Confidence, your personal history and the enchanted garden…

So you may wonder what the connection is between your current confidence levels, your past experiences and an enchanted garden… All will be revealed soon… Keep reading!

When I’m training or coaching, I seem to hear this common theme especially amongst many women:-

“I find it hard to say no..”

“I sometimes worry what others think of me..”

“There are times when I doubt myself, I don’t believe in myself..”

“I sometimes don’t speak my mind for fear of rocking the boat or the reaction I may get..”

“I avoid confrontation at all costs..”

“I worry unnecessarily…”

“I feel nervous when speaking to a group of people when all eyes are on me…”

“I’m worried about getting it wrong…”

You get the idea. And the list goes on….

About 5 years ago, I was in the above situation. My confidence level was pretty average. In certain contexts it was higher and in other contexts it was lower. Some of the time I believed in myself and some of the time I didn’t. I frequently was plagued with self-doubt, not believing in my own abilities. My ‘theme’ was always putting other peoples’ wants before my own, being unable to say ‘no’ because I didn’t want to let others down and would frequently sacrifice my own needs for the sake of keeping everyone else happy and for fear of rocking the boat. A very unfulfilling place to be as I basically ‘forgot’ about my own needs, wants and desires. And then it all changed 5 years ago when I discovered….   (I think I’ll continue this bit in the next article!)  Oh I know, I know, keeping you in suspense! :-)  It’ll be worth it, I promise!

So where was I? Oh yes. Now consider the following statements. What would happen when you are self-assured and have a strong self-belief and what would it feel like, even if you had to pretend?

…comfortably expressing yourself and speaking your mind (tactfully where possible!)

…easily asking for what you want and going for what you desire (ethically!)

…being more assertive

…no longer putting up with a second rate situation

…no longer worrying about what others think of you.

…no longer worrying unnecessarily

…developing a healthy mindset and a positive way of thinking

…comfortable being yourself and feeling content inside

…feeling good about yourself.. valuing yourself… believing in yourself

I can tell you from experience having been through the whole process myself, from lacking in self-belief to becoming totally confident, it feels AMAZING! That’s what being in the enchanted garden feels like but more on that later..:-)

Confidence can be highly contextual and confidence levels can fluctuate. For example, some may be confident at work or in business but not in relationships. Or vice versa. Or confident socially but not so much at work or in business. Or vice versa. The most common scenario I seem to encounter with people who seek help for confidence boosting is feeling reasonably confident some of the time in certain situations and other times not. The most fulfilling and healthiest place to be is to be confident all the time in all situations – that’s when you have total self-confidence and total self-belief. Of course, we all have our ‘off’ days – me included – it’s called being human! And you can have an ‘off day’ and keep your confidence intact.

What is confidence? Having high self esteem, healthy self-worth, feeling good inside, valuing yourself, self-assurance, self-belief, self-trust and feeling secure in yourself. Phew that’s a lot of words! That’s what confidence means to me and what does having total confidence mean for you?

Firstly, let me just say that being totally confident has absolutely nothing to do with arrogance or being ‘full of it’. Arrogance in a person in many cases is usually a type of belief pattern and behaviour which often masks a deep insecurity or feelings of inadequacy. Arrogance is often a front to disguise those deep-rooted, often unconscious feelings and beliefs.  Other times arrogance can be just an unfortunate lack of social and people skills!

You can be totally confident and be a really nice, kind and caring person with it and that is what I would always advocate! :-)

Anyway, what does your past history and your beliefs have to do with how you feel about yourself and how confident you feel? The answer is in the garden and I will tell you in the next article where your enchanted garden awaits….

Until then, bye for now :-)

Love, Desi x

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Is the saying, “It’s just not meant to be” – true or not?

Is the saying, “It’s just not meant to be” – true or not?

This is a very common saying. I hear it uttered to me by others frequently and I’ve also said it to others and muttered it to myself.

I’m a massive fan of philosophy and inspirational quotes and I’ve been brought up on a diet of ancient Greek philosophers and have a passionate interest in eastern mysticism and traditions. So I definitely do believe that sometimes things just aren’t right or not meant to be in certain situations. It could be a lost opportunity, missing out on a job or contract because it fell through, or the end of a relationship. The list is endless. And sometimes these things not working out can pave the way to something even better to coming along.

However! There is a very fine line between believing something is not meant to be and actually not taking responsibility for what you could have done differently. Ouch!

There was a chap I came across recently whose name was Mr Not Meant to Be whose life revolved around the sayings, “this wasn’t meant to be. Neither was that. And not forgetting that other thing that wasn’t meant to be either. Nor that woman and relationship. Or that financial opportunity. Or the lottery. etc” Mind boggling! You get the idea.

So what Mr Not Meant to Be was actually doing was living his whole life through “this was just not meant to be” as an excuse for not taking responsibility for his choices, results, actions and behaviours and he’d never learn from any of his experiences. He was creating his own reality through his own perceptions and running away from his unhelpful mind programs that would sabotage his successes and chances at happiness.

I’ve been in situations a few years back prior to my NLP & personal development training, where I’ve let an opportunity slip through my fingers through either not quite believing I could do it, succeed at it or through sheer procrastination. Then I’d make myself feel better by saying to myself: “well… it wasn’t meant to be.” Or rather, I didn’t act on something when the opportunity arose because of the above factors and I didn’t want to accept the discomfort of my in-action. So now, if something doesn’t work out in the way I want it to, I’ll learn from that experience, move on and choose to do things differently next time.

If you are in a situation where you are putting your time, energy and focus into achieving something and nothing is happening, it may not be because ‘it’s just not meant to be’.
It can be easy at times to get into the habit of doing the same old thing which isn’t working and metaphorically speaking, you aren’t seeing the other, hidden turning off the roundabout that will get you to where you want to go because you are in tunnel vision.

Remember Einstein’s definition of insanity? “Doing the same old thing and expecting different results…” It does make me smile and I’ve been guilty of it in the past!

So what happens when you take responsibility for your actions, choices, behaviours and results?

It’s all about learning, flexibility and the willingness to try out something else. Another example is Thomas Edison and the making of the lightbulb (one of my favourite sayings). It apparently took him approximately 1000 attempts to create the lightbulb. If he stopped at the 999th attempt and didn’t get the lightbulb working by being flexible and continuing to try different things, do you think he would have sat there and said at the 999th attempt, “Well I didn’t succeed in making the lightbulb – it just wasn’t meant to be!” and shrug his shoulders and walk off? Probably not!

Choosing to not do things differently, not taking responsibility and missing out on opportunities can arise from a variety of reasons. It could be limiting beliefs, feelings of insecurity or inadequacy, deep down not feeling that you deserve the wonderful ‘prize’ or the unwillingness or fear of leaving the comfort zone and venturing into the unknown. These are powerful unconscious patterns that many people run in their minds without even being consciously aware of it and therefore creating their own reality, self-fulfilling prophecies and deep down feeling unfulfilled.

The good news is that you can change these patterns! How? More on that in another blog article…

Until then, enjoy your day and talk soon!

Desi x

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Confidence building for professional women in business!

This is a series of 5 blog articles titled “5 Steps to Self Confidence” for professional women in business.

Hello and welcome to the Introduction of the “5 Steps to Self-Confidence”. These series of articles are specifically targeted towards professional ladies in the business world who seek to raise their self-esteem, build up their assertiveness levels and be comfortable in asking for what they want confidently and comfortably (and also being able to say ‘no’ too!).  With the ‘glass-ceiling’ still existing in many workplaces, you want to be the woman who confidently stands out and is highly respected, valued and feels comfortable asking for that payrise, promotion or just standing your ground!

One of the most common issues many women struggle with is a lack of belief in themselves and comfortably expressing and communicating what they want. Confidence is a very broad statement and covers things such as self-esteem, self-image, self-belief, feeling secure (or not).  Lowered self esteem and lack of confidence limits your successes, your achievements and your results because it stops you from going for what you truly want. Often, many women end up being over-submissive and putting up with a second-rate situation for fear of rocking the boat.

A lack of self-belief or confidence, insecurity and low self-esteem is something that affects a large section of the female population regardless of age, background, culture or status.

Whilst many men seem to be more at home with voicing their wants, having strong self-belief, promoting & selling themselves, feeling totally confident with their abilities,  women seem to struggle in this area much more. Many women are often conditioned from a young age  suggesting that it’s not ladylike to be totally confident or boldly go for what you want or to even promote yourself (especially in the business world) as it could be misconstrued as being conceited or arrogant. This is a huge misconception, because total self-belief and arrogance are two very different things. Total self-belief is exactly what it says on the tin – total belief in ones-self – it’s almost like an inner knowing and a quiet confidence internally. You just feel comfortable, content and secure inside – you don’t need to shout about it from the rooftops. Arrogance however is something entirely different. Most instances of arrogance or over-confidence are usually a mask for deep insecurity and feelings of inadequacy within that person. They constantly have to brag about themselves, their achievements and how good they are on a frequent basis because they are trying to convince themselves of their sense of self worth!

Here are some of the most common statements I hear from women who doubt themselves and there are varying degrees of lack of self belief:

“I don’t believe I can get a promotion…”

“I doubt that I’ll ever be successful…”

“I’m not sure I’m that good at my job…”

“I often doubt myself in certain situations…”

“I feel dread at the mere thought of standing up and speaking in front of an audience…”

“I feel unsure of myself when speaking in meetings and I don’t believe that people will take my points seriously…”

“I feel uncomfortable delegating to colleagues or staff members…”

“I cringe at the idea of being the centre of attention…”

“I don’t believe in my opinions confidently enough…”

“I sometimes don’t express myself fully for fear of the reaction I may get or for fear of rocking the boat…”

“I sometimes sacrifice my own wants or needs to keep the peace…”

“I find it hard to be fully assertive when it’s required of me…”

“I sometimes find it hard to say ‘no’ to others so I end up taking on more than I can handle…”

“There are occasions when I worry what others may think of me…”

“I sometimes worry I’m not pretty enough or that my figure isn’t attractive enough…”

“I get annoyed with myself for not speaking up when I’m  unhappy about something…”

“There are occasions when I put myself down or struggle to accept a compliment…”

“I’m over sensitive to the needs of others…”

Exercise:

So here’s the thing. Consider the following statements below and just notice when you imagine how each one feels (even if it’s something that you’ve not experienced before).

So how good would it feel if you could…

…confidently ask for what you want in an elegant and feminine, yet powerful way

…boldly strive towards opportunities that present themselves with a strong sense of “I can do this!”

…believe that your opinions are as equally valid as those of others and feel comfortable voicing them

…feel totally confident and comfortable walking into a room full of strangers and striking up a conversation with anyone at any time

…say ‘no’ when necessary

…stand up and speak to an audience with confidence, ease and clarity.

…be more assertive in certain situations and set strong boundaries of what you deem acceptable and unacceptable where you would have behaved like a shrinking violet in the past

…comfortably express yourself and ask for what you want and need

…believe in yourself and your abilities and know that you always endeavour to do the best you can in certain situations

…stop putting yourself down and instead be compassionate, gentle and encouraging of your own self. (You wouldn’t put your friends down would you?!)

…feel confident enough to go for what you want: i.e. ask for a payrise, promotion or approaching a man at work that you’re interested in!

…it’s ok to make a mistake (as long as you don’t keep repeating it over and over and over again when you’re aware of what it is and it’s something that you could rectify!)

…believe that you can be successful and attract what you really want in life and believe that you deserve it too

…have complete faith and trust in yourself

…look in the mirror and be content with what you see

Does that sound good? Does it even sound abit too good  to be true? Well, thanks to the power of your mind, you can actually shift an un-confident mindset to a confident one in an instant – our mind creates change very quickly when you know how!

So what are we waiting for? Let’s go for it!  In Part 1 we are going to look at how you actually perceive yourself, how that affects your self-esteem and how you can begin to start changing your self-perception to feel good. When you change the way you perceive yourself, you begin to feel differently about yourself and others begin to perceive you differently too!

The concepts that we share with you here are based on the e-book and DVD of the same name which will be launched towards the tail end of 2011 and our popular workshop “Elevate your Confidence” . If you are interested in coming on our workshop, please click here for more information on the course and call 0845 388 8213 and we will be happy to assist you!

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Presenting with Confidence – Cultivate Your Inner Magnetism

In today’s challenging economic climate, how you come across to others in the business world is paramount to your success. With lots of people offering similar services, what is that ‘X-Factor’ that makes you stand out from the ‘crowd’ that goes beyond quality, experience, recommendations, value and price etc. That’s right – it’s YOU!  This is especially true if you do a lot of business networking, face-to-face meetings with potential clients, deliver presentations and attend interviews. How you conduct yourself is crucial.

You need to stand out and be a little different – people will REMEMBER you much more, so the impact you make has to be quick, positive and memorable. How do you do this? By cultivating your ‘inner magnetism’ & charisma and presenting yourself with confidence.

Every time you speak with people and share knowledge and information, you are in fact, presenting! This is true whether you are speaking with one person or to an audience of 100 people. It’s less about what you say, but rather ‘how’ you say things and what your body language is saying about you. Did you know that only 7% of our communication is through words, 38% through tone of voice and a whopping great 55% happens through our physiology, postures, gestures and body language!

Unless people are buying some sort of online product like a book or DVD where the personal touch isn’t immediate, when people are buying a personal service they are buying YOU as well as your knowledge and expertise.

So what are the benefits of learning how to present yourself with confidence by cultivating your inner magnetism?

*speak to people and audiences with charisma, confidence and credibility

*being able to get into rapport with anyone at any time

*increased success at gaining clients and turning prospects into paying customers

*make a positive impact on others through the way you present yourself

*higher referral & recommendation rate

*higher level of repeat business

*excelling at interviews

*a fabulous reputation

Do you want to know how to create that charisma, that personal glow and magnetism that makes people talk about you for a long time afterwards for all the RIGHT reasons?

Obviously it goes without saying that you have to also be good at what you do and conduct business in an ethical manner.  Using tried-and-tested marketing tools (especially when you’re running your own business) is essential because unless you have a very high referral rate, you’ll need to be comfortable with marketing yourself and your services. But this is where having that ‘magnetic glow’ about you is so important and being confident in presenting yourself magically.

What do we mean by ‘inner magnetism’?

It’s what you exude to others, the way you carry yourself, the way you talk conveying an inner confidence, a charisma, and a positive, impactful presence. Likeability and impact is important in the business world. Sure, there are some people out there who are not likeable nor ethical, who do well initially – but that kind of success is usually very short lived. When people are good at what they do AND they exude that inner magnetism and use it in the most ethical way, then business success is long-lasting.

It’s that ‘X-Factor’ – that certain something about someone that makes them noticed (I’m not talking about physical attractiveness here) – it’s the positive energy that a person radiates to others.

It’s the person who stands out from the ‘crowd’… they have ‘something about them’ perhaps, they exude a quiet confidence (without being in your face), they seem trustworthy and sincere (very important as some people mis-sell just to get business) and they seem to understand people and what makes them tick.

So what kind of impact can a person with ‘magnetism’ make?

  • they can hold the attention of an entire room
  • they have a high success rate with turning prospects into paying clients
  • they do very well at interviews and secure job offers
  • they can wow an audience
  • they are able to attract many friends and potential partners
  • people feel good around them
  • they have a wonderful reputation
  • they are a master of communication
  • they are very good at building rapport with people – they are very likeable

How do you do develop your inner magnetism?

When you cultivate your personal magnetism, you’ll be able to make a positive impact on people and leave them captivated. You’ll be able to engage audiences easily. When you develop your magnetism and make a positive impact on people, you’ll be able to affect how they think which goes beyond the words you use.

Remember, only 7% of our communication is through words so the remainder of your communication is 38% through your tone of voice (the way you say something) and 55% is through your body language that ‘speaks’ volumes. This includes your physical stance, postures, facial expressions, eye movements, hand gestures and how you even breathe. Every time you speak to another person – you are in fact, presenting!

Here are some tips to get you started:

  • Listen more and talk less. You actually make MORE of an impact by genuinely listening to other people and attempting to understand them rather than by just talking at them.
  • Smile! You can’t not smile back at someone who is smiling at you, can you?
  • Stand up straight or sit upright
  • Keep your physical gestures to a minimum for the time being otherwise people will get more distracted by your random movements (there are very specific gestures you can use that have very specific meanings across cultures that are very impactful when used in the correct manner as taught on my “Presenting with Confidence” course.
  • Be sincere. Always say what you mean and mean what you say. People will notice if you are being incongruent (when your subtle physiology and words don’t match)
  • Eye contact: look at the area between the top of the other person’s nose and between their eyes. AVOID direct eye contact NOR looking at the other person’s lips – that’s too intimate and intense.

What if you developed your ‘inner magnetism’ and X-Factor through “Presenting with Confidence”?

You’ll be able to…

  • increase your success rate in attracting more clients
  • wow audiences
  • more repeat business
  • higher referral and recommendation rate
  • achieve greater success at interviews

If you are interested in achieving the above, then you may be interested in our “Presenting with Confidence” course which teaches you how to develop your inner magnetism and present yourself to others more effectively, with more confidence so you can create an impact wherever you go!

For more information and to make a booking, contact us via email or give us a ring on 0845 388 8213 quoting “Presenting with Confidence”. You can also look at “Presenting with Confidence” course page for more information. More articles on presenting yourself coming soon!

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Why is running an ethical business so important?

If anyone is going to run a truly successful business for the long term built on solid foundations, then integrity and ethical practises are of fundamental importance. Why? Just take a look at the cracks that currently surround the Murdoch empire and the investigation into various unethical practises carried out by some sections of the British media attached to his business. Eventually those whose ethics are ‘questionable’ and ‘dubious’ will finally get tangled up in their own web of deceit.

What are the benefits of running an ethical business?

Solid business relationships

Repeat business

Referrals and recommendations

A growing client base

A solid reputation built on honesty, trust, integrity and value

Increased profitability

Sleeping soundly at night!

Remember people are not just buying your product or service – they are buying you!

What is ethical business?

Ethics are in the eye of the beholder so whatever ethics may mean to one person, may mean something completely different to the other.  Ethics and integrity are governed by values. Your values shape your conscience and your beliefs around what is morally acceptable or not. Everyone has different standards to which morals, integrity and ethics are measured against. Your values develop from a young age and may change at different stages throughout your life, dependent on circumstances, age and whether you choose to develop yourself personally.

To run a business ethically, you may  consider the following factors:-

Practising what you preach and walking your talk (and hopefully it’s something positive!)

Meaning what you say and saying what you mean

Doing what you are say you are going to do

Be a shining example to others

Fulfilling and exceeding your clients’ expectations

This may seem like common sense and seemingly minor things but people REALLY remember them! The above 5 factors can ultimately make or break relationships and forge close ties or dissolve them.

What’s the golden rule? That old saying, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” is so true. That’s the golden rule and that’s where it begins and ends. However, some people thrive on being treated badly but that’s a whole other issue and that’s usually to do with unresolved subconscious emotional problems.

In today’s economic climate, there are more people than ever who seek to build their business and get the results they want. This could be attracting high quality clients and an increase in profitability. Challenges can arise for those who run their own business as they are ultimately responsible for attaining business and keeping their finances healthy.

For some, a ‘survival’ instinct can kick in and that means that they will do ‘anything’ to get work. Perhaps stamping all over others to get that promotion or a new contract or behaving without a conscience or integrity. And the thing is – this attitude never works in the long term. The natural laws of the universe are such that eventually what goes around comes around.

A truly long term and sustainable and successful business is not just about how good at sales and marketing you are. Or how good you are at running a business (although that’s important too!) It’s also about how people feel when they interact with you. Do they feel good about themselves when they are in your presence? Do they feel that you have their best interests at heart or do think that you are mainly motivated by pound signs?

Your ability to form healthy, mutually beneficial and successful relationships with people are key to a long-term successful business. People need to feel that you are trustworthy, especially if you are a one-man-band. Having a solid reputation will eventually get you more referrals and recommendations than you can cope with over the long term!

What’s this all about ultimately? Your reputation. And word travels. Fast. A broken piece of equipment can be fixed. But a broken reputation takes years to mend, if ever.

And so take heed Mr Murdoch and Mr Murdoch. There are lessons to be learned.

Here at Mind Fountain NLP we take pride in drumming ethics and integrity into our delegates – only use a tool if it’s a win-win for all. For more information about how you can succeed in business through our courses, give us a call on 0845 388 8213 - why delay! Ring us today!

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