5 Questions to Assess Your Fear of Failure

Can questions to yourself help you overcome your fears of failure? YES…

..and the reason why is that asking your self the right questions can lead to a healthier and more productive way of thinking. A common theme you will find in people managing their careers, is that they manage the downside versus the upside of their decisions which we will discuss more fully on my next blog post.  Terri Cole – CEO, Live Fearless and Free; transformation coach and licensed therapist, shared an interesting write upon the topic of  Reframing Your Fear of Failure.

She raised a very powerful revelation:  Fear of failure has one thing in common with all of our other fears.  It is a feeling and not a fact.  Isn’t this empowering? It is saying that our biggest fears comes from what we feel will possibly happen to us in the future. We don’t fear what we experience today, because we are experiencing it. Reality always takes over from fear. Because we are there and dealing with it.

We find problems we fear are always less than what we actually experience should that fear materialize.

Terri raised 5 questions to help us better rationalize our fears, modify our thinking about a problem and actually deal with a more realistic assessment of risks.

1.  How is your fear of failure holding you back?
2. What would life be like if you did not have this fear?
3. Who are you afraid of disappointing if you fail?
4. How strong is your desire to release this fear?
5. If there were one step you could take to overcome this fear, what would it be?

Action of the Day
Go through these 5 questions. Be really honest with yourself.  Your ability to pursue your ultimate career objectives are most likely dependent on your ability to address any fears of failure you have.  I found these questions exhilarating and reinforcing my desire to manage the upside of opportunities versus the downside of risk taking.

Quote of the Day
” You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”      Eleanor Roosevelt….famous first lady to President Franklin D. Roosevelt

It would be great if you could share your thoughts:  What ways to deal with fear has worked for you? 

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What if 20,000 People Came to your Rescue?

Imagine how you would feel if you messed up singing the national anthem in front of over 20,000 people in an arena on national TV?  Many of us would avert the crises by never putting ourselves in that situation. But, Natalie Gilbert, the winner of a Toyota sponsored contest for an up and coming vocal performer, found out what it is like. She forgot the words, but the very best of human nature came out. Watch what Coach Mo Cheeks, former head coach of the Philadelphia 76rs, did.

Imagine how powerful you can be if you went through life, and your career, with the fundamental belief in the positive nature of people. Most people wish the best of others and will root for their success. Just like for Natalie, the whole arena wanted this risk taking experience to be as positive as possible.  Imagine if you were one of the people in the audience that night. Wouldn’t you have wanted to lift Natalie’s spirits during this challenging experience?

Action of the Day:  If you knew that everyone you knew would be there to break a fall, help you recover from a failed experience, give you a smile when you felt like crying, what would you consider doing?  Visualize yourself doing that risk with all your loved ones, friends, and every acquaintance you know but forget their name, were there to root you on all the way. Feel that warm feeling.  Now for the fun part, how can you be that person who helps others rise to the occasion even when they believe they are destined for failure?  Find that opportunity to help others, even anonymously.   You will find yourself transforming into an even more “giving” person. Giving people are the most successful people in the world.

Quote of the Day: “Life’s most urgent question is: What are you doing for others?”    Martin Luther King, Jr.

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A Millionaire Secret

About 200,000 new millionaires were added last year according to Spectrem Group of Chicago who released its latest annual report of American millionaires early in 2012.   One can be a cynic and come up with unfair reasons why this happened.  Why be bitter, jealous or indifferent? Let’s celebrate the success of others unselfishly. Paul B. Farrell wrote a revealing blog titled Secrets to Being a Millionaire and Enjoying It.    It really comes down to ATTITUDE. It is all in your head.

It is deciding you have what it takes to take your life in whatever direction you need to take it to create value for others.  Paul identified 10 ways to think the right way:

1. Getting rich isn’t about the money
(It’s about creating value for others…improve peoples’ lives)
2. Think different
(Go  Your Own Way….take out that machete and carve that path…make life fun)
3. Accentuate the positive
( A positive attitude will offset “almost” any disadvantage thrown your way)
4. Quit doing what you hate
(Don’t let your life whittle away doing what you don’t enjoy.)
5. Do what you love
(Many times it starts as a hobby, then some pocket change and then….it happens a lot)
6. Find the real you
 (You will know it when you feel it…experience new things, meet new people)
7. Invest in “You Inc.”
 (Take the attitude that you right now own your own company..take pride in what you do)
8. Live with Passion
(Go through each day with enthusiasm, live with zest, you are a lucky person!!)
9.  Live in the moment
 (Live every day to its fullest, ..who knows what tomorrow brings…but today is a sure thing)
10. Make a difference
(Most millionaires love helping people and making a difference in other peoples’  lives)

 ACTION OF THE DAY
List 3 ways you can be of value to others.  One way at work, one way at home and one way for a stranger. Take action today. How did it feel? Natural or strange. Keep practicing this approach until it feels comfortable and natural. You will find so much joy in bringing value and happiness to others, that the inevitable future compensation you get from your services will happen automatically.

QUOTE OF THE DAY
“You are the masterpiece of your own life; you are the Michelangelo of your experience. The David that you are sculpting is you. And you do it with your thoughts.”
Dr. Joe Vitale   Motivational author and speaker

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The Ultimate Positive Thinking Person

This gentleman is amazing.   We all can get down in the dumps periodically due to something that didn’t work right for us.   But Jon Morrow,  Associate Editor of Copyblogger wouldn’t have any of that.   Jon wrote a blog that will just blow you away titled…..How to Quit Your Job, Move to Paradise and Get Paid to Change the World. To me this is not about Quitting a Job…it is about thinking positively in your life…this positive attitude will yield unbelievable results to you in your career and personal life.

Basically, here is a man who ran into some physical issues from an accident and became dependent on the US Government for survival.  He took initiative and developed a positive thinking approach and created a new career….He didn’t stop to grovel or just accept his predicament. He took on a passion of blogging. It could be any vocation. But he drove it forward with passion. His first focus was to help people….not strictly to make $.

This blog entry from Jon is well worth the time investment. No matter where you are in  your career and life, from unemployed and alone to self-employed with a large loving family nearby,  you can do it. Just think positive, make a plan, establish goals, take action.

Action of the Day
Are there any problems you have that exceeds Jon’s health issues from the accident?  If yes, you have my full compassion. However, if you don’t, you have the world ahead of you.  Write a list of the top 3 things you are grateful for.   Carry these blessings with you on a notecard. It will help you stay in a positive mood almost all the time. You have so much to be grateful for and maintain a positive frame of mind.  Smile…make a plan, establish goals, take action on your top pursuits..TODAY!!!

Quote of the Day
“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.”  ……..William Arthur Ward

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How to Enjoy Life : Take on a Hobby

This blog is a bit on the lighter side.  We stress the need to educate ourselves in a skill that is of value in the marketplace.  We balance family and work responsibilities which often leads no time for ourselves or fun. Life is too short. I remember going to high school and college and spent way too much time studying, working. Very little playtime.   Here are a list of hobbies I enjoyed but sacrificed time in not doing:

* Magic
* Performing comedy on stage
* Writing stories
* Dating (did I really admit that?)

Are you going through stressful times or investing a disproportionate amount of your time on running a business, finding a job or moving up the corporate ladder?  If the answer is yes, the time for a change has come.

Here is a whimsical video of people who have invested in hobbies that they enjoy. Most of these “feats” are not linked towards upgrading their career, earning more money or puts them in line for being famous. But, they represent a category of activities you should never let go of. Doing things you enjoy just because they are fun or makes your life that much more interesting. If you do this, you will find people will find you more interesting.  Wouldn’t you ultimately want to build friendships and maintain relationships with people with a variety of interests?

Action of the Day
List three things you really enjoy doing and practicing that you just don’t make time for. In the next 24 hours, find 15 minutes and do it. If it requires time, like hiking in the mountains, schedule it now in the calendar and complete in the next 7 days. Make a commitment to yourself to schedule personal time each day or several days to do something you enjoy but will not contribute to your financial wellbeing.

Quote of the Day
“When you’re curious, you find lots of interesting things to do” ….Walt Disney

Video Credit : You Tube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p7V-8v8tOJQ&feature=related

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Am I an Entrepreneur? It doesn’t Matter

Entrepreneurs are critical to the success of our economy by bearing the financial risks to drive innovation and value to their customers.  We salute them.


Are there shades of grey in being an Entrepreneur or is it black and white?  Can you be employed by others but still bring significant value to your company?   If your employer fails, you typically simply move on taking on the risk of lost income, not loss net worth.  However, what if you started to think like an entrepreneur where you are currently employed. Deborah Bailey wrote an interesting article to reflect this concept titled Become a Star Employee by Thinking Like an Entrepreneur.  There are several key take aways:

Your Attitude
Entrepreneurs start out with a vision of what they want to create, whether it is a product or a service. As an employee, your vision is just as important. The good news is that you have 100% control of this

Be Creative
Another trait of entrepreneurs is the ability to find creative ways to get things done. You also  have 100% control of this. Entrepreneurs must think creatively even in their sleep.  If you only do so during your waking hours, you are ahead of a majority of others.  If your employer goes out of its way to keep your creativity at bay, pick your battles.  If possible, find a new manager more responsive to new ideas. Believe it or not, they are there waiting for you!!!

Keep an Open Mind
A most important trait of entrepreneurs is the ability to learn new information and to continue to adapt.  Guess what, you have 100% control of this as well.  Many people find themselves doing the same type of responsibilities for years and get comfortable. Are you in this situation? If so, find a new set where you are more on the edge. It will reawaken your thought processes and clear your mind for new approaches and opportunities.

Thinking like an entrepreneur will ensure you will increase your value to your employer. With this brings increased opportunities, greater income potential and a life filled more with excitement.

ACTION FOR THE DAY
Imagine receiving an unexpected letter in the mail. You open it up and it declares that you are the new owner of the company you currently work for.  You have been given authority to make changes in the way your company earns revenue or manages its costs. Take a look at your roles and responsibilities in your current position.   Identify 3 ideas to accomplish your responsibilities in a faster and/or more efficient way.  How would you run your newly found company with a positive attitude, creative approach and keeping an open mind?  Who would you want to talk to in your company to implement these ideas?

Quote of the Day
Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it.  Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now!! – Goethe


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Top Ways to Create Your Own Luck

I wrote earlier about viewing life as an opportunity to create your own luck.   But what approaches should you take?  I’ll let you in on a secret…It starts with the right mindset…it starts with Believing.


Nicole Carter of Inc.com wrote a terrific article on the 6 Steps for making your own luck. She listed out 6 Steps I wanted to share:

Be humble 
You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.

Roll up your Sleeves
A strong work ethic is the biggest contributor to being lucky.

Be Generous
A pay it forward attitude pays off in spades. And it feels good.

Be Ready

Per Jim Collins, author of  Good to Great, “Thousands of people could have done the same thing that Mr. Gates did,  at the same time. But they didn’t…”    Bill Gates was ready to take action. Are you?

Go with your Gut
Per Steve Jobs at his famous Stanford Graduating Class speech : “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you  can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.   You have to trust in something.”

Simply believe you are Lucky
According to psychologist and University of Hertfordshire Professor Richard Wiseman, “Simply believing you are lucky can create positive outcomes… Lucky people are more relaxed and open, and therefore see what is there,  rather than just what they are looking for.”

While very unfortunate things could happen to us or our loved ones in life, sometimes painful experiences, we can still create our own luck and have some wonderful experiences and accomplishments in our life.

Action of the Day
For the rest of today and tomorrow, start a new belief system. You are indeed a very lucky person. If the luck hasn’t materialized yet, know that every challenge or setback is simply putting you one step closer to your ultimate goal.  Visualize yourself ready for the opportunity. You will be amazed at how many times situations arise to move forward on your goals when you are least expecting it. They will almost fall into your lap. Trust your gut. I am an “analyzer”. Sometimes, I need to take that hat off and just embrace what is coming my way and go with my gut feelings without analysis.  I then welcome the new opportunity, roll up my sleeves and give it my all. Luck is sure to follow.

Quote of the Day
“I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.”       Michael Jordan (world famous professional basketball player

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Do you need a Jolt of Inspiration?

Have you ever felt like you are hitting your head against the proverbial wall?  I have many times. There were my early days in Middle School where I ackwardly tried to fit into the social scene(it wasn’t pretty).

I hit my head on those first jobs where I was still discovering what career path I want to pursue. There were the latter years where my passion at times exceeded levels some people are comfortable with.  As I pursued more and more exciting things, my head hit the wall all too frequently. You know what, it is a good thing. It means I am pushing myself beyond the comfort zone of the status quo. I bet you have experienced the same thing.

I recently searched for a short video that can very simply serve as a catalyst to inspire positive thoughts. Why? Because to Upgrade your Career and your life, you need to be continuously inspired. You get to ultimately learn to inspire yourself. This is a pretty cool objective.

I discovered a “results” expert, author and consultant named John Von Achen. I have no ties to John, haven’t met him or interacted with him as of this writing. There is a short/sweet slideware YouTube he made available(approx. 3 minutes) that you will enjoy and can turn to for a quick dose of inspiration anytime. I sure will.

The beauty of this is that it isn’t rocket science. Your thoughts are a muscle. Work them, feed them and manage your thoughts through positive repetition. Please feel free to visit John’s website.

Actions of the Day: Count how many times over the next 12 waking hours you find yourself facing negative thoughts that create doubt in yourself. Of those negative thought experiences, how long did they last in average? If you find yourself spending a significant amount of time focused on doubts, fears and feelings of temporary helplessness, then make a commitment to invest time to build your control of thoughts. This could be one of the most constructive decisions you make. Many people find career development to not be meaningful if plagued by negative thinking. One way to do this is have available short inspirational reading/video material whenever negative thoughts set in.

Quote of the Day: “If you don’t see yourself as a winner, then you cannot perform as a winner.”
— Zig Ziglar: Motivational author and speaker

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People Networking – How to Get Started

At all times of your career, your most valued assets will be your Network.   Networking is a commonly referenced to mean developing and maintaining contacts and personal connections with a variety of people who might be helpful to you and your career. This topic will be an exciting venture of focus.

We will be focusing on this very important career skill and I will share some valuable fundamentals and helpful tools to take you to the next level from where you are. According to a very good blog posted by blog.Jobfully.com on “How to Create a Network”, there is one place to turn to for fundamentally creating your network.

Start Close to Home
You do not need to initiate your efforts by cold calling people who don’t know you or start raking through LinkedIn to find new people to link up with to get to know…That can be both time consuming, inefficient and to say the least, downright intimidating.

I remember a time during my 20s when I was sure that I wanted to focus on the “aging industry” aka supporting those 65+.   I wanted to meet people familiar with the topic.   So I picked the name of the best selling author of a book on Aging during the 1980s and wrote him a letter asking for a chance to meet him and discuss the topic.   If you are familiar with the phrase “Six Degrees of Separation”, I was more like trying to go from ten degrees to one in a single dramatic step. And I was not offering to help him, but rather to get his help(I have learned better since).  Don’t get me wrong, I am all for dramatic steps, but there was high probability of failing on my first attempt. And fail i did….I should have started more methodically to build my network on the “aging” topic  and “started close to home”.

A more effective route to pursue is the following order of priority to find people to meet:

*       Family members
*       Friends
*       Co workers
*       Organizations you belong to (Religious, Interest Groups, Political affiliations)
*       LinkedIn and Facebook Connections

Either you know people linked to the topic you wish to learn more about or they know someone. You have so much to offer others that you might be overlooking….A different perspective…a fresh face who wants to learn something new…you are a potential helper/mentor to others on the topics you know well and understand…..Never sell yourself short….You have so much to give…and it is through this giving that you will ultimately develop a very valuable People Network to help you on your life’s journey.

Action of the Day:   If you haven’t already, establish a personal journal to capture your journey of improvement. It is so valuable to track your progress and issues on a daily basis to learn from your experiences.   Write down the top 5 people you consider to be part of your network.   Jot down what is important to them in their lives and career and what you do on a regular basis to help them make progress towards their goals. If you do not know what is important to them, schedule time and find out. Try to figure out how you can help and start taking steps to do so.  Always start from the point of view of giving….you will feel better as a person and find that mysteriously, you will receive  back 10X more than what you give…Networking is not about taking…it is about giving…

Quote of the Day:  “You can get everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.     Zig Ziglar, famous leadership and personal motivation expert.

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5 Ways to Make a Positive Impression

Skills are not always about specific capabilities like putting things together, typing so many words per minute or being able to write software code to solve the most complex Sudoku puzzles.  To succeed in this world(however you define success), you must build relationships through sincere based interactions with people.

Very few people can succeed without collaboration and partnership with others.   Before you can develop these relationships, you need to make a great first impression. This is a soft skill(one we do not take a college course to develop). Soft skills tend to focus on communication and interpersonal skills.

We know they are important. When is the last time you wanted to partner with someone who didn’t leave you with a positive impression. Martin Zwilling, CEO & Founder of Startup Professionals, Inc.; published a list of 7 things to avoid making a Poor Impression.  I summarized to 5.

* Dress appropriately from the perspective of the person you are trying to impress
  (Dress more conservatively than might be expected…if unsure, wear business attire – always)

* Find a common business link or friend to warm up the connection 
(Key — Research who the person/company you will be connecting with.  Leverage Google,
Facebook, LinkedIn 
…you can be sure the same will be done on you…what do you have
in common?)

* Be prepared to concisely state your key objective
(In communication circles, this is known as your elevator pitch…you have 1 minute to
clearly state what you want
and have questions prepared to continue the dialogue as
appropriate)

* Know a lot, but don’t flaunt it
(Remember, you are building a relationship….clearly do your homework and be prepared
to answer any question..
but don’t be arrogant…they need to not only respect you
but like you!!
)

* Be positive, courteous, on time, and attentive
  
(All those years of mother/father teaching you manners will pay off here…be polite, say
Hello
 and respect the other people’s time….Don’t be late for any reason!!)

Action:  Make a lunch, coffee or even a 15 minute catch up appointment with someone you know.  It can be with someone you meet with frequently or someone who you have not invested much time in the past to meet with. Pretend you haven’t met this person before.  Perform a virtual search on this individual and put together a picture of him/her strictly based on the information available online. What do you have in common?  Memorize the information and prepare some questions.  Create an elevator pitch where you have uncovered a common interest and would like to discuss their knowledge on the topic in more details.  Show up for the appointment 5 minutes earlier than the committed time. Work hard to make a great impression.  Take note of the experience. How did it go?  Were you able to further connect with the individual to establish or enhance a bond?

Quote of the Day: “Sometimes one creates a dynamic impression by saying something, and sometimes one creates as significant an impression by remaining silent.”
Dalai Lama

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