Tag Archive | motivation

The Art of Transparent, Effective, Communication

The feminine woman of excellence, dear reader, has mastered the art of communication.  She doesn’t internalize and repress her feelings nor does she act out aggressively and angrily.

 

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The key to great communication is that you mustn’t be afraid to speak your truth, and to do it right away.  There is nothing to be ashamed about if someone does something hurtful to you.  Many women are afraid to speak up because they take such treatment personally and allow it to eat away at their self-confidence when more often than not it has absolutely nothing to do with them.  Sometimes, someone will treat you poorly because they truly and simply don’t care about how you feel, but most of the time the other person doesn’t even realize that what they were doing was hurtful and assumes that you aren’t bothered in the slightest!  Again, they magnify the meaning of the event and the consequences and this makes them too frozen and uncomfortable to act.  Either way, remaining silent sends the wrong message.

Because they attach so much significance to it, many women find themselves tongue-tied.  So then they never communicate that they were hurt, disappointed, angry, etc – or if they do, they won’t be able to do it in a mature and assertive way that the other person will actually pay attention to – and they end up being ignored and virtually guarantee that the offensive behavior will become a pattern.

 

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A crucial mistake many women make is that they wait far, far too long for the pattern to manifest before speaking up.  Small issues snowball into crucial battles of will.

“The first piece of advice I would have from my experience is that governments need to be vocal about human rights.  My advice to you is not only to be vocal and consistent, but also to be principled in communications about human rights.  Another suggestion I have is to be quick.”  – Amal Clooney

One of the reasons why Amal is able to maintain such a strong relationship with a man like George Clooney where so many other women have failed is undoubtedly because she fully understands this principle on an intuitive, not just intellectual, level and has the courage to put it into practice.  Most men, even those at George Clooney’s level, are used to women communicating and behaving in ways that they term to be “annoying,” “passive-aggressive,” or “nagging”, and this really does have the effect of pushing them away in a relationship.  Men don’t want a shy little girl who is a pushover and can’t speak up for herself, but they don’t want a “bitch” who rages at them either.  Open, clear, and authentic communication that shows a woman knows what she wants and will stand up for it is what will get her results.

 

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Another important point, as she says here, in politics, as well as in human relations it is also important to be consistent.

It’s going to be hard to get yourself taken seriously if you are constantly vacillating on what is and what is not okay.  Credibility is built by “sticking to your guns” and being honest and authentic about the way something makes you feel.  This doesn’t mean that you are never allowed to change your mind about key issues, but you must appear and be firm.

 

 

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Finding Your Way

A lot of women, dear reader, don’t really know who they are – instead of confidently going after what it is they want in life, they’re shrinking themselves and settling.

 

“Even the wisest woman you talk to is ignorant of something you may know, but an elegant woman never forgets her elegance.”:

 

They feel defeated and they settle for what they can get, instead of having the faith that they can do and be whatever they set their minds to be.  They are afraid to speak their minds and their truth – they are more worried about how they will come off and upsetting others’ feelings than they are in simply being okay with expressing themselves.

Because of this, true intimacy eludes them.  How can you bond with another, dear reader, if you never let them see or know your true self?  Your true self is what you love, what brings you joy, and it is your authentic feelings.  Many suppress this to the detriment of their health, emotions, well-being, and relationships because they don’t yet know how to express what they are through their words and through their actions with the attitude of take it or leave it.

 

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You can’t create or be who you are if you are trying to be someone else’s mouth-piece.  You need to find your own voice, dear reader.  You must stop thinking of whether what you are about to do or say is going to impress another or bring you the money, love, success, etc that you want, and simply speak from the heart and mind.

This is easier said than done.  Simply trying to “love yourself” doesn’t work – it’s like attempting to pursue happiness or a butterfly directly.

Ask yourself what do I think?  What do I feel about this?  Becoming who you are, dear reader, is largely about learning to make your own decisions.  Many people aren’t able to make even the smallest decisions.  It’s a chicken and egg scenario – they don’t know their values and who they are, so they don’t have much of a compass to guide them in decision-making, and they avoid making decisions, so they don’t have much practice in seeing what’s for them and what isn’t.

 

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Much of the process of becoming who you are is going down wrong avenues and failing.  The problem is that so many women are afraid of getting “lost” or making the wrong choices that they’re not able to get where they need to go.  We tend to magnify things and make them seem as though they are a much bigger deal than they truly are.  You need to give yourself the permission to fail occasionally, because on the course of becoming your true self and reaching your full potential it will happen a lot.  If you make your own decision and it’s wrong, at least it will be your own failure and you can learn from it.  As long as someone else made the choice for you, you won’t learn and you won’t move forwards.

Some things, like cocaine, don’t need to be sampled for you to know that they are harmful, dear reader.  But the only way to really know who you are and what you want in life is to take the chance that you might be wrong.  So what if that fashion internship doesn’t work out?  You aren’t farther away from success and discovering your true self, you are closer!  You’ve placed a certainty in an area that was previously an unknown.

 

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The problem is that many have been trained to look at these sorts of explorations as “failures” and then take it personally and feel terrible about themselves when it doesn’t work out, creating an inability to move past that point, or tragically for many, never starting at all.

That same mindset makes dating and relationships for women a nightmare.  A divorced woman is looked upon as a loser.  A girl who just went through a breakup and ended a relationship that wasn’t right for her is pitied when in fact it should be the opposite!  What you need to do, dear reader, is applaud yourself at each step of the way, because the world won’t react when you simply get closer, it will react when you’ve achieved tangible results.

 

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Think of it this way – no one was supporting and cheering on Oprah before she became Oprah.  She didn’t know she was going to one day lead a national talk show and reach the heights of fame, but what she also didn’t do was let others define her or let her think of herself as someone who she wasn’t.

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.  Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results for others’ people’s thinking.  Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice.  And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.”

Another aspect of this that can be difficult is that sometimes, your connection to your internal compass will have become weak and it won’t feel as clear as it does at other times.

 

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One way to know when you are about to make a wrong decision is if it feels like you are betraying yourself by doing so.  If you have to give up something of yourself up to make it, it will take you farther away.

The majority of people, dear reader, let the world and others mold them into who they become, because they choose to betray themselves and their own wants and needs rather than rejecting and refusing others.  It goes beyond simple people-pleasing.  It’s looked at as something wrong and selfish to act in your own best interests and make choices that others don’t like because it upsets their own comfort and balance in life.

“I’m learning how to drown out the constant noise that is such an inseparable part of my life.  I don’t have to prove anything to anyone, I only have to follow my heart and concentrate on what I want to say to the world.  I run my world.” – Beyonce Knowles

“Your self-worth is determined by you.  You don’t have to depend on someone telling you who you are.” – Beyonce Knowles

 

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Yes, the choices you make will affect the people around you, but ultimately you must decide if you are going to become who you are and stay true to yourself or if you are going to remain limited and unsure of yourself because you let another who can never possibly know you as well as you know you make your decisions.  Doing what’s best for you is not going to harm or hurt others.  You need to understand and recognize that reaction from others for what it is so that you can dismiss it and move forwards.  It’s simply a groundless fear of change.

“I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself.  If you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul.  I want to know if you can see beauty even when it’s not pretty every day and if you can source your own life from its presence.”

Some of the hardest choices you will ever make, dear reader, will be the ones in which you have to put yourself first in this way.  It will feel like you need to go backwards and do what is easier and more comfortable in the short-term.  When in search of encouragement for making those decisions, and for help in “bearing the accusation of betrayal” that you will undoubtedly come across, just remember that as hard as that decision is to make, the pain will be temporary – if you make the decision you know isn’t right, instead of a short blow that knocks you out, you’ll be stuck living chronically unfulfilled and unhappy.

 

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An Attitude of Expectancy

The feminine woman of excellence, dear reader, always lives with an attitude of expectancy.

 

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What is this exactly?  It the belief, the conviction that something wonderful, new, and exciting is about to happen.

No matter where she goes or what she is engaged in, dear reader, she has this belief, and because she does, it tends to fulfill itself. (:

“You must know that in any moment a decision you make can change the course of your life forever: the very next person you stand behind in line or sit next to on an airplane, the very next phone call you make or receive, the very next movie you see or book you read or page you turn could be the one single thing that causes the floodgates to open, and all of the things that you’ve been waiting for to fall into place. If you really want your life to be passionate, you need to live with this attitude of expectancy.”

 

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An attitude of expectancy infuses you with a sense of possibility that gives you the positivity, optimism, and energy to pursue the life you and and the goals that inspire you.

A woman with such an attitude sees challenges as opportunities and she continuously asks “why not” when presented with a new idea or proposition instead of thinking of the multitude of reasons why it can’t be done.  What’s more, her eyes are opened to the possibilities of life, and because of that she is able to recognize opportunities and resources that most can’t.

 

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She lives a richer, more fulfilled life, and is able to add color to the lives of those she comes into contact with as well.  (:

How to Become More Confident

The feminine woman of excellence, dear reader, is first and foremost confident in who she is, what she can do for the world, what she believes in, and what she is willing to stand (or not stand) for.

 

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However, confidence is not something she was born with.

She acquired that confidence over time, by taking risks and action, by putting herself in situations that were perhaps uncomfortable for her, at first.

Many pretend that they are confident when they don’t actually feel that way, because there is a stigma associated with being non~confident and insecure.

While it is true that it can be helpful to “fake” confidence at times when you don’t really feel it, to make true personal progress and be one of the rare, rare women who are able to come across as authentically confident in who she is, you must start by being honest with yourself and where you are at.

 

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There is no shame in admitting to yourself or to those you trust, in what areas you don’t feel confident, because once you do you can either work through those emotions or do something to change them.  As long as you avoid or pretend those areas don’t exist, you won’t be able to take any action, and taking action is what will dissolve any non~confidence or fear.

If, dear reader, you are afraid of public speaking, join a toastmasters group.  Volunteer to give presentations to key clients at work.  Do anything and everything you can to put yourself in that type of situation until you become comfortable, and therefore confident in it!

Confidence begins with one such small act of courage.  You don’t need to give a speech addressing the U.S. Senate to begin with to start building confidence, for example.  Too many women are halted and kept in states of inaction and non~progress because they can’t see or are unwilling to take the micro-actions that will eventually build them up to the larger arenas they truly wish to be at.

 

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“Start where you are.  Use what you have.  Do what you can.” – Arthur Ashe

The Importance of Belief

Belief, dear reader, in what one can do and what one can be is the limiting factor to what a woman accomplishes in her life.

 

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You have surely heard the saying many times, “whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t you are right” and it is true.

This is because it is human nature to conserve our efforts and only put in the hard work towards goals and ambitions that we believe are achievable.

Simply put, if, deep down, you do not truly believe something is possible, you will not put in the effort necessary to achieve it.  It becomes a so-called self-fulfilling prophecy.

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“The mental picture of oneself was of the utmost significance in determining a person’s success and life choices.  Why then do people continue to look at themselves in a way that is less than successful?  Why do people set goals and make plans, when they truly do not believe that they have the ability within themselves to accomplish them? When reaching the goal becomes so real to us that no amount of work becomes too much.  We literally become who we want to be in our minds, long before we become it in life.”

A perfect example of this principle in action was during the turn-around of the Green Bay Packers shortly after Vince Lombardi was hired as the new team coach:

Lombardi was a motivational genius who saw everything in psychological terms. To him the National Football League teams were virtually equal in talent. The differences lay in attitude and morale: reversing the Packers’ defeatism would translate into wins, which would lift their morale, which in turn would bring more wins. Lombardi knew he had to approach his players indirectly–had to trick them into changing. He began with a show of confidence, talking as if he assumed they were winners who had fallen on bad times. That got under their skins, far more than they realized. Then, in his practices, Lombardi didn’t make demands–a defensive, whiny approach that betrays insecurity. Instead he changed the practices’ spirit, making them quiet, intense, focused, workmanlike. He knew that willpower is tied to what you believe possible; expand that belief and you try harder. Lombardi created a better team–which won its first game–by making its players see possibilities. Defeat was no longer comfortable.

 

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This brings up an interesting point, dear reader – it is not innate talent or skill that separates out successful football teams or successful women.  What makes the difference is one’s morale, what she believes is possible for herself.

Dear reader, do you honestly believe it is possible for you to become a gorgeous woman?  To make a six figure salary?  To have a loving and rewarding relationship or marriage?

Until you do, you will find that these things will elude you.  You must train yourself and act as your own Coach Lombardi on the path to achieving your hopes, ambitions, and dreams (:

 

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Taking Risks

It has been said, dear reader, that the world never made a queen of a girl who hides in houses and dreams without traveling.

 

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This is an interesting point to consider – firstly, it introduces the idea that a queen is made, not born, and that she is made by learning to take risks.

The girl who never takes a risk, the one who “hides in houses” or who sits activities out because she’s too afraid to participate, or to fail, will never be made a queen by the world.  The woman who declines, perhaps saying that all-to-familiar line ‘I’m good’, to join in on some fun and exciting activity that she really, deep down, wants to participate in is a woman who needs desperately to learn how to take risks.

“Boldness gives you presence and makes you seem larger than life.  The timid fade into the wallpaper, the bold draw attention.  Everyone admires the bold; no one honors the timid.”

 

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The great, successful, and powerful women of excellence throughout history, dear reader, did not get that way by playing it safe all the time.  One does not achieve greatness without courage, and that means going out and doing things that you are unsure of.

The Hollywood studio MGM had been good to Joan Crawford: it had discovered her, made her a star, crafted her image. By the early 1940s, though, Crawford had had enough. It was all too comfortable; MGM kept casting her in the same kinds of roles, none of them a challenge. So, in 1943, Crawford did the unthinkable and asked out of her contract. The consequences for Crawford could have been terrible; to challenge the studio system was considered highly unwise. Indeed, when she then signed up with Warner Brothers, predictably enough she was offered the same mediocre sorts of scripts. She turned them down. On the verge of being fired, she finally found the part she had been looking for: the title role in Mildred Pierce, which, however, she was not offered. Setting to work on the director, Michael Curtiz, she managed to change his mind and land the role. She gave the performance of her life, won her only Best Actress Oscar, and resurrected her career. In leaving MGM, Crawford was taking a big chance. If she failed to succeed at Warner Brothers, and quickly, her career would be over. But Crawford thrived on risk. When she was challenged, when she felt on edge, she burst with energy and was at her best. Like Crawford, you sometimes have to force yourself onto death ground–leaving stale relationships and comfortable situations behind, cutting your ties to the past. If you give yourself no way out, you will have to make your new endeavor work. Leaving the past for unknown terrain is like a death–and feeling this finality will snap you back to life.

Cleopatra, for instance, first made her mark as a young woman in contention for the Egyptian throne by making a grand entrance and rolling out of a carpet in Caesar’s palace, to ask for his help putting together an army.  She didn’t simply sit back and accept defeat.  She must have known that such a maneuver was risky; after all, she had never before met Caesar, and he was a political enemy of the Egyptians.

 

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But what made the difference, dear reader, was that she trusted herself enough to take the risk – she had self-belief.

First and foremost, a woman must believe in herself and her own talents and abilities if she is going to be able to take the risks that will help her to grow and become the queen she truly is.

This is what is often called “confidence” and why that quality is so widely applauded and sought after, both by men, and other high-value women seeking like-minded friends and confidants.

Moreover, a woman who has learned how to take risks to grow herself, is an infinitely more interesting and fascinating one, dear reader.  She has so much to offer, both in conversation and in company, and this again tends to attract people to her cause.

It is the women who take the most (calculated) risks, dear reader, that are the happiest.

 

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“The biggest risk is not taking any risk… In a world that is changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.” –  Mark Zuckerberg

Life is all about growth and change, and when you aren’t doing either, you are bound to be miserable.

Eventually, risk-taking becomes a habit, and an ingrained and natural part of one’s personality, but if it isn’t already so, dear reader, don’t fret.  It can become so (:

If you are risk-averse, it is advisable to start with small but measureable changes.  Go out and join that latin dance class that you could never see yourself doing.  Audition in a local theater group.  Ask for a promotion or raise.  Go back to school for that advanced degree (this can be done in spare time in the evenings if you don’t want to disrupt your life too much).  Volunteer with a local group.  Honestly, absolutely anything that you would not normally do (i.e. something outside of your “comfort zone”) will do.  What’s the worst that can happen, dear reader, you trip over your feet, don’t get called back, get denied the promotion, or don’t get into the program?  If you never try at all, you will have exactly the same outcome.  If you try, at least you will know that you didn’t fail for lack of effort or for not trying.

 

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“I’ve always believed fitness is an entry point to help you build that happier, healthier life.  When your health is strong, you’re capable of taking risks.  You’ll feel more confident to ask for the promotion.  You’ll have more energy to be a better mom.  You’ll feel more deserving of love.” – Jillian Michaels

From there, the dreams and ambitions you have that might seem far-fetched and out of the realm of possibility will become far more realistic (:

 

The Importance of Setting Goals

The high value woman of excellence, dear reader, sets goals.

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She seeks to make a difference with her life, and she has a sense of purpose.

She has ambition, but not so much that it completely consumes her; she understands well the concept of balance and she makes sure she applies it in her own life.

What does a woman with vision and a set of goals look like, dear reader?

She is the busy woman picking up a cappuccino on the way to work at 8 o’clock in the morning, but she also also the woman who ventures out and tries something new for the first time.

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A woman understands the importance of constantly stretching herself and finding new ways to challenge herself.  She sets goals in every aspect of her life, from her relationship, to her career, to her health and family.

She doesn’t allow herself to get stuck into the “routine” of life.  She understands that life is all about growth and change, and rather than fight that fact or resist it, she changes along with it, and she works to change for the better, over time.

She takes both small and large steps to do this.

Not only does she define achievable goals for herself, she also plans and works towards making them happen.

This is a crucial step that many fail to follow through on, and then when little progress is made get unreasonably disappointed and discouraged by it.

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That may mean either a big career shift, or something as simple as exercising more to be healthier or joining an acting class for fun because it is outside of her comfort zone.

Obviously, goals and challenges are very personal, and specialized to each individual woman.

However, every woman who engages in active goal-setting, and then working to achieve them knows the rewards of doing so.  Yes, it requires effort (but what worthwhile, doesn’t, especially looking and feeling beautiful, dear reader!).  And there will, without a doubt, be disappointment and frustration along the way if the goals she has chosen are to help her grow in any meaningful way.

But that only makes success, when if finally comes, all the sweeter, dear reader.

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“Success is sweet: the sweeter if long delayed and attained through manifold struggles and defeats.”

And, dear reader, a growing and learning woman is a happy and successful one (:

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