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What Mothers, Musicians & Marshmallows Have to Do With The Science of Success for Extreme Athletes

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Over the past century, the science of expert performance has gotten rigorous and codified. Thousands and thousands of experiments have been run; plenty of conclusions reached. Three dominate.

Call them: Mothers, musicians, and marshmallows.

This famed trilogy represent our best ideas about the path to mastery. Yet there’s a wrench in these works: Most action and adventure athletes took a radically different path.

These athletes haven’t just redefined the limits of human potential; they’ve redefined those limits by doing the opposite of what the experts say they should have done. It’s peculiar, alright. Their stratospheric success suggests that we may have completely misjudged the path towards stratospheric success. In fact, it suggests something far more radical: that if we really want to be our best, we don’t just have to rethink the path towards mastery; we need to reconsider the way we live our lives.

 

But first, the mothers.

In the early 1980s, University of Chicago educational psychologist Benjamin Bloom launched the Talent Project, one of the larger and more thorough “retrospective” studies of expert performance ever undertaken. The Project examined the lives of 120 people, all under the age of thirty-five, all of whom had demonstrated the highest levels of accomplishment in one of six fields: swimming, tennis, sculpture, piano, mathematics, and research neuroscience. The question at the center of the study was: Where does prodigious talent come from, special individuals or special circumstances?

Few of Bloom’s research subjects showed any great promise as children. Instead, the one commonality was encouragement, a lot of encouragement. In each case, there was a parent or close relative who rewarded any display of talent, and ignored or punished the opposite. Prodigies, it seemed, were made, not born. As Bloom later told reporters: “We were looking for exceptional kids, but what we found were exceptional conditions.”

The idea settled an uneasy corner of the nature/nurture debate: It democratized expertise. Provided the right environment and the proper encouragement, it meant that everyone had a shot at perfection.

But many of the athletes involved in action and adventure sports came up the hard way. The wrong environment, little encouragement. “A lot of us were from broken homes,” skateboard pioneer Duane Peters once told the LA Times. We were freaks and misfits.” And if home life wasn’t rosy, the outside world even less supportive. Twenty-five years ago, skateboarding was a crime; snowboarding was banned at most resorts; and surfing, to quote the always relevant Point Break, was “for little rubber people who don’t shave yet.

Certainly, there are plenty of action and adventure athletes who came from incredibly supportive backgrounds. Bloom wasn’t wrong — “mothers” matter—but too many of these super athletes came up sideways, backward and feral for this to be the single deciding factor. Something else is going on. And that something else is where the mu- sicians come into play.

 

Next, the musicians.

In the early 1990s, Florida State psychologist Anders Ericsson performed one of the more famous studies of expertise in recent history. By surveying elite violinists at Berlin’s Academy of Music, Ericsson found that while one’s early environment was helpful, what truly distinguished excellent players from good players from average players was hours of practice. By the time they were twenty years old, expert violinists had put in 10,000 hours of “deliberate, well-structured practice.” The others had not. As Malcolm Gladwell famously explained in Outliers:

[The] research suggests that once a musician has enough ability to get into a top music school, the thing that distinguishes one performer from another is how hard he or she works. That’s it. And what’s more, the people at the top don’t work just harder or even much harder than everyone else. They work much, much harder.

But another wrench. If 10,000 hours of “deliberate, well-structured practice” is the secret sauce, consider Shane McConkey’s goals while skiing:

“What I love to do on the hill is find an interesting way to do something fun.”   

Put differently, deliberate well-structure practice is a rigorous, compliance-based approach to mastery. It means you crawl before you walk. It doesn’t mean Laird Hamilton surfing Pipeline at age four, or Danny Way in the deep end of the pool at the Del Mar Skate Ranch by seven. In broader terms, deliberate practice is also how we train genius these days. It’s factory athletics. It’s Kumon math tutoring, Baby Einstein, Suzuki violin, et al. But it’s also the world McConkey walked away from. He turned his back on the factory, yet somehow, still went on to become Superman.

 

Finally, the trouble with marshmallows.

In 1972, Stanford psychologist Walter Mischel, performed a fairly straightforward study in delayed gratification: he offered four-year-old children a marshmallow. Either the kids could eat it immediately or, if they waited for him to return from running a short errand, they would get two marshmallows as a reward. Most kids couldn’t wait. They ate the marshmallow the moment Mischel left the room.

When interviewed fourteen years later, the kids who could wait were more self-confident, hardworking, and self-reliant. Those who resisted at four ended up scoring 210 points higher on their SAT’s at sixteen. This may not sound like that much, but, as fellow Stanford psychologist Philip Zimbardo explains:

“[That] is as large as the average difference recorded between the abilities of economically advantaged and disadvantaged children. It is larger than the difference between the abilities of children from families who parents have graduate degrees and children whose parents did not finish high school. The ability to delay gratification at four is twice as good a predictor of later SAT scores as IQ. Poor impulse control is also a better predictor of juvenile delinquency than IQ.” 

But there’s another issue. According to psychologists, by definition, action and adventure athletes are “sensation seekers.” They’re impulsive pleasure junkies. Delayed gratification is not their game.

So what gives? How do a bunch of impulsive hedonists raised far from the storied incubators of athletic excellence end up rewriting the rulebook on human potential? The short answer, of course, is flow.

Psychologists describe flow as “autotelic,” from the Greek auto (self) and telos (goal). When something is autotelic — i.e., produces the flow high — it is its own reward. No one has to drag a surfer out of bed for overhead tubes. No one has to motivate a snowboarder on a powder day. These activities are intrinsically motivating, autotelic experiences done for their own sake. The high to end all highs.

When doing what we most love transforms us into the best possible version of ourselves and that version hints at even-greater future possibilities, the urge to explore those possibilities becomes feverish compulsion. Intrinsic motivation goes through the roof. Thus flow becomes an alternative path to mastery, sans the misery. Forget 10,000 hours of delayed gratification. Flow junkies turn instant gratification into their North Star—putting in far more hours of “practice time” by gleefully harnessing their hedonic impulse. In other words, when it comes to time perspectives, flow allows Presents to achieve Future’s results.

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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. pedeveaux

    Mar 20, 2014 at 8:16 pm

    Could it be possible that deliberate practice triggers a flow state? The ideas of goals, immediate feedback, and focus seem to be consistent in both deliberate practice and flow. With the action and adventure athletes, their use of flow may allow them to accelerate the 10,000 process.

  2. Koko

    Mar 19, 2014 at 3:13 pm

    I LOVE this article. It explains it all and there is nothing I can add here. Perfect article Steven 10/10 from me 🙂

  3. Leslie

    Mar 13, 2014 at 4:01 pm

    I seemed to have raised my daughters to connect their passion and flow together in a meaningful way. One teaches English in South Korea and she loves teaching her students to find their power and she loves travel. The younger one helps Alzehiemer patients embrace each new day and not worry about what they can’t remember. Which brings her a lot of joy helping them and their families. I help my husband run his dream company. But my husband and my girls always worry that I’ve never connect with my own passion and flow. Your article really got me thinking about how I need to have my own joy. Not just living the joy of others. I need to get busy figuring that out. I think my family would get a lot of pleasure seeing me work that out. I sure get a lot pleasure seeing them work on what they love.

  4. Elyssa

    Mar 10, 2014 at 7:30 pm

    This is a great article – thanks for putting all this together! I worked with a violinist who had all the talent he needed to succeed and had definitely put in his “10,000” hours, but he was so intimidated by the idea of a certain major performance he was preparing for that he had psyched himself out and was unable to play without trembling. I walked him through some exercises, getting back in touch with, as you put it, the “flow.” He needed to remember why he had chosen this career path – because he loved the music and the instrument, and had a story to tell to his audience. Just in time for the day of the performance, he had a breakthrough! When he connected with his original passion for what he did, he was able to see past the scariness of the performance, and push through to connect with the music and his audience. Thanks again for the topic – it’s right on!

  5. Jeremy

    Mar 8, 2014 at 1:33 pm

    Interesting article! Thanks for writing this, worth pondering about.

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Success Advice

6 Things You Should Do if You Want to Live a Successful and Prosperous Life

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how to live a successful life
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Not every individual believes in the same definition of success. People live by their own rules and thus, define success uniquely. No matter how distinct all such definitions of success may sound, they certainly have something in common. Plus, they are not limited to just work or business. Being able to lead a happier, healthier personal life also determines social success.

Search for ‘How to Succeed in Life’ online, and you will find numerous blogs and videos defining the same things in different ways. But is that all you really need to succeed in life? Not really.

The first and foremost thing to realize is that success is not just about achievement or the end results. Instead, it is the journey to the end, a goal or vision. No doubt, every individual wants to succeed in life. The mere thought of succeeding can fill the mind with excitement, zeal, and gains.

More than what most of the people commonly know about success, there are lots of unwritten rules that can only be known with experience. Alongside, you might have heard some people saying that not everyone has the right skills to succeed. True, but in this assertion, you need not focus on its negative sense, but on the term ‘Skills.’

Skills can be developed. This simply means you can succeed, no matter how hard the journey. Both in business and life, success can be achieved by focusing more on what needs to be done right away.

To succeed, you should know how to improve your skills and maximize your success potential. The best part is you can make the achievement of success simple for yourself.

Here are 6 things you should do if you want to live a successful life:

1. Prepare A Success-Driven Mindset

Just like seeds which lie at the root of every well-grown tree, optimistic thoughts lie at the root of an individual’s success. Those who succeed in life do not have a magic wand to make wonders happen, but a success-driven mindset. Along with the skills and knowledge they have, their mindsets are hard-wired to not just survive, but thrive.

To have an optimistic spirit forever is what matters when it comes to success. Just keep on reminding yourself that you can learn to lead and succeed in life, while also weeding out every negative thought that says you can’t.

Be determined to work hard towards your goals. Stay away from the naysayers and continue doing your best every single day. Doing this will make it easier for you to achieve even the most difficult dreams you have in mind.

2. Don’t Fear What Others Will Say

Fear of criticism is indeed one of the most critical fears people face in their lives. It robs an individual’s ability to start doing what they should do and destroys their imagination. Some people can even be found losing self-reliance just because they think more about what others will say when they do what they want to.

When it comes to following a dream, you should be ready to take calculated risks without feeling fearful about possible criticism that can happen. Don’t hesitate in trying new things and following new paths. Look at the difficulties you face as opportunities to learn more. This is how you can write a new definition of success for others to follow.

“Don’t be distracted by criticism. Remember, the only taste of success some people have is when they take a bite out of you.” – Zig Ziglar

3. Manage Your Time Instead of Wasting It

A common habit shared by all successful people in this world is that they prefer not to waste time. Instead, they manage their time effectively and utilize it for the valuable things they do.

You might have thought you’d be unable to achieve success because you have less time to do what you really want to. But think of it differently. Everyone has the same twenty-four hours in a day to live and achieve success.

If you feel you do not have much time to follow your dreams, the first thing you need to do is to identify where your time gets wasted. Then avoid wasting time that way. Invest it in doing something fruitful and in the line of success you have envisioned for your life.

4. Break Your Big Dream into Smaller Goals

We all are taught to dream big, and there is nothing wrong with it. But it often happens that some people start to feel lost while envisioning the end-result they are aiming for. They have no plans, just a vision that can be taken forward.

The journey to becoming successful in achieving your dream may seem complicated and full of hurdles now, but these complications will lessen up as you continue to do your part to make it come true.

So, don’t worry or feel frightened about your big dream. Instead, break it down into smaller goals that you can achieve each day or within a specific time period. Just continue doing the required research and learn as you do things. You will be amazed when you get to see that the goals you reached each day have helped you get closer to your ultimate dream.

“The greater danger for most of us isn’t that our aim is too high and miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.” – Michelangelo

5. Never Stop Learning

As mentioned above, success is a journey, not the endpoint. Once you achieve one milestone at work or in life, you need to put yourself up for the next. This means you need to continue learning new things with time.

You may be feeling you have learned enough and do not need any more knowledge, but this is not true. The scope of learning is nearly infinite. It is just that our mind is limited to learn and remember things.

Progressive learning is one of the key differences between successful people and those who fail. So, always continue to learn new things in the direction of your ultimate dream in life. Challenge yourself and be better than your current form of being.

6. Step Up from Failures with A Lesson Learnt

You might have thought hard times and hardships don’t exist in the lives of successful people. This is not true because even successful people are humans like you or anyone else. They do make mistakes, face failures, and get knocked down.

What makes successful people different is their ability to bounce back from failures and regain their state of mind. They step up each time they fail with a valuable lesson learned for the time ahead. This ‘Never-Give-Up’ attitude sets them apart from the masses. This is a must have if you want to be successful in life.

If you look closely at all the definitions of success, you will find that they are all based on individual experience. Hardships do not only imply a failure to achieve your dreams but the treasure of lessons for you to succeed.

The next time you feel like you can’t achieve anything in any form, try to look at yourself, analyze what you need to do, and just do it.

What do you think is the biggest characteristic of successful people? Share your thoughts below!

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19 Success Mantras From Zig Ziglar to Help You Unleash Your True Potential

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Image Credit: Entrepreneur.com

There’s a good reason why Zig Ziglar is considered by many as the Godfather of motivation. Ziglar did not beat around the bush; he had a clear set of ideas, with easy to implement strategies coupled with powerful tonality and delivery that made him one of the best in the business.

The following is a collection of 19 success mantras from Ziglar that will inspire and motivate you to take the right action and unleash your greatest potential.

1. Create a very specific and detailed goal

“You need a plan to build a house. To build a life, it is even more important to have a plan or goal.” – Zig Ziglar

The first success mantra from Ziglar is to set specific goals, because goals help you focus.

Ziglar wants you to set following types of goals:

  • Big goals: Big goals are the type of goals that cause excitement and motivate you. If setbacks happen, focusing on these big goals will help push you forward.
  • Long range goals: These can include monthly and yearly goals.
  • Daily goals: Daily goals help you work consistently toward your long range goals.

Once your goals are in place, you can develop a plan on how to achieve them. Find out what obstacles you face, the skills you need to learn, and the people you need to meet in order to achieve your goals.

You don’t need to have everything figured out in the beginning. You can alter your goals and plans as you progress and as things become clear.

2. Visualize reaching your goals

If you want to reach your goal, you must see it, be able to smell, touch and taste it, know how it looks and what it feels like in your own mind.” – Zig Ziglar

Imagination (or seeing things using your mind’s eye) is the most powerful tool at your disposal. You can achieve miracles if you use this tool properly.

So take a few moments daily to relax, clear your mind and actually visualize yourself living the type of life you intend to live. See yourself with the nice things you want in your life such as owning a house or taking a vacation. While you are doing this, bring some emotion into your body to mimic the emotions you would feel when you actually achieve your dreams.

Visualizing this way helps change your attitude, removes limiting beliefs and reprograms your subconscious mind with positive, empowering beliefs, so you can move toward your goals faster.

3. Plan your day first thing in the morning

Every morning, run through your mind the things you are going to be doing. As you plan the day, as you think of all the things you have got to be excited about, it really does renew your energy.” – Zig Ziglar

A powerful tactic to ensure that you achieve your daily goals is to plan your day first thing in the morning. You can sit in silence and simply visualize all the things you are going to do today and how you are going to do it. As you visualize your day this way, you are filled with positive energy that will motivate you to utilize your time perfectly and take the right action.

4. Develop habits for success

Motivation gets you going and habit gets you there.” – Zig Ziglar

Ziglar is right in pointing out that, motivation doesn’t last forever, but habits once formed, last forever. As human beings, we are creatures of habit. Habit forming is difficult in the beginning, but it’s formed, you start doing it effortlessly.

In order to reach success, you need to substitute your bad habits with good ones. For instance, a good habit would be getting up early in the morning, planning your day, and working for 1 to 2 hours without giving into distractions. Remember that habits are formed once you repeatedly do something for 21 consecutive days.

5. Believe that you can

Before you can reach that goals, it is true that whether you think you can, or think you can’t, you are generally right.” – Zig Ziglar

If deep inside, you do not believe that you have what it takes to reach your goals, then you will never reach them. Therefore, it is crucial that you believe in your abilities and back yourself up to reach your goals. Whenever thoughts of self doubt arise, do not pay them any heed and instead shift your focus to empowering and uplifting thoughts of self belief.

6. Optimize your mind

Remember, you are what you are and where you are because of what’s going on in your mind. And you can change what you are and where you are by changing what goes into your mind.” – Zig Ziglar

As we grow up, we unconsciously imbibe a lot of negative and limiting beliefs from our surroundings. These beliefs unless discarded will hamper your growth, so become conscious of your limiting thoughts. Study these thoughts and figure out from where they arise.

In other words, what beliefs in your subconscious are responsible for them. Once you are aware of these beliefs, stop giving them power by consciously shifting your attention from the negative thoughts to positive and empowering thoughts. Using affirmations and positive self talk is also a great way to reprogram your subconscious mind.

7. Develop a positive self image

If you don’t see yourself as a winner, then you cannot perform as a winner.” – Zig Ziglar

How you perceive yourself in your mind’s eye is one of the most important factors that determines whether or not you will succeed.

If you think of yourself as someone who has what it takes to achieve success, you will achieve success, but if you think you are not good enough, you will see your reality reflecting that thought back to you. In-fact, your currently reality is reflective of the self image that you hold within.

Therefore, become conscious of the type of image you hold of yourself in your mind. Ask yourself these questions: How do I view myself? Do I think I am capable of reaching success? Do I believe that I deserve success? Do I see myself as a winner that everyone looks up to?

Simply becoming conscious of your self image can help you alter it from negative to positive.

8. Don’t worry about what others think of you

“Don’t be distracted by criticism. Remember ~ the only taste of success some people have is when they take a bite out of you.” – Zig Ziglar

People will always have something to say and you cannot please everyone. Don’t waste your time and energy worrying about other people’s actions and opinions. Keep your attention focused on your priorities because that’s what matters.

9. Learn from your mistakes

If you learn from defeat, you haven’t really lost.” – Zig Ziglar

It’s only human to make mistakes. The important thing therefore is to not dwell over your mistakes and instead, ask yourself, what your mistakes are trying to teach you. In doing so, learn from your mistakes, because they are the greatest factors for your personal growth.

10. Always be open to learning

Life is a classroom – only those who are willing to be lifelong learners will move to the head of the class.” – Zig Ziglar

The moment you think you know everything is the moment you stop growing. In order to succeed, you need to keep growing. Always keep an open mind, and always be open to learning. Do not become a slave to your beliefs, doctrines, and ideologies.

11. Practice delayed gratification

The chief cause of failure and unhappiness is trading what you want most for what you want right now.” –  Zig Ziglar

Studies prove that delayed gratification is a key factor toward achieving success. Make it a habit to not let distractions or short term pleasures take your focus away from achieving your long term pleasures and future rewards. The more you practice doing this, the stronger your self control becomes helping you achieve your long term goals faster.

12. Connect with yourself

Outside of your relationship with God, the most important relationship you can have is with yourself. We must be healthy internally, emotionally and spiritually – in order to create healthy relationships with others.” – Zig Ziglar

Spend time with yourself. Get to know and understand yourself by practicing self reflection. The more you know yourself, the more you get in touch with your true nature, desires, and goals. Similarly, only by knowing yourself can you begin to know others. Only by loving yourself can you start attracting the right people into your life. All of these characteristics are crucial for success.

13. Spend time in solitude

If you want to build a winning attitude, you need to take time to be quiet. And you need to do it at-least three to four times a week.” – Zig Ziglar

Ziglar is a major advocate of spending time in solitude. Spending time in solitude helps you reconnect with yourself. It also helps you clear your mind and attract life changing ideas. So make it a habit to spend time alone doing nothing. Spending even a few minutes with your own reflective thoughts can make a huge difference.

14. Surround yourself with uplifting people

Surround yourself with people who want the best for you and the people you love!” – Zig Ziglar

For the most part, people can be divided into two categories – the lilies and the leeches. The lilies are those who uplift you and leeches are those who drain you.

If you are surrounded by leeches all day long, they will suck your energy dry and you will find yourself feeling a lot less motivated and productive. Instead, when you surround yourself with good people, you will find yourself full of positive energy to take action.

So make a conscious effort to cut out toxic people from your life and surround yourself with people who inspire you to be yourself and who accept you for who you are.

15. Express gratitude

Of all the “attitudes” we can acquire, surely the attitude of gratitude is the most important and by far the most life changing.” – Zig Ziglar

Expressing gratitude changes your mindset from one of lack to one of abundance. When you feel abundance, you attract abundance into your life. Therefore, every day make it a point to feel gratitude for everything that you have in your life.

16. Value your time and use it effectively

If you don’t plan your time, someone else will help you waste it.” – Zig Ziglar

Use time as your most valuable resource. This is where planning your day can help you immensely. When you have a set plan in place, you will automatically learn to say no to things that are not productive.

17. Start slow and develop as you go

Peak performance is dependent on passion, grit, determination, and a willingness to do something poorly until you can do it well.” – Zig Ziglar

You don’t need to have everything figured out from the very beginning. It is also not important that you are an expert in your field of work from the very beginning. You can begin small with whatever you have and develop as you go along. Remember that it is the slow and steady that wins the race.

18. Do not compare yourself to others

Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others.” – Zig Ziglar

In order to reach your goals, it is important that you know your strengths and abilities. Focus on them instead of focusing on your weaknesses. When you compare yourself to others, you automatically start to see things that you lack and lose perspective. Get rid of the habit of comparing yourself to others, and keep your focus on yourself.

19. Be persistent

If you have the character to hang in there when its tough, you will develop or acquire every other characteristic necessary to WIN in the game of life.” – Zig Ziglar

And finally, the most important of all is to be persistent in your efforts even when the going gets tough.

Ziglar’s book, ‘See You At The Top’, was rejected 39 times before it was published in the year 1975. The book is still in print today and is considered an American classic. Goes to show what persistence can help you achieve. It does not matter how slow you are as long as you are persistent.

Which one of Zig Zaglar’s 19 success mantras resonated most with you and why? Share your thoughts below!

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Success Advice

4 Ways You Can Master Magnetic Confidence – Ashley Hann

Ashley Hann

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Ashley Hannawacker speaker and coach

What does confidence mean to you? For me, it is a deep, unshakable internal knowing of your value, your worth, what you bring to the world and who you really are. I believe that in order to experience our own greatness, we must first know it exists within ourselves. We must believe it in order to see it.

Once you have arrived at this deep knowing, you will be able to experience and exude your own personal magnetism. I define magnetic confidence as the ability to attract anything and everything that is in alignment with who you are and what you want, and repel everything that isn’t.

You become polarizing.

In this Addicted2Success podcast episode, Joel Brown asked me to break down four ways that you can master your own magnetic confidence so that you can create the results you want and live a life in alignment with who you are.

This is a postscript and addition to everything that was discussed in the episode. We hope you enjoy!

1. FACE THE UGLY: Shine Light On The Darkness

Everyone and their mom is talking about positivity and being positive. Now look, I’m all for positivity. I love it. However, what I am seeing is more and more people trying to be positive prematurely. They are painting over their pain with positivity. While this may work in the moment, the underlying issue is not being dealt with so it will keep resurfacing every time it is triggered. What we resist, persists. Plus, when we paint over, repress or sweep things under the rug, we are adding to the darkness within us because secrecy breeds shame.

The only way to overcome our darkness is to shine light on it. Don’t shove it down, hide it, repress it or judge it. See it, accept it and embrace it so that you can move through it.

Look, everyone has a dark side and a light side. This is what makes us human. We must learn to see the beauty in the contrast and channel our dark energy into light. The more we resist this darkness, the more it will build inside of us. We must embrace these parts of us so that we can transform our pain into our power.

2. F*^K WHAT PEOPLE THINK: You Do You, Boo

#FACT: People will judge you.

Ashley Hannawacker in Bali

The quicker you can make peace with the fact that judgement is inevitable, the less it’s going to affect you. The greatest leaders on this planet have judgers, nay-sayers and haters. And guess what? The reason they are great leaders is because they don’t let those judgements or the fear of judgement stop them.

I’m also going to challenge you on something. You ready for this?

It’s not the judgment you’re afraid of. You’re scared of what the judgements might mean about you. You’re making it mean things like “I’m not worthy”, “I’m not good enough”, “I’m not smart enough”, etc. Well, do you want to know the good news? You are in charge of the meaning! So why not make judgement mean something that actually forwards you? For me, I let the number of haters be a gauge of my success and how big of a game I’m playing. The more haters I have, the more I know I’m showing up unapologetically in my power and in my truth. This meaning I’ve created forwards me. What meaning can you create?

If you want to be confident, you must reinterpret and shift your relationship with judgement and haters in a way that empowers you. You must let the rude, mean comments drip off of your back like water. You’ve got to let it all push you forward instead of hold you back. Remember: magnetic confidence will make you polarizing. This means there will be people who don’t agree with you, dislike you, and may even hate you… and that’s more than O.K., that’s GREAT.

3. SHIFT THE STORY: Rewrite Your Stories, Rewire Your Mind

You are the sole, uncontested author of your life. You are not a victim. You haven’t been dealt a crappy deck of cards. You have actually been given a very precious gift called life where you have the ability to write your own story and create your own reality.

We are meaning-making machines. We create meanings and stories for just about everything that occurs in our lives. The question is, are the stories you are telling yourself empowering you or disempowering you?

When I find myself thinking something that’s draining my energy and doesn’t feel good, I’ll ask myself: “Can I 100% know that that’s true?” And if the answer is no, then I choose a different story that is also not 100% true, but that actually makes me feel good.

If you’re going to create a story, you might as well create one that feels good and empowers you!

In the episode, I go into a bit more detail on how to do this. I highly recommend you listen because this is a crucial part of becoming your most magnetically confident self.

Ashley Hannawacker Speaking

4. WATCH YOUR WORDS: Eliminate These From Your Vocabulary Now

It’s one thing to think something disempowering, it is another to actually say it out loud. When you think a thought out loud, you are giving energy to the thought. We must be deliberate and intentional about what we choose to give energy to. Your words become worlds!

Here are some words to eliminate from your vocabulary immediately:

  • “Can’t”
  • “Have to”
  • “Should”
  • “Hope”
  • “Try”

Listen to the full episode at the top of this article to understand why these words are detrimental to your confidence and success. You’ll also learn what you can replace them with that will actually fuel you and boost your self confidence.

If you enjoyed this episode and blog post or if you have anything to add, please leave a comment below.

RESOURCES:
Ashley Hann’s Website

Connect with me on Instagram @ashley.hann

Here is my YouTube channel if you would like to watch my weekly videos.

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How to Be a Selfless Leader in Your Business

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Leaders are required to make decisions daily that impact the success of the business and its bottom line. Understanding leadership training key terms can offer insight into core values and principles associated with leading people. Leadership training prepares leaders to recognize a variety of leadership styles prevalent in many organizations, the significance of communication, team building, and establishing a vision.

The following 6 key terms are important to building foundational skills in leadership:

1. Leadership style

Leadership style is the process of exploring the methods leaders use to approach guiding human capital in the workplace or on organized projects. It can encompass persuasive presentation skills that inspires trust, integrity, character, positive role modeling and other behaviors useful when working towards a goal.

2. Vision planning

According to leadership experts, a vision is an idealized picture or snapshot of the future, and vision planning is the ability to communicate core values and articulate a sense of direction by implementing a plan as it pertains to this vision. Organizational vision encompasses a strategic plan that generates motivational impact and leads employees to a specific outcome or shared desired goal.

“A great leader’s courage to fulfill his vision comes from passion, not position.” – John Maxwell

3. Team building

Team building is the method a leader chooses to empower a group of people using motivational strategies and guidance to accomplish a specific task. Effective team building must encompass an understanding of organizational culture and the dynamics of teamwork in order to exceed shared goals and objectives.

4. Communication

Communication is the ability to impart and exchange information through the process of listening, writing and speaking. Successful leaders understand that enhancing communication skills not only makes them more effective as leaders, but boosts the company’s success as well.

5. Performance evaluation

An important aspect of leadership training is determining whether the steps taken towards a goal are working. One of the many roles of a successful leader is to appraise or assess the effectiveness of both individual and collective workplace skills and strategies to achieve stated goals.

“A good objective of leadership is to help those who are doing poorly to do well and to help those who are doing well to do even better.” – Jim Rohn

6. Decision making

The term decision making is the process of choosing from several ideas or choices. It’s the practice of targeted determinations that can offer creative problem solving solutions. This is a vital skill in developing potential leaders because it strengthens the use of critical thinking and resourcefulness to make choices on behalf of the company.

How to be a selfless leader in your business organization

Many leaders try to play it safe when leading their business. In other words, they don’t really lead. They are afraid of taking risks and possibly making some people unhappy. It’s important to note that when you own a business, you may make decisions that won’t make everyone happy. Ideally, your culture will be set up so that what you do is transparent and enables people to speak up and share their concerns.

At the same time, people in an organization want their leaders to lead and part of that involves the leader making a passionate commitment to the direction the business needs to go in. When there isn’t clear leadership in a business, then the business is like a ship that is moving in a circle. It’s going nowhere.

A leader must always make it clear that what they are doing is actually serving the best interests of the business as opposed to their own best interests. If people in the organization think that a leader is abusing their position, it can create a toxic situation in the business bringing it down as people leave or sabotage the business.

A leader must be selfless, focused on what will truly benefit the business and the people in it. They must be willing to share the spotlight, instead of taking all the credit and must recognize the value of trusting the talents of the people they work with.

Recently, I was talking with a client of mine. He was having some personnel issues, and I suggested he carefully evaluate the talents of each person involved. After doing that, he made some changes in roles, and the people involved were much happier because they were doing the work that capitalized on their talents.

Throughout this process he was transparent and he made it clear that the changes he was making were for the benefit of the company. Each person involved saw that because the leader was honest and focused on the success of the business. He wasn’t making changes to make it easier for him, but rather making changes that would really help the business succeed. That’s the kind of leadership that is needed when a business undergoes changes or needs to focus on a specific direction.

What does being a selfless leader mean to you? How do you focus on the welfare of your business and show that to the people involved in the business? Share with us below!

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