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Communicating effectively means more than knowing what to say and when to say it. Communication involves the subtle signals your body language sends to those listening. Here are some common body actions and the impressions they create: • • • • • • • • • Fiddling – Playing with your watch or a pen looks like you’re bored or impatient Clock watching – It looks like you’re anxious to move on to something else. Tapping – Tapping your foot or fingers suggests you are impatient or nervous. Staring – An unblinking stare conveys aggression Legs crossed or body hunched – Closing up your body profile —becoming smaller— looks like you lack confidence. Arms crossed – If you keep your arms folded during communication, you appear to be defending yourself against the others. Touching your face - When you have your hand in front of your mouth, you appear timid. Rubbing your nose, looking away - People who are lying often rub their nose or look away when speaking. No eye contact - If you won’t look the other speaker in the eye, you seem to have low interest or a lack of confidence. (Don’t forget staring. above.)
How you say things in communication is just as important as what you say. Watch your body language and control the unconscious message you might be sending.
How to Use Body Language Effectively
It is often said that in face-to-face communications, the words we speak actually account for less than 10% of the meaning that we convey, while body language accounts for more than half of our message (our tone of voice supposedly communicates the rest). Body language is important, and if your words say one thing but your body says another, the person you are speaking to is more likely to believe the message your body is communicating. Here's how to start using body language to improve your day-to-day communications and, more importantly, to improve your quality of life.
1. Be natural. It's easy to find big lists of what certain gestures mean, and entire dictionaries have been written that attempt to decipher the meaning of every posture, blink of the eye, or muscle twitch. The meanings of signals differ from one person to the next, however, and there are vast cultural differences, as well. What's more, it's not possible to control all your muscles so that each gesture and facial expression delivers the meaning you want it to deliver. Even if you were to succeed in controlling your body language "by the book," you would look fake. 2. Identify your own body language patterns. People spend a lot of time looking at your body language. What are they seeing? Make a conscious effort to think about what your body is doing in different interactions with different people. A mirror can be useful to examine facial expressions and posture, but mainly you just want to pay attention to what your body does when you're angry, nervous, happy, etc. Determine whether your body language is in sync with your message. Your body language is effective if it communicates the message you want it to communicate. Does your posture communicate confidence, or does it make you seem unsure of yourself even as your words express confidence? If your non-verbal signals match your words, you'll not only communicate more clearly, you'll also be perceived as being more charismatic. o Look at the big picture. Don't stay awake at night wondering if your right index finger is effectively communicating your approval of something. Different parts of your body work together to communicate meaning in "message clusters," and generally the more strongly you feel about what you're talking about the more parts of the body are actively communicating. You don't have to have every little nuance "correct" as long as the overall effect of the cluster is in sync with your message. 3. Correct the big problems. If you take away one thing from this article, it should be that body language should be natural, and you don't need to obsess over it. That said, there are certain situations that may merit "relearning" certain aspects of your body language. o 1
If you give persistent, very obvious counterproductive signals, it may be worth your time to fix them. For example, if you're constantly hunched over or touching your face, you'll never look confident, approachable, or at ease. Improving your posture and working to eliminate nervous tics can be difficult and will take time, but if you focus your efforts only on the big things, you'll quickly improve your overall non-verbal communication. o If you have recently entered a new culture, you may need to adjust your body language. Cultural norms regarding body language (i.e. how far away you should stand from someone, how much eye contact you should make, and what gestures are considered taboo), vary considerably, and if you don't speak the same body language as the locals, you're liable to be misunderstood a great deal, sometimes with very serious implications. o Concentrate on difficult situations. Most of our day-to-day interactions are with people we know fairly well. As people get to know you better, they become better at reading your body language, which means (for better or for worse) that they're less likely to misinterpret your non-verbal cues. With this in mind, then, it's most important to make sure your body language is clear in interactions with people you don't know very well. These situations (first dates or job interviews, for example) may merit some special attention. Get in front of a mirror and practice these interactions. Speak aloud as you normally would, and carefully watch what your body is doing. Even better, videotape yourself for several minutes and then watch the video to identify how you might present yourself better. 4. Say what you mean. For most people, appropriate body language--that is, body language that effectively reinforces the speaker's meaning--comes naturally when they mean what they say. The problem, of course, is that we don't always say what we mean. If you're trying to lie convincingly, for example, you'll probably have to alter your body language to prevent it from arousing suspicion. Even when we're not trying to deceive we may not really be saying what we feel. If your boyfriend or girlfriend asks if you love him or her, you may think you do but also think you don't; the mixed feelings may come out in a mixed message, in which your words say "yes," but your body language portrays your doubt. While much is said about changing your body language to communicate what you want to say, it's often easier to just say what you feel. 5. Use your body language to help you understand how you feel. If you're not quite sure how you feel about something or someone, pay attention to what your body is saying. Just as other people can read your body language to help uncover what you're feeling, you can learn from your body, and, for the most part, you should be able to read your body language better than anyone else can--all you have to do is pay attention. Using body language effectively means not only communicating with others, but also learning more about yourself. 6. Treat the cause, not the symptoms. Body language is so useful as a self-improvement tool because it can clue us into our own feelings--our fears, our hopes, our instincts. There's a multi-million dollar industry filled with people who will tell you how to position your torso and move your eyes in order to look more confident around members of the opposite sex or to seem more competent at work, but the usefulness of such instruction is limited. Even with dedicated practice, body language is hard to convincingly fake, and even if you manage to use your non-verbal cues to communicate feelings you don't really feel, you're not going to fool yourself. You're better off investing your time, energy (and perhaps money), to address the underlying issue. If you feel the product you're selling is a rip-off, consider getting another job; if you lack confidence around members of the opposite sex, work to get rid of your fears and become a more confident person. Your body language will follow naturally. o Tips • • One way to work on developing your own system is to study sign-language, and then use similar symbols when actually speaking once in a while. It is sometimes useful to observe the body language that is appropriate for a given setting or among certain people, and then match your gestures to those of people around you. This sort of imitation may be considered uncharismatic, but if you're not familiar with the culture or with the people with whom you are speaking, it may be the only way to get your message across or to avoid an embarrassing gaffe. Use the most positive (or, if warranted, negative) gestures and facial expressions first and last. While it is true that we make our most memorable impressions within the first 5 to 10 seconds, we also make a crucial impression within the last 5 to 10 seconds as well. Once in a while use the opposite gesture of your intended meaning. This is not meant to confuse the listener, but rather to see how well they pay attention to your gestures. If they notice it, consciously or not, they may say something like "Wait a minute, let me make sure I am understanding you." Have more than one gesture to "get the message across." If you want to make sure you're not misunderstood, repeat both gestures when you speak the idea aloud. If the listener doesn't pick up on one gesture, he or she will likely be familiar with the other. You don't have to use a body language 2
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concepts. If you know you are using a sign that may easily be misinterpreted. are you?" That way the person won't think that you're just being unreceptive. Direct the most positive gestures toward the listener. When people say that someone seems phony. and try to reinforce your meaning. you may want to say." In Japan to convey this meaning the feet would typically be together. Warnings • • • • • Not everyone uses the same gestures to convey the same meaning. state so as immediately as possible and state your intended meaning. "I'm cold. although audible. many people believe that if a person's arms are crossed it means that they are distancing themselves. if you cross your arms for warmth. For example. However the actual tones used between people may not be accurately interpreted by the listener. but it's a good idea to have a toolbox of gestures you can use to reinforce very important. Direct the most negative gestures away from yourself and the listener. For example in the U. For example. Perhaps they are simply cold! Faking a gesture or facial feature to convey a meaning is the same as lying.• • • • gesture (or two) for every word. Do not assume that you have correctly identified the meaning of another person's body language meaning without verification.S feet spread apart typically conveys the message "I am calm. but standing my ground. right away. 3 . Be careful to not misinterpret another person's tone of voice. This way you clearly indicate that you wish that no obstacle stands in the way of your intended message. People's usage of body language can and usually does change over time. Tone of voice and inflection. but easily misinterpreted. Always try to be clear. Understand that people are liable to misinterpret your body language. are great indicators of meaning. they're usually referring to mannerisms that seem faked. This way you more clearly indicate that you are offering a favorable outcome to the listener as though it were a gift to them. with the hands directly at the sides. and it can be interpreted this way.
Reduce mixed messages If you’re in a job interview and you talk with a steady voice and say all the confident things you should but your body language tells your maybe-employers that you are very nervous or guarded then you are incongruent (and perhaps without that job). A better posture. Having a better body language will consistently give people a more positive mental snapshot of you. The rest is your voice tonality (38 percent) and your body language at 55 percent. Increase your attractiveness It’s not what you say. …words are only 7 percent of your communication. We learn to improve our language and words to impress.6 reasons to improve your body language When we’re in school or at work. it’s how you say it. Just try to sit straight up for 5 minutes and feel the difference in energy from half-lying in your chair. attractiveness and general mood. Improving your body language can make a big difference in your people skills. even if we are reluctant to do it. What you do might be interpreted in several ways. currently Professor Emeritus in psychology at UCLA. If you force yourself to smile you’ll feel good too. You’ll probably want to use your body language differently when talking to your boss compared to when you talk to a girl/guy you’re interested in. 5. 6. If you sit slumped down you’ll feel more tired and negative. 3. We learn to construct clever chains of words to gain an upper hand and to communicate more clearly. And not just in a sexual way but when talking to new friends or in job interviews and business meetings. These are 4 . Better first impressions Everyone stereotypes everyone on first impression. You can create a connection to another person more easily. a more controlled and focused body language will make everyone more attractive. depending on the setting and who you are talking to. your voice and your body language to say the same thing. here is just a few of many pointers on how to improve your body language. 2. Emotions are linked to your body language Emotions work backwards too. We all get a first impression of a new person that creates a mental image of his or her personality in our minds. Be on the lookout for the follow up-article on how to improve your body language tomorrow. If you feel tired or down you might sit slumped down. That image of you often lasts. If you feel good you’ll smile. a more open body language. Improve your communication skills If you improve your body language you can get your thoughts across in a more effective way. A bit strange since… 1. What you want is be congruent. 18 ways to improve your body language Continuing from the previous post 6 reasons to improve your body language. talking over the phone is obviously different from talking face to face) but body language is a very important part of communication. But when we grow up we learn very little beyond improving our words. When using more powerful and appropriately balanced body language your communication skills become more focused and better. There is no specific advice on how to use your body language. we’re taught to improve our words. that is for your words. These numbers may vary depending upon the situation and what is communicated (for instance. 4. That’s according to research done by Albert Mehrabian.
6. Some of these tips might seem like you are faking something. it might seem silly but no one is watching you. don’t snap you’re neck in their direction. you’ll seem insincere. Nod when they are talking – nod once in a while to signal that you are listening. Giving no eye-contact might make you seem insecure. Don’t fidget – try to avoid. They might move up and forward a bit. it will also make you feel less stressed. but don’t stare – If there are several people you are talking to. Another tip is to close your eyes and visualize how you would stand and sit to feel confident. 10. 8. Relax a bit. Or lean back too much or you might seem arrogant and distant. sit up straight – but in a relaxed way. turn it a bit more slowly instead. Don’t cross your arms or legs – You have probably already heard you shouldn’t cross your arms as it might make you seem defensive or guarded. Observe what they do and you don’t. You might sit with your legs almost ridiculously far apart or sit up straight in a tense pose all the time. 4. practice and monitor yourself to find a comfortable balance. People will be a lot more inclined to listen to you if you seem to be a positive person. they are worrying about their own problems. not in a too tense manner. Keep your head up straight and your eyes towards the horizon. Relax your shoulders – When you feel tense it’s easily winds up as tension in your shoulders. Your feelings will actually reinforce your new behaviours and feelings of weirdness will dissipate. 7. open and relaxed or whatever you want to communicate. If you are not used to keeping eyecontact it might feel a little hard or scary in the beginning but keep working on it and you’ll get used to it. phase out or transform fidgety movement and nervous ticks such as shaking your leg or tapping your fingers against the table rapidly. This goes for your legs too. Walking slower not only makes you seem more calm and confident. Try to loosen up by shaking the shoulders a bit and move them back slightly. Just play around a bit. Keeping too much eye-contact might creep people out. Yeah. Smile when you are introduced to someone but don’t keep a smile plastered on your face. If you want to show that you’re confident in yourself and relaxed lean back a bit. You’ll seem nervous and fidgeting can be 5 . Try using what you can learn from them. 1. In the beginning easy it’s to exaggerate your body language. but not too much – If you want to show that you are interested in what someone is saying. But don’t overdo it and peck like Woody Woodpecker. Keep you head up. 3. Don’t keep your eyes on the ground. If you slow down your movements you’ll feel calmer. Take bits and pieces you like from different people. But don’t lean in too much or you might seem needy and desperate for some approval. See yourself move like that version of yourself. 9.some common interpretations of body language and often more effective ways to communicate with your body. Then try it out. And people aren’t looking as much as you think. Don’t be afraid to take up some space – Taking up space by for example sitting or standing with your legs apart a bit signals self-confidence and that you are comfortable in your own skin. feelings work backwards too. That’s ok. Lean. Try to relax. movie stars or other people you think has good body language. Have eye contact. Notice how you sit. role models. give them all some eye contact to create a better connection and see if they are listening. First. what you do while talking to someone. If someone addresses you. it makes you seem nervous and needy. You might also want observe friends. 5. If you smile a bit more you will feel happier. to change your body language you must be aware of your body language. it might make you seem insecure and a bit lost. how you stand. Don’t touch your face – it might make you seem nervous and can be distracting for the listeners or the people in the conversation. lean toward the person talking. This will give you good feedback on how you look to other people and give you an opportunity to practise a bit before going out into the world. Keep your arms and legs open. 12. And remember. You might want to practice in front of a mirror. If you sit up straight you will feel more energetic and in control. 11. Smile and laugh – lighten up. how you use you hands and legs. But don’t be the first to laugh at your own jokes. Slow down a bit – this goes for many things. don’t take yourself too seriously. But fake it til you make it is a useful way to learn something new. smile and laugh when someone says something funny. 2. Don’t slouch.
Declutter your movements if you are all over the place. That means that you mirror the other person’s body language a bit. use them with some control. Mirror . You can change your body language but as all new habits it takes a while. 17.a distracting when you try to get something across. How you feel will come through in your body language and can make a major difference. Especially things like keeping you head up might take time to correct if you have spent thousands of days looking at your feet. And don’t let your hands flail around. you might lean forward. Learn to really listen to what people actually are saying. don’t hold anything in front of your heart as it will make you seem guarded and distant. Use your hands to describe something or to add weight to a point you are trying to make. they might think that the spine ends where the neck begins and therefore crane the neck forward in a Montgomery Burns-pose. But don’t use them to much or it might become distracting. Let people have their personal space. If she holds her hands on her thighs. 13. you’ll pick up on loads of potential paths in the conversation. Do you make these 10 mistakes in a conversation? It might take a while to change the conversation habits that’s been ingrained throughout your life. If he leans forward. Not listening Ernest Hemingway once said: “I like to listen. In fact. Don’t just wait eagerly for your turn to talk. Then weirdness will ensue. Take a couple of these body language bits to work on every day for three to four weeks. keep a positive.Often when you get along with a person. Then take another couple of things you’d like to change and work on them. slow down and focus your movements. But don’t react instantly and don’t mirror every change in body language. you will start to mirror each other unconsciously. And a couple of solutions. Try to relax. Lower it and hold it beside your leg instead. But avoid yes or no type of questions as they will not give you much information. don’t invade it. When you start to really listen. By then they should have developed into new habits and something you’ll do without even thinking about it. To make the connection better you can try a bit of proactive mirroring. And if you try and change to many things at once it might become confusing and feel overwhelming. 18. but it is very possible. To not make this article longer than necessary let’s just skip right to some common mistakes many of us have made in conversations. Use your hands more confidently – instead of fidgeting with your hands and scratching your face use them to communicate what you are trying to say. open and relaxed attitude. Lower your drink – don’t hold your drink in front of your chest. However.” Don’t be like most people. Most people never listen. 15. Put your own ego on hold. 16. keep on until it sticks. when the two of you get a good connection. If not. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Your spine ends in the back of your head. If someone mentions that they went fishing with a couple of friends last weekend you can for instance ask: • • • Where did you go fishing? What do you like most about fishing? What did you do there besides fishing? 6 . Don’t stand too close –one of the things we learned from Seinfeld is that everybody gets weirded out by a close-talker. Keep a good attitude – last but not least. Keep you whole spine straight and aligned for better posture. 14. Realise where you spine ends – many people (including me until recently) might sit or stand with a straight back in a good posture. For information on how make yourself feel better read 10 ways to change how you feel and for relaxation try A very simple way to feel relaxed for 24 hours. you might do the same.
Listen to one of Brian Tracys cds or Steve Pavlina’s podcasts. And then the conversation can flow on from there. Speak with emotion. • • • • • 7 .The person will delve deeper into the subject giving you more information to work with and more paths for you choose from. Because that’s how you talk to your friends.” If you’re running out of things to say. And you’ll greet and start talking to this new person with a smile and a friendly and relaxed attitude. Read about laughter. • • Poor delivery One of the most important things in a conversation is not what you say. Learn a bit about improving your body language as it can make your delivery a lot more effective. the advantages/disadvantages of different lures or your favourite beer. Like what happened on the latest episode of Lost. We like to take a sixpack out to the park and play some Frisbee golf. One alternative is to mix questions with statements. Prod a little further. Nice. Ask again. It will make it much easier for people to listen and for you actually get what you are saying across to them. they just have to think about a bit more. Let your feelings be reflected in your voice. The blue ones were really great. Using pauses. But if you imagine this you’ll go into a positive emotional state. Try and slow down. If they say something like: “Oh. It might sound a bit loopy or too simple. And you can discuss Frisbee golf. A change in these habits can make a big difference since your voice and body language is a vital part of communication. or that one girl’s cool Halloween-costume or the host’s mp3playlist. They do know. It’s also good to stay updated on current water cooler-topics. Comment on the aquarium at the party. Don’t overdo it though. When you get excited about something it’s easy to start talking faster and faster. What that means is that you imagine how you feel when you meet one of your best friends. you can always start talking about the current news. Tightening up When in conversation with someone you just meet or when the usual few topics are exhausted an awkward silence or mood might appear. you might not want to hug and kiss right away. If you feel nervous or weird when meeting someone for the first time assume rapport. posture and how to hold your drink in 18 ways to improve your body language. • Leil Lowndes once said: “Never leave home without reading the newspaper. Listen to how using small pauses makes what they are saying seem even more interesting. Some things to think about: • Slowing down. Speaking up. Don’t be afraid to talk as loud as you need to for people to hear you. Assume rapport. No one listens for that long if you speak with a monotone voice. Slowing down your talking plus adding a small pause between thoughts or sentences creates a bit of tension and anticipation. Speaking clearly. Or like you don’t have that much too contribute. Don’t mumble. I don’t know” at first. We went out in my friend’s boat last month and I tried these new lures from Sakamura. don’t give up. But it really works. And as they start to open up the conversation becomes more interesting because it’s not on auto-pilot anymore. Asking too many questions If you ask too many questions the conversation can feel like a bit of an interrogation. but how you say it. You can always start new conversations about something in your surroundings. it’s great to just get out with your friends and relax over the weekend. Continuing the conversation above you could skip the question and say: • • Yeah. And pretend that this new acquaintance is one of your best friends. People will start to listen more attentively to what you’re saying. Or you might just become nervous not knowing exactly why.
Don’t just stand there nodding and answer with short sentences. your crappy job or boss. Don’t hijack their story about skiing before it’s finished to share your best skiing-anecdote. you can’t always wait for the other party to make the first move. Being boring Don’t prattle on about your new car for 10 minutes oblivious to your surroundings. Opening up a bit and not clinging desperately to one topic will make the conversation feel more relaxed and open. this quality is something you appreciate in a conversation and makes you feel like you can connect to that person easily. Everyone involved in a conversation should get their time in the spotlight. 8 . Really listen and be interested in what the others are saying. You might also want to save religion and politics for conversations with your friends. your plans for New Years Eve or something funny or exciting. As you’ve probably experienced with other people. Instead just sit back. share how you feel. Like in so many areas in life. open up too and share one of your experiences. It makes you less passive and makes take a sort of stand. Instead. talk about your last trip somewhere. One way is by replacing some questions with statements. relax and help keep the good feelings going. It’s a more of a way to keep a good mood going. Topics may include work. And to focus on the positive stuff.Hogging the spot-light I’ve been guilty of this one on more occasions than I wish to remember. Don’t interrupt someone when they are telling some anecdote or their view on what you are discussing to divert the attention back to yourself. serial killers. Not reciprocating Open up and say what you think. people don’t want to hear that. Another way is just to be genuinely interested. Or when everyone is getting bored and the topic is starting to run out of steam. Ask questions. technical lingo that only you and some other guy understands or anything that sucks the positive energy out of the conversation are topics to steer clear from. No one will be that impressed if you “win” every conversation. If someone shares an experience.” Knowing a little about many things or at least being open to talk about them instead of trying to steer the conversation back to your favourite subject is a nice quality. If someone is investing in the conversation they’d like you to invest too. Not contributing much You might feel that you don’t have much to contribute to a conversation. Always be prepared to drop a subject when you start to bore people. Talking about a weird or negative topic If you’re at a party or somewhere were you are just getting to know some people you might want to avoid some topics. Often a conversation is not really a discussion. As Dale Carnegie said: “You can make more friends in two months by becoming really interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you. Don’t start to whine about your boss or your job. Talking about your bad health or relationships. some funny anecdote that happened while you where buying clothes. When needed. Which is just another way of saying that the way to make a friend is to be one. But try anyway. be proactive and be the first one to open up and invest in the conversation. One good way to have something interesting to say is simply to lead an interesting life. Having to be right Avoid arguing and having to being right about every topic. Find a balance between listening and talking. Meaning: talking for what seems like hours about one topic. TV-show and more work. You will come across like a person who can talk about many things with ease. Make relating statements. favourite rock-band.
They make decisions and take action Right or wrong action. Instead. Instead of just doing a lot of things. But take it easy. Don’t do it all at once. Successful people might be intelligent. Or have had a socially well connected upbringings. Or be naturally energetic and open and positive. Eleanor Roosevelt and Henry Ford. But above all. pick out the three most important things that you feel needs improving. You’ll just feel confused and overwhelmed. If it fails. But they do them anyway. A positive one can open new doors 9 .Open your eyes too. As Franklin Roosevelt said: “It is common sense to take a method and try it. Instead. Focusing 100% on one task at a time will get it done quicker and better. And much can be improved in anyone’s life by learning from the people that have gone before us. They have a positive attitude A negative attitude can be very damaging and limiting to one´s life. Either way it’s always better than making no decisions and taking no action at all. Then they do the next thing until it is done. Develop your observational skills to pick up interesting stuff in your surroundings to talk about. they think and plan before they act and try to focus as much as possible of their thoughts and actions on those few very important things. try something. The following factors of success are just a few and I´m quite sure there are a lot more. Soon your new habits will start to pop up spontaneously when you are in a conversation. Why some people almost always are successful Like everyone else I´ve spent some time thinking about why some people are so successful in life. A lot of us back down when we don´t want to do something. And after they´re done with that they do what´s most important again. Develop your personal knowledge-bank by expanding your view of interesting things in the world. And in the longer run that makes all the difference. Notice the difference and keep at it. they do one thing and focus on that until it is done. even though it may eventually bring us to a wonderful experience or goal. Read the newspapers and keep an eye on new water cooler-topics. admit it frankly and try another. Thomas Edison. Work on them every day for 3-4 weeks. Here are some of the thoughts on success that I´ve come up with from reading/watching documentaries throughout the years about people such as Michael Jordan. wastes time and spreads the multi-tasker too thinly. And what factors in success that are under more personal control than others. they take it. But a lot of the factors that make some people more successful at almost anything in life are very much under their control. how you talk and try assuming rapport to improve your communication skills.” They do things even when they don´t feel like it I think this is a pretty huge factor. Work on your body language. They do the most productive thing right now Instead of trapping themselves in doing productive but not so important tasks or projects they realise what’s most important and do that. Successful people may not always like doing some of the things they have to do. They do one thing at a time Many of them don´t seem to multi-task. Some reasons for avoiding that may be that it creates internal confusion.
this seems to go back to having a purpose and more clear sense of direction in life. Or they may have defined or redefined reality so that fear is substantially decreased or even gone in some areas of their life. Doing this enables you to take action on your thoughts.what is necessary to improve their skills. suggestions. They value their time highly and plan it out well A lot of people don´t value their time that much. I think.and they know that if they fail they´ve been there before and they can start over again and succeed.every day. but they don´t fear it – or at least they have little fear of it . This pulls down the barriers in the mind and create new roads and opens up to whole new possibilities. Have a look at 5 Life-Changing Keys to Overcoming Your Fear for more on both slaying your dragons and redefining your reality to contain less fear. The purpose. They are open to thoughts. So it seems quite obvious that to be successful you´ll probably have to have good or great communication-skills (or hire someone that has such skills). Even if what the others think may be positive and successful stuff. They have so much they want and an inner urge to do it and therefore need to plan well to use their days effectively. Have a look at Take The Postivity Challenge for more thoughts and practical tips for creating a more positive attitude. They have redefined failure While a lot of people see failure as a way to rationalizing the feeling of wanting to giving up or as a sign that it´s actually time to do something else successful people tend to see it more as useful feedback. They do what they have a burning desire to do rather than conforming to what others think they should do. People skills is fortunately something anyone can improve and develop. This is of course a very useful belief and keeps successful people going while the rest have already given up. They don´t get distracted When others get too caught up in everyday life to do what they really want to do the successes don´t. The Michael Jordans. Again. They´ve got awesome communication-skills So very much of what we do in life has to do with other people. They can really focus on actually doing what´s important and what needs to be done. is largely why they can keep on going and be motivated while others may tire or just go and do something else that they find more purposeful. Have a look at Do You Do these 10 Mistakes in a Conversation and How to Make a Great First Impression for some useful tips. They don´t let fear hold them back They overcome fear and slay that dragon whenever they face it. The successes love their purpose and when they aligned with it then it seems to push them forward with enthusiasm and energy through life. They may not like to fail. new information and 10 . Successful people have a purpose in life and therefore they do. the Edisons and the Stephen Kings have figured out what they want to do in life and are doing it (or did it). They have found a purpose in life They are internally driven rather than externally driven. solutions. It helps you through the hard times as a successful person often sees an opportunity within what others would merely see as a problem. They have an open mind and are willing to learn Successful people take the time to study and learn – and often seem to really like doing it . It can open your mind to new ideas and input and create or sustain great relationships.
change rather than thinking they already know everything. The big roadblock. A solution is to take small steps instead. positive reasons to get going. Essentially it boils down to fear. seeing it in a more motivating way. Getting some concrete. doing what I may not feel like doing and doing the most productive thing right now. sometimes the massive wall in the middle of road that keeps you from getting what you want. Taking small steps This is good for fear that can seem overwhelming at first. that there is not much more to learn and that everything should be as it has always been. And then trying to be more involved in conversations to exercise your conversation-muscles. 1. To me it seems like these three factors are very important and since they are pretty interconnected they are easy to combine. 2. Or starting to talk more to people online via forums and Instant Messaging. of you succeeding or failing. Then make a plan with some smaller steps you can take to gradually lessen your discomfort. The fear of being rejected and that others might think less of you if you get turned down can make many of us feel unable to ask the question. One way to get moving is to replace some of your negative thoughts – that creates negative feelings – with clear. building courage and expanding your comfort zone in this part of your life (which is something that often bleeds over to other areas of life too. If you´re for instance nervous socially you might not feel able to ask people out on dates right away. where should one focus the energy? I am currently focusing on improving my ability to take action. For instance the strong feeling – it can almost feel like a flight or fight-response – just before doing public speaking or asking someone out for a date. What to focus on? Now. identify your fear. I guess one could say that you gradually de-sensitize yourself to social situations or whatever you are afraid of. what factors are the most important ones. positive motivation Getting to the stage where you really feel that you need to stop waiting – or need stop reading one personal development book after another – and take action can take some time. Or. How to overcome it? Here´s some useful ways I have found so far. 5 life-changing keys to overcoming your fear What is stopping you from getting what you want in life? Your friends? Your family? A sense that failure – or success – might change your life and that feeling uncomfortable? A sense that the people around you might disapprove of you aiming for what you want. And it’s up to everyone to figure that out for themselves. 11 .) So. I think what you should focus on varies a lot. But if you´re anything like me you probably already know what areas you need to work on. Steps like first just saying hi to people.
Writing down all the wonderful things you will gain in your life by overcoming this fear can be powerful. And success will come. perhaps cried for minutes or two and then you got up on the bike again. You have work on your skills to sharpen them. Even if it loses it´s inspiring effect gradually. If you don´t become clear on you motivation it can become hard to get going and knowing why you are actually need to change. That there are a lot of good business opportunities out there. Revisit your page of paper when you feel discouraged. You make plans on when to do it or perhaps what to say. Focus on those positive things to get motivated and inspired. They don´t take failure or rejection that seriously. Listen to the advice the failure gives you and you will improve. However. the definition of failure we are brought up with in society might not be the best and most useful to have. They learn from it and then they try again. Or we might be afraid of being rejected when asking someone out. uncomfortable or afraid. Being in the now What this means is to keep yourself steadily in the now. The spark to get you started to take those first actions that sends you into an upwardspiral of thought and action. You might think about asking someone out. 10. But they have also learned that to become successful at anything you have to fail perhaps 5. See failure or rejection not as something incredible negative that might end your life if it strikes. you probably started to become pretty good at riding your bike. And towards the afternoon. That doesn´t mean that you don´t make plans. We may fear failure when starting on a new career-path. Not letting your thoughts and emotions run away to the future or the past. or the next day. If they are rejected for date. 20 times or more. Instead they look at each failure and see the good part about: what they can learn from it and improve next time. And write down all the wonderful ways you can come up with how making this change will improve your life. If you look at the most successful people you quickly notice that they have a different response to failure than the more common one. it can be the initial trigger to unstick you. take a look at Why you should not compare yourself to others for some thoughts on the need for validation from others. do they give up? Probably not. Take out a pice of paper and a pen. family and the people around us if we fail. They know that there are a lot of good people out there. They know that if their first business-venture fails it feels like crap for a while but it´s ok in the long run. They know that next week or the week after they might find someone else that´s interesting and ask them out. as I have written before. 4. 3. But being in the now means to not getting your mind stuck in a kind of psychological and emotional headspace that is placed in the past or future. And rejection from friends. They know it´s not the end of the world if they fail. The morning of day when you learned to ride a bike you fell of it time and time again. The same applies here. Seeing failure and rejection in a new light Often it´s easier to not do something because we fear failure and rejection. of course. If you fear what other may think about you if you fail. Lack of motivation can get you stuck while contemplating how much your life sucks. It means not dwelling on what has gone wrong before and 12 . See failure simply as feedback on what you need to improve on. But you just brushed yourself of. Redefine it in your mind to lessen the negative emotional impact and the fear.Take 5 minutes. They have an abundance-mentality.
If you let it in – for me the feeling then often seems physically locate itself to the middle of my chest . And just feel like running away. Observe the feeling in your mind and body without labelling or judging it. Focusing on the now not only reduces fear but also increases the chances of you succeeding as your mind is focused. Focus on the now and what needs to be done now. You have to be willing to try these things out for yourself and keep practising.what could go wrong tonight or tomorrow. And when you´re arrive there it will be much easier to get things done when you have created a minimal amount of stress and fear within your mind. your mind is often dragged into a hypothetical. to a negative. 13 . make your plans. Don´t try to fight it or to keep it out (like many of us have learned throughout life). Instead. how do you beat the fear in such situations? You stop fighting. It also makes it easier to succeed because when you are in the now you are not that self-conscious – something that quickly can lead to insecurity . which leads for many of us. Surrender and let it in. And you can return to focusing on the now once again. for me. The feeling just vanishes. Say yes to it.but instead focused on the outside world and people you are interacting with. But since it seems that just about everyone is addicted to their own personality. Instead. Whenever you feel fear. How to surrender: Let me explain. 5. Both books are excellent and have. But if you do that you can make what may seem to you to be big progress pretty quickly. I´m still amazed of how well it works. yeah. Redefining you.and just observe it for maybe a minute or two something wonderful happens. You surrender. By surrender. been extremely revealing and helpful. Then just be and don´t think about the future. downward spiral of thoughts. Your brain is over-analyzing a possible situation. And. your confidence ain´t shattered and your thoughts become clear. This expands and empowers your fear to the point where you become almost paralyzed. me and reality To change yourself and overcoming fear you have to be prepared and willing to redefine yourself. No one can do it for you. when you feel fear then accept the feeling. Such thinking will only create and ramp up your fear to the point where you feel unable to do anything. The future will be the now soon enough. I highly recommend reading the Power of Now and/or A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle to learn about more practical advice for being in the now. As you surrender to the fear instead of fighting it the negative energy will pass through you and your body will release it. I´ve mentioned this technique in several different articles already. And when you get used to it and these things become more and more habitual you will start to do them naturally. I don´t mean that you should give up and go home. future scenario where you think you might fail. consistent change in behaviour will still probably be kinda slow and gradual (with some epiphanies). So.
In general. become more positive – try the Positivity Challenge! .many of the people you meet will respond in a similar manner. what are your tips for overcoming fear? Take the Positivity Challenge! “We don’t see things as they are. You might not fully understand it or internalize it – I haven´t yet – but just going into a conversation with perspective that you and the other(s) are connected and really just one can be very useful. A negative view of the world can create fear and hold you back. When you apply this perspective on the world it’s a lot harder feeling fear. “That´s just who I am”. well. Change will be hard if you deep down still think: I am this shy or negative or scared person. It feels like you are naturally connected to the rest of the world. This is of course nothing new and not that simple. I can probably deepen the understanding and application of those two points for months and years. people are often like a somewhat of a mirror for you. actions and emotions. why aren’t we more positive? I can think of a few reasonable reasons. Now. If it was. As for now and for me. so if you want to explore that further I recommend this link. always will be”. Just like it´s hard to do those things to yourself. But if you. If you are prepared and ready to change. So. less fearful and more open. for instance. Without the perspective of separation it seems like you – almost automatically . So.ingrained beliefs and ways of thinking will probably take some time. thoughts. There is no you and I separated from each other (like in the more common worldview many of us are accustomed to). Instead we are one. no matter how you think about the world. you tell yourself. we see them as we are. Steve Pavlina has written a lot about Subjective Reality.An addiction to positivity can lessen the fear in your mind of what might happen in a new. And will be the truth for you as long as you think it´s the truth. you can however rewrite what you perceive as the truth about yourself and your personality. unfamiliar situation or how someone might respond to what you are saying.” . Although I don ´t fully understand it yet – I think – basically what it means is that there is no separation on the world. kinder. 14 . then at least most of us would already be doing it.socially and habitually . And I believe I´m just beyond getting started. Or being mean or unkind. “Always have been. I am focusing mainly on numbers 4 and 5.Anais Nin I think that one of the most effective ways to improve your life is simply to think in a more positive way. A replacing such deeply . Something I´ve recently started to think about and apply is what´s called Subjective Reality. I´ll get back to my thoughts on and experiences with fear in the future.become calmer.
This can make us very reluctant to take chances and keep trying beyond the initial attempt. 2. And we continue our lives on that path. If you are stressed out by work and your personal life. A lack of knowledge/too much disempowering information – You will most likely fail several times at first. Not their faults. to just give up and revert to the familiar way of thinking. Not knowing how the world (most of the time) works can discourage you. A good starting point can be your local library. bookstore or amazon. Social programming – A big reason many think that things are like they are and will always be that way is because no one ever told them that there was an alternative.It´s easy to confuse what has happened to you. Then we continue believing it and it becomes a part of our sense of self. whether they want or not. what will other people say? That I´m weird. Yeah. Wanting to be right – Most of us have an ingrained sense that what we believe is right. Get information from a variety of different sources. Instead. We tried but failed (once or twice) – Throughout our lives. If you believe it does then it does. And get it from people that have experience and knowledge about what you are interested in. over-compensating or unhappy on the inside? Will they laugh. You will make mistakes. that it is bad. We hear this every day when we are young and very impressionable. Lack of energy – Changing the many negative and neutral thoughts in our day to day life to positive ones can take quite a bit of energy. A positive first impression can mean a lot in many situations and have a lasting effect throughout your relationship with that person. the people around you and society may not always be that accurate and effective. If you change your way of thinking you can change your behaviour. perhaps months. Or makes our lives out right miserable. 15 . in school and society we are taught that we should not fail.com. You will focus on the good things in people. This will make things much better overall and improve all kinds of relationships. mock me and question this change in outlook on life? Or perhaps. It may take longer than you think. Everyone stereotypes. You will make better first impressions. Even though a belief we have might not be that useful. And with that lack it´s easy to just feel too damn tired to change your thoughts. the story of your life. such thoughts can be some scary thoughts. with now and the future. And the information about how the world works that you get from media.We think it is like it is . It can be hard to give up a belief because then we have to give up being right. newspapers and other influential forces tells us we have a life and an identity that is us throughout our lives. 3. Maybe it will bring success and my relatively comfortable life will be shaken up and change. hyper. You will create a better world around you as your surroundings will become affected and change due to your positive thoughts and actions. Lack of motivation –Not knowing exactly what´s in it for me on a personal and beneficial level. negativity is the normal filter to view the world through. The past does not necessarily equal the future. 10 reasons why you should become more positive 1. And at least in much of the media. It may take more than a weekend to get the success you envision. And that is ok. if you aren´t eating and sleeping well and don´t take time to exercise there will be a lack of energy. if I change and become more positive. seek out relevant information for yourself to set your expectations to a reasonable level. The school. Too reactive and mindful of what others may think – You may think. they will actually like it and it will give me new opportunities down the line. You may be met with negativity or disinterest. that is normal. habits and your life. But if you don´t if you believe it does then it doesn´t.
Or even better. Don´t feed the negative thoughts with more energy or you might trap your mind in a downward spiral for quite a while.” . People like positive people. Everything becomes more fun.Viktor Frankl The Positivity Challenge is this: For 7 days you will try to only think positive thoughts. What I suggesting here is not a mindless kind of positive thinking where you pretend everything is ok whilst the house and your bed is actually on fire. we live for about 24-28 000 days. Don´t waste them. Cut the negative threads quickly . Realise that it is possible to choose what you think about and how you react – You don´t have live your life in reaction. And then you start examining your life in deeper detail through a depressing lens. 8. First you think one negative thought. And then you can continue from there. 7. It´s you focusing on what could be a more positive and useful solution for you. Positive people make other people feel good about themselves and they don´t drag the mood down. what could be a win-win situation if the situation involves other people (which many important situations in our lives do). It´s easier to become more productive when you stop laying obstacles in the middle of the road in the form of negative thoughts. Work becomes more fun. It puts the Law of Attraction to better use. The Law of Attraction basically says: whatever you think about you attract into your life. As you replace the negative thoughts with positive thoughts you will start to attract more positive opportunities and people into your life. Being negative has very little concrete advantages and is not a very empowering way to look at life. 5. If you start going down a negative thread of thought it is important to cut it fast. drop it and think about what positive things you can get out of this situation. Sometimes wonderful new ways you might not ever have thought about or experienced before. Being reactive to everything is not very empowering. By the end of the week you will have started to discover the very real benefits of a positive thinking. a quality that just about everyone is attracted to. You´ll waste less time. But it might 16 .of high self-confidence. Also. Instead it’s you noticing a situation or stimuli and then choosing a positive and useful response to it instead of reacting in a knee-jerk way. It can drain a lot of your energy whilst trapping you in paralysis by analysis. The how to do it “Between stimulus and response is the freedom to choose.Only allow yourself to go on a negative thread of thought for a set time-period. And you probably won´t become that much wiser in the process. Negativity can be like a self-feeding loop. It leads you to three more. A win-win solution is more often an even more satisfying and beneficial solution than the one where only you win. Then just cut it off. It opens up your mind to focus on other ways of looking at things. Whatever happens to you will see the good side of it and what positive things you can learn and take away from it. a positive attitude is an indicator – and source . less constructive one. 6. how much negative thoughts there are both in you and the world (you might be surprised) and begun establishing a new habit to replace your old. how to go about it? Here are three tips for the first week. You have a choice. Now. You become more attractive. 10. As mentioned in the Where is you time really going?. When you get into a vicious cycles like this it can eat up hours. weeks and years of your life. perhaps 30 seconds or a minute. 9.4.
If you just let it in and observe it for maybe a minute or two something wonderful happens. eat properly and get exercise then you need to reprioritize. Negative emotions can build up within you over time or you might feel be overwhelmed by a certain situation. Also. your general sense of well-being will increase. Instead. And that is why I succeed.take some time to make this click in your mind. you will feel stronger and have more energy.Check out these five tips for a better beginning to your day. A better way is to think about the mistake you made and what you can learn from it. thinking one example represents the whole world might not be the most helpful belief to hold. Limit your time with really negative people – Some people feed on negative energy and whatever you try it never pleases them or changes their sour minds and moods.You don´t have to learn much about successful people to realize that one of their key-strengths is that their way of looking at failure is widely different from more common one in society. Find out how they handle everyday life. Use positive language.” Also. It sounds weird but give it a try. don´t deny or refuse them – Although it´s often possible to just quickly cut off negative thoughts sometimes it might not be enough.to make this challenge easier and improve your life. accept the feeling. setbacks and compare it to your own thoughts and how you would handle similar situations. someone may have cheated on you. Start your day in a better way . Even though I understood this intellectually pretty fast it took a longer time to understand and accept it emotionally and on a deeper level. The more you think about this and try to use it by consciously choosing. problems. Focus on the gap between stimuli and reaction. Act as if – Smile to feel happier. check out this simple way to feel really relaxed. not the past . treated you badly at work before you were fired and your first business venture may have gone down in flames.A lot of people spend a lot of time thinking about on the mistakes they made in past. Use Where is your really time going? and Prioritize with the Pareto Principle to make better use of your time. Act as if you are a positive person and you will start to feel and become more positive. 26 times. Then you can try the counter-intuitive way and not keep the feeling out by fighting it. But applying one or two bad examples to the whole 17 . biographies etc. If nothing you do works then finally you might have to cut them out of your life or at least limit your time with them. in a similar vain. As Michael Jordan said: “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. Decrease stress using those two articles and the rest in the series How to double your productivity. I’ve lost almost 300 games. If you do reprioritize. Focus on the now and future. In addition. The feeling just vanishes. Get the physical fundamentals down – If you don´t have time to sleep a healthy amount of hours. Move slower to relax. It might feel weird at first. but it really works. Redefine “failure” and “proof” . If you don´t do this it will be harder to become and stay positive. Model positive people – Find positive people in your surroundings or anywhere in time and space (through documentaries. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. Observe the feeling in your mind and body without judging it. Say yes to it. here´s a bunch of other suggestions – some of them you might not be able to use fully within a week but instead over a longer time-span . Then stop wasting your time and shift your focus to the present and the future where you can actually make a change. I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed.) and learn from them. over time (for me it was months but it can surely be achieved quicker) the gap will appear larger and larger and that will make the process easier. Surrender and let it in. Accept your feelings. Yes.
different environments like business meetings with suits and ties or parties with umbrella-drinks come with different goals and expectations so figure out what´s appropriate and useful in each meeting. Here are some of the things I’ve learned about improving first impressions. The whole world and its condition has its counterparts within us all.in that dynamic once again. Turn the gaze inward. We see only ourselves reflected in those around us. Their attitudes and actions are only a reflection of our own. That image of you often lasts and can affect the relationship that follows. “Though I might travel afar. A good or great first impression can create a positive role in the minds of the new people we meet. you might not want to hug and kiss right away. You may not always be drawn into that role. And so on. This is a pretty good starting-point for getting them to reciprocate and for developing a good relationship. Everyone stereotypes everyone on first impression. Act as if you are meeting a good friend If you just imagine that the person you have just met and are talking to is one of your best friends you’ll probably adjust unconsciously and start to smile. Sometimes it happens almost unconsciously until you after a few minutes notice that you have fallen into your old role . I don´t believe there is one truth. I will meet only what I carry with me. We all get a first impression of a new person that creates a mental image of his or her personality in our minds. we are often drawn back into this role. for every man is a mirror. And could set you up for even more pain and disappointment through self-fulfilling prophecies and the Law of Attraction. but rather that the world changes due to the beliefs you have about it and the actions you take based on your beliefs. Don´t overdo it though. I don´t think these all these words are the truth about how the world around you and me works. just as you do with your friend when you meet him/her. 18 . with someone we are interested in/in love with a third. It is a way of thinking that increases happiness and joy in life. But if you do it sure is better to have a positive than a negative role saved for you. when shopping for clothes in a store a fourth. with friends another. The nice thing about this is that you may also start to feel positive feelings towards this new person.Kirsten Zambucka How to Make a Great First Impression First impressions can be quite important. With our parents we play one role. Something I think just about everyone wants.” . open up your body-language to a very friendly and warm position and reduce any nervousness or weirdness in your tone of voice and body-language. I do believe that this is a more useful model of how to view and interact with the world than a pessimistic one and that it´s a more enjoyable way of thinking.like when you meet friends you haven ´t seen in years . When we meet them again.world and the rest of your life will cause suffering for you long after those hurtful events happened. Another thing is that we often play different roles in relationships. Of course. even if we are reluctant to do it. Correct yourself and your world will change. Just as a pessimistic (or realistic) view of the world is not the truth either.
What you say isn´t that important I´d say that mental rehearsal followed by acting as if you´re meeting a friend are the most important parts of all of this. Then release by visualizing that it has already happened. as much as possible. open and having a great time. fidgeting shadow of their former self as the self-consciousness becomes almost paralyzing. 9 Mistakes That Can Kill Your Personal Growth 19 . For more tips. Make relaxed eye contact – don´t stare – when talking or listening. to stay outside of your head and focus on the people you are talking to rather than focusing on yourself. Then . See yourself smiling. second or twentieth meeting. start a first meeting by complaining. Also. Don’t think too much Try. being positive. Don’t cross your arms or legs.you can let your positivity arise a bit more. a simple “Hi!” may do just fine. that the meeting is over with the desired result. A better way to convey a positive attitude in a first meeting can then be to read the mood of person(s) before you start talking – by just watching them and then match it for a short while. Mentally rehearse before you even enter the room Visualize how great the events will unfold . Regardless if you start out positive from the get-go or a short. The problem with an inward-focused meeting .when you have an emotional connection and the other person feels you are similar to him/her . 93 percent is in your tone of voice and your body-language. short while into the meeting. See the excellent outcome in your mind.can reduce anyone to a bumbling. They often solve the rest of pointers in this article unconsciously and automatically and keeps your thoughts focused outwards instead of inwards. be sure to positive. So. If you. Making eye-contact can be a bit hard or scary but if you work at it you´ll get used to it. This is surprisingly effective and will get you into a great and relaxed mood before even stepping into the first. Turn your body towards the people you’re are shaking hands with or talking to so that your body language is friendly and open.Keep you body-language open Smile. hogging the spot-light. Don´t look the person in the eye all the time. You may also want to check out the ever-popular Do you make these 10 mistakes in conversation? for more information on stuff like listening. Stand up straight Keeping a good posture certainly improves on the impression one makes. don´t let your eyes just dart away.where you focus on what you just said. you may want to have a look at 18 Ways to Improve Your Body Language.see and hear it . Sometimes it may not be the best approach to go in too positive as it can be seen as bit abrasive or inappropriate. how you look and what the other person thinks of you right now . second-guessing. Don´t slouch.and also how great will you feel at this meeting. Sit or stand up straight. for instance. The words are only 7 percent of your communication. there´s a big chance the people you meet will mentally label you as a complainer or a negative person. as long as you try to use the first and the last point it doesn’t really matter too much what word or phrase you use to start the conversation. Be positive Sometimes you can go in all positive in a first meeting. what to talk about (and not to talk about) and the very common need to be right. When you break eye-contact try to do it kinda slow.
it´s often the opposite to the more commonly accepted “truths” that many of us have heard through school. I just have to get used to that thought. take a look at this list of my favourite personal development products so far. Don´t confuse the sales techniques with the products. 1. expansion of consciousness and all that good stuff. saying that there are only 500 copies of the product and that the offer is will only be available for one week. Stuff like offering a small free gift to the consumer. Do a bit of your own research via google and browse the reviews on amazon before you buy. try be observant of your own behaviour and to learn from my mistakes. There are snake-oil salesmen in every line of business. One or five or 20 failures ain´t that big of a deal in the long run. Thinking you already know everything – This one is a big problem and can halt growth for a very long time. let´s go. 2. There is certainly some pits to watch out for and here´s nine mistakes – in no particular order – that I´d say are very common. More than once. I am who I am and that can´t change. Now. you have to take the steps in real life. Have a look at Don´t get stuck in reading for more thoughts on the common affliction of getting stuck in reading a whole lot of personal development books without putting much of the advice into action. I have certainly made a lot of them. 20 . 3. It´s just common sense. They have nothing new to offer. Being confused by the marketing hype – The mindset in the first example isn’t totally of the mark. But in the end. See what other people think. It´s the mindset that says: “I know how the world works. If you can. I say.” Don´t give up. You have to fail to get good at something and to grow. It helped me to get going. Brian Tracy or Wayne Dyer you quickly realise that their best advice is not that much common sense at all. When you start reading about personal development from writers such as Anthony Robbins. start with trusted names or products that have received great reviews. And since most successful personal development authors/speakers really knows how to communicate there is bound to be perhaps a more than average amount of the high-pressure sales stuff you can read about in books like Influence by Robert Cialdini. While we perhaps learn best from our own mistakes there is no reason for you to at least waste a little less time that I and so many others before me have done.” This attitude and close-mindedness will make it very difficult for you to grow. Try the first and the second suggestion in this article on overcoming fear. I don´t need that snake-oil salesman stuff to improve my life. If you´d like.When trying to grow it´s easy to stumble more than once and scratch your knees on your way to success. If you have problems taking action. Giving up – At the first or third failure thinking “It´s no meaning. And only you can change yourself. Only desperate people need those books to get their life together. In fact. happiness. it´s often due to fear. Not taking action – Thinking that reading a book or blog will automatically transform you and your life. 4. support and motivation. Others can only give a bit of advice. But knowledge without action on your part is not that very transforming. media and other people throughout our lives. But even though some marketing techniques may seem overly optimistic or kinda aggressive doesn´t mean that the products are without value.
And therefore not commit to it. which methods that work best for you and the possibilities and limitations in your own personal growth. Failing to/not wanting to (at least start to) understand yourself – To change yourself you have to learn about the processes inside yourself. 8. Having unreasonable expectations – This stems from a lack of information.will over time bring clarity to what you want. But it won´t last forever. This can quickly lead to giving up. Hard work isn´t that hard when you feel you are growing and like what you are doing. Commit to your personal growth. And what you can do about all of that. Perhaps they do not want you to change because then they fear drifting apart and losing you forever. How you ego works. How your emotions work. How you can help yourself.combined with action . I´m building my own small library and filling it with solid and practical advice on personal growth. Or just not worth it. a waste of time and that in real life it doesn´t work like in the books. But I find that growing is overall a lot more positive than negative. How you past experiences and habits can affect you. 6. To get good results. And I think that from an outsider´s perspective – as someone who hasn´t immersed his/herself yet .5. Not having a reasonable picture of what you can expect will make you feel disappointed and like a failure for no good reason. even if it might feel so. blogs. That´s normal. When you get you first start you may think that just reading one book will solve all your problems. time and money invested than when you look at from the inside perspective. 21 . Is it hard? Yes. And when you are prepared for it. stress and a low sense of self expressed in all kinds of direct or indirect ways ain´t no fun. Just running or drooning around day after day filled with anxiety. Revisiting to a tape by Brian Tracy not only gets me motivated again but often presents me with ways to solve the problem at hand too. Keys to success with anything in life are consistency and patience. Take a look at Why you should not compare yourself to others for some thoughts and practical tips for overcoming or at least reducing this very common problem. Not committing to studying/action and developing it consistently as a part of your life. you need to know things like: you will be enthusiastic in the beginning – as with anything new and exciting . 7. audiotapes or dvds. If you get stuck here it´s probably because you need validation from others. One motivating method I use to get out of that low emotional state is to develop an on-going habit of consuming development material. Even when parts of you are working against what you really want. Perhaps you feel it´s just too hard. Worrying about/listening to what others think – You might fear that people will react in badly to your change. Dabbling with it – Dabbling with your personal development and personal growth material on and off. And they might actually do that. Sometimes both in quality and quantity. it’s certainly better than the alternative. when you get to know your emotional weather more closely. it’s gets easier and easier to control. Or they might not want to see you improve as that will make them feel like they are standing still in life. Is it worth it? Well. sometimes. This habit . Or give you unhelpful heap of negative thoughts on personal development and that it´s all just common sense.but that enthusiasm will probably dissipate. You know that there will be rain. whether it is in the form of a books.it often looks as if there is a lot more struggle.
but then your emotions can just sweep in and pull everything to a grinding halt. in the moment. finally stop trying to grow. You might have all the logical and rational reasons in the world to do something. You´ll be coming up with ineffective solutions. There are many ways to change how you feel. brushed yourself of and got on that bike again and again and again. You don’t learn it by reading about it and the first times you try you might fall. Don´t blame anyone else.” 22 . Try to be more conscious. What actually happens is that such people are trying to force a habit to change by using their muscles against it. They end up literally fighting themselves. Be aware of what processes are taking place inside you when you become angry. Here are 10 ways that don’t include chocolate. Having your feelings for work you instead of against you can have a massive effect on your life. become discouraged and possibly. This kind of forceful attempt creates tension that locks up the body’s energy and makes people feel worn out. they often complain that it takes too much effort. Relax This one is easy but just remembering that you can relax when you feel all tensed up can work wonders. If you fail to do so – which everyone does a lot. 1. Others may criticize them for not having a strong enough will. relax your muscles. And what you can do about it when it arises the next time. But I think I´ll get back to them another time. until the new habit is established. and this is true whether the habit is physical or mental. It’s up to you to change. Read/listen to books from a lot of highly regarded authors to broaden your knowledge and number of possible solutions to your problems. what are your suggestions for the most dangerous personal growth killers? 10 ways to change how you feel Being able to manage and change your feelings is one of the most important things in personal development. All of them might not work right away. depressed. so beat yourself up about it – take some time later to analyse why you felt/did that negative thing. jealous or envious. Try not to react in the knee-jerk manner you may often do. don´t stick to one guru and to one line of thought. it’s a bit like learning to ride a bike. You might realise that much of that tension was something you just built up in your own mind.So I say. But remember when you were a kid learning to ride a bike. If you ever feel that using your will is an effort relax and Start over. which is rarely effective. Now. All you really have to do is make your decision by your will. That´s nine and I´m quite sure there are more. You just got up of the ground. Instead. If you don´t get a handle on how humans work then it will be hard to help yourself (and others). 9. apply what you have learned about handling this issue. Not taking responsibility for yourself – This is absolutely essential. and direct your attention in the way you want to go. pain or alcohol and that actually work. In “A guide to the the Huna way – mastering your hidden self” King Serge Kahili writes this about effort and relaxation: ”When people are trying to change a habit of thought or behaviour.
Questions that presupposes that you have the power over your own life. take a glass of water. Or imagine your negative inner voice sounding like Goofy. It puts them in a great state before performing. no matter how you feel. throw it in own your face. 4. Much like when you have a conversation. And you do that simply by doing something unexpected and totally different from what you are doing now. Instead of asking yourself: “why must I do this?”. As you might have guessed. Something humours is nice because it’s often the opposite to a depressed or anxious state that you would like to break out of. Just look around yourself. Ask different questions We are always asking ourselves questions. an episode of the Simpsons (or your favourite sitcom). Maybe nothing is working out for you today. all the great things about your friends and your family. Appreciate things This is one of the most simple and effective ways to just feel so much better. You just want to go home and go to bed. Eddie’s been in a slump for a while. Or perhaps Eddie Murphy’s “Delirious” or “Raw”. Appreciate the good food you’re eating. Here’s where you might want to interrupt your thought pattern. And it’s great to try to change your mindset to one where you appreciate the things in your everyday life instead of taking them for granted. that tape wasn’t recorded this year or even this century. but they might be questions that aren’t really that good.2. Use an external stateboost On one of his audiotapes Tony Robbins mentions that before one of his guest-speakers or coaches goes up on stage they watch videos with Eddie Murphy. Don’t ask yourself “will I be able to do this?”. 23 . You feel confused and your state has changed. ask yourself “how can I make this more fun for me?” or “how can this help me?”. Or jump up and down ten times singing the chorus from “We are the champions” by Queen at the top of you lungs. Try it right now and feel the difference. Make up five things to do that really breaks your pattern and try them out. When you have done that you might not be able to able to find your way back to that previous train of thought. 6. the birds singing… Ok. Do something that totally breaks your thought pattern. your body will start releasing all those wonderful chemicals that makes you feel happy. maybe a couple of YouTube-clips. Anyways. Change and boost your emotional state with some of your favourite music. here are some suggestions. someone comes up to you and asks a question and then when you turn around again back to you friend you can’t remember what the two of you were talking about. all the possibilities in your life. -books or –websites. Questions that directs your focus to solutions and opens your mind to new possibilities instead of questions that just makes you feel trapped and lousy. Smile Smiling gives you a boost of happiness. 3. That’s some side-splittingly funny stand-up. And laughter and smiles breaks tension too. By making yourself smile. Ask better questions that empowers you. so perhaps it sounds a bit corny. Some suggestions. This is a great idea and you probably already using it to some degree. the kids playing and just having fun in the mud puddles. Interrupt your thought pattern You might be feeling down or you are procrastinating. the hot woman or man walking past you. personal development-cds. You may also want to try and find a couple that you can do among other people too without being labelled as crazy. instead ask “how will I do this?”. But it really works. Try forcing yourself to smile for thirty seconds right now. 5. The great feelings that make you smile works in reverse too.
It doesn’t feel as good as it did that one time. Let a few of your best memories wash over you. a presentation. 9. Anchoring is based on Ivan Pavlov and his experiments with dogs and bells but has been developed by people in the field of NLP (neurolinguistic programming). 24 . Eat. But don’t eat too much or you’ll feel tired and lazy. Create a physical anchor Ok. Then while I was back in that state both physically and mentally I snapped the fingers of my right hand. Think back to when you were funny and charming in the bar. I breathed and I moved the way I did that one time. but maybe your father and mother had more physical jobs… 8. just dive in to the subject for a while to get a basic understanding. The qualities and your inner possibilities that are always there but we often forget about them when we get caught up in a cloud of negative thoughts and feelings. Most likely there are things you can do both to remedy the problem and to change you perspective on this trouble area. And try to use these suggestions from the perspective of yourself when you were a kid trying to learn to ride that bike. Let them drown out your negative thoughts. And your feelings will start to work for you instead of stopping you when you want to take action. You may have been raised to eat large and healthy meals.7. And so on. a job interview. Having the feeling that you are right about something and “know how things work” can feel really good. I stood. By feeling better you will more constantly start to see the world in another way and you will start to see other. this one might take a while but it seems to work for many people. the anchors are likely to become more and more accurate. Seek out a couple of experts’ advice in the area that you are having problems with. But it’s my first anchor and by practicing more. actually it kinda does. If at first you don’t succeed. But it also limits you by closing your mind to other avenues of thought and personal development. 10. When preparing for a meeting. Don’t eat to little either or pretty soon you’ll feel just as bad as you did before you ate. This will make you remember the positive and wonderful sides of yourself. what if they think I´m incompetent. Open yourself up to other possibilities that are more beneficial to you Have some faith that the way you view work. take it a bit easy on the carbs and the size of your portions. Recall your positive experiences and memories It’s easy to be overcome by negative internal chatter. The theory is that you link up that emotion with the physical act of snapping your fingers. However. it you’re sitting most of the day. it’s so ugly”. close your eyes and imagine an emotional state that you want to able to snap into on command. dust yourself of and try again. There are often more solutions than one or two to a problem. I´m gonna fail and this why did I take this shirt. asking someone for a date or anything that makes you really nervous recall your positive memories from similar experiences. Basically you stand up. life and those other things are not the only way to see them. Use google and amazon. Or too little If you feel tired and frustrated maybe you just need to eat to get your energy back and your blood sugar up to a more healthy level. I think especially by trying to visualize and feel that state even more intensely. Remember the times when you were confident and relaxed during previous meetings and interviews. Focusing on these positive experiences instead of those negative ones that always seem to be closer at hand can make a big difference. Over and over. Also. But not too much. the effect is not 100%. Did it work? Yeah. God I´m gonna fail. relationships. more beneficial options. exercise. “I can´t do this. It’s instant gratification and gives you security and comfort. Learning to direct you feelings more and more have implications beyond feeling better. As an example I imagined a time when I felt really powerful and confident. money. When I snap my fingers I get an emotional boost and go into that state again. Over and over and over again.
We may play golf. music and words flow over you. Just listen when you are alone and can sit/lie back and relax. don’t listen to it in your car. While listening you might experience such things as being unable to lift your arms and seeing bolts of white light moving across the inside of your eye-lids. And. Every time you listen it also gets easier not let your mind wander. this will make me more productive”.A very simple way to feel relaxed for 24 hours Feeling relaxed. I usually have just one small light on in the room. audiotapes and vhs/dvd-tapes on personal development. Two guys who call themselves Hypnotica and Steve Piccus talk into your ears using bianural microphones. It’s a wonderful and productive emotional state. So. with worries out of our minds for the moment. The combination of Steve’s deep voice and Hypnotica’s higher. It doesn’t make you think “ooh. At first it’s confusing. The recording will put you in what´s called a trance but what I would describe as a long daydream. You might have to listen to the recording a couple of times to really get an effect. You let the words and music wash over you. When you are done listening don’t be surprised if it seems like only 15 minutes have gone by and you can’t remember much of what you heard. don’t forget to unplug the phone. It’s 37 minutes of soothing beach-sounds and ambient music in the background by Denver Clay. buy stuff or eat to reach that state. workout. The second and third time you learn to just let the voices. drink. By now I’ve probably gone through 40-50 books. After a while you give up and just lie there. Try different times during the day to find when you are the most receptive. It makes it easier to listen without too much outside stimuli. You get a bit sleepy. almost nervous pitch is fascinating. The effect is different because it’s not a product on an intellectual level. Since I don’t dose off easily I prefer to listen with closed eyes in my bed. The first time you listen you’ll probably try to follow along with the words. How to listen Use headphones while listening to shut out the outside world and hear every detail of the recording. My mind is tired and doesn’t start to wander too easily. Which of these guys should I listen to? You strain to try and follow along with the ministories and words that seems be stringed together with dream-logic. If you fall asleep easily. “Double Induction” is one of the most powerful and mind-altering products so far. The state where we seem to flow through reality focused on the now. It can be a bit frustrating to be interrupted in the middle of listening. while operating heavy machinery or in some similar situation. Hypnotica speaks in to your left ear while Steve talks into your right ear. One effective way to relax is a free hypnosis-mp3 called “Double Induction”. It´s important that you don´t fall asleep while listening. consider listening with closed eyes while sitting in a chair or somewhere where you know you won’t dose off. shut of your instant messenger and tell everyone in the house to not disturb you for the next 45 minutes. 25 . After a few months of experimenting I’ve found that for the best time to listen to this mp3 and other various hypnotic mp3s is just before going to bed.
you talk fast. I’ll return to Hypnotica later. Use exercise to lift yourself up. apart from bits and pieces I never remember exactly what’s going on while I listen. 2. What they are trying to tell you: Move your body AS IF YOU ALREADY KNOW what you are doing. you'll find that you can *NOT* get depressed when you move your body this way. because it is totally acceptable to stretch yourself while working out. but rather YOURSELF. Experiment with taking DEEP breaths. that you must 'fake it till you make it'. HOW do you do this? Start by controlling your breath. If you'll do this exercise. I haven’t found anything that puts me into a deeper and more long-lasting state of relaxation than “Double Induction”. Let's take a look at how you can control it: 1. you slouch. This is a strategy that will help you condition your mind and body to become aware of how you are holding your body. Your goal is to bring the person you are trying to influence. Then. The Mirroring & Matching Technique: Mirror the physiology of the customer or person you wish to influence. First. and being with you. I've found that the mind can not make up its' own mind sometimes. 6. TRY to feel depressed. Look straight up. And most likely to hypnosis-products from other people too. If they are slouching. you must understand that you can control your emotions by controlling your physiology. If you are in tele-selling or sitting behind a desk conducting business with clients who you never see face to face: Get yourself a MIRROR. I don’t get any money. If they are down. into the physiology that will be most effective for getting your end outcome. 5. They will tell you when you start out. Over time. Try this: Stand up. If they are UP. That effect usually lasts for about 24 hours and then wears off. Now. others will 26 . Top 7 Ways To Use Your Body Language To Positively Impact Yourself & Others According to a University of Southern California study. And no. The FASTEST way to change your state & body language is to change your breathing. Expect MORE from yourself. go down to their level. I suggest that you download the free mp3 (13 mb in size) from the downloads section of Hypnotica’s website. hugs or other compensation when you do that. If you can not influence yourself to change your emotional state of being. how can you impact others? So. Ask yourself this question: Does my customer think I am a 'marshmallow' or a real business leader? Which one would you like to be? 4. But whatever they are saying to my mind it has a remarkable effect on how I feel. You might also want to try it at home in front of a mirror. I doesn´t matter what negative or stressful things happen during the day. 3. and your brain will begin to believe you do in fact know what you are doing. Put your shoulders back. up to 55% of influence in communication comes from your 'body language'. as you talking with them. and you want the other party to feel good about themself. 7. Take a deep breath. you. But while it lasts it can be very useful. Look at yourself WHILE you sell or are talking with others.Frankly. Your mind will follow the lead you dictate for your body and your life. increase or slow down the speed of your breathing. Really Try. Start by deciding to control your body language in order to feel better about yourself. It’s also interesting that you’re not easily rattled out of that relaxed state. the mood remains calm. Demand MORE from yourself. The FIRST person you need to impact with positive body language is not others. come up to their level. If they are talking fast. Smile. Some folks say that they can not seem to feel good no matter how much they 'tell' themself to feel good. You can best experiment with practicing new physiology positions while at the gym. slowing begin to make small changes in your body.
27 .begin to feel better about themself while they are around you. because they are unconsciously mirroring or emulating you.
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