Having the Courage to Believe in Yourself

Professional Speaker-Personal Development-Positive Thinking

UGH!!! Here we go again!

Summer is here. My closet is filled with the cutest summer outfits EVER. And I can’t find anything to wear. I’ve gained enough weight over the winter that I can’t fit into any of them.

It seems like I’m constantly saying “no” to all those tempting sweets, but the scale on my bathroom floor says otherwise.

How could I let this happen? Why don’t I have more self-control?? I hate the way I look!!!


If I start feeling this way about myself, I open the door to let others see me this way. I allow others to doubt my confidence and my belief in myself.

It’s time to flip the switch. It’s time to start over again, take control, and tell myself that “today will be a better day”.

So I sit up straight, take a deep breath, and recommit to my goal for today. Whether it’s doing a better job at the office, finding more time for the ones I love, or figuring out how to fit into those white jeans in the next couple of weeks. I will look at the bright side and tell myself “I can do this”. And just as important, I will find the courage to ask others for help when I need it.

It was Mary Anne Radmacher who said: “Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying: I will try again tomorrow”.

What does your tomorrow look like?

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What is a Mastermind Group?

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In my last blog, I shared some thoughts on having an accountability partner. Just that one change alone can help you get closer to your end goal, whatever it may be.

Here’s another idea you might want to consider. What about joining a Mastermind Group?

Huh? Not sure what that is???

Well, it’s simply a small group of people who all share a common goal. You meet at a specific time each week or month to help each other. There are quite a few benefits:

~ You can get clarity on your specific goals
~ Your peers, whose opinion you trust, give you honest and valuable feedback
~ You have the opportunity to brainstorm new possibilities
~ You are supportive of one another – nothing judgmental here!
~ You all share valuable information

I just met with my Mastermind Group last night. We are all professional speakers, so we share a lot of the same challenges. We each get a chance to speak during the meeting, and just to give you an idea of how helpful this can be, these were the benefits I received last night:

At the end of the meeting, I walked away with specific names of publishers for my new book, I received detailed suggestions on how to improve my speech for the upcoming International Speech Contest, and someone loaned me a video camera that I can borrow to tape my upcoming presentation.

Not bad for one evenings work!!!

In return, I offered my expertise on marketing, sales, creating new workshops, and a whole lot more.

Let me put it this way – I am never disappointed or feel like I’ve wasted my time.

Do you belong to a Mastermind Group? What are your experiences? Do you find that it gets you closer to your goals? Just as important, do you actually follow through with what your learned during the meeting? I’d love to hear your story.

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Take Three Steps Forward: Find an Accountability Partner

Professional Speaker-Personal Development-Positive Attitude

Do you know what an accountability partner is? Better yet, do you have one?

A few weeks ago, an acquaintance of mine called and asked if I would be her accountability partner. I was absolutely thrilled. Not only do we have similar careers, I also admire and trust her implicitly. I knew that working with her would help me be a better professional speaker and a better person in the process.

So here’s how it goes. Pick a goal that you would like to achieve. It could be related to physical fitness, improving your business, a personal project – actually, just about anything.

Then you look for the ideal person that will help keep you on track so you can reach that goal. I’ve had several accountability partners in my past, and these three tips helped them to be very successful:

1. Find the Right Person: Choose a person who will be encouraging and motivating, yet will push you to get closer to your goal. Someone who will not accept your excuses, and will give you pointers on how to move forward. It will be helpful if your values and ideas are similar. Remember, this relationship is chosen – it should not feel forced or uncomfortable.
2. Take Responsibility for Your Goal: Remember that your accountability partner is not responsible for your successes or your setbacks. S/he will help to guide you, but you are the only one who is ultimately responsible for yourself.
3. Make Time: Schedule a specific time to meet or talk on the phone, and stick to it!!! Consistency is the key. My partner and I talk every Monday at 9:00am. If either one of us is traveling or has an appointment we can’t change, we reschedule, but that is rare.

Research shows that we are more likely to achieve our goals if we have someone to be accountable to. I know this works for me. I still may procrastinate and have to set the alarm for 6:00 Monday morning to get ready for my accountability partner that day, but I do get it done. And the best part is that I love working with her. It’s fun and productive and supportive. What a great way to start my week!!!

Try it and let me know if it works for you. Just remember to surround yourself with people that force you to do better. You can’t lose.

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Broken Pieces of the Puzzle

Professional Speaker-Personal Development-Positive Attitude

Have you heard the new song by Kelly Clarkson titled: Piece by Piece? When I first saw her perform it on the last episode of American Idol, it touched me deep in my soul and I haven’t been able to forget it.

It’s strange because she talks about being abandoned by her father, yet I had an extremely close relationship with my father. So why was I so moved? Why did this song creep into every pour of my body when I couldn’t even identify with it?

Then I realized, it really wasn’t the song or the words, it was her performance. She sang from her heart and the story came from her soul. She touched the audience in such a way that tears not only came to their eyes, but streamed down their cheeks. We all felt her pain.

Watching Kelly’s performance made me realize that I need – not just want but need – to deliver my speeches to my audience with the same intensity. She has given me clearer direction as I prepare my message for the upcoming Toastmasters contest that I am preparing for.

The message I share will be intensified because of the authenticity, compassion, and soul-bearing that she shared. The greatest win I could ever be awarded is knowing that I touched my audience in some way that made a difference in their life – that somehow I have made their life a little easier.

If you haven’t seen the video I’m referring to, check out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9FHYBQxURQo, but get the box of Kleenex ready first.

I was just wondering if anything has ever touched you in that way. Maybe a song, a poem, a movie??? Something that grabbed hold of your heart and didn’t let go. Do you know why? Have you figured out the real reason? I’d love to hear all about it.

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What Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up?

Professional Speaker-Personal Development-Positive Attitude

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Me? I wanted to be on stage. It didn’t matter if I was singing, or dancing, or acting, I just wanted to perform for my adoring fans. I used to put glitter in my hair and prance around our living room, thanking my audience for their applause.

This was even reflected in my choice of toys. While my girlfriends played with baby dolls that they could feed or change their diapers, I was captivated by Barbie. After all, she had a beautiful long evening gown, a gold brocade coat with fur cuffs, and a MICROPHONE!!! At seven years old, I had found my calling in life.

Well, this past weekend got me closer to that childhood dream than I ever imagined possible. You see, I’ve been competing in a series of speech contests for Toastmasters. In the category of International Speech Contest, I took first place at the District Level. Now I’m off to Washington D.C. in August for the finals. As a professional speaker, this is a huge honor.

Being on that stage and delivering my speech seemed so right. I felt like I had finally arrived and am truly living my passion. Sounds corny, huh??? But I’m ok with that because I’m finally comfortable in my own skin. It only took me six decades to get there!

So – what do you want to be when you grow up? Where has your journey taken you? I’d love to hear all about it.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering – Yes, I still have my original Barbie doll. She is a constant reminder of never giving up.

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