Fear and Failure

Fear and Failure(click to listen)

kittenListen in on this mid-week Mindset call with Jackie Christiansen as she gives tips and advice on how to overcome root obstacles in your life:

What are your fears and what is holding you back?  Listen in to learn about how you have the power to change from a state of fear or failure.  You can make the decision to turn and move forward tapping into what you want out of life by living your true potential.  What do you envision your future to be like?  You have been created uniquely  – there is only one you and your potential is unlimited…

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Being Present

yoga and weight loss“The clock is running. Make the most of today. Time waits for no man. Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That’s why it is called the present.”

In our busy, hectic, technology-laden world, we find ourselves multitasking, consumed by deadline pressure and obsessively focused on our productivity. Amid the chaos of work and the working world, we forget to be present in our relationships with others. I find this is especially true of speaking with my children. It’s easy to say “Yeah, uh-huh” as you work, but it’s so important to pause and give them full attention through eye contact and engagement. Even if you are fully engrossed in your project, close your laptop, remove your earpiece, put your phone aside, and express full interest. One day your children will grow old and you will never have that moment back. In our haste, we forget to stop and appreciate the little things. Each moment of our lives is a golden grain of sand in the hourglass. Savor every one of them to manifest true joy in your life.

People are the most important things in our lives — nothing else comes close.  Valuing our friends, family, colleagues and all of our relationships brings added meaning and purpose to our lives. Over time, we grow to love not only what others bring to our lives, but also our different roles as parent, spouse, coworker, friend. The best way to show the people in your life that you value them is to spend time with them and be “present.”

Do you live in the past? Some people like to spend large amounts of time pondering old mistakes or reminiscing of better times. While it’s good to have a degree of introspection and learn from your mistakes, you’ve got to know when to just let go. What’s done is done.

Do you live in the future? Some people always need to look forward to new plans. They rehearse what they’ll say and do in their minds all day long. It’s important to be prepared for what lies ahead, but you’re robbing yourself of rich experiences taking place right now.

10 Ways To Live In The Present:

–       Engage the senses. Take a deep breath and smell your cup of coffee or smell that rose on your desk.

–       Stare at a beautiful color or piece of artwork in the room for a few moments until you feel moved.

–       Savor a piece of chocolate or your favorite treat, doing just that – simply eating, doing nothing else.

–       Stop and pet your cat or dog.

–       Give a family member a hug for no reason.

–       Listen to your favorite song.

–       Write down 10 things you are grateful for today.

–       Release resentment. Write a letter of forgiveness to someone.

–       Take a yoga class and focus on the energy moving through your body.

–       Take a walk outside to appreciate the beauty of nature.

Remember to stop and smell the roses. There is magic in the moment and life in the present. We cannot count on the future or what it may hold. All we have is the present.

Best,

PS. I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences. What have you done to be “present” lately?

Why IS Personal Development Important?

personal developmentThree Reasons Why Personal Development is So Important

1. Personal development directs your attention to important things  – Day to day life can be distracting. Personal Development can help direct your attention back to what is important. For instance, personal development reminds you of the universal and timeless principles that can guide your life for the better.

2. Personal development increases your capacity – Not only does personal development direct your attention to what are important, it also helps you increase your capacity in those things. You have certain capacity to handle different kinds of challenges in your life and you can only handle challenges that lie within your current limit of ability. Personal development is a way to increase your limit so that you can handle more difficult challenges.

3. Personal development connects you with positive people – When you focus on something, you tend to find things that are related to it. Begin focusing your energy on the benefits of personal development and you will begin to associate with like minded people.

“Personal Development” means focusing on the following areas:

  • Self-awareness: What traits did you inherit from your parents? How have your experiences shaped who you are today? Where have you come from? Where are you going?
  • Natural strengths & talents: What subject matters are easiest for you to understand? Which tasks are easiest for you to do? Throughout school, where have you consistently demonstrated aptitude?
  • Potential: Are you working your hardest at work, at relationships, as parent, as pet owner, as boss, or as friend? Is there room for improvement in your words or your actions?
  • Employability: Do you honestly view yourself as employable? Are you educated? Are you well-dressed? Are you always on-time? Do you stick with it or bail when the going gets tough? Do you have a positive attitude?
  • Quality of Life: Is your home clean? Do you have enough food and basic provisions to be happy? Are you managing your money properly? Are you generally free from stress? Do you take time for yourself, free from work or other pressing obligations?
  • Aspirations: Did you do what you set out to do? Are there New Year’s resolutions or goals you have yet to meet? When you were young, what did you want most in life?
  • Personal Autonomy: Do you have your source of finances? Did you start the business you’ve always wanted to start? Do you have control over your schedule?
  • Plans: Do you have short term and long term goals for your personal development? If you’re unhappy about something in life, do you have a plan of action for change?
  • Social Abilities: Do you have enough friends? Are they quality friends? Do you spend enough time “out with the boys” or “out with the girls”? Do you connect with coworkers?

Personal development may involve weight loss, quitting smoking, becoming more physically fit, learning a new skill, learning to meditate, practicing yoga, going back to school, learning to control one’s emotions, starting a new enterprise, speaking with a psychotherapist, or reading an inspirational book.

Commit to a personal development routine daily and you will begin to flourish! Small changes like reading this blog right now are the kinds of positive alterations that you can start doing TODAY!!

Best,

PS – I’d love to hear your thoughts and suggestions on the different ways you incorporate personal development into your life…..leave a comment.

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Keep those Blessings Coming

count your blessingsListen to Keep those Blessings Coming!

Did you know that what you put out is what you receive?  The law of gratitude is the great multiplier.  The secret of receiving the circumstances, things and people you want in your life is about being grateful.  Think about what you focus your thoughts on and also feel the gratitude for the things you love in your life.  Be grateful for your past events and accomplishments, be grateful for the present and be grateful for the future as if you’ve already received it.  Believe in it, work on it and you will receive it.  Life happens to us all, what is important is how we respond to it.

Surviving vs. Thriving

surviving“Mental toughness is many things and rather difficult to explain. Its qualities are sacrifice and self-denial. Also, most importantly, it is combined with a perfectly disciplined will that refuses to give in. It’s a state of mind-you could call it character in action.”

– Former Green Bay Packers Coach & Motivational Speaker Vince Lombardi

 

I’m sure you’ve heard of people, or have even known people that have thrived in difficult situation. Some of the most poignant examples are the tales from people like Aimee Mullins, who was born without fibular bones and had both legs amputated at the knee. I think most of us imagine, “I could never live like that!” Yet, Miss Mullins ran the 100 meter dash and competed in the long jump for the Paralympics. She has modeled for Alexander McQueen, acted in several movies, authored several books, and traveled the world on public speaking tours where she spoke on overcoming adversity.

How about people that you would barely expect to have a normal life, who find themselves thriving? There are stories of kids who grew up on the streets dealing drugs but are now attending law school or former burglars who went to medical school to make something of themselves. There are countless “rags-to-riches” stories of people like  JK Rowling and Oprah Winfrey who beat the oppression of extreme poverty to become billionaires. Perhaps you know someone from high school who you wrote off as a failure, only come to find that, years later, he or she has achieved tremendous success.

What makes the difference between someone who survives and someone who thrives? It’s all about mental toughness and making the most of a situation, no matter how difficult it may be.

The key aspects of mental toughness include:

  • Self Belief, the unshakable notion that you can and will achieve your competition goals
  • Motivation, the insatiable desire to succeed
  • Focus, the ability to maintain complete concentration and the inability to be affected by adverse distractions
  • Composure, the acceptance of natural anxiety and ability to cope with distractions or pressure.

Recently I read some great advice from David Yukelson PhD, the Coordinator of Sports Psychology at Penn University. Here are his 7 steps to mentally “toughening up”:

  1. Start with the right attitude and state of mind. Compete confidently, without fear of failure. Approach any situation with determination and focus.
  2. Keep it positive. The key component of mental toughness is the conditioning of your mind. Expect the best, Visualize success, and Focus on what you want to occur, not what negative consequences might occur. Use positive affirmations: I Can… I will… I am going to…
  3. Create behavioral routines. Practice makes perfect. Do trial runs, go over your notes, and develop a set routine to prepare yourself for big moments.
  4. Develop composure by learning to let go. If Plan A fails, try Plan B or C. Use focal points keep your mind on the objective. Tell yourself, “I will not let my frustration interfere with my confidence or focus.”
  5. Reign in negative self-talk. Be aware of situations that make you lose focus or think negatively. Reframe your doubts and loss of confidence into an actionable directive that pushes you toward success. Instead of saying, “This client will never go for my proposal,” you must say, “Benefits, Features, Confidence: that’s how I will get this client.”
  6. See failure as a stepping stone. Focus on performing well, taking care of your mind and body, small victories, and new opportunities for growth or self-realization.

Be the change you want to see in the world. Make a difference. Step up when the going gets tough and seek peak performance when it matters most.

Best,

Jackie Christiansen

PS – Listen to Stephanie Castagnier from NBC’s The Apprentice talk about what she has survived to be where she is today. Listen Here.

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Do You Expect Success?

expect success“Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.”

Success comes in all sizes, packages and fits many definitions.  What’s important is what success means to you. It takes a certain level of maturity to achieve success and an understanding that the success we seek sometimes comes with unexpected triumphs along the way. For instance, you may see success as the acquisition of a new Fortune 500 client. While negotiating, you may have trouble with confidence, you may flounder at every objection, and you may lose the deal. Yet, you must be mature and wise enough to hold off on calling this a failure.

Instead, look at the successes you made along the way. For your next deal, you’ll research the objections to have the perfect rebuttals for every scenario. As a result, you’ll be more confident. When one door is closed, another will open up to you in good time. If you accept the experience with grace, you can come out stronger than before. For me, success was about mastering the art of positive thinking because I knew if I could overcome negativity and embrace a new level of confidence, everything else would fall into place and no temporary obstacle could get me down.

Success is about positive thinking, but it’s also about expectations. Quite often what we get is what we expect.  If you expect to receive a positive outcome you will get one. The most successful people in sports, in business, and in life expect success. It’s not something that happens by chance, but something that happens on purpose.

Here are several exercises to help you expect success.

–       Find something that motivates and inspires you. I find it helps to read a page from an inspirational book or listen to a CD to reinforce positive thinking. Maybe you have a picture from one of your biggest successes that you can gaze upon to summon up the emotions of success again.

–       Think about how wonderful it will feel to succeed. NBA Star Michael Jordan once said, “I never looked at the consequences of missing a big shot… when you think about the consequences, you always think of a negative result.”

–       Visualize success. Runners who win races always imagine themselves crossing the finish line first. Make a mental image for whatever you’re about to accomplish.

–       Set goals… not just big ones, but small milestones. SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, and Timely. You can’t just throw all the ingredients together and have a pie. First, you need to measure all the ingredients.

–       Count daily “wins” and be grateful for the little things. Perhaps it’s a compliment, evading a parking ticket, making it through all your emails by lunch time, or having a client thank you for something. These are little triumphs in their own right.

–       Exude success by standing up tall, raising your chin, keeping your shoulders back and setting your feet firmly on the ground… and smile!

Tell me your thoughts! What do you do on a daily basis to keep your head clear and focused?

Best,

Jackie Christiansen

Gratitude

gratitude

Gratitude (Click to listen)

Having an attitude of gratitude makes the difference between a mediocre life and a great life.  By simply deciding to have a great day you can take control of your thoughts which in turn allows you to be in control of the time of life you create for yourself.  You are the creator of your own destiny, so start taking charge…

Are You Setting Smart Goals?

smart goalsI am going to be bold and state that everyone sets goals. But, there is a vast difference between achievers, smart goal setting, and simply setting goals. I want to ask you a question – are you doing smart goal setting when setting goals? Join me as I show you how you can start smart with setting goals.

Setting goals and achieving goals is both a science and an art. There is many ways to go about it, you can be analytical with goal setting or you can start getting creative. In either case goals fall down into 2 parts.

The 2 parts of goal setting, can be thought of as a piece of string, a time-line. This time-line has a point A and a point B. These points are critical, because point A shows you in your current position, and point B shows you at your goal achieved.

This looks good so far, but why doesn’t everyone achieve there goals? The biggest problem is that most people don’t go through both parts. Without setting effective goals, there is no way to maneuver to the destination.

You see, most people will set goals. They will set goals at New Year, when it is time to go on vacation, etc. But, they will never sit down and plan the most important destination, and that is life.

Goal setters are a different breed of people. Instead of focusing on such words as fate, destiny takes on a new meaning, because day by day, you can design your life, how you want. And this is the domain of the goal setter. Because they are focused to do, be or have something.

In my research, I have found that approximately 50-60% of people who set goals, achieve them. This may seem like flipping a coin, and goal setting may not prove successful. However, the truth is that when we take a look at the New Year resolution goal achievers, the figures dip down into 1% success rate.

So, smart goal setting is about tipping the balance in our favor. And there are many ways to accomplish this. Writing your goal down adds a few percentage points in your favor.

Add a goal setting system to this equation and you can take the success rate even higher. Now, there is only one part that makes or breaks all these benefits, and that is action.

Now, I can’t stress the action part. Some people are all for the action, and forget the goal setting and planning phase, while others don’t act. And here is the biggest concern, because the goal setters, who don’t make it, are those who don’t act.

Action is the most important part, because goal setting can take you a week, it could take a day. If you have been looking at setting life goals, you can easily do that within a week or like I did, invest a whole month into the process.

That is small in comparison to the action necessary. When I set a life goal, it requires decades of effort. Action and smart goal setting is the only way to achieve success.

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