Self acceptance – learning to accept yourself!

If you can accept yourself with what you see as flaws, it means you can concentrate on problem solving. If you can’t accept yourself you can very easily be distracted by shame and the time you spend putting yourself down.

Self acceptance – learning to accept yourself!

Be Successful – Making A Personal Change – Part 7 Learning to Accept Yourself

Self acceptance – learning to accept yourself! You can find the earlier posts in this series at the links below. In the last few posts I’ve asked you to start thinking about emotions. I’ve explained how identifying your troublesome emotion helps you gain control and make sure things turn out more positively for you in the future. As well as that, I asked you to think about what is most difficult for you, then I asked you to set some goals.

In the last post we thought about challenging and beginning to change those core beliefs we all carry. They get in the way when we want to make a personal change that will improve our lives. Now we are going to think about developing self acceptance.

Everyone who has ever lived has had problems.  Having problems doesn’t make you a better or worse human being – nor does it make you different.  In fact it makes you truly a human being – someone who makes mistakes and sometimes suffers misfortune. You are not what you do or what happens to you.  You are you, and one of us, the vast human race.  But it is great that you want to change or improve something about yourself!

If you accept yourself with what you see as flaws, it means you can concentrate on problem solving.  If you can’t accept yourself you can very easily be distracted by shame and the time you spend putting yourself down.

There is a great way of illustrating self acceptance.  It is called the big i/little i diagram ( Lazarus 1977)

If you look closely you will that this Big I (the self) is made up of lots of little Is. The little I’s are all the things about you; “I’m tall”, “I’m short”,” I’m fat”, “I’m thin”, “I’m good at sports”,” I’m hopeless at maths” etc.  Or they might be things that you have done; “I failed my exam”, “I hurt someone I loved”, “I give to charity”, etc.  Anyone of them may be true.  But none of them makes up the whole, wonderful complexity of you, yourself.

Now, if you can’t accept yourself, you might find this idea difficult to accept as well. But think about it.  And think about what I said in the last post about how to test self beliefs.  Think of all the evidence there is that you are complex with many aspects and experiences.  Then think about how you see other people in their complexity.  Now, think about which is the more helpful way to think about your self.

So suppose you see the things that you need to change as little Is, that you can work on.  They are not the whole big I that is going to do the work. Start to recognise yourself as complex and multi dimensional.

You could draw a large I diagram and then start to put into it all the little Is about you.  The good and the bad – make sure you are even-handed.  Now, circle some of those good Is and really concentrate on them.  Then, think about the things you want to change and let that complex, wonderful Big I you, start to make plans.

Remember, self acceptance doesn’t mean you become complacent and stop trying to make changes.  Self acceptance changes how you see the changes you want to make.  It helps to makes those changes manageable and achievable.  It means you do not waste precious time on putting your self down and feeling bad.

Self acceptance doesn’t happen over night it takes work.  It takes a little time every day thinking about the Big I and focusing on your goals to make the change you want. Work on it because the benefits of self acceptance, in terms of happiness, mental health and achievement, are huge.

The next post in this series will about strengthening and re-enforcing your new self-helping outlook.

You can learn how to develop self-esteem and to develop self acceptance and I would like to help you.  Email me now to arrange a free half-hour taster coaching session by Skype.

Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach
Wendy Smith, Principal Coach, WiseWolf Life and Career Coaching

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find all her books on Amazon at this link

         

 

Be Successful – Making A Personal Change – Part 7 Learning To Accept Yourself

If you can accept yourself with what you see as flaws, it means you can concentrate on problem solving. If you can’t accept yourself you can very easily be distracted by shame and the time you spend putting yourself down.

Be Successful – Making A Personal Change – Part 7 Learning to Accept Yourself

You can find the earlier posts in this series at the links below. In the last few posts I’ve asked you to start thinking about emotions. I’ve explained how identifying your troublesome emotion helps you gain control and make sure things turn out more positively for you in the future. As well as that, I asked you to think about what is most difficult for you, then I asked you to set some goals.

In the last post we thought about challenging and beginning to change those core beliefs we all carry. They get in the way when we want to make a personal change that will improve our lives. Now we are going to think about developing self acceptance.

Everyone who has ever lived has had problems.  Having problems doesn’t make you a better or worse human being – nor does it make you different.  In fact it makes you truly a human being – someone who makes mistakes and sometimes suffers misfortune. You are not what you do or what happens to you.  You are you, and one of us, the vast human race.  But it is great that you want to change or improve something about yourself!

If you accept yourself with what you see as flaws, it means you can concentrate on problem solving.  If you can’t accept yourself you can very easily be distracted by shame and the time you spend putting yourself down.

There is a great way of illustrating self acceptance.  It is called the big i/little i diagram ( Lazarus 1977)

If you look closely you will that this Big I (the self) is made up of lots of little Is. The little I’s are all the things about you; “I’m tall”, “I’m short”,” I’m fat”, “I’m thin”, “I’m good at sports”,” I’m hopeless at maths” etc.  Or they might be things that you have done; “I failed my exam”, “I hurt someone I loved”, “I give to charity”, etc.  Anyone of them may be true.  But none of them makes up the whole, wonderful complexity of you, yourself.

Now, if you can’t accept yourself, you might find this idea difficult to accept as well. But think about it.  And think about what I said in the last post about how to test self beliefs.  Think of all the evidence there is that you are complex with many aspects and experiences.  Then think about how you see other people in their complexity.  Now, think about which is the more helpful way to think about your self.

So suppose you see the things that you need to change as little Is, that you can work on.  They are not the whole big I that is going to do the work. Start to recognise yourself as complex and multi dimensional.

You could draw a large I diagram and then start to put into it all the little Is about you.  The good and the bad – make sure you are even-handed.  Now, circle some of those good Is and really concentrate on them.  Then, think about the things you want to change and let that complex, wonderful Big I you, start to make plans.

Remember, self acceptance doesn’t mean you become complacent and stop trying to make changes.  Self acceptance changes how you see the changes you want to make.  It helps to makes those changes manageable and achievable.  It means you do not waste precious time on putting your self down and feeling bad.

Self acceptance doesn’t happen over night it takes work.  It takes a little time every day thinking about the Big I and focusing on your goals to make the change you want. Work on it because the benefits of self acceptance, in terms of happiness, mental health and achievement, are huge.

The next post in this series will about strengthening and re-enforcing your new self-helping outlook.

I know you can learn how to develop self-esteem and to develop self acceptance and I would like to help you.  Email me now to arrange a free half-hour taster coaching session by Skype.

Wendy Mason is a career coach working mainly with professional women who want to make that jump to senior level while having a life outside work. Before working as a coach, Wendy had a long career in both the public and private sectors in general management and consultancy as well as spells in HR. She now divides her time between face to face coaching, and coaching and blogging on-line. You can contact Wendy at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com and find out more athttp://wisewolfcoaching.com

Coming shortly – Getting There With WiseWolf, the Career and Personal Development Programme – if you would like to know more emailwendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com

Earlier Posts in this series

    • Be Successful – Making A Personal Change – Part 1 Admit A Change is Needed

    • Be Successful – Making A Personal Change – Part 2 Be Clear About The Change You Want

    • Be Successful – Making A Personal Change – Part 3 Be Clear About What Is Troubling You

    • Be Successful – Making A Personal Change – Part 4 Identify what is most difficult for you

    • Be Successful – Making A Personal Change – Part 5 Select Your Goals for Change
    • Be Successful -Making A Personal Change – Part 6 Change Your Core Beliefs

Be Successful – Making A Personal Change – Part 6 Change Your Core Beliefs

We all carry unhelpful beliefs about ourselves, about other people and about the world about us. We gather them up as we go through life from our parents, our teachers, others about us and from things that happen to us. We learn to think, for example, that we are lazy or stupid. May be we think we are bad people, unworthy of happiness or success; or that people like us just never succeed! Most of these belief are not founded in anything real but we go on believing.

Be Successful – Making A Personal Change – Part 6 Change Your Core Beliefs

You can find the earlier posts in this series at the links below. In the last few posts I’ve asked you to start thinking about emotions. I’ve explained how identifying your troublesome emotion helps you gain control and make sure things turn out more positively for you in the future. As well as that, I asked you to think about what is most difficult for you, then I asked you to set some goals. Now we are going to think about challenging and beginning to change those core beliefs we all carry. They get in the way when we want to make a personal change that will improve our lives. As I’ve said before, success depends on being very honest with yourself.

We all carry unhelpful beliefs about ourselves, about other people and about the world about us. We gather them up as we go through life from our parents, our teachers, others about us and from things that happen to us. We learn to think, for example, that we are lazy or stupid. May be we think we are bad people, unworthy of happiness or success; or that people like us just never succeed! Most of these belief are not founded in anything real but we go on believing.

We may have failed at something once but that doesn’t mean we will not succeed this time or that we are less worthy of happiness.

There are three tests that we can apply to our core beliefs to see if it is worth letting them spoil the rest of our lives. They are

  • Logic

  • Reality-Testing

  • Helpfulness

Logic

If you have been unlucky enough to experience some kind of failure in life, such as, losing a job or a relationship, it isn’t logical to think of your self as a failure. Stop for one moment and think how you would judge a close friend or relation if they came to you and told you they were in the same place. What would you think and what would you say? So, why are you different? Is it sound, logical or consistent to apply different standards to you, to those you apply to the rest of the world? You are worthwhile even if you have failed lots of times – my word yes – you had the guts to try!

Reality-Testing

Does you core belief match with objective reality? Think of everything you have done throughout your life. Has every single thing been a failure? I doubt it. We all succeed at some things and fail at others. Think quietly about the good things you have done; things you have enjoyed and the things other people have liked and thanked you for. Gather evidence like a forensic detective. Where is the hard cold evidence that your core belief is really true – where does the balance of your life-long evidence lead you.

Helpfulness

What is carrying this core belief actually doing for you? Does it help you overcome your problems and feel better? Are you a “better” person because you carry this self belief? Some people do see calling themselves failures or unworthy as motivating them to do or be better. But for most of us, it just saps energy, erodes our self-esteem and makes us feel bad.

Coming to terms with the consequences of our core beliefs often helps us to have the confidence to get rid of them.

The next post in this series will about self acceptance. Accepting ourselves as we really are, is key to making that lasting change that is going to lead to real fulfilment and success in the future.

I know you can develop the confidence you need to change your core beliefs and I would like to help you.  Email me now to arrange a free half-hour taster coaching session.

Wendy Mason is a career coach working mainly with professional women who want to make that jump to senior level while having a life outside work. Before working as a coach, Wendy had a long career in both the public and private sectors in general management and consultancy as well as spells in HR. She now divides her time between face to face coaching, and coaching and blogging on-line. You can contact Wendy at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com and find out more at http://wisewolfcoaching.com

Coming shortly – the WiseWolf Career and Personal Development Programme – if you would like to know more email wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com

Earlier Posts in this series

  • Be Successful – Making A Personal Change – Part 1 Admit A Change is Needed

  • Be Successful – Making A Personal Change – Part 2 Be Clear About The Change You Want

  • Be Successful – Making A Personal Change – Part 3 Be Clear About What Is Troubling You

  • Be Successful – Making A Personal Change – Part 4 Identify what is most difficult for you

  • Be Successful – Making A Personal Change – Part 5 Select Your Goals for Change

 

Learning to Lead – Giving that Presentation

Start with bang – open with impact.Start off with something that really grabs your audience’s attention. No don’t shout fire – but do say something memorable.

There comes a time in every leader/manager’s life when it is necessary to give a presentation. This might be to a board, a small élite team or a very large group indeed – we are talking here about several hundred and up. The same principles apply whether the group is large or small– you want to keep them interested, alert and engaged right through from the start to finish!

We’ve all sat there haven’t we, trying hard to concentrate as the presenter drones on and on. That monotonous voice and the endless boring Power Point Slides! We are bored and we know everyone else is too – no one is paying attention!

Of course, if the you, the presenter, suddenly shouted fire we’d all be up and out of those seats in a shot. But what else can you, do to help us pay attention?

Here are my tips.

  1. Start with a bang – open with impact. Start off with something that really grabs your audience’s attention. No don’t shout fire – but do say something memorable. Make a strong impression and get their interest straight away. You could start with a remarkable fact about the organization or something surprising about you. But don’t be too shocking in a work environment.
  2. Say why you are there – tell them your purpose. Why are you speaking to them? Tell your audience clearly what this is about. Be clear yourself why you are there and then make it clear to them. Then stick to your purpose. Make sure your presentation is well focused.
  3. Be the leader – stay in control. This is your presentation and you are responsible for it. Show you are in control Make sure you do the talking, not your slides. They are only exist to support you Make sure you let your personality show through.
  4. Make it the right length.  Short and interesting is much better than long and boring.  After the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863, famous orator Edward Everett stood up and talked about the battle for two hours. Then Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address in two minutes. Who do you think made more impact?
  5. Stay on the subject. If you are talking about something your audience is interested in, they will not fall asleep. Do you have some special news to share with them? Are you about to solve a problem for them?  Stay with that and they will stay with you.
  6. Have a call to action. Do you know what you want the audience to do as a result of your presentation? Put it at the end of the presentation for impact. Make it clear and end with it.
  7. You gotta practice! Anything and everything is improved with editing, polishing, smoothing and practicing. Practice your presentation and it will be far more effective when you deliver it.
  8. Be confident.This is easier said than done. But practice will help. Have a short relaxation technique to use in the rest room before hand if you know that you suffer from stage fright. The practice and taking time to prepare properly on the day, will also help with that. Try to enjoy yourself, if you can, then your audience will do so too.
  9. Be ready for the unexpected. Things can go wrong. You can lose your notes on the day, for example. So have a back up plan and, if you can, try out the equipment before you start.
  10. Give a presentation you would enjoy – make it interesting. If you are passionate about your subject and enjoy it, others will too. If you are warm and interesting – they will love it.

Wendy Mason is a career coach.  She helps people reach their goals and aspirations, without sacrificing their home and personal life.  Before working as a coach, Wendy had a long career in both the public and private sectors in general management and consultancy as well as spells in HR.  She now divides her time between coaching and writing. You can contact Wendy at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com and find out more at http://wisewolfcoaching.com

    • Job Search Part 3:What networking can do for your job search!

    • Career Development – Get that Promotion; Part 2

 

3 ways you can develop the confidence you need to become self-employed

To move successfully into self-employment you need to believe in yourself, your capability and your ability to make things happen. In essence, you need to know you can make it a success whatever happens.

confidence

Today we have a guest post from Antoinette Oglethorpe.  Antoinette  specialises in helping business leaders and professionals take control of their careers and realise their ambitions. Her special report on “How to become self-employed confidently & successfully” is available at www.takingtheplungeseries.com

3 ways you can develop the confidence you need to become self-employed

To move successfully into self-employment you need to believe in yourself, your capability and your ability to make things happen.  In essence, you need to know you can make it a success whatever happens.

No-one is going to be totally self-confident all the time.  As a very successful business man once said “If things are going really well you can’t get over-excited because you’re not a genius; but if things get difficult you can’t get too downhearted because you’re not a fool either”

Sometimes the biggest risk is doing nothing and without risk there is likely to be no reward.

Here are 3 ways you can use a simple 1 to 10 scale to develop the confidence you will need to become self-employed.

  1. Personal reflection.  Thinking about a scale of 1 to 10 where 10 is that you have total confidence you can make a success of self-employment and 1 is no confidence at all, where would you put yourself today?  Now the typical inclination of most people is to then focus on all the reasons they’re not at 10.  Instead of that, I’m going to suggest that you think about all the things that put you as high as you are – however high that is – and not lower.  What knowledge do you have that will help?  What skills do you have that will help?  What experience do you have that will help?  What aspects of your personality will help?  What other transitions have you made in your life in the past?  What helped in those cases?
  1. Feedback from others.  Think about all the feedback you have had from others – friends, family, colleagues, and previous bosses.  What do other people know and say about you that gives you confidence?  Ask them for their honest answers to the above questions.
  1. Focus on small steps.  Focussing on trying to get to 10 can have the opposite effect to the one you’re trying to achieve.  It can seem such a far way off that it paralyses and demotivates you.  So don’t worry about 10 for now.  Instead, think about what would be different if you were just one point higher up the scale.  Would you have developed a particular skill? Would you have obtained feedback from other self-employed individuals?  Would you have researched your business idea or something else?   What needs to happen to increase your confidence by one point?  What small first steps could you take to move towards that?

By thinking about what’s already giving you confidence, getting feedback from others and focussing on small steps you can break it down to some immediate, manageable actions that you can take to make progress.

Antoinette Oglethorpe specialises in helping business leaders and professionals take control of their careers and realise their ambitions. Her special report on “How to become self-employed confidently & successfully” is available at www.takingtheplungeseries.com.

The ability to bounce – coping with life's problems

Coping with life’s problems successfully needs you to have realistic expectations. Psychologists call these expectations, and the judgements you make based on them, ‘appraisals’. Things that happen to us aren’t a problem unless we judge them to

Bouncing Boy
Image via Wikipedia

Losing your job can be a major blow to your self confidence and it can be difficult to bounce back.  This can be much worse if you are someone who has found it difficult to cope with life’s problems in the past

Coping with life’s problems successfully needs you to have realistic expectations. Psychologists call these expectations, and the judgements you make based on them, ‘appraisals’.  Things that happen to us aren’t a problem unless we judge them to be.

Life is never perfect and problems, including losing your job these days, are a part of normal, everyday life. If our judgements (appraisals) are realistic, we’re much better able to deal with them and not let them throw us off-balance.

The appraisals we make come from our belief system. If we hold unrealistic beliefs, then our judgements may not be the best for the situation.

Sometimes we have unrealistic beliefs about what we must or should do.  We want to be “perfect”.  “Everyone must like me “or “I’ve got to be good at everything” for example. If you think about these for a minute, they are irrational beliefs. Who do you know who could really achieve them?

Another approach!

When you are aware of this, it is possible to substitute an irrational judgement with something more positive?

If someone treats you rudely, you could think what a rotten person they are.  Or you could think “See, everyone does dislike me!”  But another view could be.  “I wonder what happened to that person today to make them behave like that?”

But it is important to follow up these ‘primary appraisals’!  We need to ask ourselves afterwards if there’s anything we can do about a particular event that has caused distress – a “secondary appraisal”.

If we feel helpless to change things, or incompetent when facing challenges, then we’re less likely to come up with a suitable way to handle things.

Self-efficacy

People who have a confident belief that the responses they make to life’s challenges have a meaningful effect (self efficacy), are able to face problems with energy!  This means they bounce back easily.

But how do you develop this belief?

Self-efficacy comes from life experiences and being with others who already have the belief. It’s built up over the years by responding to challenges with action, flexibility and persistence.

But how can we increase our self-efficacy?  Well here are some suggestions:

  1. Set some goals for your life. If we don’t have goals, how can we succeed? Set some goals for your life, and give yourself credit when you achieve them.
  2. Make your goals challenging but realistic enough so you’ll be able to reach them. Set some simple goals to start with, that are fairly easy to achieve and then build on them.
  3. Find some good role models. They don’t have to be someone you know, but find someone you admire and you could learn from.
  4. Talk yourself positive. Take time to observe how you think about yourself.  Start praising your success in your own mind and make a decision to stop putting yourself down.  Admit that, like all of us, you have faults and stop belittling yourself for them.  Instead build yourself up for the smallest successes.
  5. Remember it takes energy and effort to succeed.  Be like an athlete, train yourself to win

Support

People with a good support system are more successful at overcoming life’s problems.

Are there people you can count on to listen to you when you need to talk? Can you speak to them frankly, without worrying about what you say? And are there people in your life you can count on to support you in major decisions?

Why not arrange to see old friends and family members.  You will find most people will take an interest in you if you show a real interest in them first.

Don’t wait for things to get better, take the first step – taking action gives us an increased feeling of competence and self-esteem. Taking action raises our self-efficacy!