Is your Social Proof reliable?

A warm greeting to all my readers :),

Have you ever experienced feeling uncertain and in need to take cues from others to make decisions?

 

Have you ever felt refraining from or doing something just because you are following what other people are doing?

 

How can we be ourselves, steer our own ships and be individuals despite having a reliable Social Proof?

 

I personally asked myself these questions and the answers were quite revealing. In this article will cover my truth no. 9 ‘Have Reliable Social Proof!’ I listed this in my previous article: 10 Essential Truths to take yourself to the next level.

You see many agree that it’s a well-accepted fact now that we are all ‘social beings’ with a basic need to be connected to others. What is not so well known is that we are such social creatures that we are highly susceptible to being influenced by ‘the herd’ and unless we are a strong natural leader, we tend look to others for behavioural cues. If no-one else is doing anything, the thinking goes that there is a good reason for not getting involved. This effect is particularly significant when we are uncertain what to do, for example when we find ourselves in unfamiliar situations.

social proof 3

It’s common that one means we use to determine what is correct is to find out what other people think is correct…We are social and tribal beings, and what others think about us remarkably important. In our need for a sense of identity we seek to belong and so easily conform with what others are doing. We view a behaviour as more correct in a given situation to the degree that we see others performing it. As with the other “weapons of influence,” social proof is a shortcut that usually works well for us: if we conform to the behaviour we see around us, we are less likely to make a social faux pas. Also auditory cues are powerful stimuli because they influence us at a level of consciousness that is difficult to critique. The reverse effect happens too. When others are doing something that we know is wrong, we are more likely to assume that it is ok to do it too. This explains something of how peaceful crowds can turn into unlawful mobs. It also explains how young people turn to drugs and crime when they see their peers acting this way.

social-proof1

So with this sort of pressure, how can we be ourselves, steer our own ships and be individuals?

Before we dismiss social proof out of hand we need to be fair. Much popular behaviour is valuable and the fact that many people do it may be a good sign that we should follow suit. Regular dental checkups, exercising, taking financial advice and so on, are activities engaged in by millions and with good reason. :)

It’s only when we blindly follow the masses that our individual integrity is threatened – especially when our mind chatter says ‘is this really right?’ before being drowned out by the roar of the crowd. But if we go against the herd at any opportunity then our behaviour is no less mechanical than the social-proof induced actions of a Nazi or fashion victim.

We need to be influenced by those around us for society to function but we also need to understand that more people doing something doesn’t necessarily make it right.

social-proof 2

How do we know if our Social Proof is reliable then?

Saying all the above, we realise that we are social being, of course some more than others as it will depend from our internal or external point of reference. Despise this, we are easily influenced by other people behaviours and at the same time as human being we will need to have the Social Proof that tasks and desired goals have already been accomplished from others to provide us with the certainty that our goal can be achieved. To highlight this point, my dear Bro has written an article on his personal experience to demonstrate what a reliable Social Proof can inspire other to do! As always, I invite you to read his inspirational blog! Here his link: Social Proof…

Take, for example, marathon runners and the time they employ to run one! They provide us with a reliable Social Proof that it is possible for us too!

matathon runners
Since psychological research shows we tend to be influenced by those who are similar to us, we can assume that having a reliable Social Proof will allow us to produce similar results to theirs. Therefore, we will have a reliable Social Proof if the proofs shown are provided by people who are like us, have achieved similar goals and standards to ours and they have a proved record to back up their achievements allowing them to be considered as authority in their field and be worth to look up as role model to follow.

beckham.533.1

Is then your Social Proof reliable?

Only you know the honest answer! :)

Remember: The principle of social proof suggests that we tend to look to others to decide what to do, especially when we are uncertain about the correct behaviour. Seeing others doing something has a powerful influence on us, especially if we perceive those others to be a lot like us. :) ‘Refusal to believe until proof is given is a rational position; denial of all outside of our own limited experience is absurd’ – Annie Besant

david-beckham_1449343c

After reading this article, it will be worth to take some time aside for some revision time!

You might consider to evaluate the reliability of your Social Proof, what impact has in your life and most of all, what results are you achieving because of its influence on you! :)

Does your Social Proof make you going forward and nearer to achieve your goals?

Remember: ‘Winners are not people who never fail, but people who never quit!‘ and ask yourself if what you’re doing today is getting you closer to where you want to be tomorrow.

‘If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.’ – Martin Luther King Jr

Small daily improvements are the key to staggering long-term results. ‘Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.‘ – Robert Collier

Remember: Having a reliable Social Proof is part of the journey to Success. :)

One secret of success in life is for a man to be ready for his opportunity when it comes.’ – Benjamin Disraeli

To your reliable Social Proof!

Viv :)

Double Winner Awards Author of ‘The book on Success

www.vivoliver.com

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The 7 D’s to Succeed!

A very warm greeting to all my readers,

Hope my article finds you well and you are enjoying the snow! :-)

Have you ever wondered what is your missing piece of the puzzle in achieving your goals in the most effective way?

Have you ever been tired of not quite hitting the mark or be unable to get your dream career?

I personally asked myself these questions and the answers were quite revealing. In this article will cover my truth no. 8 ‘Employ the 7 D’s of Success: Discipline, Drive, Delegation, Direction, Decisiveness, Determination and Dedication!’ I listed this in my previous article: 10 Essential Truths to take yourself to the next level.

You see, I took a while before gathering my answer as I always felt there was a missing piece in the puzzle until I discovered the 7 D’s to Succeed and it provides me with the full answer!

Let’s crack on considering them one by one.

I will love to start with what I consider the starting point: DIRECTION.

direction 2

How do you find what is your direction?

That’s simple, I will say…just respond to the questions below and you will have your answer and discover what is your direction in life.

What do you really want to do?

What are you passionate about?

What do you love doing the most?

What do you want to be remembered for?

It’s very important to have clarity on this subject as it’s essential if we want to use our efforts and energy in the best efficient way possible without wasting them pursuing ‘the next big idea’ heard from other people.

Once we have our direction, DRIVE, DETERMINATION and DECISIVENESS will automatically follow.

What are the reasons?

I will describe DRIVE as that strong and burning desire which lies inside us and difficult to control. ‘The man who can drive himself further once the effort gets painful is the man who will win.’ – Roger BannisterIt’s so powerful that it doesn’t allow us to ignore it and provides us with the motivation needed to take action and keep going until we have achieved it. It has only one direction: FORWARD…nothing and I mean nothing will and can stop it until it achieves his destination: OUR DESIRE GOAL…I’m sure you now know what I’m talking about and I hope you realise the difference between a meagre desire and a very define and strong one. Obviously with this strong desire to achieve our goals, DETERMINATION is already encapsulated in our DRIVE as it goes hand in hand with DECISIVENESS to accomplish our goals and they will provide us with the strength and the firmness to take action to see us through and reach the finish line! ‘The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a person’s determination.- Tommy Lasorda

Decisiveness 1

Then, we need to employ DISCIPLINE…I know for many of us it has a negative connotation…but it’s essential if we want to achieve our goals…it’s quite interesting that the dictionary describes discipline as ‘training expected to produce a specific character or pattern of behaviour, especially training that produces moral or mental improvement and controlled behaviour resulting from disciplinary training; self-control. ‘Life is a unique combination of “want to”and”how to”and we need to give equal attention to both.’ – Jim Rohn. It well highlights the reasons behind its importance of achieving our goals…it helps us to adopt a routine and to follow as a habit to ensure we stick to our plan. Motivation makes us start but habit makes us achieve our goals. ‘We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.’ Aristotle

drive

Once we have all the above in place then DELEGATION and DEDICATION have they part in our success!

DELEGATION enables us to accelerate our results and to focus on our priority tasks. I have already suggested some tips to effective delegation in my previous article.

delegation

Obviously to top it all up is our DEDICATION. It enable us to have the commitment and single-mindedness to focus on achieving our results and to get motivated during our setbacks and difficult times.

dedication 2

As you can see, they all go hand in hand and they all play together a part in succeeding and in getting results! :-)

What are the reasons behind succeeding?

We succeed because we are willing to do the things people are not.

We will fight against the odds.

We will sacrifice and we are not shackled by fear, insecurity or doubt. Those emotions – we drink them in and then swallow them away.

We are motivated by accomplishment, not pride. Pride consumes the weak – kills their heart from within.

If we fall, we will get up.

If we are beaten, we will return.

We will never stop getting better.

We will never given up..ever..

This is why we succeed!

Your life is waiting to be lived to its fullest, what are you waiting for?

Nothing great has ever been achieved except by those who dared believe something inside them was superior to circumstances.’ – Bruce Barton

To your continued Success!

Viv :-)

Double Winner Awards Author of ‘The book on Success

www.vivoliver.com

The 3 C’s to Results!

A very good afternoon to everyone! :-)

Have you ever felt that no matter how hard you tried some of the results you were expected are still long way to be achieved?

Have you ever wondered what is the real secret to achieve results in life and in business?

Have you ever asked yourself: What is it the difference that make the difference in achieving results and goals?

Well, I’m going to reveal them to you and I’m pretty sure that there are something that you have already heard, most probably for long time now but they have not been taken seriously and applied to your life to see the results that you yearn for.

This article will cover my truth no. 7 ‘Acquire the 3 C’s to Results: Confidence, Consistency and Commitment! That I listed in my previous article: 10 Essential Truths to take yourself to the next level.

I’m guessing that now they ring the bell…and yes, these are the 3 C’s to Results: Confidence, Consistency and Commitment! :-)

I believe that they all play an important part in achieving results and go clearly hand in hand. When we are confident and committed to achieve our goals, we are consistent in our actions and approaches to life and business. Confidence in our skills and abilities allow us to acquire the vision to see us with our goals already achieved. It provides us with the motivation to start acting to achieve our goal and the strengths to go through any obstacles and setbacks along the way. ‘With confidence, you can reach truly amazing heights; without confidence, even the simplest accomplishments are beyond your grasp.’ – Jim Loehr I have already written on this subjects and I invite you to revisit my previous articles to get some ideas on how you can become more confident. Here the links: Become Unstoppable! & Become Unstoppable Part 2!

Confidence-Posters

Have you ever taken the time to think of the impact and importance of commitment in your life?

commitment (1)

In this article, I’m going to talk about the key decisions you have to make to get your life, your career and your business on the fast-track of exponential growth

You see, one thing about successful people, it’s that at some point in their life, each one of them has looked themselves in the mirror and decided that ‘enough was enough.’ They were done playing games, settling for table crumbs, standing on the back rows…while other people that they didn’t perceive as courageous or as ambitious, were living in a better home and enjoying a better quality of life than them. It was in that moment that they decided to get serious and committed to being the best and the most successful person they could ever be, both in their life and in their business. I can assure you that all the great ones had this conversation. ‘There’s always a way – if you’re committed.‘ – Tony Robbins

You’ll notice that it isn’t about them so let’s talk about YOU: Have you honestly made the decision to get serious about your life and your business, to stop blaming others and to finally becoming the best successful person you can be?’ This is a simple ‘Yes & No’ answer! It should also be clearly demonstrated by your actions, as behaviours never lie! ‘Commitment is what transform a promise into reality.’ – Abraham Lincoln

So what is your answer? You will become successful in your life and in your business only when you seriously decide to be successful! Until you have done this, you will not have any hopes of achieving your success. You will need to have the commitment to keep going! When the tough get tougher, keep going!‘ – W. Churchill

How do you know when you are really committed to getting results?

How are they demonstrated in your daily behaviour?

Hierarchy-of-Commitment

So commit yourself to your 110% when setting your goal, until you accept the responsibilities of the word ‘commitment’, you are going to waste much time and energy. Life is ever so short and precious and the sooner we get serious and committed about our life and business, the better off and the happier we will be. So commit yourself to achieving your goals and reap the results of success! :-) ‘Anything and anyone worth succeeding with are worth committing to. ‘ – Adrian Pantonial

commitment

The secret of achieving results is to Take Consistent Action. This is the actual doing part and what I call the great pitfall where many dreams, goals and ambitions die. You know what I mean, don’t you? Anyone can start but very few finish. Many people can take action once, twice or may even keep going for a few months but eventually they die out. It really amazes me when I would enter a new challenge and I will see the competition happily leap out in front and get off to a faster and more successful start. Then, along the challenge, what happen? You know as most probably you have experienced yourself, most of the competitors will start to slow down to the point of stopping. I found the single discipline that gives me the extra edge to beat anybody at almost anything is CONSISTENCY:-)

consistency

This is what I personally noticed as a pattern. Many people become enthusiastic about new goals or achievements, and they charge out of the gate in an explosion of activity—but their intensity and commitment quickly crackle. Meanwhile, those who begin the journey with less flash but a greater commitment to consistency eventually catch up to their flamboyant peers and leave them in the dust. Do what most people don’t: Stay consistent. ‘We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.’ – Aristotle. On this same subject, my dear Bro wrote a very inspiring post entitled ‘The 3 P’s to success’ where he covers this same point with a synonym word…Go to look it up and see how he applies it with a different perspective!  Enjoy his article! :)

What are the benefits of being consistent?

 

Consistency is important because keeps you on track! By following a consistent approach and by being discipline by sticking to your plan, you are in the best position to monitor your performance and to evaluate your goals or results against the ones set originally! Now, it does not matter what standards you set, it’s your life and your own business, you can set any you like but when you set them being disciplined and stick to it!

 

How can you show more consistency?

 

What can you improve to be more consistent and more disciplined?

 

How do you monitor and review your consistency and discipline?

 

The key lesson is: Do what you say you will do:-)

Be confident in your abilities, be 110% committed to your goals and Take Consistent actions to get nearer to your goals, apply discipline to stick to your plan and you will achieve them with little efforts as this is the secret of Success in achieving amazing results in your life and business!

Remember: When your belief is strong and your purpose just, no obstacle can stand in your way and you will succeed in achieving amazing Results!

To your amazing Results!

Viv :-)

Double Winner Awards Author of ‘The book on Success

www.vivoliver.com

2013: Planning for being your Best Year yet!

Hello readers, :-)

Are you ready to plan for this year to be your best year yet?

Have you reviewed your last year successes and missing goals?

What lessons have you learnt?

What your results have provided you evidence of?

Consistency? Effectiveness?

If you continue doing things the same way this year as you did last year, what type of results can you realistically expect?

What will make this year your best year yet? What make this year different from your previous ones?

…and yes you are right, another year has just gone and the good news is that a new one has just started! :-) New year, new opportunities! Will you spot and capitalise on them?

What are your New Year’s resolutions?

2013 new years resolutions

Well, this year, I have consciously decided to not have any…Surprised? I’m not…This year, I have an Action Plan instead and decided to commit to it. I knew that it would have been a different one in same way or another and I had a great start…Instead of wishing and making New Year’s resolutions as usual, I decided to take ACTION and do what my resolution would have been…be fitter and healthier and do what I really love doing: running!

action plan

So at 11.40 PM on the 31st of December 2012, I left home with my trainers and headed off to Trafalgar Square, my usual running journey. Was it easy? I can assure you, it was everything else than easy…going against the crowd flow, being looked up as a crazy one :), being challenged by a young guy, a bicycle and a car…I have to admit, I felt completely outside my comfort zone but I am proud to have not given in and achieved my first step to my long term running goal: 50 miles in 5 days! :-)

running

What about you?

What action have you already taken this year to bring you nearer to your goals?

What have you committed to achieve this year?

Every 1st of January is the first blank page of a 365 page book. You duty is to ensure to write a good one.

1st page of a book

You see, there are no excuses to start planning your next 12 months as you should had reserved some time during this break to reflect on your past year and above all, to think about what you want to achieve in your next 12 months...

What are the steps you have planned to move you from where you are now to where you want to be (your goal)?

STEPS_goal_setting

The steps that you put in place to achieve your goals are the closing gaps between goal formulation and goal execution and consequently goal achievement. It’s very important to start the new year by taking advantage of the Momentum of the new year with a chick start as it will strengthen your focus and intensify your commitment, add discipline and prioritise your task to achieve your goals! :-) My dear bro, last year had given some very good tips on what he considered in his planning, here his link: ‘Planning for 2012 to be your best year on record…!’

The reality is that any task or goal takes as much as we allow for them to take and by setting non-negotiable deadlines and by not allowing much time to get the results we expect, it won’t take much time to start seeing BIG RESULTS:-)

To achieve our personal best and to start and focused, we need to develop a sense of urgency and importance about what we are doing – urgency to the extent that getting results and achieving our goals is a matter of life or death.

The size of your Success is measured by the strength of your desire and how you handle disappointment along the way.‘ – Robert Kiyosaki

I want to share and leave you with something intriguing and inspirational, it’s one of the most motivational speech from Rocky Balboa:

When Things got hard, you started looking for something to blame. Like a Big Shadow.

Let me tell you something you already know…

The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place, and I don’t care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently IF YOU LET IT…

You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. Although it ain’t about how hard you hit… it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much can you take and keep moving forward? THAT’S HOW WINNING IS DONE!

Now if you know what you’re worth, Go out and Get What Your Worth, But you gotta be willing to take the hits. Not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you wanna be because of him or her or anybody. COWARDS DO THAT AND THAT IS NOT YOU! YOUR BETTER THEN THAT.’ :-)

RockyBalboa5

What are your commitments for 2013?

‘Make the next 12 months, the year of YOU! It’s time to bring out your best! :-)

Remember that it takes a second to smile :-), a second to frown, just a second to say ‘I love you’ and a second to say ‘enough.’ It takes a second to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’.

It takes a second to say ‘let’s do it’ and another second to show you mean it…it takes a second to let go and a second to hold tight.

It takes a second to stop and a second to start. It takes a second to breathe…to blink…to be… So it takes a second to commit to your new life...

The real opportunity of our lives live in these tiny temporal ‘tick-tocks’, and if our life is made up of moments – the seeds of which start with a second … then this is how many wondrous opportunities you have in a single day ! :-)

So go on…’CARPE DIEM’ and make your life extraordinary! :-)

To your commitments to your next Best 12 months!

Viv :-)

Double Winner Awards Author of ‘The book on Success

www.vivoliver.com

P.S. ‘If you want to make yourself accountable, please feel free to leave a comment with your commitment and I’ll be very pleased to hold you accountable of them along this year journey but and there is always a but :-), you need to do what it takes to stick to your commitments and achieve your goals – this requires a two ways effort! :-)

The 2 ultimate methods to increase your productivity!

A warm greetings to all my readers,

Hope my article finds you well! :-)

This article will cover my truth no. 6 ‘Establish Deadlines and Accountability!’ that I listed in my previous article: 10 Essential Truths to take yourself to the next level.

Let’s start then…

Have you ever struggled to start taking action to achieve your goal?

 

Have you ever felt stuck and tempted to give up as projects bring very small results no matter how much energy and effort you put into it?

Slide 5A

You see, if you experienced any of the above situations, you are not alone. It’s easy to get trap in procrastinating to start taking action to achieve our goals as well as feeling stuck once we started taking action.

Have you ever wondered what are the reasons behind it?

To be able to accomplish our goals, they have to be timed, they have to have a deadline. ‘ A goal is a dream with deadlines.’- Napoleon Hill. Our unconscious mind operates from the principle of mañana, i.e. why do today what I can do tomorrow. If we don’t tell our unconscious mind specifically when we want to achieve our goal, we will not do it. Our goal also has to be set towards what we want, motivating us to keep our focus on it.

 Goals-and-Deadlines1

Once we set a deadline to achieve our goals, we can measure our progress on a weekly and on a monthly basis. This is an essential step to take as review your progress ensures that you have taken all the actions planned for that week. Tick off all actions taken during the week or month and review any you have not actioned yet, noting the reasons or excuses why not.

What are the reasons why fixed deadlines make us achieve our goals?

Simply because, deadline is the time commitment by which your task or goal must be achieved. This is a powerful strategic tool we must use to our advantage. When we set a deadline and expect to get our goal accomplished quickly, they usually do! What are the reasons behind this? It usually takes as much time as we allow them to take! You see, we always work best under a self-determined or externally fixed deadline. By consciously choosing to enforce deadlines, they increase our accountability and focus, essentially fast tracking our results and rewards.

What are the benefits of having deadlines?

A deadline enforces a strong sense of urgency and challenges us to perform. As a result, it generates energy and helps us get tasks done more effectively. The best approach is a clearly understood deadline that is shared, agreed upon and committed to as the silver bullet of proactive behaviour.

Deadlines represent commitment, this is a black and white choice: you are committed or you are not.

Deadlines enforce accountability and they create a sense of urgency to improve your results.

Goals focus on what you want to achieve and how you are going to achieve them. As such it can happen that they fail to generate the necessary sense of urgency. Day to day routine and demands usually take precedence, meaning the execution of our goals will be put on the back burner. Consequently, effective strategic planning requires deadlines. Put the deadline dates on your calendar to ensure that you remain focused and on track to achieving your goals.

diary

Usually, once the deadlines are set, the adrenaline starts to flow and you will pull together to set aside short-term demands and focus on the future. Your challenge is to meet each deadline set and astound yourself by what you are able to accomplish! :-)

 

Fixed deadlines, no-negotiable deadlines make us watch how we use our time. Knowing that the clock is ticking is one of the best motivators for taking action. It represents our commitment, reinforces our accountability and creates a sense of urgency! ‘The ultimate inspiration is a deadline.’ – Nolan Bushnell

 clock is ticking

We have just discussed the first method to become more productive and efficient is to have a deadline!

The second method which goes in hand with the first is to be held accountable to someone i.e. a coach to ensure that you take all the actions on a weekly basis, avoid excuses and keep moving forward in the fastest and most efficient way possible!

 accountability

I speak from personal experience, since I immersed myself in self-development, I have always had coaches for different tasks in my life, at one point I had six. The reason is because we are accountable to them, we will have fixed deadlines and we will be monitored on our progress from an external person which increases our motivation and our accountability to achieve our tasks.

Also, our review our progress, provide us with invaluable feedback, tips and suggestions. This helps speed up our progress to get to the next level by avoiding setbacks and sidestepping inefficient strategies that will only slow us down! As a result of having coaches, our focus is intensified. Knowing that both options and time are diminishing assets, our ability to focus on high payoff activities becomes an obvious priority.

Overall we become more productive and efficient if we fully capitalise on our coach’ s expertise and knowledge.  Given that experience and knowledge are possibly two of the most expensive assets in the world, it’s a tremendous advantage to make full use of your mentors and coaches. Think about how much more you could achieve if you have 20 years more experience behind you. :-)

beckham & coach

I speak from personal experience, I’m a deadline person. I work on numerous projects at the same time and I found that what makes me successful, productive and more efficient is that I have deadlines to meet. This means I have no choice but to get things done by setting clear goals, raising the bar, setting up my game and embracing a take-no-prisoners attitude. Also I need to be accountable to someone else externally to get the job done! Having coached many entrepreneurs and people, clearly those whom hold the greatest accountability to me with strict deadlines, achieve the greatest results. Guess what I’m known as now? ‘The Accountability Coach!’ :-)

It’s not an easy journey, I know. You might encounter a lot of setbacks and obstacles along the way but believe me, it’s a worth one!

I will leave you with an empowering quote to build your motivation to get started and to keep you going:

‘Never quite. If you fall…get right back up. If doesn’t matter what happened yesterday.

Today’s a new day. It’s up to you to get back on track. It’s up to you to move closer to your goals and dreams.

YOU CAN DO IT.‘ – Brad Gouthro

Always remember I am happy to share your journey with you, so please do get in touch if you are looking to bring yourself to the next level in your life! :-)

To your increase Productivity!

Viv :-)

Double Winner Awards Author of ‘The book on Success

www.vivoliver.com

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication!

A very warm greetings to all my readers,

Hope this article finds you well! :-)

 

Have you ever felt that you have been caught up in making your life and business more complicated than they actually need to be?

 

Why does this happen to so many of us?

 

How can you simplify your life and business and live them to the fullest?

In this article, I will discuss how beneficial it is for having a simplistic approach to life and business, which will simultaneously cover my truth no. 5 ‘Be Self-Aware, Honest, Prepared and Keep it Simple! ‘ that I listed in my previous article 10 Essential Truths to take yourself to the next level:-)

Let’s crack on then …

1. BE SELF-AWARE! 

What does self-awareness actually mean?

The dictionary defines self-awareness as ‘the capacity for introspection and the ability to reconcile oneself as an individual separate from the environment and other individuals.’ So, in a nutshell, it’s the ability to perceive aspects of our personality, behaviour, emotions, motivations, and thought process. It also allows you to understand other people, how they perceive you, your attitude and your responses to them in the moment as having a clear understanding of your thought and, behaviour patterns helps you understand other people. This ability to empathise facilitates better personal and professional relationships.

What are the reasons to develop Self-Awareness?

Simply, self-awareness is the first step to change as it allows you to see where your thoughts and emotions are taking you. Where you focus your attention, your emotions, reactions, personality and behaviour determine where you go in life. This is why, self-awareness is so important! :-)

How can we develop it?

Firstly, self-awareness is developed through practices in focusing your attention on the details of your personality and behaviour. I personally focus on raising mine by using a very famous psychometric assessment. You can see it below:

Below I have included a list of explanations that go along with the diagram, taken from the ‘Career Service’ at the University of Sheffield.

Strengths, skills and preferences

Self-awareness leads to an understanding of your strengths, core skills and preferences. These cover a wide range of capabilities (what you know, what you can do and what you have the potential to do) and preferences and motivations (what interests and motivates you, how you do things and how you relate to others).

Capabilities and applications

When you know what your strengths and preferences are, you need to think about how you can apply these in different situations. This is particularly important when applying for jobs – it helps you make career choices, gives you something concrete to say about yourself in applications / interviews, and to find a job that is right for you.

Areas for development and weaknesses

As well as showing us our strengths, self-awareness can identify areas we may want to develop. These areas may be related to academic abilities, skills such as planning and time management, or personal characteristics such as how we work as part of a team or deal with difficult situations.

Development activities, new strategies

When you know what you want to develop, there are usually many ways of going about this. Generally no one approach is best – the approach depends on what you want to develop. What is important however is that you plan your development carefully, set yourself small, manageable targets and check your progress against them regularly.

As you can see, when we develop self-awareness you are able to make changes in our thoughts and interpretations we make in our mind. Changing the interpretations in our mind allows us to change our emotions. Self-awareness is one of the attributes of Emotional Intelligence and an important factor in achieving success.

2. BE HONEST!

What is honesty?

The dictionary defines honesty as ‘telling the truth, straightforward conduct, being sincere, trustworthy, honourable, fair, genuine and loyal with integrity.’ Based on this definition we can simply say that honesty is the best policy to adopt in every aspect of our life. ‘There is no wisdom like frankness.’ – Disraeli

How can honesty play a vital part to take ourselves to the next level?

You see, if we are not honest with others and above all with ourselves, we can’t make changes and we can’t be trusted. I’m sure you too have experienced the meaning of this quote: ‘One falsehood spoils a thousand truths.’ – Ashanti proverb. Honesty allows you to accept the responsibility of your own actions without blaming others. ‘Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.’ – Jefferson

Every relationship and bond are built on trust and trust is built on honesty. They are highly correlated and go hand in hand. If this is the case, it’s the one indispensable quality that affects every single one of our relationships. It’s the glue that holds together each of our associations. Our ability to demonstrate trust impacts every relationship, every communication, every work project, every business venture, every efforts in which we are engaged, etc.

Trust is common bond between all people. It is one thing that if it’s removed, it will destroy the most powerful government, the greatest friendship, the most influential leadership, the strongest character and the deepest love.

On the other hand, if trust has developed and leveraged, it is one thing that has the potential to create unparalleled success and prosperity in every single dimension of our life. It isn’t only vital to our personal and interpersonal well-being; it’s a key competitive weapon that annihilates the competition simply because most people have deficiency when it comes to demonstrating trust. Simply put, honesty and trust mean confidence and the opposite of it is suspicion. We have all experiences some relationship that validate this point. We know that the difference is not small but it’s actually dramatic. The costs and benefits of trust can be financially and psychologically rewarding or devastating.

What about honesty and trust on a personal level?

There is ever a more fundamental and powerful dimension of honesty and self-trust, often we make a commitment to ourselves such as setting goals and making new year’s resolutions that we fail to fulfill.  As a result we come to feel that we can’t even trust and be honest with ourselves. If this is the case, we’ll have a hard time trusting others. These personal incongruence is often the source of our suspicions of others.

The funny part of about life is that we have strong tendency to judge ourselves by our intentions and others based by their behaviours. Truly, we are in a crisis of trust, it effects us to all levels, societal, institutional, personal, organisational and relational; it has continuous effects. We become increasingly suspicious of our people and then we begin to project the behaviour of the few upon the many and we all pay for it dearly. Our ability to demonstrate honesty, trust and transparency is the smartest move we’ll make in our life!  :-)

Honesty changes the quality of every present moment and it alters the trajectory and outcome of every future moment of our lives.  It defines our character to others and without it true success is impossible, because once trust is broken, our word will be corrupted, our reputation contaminated and our future is going to be in question.

Take a pause for reflection and think about the question below:

What is the point of raising our self-awareness if we are not willing to be honest with ourselves in order to accept what we discover as true and do something to improve it?

I will leave with your reflection and please please be completely honest when you answer it.

Remember to be honest with yourself and others because when you are honest, you build strength of character that will allow you to be of great service to others. You will experience peace of mind and above all self-respect.

3. BE PREPARED!

The dictionary defines preparation as ‘the action or process of making something ready for use or service or of getting ready for some occasion, test, or duty; the state of having been made ready beforehand; readiness and a preliminary measure that serves to make ready for something.’

Plan your way to success!

‘By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.’ – Benjamin Franklin. Proper planning prevents poor performance! A well define daily, weekly, monthly plan that is properly executed is our silver bullet to success. You can significantlyincrease the odds to your success,if you know who you are, what you want, where you are going and what you will do when you arrive.

We all know that life will not go according to plan of you don’t have a plan. You may lose at a given time if you were not tall enough, fast enough or young enough butyou must never allow yourself to lose because you were not fully prepared. Unfortunately it’s a reality that most people put themselves in.

To planning without action is unproductive and to action without planning can be counterproductive. Planning without action is like having a multi personality disorder, you walk, you talk and you long about having, being and doing something and you do absolutely nothing about it. The opposite is also true, as the habit of action without planning carries a high degree of risk and decreased success.

Planning is an art that required practise and preparation in order to do well. Effective planning ensures a greater sense of security in yourself and in any action necessary for success. Yet far too many people are unprepared, undisciplined and unfocused. This is because they disrespect planning, lack of preparation, discipline and focus, they will repeat yesterday’s mediocre performance, tomorrow and the next day.

When you choose to create history rather than repeat it, when you choose to have the best year of your life, when you choose to create a plan that allows you to experience exceptional growth, when you get serious about your life and career, when you do everything you can to tilt the odds in your favour, all these become possible through the discipline of planning as the accommodation of success is perceived by long negotiation made possible by intensive preparation. Effective planning allows you to do things better, faster and definitely cheaper.

We should perfect the use of planning , as we will win many battles by default.

I want you to pull out a piece of paper and create a plan for the day that answer the four most important questions:

 

1. What are you attempting to accomplish?

 

2. Why is it critical for this goal to be achieved?

 

3. How will the actions take place?

 

4. When will this result become reality?

 

Here is an important point that I want to highlight, we must also value spontaneity, as not everything can be planned for in life. Success involves establishing a delicate balance between planning and improvisation.What should never be left to chance is the ability to execute any plan. With this reality in mind, it’s imperative to make planning count! As planning is the greatest equaliser that we will ever have, we should use it to our fullest! :-)

When is the best time to prepare ourselves? 

An inspirational friend of mine beautifully articulated this very subject in his blog from his personal experience. Read his blog if you want to get inspired and get some very invaluable tips, check out his post, here is his link:  What successful people do in the first hour of their work day.  

4. BE SIMPLE!

Simplicity is the main key to your success! If you can have a simple approach to whatever you are aiming for, you are a step ahead of many and in the top 3% of successful people. I have attended numerous self-development courses on a variety of subjects and the commonality of all of them is to keep things simple and to have a simple plan.

In fact, a subject that I often touch upon when coaching people is simplicity. Life in itself can become very complex. This is why I am often amazed how people love to complicate things even if what they are doing is in itself simple.

This made me ask a question:

What is the reason why we make it more complicated than it needs to be?

Well, after pondering and reflecting for a while, an answer I came up with was that it’s because simplifying life is just not that simple! It can sometimes be overwhelming and challenging! Would you agree?

For example, someone sent me the following straightforward message on this very subject:

‘Why complicate life?

 

Missing somebody? … Call

Wanna meet up? … Invite

Wanna be understood? .. .Explain

Have questions? … Ask

Don’t like something? … Say it

Like something? … State it

Want something? … Ask for it

Love someone? … Tell it

 

Nobody will know what’s going on in your mind…

It’s better to express rather than to Expect…

You already have the NO, Take the risk of getting the YES

We just have one life,

Keep it SIMPLE!’ :-)

When I finished reading it I thought that this was all so obvious and simple to implement. Then its meaning hit me…

If it is so simple, then why are so many people complicating their lives?

What are the reasons why you are complicating your life?

I invite you to take a pause for reflection to discover your reasons as they might be the turning point in your life…

What are the reasons behind having a simplistic approach?

You will agree with me that we are continually rushing and striving for more at all times. The simple truth is that we frequently make it harder than it needs to be and many things that cause our hurt and pain are created by…US! The main reason why a simplistic approach is effective is because it gives clarity on where you are and where you want to go. Subsequently, this yields swifter results.

To achieve lasting and rewarding success, it is better to keep things simple – to master a few things to a very high level, rather than seeking to be a jack-of-all-trades. I invite you to get inspired by reading one of my dear bro’s blogs. He beautifully illustrates this in one of his stirring posts entitled Simples: ‘When you learn something so well all that can happen is that you become better and better at it. Why did David Beckham become the best free kick taker in the world of football?

You see, the result of this repeat-until-you-master approach is that you will become better and better at whatever it is you choose to focus on. It does not mean that you are a simple person and that you do not have to learn anything new in your life: It means to ensure everything you learn goes towards enhancing and simplifying your current plan and your skills. Living with this approach has allowed me to get optimum results from the minimum time and resources.

Always remember, when you keep things simple, life and business become simple too.

 

 Are you now ready to take up this week’s challenge?

Make it as your check-up moment of how much we know ourselves (strengths and weaknesses), how much we are honest with ourselves (I know it’s painful at times ‘a harmful truth is better than a useful lie.’ – Thomas Mann; but it’s needed to get results and to move forward – ‘no pain no gain’ applies not only in fitness but in our emotional state too) and how much we prepare and we are prepared to succeed! ‘You were born to win, but to be a winner, you must plan to win, prepare to win and expect to win.‘ – Zig Ziglar. Wrap it all up by being simple,:-) as it is the key to success because ‘simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.’ – Leornardo Da Vinci

 

To your self-awareness, simple, honest and prepared Success! :-)

 

Viv :-)

Double Winner Awards Author of ‘The book on Success

www.vivoliver.com


No Pain No Gain…It’s the name of the game!

A warm greeting to all my readers, :-)

Today’s article will cover a subject very important for making things happen! Well, the title could mislead you but in a nutshell, it’s essential to go through some pain to get results and I’m sure that you are familiar with the saying ‘No pain no gain’ especially in the fitness world…My fitness coaches keep reminding me that if I don’t feel pain and exhaustion at the end of our sessions, I have not worked hard enough and given my 110%. Honestly, I have to agree with this so I welcome pain as crazy as it might sound! ‘I don’t count my sit-ups; I only start counting when it starts hurting because they’re the only ones that count! No Pain No Gain!’ – Muhammad Ali. As I have experienced, when I don’t commit myself and take things seriously, I usually don’t produce any tangible and satisfying results! What about you?

If you remember in my article 10 Essential Truths to take yourself to the next level, my truth no.4 is: Get serious about your goals and have fun! This was actually the first lesson learnt during my 100 days challenge and I would love to share it with you as its concepts are very powerful! :-)

The crude reality of life is that we will make progress only after we commit ourselves and get serious on getting results. If not, setbacks and obstacles will slow us down and cause a lot of frustration! In fact, it’s not a secret that serious professionals play to win, have fun and always finish successfully. ‘Make sure that people are having fun. Fun is not about acting stupid. It’s the feeling you get when you’re on top of things.’ – Richard Brandson

I believe that we all heard the expression of ‘commitment’ and usually we do associate a pain connotation to it, right? Ask yourself: Have you ever taken the time to think of the impact and importance of this word in your life? In this article, we are going to talk about the key decisions you have to make in order to get your life, your career and your business on the fast-track of exponential growth.

You see, one thing about successful people, it’s that at some point in their life each one has looked themselves in the mirror and decided ‘enough was enough’ and they were done playing games, they were done for settling for table scraps, they were done for standing on the sidelines… while other people that they don’t perceived neither to be as bright or as challenging, lived in a better home and enjoy a better quality of life and lifestyle. It was in that moment that they decided to get serious and committed to be the best and the most successful person they could be. They made the conscious decision  of accepting the ‘No Pain No Gain’ principle as the name of their game to raise their bar to the next level! ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion!‘ – Muhammad Ali.

All the great ones had this conversation. What about you? Have you honestly made the decision to get serious about your life, to stop blaming others and to finally becoming the best person you can be? This is a straight forward ‘yes or no’ answer! One that is clearly demonstrated by your actions simply because behaviours never lie!  Simply put, your behaviours tell the world if you are committed or if you are just messing around. So what’s the answer?  Too many people take a casual approach to life. They have the audacity to complain and make excuses when things don’t go their way. This is some kind of sickening and demanding joke as these people are delusional and they really thing that they can get ahead with life without getting serious and committed of how they can use their precious and limited time. Obviously, you can disagree with the following statements but eventually you will come to the understanding of that you have not choices of accepting it as reality.

You will become in great physical shape only after you get serious to get fit and not one second sooner. Until you decide the decision to become physical in shape, you will continue suffer the consequences of remaining in the situation you are in. I am speaking from personal experience here! ‘Getting in shape is simple,  not easy.  Take time to learn the route to your goals and prepare your mind for the challenges you will overcome!’ – Rolsey

You will become successful in your life only when you seriously decide to be one and not one second sooner. Until you decide to become successful by developing a plan and executing it consistently, you will forever remain in the situation that you are currently in.

You will make advancements in your career or in your business only if you decide to make excellence in your operating standards. Until you choose excellence and commit to raise your standards, your performance will be inconsistent and your opportunities will be limited.

You will enjoy a great and happy family life only after you decide to commit yourself to them and not a second sooner. Until you choose to build a loving, nurturing, safe and supporting family relationship, your relationship will continue to remain as it currently is.

You will leave a significant and lasting legacy only after you consciously decide and commit about the contributions you want to make during your lifetime.

In a nutshell, until you choose to do something important with your life and until you embrace a cause that you passionately believe in, you will continue to waste your time and your talents. As mentioned before, behaviours never lie.

At this point, you might ask yourself:

How do you know when you are really committed to getting results?

How are they demonstrated in your daily behaviour?

These are simple questions to answer as you demonstrate you are committed when you do the following:

1. When you set realistic but challenging deadlines and honour them.

2. When you look for solutions rather than focusing on problems and who’s to blame.

3. When you take initiative and proactive behaviour without being told what to do.

4. When you focus on adding ever greater value.

5. When you go the extra mile as a habit not as a selective exercise or show case on special occasions.

6. When your ability to execute matches your capacity to imagine a new future.

7. When you consistently meet or exceed the quota.

8. When you are on-time and fully prepared for meetings, you demonstrate your commitment and professionalism.

9. When you arrive to work early and stay later.

10. When you accept reality as it is, not as it was or how you would like it to be.

11. When you make far more deposits than withdrawals into your relationships.

So let’s face it.

The reality is that each one of the actions listed above will require a certain amount of sacrifices and pain in order to accomplish them! This reminds me of one of my dear bro favourite blogs entitled ‘Are you prepared to sacrifice?‘. I warmly invite you to read his inspiring blog as it could impact your life too as it did with mine! In fact, after I read it, I had the conversation previously mentioned that ‘enough was enough’ and it was NOW time to get serious, make sacrifice, suffer the pain associated to it and produce the desirable results. You see, until you accept the wisdom and responsibilities of the word ‘commitment’, you are going to waste a lot of time and energy. Life is ever so short and precious and the sooner we get serious and committed about our life and business, the better off and the happier we will be.

Be serious in setting and achieving a number of goals. Your commitment about generating big, bold results is critical to every success you experience in your life and in your business and when you do achieve them, you have already forgotten all the setbacks, obstacles, sacrifices, efforts and the pain associated to it, right? ‘If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.’ – Anne Bradstreet

Remember that every day is an opportunity for improvement and each step moves us a step closer or farther from our goal! So commit yourself and get serious to achieve your goals, welcome the pain associated to it and as an outcome, you will reap the results of success! :-)

Let’s be truly honest that ‘No Pain No Gain’ is really the name of our game as we have only two choices when it comes to producing results and being successful. We suffer the pain of discipline and we get results and success or we suffer the pain of regret and we get disappointment and frustration!

Which one have you chosen until now?

Which one will you choose from now on?

I’ll leave you with two of my all time favourite quotes that keep me motivated:

‘It ain’t about how hard you hit; it’s about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward. It’s how much you can take, and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!’ –Rocky Balboa

‘When you want to SUCCEED as bad as you want to BREATHE, then you will be SUCCESSFUL’ – Eric Thomas

Only when you get serious and you are committed to something, you accept NO EXCUSES, only RESULTS!

To getting serious on producing results and success! :-)

Viv :-)

Double Winner Awards Author of ‘The book on Success

www.vivoliver.com

An investment in your knowledge always pays your best interest…

A big hello to all of you,

Hope my article finds you well! :-)

Today’s article is based on my truth no. 3, to ‘Invest in yourself and your education’ as stated in my previous article: 10 essential truths to take yourself to the next level.

Before I begin I would like to send appreciation for all of your messages you have given me in my last few articles. The feedback and comments have all been very valuable to me! :-)

‘An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest’ – Benjamin Franklin, this is one of my favourite quotes. Mainly because it is one that has guided me throughout my life. You can also see it makes a good title for an article too! :-)

Saying, reading or visualising this quote is one thing but living it is another. Was investing in my knowledge easy? Definitely Not! Was it worth it? Definitely Yes!

Some of you might think: Investment, that’s out of my league? I’m struggling to get to the end of the month, especially with prices on petrol, food and clothes etc. going up every day! Unfortunately for some of us, this is a reality which frustrates and impacts our lives with great weight, right?

Think for just a minute: How did you get where you are now?

Just to clarify that I’m not an economist or a financial advisor… yet J (although I have worked in financial services for nearly 10 years)…Instead I’m speaking from my knowledge and experience on personal finances. Having grown up in my dad’s business as a child I’ve lived and breathed these matters on a daily basis, allowing me to now live in a good financial position. :-)

Below are listed some common reasons to justify our bad finances. Which one do you resonate with the most?

* Overspending

* Impulse spending

* Overuse of credit or debit cards

* Spending without tracking

* Buying unnecessary items

* Not paying bills on time

* Lack of experience

* Negative circle of influence

* Debt from family

* Bad Investments

* Failed businesses

What are the commonalities of all these reasons?

The first six reasons are likely to be based on our lack of discipline and indulgency, I hope you agree with me but the latter two are most probably because of lack of knowledge, experience, resources, etc. right?

If this is the truth then it seems like a catch 22. If you don’t have the finances, you can’t get your knowledge, resources, etc. Is this a common thinking process? Unfortunately, it is, but it’s also a reality for some of us…

If this is the case for many of us, what are the reasons why we are talking about investment and especially investing in ourselves?

The real reason is this:

Are you planning to live the rest of your life struggling to get to the end of the month or to become a financially independent and successful person?

You have only two options. Even if you don’t make a decision, that in itself is one too! This is because you are essentially not choosing to either figure out how to get to the end of the month or become financially independent.

If we are talking about your best assets, we are talking about YOU! Think about marketing…Who do people buy? Your product, your services or YOU! What about business? What do your clients buy? Your company, your brand, your marketing or YOU!

If everything is about us, what are the reasons to improve our brand, our company image, our products, our services, etc? Does it not pay us off a better interest to invest in ourselves and in our knowledge?

Saying that, I’m not vouching that you are magically going to be a guru in all aspects of your life, far from it! You might have heard of the expression of ‘being a master of one instead of a jack of all trades!’ You just need to specialise in one aspect, gain as much knowledge as you can on a specific subject that you are passionate about and leverage your knowledge and experience to build your visibility and credibility in the market place…YOU are the one that is going to make a difference in your life and business, no one else… and if this is true, is it not logical to invest in yourself to gain the skills and knowledge necessary to step up to your next level? My common sense replies with a resounding ‘YES’! What about yours? … It was Aristotle who said, ‘We are what we repeatedly do … Excellence is therefore not an act but a habit.’ If we want to improve ourselves, we need to invest firstly in us and in our education to avoid pitfalls and recognise opportunities. We also need to have clarity and direction in our life and business to avoid being distracted by the limitless information now available.

You see, this morning I was reading a post from a very talented guy related to this very topic: finance and more specifically on trading the world financial markets. I actually invite you to read his blog as he has beautifully put things into perspective and mention one of the most important concepts and variables in the finance and investment world: Risk vs Reward. Visit his blog to read the full article: Trader Focus.

After I finished reading the blog, I recognised that it reinforced the concept highlighted in last week’s article about the main commonalities in all aspects of life. Below I have summarised it’s meaning in 4 stages, from unconscious incompetence to unconscious competence.

 

Stage 1: Unconscious incompetence

This is where we are not aware of our lack of knowledge in a specific subject such as boxing, coaching, trading and business.  Moreover the existence and benefits of rules, strategies and systems. Only until we become conscious of our incompetency will we start developing any further skill.

Stage 2: Conscious Incompetence

At this stage we become aware of the existence and benefits of rules, strategies, and systems to develop our skills and knowledge further. We also consequently commit to learning them as they will improve our performance and results.

Stage 3: Conscious Competence

We become consciously competent when we can follow the rules, strategies and system reliably at will. We will need to concentrate and think in order to accomplish the task effectively as the skills acquired are still not yet ‘second nature’ or ‘automatic’ to us. Daily practice will be the most effective way to move to the last stage.

Stage 4: Unconscious Competence

At this stage, our tasks and skills are ‘second nature’ to us as we have practiced them so much that it enters the unconscious part of our brain like Warren Buffet. Now, we will be able to teach others in the skill acquired, although after you have achieved this level for some time it might actually be difficult to explain exactly how we do it – we just instinctively do it without thinking!

At this point, results and periodic reviews will play the most important part to maintain this level of competency. We need to ensure our skills are being kept up to standard, and we are not acquiring bad habits, overconfidence or breaking of rules. The best person to check your results and provide you feedback will definitely be your coach and mentor.

What is the benefit of knowing the 4 stages of competency with regards to your learning process?

It definitely will help us during the moment of setbacks as we will know at what stage we are at and anticipate how long it will it take to get to the next stage. I honestly have to say that whilst it could be possible to identify the different stages by ourselves, the best person to do it is actually someone external i.e. a coach/mentor. They have already being there and done it as he/she can give a more objective evaluation of what stage we are in and what actions we need to take to move forward in the most fastest and efficient way possible. To illustrate this point, I still remember asking my trading coach about a year and a half ago, what my stage was. He responded I was at stage 3 and I was disappointed as I thought I was at level 4. I just thought he wanted to give me a hard time but sadly I have to admit in hindsight I knew he was correct. I thank him for being honest in his evaluation, because now I know what it means to be at stage 4. Based on the above learning journey, we should be able to identify what stage we are in the different aspects of our lives. ‘Take pride in how far you have come and have faith in how far you can go.’ – Christian Larson

 

Now ask yourself the following questions:

Which stage are you on in terms of your investment knowledge?

How much is your investment in yourself paying off?

What are the reasons behind postponing your self-investment?  Remember that tomorrow is not always guaranteed!

Take some time to ponder over these questions, then answer them honestly. Finally analyse and evaluate your answers, your future could very well depend on it! :-)

It’s NOW time to take the decision. Self-investment might be difficult, due to the amount of money and hours you need to pour into it, but as I said at the beginning of this article, in the end it will be well worth it!  This is not the time to be laid-back or give up just because this path may lead to difficult challenges.  Believe me, the first step is the hardest to take but it’s so worth it! Take heed from this quote from Churchill: ‘When the tough get tougher, keep going!’ Don’t give up your goals to step up to the next level even before you have started! The moment you give up you let someone else win. This could very well be your next contract, clients, business, promotion, etc. Recently, my dear bro, wrote a very inspiring article on this subject. Please visit and read his blog at: When the going gets tough, keep going. ‘SUCCESS seems to be connected with ACTION. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes but they don’t quit!‘ – Conrad Hilton

Remember that the most expensive asset we possess is our experience. This is because it is paid for dearly with our most valuable assets: time and energy. This is simply because without the right amount of knowledge we cannot leverage and capitalise on it. :-)

To gaining greater success from your self-investment! :-)

Have a lovely and amazing week!

Viv :-)

Double Winner Awards Author of ‘The book on Success

www.vivoliver.com

Boxing, Trading, Coaching, Business & Life: What are the commonalities of Success?

A very warm greeting to all my readers, :-)

When did you last do something new for the first time?

Have you ever experienced keeping a commitment that you knew would affect you in a negative way?

To celebrate the first year of my blog, I want to thank everyone who has been reading and sharing my articles! Having started it off exactly a year ago for just a few friends and clients and to see it grow to such an extent is wonderful! I would love to share with you a recent experience that shows that I ‘walk my talk’ as it forced me to stretch myself out of my comfort zone and to train my mindset to turn a negative situation into a positive one. ‘If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door!’ – Milton Berle

As mentioned in last week’s blog ‘Raise the bar of your game!’, one of my fitness coaches, Dwayne, asked me to come along to a particular boxing event he was fighting in. Even though, I was surprised by his request, I did not want to let him down and I happily agreed. Rocky also happens to have a special place in my heart, and seeing the real deal for the first time was something I wouldn’t want to miss! I dedicate this article to Dwayne! Well done and keep going! Look forward to your next fights! :-)

Having seen all of the Rocky films I did not think it would be too different to a real fight …. oh how I was wrong! Ironically I had a fitness session with him just before his fight on the following day. In the final moments of the session when he provided me with the venue and the time, something strange happened to me. I really felt overwhelmed. I was going through some emotions and feelings I had never experienced before and I wasn’t sure of the reasons behind them. Well, I promised Dwayne that I would go to support him and as I am a person of honour, I kept my word. That being said, I could not sleep all night at the thought of watching my fitness coach getting beaten up in the ring.

The day arrived and I was feeling so sick I couldn’t drive and ended up taking public transport. After watching the first match, I really couldn’t bare it any longer. I really was feeling sick, my stomach was going all over the place, just seeing guys get beaten up, with blood going everywhere, I could not believe it! Fortunately, the guy next to me started a conversation which distracted me from watching the match. Then suddenly something happen to me! It was like, my mind would not accept what was going on emotionally and something switched – I started to watch the matches to find out how the matches were judged. I suddenly started to recognise patterns and similarities between boxing and trading. My next thought was if there were similarities between the two, then there must be similarities with business and life too. From then on, all my sickness and emotion disappeared and my analytical mind took over.

I started to ask myself these questions:

What is the commonality between boxing, trading, coaching, business and life?

Is there a formula, pattern or process that I can recognise and apply to all of the subjects above?

How can I transmit my discovery in an easy and simple way to others?

Well, the answer was a resounding ‘Yes’ which did not surprise me at all!

Here are the commonalities I have discovered during my experience:

Have a Coach, a Mentor and a Team

Before the beginning of every boxing match, the coaches/mentors were doing their due diligence in checking that the gloves, face covers, teeth protections, shoe laces, etc. were all up to standards, to allow the boxers to fight safely. Is this not something we do in business, trading, coaching and in life? For example, don’t we do our due diligence before commencing a marketing campaign, before we enter any trade, before coaching any clients and before we make decisions in our life? I’m sure you will agree this step is particularly important, as it can reduce the chances of negative consequences, such as investing in non-profitable businesses, employing the wrong people, entering the wrong trade, using the wrong coaching techniques, etc.

After each round the boxers would go back to their corner for feedback on their performance. Surprisingly the advice would nearly always have emphasis on the foundations, such as the basic moves in boxing i.e. how to breath and use combinations: straights, uppercuts, hooks, etc. This applies even more so in trading, in coaching, in business and in life: we need an external person such as a coach/mentor to analyse and provide us with crucial feedback on our performance to move us forward to our next level. Their input is invaluable to our growth and progress and most of the time they will remind us to go back to the basics, as it is usually these key fundamentals that are completely overlooked.

A strong team is also crucial to the success of the athletes. Often you do not see the full extent of their work at sporting events however they train directly with the athletes to prepare them for the competition. They help the athlete to practice to improve their techniques, to simulate the opponent, to provide a positive support network.

At the boxing event I noticed the crowd would be full of each sides teams, jeering their club along. Clearly this is important for motivation and support in the moment of setbacks, as it incites us to ‘keep going when the tough gets tougher!‘ – W. Churchill.

Training and Planning

As a rule of thumb, in trading, coaching, business and life, we need a lot of training in order to transfer our ‘classroom or course’ knowledge into the ring, live trading and in business. You will agree with me that training is different from the implementation. We need to put everything learnt together to make it work! For example, I was thinking that there is an insane amount of training needed in boxing, just to stand in the ring for 6 minutes (3 rounds for 2 minutes each)! As a result, simply training will not cut it. To ensure that time, resources and efforts can be used to the greatest effect, planning is also vital! ‘He who fails to plan is planning to fail‘ – Winston Churchill

How can you work smarter and not harder in business, trading, coaching and life?

Where do you want your business, your trading and your life to be in the next three or five years?

Keep the momentum going

This is connected to the coach/mentor and team concept. When the boxer went back after each round, he got some techniques and feedback from his coach/mentor to implement in the next round. What I noticed was that immediately after it, the boxers implemented the suggestions given from their coaches but after 15/20 seconds they went back to their previous techniques and habits. Is this not the same in trading, business and life? We get tips, suggestions, tools, new ideas, techniques from our coaches/mentors and teams and we are excited and enthusiastic at the beginning. We keep the momentum going for a little while, until we go back to our usual practices and habits. The consequence of which is of course poor results, we end up blaming others for it! It’s sad but it’s a cruel reality and this is the main reason why people don’t accomplish their goals as they get stuck in a catch 22 especially if they want to do everything by themselves!

Employ the right strategy, technique and tools to succeed

I have noticed that boxers that were taller and look stronger seemed more confident on winning at first but this was not always the case. In fact during the boxing event, most of the time the opposite occurred. In life this has always been the case for me too. I think this is probably because the shorter and less strong among us have to learn to adapt to keep up with the rest of the crowd. They grow up being more self-aware of their abilities, which allows them to maximise their strengths and talents more effectively.

In the case of boxing it appears that victory is awarded to the fighter who employs the best strategic approach, capitalises on the competitions weaknesses, trains harder and plans in advance. Often, being taller and stronger will make you feel overconfident and therefore may play a negative effect on preparation, training and assertiveness.

What gives us a better edge in trading, coaching, business and life? Clearly it is the same as in boxing. Having the best strategy, technique and tools to complete our objective will allow us to capitalise on our strengths more effectively than our competition.

Social proof and external environment

How do they affect our decisions and actions? They have a great weight on them. For example, even if I have personal proof and experienced that Dwayne, my fitness coach is a very good boxer, I only had confirmation of this when watching him in the ring. The guy next to me, who also happened to be a boxing coach, added to this and complimented his superior techniques. At that point, I just concentrated on analysing his techniques and to see if ‘he walked his talk’ and honestly speaking, he fully did. I have to say I am very proud of him!

What about the external environment, does it affect us? Well, to relate to my boxing experience, the audience was shouting all sorts of advice to the fighters in the ring i.e. get your jabs going, straight punches, uppercuts, hooks, double jabs, jacks, duck, stay back, don’t give space, put him in the corner, double pin – pin, on your toes, etc.

How would you feel if you were in the ring listening to all these different advises?

Confused, right? Is this not exactly the same thing that happens in, business and life? How many times have you experienced someone who has shared new trading or marketing strategies, new advises and new self-help books with you? We are bombarded by them aren’t we?

What can we do in cases like this?

I have asked Dwayne if he could hear what the crowd was shouting at him during his bout. This was his response: ‘To be honest, I don’t hear anything. It’s all a blur. The only thing I can hear is the odd instruction from my trainers. I love it because I feel in the zone and at peace. Like I’m not worrying about work, money, problems, anything. Just fully concentrating!’ With his answer, Dwayne beautifully summaries the same type of mindset that is required to become successful in trading, business, coaching and life. This applies even more so in trading, our mindset needs to be in the zone, focused and at peace with no emotions involved! Easier said than done, I know that’s what you are thinking right now! :-)

Performance

Performance doesn’t lie. In boxing, you know when you have had a good performance as you can physically feel how well you have done! It allows you to identify what’s working and what isn’t.  It’s the proof of the effectiveness of our efforts, skills, abilities, training undertaken, strategies employed and accomplishments.

Likewise, success in trading, coaching, business and life is based on our performance. What is it that investors, clients, potential prospects are looking for in business? If you run a business, you know the answer: investors are looking for past and present performance of the company and the projection of future performance based on the actual one. Improving our performance also has a positive impact on our confidence which can further perpetuate better results in the future.

Results and review

Based on my personal experience on running my dad’s business, my own business and the experience working with client companies, results and reviews are both some of the most important factors if you want to take yourself to the next level.

In boxing you can measure results based on the feedback from your coaches/mentors and team as well as the tangible results of your training and performance in competitions. The quality of the feedback received is also important. For example, due to the rules in amateur boxing usually the outcome of the fight is left to the judges. Should one boxer triumphant over another, the referee will announce one of the two options: ‘unanimous or by majority’. Is this a significant piece of information to receive as a feedback of the boxer’s results? Definitely, if unanimous it meant that his performance was judged by all 5 different judges to be superior to his opponent’s – if it was in majority it meant that 3 or 4 judges thought that his performance was superior to his opponent’s. Clearly wining with majority shows that there is room for improvement.

How important is feedback to trading, coaching, business, and life?

In trading I personally found that nothing is more valuable than some objective tips and advice from your coach/mentor, particularly after reviewing your trades and past performance. I believe this is just as vital in business and life, don’t you? So don’t mislead yourself thinking that you can skip this step – I personally treasure feedback as the most valuable information to be given, and certainly thrive on them. People around me know what are the questions that I will always ask them: ‘What can I improve? What can I make better and more efficient? How can you benefit more? How can I make it worth of your time? What information and resources do you need to step up to the next level?’

So there you have it. All of my learning lessons I picked up during the boxing event. After reflecting on my list of discovers, I looked for some connection between them. I realised that the real commonality of all of them is they all contribute to the 4 Stages Journey that starts from the point of learning a new skill and ends at the point of unconscious competency.

What do I mean by unconscious competency?

In terms of a skill this means to be able to do it without thinking. Think about driving a car, when you first started you had to think about what you were doing. Now the process is effortless right? In next week’s article I will elaborate more on competencies, why it is important to know level you are currently at and how you can use this to your advantage.

The reason we often hear that the mastery of things can only be achieved by making errors is that mistakes shape our subconscious quickly – in other words there is a difference between knowing what to do and automatically doing what we know. ‘Mistakes are painful when they happen. But year’s later collection of mistakes is called experience, which leads to success.’ – Denis Waitle. I invite you to ready a blog written by my dear bro on this very subject: ‘If you are not making mistakes, try harder’.

So when was the last time you have done something for the first time?

As you can see from my experience It may reveal some new skills to you as it did to me! Embrace them and turn the poison into medicine to benefit you and make you grow! :-) ‘For me, life is continuously being hungry. The meaning of life is not simply to exist to survive but to move ahead, to go up, to achieve, to conquer.‘ – Arnold Schwarzenegger

It doesn’t matter where we are in life, if you have the right tools, techniques and especially a coach, a mentor and a team, you can accelerate your journey to your next level of Success! :-)

….and to conclude, who said that boxers are aggressive?

Based on my experience, they have a lot of respect to the point of hugging each other during the match! :-)

Remember: Today is the perfect day to start. Why? Because you will never find ‘the right time.’ You’ve just got to do it. Get the ball rolling. Take one small step every day in the direction of making your dream a reality. Make TODAY your SOMEDAY. It’s worth it and you know it! :-)

To your life journey success!

Viv :-)

Raise the bar of your game!

Hello readers,

Hope my article finds you well! :-)

 

Have you ever experienced any of the following?

  • Have you put a lot of effort into a project only to bring in measly returns? Did you feel stuck and were you tempted to give up?

 

  • Have you been in a situation where you felt you weren’t earning what you truly deserved?

 

  • Have you been stuck in a job that does not allow you to shine?

 

  • Do you want your name to be valued and respected and to live a life more wholesomely connected?

 

  • Do you long for positive change in your life? Are you longing for an opportunity to show your worth?

 

…… or perhaps it’s time for you to step up and raise the bar. Maybe you are after that salary, that contract, that client or there is something inside that tells you there is more and that you are borne to be great.

If you have experienced any of the above, you are not alone. In fact, I have recently felt connected to some of them too and even today I have received one of the most painful news ever. I was really looking forward to cooperating with one of the most inspirational guys that I know on a a project very close to my heart and today he informed me that he would not be able to as he is too busy with other projects. Did I despair or give up? Not a chance! Although I am downhearted by this news, I am a strong believer that I am the creator of my own path. I’ll do whatever it takes to make things happen, and raise the bar of my game to take my life to the next level!

During this period, the concept that really strengthen and resonated with me was that when we feel overwhelmed, discouraged and downhearted, we need some external support. Above all guidance, motivation and inspiration from someone that has walked the same path before us. For those of you who have read my article 10 Essential Truth to take yourself to the next level’ you will notice that this highlights my second strategy, to have a coach, mentor and a team.

 

How important is a coach/mentor to your success?

An experience I recently had beautifully answered this question. It all started when one of my fitness coaches, Dwayne, invited me to attend his boxing match which took place last weekend. Unknown to me at the time I felt very strange about the whole ordeal. Seeing boxers get beaten up with bloody noses …. oh it was very uncomfortable to watch! I definitely picked up a lot of learning lessons and don’t worry I’ll share the whole experience in my article next week … so stay tuned.

Now back to the subject of coaches, mentors and teams. I’ve listed some main observations I had during the boxing matches below:

1.       Coaches/mentors share their own experience

One thing that you might notice if you’ve watched boxing matches before, is during the breaks the boxer speaks to their coaches/ mentors for feedback and most importantly for tips and techniques to implement in their next round. Being there in person I could really see how heavily they relied on their coaches feedback. Based on the body language in these breaks, I could literally tell which of the two boxers was going to make the first move …

Something more intriguing was the way the boxers adapted to each other as the rounds went by. You could see how each coach/mentor would try to pick out the other teams weaknesses. Moreover how to overcome their sides bad habits. Have you ever tried to overcome one of your bad habits in the past? Challenging wasn’t it? Now imagine trying to overcome a bad habit when you are in the firing line of a boxing match.

You might also be wondering: how much can a few bits of advice from a coach/mentor really have?

Even if the coach is suggesting a few tweaks here and there, they can lead to profound changes in the athletes performance. Just think about golf, if you hit the ball at slightly the wrong angle you are going to end up miles off course! Those of us who run businesses will know how one simple idea could very well lead to massive exponential growth.

2.       Coaches/mentors are committed to our success

Something else I noticed was commitment and trust between both the boxers and their coach/mentors. The athletes would continue to look to them for help throughout the three rounds. Imagine if it was you who was taking a beating and you were putting your faith in someone outside of the ring, who is probably out of shape and long past their prime.

How would you feel about that?What kind of trust would you have to have in that person to listen to their advice?

On the other side, imagine yourself now as the coach. You have 20 years of experiencing in training and your athlete is taking a pounding. You know what he needs to do to take the win but you can’t get in there and fight the fight for him. Imagine how frustrating it would be for you. Think about the type of patience you would need to have. Imagine the kind of dedication and commitment you must have in your boxer to continue to support and motivate him to be resilient, and enthused to keep going until the end of the three matches. ‘The moment you give up, is the moment you let someone else win’. – Anonymous

3.       Coaches/mentors revitalise us to keep going when the going gets tough!

Something else I noticed was that the coaches/mentors were spraying water on the boxers’ faces and body. The reasons? Dwayne’s answer was that it cools the boxers down from their previous round and refreshes them for the next one. Isn’t it true that we get tired and sometimes burn out from our everyday dealings from both business and life? How do we feel when someone gives us a refreshing thought/idea or we spend time with someone that motivates us to keep the momentum going? Well, this is what the spray of water from the coaches/mentors does to the boxers. In terms of personal and business coaches/mentors, while I’ve never seen any spray water on their clients they do use techniques to help rekindle enthusiasm. Remember this kind of action is necessary to motivate and to support you in the moment of setbacks, it’s your raven fan and it will incite you to ‘keep going when the tough gets tougher!’ – W. Churchill.

 

How can a coach/mentor make us raise the bar of our game?

To find out the answer, please ponder over and honestly answer the following questions:

 

Who is the best person to plan and train Muhammed Ali to be on the ring or David Beckham to kick the ball on the football pitch?

                                                             

Have you ever heard of a boxer or a football team without a coach?

Why do the best athletes in the world still have coaches if they are already above their competition?

Let me ask you one more question:

 

Who is the person that always gets recognised by the winners?

 

Isn’t he the coach/mentor? This should make you think about how successful people raise their bar of their game to take themselves to the next level.

Now, here are the two real questions you need to ask yourself:

 

Are you coachable and willing to accept constructive feedback?

Are you willing to do what it takes to move yourself to the next level of success?

If the answers of both questions are positive then it doesn’t matter where you are now in your life journey. If you have any goal or it’s time to step up and raise the bar of your game you will need clarity, a set of actions to follow, the right tools, strategies, techniques and especially a coach, a mentor and a team to accelerate your journey to your next level of success!  J ‘It’s only by doing things others have not that one can advance.’ – George Patton

I take this opportunity to thank from the bottom of my heart, every past and present coach, mentor and everyone who is part of my team as you are very invaluable to my personal and business growth! I will not be where I am today without you as you have all played a big part in my progress :-)

A very special thanks goes to two guys who actually used to be my coaches and I dedicate this related article to them, Tom & Jit. :-) They have really touched my life and allowed me to become the person I am today, ‘they are my life turning point’, I hope I make them smile with this sentence. I have noticed so many of my self-liming beliefs eliminated since working with them. In particular one that was holding me back from writing this very blog! Thank you from the bottom of my heart, words cannot express my gratitude to you both. I will always feel very honoured and privileged to come to know and be coached by both of you and I really miss you. I wish you all the best in life, business and hope that all of your goals become a reality. Jit & Tom, may all the success of this world embrace you to become the best you can ever be! Here are the links to their blogs, I warmly invite you to get in touch with them as both really are very inspirational, talented and special guys with the extra edge of having beautiful smiles :-) and deserve a lot of recognition. Tom’s blog is Springboardyourself.wordpress.com and Jit’s blog is Trader Focus.

What are the reasons to have a coach and a mentor?

 

You’ve got to wake up every morning and ask yourself: ‘How bad do you want it? How much work are you willing to put forth for the things and people you want and need in your life?’ Nothing great comes without effort. But I promise you that if it’s something of great meaning in your heart and something you need in your life…every RISK, every STEP and every DROP of SWEAT will be worth it, I have experienced it so many times in my life. The more energy and effort you put in, the more reward, satisfaction and appreciation you get out! :-)

Are you ready to begin your journey and raise the bar of your game to the next level? Are you ready to make your mark on the world and demonstrate to yourself you were always born to be great? I am ready to help you on your journey to success and would be honoured and privileged to do so. Please do contact me when you have answered this question with a resounding YES!

 

‘Let others lead small lives but not you.

Let others argue over small things but not you.

Let others cry over small hurts but not you.

Let others leave their future in someone else’s hands but not you.’ – Jim Rohn

Remember: you are born unlimited and ready for your greatness. It’s now your time to rise and shine and ignite your brightest spark. It’s time to make your mark and set your wealth and talent free. You were born to shine like the brightest star on the clearest night and now it’s your time to step into the light! :-)

 Well Done, Dwayne!  :-)

If you have any fitness goal to achieve, he is ‘your guy’ and he is waiting for you! :-)

To your success and to raise your game by having your coach and mentor,

Viv :-)

6 Techniques to train Your Mindset for Success!

A warm greetings to all my readers,

Hope my article finds you well. :-)

Last week I spoke about the 10 essential truths to bring you to the next level in life. If you haven’t read it already please take a look here: https://catalystinspiration.wordpress.com/2012/10/11/10-essentials-truths-to-take-yourself-to-the-next-level/.

For the rest of us, as promised I will follow up each of the 10 truths in detail. You might remember that the first one was to “work consistently on your mindset.” As you already know mindset/psychology is my favorite subject. With each passing day, it becomes clearer and clearer to me that having a positive mindset is imperative to success as it gives you the extra edge for taking yourself to the next level.

You might ask: What exactly is a positive mindset?

A positive mindset is a mental attitude that admits into the mind thoughts, words and images that are conductive to growth, expansion and success. It is a mental attitude that expects good and favourable results.

 

So how exactly can we get a positive mindset?

 

Let me first ask you this question:

 

Have you ever experienced thoughts that eventually became your reality?

Don’t worry, you have not been gifted with special powers. It happens because whatever you think and believe defines the way you interpret life. You will search around to find evidence to support your stance to the exclusion of all alternative points of view. As a result your life becomes an extension of what you believe in, just like a self-fulfilling prophecy. So to obtain a positive mindset we need to search for evidence to support our stance.

As always some work and actions need to be involved to get the best of any situation and having the right mindset is not any different. This will apply to any fields of life. Check out this post Trading Affirmations: for the Successful Trader’s Mindset to find out more on how their set their winning mindset.

Here are 6 Techniques to train your mind for success.

 

1. Wake up Early and Embrace Carpe Diem

One of the best ways to help you maintain a positive mindset is to create the habit of waking up early. Waking up early allows you to get ahead on important projects before the rest of the world is awake to interrupt you.

My favourite motto is Carpe Diem, seize the day. From the moment I get up I start visualising what I truly want to achieve and what I truly am grateful for in my life. I then prioritise my daily tasks. This makes me more productive and efficient and allows me to adapt more effectively to things that might pop up later on. So in my first hour I am already filled with positivity and ready to seize the day!

To learn more about embracing Carpe Diem I recommend reading my dear bro’s recent article on this very subject here: http://springboardyourself.wordpress.com/2012/10/12/carpe-diem/. Also if you would like to read about what successful people do in their first hour, my bro’s inspirational friend, wrote an article on this topic. Here is his link: http://qitrading.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/what-successful-people-do-in-first-hour.html.

 

2. Exercise

Very few things in life leverage your time as much as exercise, as such this is my second action of my day. Obviously it makes a difference to your physical well-being  but it also has significant benefits to your mental health. Exercise is useful to improve your overall positive mood. Further, if you exercise early in the morning you can go through your day knowing that you have already completed the most valuable activity you had to do! It really gives you an extra edge to your day and your mindset when you exercise first thing in the morning. Your energy levels are so high and positive that hardly any bad news or unforeseen occurrences will bring you down! :-) If you don’t believe me, give it a go and let me know!

3. Read Positive and Inspiring Books and Listen to Podcasts/audio books/music

One of the best ways to maintain a positive mindset is by reading positive books, or listening to podcasts/audio books and music.  They serve to encourage you, inspire you, and teach you. They embody your life in positivity, you will notice how your words change in conversation, or how you now have a more optimistic outlook in life. The added bonus of listening to podcasts or audio books is that you can listen to them on the go. For example while hoovering the house, driving your car and doing your early morning exercise.

Music is magical, it can change your state in less than a second, I can guarantee it! Whenever I am working late, as I have done recently, I get very little sleep and find music is the perfect remedy to kick start my day! The morning I started playing my favourite tunes as an alarm, I just couldn’t help it – I started dancing in the bed. In fact I jumped out! I was so surprised as I barely had 2 hours of sleep!

What are your favourite tunes? Obviously the music that makes you feel happy and energised. It’s important that you select this type of music over your preferred music. For example I really love classical music, but unfortunately it doesn’t exactly kick start my day!

I have recently mentioned this technique to a friend of mine and she changed her alarm too.  She could not believe the difference it made! I suggest you give it a go and see for yourself! :-) Please do comment and share your experiences.

 

4. Change your negative thoughts into positive ones

Once a negative thought enters your mind, you have to be aware of it, and endeavour to replace it with a constructive one. Should the negative thought try to enter your mind again you need to be ready to repeat the process and a technique called positive self-talking.Positive self-talking is essentially repeating positive thoughts over and over again. For example if you are faced with a negative situation, you might say “you’ll be twice as good if you can beat this problem!” It is one of the most powerful tools that I adopt to self-motivate myself to take prompt actions! It is as if there are two pictures in front of you, and you have to choose to look at one of them, and disregard the other.

What do you see? Is the glass half full or half empty?

Persistence will eventually teach your mind to think positively, and to ignore negative thoughts. It doesn’t matter what your circumstances are at the present moment. Think positively, expect only favourable results and situations, and circumstances will change accordingly. If you persevere, you will transform the way your mind thinks. It might take some time for the changes to take place, but eventually they will.

 

5. Surround Yourself with Positive People

Positive and negative thinking is contagious. As a result the people around you have a big impact on how you think. All of us affect the people we meet, in one way or another. This happens instinctively and on a subconscious level, through our thoughts and feelings, and through body language. Think about when someone smiles at us, we subconsciously smile back at them! People sense our auras, and are affected by our thoughts, and vice  versa. Is it any wonder that we want to be around positive people, and prefer to avoid negative ones? People are more disposed to help us, if we are positive, and they dislike and avoid anyone broadcasting negativity. Negative thoughts, words and attitudes bring up negative and unhappy moods and actions. This is the way to failure, frustration and disappointment.

6. Be Thankful

Take some time to be thankful about what you have, who you are, and what your life is like. Think through all of the things that you can be thankful for. Even if you are in a tough time in life there are many things you have that you can be thankful for i.e. you are alive, have a family, friends, etc. You need to look for them and recognise them. The very act of focusing on what you are thankful for will help you maintain your positive attitude.

Now that I have shared the 6 techniques to train your mindset for success it’s now down to you to apply them. Remember, knowledge without implementation brings no difference in our life, it doesn’t serve us at all. Without taking action now,you have wasted some of your precious time!

 

Also remember that having a positive mindset is a journey and it starts with self-awareness. Being the best has nothing to do with size, education, or ancestry; it has everything to do with decision, commitment, action, persistence and mindset. Zig Ziglar gets it right when he says, “It is your attitude, not your aptitude, that determines your altitude.” Sure you need skills, but you can learn skills – in fact a positive attitude/mindset will make it much more likely that you will learn the skills necessary to succeed.

Focus on getting the mindset you need and get your priorities in order. You create success by taking action NOW and seriously applying yourself to something in a persistent, dedicated and focused way.

I want to leave you with a powerful quote to decide if you are up for the challenge to take yourself to the next level:

‘Who are you now?

Who have you decided to become?

Make this decision consciously.

Make it carefully.

Make it powerfully.

Then Act upon it.’ – Tony Robbins

Now, it’s up to you to make the decision to take yourself to your next level and most importantly to take immediate action to achieve your goals and move forward in your life and in your business!  :-)

‘A real decision is measured by the fact that you’ve taken a new action. If there’s no action, you haven’t truly decided.’ – Tony Robbins

Don’t delay in making your decision as time is the most precious commodity that we have – once it’s gone we can’t get it back! So, ACT NOW and join me in the challenge to take ourselves to the next level! It won’t be easy but you will not regret it and your results will definitely make it worthwhile! :-) I’m ready, how about you?

To taking yourself to the next level by working constantly on your positive mindset!!!

Viv :-)

 

10 Essentials Truths to Take Yourself to the Next Level!

A warm greetings to all of my readers! :-)

Have you been stuck in the same routine for some time and want to take things up a notch?

Have you ever wondered what it takes to get to the next level of your life and your business?

I have been thinking about these questions too. It was during one of my fitness sessions about a month ago, where things started to un-wind. This might have been due to the change of routine I ended up doing with my fitness coach that evening. Usually I train based on what my fitness coach tells me to do and he checks my posture, speed, etc. Instead we actually trained together…we were doing the same exercises at the same time and guys, it was hard to beat him…(we actually finished together but for me this was a win) and it was well worth the effort, aches, pains and muscle burning I experienced in the following days… ‘You always have to be on edge. You always have to take every practice, every game, like it is your last.‘ – Kobe Bryant

You might be thinking, well that’s great Viv, you had a wonderful coaching session but what about getting to the next level in your life and business?

You see, whilst I was training so hard, my ‘little’ brain was working and thinking… The training session acted as my muse for new thoughts and helped me to realise some important learning lessons.

These are the questions I was asking myself during that hour training:

Was I giving as much energy in my life and business as I had done with this fitness coaching session?

Why was it in this session that I decided to push myself the extra mile?

 What do I need to do to get to my next level?

When we ask ourselves questions we automatically go searching for them, and these are my 10 essential truths that came up as answers. Ironically they presented themselves to me in a series of events I happened to attend just last week, as well as yesterday’s fitness coaching session!

1. Work consistently on your Mindset! – Mindset is everything in life, the way we think will affect the way we feel and consequently the actions we will take! Based on this truth, if we want to take different actions, we need to change the way we think! Therefore the real secret of life and business is Psychology to seize every opportunity in life with the positive mindset – ‘Carpe Diem’ has always been my motto since I was 6! 

2Have a coach, a mentor and a team!  – If we want to get to the next level, we need        to be accompanied on our journey by these three characters:

A coach to push us over our limits and believe me we really have no clue what they    actually are. They also provide us with the motivation and the mental metal necessary to carry us through our setbacks.

A mentor provides us with their experience, knowledge and social proof required to move us forward faster.

A team could be a single buddy or a bigger team of people (don’t forget that our coach and our mentor are part of it!). They act as opportunities to share our setbacks, successes and most importantly to celebrate our wins together! Don’t underestimate the power of a team!

3. Invest in yourself and your education!‘An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest’ – Benjamin Franklin. As suggested by the quote, if we want to improve ourselves, we need to invest firstly in us and in our education to avoid pitfalls and recognise opportunities. We also need to have clarity and direction in our life and business to avoid being distracted by the limitless information now available.

4. Get serious about your goals and have fun! – We will make progress only after we commit ourselves and get serious on getting results. If not, setbacks and obstacles will slow us down and cause a lot of frustration! It’s not a secret that serious professionals play to win, have fun and always finish successfully. ‘Make sure that people are having fun. Fun is not about acting stupid. It’s the feeling you get when you’re on top of things.’ – Richard Branson

I had experienced this truth just yesterday, when I approached one of my fitness coaches and told him my fitness goals. He looked at me and asked only one question: ‘How committed are you?’ Believe me, he did not even get to the end of the sentence before I responded that I was very committed and I would do whatever it takes to achieve them! Only in that moment, I knew that now I took my fitness seriously and I would get tangible results! Now I know that I’ll fight for it, I won’t give up, I’ll reach my goals and absolutely nothing will stop me.

5. Be Self-Aware, Honest, Prepared and Keep it Simple! – This is the check-up moment of how much we know ourselves (strengths and weaknesses), how much we are honest with ourselves (I know it’s painful at times but it’s needed to get results and to move forward – ‘no pain no gain’ applies not only in fitness but in our emotional state too) and how much we are prepared to succeed! ‘You were born to win, but to be a winner, you must plan to win, prepare to win and expect to win.‘ – Zig Ziglar. Secondly, I never say it enough, simplicity is the key to success! When is the best time to prepare ourselves? An inspirational friend of mine beautifully articulated this very subject in his blog by his personal experience. Read his blog if you want to get inspired and get some very invaluable tips, here his link: http://qitrading.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/what-successful-people-do-in-first-hour.html.

6. Establish Deadlines and Accountability! – I speak from personal experience, I’m a deadline person. I work on numerous projects at the same time and I found that what makes me successful is that I have deadlines to meet. This means I have no choice but to get things done by setting crystal clear goals, raising the bar, setting up my game and embracing a take-no-prisoners attitude. Also I need to be accountable to someone else externally to get the job done! Having coached a lot of entrepreneurs and people, it is clear that those whom hold the greatest accountability to me with strict deadlines, achieve the greatest results. Guess what I’m known as now? ‘The Accountability Coach!’.

7. Acquire the 3 C’s to Results: Confidence, Consistency and Commitment! – I believe these skills are very clear and go hand in hand. When we are confident and committed to achieve our goals, we are consistent in our actions and approaches to life and business.

8. Employ the  7 D’s to Success: Discipline, Drive, Delegation, Direction, Decisiveness, Determination and Dedication! – These feed from each other and need to be used all together to get to the next level. When we have direction of what we want to do, it will provide us with the drive, decisiveness and determination to succeed in achieving our goals. Discipline ensures we stick to our plan. Dedication enables us to get motivated during our setbacks and delegation enables us to accelerate our results and to focus on our priority tasks.

9. Have Reliable Social Proof! – It is essential to provide us with the certainty that our goal can be achieved. Take for example marathon runners and the time they employ to run one! They show us that it is possible!

10. Review your progress and your success with your Coach! – Honestly speaking, there is a huge difference between reviewing our results by ourselves and with a coach. We can find any justification to take specific course of action and achieving certain results but when we review our progress with a coach, he/she will challenge our reasons and unveil our excuses to make us move forward faster…these are not the only benefits. Knowing that someone will check on our results will intensify our commitment and accountability and strengthen our focus and motivation to stick to our plan. If you don’t believe me, you have to experience it! :-)

I just gave a quick summary of each of the essential truths that will take you to the next level in your life and business. In the weeks to come I will be breaking each step down in further articles that will help enhance your knowledge and ability to implement them into your life. Keep this quote in mind ‘You were given this life, because you are strong enough to live it!‘ – Unknown. So if you are ready to bring yourself to new levels of success watch this space!

Remember: ‘Winners are not people who never fail, but people who never quit!‘ and ask yourself if what you’re doing today is getting you closer to where you want to be tomorrow.

‘If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.’ – Martin Luther King Jr

Small daily improvements are the key to staggering long-term results. ‘Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.‘ – Robert Collier

Today, I want you to ask yourself these questions: ‘Why not you?’ Why not you to do something that you love? Why not you to have a healthy body? Why not you to be, have or do anything you have ever dreamed? We are so quick to think others are deserving over ourselves. So why not you to take it to your next level? The true is that we are all deserving and we owe it to ourselves! :-)

Are you NOW ready to take up the challenge to take yourself to the next level?

It’s up to you to take up the challenge to take it to your next level and to share it with me as I am super ready! :-)

To your achievement to the next level!

Viv :-)

8 Benefits to finish the year Successfully!

A warm greeting to all my readers,

Hope this article finds you well! :-)

My previous article covered the 10 strategies to finish the year successfully. I have received a lot of positive feedback and I am glad that it has been useful to many of you. If you haven’t read it yet I do invite you to do so by clicking on this link: https://catalystinspiration.wordpress.com/2012/09/27/433/. It will provide you with the practical tips to achieve your goals. As always you need to implement them into your life if you want to see the results.

A question that I was actually pondering on for a while was the following:

What are the benefits of finishing the year successfully?

When faced with setbacks, understanding why we have chosen a certain course of action will help act as an internal driver and motivate us to keep going. If we don’t understand the reason and above all the benefits of having a successful ending of the year, we will not apply any of the strategies that I have suggested last week.

Let’s examine the benefits in more detail to eliminate any remaining excuses that might be holding us back from implementing the strategies suggested.

Let’s ensure we finish the year successfully!

1. Fixed Deadlines. Having a fixed non-negotiable deadline makes us watch how we use our time. Knowing that the clock is ticking is one of the best motivators for taking action. It represents our Commitment, reinforces our Accountability and creates a Sense of Urgency!

2. Chance for redemption. If we are below target and our back is against the wall, it will provide us with a last chance for redemption. Look at this as comeback time! If we are below target, I suggest to GET MAD! Pain, failure, loss and embarrassment are such great motivators. You should allow adversity to force your hand to make new choices and take new actions. Use the pain as fuel that drives your comeback. It will become the fuel that perpetuates your current situation. ‘A Champion is someone who gets up when they can’t.’ – Jack Dempsey

3. Set an Inspiring Example. Our performance could be seen as the sad consequence of neglect, poor character, lack of direction and ambition or it could be an inspiring example of talent put to use in the intense pursuit of clearly defined year-end goals. To reinforce this subject, I invite you to read a post of one of my inspiring friends. Here his blog link: http://qitrading.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/the-only-source-of-knowledge-is.html.

4. Build Momentum for the New Year. This is one of the smartest things we can do as it provides a powerful platform for a fast start from January next year.

5. Intensifies our Focus. Knowing that both options and time are diminishing assets. Our ability to focus on high pay-off activities becomes an obvious priority for securing a successful finish to the year.

6. Close Execution Gaps. This is the opportunity to close the gap between the goals we planned for ourselves at the start of the year and the actual results we have achieved to date.

 7. Character Defining Moment. Our ability to finish the year by achieving our goals is all about character. It’s about turning a flashlight to our soul to inspect ourselves for will, courage, conviction and pride. To see what we are really made of. Don’t wait for life to hand you things, anything worth having is worth fighting for! ‘Going in one more round when you don’t think you can – that’s what makes all the difference in your life’Sylvester Stallone

8. Throw Down a Challenge. There’s nothing quite like a good old-fashioned challenge to test our limits, is there? Exceed quotas and expectations to keep our teeth sharp and see how far we can go by finishing this year successfully. ‘Life is meant to be a challenge, because challenges are what make you grow.’ – Manny Pacquiao. To emphases this benefit, my dear bro wrote an article on how having a positive mindset will bring positive results even though challenges are along the way. Enjoy reading his real life article by clicking on his link: http://springboardyourself.wordpress.com/2012/09/27/attitude-trumps-aptitude/.

Did I take you by surprised with the reasons listed above? I hope not and at the same time, I hope I gave you enough good reasons to make the decision to review your goals set at the beginning of the year. Now that you know them, it’s your call for action and you know that only you can do what’s needed to be done to achieve them, nobody else can live your life for you. This is the gift of life so treasure it and live it to the fullest! :-)

How far away are you from your intended targets?

Take action now and close the gap by creating a specific set of tasks for us to complete with non-negotiable deadlines….it won’t take much time before we start seeing amazing results as any task and goal takes as much time as we allow it to take. We will be constantly challenged to perform and expected to complete tasks and activities on deadline. The discipline of deadline enforcement ensures rapid and ongoing goal achievement. This is why we will be putting these 8 powerful strategic benefits to good use. Do the work necessary to finish the year successfully. Remember that ‘if you’re trying to achieve, there will be roadblocks. I’ve had them; everybody has had them. But obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it or work around it.‘ – Michael Jordan

If we focus on problems, we’ll have more problems. When we focus on possibilities, we’ll have more opportunities. ‘Never say never, because limits, like fears, are often just an illusion.’ – Michael Jordan

There will never be a day that does not require dedication, discipline, good judgment, physical vitality and the opportunity for improvement. Each and every day provides you with the opportunity to get better, to stand out, to answer the call, to prove your greatness and demonstrate excellence to each and every turn. As a result ensure everything you do counts as it does! :-)

To your successful achievements!

Viv :-)

10 Strategies to finish the year Successfully!

A warm greetings to all my readers,

Hope this article finds you well! :)

On the 21st of September, autumn officially started along with the 101 day count down to the end of the year…and as such to ensure I finish strong, on the 22nd of September I decided to enrol onto a 100 day challenge. As I knew that I needed some extra help, I got an accountability coach for myself to ensure that I completed all my goals for this year as I am falling behind at the moment! :)

What are the reasons of finishing the year successfully?

If you think about it, more than 265 days of this year are already gone. Time is ticking, so the key thing we need to do right now is to focus on our current year-to-date results. If you are at present below target as I am or unhappy with your individual year to-date performance, you must consider the remaining 100 days as a now-or-never opportunity to redeem yourself by finishing this year successfully.

What exactly do I mean by finishing successfully?

This is the same as the mentality a distance runner uses as they sprint to the finishing line, a salesperson who crushes the last quarter to exceed their annual quote and a football team closing the season with conviction to make the playoffs. These final days is when you’ve got to give it everything you’ve got. This will provide you with the motivation and justification to rise up while your competition is most likely winding down.

 

What specific steps or strategies can you deploy in order to secure a successful year-end finish?

I will share with you the 10 simple highly effective and empowering strategies to step up the quality and intensity of our efforts that I have been given during the 100 days challenge! By implementing these strategies, we will accelerate our performance, drive massive results and finish the year strong!

Let’s crack on then…

STRATEGY # 1 GET SERIOUS

With a finite period of time breathing down our neck, we have no choice but to get serious, set crystal clear goals, raise the bar, set up our game and embrace a take-no-prisoners attitude. We will make rapid progress towards our goals only after we decide to get serious about getting results. It’s not a secret that serious professionals play to win and always finish successfully.

STRATEGY # 2 START SAYING NO

This is going to be my hardest strategy to employ as ‘NO’ has never been part of my vocabulary so I have to learn how to say it…Apparently ‘NO’ is the most powerful word in our vocabulary as it’s the easiest word for setting a limit, holding firm to boundaries and being clear about what you will or will not do for these last days of the year. We will be more productive and effective once we recognise that learning to say ‘NO’ is liberating as it frees up our time and energy to focus on our key priorities and wildest ambitions. It increases the value of the things we can say ‘YES’ to. Success demands a short YES list and a long NO list, yet most people have that one reverse engineered

STRATEGY # 3 ACT BOLDLY

In a 100 day sprint, there’s no time for indecision, doubt, excuses, blaming or procrastination. We cannot allow any of these self-destructive behavioural traits to perpetuate. Our finest hour will not come from a weak, wimpy nor a half-hearted effort. Go big, go bold or go home!

STRATEGY # 4 SET CHALLENGING DEADLINES

We work our best under a self-determined or externally fixed deadline for achieving our goals. You may ask: What is the reason behind this? Well, it’s simple. Any task, project or goal takes as much time as we allow for it to take. By setting non-negotiable, challenging deadlines which drive us to deliver the results, we are virtually guaranteed big and consistent wins right through the close of the year.

STRATEGY # 5 CREATE A SENSE OF URGENCY

To achieve our goals and to finish the year successfully, we need a flame under our behind which ignites a performance explosion. We must take massive action every day and develop a sense of urgency and importance about what we are doing. Urgency to the extent that getting results and achieving our goals is a matter of life or death.

STRATEGY # 6 SPEED THINGS UP

The old rules no longer apply. It’s not the big that eats the small but it’s the fast that eats the slow. The key to rapid, ongoing and transformational results is to recognise the power of increasing the speed of everything we do. Make this our primary weapon for finishing the year successfully.

STRATEGY # 7 REFUSE TO GIVE UP

Those with the character to do what it takes to finish the year successfully tend not to allow the indignity of a poor year-to-date performance to keep them down. A comeback accepts disaster, laughs in its face and crawls to his feet again. When we are down or below target other people will write us off. Do not let them define you – maintain your dignity and refuse to give up! Keep going until you achieve your goals as the moment you’re ready to quit is usually the moment right before the miracle happens. Don’t give up!

STRATEGY # 8 BE PERSISTENT

By choosing to be persistent, we are demonstrating no abatement of severity, intensity, strength or peace nor are we softening or yielding in determination. Finishing the year successfully necessitates that we fight on with undying, relentless determination. The rewards for those who are unyielding in their pursuit of a successful finish far exceed the pain that must precede the victory. When you get to the point where anyone else would quit, don’t stop – keep going!

STRATEGY # 9 BE A DRIVEN PERSON

The goal of finishing the year successfully can only be achieved by driven people motivated by high expectations. We must become driven in what we expect from ourselves and in the demands we make on others. The only way to create big, bold, breakthrough year-end results is to take the less travelled road. Set goals and plans that are unreasonable – and go for it!

STRATEGY # 10 MAKE EVERYTHING COUNT

As we work towards the goal of finishing the year successfully, we must understand that there will never be a day that will not require drive, dedication, discipline, perseverance and accountability. Regardless of our year-to-date results, you and I know that no matter how good or bad they have been…we can always do better – much better and push our limits higher! :)

Each and every day provides us with the opportunity to get better, to stand out, to answer our call, to prove our greatness and demonstrate excellence to each and every turn. Therefore make sure everything you do counts, as it does! :)

Don’t give up on this year’s goal achievements, start NOW to apply the 10 strategies above and make every day count knowing that you CAN do it – it’s about effort. When you bring that effort every single day, that’s where transformation happens and that’s how change and results occur! J ‘It always seems impossible until it’s done.‘ – Nelson Mandela

To your successful achievements!

Viv :)

What are your learning curves from the past months? Part 2

A very good morning to all my readers,

I want to open my article with a big THANK you to all of you and for your wonderful feedback, emails and texts received over the past months. They were really encouraging and I felt uplifted, thank you from the bottom of my heart! Also a big THANKS for reading my bro’s blog, it made a really great surprise for his special day!  :-)

As you can recognise from the title, it is time again for reflection!

How are you doing with achieving your goals set last January? Are you on track, behind or ahead?

It’s good sometimes to do a revision exercise to analyse where we are in life, where we want to be and what steps will take us there! It’s important to ensure that we obtain what we really want in life and don’t settle for less!!! Maybe for some of you, it’s action time! It’s definitely for me, I have realised that this year has been a very different one from my previous ones! I can describe it with only one word: WAITING! A quote that summaries this concept well is this one: ‘We only regret the chances we didn’t take, relationships we were afraid to have and the decisions we waited too long to make’. That is so true! Every goal that I have not yet achieved this year has only one common denominator: I was waiting for someone (sadly it was the same person all the time) or for the perfect occasion (again the same person was involved)! To be honest, I am quite annoyed with myself! Now that I am aware of what has slowed me down from achieving my goals I can overcome it!

I will share with you what I have personally learnt in the last four months. Please feel free to comment and to share your own lessons too! :-)

Before I start, please take your time to answer the questions below, don’t rush and above all be honest with yourself if you want to achieve personal growth and become a better you!  This is one of the most important times you can dedicate to achieving your goals and ultimately your life successes! Once you have discovered your lessons, please feel free to compare them with mine…let me know how many we have in common, I would love to share your journey…

Ready to answer these questions?

What have you learned from your past months?

What lessons did you gather?

How did you benefit from them?

What could you have changed to improve your performance and results?

What three actions can you take to get nearer to your goal and be successful?

Now that you have gathered your lessons, please read what I have learned…Don’t forget to compare it and let me know how many we have in common…

Here are my learning pointers for the past months:

Stay focused:  we live in a world where we are bombarded by information, knowledge, adverts, etc and as far as all these are useful advantages to our life in the long run, if left unchecked, they become a distraction. As an example I was coaching someone a few weeks ago and we were working on time management (this is recently becoming a regular topic in my coaching sessions). When I asked what was using the majority of the client’s time, the response was surfing the internet. You research one topic and suddenly you start surfing ten other ones connected to it! Clearly this demonstrates that we need to focus on our goals to achieve them. There are so many things that can easily distract us especially if we have short attention spans!

A great way to visualise focus is to think of horse blinkers. The flaps that prevent the horse from looking anywhere but straight ahead. It’s important we learn to use our own blinkers to keep us focused on a day to day basis, and I’m not talking literally!

What takes most of your time during the day or week?

What are your eye blinkers to keep you focused?

What actions can you take to help you stay focused on your goals?

The honest answers to the questions above, will speed up your progress in achieving your goals and your successes!

Unwavering Clarity & Self-Awareness: the more I self-reflect the more I realise how much I owe my success primary to my clarity in what I wanted to do in my life. Since the age of 6 I have had a vision and dreams of where I wanted to be and what I wanted to do. It is so amazing to see them all come to reality. This was all the result of focus and determination to keep going even when others were obstructing me. I believe the most difficult lesson was to be disciplined, you see I always go for what people dared not to do. Every time someone tells me “this task will be very difficult to master,” these are the magic words to make me want to take it on! Yes, challenges are what make me accomplish my goals and plans!

What is your activator bar?

What makes you act no matter how big the goal is?

This is one of your strengths, if you have self-awareness of who you are, you can use it to your advantage. For example when you do not feel motivated to do something, you can change your mind-set and perceive things in a way that will encourage you to take action. This is a very powerful tool and technique to know!

How can you acquire more clarity and self-awareness?

 

What are your values and beliefs?

 

What are your strengths and weaknesses?

What are the reasons of making your choices and decisions in your life?

Are you making a conscious decision or an unconscious reaction?

 

The honest answers to the above questions will provide you with a better understanding of who you are and what you want from your life. Consequently you will take action accordingly to achieve your goals and your success! Just remember that your happiness and success in life comes from clarity as to who you are. As you become more aware of yourself and feel more comfortable in your own skin, other people will be drawn to you and bring you greater opportunity!

For more details, see my previous articles on Ready to find your light bulb, Ready for your SWOT analysis and The 3’C’s in Succcess! Here are the links:

Ready To Find Your Light Bulb moment?

Ready For Your Swot Analysis?

The 3 ‘C’s in Succcess,

 

Confidence: you need to have a certain degree of confidence to achieve your goals and become successful. Without it you will find it difficult to take action and move forward. To back up this point, I have coached numerous people and believe me the common denominator of not taking action was lack of confidence. Is it true that if you don’t believe in someone and/or in a strategy as human beings we won’t take any action? Think about your everyday life i.e. where do you buy your clothes? your shoes? where do you take your things for repair? who do you choose to make business with? Is it not someone who you really trust and have proven worthy of our confidence? I am sure you agree with me!

What does it mean to be a confident person?

What does having a lack of confidence cost you on a daily basis?

How can we increase our level of confidence firstly in ourselves and in others?

What actions can you take to boost your confidence?

To understand the importance of having confidence, I came across this inspiring quote:

“Experience tells you what to do; confidence allows you to do it.” ~ Stan Smith

Even if we’re reasonably assured most of the time, it is beneficial to do a little mental strengthening check up every now and then. It feels good to be confident, which in turn perpetuates further confidence, impresses people and brings you success.

 

In my previous articles, I have shared 5 ways to increase your confidence which are: Get to know who we are and what we want out of life, face our fears, prepare, take action and realise that failure or being wrong would not harm you. For more details, please read my articles On Becoming Unstoppable & Becoming Unstoppable Part 2! Here are the two links:

 

Becoming Unstoppable

Becoming Unstoppable Part 2

 

Consistent preparation and developing a Positive Mind-set: “One important key to success is confidence. An important key to confidence is preparation.”  ~ Arthur Ashe “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” ~ Benjamin Franklin

 

Have you ever experienced the situation where you are undertaking something new and noticed how you very quickly get lost in thoughts and actions?

You start building ‘what if’ scenarios in your mind of what may happen.

Definitely, preparing and educating ourselves can be a big help in making a huge difference in our confidence levels but we need to take the time to prepare ourselves. Obviously, this is more work than not doing anything about it. For example by rehearsing and rewriting our speech over and over again, we can learn it by heart. By doing research we can find breathing techniques that can quickly make us calmer and more confident as we deliver our speech.

Preparation is the key to feeling more comfortable and confident. Just don’t make the mistake of getting stuck in the preparation phase and using it as a way to avoid taking action and the possible pain that it may lead to. As for me, I knew that if I wanted to be successful I needed to be prepared for any eventuality, ensuring that I didn’t miss out on any opportunities! This is the hardest skill to work on as we often prepare based on previous knowledge of people, situations, events, etc. but sometimes there is the surprise effect – something unexpected comes up and we ask ourselves questions such as: What do I do now? What do I say?

 

How can you prepare for it?

What is the best behaviour in surprise effect situations?

What provides you with the best edge?

Not an easy scenario to face is it? Sometimes, because we are not prepared for unexpected situations, we miss out on big opportunity in life! In order to have an edge we need to ensure that we prepare for the predictable and do our best when things get impulsive. Our confidence will grow overtime and we will learn to keep it cool even when we don’t know who we may meet or what might happen next.

Regarding having a positive mind-set that is a must! I have a very strong passion for mind-set and psychology, and so both are subjects I often like to talk about. I am a strong believer that your mind-set counts for more than 90%, if not 100% of life’s successes, in any field. If you don’t have the right state of mind and positivity, even a success could turn into a failure. I am sure that you know what I am talking about, as all of us have experienced it. We believe what we tell ourselves and it will make a huge difference when we focus on having a positive mind-set! We end up seeing opportunities where others see difficulties!

When faced with a challenging situation ask yourself the following questions to ensure you have a positive mind-set:

How can I benefit from this event, circumstance or occasion?

How can I use this event to my advantage?

What did I learn from it that will assist me for the better?

Exercise and healthy lifestyle: I learned this lesson at the expense of my own health. I have to admit that I have to thank my dear bro as he is an avid fan of the gym! So I could not stand the fact that he is so fit and healthy and I was not. Out of a challenge with myself, I decided that if he could be, I could be too.  Without any hesitation knowing that with hard work, determination, disciplined and persistence, I would be able to achieve my fitness goal, to be fit and toned! I felt like I went through an education program on how, what and when to eat, how to exercise, what muscles to exercise, what type of exercise to follow based on different needs, etc. I have to admit that I felt so ignorant when I first started and I often asked myself the reason why people do not know all this information. It was then that I realised how all this information can end up being contradictory, there is literally so many different opinions on the subject! I consider myself quite fortunate to have surrounded myself with qualified fitness individuals/coaches that were willing to share their information with me and above all help me understand what type of nutrition and exercises were the most effective for my objective. A big thank you to all of you and above all to my bro who got me started!  (just to say that he has a degree in Science)…I felt like Tommy was my dad when he was patiently and lovingly providing me with the answers to my questions and the tips on how to improve my performance! Thank you, much appreciated, Bro! :-)

So I learnt how important it is to exercise, eat healthy and sleep enough to be at the peak of your performance! Your body will appreciate it if you only listened to it!!! For more details, see my articles on fitness: How much can you tell from appearance? 10 ways to keep your motivation to exercise, and Viv’s hot proven tips to keep your motivation fool-proof! Part 1 and Part 2. Here are the links:

Fitness: How Much Can You Tell From Appearance?

Fitness 10 Ways to Keep Your Motivation to Exercise?

Fitness Vivs 8 Hot Proven Tips to Keep Your Motivation Foolproof Part 1

Fitness Vivs 8 Hot Proven Tips to Keep Your Motivation Foolproof Part 2

 

Skills of leverage & delegation: Another important lesson was when I learnt the true meaning of the words delegation and leverage! What a relief it was! Even until now, I can’t believe how much I could have accomplished if I had learnt to delegate and leverage earlier in my life. This is particularly true when I was working in the corporate world! Later is better than never as some say! What stopped me was something called perfectionism, some of you may have experienced it! Only when you realise that perfection is relative and not absolute, will you start to delegate  others. Obviously if your standards are high, at the beginning everything will appear less than adequate to you. However, I can guarantee that one day, someone will impress you with their job and you will start to delegate more and more. You will understand how much time, resources and efforts you will save!

A very recent lesson that I learnt is regarding networking! Let’s just say that it is not my cup of tea! Most people that know me may be surprised to read this, as I am always at events, smiling and engaging everyone I meet!  The lesson that I learnt was that people usually go to networking events to find potential clients for their business by collecting as many contacts as possible, I do not! I usually leave with a maximum of two or three business cards of people that I have spent most of the time talking to! So when we contact each other we will already have good memory of who the other person is and what we spoke about. This way we have a lower chance of mixing people up and ending up getting embarrassed. You know what I am talking about, don’t you? I believe that quality is more important than quantity! Another reason is that I do not look for clients during the events but I look for potential joint ventures instead. This works to help leverage each other strengths, time and resources! It also helps you gain some support and guidance from influent people during your journey. Clever idea, isn’t it?

See my article on 5 Steps to Effective Delegation for more details. Here is the link:

5 Steps to Effective Delegation

Surround yourself with a positive circle of influence and role models to learn from: here comes the beautiful concept of modelling. This is an NLP concept that is vastly well known. You need to learn from others who have walked the path before you, it is called ‘standing on the shoulders of giants’. Modelling is highly valued and it makes sense to copy someone who has already achieved what we want to accomplish as I did with my dear Bro! This allows us to achieve our success in the fastest and most efficient way possible.

Who are the people who have already achieved this result in the past?

How can you model them to the best of your abilities?

How can you establish a relationship with your role models?

How can you add value to them?

To have role models will add a new dimension to your life, you will see faster results with the minimum use of your resources as you learn to work in the smartest way possible! I can definitely guarantee this! Obviously to keep the momentum going, you need to surround yourself with a positive circle of influence such as like minded individuals who share the same goals and aspirations as you do. This means that when you are facing tough challenges, they will be there to raise your spirits and encourage you to keep going.

For more details see my articles on Circle of Influence: ‘What does it tell you about yourself’ & ‘How does it affect your life’. Here are the links:

Your Circle of Influence What Does it Tell You About Yourself?

Your Circle of Influence How Does it Affect Your Life?

Above are my main lessons that I have learnt in the past months. To be honest, when I sat down to write this article, I could not think of anything of value I could give to you. For some reason which I am still not sure about, I did not want to look back into my past (that’s very unusual of me as through analysing your past experiences you learn the lessons of your life). Until I read one of my bro’s mate’s article titled ‘What does Rocky and a Trader have in common? A real rags to riches story…’ as you can guess, he is a financial market trader.  It really inspired me, all my learning lessons flew into my mind and I could not stop to write them…Most probably because the article highlighted the life experience of Rocky who inspired me since I was a child – maybe now it’s clearer where I get all my determination from. I invite you to read his inspiring article in full here: What Does Rocky and a Trader Have in Common?.

So, have you compared your learning lessons with mine? How many do we have in common?

Please let me know as I would love to share yours and learn from them. It will be very interesting and amazing to see your different perspectives of life!

Have you noticed again what is the acronym of my learning lessons? Let me know if you do!

After self-reflecting I hope you can see to get the best out of every event, circumstance, emotions, etc. which occur in our lives, we need to approach them with a positive mind-set. We need to ask ourselves the magical and powerful question:

What have I learned from my experiences?

 

Remember to take notes and put them into practice as every third of the year, I will write my own ones and you will have them ready to compare them with mine. Perhaps more importantly this will give more meaning to your experiences and to live your life to the full! As always, this is the beauty of life, it leaves something to learn from to enhance and enrich our future! “We come this way but once. We can either tiptoe through life and hope that we get to death without being too badly bruised or we can live a full, complete life achieving our goals and realising our wildest dreams.’ Bob Proctor

To your learning lessons which lead to your success!

Viv :-)