Calm the “No’s” You Tell Yourself

Professional Speaker-Personal Development-Positive Attitude

How many times have you heard the word “no”:

  • No, you don’t qualify for that loan
  • No, you didn’t get that promotion
  • No, I don’t have time to meet with you

Even worse, how many times have you told yourself “no”:

  • No, I don’t have enough experience so I won’t even bother to try
  • No, I’m not smart enough to get that position
  • No, I’m just not good enough

Those are the most damaging of all – the “no’s” we tell ourselves. They can limit our possibilities and squash our dreams. So how can we overcome them? How can we control them?

Well, here’s one trick that helps me:

Every time I tell myself “no,” I stop and replace that statement with something positive. For instance, if I tell myself “No, I’m not qualified for that job,” I will stop and turn that statement into something like “I know I am qualified and will do all I can to prepare for that position.” Then I’ll make a list of all the qualities I possess that will make me a success.

One of the most challenging times for me was when I first started my speaking business. I can’t begin to tell you how many people told me I was “too old” to start my own business. Many people, even some dear friends, told me that no one pays for speakers anymore and that I would fail. It was really hard to push through, but I overcame these “no’s” by replacing them with statements like:

I believe I have a powerful message that will help others who are facing challenges in their life. I believe in myself and I am NOT going to give up.

Replacing “no’s” with a positive statement will not eliminate them completely, but I guarantee that it will quiet them. Every time you see one coming your way, stop, face it, and say something good to replace it. With time, you will have all those negative thoughts, and all those “no’s,” under control.

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Stretch Your Comfort Zone

Professional Speaker-Personal Development-Positive Attitude

Staying in your comfort zone is easy, it’s safe and it’s predictable. You know what to expect and you know you can handle it.

It can also be boring. That’s why I, personally, am always searching for something new to experience, whether it’s a different restaurant or a unique event to research.

And normally it works out pretty well in my “after hours” life, especially if there’s little chance of failure. But what about real life? How often do we stretch beyond our comfort zone to take on a new project or risk failure?

Achieving a new level of success is not easy – and it shouldn’t be. Forcing yourself to face fear and self-doubt tells you that you are on the right track. Don’t run from the discomfort – face it. Dig deep down and fine tune all those talents you know you possess. Believe you will be a stronger person tomorrow because of the challenges you push through today.

Think back to the last time you found yourself out of your comfort zone. Did you have those same feelings of fear? I’m guessing the answer is “yes,” yet you found a way to conquer them. And how do you feel now when you face a similar situation today? Not so scary, is it? Why? Because you have expanded your comfort zone.

The way I see it is: The task didn’t become easier – you became stronger. So, push past those metal restrictions you place on yourself, stretch those comfort zones, and know you can achieve new levels of success. Acknowledge the fear, accept it, then do it anyway. You will be amazed at what lies ahead of you.

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It Scared the Bejeebers Out of Me!!!

Professional Speaker-Personal Development-Positive Attitude

There it was staring at me, only two feet away. Our eyes locked and it took a minute for my mind to register what stood right in front of my nose. Then my internal alarm went off and screamed – SKUNK!!! I never moved so fast in my life.

You see, I was raised on the south side of Chicago where gang fights were a part of everyday life. But this? This scared me more than anything I ever experienced in the city. It totally freaked me out!!!

I immediately sprung into action and called my neighbor screaming “What do we do???” Together we worked to contact the right people and have the skunk removed. That’s when I realized it – I already possess all the tools I need to face the challenges in my life. It doesn’t matter whether I’m facing a skunk or a blank screen on my computer because of a virus. The formula is the same:

  • First, stop, take a breath and collect your thoughts.
  • Second, ask yourself “who do I know that can help me? Who is an expert in this area?”
  • Third, thank your lucky stars it wasn’t worse. In my case, I could have been bitten or sprayed which I understand is awful.

As I think about it, these three simple steps work every time I find myself WAY out of my comfort zone and in a place I don’t want to be. STOP AND TAKE A BREATH/REACH OUT FOR HELP/BE GREATFUL.

Now if this works for a city girl who came face-to-face with a skunk, I’m confident it will work for you, too. Give it a try.

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Out of 1440 Minutes in a Day, Take 15 for Yourself

Professional Speaker-Positive Attitude-Personal Development

Some days I just don’t feel like it:

  • I don’t feel like waking up to an alarm
  • I don’t feel like reading my emails
  • I don’t feel like cooking dinner

And I know I’m not the only one. Right??? Yet somehow we all find a way to push through it and get all those “supposed to’s” done.

But what if we took a “time out” whenever we needed one, even if only for a few minutes. What if we gave ourselves permission to stop, take a breath and hit the refresh button?

One thing that has helped me get over the guilt of taking breaks is that I schedule them in small chunks. Think about it. If you tell yourself you need the day off, you come up with all sorts of excuses why you don’t have the time. But can you manage 15 minutes? That would be:

  • 15 minutes to soak in the tub
  • 15 minutes to just rest your eyes
  • 15 minutes to enjoy a piece of your favorite chocolate

In fact, I think I’ve talked myself into a 15 minute break right now. I’ve almost finished the book I am reading and haven’t had time to pick it up for the last couple of days. That’s where I’m heading right now. Just 15 minutes, that’s all, and I will feel refreshed and revived and ready to face the rest of the day.


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The Sweet Sound of Laughter

It was one of the sweetest sounds I have ever heard. As I was slowly waking from my nap, I could hear my husband and my brother laughing hysterically. About what? I have no idea! And it didn’t matter because all I heard was the two men I love most in this world forming a closer relationship.

It all started about six months ago when my husband announced: “I have a great idea. Let’s take a driving trip to the Badlands and Black Hills with your two brothers.” I immediately called them both and was anxious to put the plans in motion. Unfortunately, my oldest brother could not make the trip, so it would be just the three of us forging a new adventure and creating new memories. We decided to travel together for only five days and agreed on a trip consisting of:

Breakfast / Driving / Lunch / Driving / Sightseeing / Driving / Dinner / Driving

You get the idea. Would the three of us survive each other’s company inside a small Acura? Only time would tell. Up until now, we always got along but that was at family gatherings that only lasted a few hours. How would we emerge at the end of a five-day journey, spending nearly 24/7 together?

So, that’s why I loved hearing the sound of my husband and brother laughing. Not only had we survived five full days together, we were all closer because of it. I emerged from this trip with a new appreciation for time and how we choose to spend it. I have a new patience and outlook on family gatherings and the effort we put into strengthening those relationships. For me, get-togethers with family and friends will never be the same again.

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