Maria Connolly, LPC Facebook Facebook Facebook

Category: Life Skills

Learn how to focus on the soft skills, the people skills like good communication, effective leadership, positive motivation, and managing your emotions.

25 Ways Highly Successful People Make Us Feel Better About Ourselves

Anyone can become extraordinary by achieving these transformational 25 positive traits of successful people, which start with seeing yourself as others see you.Think for a moment about someone that you’re drawn to – can you picture him or her? You can probably identify certain qualities they have such as being charming, gracious, generous, sincere, honest, genuine, open, kind, compassionate, giving, loving…

However, we can gain additional insight into what makes them highly successful by reflecting on their behavior. What is it that they do that brings out the best in us?

When you mindfully observe the way they interact with others, their speech and their actions, then you can model their behavior within your own life. As you read the following list of 25 positive behaviors of highly success individuals, imagine how each item makes you feel. Then you can begin to comprehend how you can use these behaviors to extend this feeling towards others…

 

1. They step forward with hand extended, head slightly tilted forward, smiling, and expressing sincere delight when meeting you rather than waiting for you to come to them.

2. They respectfully call you by the name that you introduce yourself as, rather than presumptuously giving you a nickname.

3. They are fascinated by you, asking you who, what, where and why questions without prying into off-limits, personal territory.

4. They respect your personal space. If you’re a hugger, they’ll hug you. If you’re uncomfortable with physical touch, they won’t force the issue. (This involves some sensory acuity on your part. Always take your cues from others!)

5. They make you feel important, maintain eye contact as they attentively and patiently listen to every word.

6. They willingly reveal themselves openly and honestly as they show their genuineness.

7. They always keep confidential information confidential.

8. They avoid gossip by tactfully changing the conversation or walking away.

9. They listen more than they speak.

10. They give without expecting anything in return.

11. They recognize even the tiniest of efforts and expresses appreciation for what you’ve done and why you’ve done it.

12.They encourage you to reach your full potential.

13. They trust that you’re doing your best, and they look deeply into each situation for the reasons why you’re doing something rather than jumping to conclusions.

14. They lead by example and willingly “roll up their sleeves” to pitch in where there’s a need before being asked.

15. They are mindful of your feelings, expressing joy when you’re celebrating, expressing sincere sorrow when you’re saddened.

16. They dignify you and bolster your self-esteem and self respect by asking for your help and your opinion.

17. They wait to be asked before giving advice.

18. They look for and focus on the positive in you.

19. They remember their own mistakes, thereby giving you a pass when a mistake is made.

20. They don’t give up on you.

21. They sincerely and openly express their approachableness and humanness while maintaining professionalism.

22. They let you blossom as they gift you with freedom to express yourself within the necessary business or personal boundaries that must be set.

23. They collaborate rather than patronize.

24. They recognize everyone is at different stages of their life’s journey and they encourage, support and guide without stealing your freedom of choice.

25. They make you feel special, smart, and valuable.

Most extraordinary individuals have not achieved their personal and professional greatness by themselves. They’ve learned that we often need to see ourselves through the eyes of others before we can make real transformations. If you’re anxious to make a difference and would like me to mentor you, please contact me so you can reach your full personal and professional potential.

Focus on Competence Not Perfection when Striving for Excellence

Focus on competence to achieve excellence in business and life skills.

“Striving for excellence motivates you; striving for perfection is demoralizing.” ~ Dr. Harriet Braiker

Somehow, many of us have grabbed onto the idea that if we can’t do it perfectly, then there’s no sense in even trying. Where did we get the idea that never failing is good? This thinking robs us of the feeling of satisfaction and self-respect when overcoming obstacles and accomplishing our goals.

Perfection is like a digital clock. Every minute the numbers display the time. It’s either on or off. Those are the only two choices. It’s very rigid thinking. If you achieve your goal in just the right way, you’re a success. If your work doesn’t measure up perfectly, you feel like a failure.

However, competence is like an analog clock with its minute and hour hands continually changing to adjust to each moment in time. You have a goal and you know that each step brings you closer to where you need to be. And along the way, you allow yourself the freedom to discover that your original goal may not be what you need or want after all.

When you focus on being perfect, you’re less likely to allow for mistakes. Mistakes are necessary in the learning process to achieve competence in any field. To understand competency more fully, let’s break it down into its five stages.

The five stages of competence are:

  1. Unconscious Incompetence – Unaware
  2. Conscious Incompetence – Novice
  3. Conscious Competence – Technician
  4. Unconscious Competence – Artist
  5. Reflective Competence – Master

To illustrate these stages of competency, let’s think about something we’re all familiar…learning to drive a car.

Stage 1 Unaware: As a child, you know the car will get you to the ice cream parlor, but you don’t care how it works.

Stage 2 Novice: When you’re ten years old, your best friend dares you to drive the car, and you run it down the driveway into the neighbor’s mailbox.

Stage 3 Technician: In high school, you take Driver’s Education and you learn how to drive slowly and methodically.

Stage 4 Artist: As an adult, you can drive anywhere and can instinctively respond to deer in the road, rainy conditions, or cars swerving into your lane on the freeway.

Stage 5 Master: You become a racecar driver and can confidently maneuver around any track, even through complicated obstacles, at incredible speeds.

Stages 3 and 4 are the most challenging and frustrating. This is where people begin doubting themselves, losing faith in their abilities. They start thinking they’re not good enough. The inner critic is very active at this stage.

The trick is to stay focused on the task at hand by maintaining this attitude: “If I practice deliberately and methodically, I will become better and better. It just takes time and patience.”

In order to develop a higher level of competence in any area of your personal and professional life, these skills are vital:

  • Determination
  • Focus
  • Creativity
  • Big-picture thinking balanced with small, progressive steps
  • Deliberate practice
  • Curiosity
  • Positive expectation

If your child needed a life-saving operation, wouldn’t you rather find a surgeon who is highly competent rather than wait for one who is perfect? Isn’t competency what you want in your life too? Are you tired of perfectionism getting in your way? It’s helpful to have a coach who supports you in developing the level of competence you desire. Contact Maria and let’s work out a strategy that keeps you accountable and gets you to where you want to be in life.

Release the Power of Mastery – Never Stop Learning

Happy woman enjoying the confidence that comes from releasing the power of mastery“The ultimate form of power is mastery itself.” ~ Robert Greene

As human beings we tend to deeply admire people who have achieved mastery. Whether they are a master athlete, musician, business mogul, etc. we see the results of their hard work and we admire their dedication. Fortunately, mastery in any field is not something genetic, or for a lucky few. It is something we can all attain if get rid of some misconceptions and gain clarity as to the required path.

So what about mastery at life? What does that require? What are some of the most important life skills? Here’s a link to an amazing list of essential life skills that I think you’ll enjoy. (Click here.)

Continue reading

The Best Life Management Skills Don’t Focus on Feeling Better

Learn the best life management skills to get peace of mind and control over your emotions.“Our feelings are our most genuine paths to knowledge.” —Audre Lorde

Do strong emotions like shame, anger, guilt or worry hold you back from living your life to the fullest? Do you often find that you consciously or unconsciously avoid “feeling bad” for fear of “being swallowed” by painful and difficult feelings? You’re not alone in feeling that way; however, there is a way to live a more meaningful life.

To begin creating a richer life experience and better management skills, you need to understand this vital truth:

There’s a difference between disliking unpleasant emotions, yet riding through them because you accept they’re an inevitable part of life versus experiencing unpleasant emotions as unbearable and needing to get rid of them.

Often people are convinced that they “can’t face”, “can’t bear”, “can’t stand”, or “can’t tolerate” emotional distress. Being intolerant of experiencing emotional discomfort can actually produce a whole set of other problems, as it interferes with living a fulfilling life and can worsen any emotional discomfort you might be experiencing. If you recognize that you have difficulty facing your feelings or tolerating distress, then read on to learn ways to overcome this pattern.

Here’s another truth you must embrace: There’s a big difference between feeling better and doing better. When we focus on feeling better we’re consumed with wanting to get out of an uncomfortable feeling, NOW! When we emphasis doing better, we focus on learning to tolerate the feeling, being curious and learning that there are a lot of hidden gifts in staying present with what’s difficult and painful.

When you experience difficulty in facing your emotions, here are five simple truths to remember:

  1. Difficult emotions are necessary and useful. They’re also universal. Every human being experiences these types of emotions.
  2. No emotion is permanent or unchanging. Emotions tend to come and go like waves in the ocean, rising and falling in time. Sometimes it can feel like your rage, guilt or sadness will last forever, but it won’t.
  3. You can never hope to eliminate unpleasant emotions, and in most cases, trying to block these emotions intensifies your problems.
  4. Though you can’t block undesirable emotions, you can learn to experience these emotions without feeling such distress and without having to react impulsively.
  5. When you learn to be with difficult emotions, you discover hidden gifts, messages from your body about your external circumstances.

It’s a misconception to think that if you could only get rid of negative emotions you would solve all your problems. Life is too unpredictable. Life happens. You can only begin to tap into your internal power when you realize that you’re a spiritual being having a human experience. This allows you to peacefully embrace every one of your human emotions as part of your daily occurrence.

We are never done with learning how we relate to our world, others and ourselves. This CAN be a fascinating journey or a dread depending on your attitude. Doing better means that, in spite of what happens in your life you have the life management skills and resources to navigate it in an attentive and sensible way. Often it’s beneficial to have an objective professional guide you through this process. If you’re ready to do so, please contact me and we’ll unlock your potential for excellence  together.


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