One important aspect is that they can distinguish between the things they can control and the things that are out of their control, and can let go of the latter when needed. They are always learning and never propose to have it all figured out.
Listen for how they define self. You'll hear them speaking about qualities of the heart, not about what they do. Try asking at your next social gathering, "Tell me about yourself?" and listen for whether or not they tell you what they do or who they are.
Think of those you lead -- or those who lead you -- your colleagues, your teammates, your manager, the boss, your pastor, your significant other, or someone you just admire. Which of these three C's does he/she lean toward: cockiness, cowardice, or confidence? Which type of leader would you rather follow? Which would you rather work alongside? I daresay we all are most drawn to those with true confidence.
Even more importantly, can you discern when you are being cocky, cowardly, or confident? It's an awareness worth developing.
"There is a fine line between confidence and cocky. Confidence can bring you many things, but cockiness can make you lose many things." -- Azgraybebly Josland
Those who take the time to develop this competency of personal power unleash their ability to convey their ideas and solutions in an assured manner which gives others confidence in their ability to solve problems and achieve results. In other words, those that have personal power can lead, and lead well.
Most of us dance between the three, cockiness, cowardice, and confidence, depending on the day, our mood, and our behavioral self-control. In other words, we all have room to grow. Here are nine practical steps to begin moving toward true confidence/personal power:
Remember the glory days. Success breeds confidence, so take a moment to remember the things you've achieved in life so far. What are your success stories? Where have you excelled? When did you accomplish a goal you set out to reach and how did you go about accomplishing it? Remembering past successes -- even those you achieved as far back as childhood -- can help boost your levels of personal power when you begin to doubt your abilities.
It takes a village. Now think about who helped you accomplish those goals? Who believed in you or gave you the inspiration to keep going even when things got rough? Did anyone provide financial means which enabled you to succeed, or come alongside you as a friend or mentor to be there when you needed them? Reminding ourselves that our successes most always are a team effort can help us avoid the full-of-self syndrome. And leaning into friends as you accomplish goals can be a source of encouragement and help ensure success.
Identify the voices. I led a women's group once and we attempted to get to the root of our insecurities. In almost every case, as children, we had been told by someone that we couldn't -- or shouldn't -- and now, as adults, we still believed that lie. Think on the areas where you lack confidence and see if you can remember where you first heard that maybe you were no good at it. Identify who said it and when. Recognizing the source of negative thoughts can help put them in their place as you move toward a more positive outlook.
Stop the hurtful self-talk. Even if someone was hurtful with their words, it's most likely you who continues the negative self-talk. Notice when you say, "I can't" or start a sentence with "I'm only...", diminishing yourself. Try not to begin with "I'm sorry, but...". Learn to state your truth without apologies. Also listen if you tend to tag "isn't it?" at the end of a suggestion, or "right?" Those words are a way of seeking approval of others and teaches them to treat us as lacking power.
Build some fences. Setting boundaries and learning to say "no" can free us up to accomplish the things that are important to us. Being a yes man/woman actually limits us to doing only what others ask of us vs. moving in the direction that we want. You may need to spend some time reviewing your value and clarifying your goals to begin setting appropriate boundaries.
Lay down the remote. Determine which things in your life you have control over, and which areas you don't. Hint: you can never control others’ thoughts, behaviors, or actions. Trying to control what you can't will only lead to frustration. What you do have control over are your own thoughts, behaviors, and actions.
Dream a little dream. When we create something new, it appears first as a thought. Envision yourself as smart, competent, articulate, poised, admired...and humble. Use the prompt, "In a perfect world, I would ___" and fill in how it would look if you were teeming with personal power.
Shhh. In your next conversation, and those that follow, determine to listen more than you speak. Ask open-ended questions with the goal of learning more about the other person and the whys behind their thoughts and actions. If you tend to tell long-winded tales, shorten your stories and pause often to ask the other person to share as well.
Follow the leader. Find those in your life that exhibit true confidence and strive to emulate them. Watch how they interact with others -- in meetings and in one-on-one conversations. If possible, ask to meet with them for lunch and learn from them.
As with all change for the positive, it's easier if you work with a coach to help you stay on track. Consider engaging a social + emotional intelligence coach to walk alongside you. Shifting behaviors, especially habits we've been practicing for a long time, can take time and effort, but the benefits of moving away from cockiness and cowardice toward confidence will be rewarding.
"As is our confidence, so is our capacity." -- William Hazlitt
This article was written by Amy Sargent.
Click HERE to Learn more about her work.
Are you someone who builds trust or someone who tears it down?
The ability to build trust is a competency of high emotional intelligence. Being trustworthy means to be ethical when working with and relating to others. It means doing the right thing even when you know no one will find out. When you are a trust builder, others have confidence that your actions are consistent with your words and know that you have their best interest at heart -- not only your own. If you are a trust builder, you demonstrate respect for others’ experiences, understand the hurt that deceitfulness can cause, and bring more value to relationships than pain.
Those who are strong in this competency tend to share information about themselves and don't keep secrets. They treat others consistently and with respect, and maintain high standards of personal integrity. They maintain a lifestyle that they don't have to hide from others. When you hear them talk about something, you know that their actions will match up with their words, and you can count on them to deliver on their promises and commitments.
Those who aren't so strong in this competency aren't able to build open, candid, trusting relationships. They've most likely developed a reputation for lacking integrity, and often make promises that they do not keep. They will do what serves them best even if it means undermining another person to get what they want. They lie about little things, and lie about big things. If you ask them what their values are, you may get the 'deer in the headlights' look, as they often have troubles defining their standards in the name of being 'open-minded' or 'non-judgmental'. They tend to blame others for their mistakes and withhold information to keep them out of 'trouble.'
“Earn trust, earn trust, earn trust. Then you can worry about the rest.” --Seth Godin
It's impossible to lead without being able to build trust. When others begin to doubt you, they will think twice about following you and question whether or not you are worth teaming up with. They will mistrust your ideas and direction, and worry that you may be putting YOUR best interests before their own.
It's true that it takes a long time to build trust but only an instant to destroy it. One self-centered lie or act of deceit can ruin how others view you for days and months to come.
Why are some trust breakers? For many, the practice of deceit stems from deep-rooted fears…fear of being accepted, fear of being known, fear of punishment, fear of self, fear of being held to expectations, fear of letting others down, fear of being disliked, fear of being an disappointment...the list goes on and on. The thing is, we all have fears. We all want to be liked and accepted and valuable in others' eyes. But the difference between trust builders and trust breakers is that the trust builders face their fears by understanding that honesty and authenticity are what bring about those results, where trust breakers think dishonesty will get them there. But a life of deceit won't bring about deep, meaningful relationships that we all desire.
“It is true that integrity alone won’t make you a leader, but without integrity you will never be one.” -- Zig Ziglar
Not sure if you're a trust builder or a trust breaker?
Look over these statements, and give yourself a score for each, using this scale: 1= Always, 2=Almost always 3=Occasionally 4=Almost never 5=Never
1. I share my thoughts, feelings and decision-making rationale.
2. I am able to establish trusting relationships.
3. I am open to others' ideas and willing to be influenced by others.
4. I treat people with respect.
5. I am able to influence others as a result of talking with them.
6. I have developed a reputation for integrity.
7. I treat all people fairly.
8. I say what I believe rather than what I think people want to hear.
9. I strive to behave consistently with my expressed beliefs and values.
10.I practice what I preach.
11.I focus on solving problems rather than blaming or hiding.
12.I admit my mistakes.
13.I deliver on promises and commitments.
14.I ask others for their opinions.
15.I listen to people's thoughts, feelings, and concerns, and am able to feel empathy.
16.I solicit feedback about my performance.
17.I acknowledge the contributions and worth of others.
18.When there is a problem, I work directly with those involved to resolve it.
19.I treat people consistently.
20.I follow through on the things I commit to do, even if it's not convenient for me.
Now, add up your scores and see where you land, below:
1-20 - Your ability to build trust is high
21-40 - Your ability to build trust is moderately high
41-60 - Your ability to build trust is moderate
61-80 - Your ability to build trust has room for improvement
81-100 - Your ability to build trust needs serious improvement
“Trust is the glue of life. It’s the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It’s the foundational principle that holds all relationships.” --Stephen R. Covey
If your ability to build trust needs some work, take heart. We are talking about behavior--what you do, not who you are. Behaviors can be changed. If you would like to shift from being a trust breaker to a trust builder, here are some developmental tips to try:
Team up with an emotional intelligence coach to help you set goals and hold you accountable as you begin this journey.
Practice listening to others in a way that allows you to know what's on their minds and in their hearts.
Always deliver on your commitments. No excuses. If you are one who tends to promise then cancel --stop making the promises in the first place.
Be emotionally available to those around you -- share the things in your heart without stretching the truth to make yourself look good.
Never knowingly mislead or lie. If you catch yourself doing it -- stop and admit the truth. It's so very freeing and you'll find people respect you when you admit it in the moment.
Articulate your values to those around you and ask them if your actions match up.
Admit your mistakes without blame or shame.
Get in the habit of putting others' needs in front of your own.
Check to see if what you do in secret matches up to your public persona -- if not, in which arena are you not being true? Then ask yourself why. Just being aware of the gap is a good start to changing behaviors.
Forgive yourself of past mistakes. If you've spent a lifetime lying, it's never too late to come clean and make a fresh start.
The next time you find yourself in a situation where you're not sure if you should be honest or not -- keep this in mind:
“For every good reason there is to lie, there is a better reason to tell the truth.” -- Bo Bennett
Putting aside your patterns of lying, deceiving and hiding, and stepping into the brave new world of integrity will open up the doors of opportunity for stronger, healthier relationships. Yes, it's going to take some work and effort. It may feel uncomfortable to begin to let others truly know you. You may face rejection and at times, disappoint people. But though it's can be a difficult process to shift behaviors, it's worth it. Becoming someone others can trust will help you develop the connection, both at work and in your personal life, that you need and desire.
This article was written by Amy Sargent.
Click HERE to Learn more about her work.