The car is packed and you’re ready to go, your first ever cross-country trip. From the
White Mountains of New Hampshire to the rolling hills of San Francisco, you’re going to see it all.
You put the car in gear and off you go. First stop, the Baseball Hall of Fame in
Cooperstown, New York. A little while into the trip you need to check the map because you’ve reached an intersection you’re not familiar with. You panic for a moment because you realize you’ve forgotten your map. But you say the heck with it because you know where you’re going. You take a right, change the radio station and keep on going. Unfortunately, you never reach your destination.
Too many of us treat goal setting the same way. We dream about where we want to go, but we don’t have a map to get there.
What is a map? In essence, the written word
What is the difference between a dream and a goal? Once again, the written word
But we need to do more than simply scribble down some ideas on a piece of paper.
Our goals need to be complete and focused, much like a road map, and that is the purpose behind the rest of this article.
If you follow the 7 steps I’ve outlined below you will be well on your way to becoming an expert in building the road maps to your goals.
Life consists in what a man is thinking of all day.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
1. Make sure the goal you are working for is something you really want, not just something that sounds good.
I remember when I started taking baseball umpiring more seriously. I began to set my sites on the NCAA Division 1 level. Why? I knew there was no way I could get onto the road to the major leagues, so the next best thing was the highest college level. Pretty cool, right. Wrong.
Sure, when I was talking to people about my umpiring goals it sounded pretty good, and many people were quite impressed. Fortunately I began to see through my own charade.
I have been involved in youth sports for a long time. I’ve coached, I’ve been the
President of leagues, I’ve been a treasurer and I’m currently an Assistant State Commissioner for Cal Ripken Baseball. Youth sports are where I belong; it is where my heart belongs, not on some college diamond where the only thing at stake is a high draft spot.
When setting goals it is very important to remember that your goals must be consistent with your values.
2. A goal cannot contradict any of your other goals.
For example, you can’t buy a $750,000 house if your income goal is only $50,000 per year. This is called non-integrated thinking and will sabotage all of the hard work you put into your goals. Non-integrated thinking can also hamper your everyday thoughts as well. We should continually strive to eliminate contradictory ideas from our thinking.
3. Develop goals in the 6 areas of life:
Setting goals in each area of life will ensure a more balanced life as you begin to examine and change the fundamentals of everyday living. Setting goals in each area of life also helps in eliminating the non-integrated thinking we talked about in the 2nd step.
4. Write your goal in the positive instead of the negative.
Work for what you want, not for what you want to leave behind. Part of the reason why we write down and examine our goals is to create a set of instructions for our subconscious mind to carry out. Your subconscious mind is a very efficient tool, it cannot determine right from wrong and it does not judge. It’s only function is to carry out its instructions. The more positive instructions you give it, the more positive results you will get.
Thinking positively in everyday life will also help in your growth as a human being.
Don’t limit it to goal setting.
5. Write your goal out in complete detail.
Instead of writing “A new home,” write “A 4,000 square foot contemporary with 4 bedrooms and 3 baths and a view of the mountain on 20 acres of land.
Once again we are giving the subconscious mind a detailed set of instructions to work on. The more information you give it, the more clear the final outcome becomes. The more precise the outcome, the more efficient the subconscious mind can become.
Can you close your eyes and visualize the home I described above? Walk around the house. Stand on the porch off the master bedroom and see the fog lifting off the mountain. Look down at the garden full of tomatoes, green beans and cucumbers. And off to the right is the other garden full of a mums, carnations and roses. Can you see it? So can your subconscious mind.
6. By all means, make sure your goal is high enough.
Shoot for the moon; if you miss you’ll still be in the stars. Earlier I talked about my umpiring goals and how making it to the top level of college umpiring did not mix with my values. Some of you might be saying that I’m not setting my goals high enough. Not so. I still have very high goals for my umpiring career at the youth level.
My ultimate goal is to be chosen to umpire a Babe Ruth World Series and to do so as a crew chief. If I never make it, everything I do to reach that goal will make me a better umpire and a better person. If I make it, but don’t go as a crew chief, then I am still among the top youth umpires in the nation. Shoot for the moon!
7. This is the most important, write down your goals.
Writing down your goals creates the road-map to your success. Although just the act of writing them down can set the process in motion, it is also extremely important to review your goals frequently. Remember, the more focused you are on your goals the more likely you are to accomplish them.
Sometimes we realize we have to revise a goal as circumstances and other goals change, much like I did with my umpiring. If you need to change a goal do not consider it a failure, consider it a victory as you had the insight to realize something was different.
The dictionary defines it as trust or faith, being sure. I believe it means feeling good about yourself, especially in regard to accomplishing something. That something can be a new job, a new assignment, a performance review, networking, or a meeting with co-workers.
Here are a few actions that will result in real payoffs in our confidence quotients.
No, not to a new job or neighborhood. Move your body. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Park farther away from the store you’re about to visit. Walk. Run. Ride a bike. Do yoga. Lift weights, even if it means doing your reps with a five-pound bag of flour in each hand. Work up a sweat. You’ll feel better.
The bottom line is, when we feel better, we become more confident. Exercise clears the brain and the lungs, making room for newer, better, and possibly bolder thoughts. It gives us more energy. And – let’s face it – energy is attractive. Energetic people magnetize others.
Nothing enhances your overall appearance like being fit. A good regimen of exercise will improve not only your posture but your personality. I believe that fit people look more focused and more confident.
Exercise not only increases strength and endurance. I find, too, that it helps mightily to defuse anger and frustration, and it gets the creative juices flowing.
TAKE A LOOK AT WHAT YOU ARE WEARING
There is no such thing as neutral clothing. Everything you put on represents a decision you have made and is a reflection of your good taste, your good sense, and your style. Remember, we judge others more on the basis of what we see than anything else. If your attire is inappropriate, colleagues are apt to question whether you know the rules of the game and whether you are or are not likely to be a significant player. Your superiors are apt to conclude that the quality of your work will match the quality of your appearance.
When you’re considering how to dress for a work situation, ask yourself these questions:
* Who am I?
* What role am I playing?
* How do I want to be perceived?
* Where am I?
* Who are the people I want to impress favorably?
We’re not talking fashion statements here; we’re talking about what works in a given environment to be effective.
Grooming is everything. Develop four key relationships and you won’t go wrong:
* Tailor: Good fit can make an inexpensive garment look like a million, while poor fit can make even an Armani look sloppy.
* Dry cleaner: The chemicals can be damaging to fabrics, so go to a reliable establishment and inspect your garments before leaving the shop.
* Shoemaker: We all notice other’s shoes, mostly because we often get nervous and end up looking at the floor. Keep shoes well soled, shined, and in good repair.
* Dentist: A clean, bright smile makes us feel better about ourselves.
Find sanctuary inside yourself. There is honor in standing still. We are so time-crunched, information-bludgeoned, downsized, and multi-tasked that it’s spiritually suffocating. Who we really are comes from the inside out. Without a way to “go inside” and focus, we add to our environment’s chaos rather than its harmony.
Learn “belly breathing”: lie down on the floor, be quiet and place your hands on your tummy. Breathe from your belly, letting your belly rise and fall like a bellows. Babies breathe this way and we know how self-confident they are. I’ve learned to belly breathe on elevators, in rest room stalls, and in the middle of crowded rooms when I need to calm down and focus. No need to “om”.
Keep your agreements.
Be on time.
Be mindful and in the present.
That is a gift to yourself as well as others. Whatever we think and feel now creates what happens in the future. When we stick to the “now” and don’t chase rabbits, we are involved and aware of opportunities. Others we deal with will sense that we’re fully with them. That has tremendous impact on the quality of our personal and professional relationships.
GIVE AND RECEIVE
Give whatever you hope to receive in turn. If you want more cooperation and respect, give respect and cooperate. If you want to succeed, help others succeed. If you want more joy, be more joyful. When we circulate our positive energy, we create more and more to enjoy.
* Be open to giving to yourself. Honor your own worthiness to receive or no one else will.
Perhaps, as you read this, you are thinking, “Yeah, so tell me something new. I know this already.”
I have written this book for everyone – young and old, men, women, students, educators, business people, administrators, parents, homemakers, sports enthusiasts, entertainers – yes, and you!
It has been carefully structured into 52 sections, covering the following areas:
- Deciding to be confident
- Thinking confidently
- Using your imagination to improve self-image
- Acting with confidence
- Confident communication.
Each section contains information, insights and words of inspiration, plus seven exercises, practical hints or points to ponder. That’s one a day – not too taxing. Is it?
I guarantee that if you read the material carefully and apply what you learn, you’ll notice big changes taking place within two or three months, and a year from now you’ll look back amazed at how much more confident you’ve become.
Overview – Sections
- How to build confidence: an introduction to the life-changing formula that will transform your life.
- How confident are you? Defining your starting point
- Sow the seeds of confidence and watch them grow: why you are the way you are and how you can become what you want to be.
- Whose responsibility is your confidence? Why, yours, of course!
- Getting motivated: setting goals which give you the impetus to change and to grow Determination: identifying the reasons to change, and reinforcing your commitment to be confident.
- Thinking like a confident person: you start transforming your life by changing the way you think.
- The Four Step Method: a cast iron way to become a positive thinker.
- Silencing the Inner Critic: challenging the little voice in your head that loves to criticize you
- Affirmations: how to use them to build confidence and the difference they make.
- Who do you imagine yourself to be? Self-image and the subconscious
- Getting the most from creative imagery: life-transforming techniques which change your self-image permanently
- The ‘As If ’Principle: acting as if you’re confident to become more confident.
- Eat an elephant: the importance of taking it one step at a time.
- Self-awareness 1 – the past: examining how the past has affected you and what’s been holding you back.
- Self-awareness 2 – what are you like? Understanding yourself – the more self-aware you are, the more control you have over your life.
- Childhood: how you’re conditioning and your relationship with your parents as a child continue to affect you.
- Control dramas: how you learned to get what you wanted from others, and how it still governs your behavior.
- Take care of your Inner Child: learning to accept the child you once were as an important part of the adult you.
- Forgive, forget and be free: how to forgive those who have hurt you, take charge of your life and move on.
- Let go of the past: how to get rid of unwanted baggage from the past so it no longer affects you.
- Self-acceptance: accepting yourself as you are, especially those things you cannot change.
- Body image: love your body, warts and all!
- Get in shape: a health and fitness guide to give you more energy and more confidence.
- Calmness and confidence: deep relaxation and instant calmness for instant confidence.
- Anchoring: how to produce confident feelings any time you wish
- So far, so good: an opportunity to pause, take stock, reflect and review your progress to date.
- Find a purpose: one that inspires and motivates you, and gives your life meaning and direction.
- Goals revisited: consider what you wish to achieve in life, and get started right away.
- The Thinker thinks and the Proverb proves: how to draw on the power of the subconscious mind to build confidence.
- Confident self-talk: changing negative, restrictive thinking patterns to thoughts of confidence and self-worth.
- Beliefs: what they are, why they’re important, how to change them and create self-belief.
- Confident attitudes: seven attitudes of confidence for you to make your own.
- Self-love: self-worth, the key to happiness and fulfilling relationships.
- Concentrating on what you do well: identifying your strengths: acquiring new personal qualities.
- Overcoming weaknesses: building on your strengths. The importance of concentrating on what you do well, and cultivating patience and persistence
- Take a risk: how to get out of your comfort zone.
- Just do it: sure-fire confidence building activities. Go on – have a go!
- Confident body-language: adopt a confident posture and you feel more confident. You project confidence too.
- Conditions of worth: how others assess you. And how to deal with rejection
- Give up approval-seeking behavior: there’s only one person whose approval you really need – guess who?
- First impressions: conversational skills that make others want to talk to you, and allow you to be confident.
- Be a good listener: good listening is one of the secrets of confident communication and popularity.
- Stand up for yourself: introduction to assertiveness.
- How to be assertive: effective tools and techniques for standing your ground and getting your point across.
- Saying no when you mean no: one of the hardest things to do when you lack confidence.
- Compliments and criticism: how to handle criticism and give and receive compliments.
- How to ask for what you want: and what to say when you don’t get it.
- Lighten up: stop taking yourself too seriously and have a laugh.
- Emotional intelligence: understanding and managing your emotions; and relating to other people’s in an appropriate manner.
- Take an interest in others: helping others does wonders for your own confidence.
- Choose peace: becoming aware of your spiritual dimension and enjoying continual peace of mind.