A bridge to confidence.

Overview: Imagine if confidence was sustainable. Or, if confidence could be used only in support of making good things happen. What would your life, profession and our world look like via this type of lens?

There are few things in life that we don’t have to work to maintain in some way, yet there are many other aspects of our life we need to continuously work on. Perhaps improve, but ultimately accept and come to terms with. One of these areas is confidence.

When I was researching this topic, I was interested in finding out at what age do we become aware of being confident? As I was reviewing information, I came across a wonderful sentence in the opening of the article I was reading. It referred to the link between a person’s early self-esteem and confidence. The sentence which stood out expressed that “Self-esteem is your child’s passport to a lifetime of mental health and social happiness.”. It went on to also say that self-esteem “is the foundation of a child’s well-being and the key to success as an adult.” Wow! That’s a powerful statement.

Now imagine if everyone had an idyllic childhood which laid out the perfect foundation for us to have our self-esteem and confidence built on? Some of us do, but many of us don’t. Even if our foundation started out strong, it doesn’t mean that it can’t be weakened by events which happen in our lives. The type of events that chip away at our foundation, and without addressing these chips or cracks, add up and end up eroding our confidence foundation.

For me personally, I recall a distinct moment in time that I understood what it meant to have my confidence take a hit. It happened in a second-grade math class when I was called up in front of the class to visually show how to get to the answer of a math problem. I was randomly asked by the teacher to do this. As I stood in front of the class unaware of how to accomplish what I was asked to do, or how to articulate this, I was overwhelmed by emotions. The first one was fear, followed by embarrassment and then ultimately an enormous crack in my confidence foundation.

Ultimately, I ended up in tears in front of the class. What was worse than this, was that I did not have any experience to draw from with how to contend with the way I was feeling. However, this experience stands out in my mind as the first time my emotions were tied to my confidence.

As I think back to that day many decades ago, I believe I realized I needed to find a way to build up confidence. To come up with a solution from having to experience those type of negative emotions again. Or, at least not frequently.

Although I realized early on I was never going to be a math genius, I was OK with that. However, finding out what I was good at became something I put myself on an early journey to figure out. Of course, being so young, I didn’t realize that I was intentionally trying to solve my own challenge to having experienced what it is like to have your confidence rocked. However, as I think back, this was essentially what I was doing, and have continued to do my entire life.

You could say my first experience with having my confidence being challenged turned out well. Perhaps you also might be under the impression that I had an easy road to working on building up my confidence? This couldn’t be further from the truth, as I continued to struggle in school. Why? Because no one realized I was dyslexic. In fact, I did not officially find out I was until I was tested in college at the age of 21. Yes, finding this out made many experiences in my life come into focus in terms of having a reason why I struggled academically, yet I still persevered to obtain strong grades sheerly based on tenaciously doing do.

So, do I think there is a bridge or a way for people to increase their confidence? At any point in their lives? Yes, I do, and it is something I have like most people who have figured out the confidence equation, work on all the time. I do this, because as I mentioned earlier, confidence can be fleeting, and it needs to be nurtured to maintain it.

To describe to others how to develop or increase their confidence, I can offer the following suggestions:

  • Find one thing you are good at. It doesn’t matter what it is. Focus on becoming exceptional at it, and draw from this like it is your confidence battery.
  • I’m certain you are good at more than one thing. However, do you know what your top talents are? When I found out what mine were, it was a liberating day, and allowed me to finally be able to focus on what I was good at, versus focusing on trying to fix or become better at things I did not have a talent for.
  • Visualize yourself in a really happy place or time in your life. Consider the factors which contributed to this experience. Can you repeat aspects of this?
  • Do you surround yourself with people who build you up, or tear you down? Or, perhaps it’s a mix. What if you could edit out some of the people who chip away at your confidence? I don’t subscribe to someone saying this is impossible. It might be harder to accomplish, but it will be worth achieving.
  • Seek out one person who can be your “confidence champion”. This person is someone who never lets you down, and always helps to build back up your confidence during those times you might be struggling on your own to do so.
  • Commit to embracing that you will need to continuously work on your confidence, as like a vine, it can wither without care.

Building your confidence bridge can actually be fun, although it will take hard work to accomplish. However, when we have confidence, it can positively impact our lives in numerous ways that will be worth putting in the effort to do so. One of them is being happier and healthier. Now go out and start building that bridge, and be proud of showing the world what it looks like.

TAGS: #Confidence #Personaldevelopment #Mentalhealth #Positivity #Benefitstobeingconfident #Howtobemoreconfident #Business #Motivation #Life #Profession #Success #Fear #Dyslexic #Dyslexia #Business #Leadership #Communication #Management #Strategy #Success #Teams #Motivation

Are you a people judger?

Let’s go to your “wayback machine” and place yourself in kindergarten. This was a time in your life when you were less encumbered from making judgements about others, and were more accepting of the people you interacted with. How refreshing, especially if you consider the positive side and potential of everyone you interact with being your friend.

If you think about when you began to become discerning about who you were interacting with, and why, there are likely a few key interactions in your life which shaped your decisions. Unfortunately, some of them negatively influenced your ability to have an open mind. This is especially apparent when it comes to being aware and open to seeing the benefit of interacting with everyone on a neutral basis.

Right, wrong or indifferent, we are all judged on a regular basis by others, and by our own accounts on a daily basis. How we handle these judgements, and whether we let them impact us or others around us, is what separates us from having better and more fulfilling life experiences. Why? Because when we are always judging other people, we typically are not taking in all of the information to fairly do so. More importantly, no one is entitled to be judging others, but people do this all the time.

When people are judging other people, they are in essence defining the social barriers or opportunities that will be available to them. The more people judge others, and in a negative capacity, the fewer chances they will have to positively benefit from the extraordinary talents, insights and experiences from that person.

Not being judgmental requires us to be many things. One of them is open-minded. It’s easy to say you are an open-minded individual, but in reality, it is much harder to be one. In fact, for starters, if you don’t like to ask others questions, and truly listen to what they have to say, chances are you are not an open-minded person. Why? Because with limited information about someone, it is far easier to be judgmental about them.

Consider one of your recent encounters with someone you randomly met. Perhaps you were introduced to another person in a neutral setting. In this situation, neither of you knew much about the other person. This is a great time to test your ability to be open-minded, and to see what level of judgement you are casting on the new person. Or, to be able to gauge what your level of neutrality you are offering towards the person you are meeting.

In work environments, chances are you will be slightly less judgmental of people. This is due to the fact they have been vetted in some way to be associated with your company. However, when you meet them, you will likely put them through your own method of judging them, with the intent of quickly determining your future interaction levels with them. Even if you are going to be colleagues and will be required to work closely together, your initial judgement of someone will impact how well you will work together.

What if this initial meeting of a new colleague played out differently? What if you were open-minded to learning more about them, and took the time to understand who they are, what talents they have, and how to best interact with them? Would this set both of you up to have a far better working experience? Of course, it would. However, most people don’t set themselves up to initially experience this type of interaction success. Why? Because they are accustomed to being marginally judgmental based on years of being unaware of their actions.

If you are with me on supporting the philosophy that being open-minded, or at least striving to become more so, is something you want to be, below are some questions and factors to consider. They are intended to help you to learn and perhaps achieve becoming less or non-judgmental at some point.

  • Have you ever discussed how you became closed minded when it comes to interacting with new or current people you have in your life?
  • What are the factors causing you to be judgmental?
  • How aware are you on a scale of 1-5 (5 being the highest) of being judgmental?
  • Has being judgmental actually benefitted you professionally?
  • Think of a time when being judgmental backfired?
  • Are you willing to consider being less judgmental?
  • When you are judging others, are you doing so out of insecurity?
  • Think about a time you were open-minded and the results of the interaction?
  • If there was a way to become less or completely non-judgmental, would you want to be this way?
  • Think of someone you admire. Is one of their qualities being non-judgmental?
  • Do you think you have the capacity to be non-judgmental?

When you are able to interact with people in a non-judgmental way, consider yourself as being fortunate. Ultimately this is something as humans we owe to both ourselves and to others to strive to achieve being more accepting of other people. We may not achieve this, or all have this as a goal. However, I firmly believe our world would certainly be a much better place to live in, if we were even slightly all more open-minded towards others.

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Performance Strategist and CEO of Market Me Too.  She is a Gallup Certified Strengths Finder Coachauthor of Wisdom Whisperer  and Evolve! With the Wisdom Whisperer (published in December 2019)and is a well-respected motivational and social influencer with a global following from her numerous speaking, print, radio and television media appearances. She also is the creator and Host of a TV Show and Podcast called Murf & E Unfiltered – Zero BS Biz Talk.

Essentially every team is dysfunctional in some way. Our expertise is in uniting, motivating and bridging dysfunctional teams (sports & business), and turning them into epic ones.

Market Me Too also works with individuals from students to C-level executives. The individuals, business and sports teams we work with are coached on how to leverage and apply their peak performance talents on a daily basis. Our coaching produces repeatable, measurable and amazing results personally and professionally. Need proof? Just talk to our clients, or read through our testimonials.

If you want better and different results, let’s talk. We know how to help you get them. Contact Kathleen at kathymurphy@me.com or (339) 987-0195.

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Take one step forward to change everything

I recently saw a saying which conveyed if you do not like where you are, then move. This can apply to so many scenarios, and it can literally mean pivoting and taking one step in a different direction. Have you ever noticed that sometimes making the smallest changes in any situation can have a significantly positive outcome? Take for example moving your desk to another place in your office, or rearranging and organizing items on your desk. Although these are small and seemingly inconsequential movements, they can have an impact on how you approach your next tasks.

When people are in scenarios which are unknown to them, or they are preparing to go someplace they have not been, the most difficult part of going there can be the first step they take. However, when they take their first step forward and literally look back, they have made more progress by doing this, as it is easier to continue going forward than it is to take a step back.

Earlier today I was talking to someone I have known for many years, and who has a son who is training to be a Navy Seal. He was telling me about some of the training his son has been going through, and just the first week alone and getting through it sounded nearly impossible. The sleep deprivation part of the training alone would have knocked me out of becoming a Seal, and it got me thinking about how do people get through the training process, and at what point do they decide they can’t make it through?

I have not spoken to a Navy Seal directly. However, based on hearing about my friend’s son and the type of training he has gone through, I have deduced that in order to become a Seal, it not only takes a very determined individual, but they must also possess having a certain level of mental toughness combined with sheer tenacity and a willingness to do whatever it takes to succeed.

Each day when the prospective Seals are in training, the first step they take must in some respects be the most difficult one. Especially since they know the day ahead of them is likely going to be tougher than the previous days. If non-Seals or regular people are fortunate, they will not face the same challenges that taking the first step forward Seals in training encounter. However, I do know that taking the first step for some people can be daunting, and most of the time it is the mental aspect, not the physical aspect which makes moving ahead difficult.

So, if taking a step forward in any situation is made challenging due to the mental aspect, what can you do to overcome and move ahead? Here are some suggestions for you:

  • Focus on your end goal.
  • Seek encouragement from others to help you to take the first step.
  • Visualize what it will feel like when you have completed the project or scenario.
  • Talk yourself into getting started, and tell yourself it will not be as hard as you think it might be.
  • Set a timeframe for accomplishing either part of the project or scenario, and work towards completing it.
  • Look for others who inspire you. They may in fact have nothing to do with what you are challenging yourself to move ahead with, but they can provide inspiration for you to move ahead based on what they accomplished.
  • Establish a reward for yourself once you move ahead and then complete your project or scenario.
  • Share your completed accomplishment with someone you are comfortable with. You might in fact inspire them to do something they are afraid of doing based on what you accomplished.

No matter who you are, or what you have accomplished, everyone has things in their work and life which hold them back from moving forward. Sometimes people even seem to enjoy complaining about how they are stuck and cannot make progress. Doing this does not serve them or anyone else well, and the trick to preventing this from happening is to focus and know that by taking that first step forward, they can literally have a life changing scenario occur. Now that’s worth finding the courage to move ahead.

So, what’s next? This is a rhetorical question. Get up and take your first step towards reaching the goal you thought you could not reach. I know you can do this, and I hope I’m part of playing the role for your inspiration to do so.

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Performance Strategist and CMO of Market Me TooMarket Me Too has expertise in bridging teams and providing organizations techniques to accelerate their market growth and revenue numbers, regardless of the industry they are in, or the business stage they are presently at. She is also the author of a newly published business book called Wisdom Whisperer which is available via Amazon.

Market Me Too also works with individuals from students to C-level executives. The individuals, business and sports teams we work with are coached on how to leverage and apply their peak performance talents on a daily basis, which produces repeatable, measurable and amazing results.

If you want better results, let’s talk. We know how to help you get them. Contact Kathleen at kathymurphy@me.com or (339) 987-0195.

 

Stuck? How to get you, your team or company in motion.

There are numerous reasons and ways to what I refer to as getting stuck, either personally or professionally, and no one is immune from having this happen to them. If you are immune, give me a call, because you are a true “unicorn”.

Generally, when a person, team or company is stuck, there are Drano-like techniques you can apply to resolve this dilemma. However, often it is difficult to come up with the getting unstuck solutions because you are too close to the issue or issues which caused it. So, what do you do?

Obviously panicking about your being stuck situation is not going to solve anything, nor will ignoring it. Although many people and companies try out this approach and what happens? The unstuck situation does not get resolved, can in fact get worse, and the negative domino effect starts to kick in.

So, depending on who is stuck, the first thing to do is to commit to addressing and resolving the matter. Doing this will take immediate pressure off of the feeling of being stuck, and if a team or company is stuck, you will need to communicate with them about the fact you are addressing the matter.

By the way, “you” is either the head of the team or company who is stuck.

Thinking about and discussing how you got stuck is the second step to figuring out a solution, and this should be done in an organized way. One of my favorite ways to tackling this is to whiteboard or back-of-the-napkin how you ended up being “stuck”. I also recommend going through this exercise physically away from where the clog is. If you are the one who is stuck, I also recommend going to a neutral and also inspiring place to think about developing an unstuck solution.

Here is a (10) step approach to getting unstuck. You might only need to leverage a few of them, but there is the possibility you will need to apply all of the steps if your team or company is significantly stuck. I’ll let you be the judge on what number the stuck meter would register.

  1. Write down what makes you feel like you, your team or company are stuck (e.g., lack of energy or motivation, high attrition rates, culture issues, revenue growth is stagnant or under performing).
  2. Appoint a person as the “Chief of Getting Unstuck”.
  3. Limit the amount of people to the “Unstuck” team to less than six people, ideally fewer if possible and depending on the complexity of the matter.
  4. Agree not to play the blame game, and commit to resolving the matter.
  5. Come up with a timeline for how long it will take to resolve and get unstuck.
  6. Outline the reasons which contributed to how you, your team or company became stuck.
  7. Begin brainstorming on resolutions for each of the reasons which contributed to becoming stuck.
  8. Determine if the reasons you became stuck have the possibility of reoccurring. If they might, part of your plan is going to need to address how to reduce or eliminate this from happening.
  9. Share and widely communicate your “getting unstuck plan”, and ask for feedback. Make it clear that feedback offered should only be offered if it is constructive. Have people feel like they are a part of the solution, and not contributing to the problem.
  10. Once you have your getting unstuck solutions which are actionable and agreed upon, commit to applying them with the goal of becoming unstuck.

Getting stuck did not occur overnight. So, coming up with a solution or methods to resolve your situation is going to take some time, and will be different for each scenario. By admitting to and then committing to resolving your matter of being stuck, you will be taking the most important steps towards resolving it. Coming up with your solutions might be easier than you think they will be, and they should also be enormously satisfying when you do.

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder/CEO and Chief Performance Strategist at Market Me TooMarket Me Too has expertise in bridging teams and providing organizations techniques to accelerate their market growth and revenue numbers, regardless of the industry they are in, or the business stage they are presently at.

We also work with individuals from students to C-level executives. The individuals, business and sports teams we work with are coached on how to leverage and apply their peak performance talents on a daily basis. If you want results, let’s talk. We know how to help you get them. Contact Kathleen at kathymurphy@me.com or (339) 987-0195.

 

Millennials – Managing, Motivating & Retaining Them

Not everyone would agree, but I love when things change. I especially am excited about change particularly when the changes being applied optimize and improve what they are being applied towards. Having worked with thousands of people during my career, the most exciting generation of people I have encountered are the millennials. Why? Because they are so open to embracing change.

Managing people is probably one of the most challenging tasks to take on, especially to be able to manage them well and unselfishly. Yes, unselfishly, because in order to be a superb manager, you need to put the interests of those you are managing ahead of your own. When you do this, those who you are managing will at first potentially not notice, and when they do, they will then be surprised you are doing this, as this is not a management technique applied or embraced by all managers.

If you think of managing people from the perspective of acting as a coach or mentor, it allows you to mentally shift your thinking and begin to strategically adopt management methods which put your staff needs ahead of your own. When you put others needs ahead of yours, empower them to stretch beyond their comfort level, yet provide them with a safe zone in case of failure, people will respond and perform at a new level you might not imagine them to do so. This management concept works extremely well with millennials, as they are so open to trying new things, and actually crave doing so.

One of the best ways to motivate millennials is to ask them for their opinion, and how they might go about mapping out how to accomplish their role with limited direction from their manager. When you provide a millennial with freedom to in essence design their path forward, they will be more motivated in their role, as they feel they have a heightened sense of controlling the direction they are able to head towards. What you also might be surprised by, is that they will also be more willing to collaborate with the management team and their team peers because they do not feel the pressure of traditional methods of management constraint.

There are numerous books that have been written about motivating people in the workplace, but most of these books are based on motivational techniques which have been around for decades. Although many of the motivational techniques are still relevant, many of them will not be effective when they are applied to the millennial generation. I know this, because I have also managed, motivated and retained hundreds of people from this generation.

Unfortunately, this generation has gotten a potentially undeserved reputation for being selfish. I think this generation is misunderstood, and has been too easily labeled as being selfish due to management techniques not working on them. This is why management techniques to apply to the millennial generation are in need to being revised and adopted. The millennial generation is motivated by things which need to be factored into helping them to be successful. They care about our environment, eating healthy, taking care of themselves and doing what is best for society more than they are given credit for. When employers and management techniques are factored into account for these type of motivational examples, a true paradigm shift will occur.

The days of employees working at a company for more than 5-10 years is becoming a thing of the past, as most employees are averaging lengths of employment sub these numbers. Due to a highly fluid flow of millennial employees changing jobs so often, this puts enormous pressure on companies to try to retain them, even for 2-3 additional years. One of the largest expenses a company has is recruiting and on-boarding new employees. If they have to continuously do this, the strain on having to fund this company expense can have a severely negative impact on their bottom line. So, how do companies address this challenge?

One of the ways companies who have low millennial retention rates can turn this scenario around, is to create a culture that is appealing to them (e.g., offering them clear or varied career paths to consider, opportunities to engage with the local community during work hours, helping them to understand their innate strengths via specialized coaching, access to internal mentors on a regular basis and greater flexibility with when and where they work). Ironically, the things that appeal to the millennials, can be equally appealing to the rest of the employees, with some modifications to account for their culture and career satisfaction too.

Embracing instead of chafing against the millennial generation and the way they are managed, motivated and retained must be factored into a company’s structure of how to run a modern company. When this occurs, a company becomes far more appealing to work at, and in turn competitive in the industry they are competing in, especially since a significant amount of their employees are from or will be from the millennial generation.

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Performance Strategist and CMO of Market Me TooMarket Me Too has expertise in bridging teams and providing organizations techniques to accelerate their market growth and revenue numbers, regardless of the industry they are in, or the business stage they are presently at.

We also work with individuals from students to C-level executives. The individuals, business and sports teams we work with are coached on how to leverage and apply their peak performance talents on a daily basis. If you want results, let’s talk. We know how to help you get them. Contact Kathleen at kathymurphy@me.com or (339) 987-0195.