The Power of Optimism

By Kimberly Gerber

iStock_000018745816_FullBeing optimistic is more than seeing the world through rose colored glasses.

Optimism shows itself through your attitude, belief and actions. When we are optimistic everything in life is different.

Optimistic people:

  1. Set more goals and put more effort into attaining their goals.
  2. Stay more engaged when challenges arise.
  3. Cope better during stressful times.
  4. Feel better about themselves and the world around them.
  5. Get more done.

In fact, it turns out that optimism is a predictor of work performance. The higher the optimism, the better your performance in all areas of life.

Here are some tips to become more optimistic:

  1. Expect favorable outcomes. This actually primes your brain to be on the lookout for and recognize possibilities.
  2. Make a list of the good things in your career or life. Scan your day for three good things that happened that day.
  3. Journal about positive experiences.
  4. Make positive comments about the world and people around you.

And just in case doubt and negativity might be clouding your thinking right now, trust me, this information has been scientifically proven. And doesn’t that just make you a little more optimistic!

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Are You Making a Positive Impact?

By JoAnne Foist

Business achievementAsk anyone what they want to do in life. The answer you’ll most often get goes something like this, “I want to have a positive impact…to make a difference in the world.”

Then, when you ask them how they plan to make an impact, many become stumped. They are waiting for some sort of epiphany. Well here it is: You have to do a little work if you want to make an impact. And here’s the good news, the work is rewarding and fun!

The truth is that you don’t have to be some revolutionary leader to make an impact; you just need to be your authentic self. So if you want to make an impact, practice these five behaviors and you’ll start to make a positive impact on yourself and others.

  1. Continuous Self-Improvement – People who make an impact are lifelong learners. They follow the idiom, “you grow or you die.” They have a thirst for knowledge and that spark keeps them creative, energized and vibrant. They are constantly looking for ways to grow, learn and improve. They ask lots of questions and maintain an open mind. They are students of the world. This drive to learn acts as a catalyst for inspiring others to do the same.
  1. Share Information Freely – People who make an impact share their knowledge. They are not hoarders of information; instead they share what they know in hopes of stimulating thought, contemplation and helping others grow. Impactful people teach others and are invigorating to be around.
  1. Make a Positive Difference – People who make an impact make a difference. They don’t wait until they find THEIR purpose in life, they find purpose in life. People who make a difference find purpose in everything they do. They take action because they realize that all the big and small things they do create an impact. They are conscious of their words and actions and care about the world around them.
  1. Inspire Others – People who make an impact bring out the best in others. They realize that everyone has unique talents and they seek out and appreciate those talents of others. They sincerely care and show respect for those around them and listen to others with empathy. People want to be heard and understood so this active engagement is what creates a lasting and impactful impression.
  1. Be Authentic – People who make an impact are secure in who they are and what they believe. They radiate confidence. This authentic confidence creates a memorable impression and builds trust and respect from others.

Do you practice these behaviors? If yes…good for you! If no…why not? Keep in mind that it’s not always changing what you do, but how you do it. Think about each behavior and see how you could adjust. For instance, we all take in information daily. Examine what you’re taking in and determine if it’s enriching or not. And, when you learn insightful information, it’s fun to share. See how easy that was? Also, when you look at this list, you’ll notice that these behaviors are also what make a great leader. That’s because leaders create impact. So don’t wait any longer, incorporate these behaviors and you’ll be making a memorable difference.

If you’re still a bit stumped, perhaps you need more confidence. Signup for our free e-book, Incredible Confidence and you’ll also get the Incredible Confidence training series for free!  This will help you become your most confident self and enjoy a richer and more impactful life.

Serious about making an impact? Attend our Powerful Presence Intensive 3-day workshop and learn how to create a powerful presence with a positive and lasting impact.

Seven Steps for Putting Off Procrastination

iStock.woman virtual.smallIf you are like most people, you have been putting something off that you know you need to get done.

In fact, I bet right this minute you could name three things you’ve been putting off for at least three months. Losing weight?  Sorting receipts for your taxes? Asking for a raise?

Have you noticed that when you procrastinate for extended periods of time you begin to engage in negative self-talk? This is a sure way to deflate your confidence. The undone tasks loom in our mind, sending us messages that we are lazy, afraid, incapable, etc. We can buy into these negative messages, or take the task by the horns so-to-speak and get it done.

Below are seven steps to overcome procrastination and build up your confidence:

  1. Make a list of all the tasks you have been putting off.
  2. Prioritize what is most important and what can wait.
  3. From the tasks that are most important, prioritize them based on what can be completed easily and what requires more time and effort.
  4. Create action steps needed to accomplish each task (small steps).
  5. Monitor your progress and scratch completed items off your list.
  6. Get the support you need. If you are uncertain of the best way to approach a task, ask a friend – or an expert.
  7. Plan rewards and celebrations for accomplishing small and large tasks.

Make your list today, start taking action, and experience more confidence as you take charge of your life.  Ready? Set? GO!

If you want to learn more on how to build your confidence, download our FREE eBook, “The Confidence Habit.”

As an added bonus, you’ll also get our Confidence Training Series for FREE!  So join, and start enjoying a more productive and confident life.

Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone

bigstockphoto_Natural_High_407475-2If we are not prepared to change with the pace of our world, we will find ourselves stuck, or worse, left behind.

We all have our comfort zone, a world where we feel comfortable and safe. We are at ease in our routine surroundings, job, community, and relationships. But here’s the catch – in our ever-changing world, life inside our comfort zone will still be tossed and turned.

Here’s a good example. Depending on your age, you have had to make changes to the way you listen to music: records, 8-tracks, cassettes, CD’s, MP-3’s. Or what about the phone you have: rotary, push button, remote, cell, and who knows what is next?

Confident people know that the world is constantly changing – perhaps faster than most of us desire. So, to be comfortable moving forward, we can engage in some simple habits that prepare us to think and live outside our comfort zone – even if just a little bit at a time.

Ask these questions:

  1. What would you do if you could do anything?
  2. What would you like to learn about?
  3. What small changes would you like to make to your life?

Change your routine everyday:

  1. A new restaurant or menu item
  2. A new route to work or school
  3. Morning or evening rituals

Experience something different on a weekly basis:

  1. Visit a museum, art store, antique mall, etc.
  2. Go to a kid’s soccer, baseball, or hockey game.
  3. Explore a new walking trail or park.

These simple and fun exercises can help you to stretch your comfort zone. And as we get out of our routine and try on new attitudes, behaviors and perspectives, our thinking grows, our experiences grow, and life grows too.

If you want to learn how to maintain your confidence while getting out of your comfort zone, download our FREE eBook, “The Confidence Habit.”

As an added bonus, you’ll also get our Confidence Training Series for FREE!  So join, and start enjoying a more calm and confident life.

How to be a Risk Taker Even When you’re Scared

2Don’t you admire risk takers – especially when they win or give a thrilling performance?

There’s something exciting about someone who takes a chance – the person who has courage to start a business in a down economy, a football team that goes for the two point conversion to win the game, or those that put it all on the line to get what they want. These folks seem fearless.

How about you? What was the last risk you took? What risk did you not take? Fear is one of the biggest culprits that holds us back from achieving our wildest (or not so wild) dreams. If this is true for you, then you might want to understand fear better.

Fear is often described by the acronym False-Evidence-Appearing-Real. Think of it this way – in our mind, we have conjured up some evidence that we label as real. We might believe that we will fail, that we will be embarrassed, that we will lose everything, that we will be rejected, or worst of all, that we will feel ashamed.

Dale Carnegie warned that, “Inaction breeds doubt and fear.” If that’s the case, then action breeds confidence and courage.

Take these steps to overcome fear and take action:

  • Get real about the potential outcomes – What’s the best that can happen? What’s the worst that can happen? What is likely to happen?
  • Take a small, safe step – Research your dream; gather more information; make a plan.
  • See yourself successful.

Begin today by shining the light on the false evidence that appears real in your life. When you do, you will become more realistic about potential outcomes. Your confidence will get a boost and you will be more prepared to take a risk.

If you want to develop greater self-confidence, download our FREE eBook, Ignite Your Confidence!  The Secret to Creating Unlimited Confidence!  You’ll find tools and guidance to create more confidence and overcome your fears.  As an added bonus, you’ll also get our Ignite Your Confidence! Training Series for FREE.

4 Ways to Make Deposits into Your Confidence Bank Account

6a00d83452dc8469e2019b00491a61970dIt’s all too easy to overlook the wonderful things about ourselves when the world is constantly pointing out the things that are not. It’s important for us to be in charge of our own ‘confidence bank account’ and to make many deposits so we do not become overdrawn when the world makes withdraws. Additionally, we must not to rob ourselves with negative self talk, but overflow our confidence bank account with positive thoughts about who we are and what we are capable of.

Here are some boosters that can help keep your confidence bank account full:

#1 – Be aware of your successes.

Keep track of your successes. Literally write them down on a log or in a journal. Keep a record of all successes, both great and small. By writing them down you can review them. This way when self-doubt sneaks in to your mind, you can review your successes and reframe your current challenges in a more positive light. Every time you do something right, make sure you also reward yourself. A reward can be as small as praise, or as big as a formal celebration. Get in the habit of recognizing and rewarding yourself for succeeding in life rather than punishing yourself for coming up short.

#2 – Be aware of your abilities.

What are your abilities? What are the skills you have gained through training and experience? Keep an “I’m good at” list as a reminder of what you are capable of on those days when you feel like nothing is going right. We can feel insecure about our self-worth when we give too much attention to our flaws. So change what you are looking at by reminding yourself of the skills and abilities you possess.

#3 – Be aware of your talents.

What are your talents? What comes naturally to you? Talents, which are innate, are different than abilities, which are learned. The next time you feel a lack of confidence, remind yourself of the talents you naturally possess. Talents don’t come and go; they are with you all the time. You have every reason in the world to remain confident knowing that you always have talents that can be accessed and used when you need them.

#4 – Be aware of the compliments others give you.

Truly listen for the compliments given to you by others. Compliments reveal the value that others see in us. When you hear yourself saying, “I don’t have what it takes”, or “I never do anything right” stop listening to that voice and replace those thoughts by remembering the compliments others have given you. We may sometimes make withdraws from our own account, but positive thinking can overcome any negative thinking that may have been robbing us.

Conclusion? We need to learn to be positive. By being aware of the thoughts, words and actions that shake us, we can take change withdraws from our confidence bank account into deposits that bring us abundance.

If you’d like to bring more confidence and positivity into your life, then we’ve got a special report that will help you,  Incredible Confidence! Secret to Creating Unlimited Confidence!  It’s loaded with tools and guidance to invite more confidence into your life, and maintain a courageous outlook in the face of any challenge.  In this enlightening Special Report you’ll discover:

  • The Root Laws of Supreme Confidence.
  • Proven confidence tricks used by the super-successful
  • How to develop your own “Confidence Core”
  • The 7 Secrets of living a fulfilled life
  • And much, much more…

Download  Incredible Confidence! Secret to Creating Unlimited Confidence! Special Report, and begin filling up your very own confidence reservoir TODAY.

 

When You Communicate Your Goals, Help Is On the Way!

KS113267-2By JoAnne Foist

The past few weeks we have been talking about goals. In fact, it’s the trending topic at the start of each New Year. Why? Because this is the time when most of us feel motivated to set new goals. Unfortunately, come February, most of us give up on our goals. Surprisingly, one of the reasons for this failure is lack of support.   Sometimes we simply fail to communicate our goals and thus do not have support, or worse, those around us do not understand why we’re changing and respond negatively, which can sabotage our success.

You can avoid this pitfall by simply communicating and generating support for your goals.

Tell Your Peers, Friends and Family…

Whenever you want to make changes, it’s important to let those around you know of your plans and goals. You need to communicate why you want to make this change and the importance of having your peers, friends and loved ones’ support. Otherwise, those around you will be confused and could react negatively to your new behaviors. For instance, if you are trying to lose weight, you should let your friends know this and schedule fun activities that support your new healthy lifestyle instead of the usual calorie-heavy lunches or cocktail hours. This sets you up for success and begins establishing your friends as your support group. Also, if you normally go to lunch with your team and now you’re going for walks instead, invite them to join you. Communicating your goals goes for your household too. When one person makes a change, it affects everyone in some way. This would be a good time to not only communicate your goals, but to set family/household goals. Using the example of losing weight, if you’re now coming home later in the evenings because you’re going to the gym after work and cooking lower fat meals at home, it’s important to explain this to your family. This is also a great way to bring the family in on meal preparation and perhaps group outings.   Even when we change for the positive, it can be scary for our loved ones since they love us the way we are. When you bring those around you in on your plans, they can become your biggest supporters and might even join in your goals. Now you’ve got a new lifestyle.

Tell Your Leadership, Colleagues and Employees…

Developed an amazing vision for your organization? You can’t realize it if your organization does not clearly understand it. Think about it…how can others follow you if they don’t know where you’re heading? If you find your vision and goals inspiring, you should be able to inspire your team. And if they are inspired, they are more likely to support you. You should talk about your goals for the organization all the time so they remain front and center. Also, help your team members take ownership of your vision. This constant reminder and ownership will ensure the goals remain the priority over the other day-to-day distractions. You’ll build momentum toward success and the culture will start to shift.

All this being said, in spite of your best efforts, not everyone will support your goals. In these cases it’s important to stick to what’s right for you. Hopefully, as they see your increased success and progress they will begin supporting you. And if not, it’s time to access their future role in your life and/or organization. Often times when we change, our professional and personal social circles change as well.   In both old and new circles communicating your vision and what’s important to you will be key to your success and happiness.

Are you feeling like you need a positive change? Join our FREE Fast Pass To Success. It’s a four week planning course where you’ll create your vision, set your goals, determine and work with your strengths and develop your plan for success.  Also, we have life-changing workshops that focus on helping you be your best self.   Above all, we hope that you communicate your vision and goals with confidence so that you’re getting the support you need for success.

10 Tips to Make Your Goals Stick

bigstockphoto_Business_Man_Success_-_Aris_Gr_161633By JoAnne Foist

You’ve determined your vision and wrote out your goals for the New Year.  Congratulations!!!  You’ve completed the first step toward goal achievement!  You might be thinking, “Ok, so what’s next?”  That’s easy, you have to stick to them!  Wondering how? Not a problem.  Now that you know what you want,  you’ve got to stick to your goals.  Below are 10 tips to increase your chance of success and make the process much more fun!

Follow these Ten Tips to stay on track with your goals:

  1. Visualize and Document! Really crystallize what you want to achieve in life and then write it out as if you already achieved it. (See Fast Pass To Success). Make sure your goals are meaningful to you. They should cause excitement when you think about them. It has been proven that people who write out their goals are 10 more likely to achieve them than those who didn’t.  Once you write them out, keep them out where you can see them so they stay top of mind.
  2. Anticipate Obstacles and Plan to Overcome Them – Think about the obstacles you will face and write out plans for overcoming them. Studies have shown that preparing and planning for challenges, what researchers call creating “implementation intentions” will increase your ability to stick to your goals. Then, when you hit the bumps in the road, you’ll know exactly what to do and you wont be derailed.
  3. Develop Positive Thinking and Feelings – Think about how you will feel when you accomplish your goals. Your goals need to be “wants” and not “shoulds.” Shoulds make you feel bad and it’s a chore to do them. Wants are something you desire. These are your goals, not somebody else’s.
  4. Envision Success – Keep your eye on the prize and repeat your goal mantra such as “I am determined, healthy and strong,” every time you feel discouraged. When I was first trying to qualify for the Boston marathon, I kept visualizing my finish and my mantra was “I run a 3:38 marathon.” It worked!
  5. Vision Board Creation – Create a vision board of what your goal looks like so you can be reminded of how great your goals are. I use my computer screen as a vision board and have images that inspire me toward my goals.
  6. Get Support – Join a support group, create a group, and/or enlist others to help you and report your progress. Reporting your progress to friends increases your odds of accomplishing your goal. In a goal research study, it was proven that sharing goals with friends (support group/coach/other) had the greatest impact on success.
  7. Forgive and Forget – If you slip, forgive yourself and get back on track. It’s bound to happen from time to time. One off day, or off week, is not going ruin your success unless you let it. I’ve seen this all to often where a friend will eat too much one day and use it as an excuse to can the whole diet and all the progress made. Researchers call it the “What the Hell” effect. You should plan for derailments and how you’ll get back on track as part of your “overcoming obstacles” plan.
  8. Track Your Progress – Keep track of how you are doing, plain and simple.
  9. Develop Routines and Set Yourself Up for Success– Try to be consistent with doing activities toward your goal. It is best to schedule them the first part of your day to ensure they get done. For instance, I run early in the morning before my workday. To help get me out the door in the mornings, I set out my workout clothes and fill my water bottles in the evening. This way I can easily get dressed and out the door. And by doing my workouts before my workday starts, if I get unexpected projects and have to work late, it doesn’t affect my training.   I’ve developed a habit of working out first thing in the morning.
  10. Celebrate Little Successes Along the Way – Reward yourself for wins along the way.   Big goals can have mini-goals or activities along the way and you should celebrate their accomplishment. Remember, you are working toward your goals to make your life better, and hopefully more amazing. That’s cause for celebration!

We know you can be abundantly successful in 2015 and we want to support you with A FREE GIFT!!!!  As our gift to you, we created Fast Pass to Success, a 4-week mini course that will have you speeding toward success with ease and enjoyment.  The Fast-Track Pass is a four-week mini course, which will help you focus on your top goal for the year and create a communication strategy to make it happen!

Your Fast- Pass includes each of the following once a week for the next four weeks:

  • A short educational video
  • A simple exercise that you will complete
  • Office hours to interact with experts who will help you complete your plan and motivate your success
  • Access to a community of supporters
  • Access to tools and techniques to super-charge all of your efforts

In addition, our President and CEO of Excelerate, Kimberly Gerber, will have weekly office house so that you can access her directly to ask questions and brainstorm tough situations.  The value of this offer is upwards of $1,500, however, she’s giving it to you, our readers, as a gift. All you have to do is click here and sign up to get your Fast Pass to Success.  There’s no cost, and no risk – only great rewards! So why not do it?

Don’t wait! Join today and you will receive a download of the goal-setting template we created to help you manifest you’re your destiny for 2105.

Here’s to an amazing year. I have a feeling it’s going to be great.

Take the Fast Track!

Slide1Supercharge your success in 2015 with a new twist on an old tool.

By JoAnne Foist

Don’t you just love the New Year? It’s a fresh start with endless possibilities…the time of year when we set our expectations high for the coming year. Which is why so many people make New Year’s resolutions. You might be thinking, “Yeah… but only 8% of people are successful in achieving their New Year’s resolutions.”

Sadly, that’s true. Yet this year you can be in the top 8%! When you combine your resolutions with tried-and-true goal setting techniques you’ll be among the successful few who stay resolved and achieve their goals. It’s a fact that if you set goals and make deliberate resolutions, you are 10 TIMES MORE LIKELY TO ACHIEVE THE SUCCESS YOU DESIRE!!!

What’s the difference between goals and resolutions? A goal is a marker of success; a destination that you reach that indicates you have accomplished what you set out to do. A resolution is a commitment to behave in a certain way in order to achieve your goals. A popular goal after the holidays is, “To lose 20 lbs.” A popular resolution is, “To go to the gym 3-5 days a week…in order to lose the 20 lbs. As you can see they work well hand-in-hand, however many people (apparently 92 percent of them) forget that and they neglect to do one or the other.

Well conceived goals create your plan for success. They keep you focused on what’s important, help you prioritize, help you make better decisions, allow you to become more effective, and they motivate you.

Achieving your goals feels great! It’s a matter of writing them down and making a plan for success and there are proven tips for making sure they work! First, keep the number of goals to 5 or less so you can focus on what’s most important to you. You don’t want to get overwhelmed by tackling too many…achieving one meaningful goal is better than starting several and not accomplishing any of them.

The process is easier than you think when you follow the GOAL SETTING STEPS below:

  1. Your Vision – Think about what you want in life. What would your ideal life look like? Write it out so you can visualize this. This big picture view can be broad such as “I want to be healthy,” or “I want to be successful.”
  2. Make each goal statement in the present tense – This helps you mentally picture the achievement of your goal and reinforces it in your subconscious
  3. Break it Down – This is where you create your SMART goals to support your vision. “SMART” is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. SMART goals are your action plans for achievement.
    • Specific – Who, what, where, when, why of the goal.  This is key, because it sets up a plan.  For instance, instead of “I will exercise more,” write, “I will go to the gym on Mon, Wed and Fridays right after work.” Or, instead of “I will spend less time on social media,” write “I will limit my time on social media to 10 minutes a day and review it right before I go to lunch.”
    • Measurable – How will you track your goal?
    • Attainable – Stretch, but be realistic on what you can accomplish.
    • Relevant – Does this fit into your vision (the big picture)?
    • Time-Bound – Have a due date with intermediate progress dates.
  4. Create activities to support the goal – These are all the steps you need to take to achieve your goal.
  5. Track your progress – Track along the way to see how you’re doing. This could be daily, weekly or monthly depending on the goal. Daily is usually the best with weekly or monthly evaluations.   But do what works for you.
  6. Create a simple Resolution or Mantra that will keep your goals in focus throughout the year. Your resolution should be meaningful yet, easy to remember. Your mantra should encapsulate the essence of your personal vision and goals and excite you to put in the effort to achieve your goals for the year.

Goal Example: Relating to Health

  1. Vision – Optimal health
  2. Goal Statement – I train for and run 10k races.
  3. Goal Breakdown:
    • Specific – I will successfully complete my city’s 10k race on April 2015.
    • Measurable – Weekly mileage goals and ultimately finishing the 10k or not.
    • Attainable – Based on my current health and the length of time to build up to this, this is an attainable goal.
    • Relevant – This goal fits in my vision of being healthier and building my endurance. This goal is motivating to me. The reward of crossing the finishing line and getting my medal is motivating to me.
    • Time-Bound – I will have completed this goal on April 2015.
  4. Incremental activities to support the goal – Buy running shoes by x date, create a training plan by x date, signup for the race by x date, start training on x date and follow the training plan daily. I will make running a priority by getting up early and running before going to work.
  5. Track your progress – I will follow the plan daily and do weekly evaluations of my progress.
  6. Annual Resolution/Mantra – Healthy and strong!

Goal Example: Relating to Career

  1. Vision – A promotable leader
  2. Goal Statement – To be the next Director of Marketing.
  3. Goal Breakdown:
    • Specific:  I will be promoted this year to a Director of Marketing position.
    • Measurable:  Landing the position or not.
    • Attainable:  Based on my current position, my past accomplishments and the upcoming opening of this job I believe this is attainable.
    • Relevant:  This goal fits in my vision of being successful. This goal is motivating to me.
    • Time-Bound:  I will have completed this goal by the end of the year.
  4. Incremental activities to support the goal – I will take on high profile projects, such as xyz, I will get assessments from my colleagues regarding my strengths and opportunities by x date, I will take a professional development course to work on my communication skills by x date, I will write and submit my application and plan for the Director position by x date.
  5. Track your progress – I will follow the plan as set and review weekly to see how I am progressing. I will make adjustments based on feedback received.
  6. Annual Resolution/Mantra – Racing to the Top!

You get the idea? Then get started! You’ll be amazed at how much you can accomplish. Let 2015 be your best year yet. Need help? We have expert coaches who can help you achieve incredible breakthroughs. Contact us to learn more.

And, if one of your goals includes self-development, we invite you to attend Powerful Presence, our 3-Day Intensive Workshop.  Check it out…It’s really a life-changing event.

Here’s to your success in the New Year!