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.

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Believe It or Not, Success and Happiness Require You to Say “No!”

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By Kimberly Gerber

Last week I posted about how to rebuild trust and clarified that, while it’s possible, it’s even better to not put ourselves in the position of losing trust.  So how do we do this?  One way is by keeping healthy promises and learning how to recognize and prioritize the boundaries on our time.  This means saying “no” to the things that we either do not want to do, or that we don’t realistically have the capacity to do.  We put our priorities first, which oftentimes does not leave room for other things.

It sounds easy, but saying “no” can be a challenge.  Many of us struggle with holding boundaries in an attempt to be helpful, show initiative or create harmony.   We don’t want to disappoint others.  But trying to do everything will lead to feeling overworked, resentful, stressed, and/or unfocused.  And, it can keep you from accomplishing what’s most important to you.

The balance between being available for others, and creating healthy and fulfilling lives is a tough one.  And, sometimes we can make it more difficult than it needs to be because we don’t have strong skills in asserting our boundaries by saying “no.”

To help, here are two simple tips that you can use to strengthen your skill in this area and bring some balance back into your life.

  1. Be intentional about what you are saying “yes” to.   Whenever you say “yes” to one thing, you are inadvertently saying “no” to something else.  If someone makes a request, take some time to think through the implications and determine what you want to say “yes” to, and respond with confidence.  If the answer has to be a “no,” then you’ve let the other party know so they can make other plans.   A quick “no” is much better than saying “yes” to something that you can’t do and/or resent doing.
  2. Tell people what you “can” do, then tell them what you can’t do.  This serves to act as balm on a paper cut.  When you bring solutions that solve at least some of the problem, you communicate to the other person that you have been thoughtful and made an attempt to be helpful while still holding your boundary.

Saying “no” can be a challenge – but it doesn’t have to be!  Having clarifying priorities and being realistic about time helps.  If this is an area of opportunity for you, then we invite you to meet with communications experts and learn more about asserting your boundaries for success!  There are many ways to connect with us – follow us on Facebooksignup to receive tips, attend our next 3-Day Intensive Workshop or contact our offices to find out more about how we help successful professionals every day.

Don’t be Boring…Be Engaging!

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By Kimberly Gerber

Last week we talked about the importance of bragging to get you promoted, selected or elected.  We also mentioned that there was an art to it.   You don’t want to bore your audience…you want to ENGAGE them.  Below are 3 additional tips for graceful self-promotion that will get you noticed and keep your audience engaged.

  1. Be brief, be bright and be gone.  When you want to share some impressive information, think of it as an elevator speech.  You only have a few floors to get your message across.  So, you need to make a brief and confident positive statement and then be quiet.  Don’t go on and on about yourself, or rattle off a list of accomplishments.  This is boring and makes your audience want to flee.
  2. Volley the conversation. Once you’ve shared your information, turn the conversation over to the other person.  This graceful act shows that you are interested in them, and an interesting conversationalist.   It’s also the polite way to communicate.
  3. Change up your repertoire. Keep an updated and current supply of information ready to share.  If you share the same thing too often, or have a very narrow field of topics, you will get boring.  This also applies to the questions you ask.   Change up the questions you ask others to keep your conversations fresh and topical.

Practicing these three techniques when you share positive information will keep others coming to you instead of running from you. If you’d like to meet with communications experts and learn more about how to be engaging, sign up for our next 3-Day Intensive Workshop.

Want to Get Noticed? You’ve Got to Brag a Little!

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By Kimberly Gerber

I know many of you just said . . .”What???”  When it comes to getting noticed, bragging is a big deal!  You’ve got to be willing to self-promote if you want to be promoted, or selected, or elected.  Self-promotion is the act of promoting yourself and it doesn’t have to be obnoxious.  In fact, graceful self-promotion will build self-confidence, your personal brand and help you achieve more in your career. There is an art to effective self-promotion, which is why we’re going to explain how to effectively use self-promotion to propel your personal brand image and get you noticed!

1.  Send Updates – This is the easiest way to start getting noticed. An update can be a simple email to your leadership team sharing some great news regarding the progress you’re making on a project, a project’s completion, results of an initiative, etc.  Updates like these keep your leadership in the loop and let’s them get some good news. Plus, your leadership might share it further with other members, which further promotes your accomplishments.

2.  Seize Opportunities – When the opportunity presents itself, be prepared to share some positive and impressive information about yourself.  Too often we think that our work should speak for itself, but it’s not always obvious to those around us.  So, if we want to get noticed, we’re got to talk about it.  Don’t worry; you don’t have to be obnoxious.  A short and simple statement is all it takes sometimes to create a positive impact. An example would be running into someone on your leadership team or a desirable client and they ask, “How are you doing?” Don’t just reply, “Doing well, how are you?” Instead say, “Doing great – I just finished a 6 mile training run. ..It’s going to be a great day,” or “Fantastic– we just launched the new company website and everyone is thrilled with the initial response!” Then you’d follow up with “how are you doing?” Did you notice how short and to-the-point that was? That’s all it takes to create an impact, and there’s no need for more unless asked.

3.  Accept Compliments Gracefully – When someone compliments you, say “thank you.” Too often people deflect or, even worse, reject compliments. When a compliment is deflected or rejected it makes the compliment giver feel affronted.  Meaning, they were insulted in return for their compliment.  A simple and gracious “thank you” will do wonders for your interactions.  Also, be sure not to down-play or self-deprecate yourself.  Downplaying a compliment such as “great job on this” would be something like, “It was nothing.”  A response like this communicates that you don’t value your own contributions.  A self-deprecating remark would be something like, “Anyone could have done it.”  This again takes the value away from your contributions and will damage your own self-confidence.  Instead just say something like, “Thank you, I appreciate your saying that.”  This is a more productive way to accept a compliment and it shows appreciation to the person you’re talking with.  Talk about a completely different interaction experience!

Practicing these three techniques will help you promote your accomplishments in a graceful way.  It’s so easy that you can begin today. And don’t be surprised at how fast you start getting noticed.

If you’d like to meet with communications experts and learn more about self-promotion and getting noticed, sign up for our next 3-Day Intensive Workshop.

Show Some Courage – Go Ahead and Assert Yourself

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By Kimberly Gerber

Assertiveness is the ability to have your voice heard in a clear and confident manner. Assertiveness gets people to notice and actively listen to you. While Assertiveness is often bold, it should not be confused with being aggressive.

Aggressive behavior is often angry and destructive. People who are aggressive generally intend to subordinate others in order to get what they want with the least amount of interference or challenge. That is not assertiveness. Ultimately, it is not effective and it damages relationships.

An assertive person projects confidence and self-control. They are perceived as poised, articulate and fair, and they are able to hold solid boundaries as well as lead the thinking of others. A great leader is an assertive leader. It’s having the courage to communicate our thoughts, ideas and contributions.

Learning to be assertive is a skill that you can master.

And, it is important that you do because, without the ability to effectively assert your voice, your success will be limited. The more often you’re able to assert yourself by demonstrating your ability to think strategically, solve problems, generate ideas and create solutions, the higher value you’ll have with those around you.

Here are three ways to assert yourself for greater success:

Self-promote – Send updates to your team and leadership on what you’re doing. Congratulate the team on your mutual successes. Don’t let the work speak for itself and don’t assume your boss knows all that you’re doing. The only way to ensure your work gets the credit it deserves is to let others know about it.

Seize opportunities – Reveal flattering information about yourself in your conversations. Be prepared to share some positive information about yourself the next time you run into leadership or others that you need to impress. But don’t go on and on, which would bore your audience. Instead, give a few facts and move on. I’ve always liked the motto: “Be brief, be bright, be gone.”

Accept compliments elegantly – When you say “thank you” for a compliment, the giver feels appreciated and so do you. Plus, it allows you to own the compliment.

Practicing the above three tips will allow you to have your voice heard as you promote your strengths, abilities, and successes in a professional and effective way. These assertiveness techniques will increase your recognition and your perceived worth to those around you. You’ve already done the hard part by doing the work, so promote it as a way to celebrate your success. The rewards will be worth the effort.

Look for more advice regarding the above three tips in future posts. If you’d like to meet with communications experts and learn more about communications and building your self-confidence, sign up for our next 3-Day Intensive Workshop.