Tag Archives: happiness

Self Esteem

Self Esteem and Confidence

The lack of a healthy self esteem is a dead weight on your life.  It’s like dragging around an anchor,  and it relegates you to the dark shadows of existence.

Low esteem is simply a self created falsehood.  Plain and simple.  Unless you are a truly bad person (i.e., murderer, child abuser and the like) you are an important, valued human being.

The problem is you have let others or importantly, your perception, make you feel worthless.

Origins

The origin of such misplaced feelings of inadequacy, are varied (cruel treatment as a child, lack of support, embarrassment over a physical state, failure on a large stage…)  However, let’s not confuse these feelings with the reality that you are a special, unique person who adds to the vibrancy of the universe and is entitled to participate fully in life.

Let’s play devil advocate; Someone or group thinks you are stupid, not wealthy, incompetent, ugly, overweight, boring etc.

So f-ing what? You still have to get up in the morning, live your life, go to work etc.

Tell Them To Go to Hell

Can’t you muster the will to blow these people off? Remember you may think you are the center of their thoughts but I can guarantee that you are not.  If someone is rude or embarrasses you, rest assured you will be the only person thinking about it an hour later.

The perpetrator will go on as if nothing happened, forgetting or not even realizing what they may have done.  You must get past it as soon as possible.  Dwelling on it will doom you.

Fears Become Monsters

The fears and nervousness we all feel will be virtually impossible to overcome without the confidence in ourselves that comes with having a positive image of ourselves.

Steps to Take

Stop with the negativity! Self criticism is bad!  Negative thoughts have a way of feeding on themselves, growing something minor into a major issue.

Everyone has good traits, talk up your small successes to yourself  and build upon them.  Don’t allow yourself to define yourself by external forces (maybe you are stuck in a crummy job, or are unemployed, have no fashion sense, are out of physical shape, etc…)

These things have nothing to do with who you really are as a person.

You must look beyond any criticism that anyone levels at you or that you hear whispering in your own head! Start believing in yourself, you will be amazed at how life will change!

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Limitless

No Limits

Ambition

Some people just seem ridiculously ambitious, attempting to achieve either a high or broad based level of success.  I have been accused of being somewhat ambitious myself, but so what?

When I hear people make negative comments about someone with a lot of ambition it drives me crazy.  Most of it is envy or jealousy.  Just because some people seem to have resigned themselves to a ‘treadmill’ existence, does not mean everyone has to.

Powerful

Ambition is a form of positive energy that can be infectious.  Life is infinitely sweeter because of it.

First off, you simply cannot accomplish anything if ambition does not help to drive you to make the attempt in the first place.

Secondly, ambition glosses over a lot of mistakes as it provides the stimulation to overcome the inevitable setbacks that come with every pursuit

Ambition also makes the attempt more important than the results.  In other words, it’s a journey not a destination.  Results are important but the geniune pursuit has be invigorating.

Confidence Connection

I have discussed confidence in several other postings, use the search bar to find them, as I am convinced it is the key to a fuller life.  I would like to look at the connection between ambition and confidence.

It appears clear that a person’s level of ambition is directly related to the amount of confidence they possess. With a healthy dose of confidence and a solid self esteem, you are much more likely to get ‘tuned’ up about trying something new.  Building on small ‘wins’, which increases your confidence, leads to a sense that there is nothing to fear in attempting to reach a goal.  Its a self feeding cycle!

Success Connection 

Success and ambition are also indelibly linked. It is your ambition that leads you to make the attempts for success.  An ambitious person leads a fuller life, positively approaching what others view as road blocks to be nothing more than challenges that will be overcome.

Blind Ambition

The term blind ambition, can be both negative or positive. It is used most often negatively to describe someone who is blind to the realities or does not understand what it will take to accomplish something.  That is true to a degree, you can not just have ambition, you have to take action.  Reckless ambition, pursuing things in the search for security to fill whatevr voids one may have is also dangerous and I have written a novel on this called Ambition Cliff.

On the other hand, if you are willing to take action and are blind to the difficulties, it can be a blessing.  How many times have you heard someone remark, “If I would have known it was going to be that hard I wouldn’t have tried it!”

Think Big

Get pumped up about something, even if you need to muster up some false bravado! Get excited and getting moving towards getting a new job, losing weight, stop smoking, learning to dance, play a sport, etc, maybe even blog!  Let me hear from you!

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Filed under confidence, improvement, insecurity, success, Uncategorized

Confidence

The Trust Connection

I am convinced confidence is the key to a fuller life.  I would like to look at the connection between trust and confidence.

The definition of confidence is often boiled down to a strong belief in yourself and your abilities. However, this definition misses an important component of confidence and the boost it provides in your ability to achieve a goal.  What I’m referring to is trust.

The trust or faith you have in yourself is built over time and plays a large role in helping you to overcome a challenge or make progress on towards a goal.

If you are attempting something you have never done before and cannot rely on the confidence that comes with having achieved a similar thing before, you can get the boost you need from the faith or trust in yourself.

Take a Leap of Faith

You may not consider yourself a success in anything.  But it’s simply not true!  It may sound basic, but you have learned and overcome obstacles since you were an infant.  You’ve learned to talk, walk, read and write!  You may have learned to drive, swim, cook etc.

I am positive that if you examined your life you will find accomplishments that you can build on.  Just because they aren’t broadcast on T.V. doesn’t diminish them. They are tangible accomplishments, even if they are from the distance past, you can use them to build a trust in yourself that you can do it. Take a leap of faith, this time for yourself!

Persistence

No matter how little you have may have achieved, the one thing you can control, irrespective of your skill set, is the effort you put forth. I am speaking to the number and intensity of the attempts you can make.  Persistence is indelibly linked to confidence and success.  You have heard the cliche; If I bang my head against the wall enough times, it will crack.  An extreme example, but it shows that if you are persistent and do not give up, you will definitely have a measure of success.

Confidence and success are rooted in the acceptance that what you are attempting to do will be challenging, and that set backs that will come, but with knowledge that with a steady application, you will persevere.

If you can’t trust yourself, who can you?

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Slackers – How to Handle Them

We know them, they are in the office,  are in our department, they are everywhere.

They are the slackers. They do little, hide a lot and get by while aggravating the hell out of us.

Slackers take credit for work done by others, pretending to have contributed.

Slackers are experts at appearing to be busy and engaged.  We may all get equal credit or pay but the reality is that in a group of five, at least one will not make any meaningful contribution.

Take the Slack Out

The only way to deal with the slackers in our midst is by a combination of tight management and encouragement.

First, we must have an honest but polite discussion. Preferably one on one, but if you are on a team or group of some sorts, you can have a meeting and bring the topic up.   Keep it on business terms, don’t attack the person.

Try language like the following;

We need everyone to participate equally in this department or on this project.  It is not only fair but essential to have everyone share the work.  Otherwise, we will be unable to accomplish our goals and will make appropriate changes to address the failures of those responsible. Make it clear there will be harsh consequences for failing to contribute meaningfully.

With the warning in place, you need to designate, if in management or request such from a manager, a specific task and a corresponding time line for completion.  When you designate to a known slacker, you must be definitive in what and when it is expected.  If you leave anything unclear you can be sure they will exploit it.

It may be easier, though tedious, to break down the task into tiny components with corresponding timelines, or to hand feed each piece.  That leaves the slacker with very little wiggle room.  You should engage the slacker, being sure they acknowledge they have what they need to do the task at hand.  Then you need to monitor the progress according to the time line set.

Document any failures, you will need them.

If you are not in a management position then you must get the evidence and be tactful.   Ask for a review or meeting and during that time of feedback you can say you are being held back by someone who is not carrying their weight.  This is a time to identify the person and specify the failures.    General, wishy-washy complaints will not work.  If you want management to take action give them hard evidence!

The Effort is Worth It

We must acknowledge that in any setting there will be one or two who step up and do the lions share.  That is a fact of life.  However that being said, we should not allow ourselves to be taken advantage.

The main thrust is to grow and improve our situations, failure to address slackers is unacceptable.

If you can either expose a slacker and they contribute or are tossed out, you will reap benefits in productivity, not to mention the stress reduction!

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Gratitude – Essential to Happiness and Peace

Gratitude is the Right Attitude

Simply acknowledging things to be thankful for is real a game changer. You will surprise yourself with how your outlook and attitude will improve when you recognize and practice this happiness tool.

I am not an advocate of the ‘It could be worse’ crowd as a way for making you feel good that others are in worse shape.  It takes less energy to remind yourself of the good stuff in your life rather than comparing your lot in life with others.

You are guaranteed to be much happier and peaceful.

“Gratitude is the best attitude.”  ~Author Unknown

Practice Being Thankful

There are no shortages of things to be grateful for.  The problem is we take so much for granted that we overlook them.

You need to be conscious of the good things in your life!

We tend to acknowledge things, like health, only when there is a problem.  How about starting the day thankful you feel good? (Okay, after a few cups of coffee!)

You can see, smell, talk, walk etc.  No small thing at all and it starts the day off in the right frame of mind.

On your way to work or play, take notice of the sun, clouds, trees, flowers, snow.. (opps, went overboard there!)  Being aware of and thankful of nature’s role in our world has a calming effect on our lives.

“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.”  ~Thornton Wilder

People In Our Lives

Gratitude is a sure relationship builder or saver.

We have many people in our lives, at times they may cause us angst or put a demand upon us.  It is important to balance this ‘heavy’ side of relationships with the other side of it.

First off, no one is perfect, rather than harping on the things a person may do that irritate us, remind yourself of all the good attributes a person may have and be thankful for them.  You will find that the exercise elevates the relationship dramatically and the annoyance factor dissipating.

It IS the Little Things!

Be thankful for little things, we tend to focus on negative things, which create negative vibes. I am sure we all have arrived at work complaining about the traffic, but did we ever use the time to think not of everything we need to get done that day but on someone we love, some pursuit we enjoy, a recent accomplishment….

Being grateful insulates us from the tendency the culture has towards negativity and the focus on what we do not have.

We must practice being grateful and happy with what already have rather than get pulled into the message that we need this and that to be happy.  You will find that being grateful actually enhances your  joy and growth opportunities.

Do it as soon as you finish this article and drop me a line on your thoughts.

“He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.”  ~Epictetus

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Why be Loyal? Key to Relationships

Key to Relationships and Happiness 

Loyalty can be expressed in many forms, to a brand, company, family or person.

We hear people professing their loyalty to products or brands,  “I only shop at Saks” or “I’m hooked on Apple” etc. but the most important expression of loyalty is the type shown to other people.

Being loyal to others is a fundamental ingredient to having integrity.  You simply cannot have integrity by acting in self interest.

False professions

Often times we profess our loyalty but abandon others  whenever that loyalty comes with a cost to ourselves.  People make promises and commitments to others but break them.

This evidences a total lack of loyalty.  At times legitimate issues prevent us from honoring a committment. Thats ok as long as we take the time to explain the reason we can’t live up to our commitments.  We all know people who always have ready excuses but anyone who contiually disappoints another lacks loyalty and integrity.

Dependable

We need to be loyal to our friends and families who need and rely on us, if only for support or company.

Even when some other opportunity presents itself we must keep our commitment. That is the ultimate expression of loyalty, putting yourself behind the needs or expectation of someone else.

Its central to your integrity and connected directly to unselfishness.

Believe it or not it is personally rewarding to honor your commitments!

Loyal to a Fault

As with most things there can be a downside to loyalty when we remain blindly loyal to someone to their detriment.  Protecting some one under the guise of loyalty when their behavior is destructive is unacceptable.

In that case true loyalty and love would demand that we stop enabling and approving of the behavior and help them seek the help they need.

Don’t Break the Trust

Can you be trusted with loyalty? Can you be counted on?

Loyalty –  the elixir for healthy relationships!

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Achieve Success with Lessons Re-learned!

Lessons to Achieve Success

Success is achievable, you can really do anything!

A previous blog

http://danpetrosini.wordpress.com/2011/03/18/confidence-self-esteem-contd/,  explained how breaking your goal down into achievable sections, and building on those sections leads to success and confidence.

Reinforcement

A key component of learning and developing a new skill is reinforcement.  Doing something over and over until you  get it. Sounds logical enough and guaranteed to work!

But you also must use the learning ‘tools’ that apply to the skill desired.  They are called the fundamentals!

Remember the fundamentals and re-visit methods of learning that maybe specific to what you are doing!

We tend to Forget

A recent experience of mine own while learning was revealing.reinforcing the importance of taking it slow, breaking the challenge down.

Faced with a imposing challenge, I became intimidated by the difficulty of the task presented. It seemed I was trying to learn something that just seemed way to advanced had me down.

I had bought into the negative, I can’t do this mentality when I was reminded me to take it slow.

Incredibly simple advise from a friend worked immediately and boosts your confidence.

We Want to Rush it!

Slowing things down, breaking the challenge into parts will make any task easier, here is an example to help illustrate this point-

If trying to hit a baseball at a batting cage, don’t go into the fastest one,  start with the slowest, get acclimated and then move into the next highest and do the same.  It may take a day or week but you will soon be able to hit the fastest!

If two people put the same time into learning how to hita baseball thrown at 60 miles an hour, one who jumped right into the 60 mile an hour cage and the other who progressed from the 20 miles to the 40 then 60 mile an hour cage, who would learn quickest and with the least frustration??

Here are a few more quick examples-

Runners training for a race or marathon, never go full speed the first times out. They gradually increase the speed and length till they find the mazimum speed they can run at and still finish.

Would you teach your child to drive by getting on the highway first day out?

Remember to keep whatever you are doing at a pace you can actually do it.

Lesson Re-learned

Being reminded to slow it down was a revelation in way,  I relearned a critical covenant of success, break the task or challenge down and take it at a proper pace.

I am glad to have been reminded and to share that how to approach a challenge and succeed, is by sticking with the fundamentals!

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Pride? We have lost it!

Its Obvious

We encounter scores of people in our day to day lives who seem to have no pride in what they do.  Their lack of pride contributes to shoddy, uninspired performance and dulls our lives.

Without spirited, caring interaction in our daily lives we are less joyful and productive.

Somewhere along the way we seem to have lost our sense of cheeriness and pride. How did we lose these vital traits?

The Culture is at fault!

A major factor is allowing others to define who we are.  This is crazy!  Why allow society to judge whether something you do is ‘good enough’?

Today’s culture has a misplaced value system that reveres anyone, no matter how nuts, on TV, in sports or with wealth. (need I mention many of these ‘stars’ lead irresponsible, trouble filled lives?)

By this twisted, flawed definition we undermine every other vocation, including parents who stay at home to raise their children.

The brutal fact is that focusing on what others do or have dooms you to unhappiness.

What’s the alternative?

How about taking some pride in what we do?

There is no absolutely no reason to be embarrassed by what we do, unless we do it poorly!

Just think of the impact someone who may simply be working behind a counter at a deli can have.  If they are upbeat and engaging and anxious to do their job as well as possible,  both parties are uplifted.  Contrast that with those we may know whose negative, sloppy style leave us disgusted.

In reality it does not mater what you do, even if society deems it menial.

They are many examples of the impact we have on each other that can go both ways.  Even interacting on the telephone where you can be drawn into negativity or surprised when a stranger treats us well and resolves an issue.

Conducting ourselves and our activities with a sense of pride and a positive attitude is the answer.

Whatever you do, do it well, with gusto and a sense of pride.  Don’t be pulled into the mentality that “they aren’t paying me enough to do this’ or “it doesn’t make a difference” or I’m just an xyz”

Taking pride in what you do is essential to your self esteem and happiness.

Intimidated?

Why do we feel the need to shield information or position situations?  Its natural to try to make ourselves look good but some things are really silly and add ‘weight’ to our lives.

Why do we feel the need to make excuses for say a child that does make or choose to go to an “a” type college?  Why do we need to say “this is only temporary I took this until something else comes up’  Its fine as long as while you are there you do it well!

Caution – the Flip Side

There is a downside to having too much pride or ego.

It can cause us to think we are better than others, preventing real engagement with others.  It can prevent us from taking on ajob or responsibility, thinking we are too good to do something.

An Easy Fix!

Conducting yourself with pride is easy to master.  It may take a little practice, reminding yourself at times, but feeling good about yourself and what you do will also make your outlook brighter!

Life’s a journey towards your goals, you won’t get there in a flash and make many ‘stops’ along the way, so you must make the best of it to enjoy it.

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Confidence – Self Esteem contd.

Keys to happiness and success?

Its not a panacea, as over confidence and a feeling you are too good have brought down many.  But I believe building self esteem holds some of the keys to success and happiness.

Where do we get some?

Feeling comfortable, a sense of confidence in your approach to life, is developed over time and experience.  Being open to life’s challenges and opportunities, pursuing them unabashedly with a measure of success is where it comes from.  Building on the successes (partial or total) in challenges you engage in, create a foundation to build on.  Its contagious and has a ‘multiplier’ effect.

Break it down!

Any skill we seek or goal we want to achieve is made infinitely easier by recognizing it is a process and will take some time and dedication.

If we want to quit smoking we can go ‘cold turkey’, difficult for many, or use another approach.  Outright quitting creates a ton of pressure and elevates the ‘spotlight’ in your circle of acquaintances.

Why not try an approach of setting smaller goals, that are achievable.

Try a strict limitation – a cigarette an hour or no smoking before lunch or after dinner etc.  You get the idea! After you have sucessfully met that challenge move the ‘bar’ higher – a cigarette every two hours – no smoking till 2 pm – etc..

You have reduced the difficulty and can use the success achieved at lower barriers to reinforce your ability to do it.

Break it down!, this applies to everything, everything, everything !  (sports, academia, arts, physical fitness…) making progress is all that counts.  You measure and judge the success, NO ONE ELSE!

Enjoy the Journey!

An important lesson that I have learned, the hard way, is to enjoy the journey.  Focusing on your failures and distance to the goal is frankly exhausting and depressing.  Learn to be satisfied with the incremental progress you make, even if it leaves you far from the goal you have set.  It makes you happier, proud and keeps the fire burning to continue.

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Confidence – Self Esteem – How to get it.

Are we born with it?

It seems like some people have always been brimming with confidence.  This can be frustrating and especially intimidating for those who lack confidence.

How is it that possible?

There are many reasons why some have self esteem levels that help them socially and in their pursuits.  (maybe they were properly nurtured in something, excelled as a result and built on it or maybe they simply didn’t get crushed by some coach or teacher… or even parent).

Get Over it, we are where we are!

Everyone has the capacity to lead a ‘fearless’ life.  It is NEVER too late to change or learn, the fact is you have a simple choice – either sit in the background or do something about it.

Building confidence in life or an activity is similar to gaining any other skill, you gotta work at!

Being nervous is natural.

First off, a good dose of ‘false confidence’ is needed in your tool box.  What I mean by that is the ability to fake it, putting aside your fear/shyness/discomfort etc., temporarily suspending it!  I know you cannot just wish it away but you can acknowledge it and not let it cripple you.

As a quick experiment, observe your own thoughts.  ‘Separate’ yourself from your thoughts, sounds silly?  It is easy to do and can help you acknowledge your ‘fear’ but not be consumed by it.

No, they’re not super-human!

You are not alone, I was struck by what the great Luciano Pavarotti said when questioned about performing for decades and how natural and happy he seemed being on stage, the great Pavarotti said anyone who says they are not nervous when performing is lying.  Or how about Michael Caine, who inspite of acting for over 60 years, said he still vomits before going on stage!

Do something!  Now!

Acknowledge you have some work to do in an area you want to improve upon or participate in,  then commit to doing it, these are the first steps in a journey to get where you want to be.

I will have a follow up on this.

Please give me your thoughts and comments, if prefer not to be public just state so and they will not be published.

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