5 Creative Ways to Solve a Problem

Posted October 26, 2018 By GuestSpot

Problems !?!?!?

Solving problems is a part of life, whether you are a problem solver at work or with your entire household. Implementing creative methods to solve problems helps make tasks less daunting while allowing you to view your goals as much more achievable.

Take a Break from Work

Hectic, stressful, and long work days have become commonplace in many industries today. While it is optimal to remain productive at all times, it is not feasible for most, even if you love and have a passion for your career. Take a break from work to unwind and relax your mind. Get some exercise by visiting the gym or taking a walk around your neighborhood. Spend ten minutes each day meditating to clear your mind without constantly feeling distracted or busy. Meet up with friends to socialize while disconnecting from work to feel more refreshed once you are back to the task of solving problems again.

Keep an Idea Journal

Keeping an idea journal is a great way to monitor and track your thoughts, ideas, and goals without losing or forgetting them. Idea journals come in handy during business meetings, conferences, and even when brainstorming on your own time. Use idea journals to doodle, create lists, or even share personal thoughts and opinions about relevant issues in your life. With an idea journal, you have the luxury of instantly looking back on dates to recall thoughts and memories that are helpful and useful for what’s at hand.

Read Relevant Business Books

Read relevant business books by authors who specialize in inspiration, motivation, and running successful companies. Seek out mentors in your industry or in the field you want to be a problem solver in. Spend time reading to disconnect from your hectic schedule while learning more methods and techniques that are suitable for you when approaching problems in your life.

Watch Motivational Videos

Getting inspired is one of the best ways to boost your creative juices while remaining focused and ready to tackle problems. Use communities such as Ted, YouTube, and Vimeo to seek out motivational videos that keep you on the right track for hitting your goals.

Host a Brainstorming Session

Host a brainstorming session with friends, co-workers, or employees regularly to discuss problems that require attention. Jot down ideas, thoughts, and opinions to learn more about solutions that are on the table.

These same techniques work for any creative process: art, writing, music, etc. For all those times when problems or creative roadblocks seem to stress you out, it’s best to put on something comfy and stylish and take a timeout. When you need to get creative with your problem-solving techniques, use the suggestions above to avoid feeling burnt out or unable to continue with any goals and plans you have in mind.

If you have a desire to grow personally or professionally, have a need for training, facilitation or other consultations, curious about technology and social media, have a “gut” feeling that you are out of step with yourself and others. You are in the right place.

Find The “Right” Partner

Lots of folks exist that can be available to help you solve problems. Some of the best ways to get clarity and help you strategize an action or see a solution is the use of mentors and coaches. Be on the lookout for next week, when the Engage Guest Spot post, that builds on my previous post how to be the best we are meant to be with share some insight from Kristie Santana, founder of the National Coach Academy (NCA) whose book “Walks of Like” book I purchased some time back.

References:

          

Stress and Struggling with Debt? Try These Tips

Posted October 19, 2018 By GuestSpot

If you are facing student loans, credit card payments, or other types of debt, trying to repay those balances can feel overwhelming. You are not alone. According to Blytzpay, there are over 44 million borrowers in the United States, with a total of over $1.3 trillion in total debt. That’s a lot of debt; fortunately, there are strategies to help you manage your own. It is important to not let the stress of your debt get to you. Let’s take a look at some ways that you can stay calm and work through your debt issue in a steady and timely manner.

Create a Plan to Get Out of Debt

Finding a debt reduction method that works for you is critical to your success. Many people choose to use the snowball debt reduction method because it allows you to start making progress quickly. When using this system, you start by paying down the lowest balance first while making minimum payments on other balances. Once the lowest balance is paid off, you pay down the next lowest balance until they are all paid off.

Don’t Let Stress Be an Excuse for Poor Decisions

It is easy to use the stress of being in debt as an excuse to make poor decisions. For instance, you may decide to take out another credit card or go to dinner when you can’t afford to. While it may work to comfort you in the short-term, it will only make it harder to get out of debt. If you’re a student or a former student, you can easily get stressed with student loans, but you have to continue to be as frugal as possible. Use different types of student budgeting techniques, and attempt to talk to family, friends, and even counselors to help identify ways to help the situation.

How Do You Make Good Decisions When Under Financial Strain?

Getting out of debt is a lot like losing weight or starting a new exercise routine. As NOLO.com points out, the goal at first is to simply start learning and applying good habits that you can use for the rest of your life. While your debt won’t go away in one day, understanding how to manage money can prevent debt from being a constant problem in your life.

Find Healthy Ways to Manage Your Stress

When you are feeling stressed, you should take a walk to clear your head or go to the gym to let off steam. It may also be a good idea to watch a movie at home or spend some time playing with your pet. The goal is to get your mind off of your stress until you no longer feel like going on a retail binge or otherwise engaging in unhealthy behavior.

While debt is not always avoidable, it is important that you don’t spend more than you can afford to repay. If you do, it could lead to stress and other negative consequences. Ideally, you will find a way to repay the debt and learn strategies to avoid borrowing too much money again in the future.

Dealing with financial stress and learning to handle money wisely can be overwhelming to handle alone. Contact me for mentoring services that can help you turn your life in a better, more successful direction!

          

TEDxProvincetown Final Playlist is now available

Posted October 18, 2018 By Frank Strona
Speakers image list from TEDxProvincetown

That’s right.

Now you can see all of the presentations from TEDxProvincetown on one screen by checking out the TEDxProvincetown playlist.

Scroll down and see it here.

You can find out more about TEDxProvincetown on its website:  www.tedxprovincetown.com 

Read more about the other speakers:  https://tedxprovincetown.com/tedx-provincetown-talks-performances/.

The hashtags & social media accounts for TEDxProvincetown include: 

#TEDxPtown, #TEDxProvincetown

Facebook: [@TEDxProvincetown

Twitter:  [@TEDxPtown Profile, hashtag: #TEDxProvincetown]

Instagram: [TEDxProvincetown– profile, hashtag #TEDxPtown]


PLEASE SHARE THE LOVE AND EFFORT OF THESE FINE PEOPLE!

Sharing is as easy as One-Two-Three:

This is how it’s done! Thanks, David

 

One: Copy and paste the link to one of your favorites talks into the social media of your choice.

Two: Add a comment of your own that you think your followers and friends would get intrigued by and want to watch it

Three: Add a few of the “hashtags” (Those words followed by a #) to help it show up in searches.


The  2018 TEDxProvincetown 10

          
Bear meets bear

It’s Scary & Exciting

Just when my life could not get any more interesting with all the balls I constantly juggle; earlier this year,  I was asked to do an actual licensed TEDx Talk as part of the first TEDxProvincetown that would address the concept of surviving and thriving in  “differentness” in a world that supports “sameness”.
Several months later, I was one of the lucky 10 people participating in Provincetown’s first TEDxProvincetown series this summer and sharing the stage with an incredible group of people. I am excited to say the full set of speaker links have finally gone live. Including mine!

 

But why TEDxProvincetown?

Sharing who I was has never been an issue. I learned early on, to be the best I can be today, meant often owning who I was in the past. So, in this case, it played out on the TEDx platform. 26 years ago, I left my life, commuting between Boston and Provincetown for an opportunity to work in San Francisco. I was then working in progressive sexual adult content mediums and communication structures addressing often ignored, overlooked, marginalized and underserved communities. Some of them included men like me, gay & bisexual men who didn’t fit with the then gay male archetype; who often struggled to find to a sense of identity with so few role-models to draw from.
So what happens? 26 years later I find myself talking about those very same issues to a wider audience! Of course, this partner’s perfect with the push in my efforts with MentorSFCA.com to support all people in making the “best fit” choices for themselves and creating what they need when they don’t see it offered.
So it was an honor to share my experience as a gay man on body shaming, invisibility, resilience, and lessons learned from a “bigger” perspective with an incredible group of people.


And here it is! 

Did you like it?

I Need Your Help

I am proud to have been able to address body shaming, invisibility, and love beyond limits as part of the TEDxProvincetown program to audiences that extended beyond just gay men, including people of all types, ages, genders, and orientations.

I want to spread the word spread. Help me share the message to all audiences. This talk is one of the first licensed TEDx talks that actually addresses body shaming, sex, inclusion, and visibility from a bigger-bodied gay man’s experience. Because of this, it has the potential opportunity to reinforce that desire and love can blossom no matter the body type.  The more views the talk gets, the higher it ranks and the better the chances that it gets picked up for wider distribution. I’m asking that you include the link below in any announcement lists, email, newsletters or websites in an attempt to get the widest scope.

bear word cloudComments from viewersHow Can You Help?

Simple. Share the video link with your friends. Share it on Facebook, Twitter, etc. Anywhere you think people will see it. Don’t hold back to only LGBTQ audiences. This is a message for everyone. If you liked any of the other talks – share them too!

 Want more of it?

I am working on the extended version of this talk and it and other presentations will be available online as well as on the road. If you or your group would like to discuss my speaking in your area, please email me at Frank@Mentorsf.com


Sharing the talk is as easy as 1-2-3:

1. Copy and paste the link below

2. Add a comment of your own that you think your followers and friends would get intrigued by and want to watch it.

3. Add a few of the “hashtags” (Those words followed by a #) to help it show up in searches.
** Don’t forget youtube also allows you to use the embedded code as I did above if you prefer to have the video sit and play on your websites too.

The link to my talk on the TEDxProvincetown Youtube channel is as follows: https://youtu.be/8J-gaUgztjs

Feel free to tag me in any social media you choose to share using any of these hashtags:
#TEDxPtown
#BearTalk
#WhoDoYouSeeNow
#MentorSFCA

My social media accounts include:

Twitter: @FVStrona,
Facebook: Facebook.com/MentorSFCA
Instagram: @FVStrona
LinkedIn: LinkedIn.com/in/FVStrona

Then What?

Watch the rest.
All 10 of the talks were outstanding and different so you may enjoy checking out one of the other co-presenters by checking out the full speaker’s playlist for all 10 talks here

Curious about TEDxProvincetown?

You can find out more on its website www.tedxprovincetown.com 
Read more about the other speakers https://tedxprovincetown.com/tedx-provincetown-talks-performances/.
The hashtags & social media accounts for TEDxProvincetown include:
#TEDxPtown, #TEDxProvincetown
Facebook: [@TEDxProvincetown
Twitter:  [@TEDxPtown Profile, hashtag: #TEDxProvincetown]
Instagram: [TEDxProvincetown– profile, hashtag #TEDxPtown]
          

Common Side Effects of Stress and How to Manage Them

Posted August 25, 2018 By GuestSpot

With the fast-paced world that we live in, stress has almost become a fact of life. Being exposed to stress over long periods of time can begin to take a toll on one’s health and well-being. While it is important to address the cause of your stress, small steps can be taken to minimize the discomfort from the symptoms of stress and prevent further damage.

1. Upset Stomach

Chronic stress can leave your stomach in knots. If you’re noticing an increase in diarrhea, nausea, or constipation, it may be due to increased stress levels. Keeping a healthy diet and avoiding trigger foods, such as fried foods, may help temporarily alleviate an upset stomach.

2. Teeth Grinding or Clenching

Grinding of the teeth or clenching your jaw is a side effect of stress that you may not be aware of until someone else points it out because it often will occur while you are sleeping. Clenching of the jaw can be an unconscious reaction to stress and can happen during the day, as well. According to North End Dental Associates, “Night guards are recommended for people who clench or grind their teeth at night to protect their teeth from serious damage.”

3. Frequent Headaches

If you find yourself getting a headache once a day or a few times a week, it may be due to high-stress levels. Taking an over-the-counter pain reliever may help temporarily decrease the pain. Frequent headaches may also be a sign of dehydration; drinking the daily recommended amount of water may help to alleviate headaches.

4. Low Immune System

A particularly distressing side effect of being too stressed out is being sick all the time. It is important to take the time that your body needs to recover and rest while you are sick. It is well-known that stress lowers the body’s immune system, which makes it harder to fight off viruses and infections. According to Harvard Health Publishing, “General healthy-living strategies are a good way to start giving your immune system the upper hand.”

5. Low Energy

If your body is constantly in a high state of stress, it will leave you feeling worn down very quickly. Low energy can also be due to not sleeping well at night due to stress. It is not always feasible to give your body rest during the day when it needs it; however, it is important to be getting the recommended eight hours of sleep per night at a minimum.

Short-term remedies are enough to treat the side effects of stress temporarily but to truly recover, you must address the cause of your stress. Many people benefit greatly from talking with a lifestyle coach or therapist to identify the cause of their stress and to develop effective methods to eliminate their stress.

Allowing your self to try something new is always scary and many times that makes it easy to ignore or discount it as useful. Yoga, acupuncture and other forms of treatments that you are not familiar with may seem beyond you at the moment. But many times if you can just take the risk and try something – you may find some relief and learn something new about yourself too. For instance, a friend of mine recently shared this video with me about yoga. While I am not a big fan of it for myself I know far too many folks who have success with it to “poo poo” it. So even I am trying it to fight some potential issues with a pesky case of plantar fasciitis before it gets worse.

For more ways to deal with stress, especially regarding your business, check out more posts from this awesome site!

          

Guiding a Loved One To Accepting Help

Posted August 21, 2018 By GuestSpot

Approaching Your Loved One Regarding Getting Help

No one wants to see a loved one suffer when help is within reach. It’s hard to watch someone spiral out of control, losing everything that they’ve worked so hard for in life. They could have been arrested because they were driving while intoxicated or they were let go from their dream job because of their addiction. Whatever it is, mental health-related addiction is the cause of it and they need help. These rude awakenings may not be enough to get them to realize that they need help. When someone is struggling with mental health concerns, you can’t just stand by and do nothing because the chances are that they can’t fix their lives on their own and they need someone. Addiction is a disease that plagues so many, but luckily, there is always help.

Talk About It

 

Talking to someone for the first time about addiction can be tough. Chances are that they know they have a problem but they don’t want to hear it from someone else. Addicts don’t want to hear how their life is crumbling and that it’s because of the poor choices they’re making. That’s why it’s crucial to tread lightly when bringing up an addiction. Never make the person feel like they’re a failure, instead, show them that there are options to get clean. The Recovery Village says it’s important to be informed and knowledgable about your loved one’s addiction. The best way to become educated is to talk with them and seek to understand, while not judging.

Be Supportive

When someone is struggling with addiction, there is one main thing that they need. They need support from friends and family alike. That support can make or break their decision to get clean. According to rehab center experts, “during difficult times of struggle, ailment, and addiction, it’s not only the person with the problem or illness that’s affected; family members and friends are oftentimes just as much a part of the path to recovery and improvement as the patient themselves.” Support means everything because it tells this person, “we believe in you and we will do everything we can to help you get clean.” It also means growing with them and learning just as they are. In addition, this support isn’t just emotional. Those trying to get clean will also need people to rely on for physical aspects like rides to rehab and even just a home cooked meal to help feel like valued and cared about.

Offer Resources

When a person wants to get clean, they’ll be surprised at just how many resources there are available to them. Chances are, however, that they won’t look into these themselves. They need someone else guiding them along the way and pushing them to get clean. When a drug has taken hold of an addicts brain, it’s hard for them to see the light at the end of the tunnel. It’s up to that core support group to show this person struggling that there are options such as rehab whether it be inpatient or outpatient, meetings, counseling, and more. It’s all about coming up with a plan that supports them.

Accept The Ups and Downs

Addiction is a disease and loving someone with that disease is a process. Experts say to make sure you are available for that person for the good times and the bad, and show that you want to help. That’s why family and friends must accept that every day won’t be easy. Getting clean is something the recovering addict will struggle with for weeks, months, and even years. That’s why that core support group is so essential.

If you’re looking for help in your journey, either as someone who is recovering or as a loved one, make sure to take the right steps to set yourself up for success. If you are wanting some additional guidance, I recommend reading some of our other articles which you can find here and here.

          

The 5 Most Common Causes of PTSD Attacks

Posted June 23, 2018 By GuestSpot

According to Safe Harbour Trauma Recovery, post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is a mental disorder caused by a traumatic experience. When an individual is suffering from it, they are unable to cope or move forward from the traumatic event, and ultimately, the individual experiences a continuous cycle of reliving the experience or experiences during times that trigger it.

The notion of PTSD has evolved over centuries to reflect societal perceptions. After the American Civil War, it was known as “soldier’s heart.” After the two World Wars, it was called “shellshock.” Since that time, PTSD has undergone many clinical definition changes.

One thing is for sure. The PTSD name is slightly miscategorized. Experiencing stress because of trauma is not necessarily a disorder. It is the natural and lasting reaction to situations that are abnormally poignant and disturbing. People can experience symptoms of PTSD in extraordinarily stressful but not physically dangerous situations. It doesn’t take a war situation to alter perception negatively. Everyday life situations can subject people to stress that results in negative feelings.

Horrible Family Situations

Daily fighting amongst family members can produce the continual feeling of failure. Family arguments create the sense that living in a household is toxic and dangerous. Past arguments have lasting effects that tend to dictate how future behaviors will unfold. And even if divorce and settlement do happen in an attempt to quell the situation, drawn-out proceedings can make things much worse. While it’s true that there are options to make that side of things easier, divorce is still messy and probably contributes to familial trauma.

Bad Work Environments

Sometimes, corporate demands are devoid of humanity. People who work in demanding jobs often experience stress levels that go beyond all reasonable boundaries for the position. The fear of losing a job if all demands are not met seeps into every aspect of life.

Disturbing Dreams

The night is the time that some people dread. When dreams occur, they can bring about disturbing images and mental situations that remind the dreamer of past stressful events. Alarming dreams can interrupt healthy rest patterns while affecting all other aspects of an ordinarily productive daily life.

Constant Barrages of Responsibility

Everyone must endure the hounding of things like paying bills and having to perform adult tasks. Certain life circumstances create situations that are unmanageable for some people. The unfriendly and impersonal daily reminders of debts and duties can elevate stress levels to unbelievable heights.

Social Worries

Due to the advancements of social media proliferation, some people can be overwhelmed with the need to match societal expectations. A compulsion to continually compare oneself with others is an endless game that is never won. The need to meet other people’s expectations can be immensely stressful and can create unique versions of performance stress.

It is very common to be involved in extraordinarily stressful but not physically dangerous situations. Counselors trained in recognizing and countering the effects of stress are significant resources for people suffering from harsh past experiences. For most, a life coach is able to suggest actions to counter negative feelings. A long-term mentor can guide anyone through a personal struggle, and there are various ways in addition to therapy on how you could approach change in your life. Seeking help with PTSD, in all of its forms, is nothing to be ashamed of. It is a proactive and positive step toward a more free and productive life.

          

Retooling Approaches to Changing Your Life

Posted June 4, 2018 By Frank Strona

If something feels like it’s been off lately, it may be time to think about what aspects of your life need some refreshing and retooling. Don’t panic at the thought. We all go through this at one time or another. In fact, incorporating small changes and adjustments can breed big ones without you even realizing it. When you start to make better choices, you may notice that other areas of your life begin to improve, too. So instead of looking at it as an improvement, consider it an investment in retooling yourself. 

I selected four areas this month for you to reflect on and take out for a test spin for your retooling.

Finances

If you’re struggling financially, consider how retooling how you spend money might look like. most people would tell you to the place to start is to trim back your budget and be more frugal. That makes sense and we all have some “wants” that pad our budgets that are not clear “needs” for us to thrive and be healthy. However, another option is to start making more money.

Maybe you’re not over-spending, or you genuinely feel like the things you spend your money are or more than worth it. Look for extra income streams. Exploring the idea of a side job you can do from home. Sometimes taking on those side gigs allow you to enhance a side-love or hobby you have a passion for and might inspire other changes. Or look closer to home with a focused effort and assessment of what you have around the house that is just taking up space. This could be all inventory that you could be selling and reinvesting those funds back to you. Several new tools are out that make selling from home super easy. Smart device applications like Letgo, eBay and Etsy can be managed from your computer and your smart devices. Being short on money doesn’t always mean you’re over-spending; sometimes it means you’re under-earning.

Job Opportunities

If you’re unhappy with your current career or role in your job, retooling your thinking about careers or options for a different role in your industry all start by learning more about them. Research new career paths or delve into a niche of your field. Sign up for classes or attend lectures. Make it clear to your manager that you’re interested in moving up and that you’re taking the necessary steps to expand your knowledge and experience. One of the basic tools to not overlook is the “informational interview”.  These meet-ups with those in the workforce who hold the roles you are considering (or the places you would like to be in) offer a casual, low-pressure way to make a first impression, explore the place and culture without feeling like you are on display. It also expands your network and practices your “small talk” skills.

Something to always consider is getting out of your comfort zone. If you hate sales or haven’t experienced pitching things to others, maybe it’s time to try it out. Sometimes it’s doing the things we hate that can lead to greater success and happiness. Be open to change and to taking a chance when it comes to job opportunities. But, that being said – there is a difference between expanding your comfort zone and pushing your personal ethics and boundaries. 

Health

Retooling your body and health; have you found that you’ve been taking care of yourself less? Perhaps overeating, or overindulging in drugs or alcohol more and more as a way to cope with something stressful or painful in your life? Maybe something else has happened, such as an injury, or other health issues that have caused you to take substances that are bad for you. It happens. However, according to MIA, “In most cases there are more areas for improvement than simply alcohol and drug abuse.” Maybe this includes more exercise, daily interaction with a neighbor or a friend, getting out for a walk, and just being productive.

Even if you don’t feel like there’s a way out of the cycle, it is possible to overcome and grow beyond these less constructive behaviors, especially with all of the professionals out there to help. Sometimes something as simple as attending a meeting is a significant first step toward making healthier choices.

Relationship

Are you struggling to enjoy your relationship? It might need some retooling as well. It could be your perspective that needs changing. For the next month, keep a gratitude journal specifically about your relationship and your partner. Every morning, write down three things that you appreciate them and try not to repeat the things you write down. This appreciation may help you view your significant other differently, which could be all you need to have a happier, more satisfying relationship. You can write old school with a journal or notebook, or adapt newer technology and incorporate tools like Notes or EverNote. Doesn’t matter which you use, its about doing it routinely and rereading it from time to time.

Remember, you don’t have to make massive, drastic changes to improve your quality of life. If significant changes do need to be made, consider breaking them down into smaller changes. Over time, you’ll make vast improvements, even if you go about them slowly and methodically.

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Four Business Skills That Can Improve Your Work and Social Life

People learn most of the fundamental skills for business when they’re young. Some kids take leadership roles, while others create the games or activities in which they participate. These salient skills become better defined as individuals take high school and college courses and complete challenging projects, though not every skill can be learned in school. In the corporate world, however, the most successful people cultivate many business skills that can also carry over to their social life. 

The same could also be said about habits that can leave a person less than able to do and be the best that one can be. This is where coaching and mentoring comes in. A well-seasoned coach can offer support and guidance for those with strong habits that need to be nurtured, retooled and in some cases relearned. Here are some of the essential skills you’ll need to succeed in your career and social life that you can develop on your own or with the help of a coach/mentor.

Business Skill 1: Communication

Our first business skill focuses on how we get ideas and thoughts across to others. Communication skills include the ability to listen, speak, read and write effectively, according to the Center for Development & Learning. You must be able to listen, hear and read instructions to complete tasks the right way. Understanding how to write and speak effectively to get your point across or inform your colleagues, and leadership is a key function in a company’s performance or financial results process. Even in your personal life, communication is crucial. Kyani explains “Dating coaches and sales professionals often teach the need to create desire, and want for more in a conversation in order to achieve success.” In your social life, good communication alleviates stress with your loved ones, enhances relationships and creates new opportunities based on clarity instead of confusion.

Business Skill 2: Networking

We have spoken about the power of talk before. Perhaps one of the most frightening skills to master, the ability to socialize in work settings, or networking enables you to develop contacts for which to conduct business, find colleagues and develop an identity in the workplace.  Business is a numbers game. The more people you know, the better your chances for success. Networking is also essential as a way to enhance your social life, whether you meet people through social media, church, events or online dating sites. The technique of “making small talk” can help take you from “standing in the corner” to “being part of the group”. Start increasing your exposure today in both your work and personal life. You’ll enjoy the fruits of your efforts. Take little steps; one of my favorite exercises is to suggest someone go to a coffee shop but instead of keeping your face on your tablet or phone, engage someone a conversation. The conversation doesn’t have to be long or in-depth but it should be enough to do the following take you out of yourself and bring you at the moment with salient topical talk. 

Offer an open-ended greeting

Add to it an inquiry [note -This could about the weather, the taste of what they are eating, observational query on what they are reading etc]

Be aware of your body language. are you looking at the person? are you making eye contact?

Do they appear interested in talking more?

Listen to the reply and respond as appropriate.

It will feel forced, but as you practice it will begin to feel more natural as you develop your natural sense of inquiry.

Business Skill 3: Decision-Making

Making proper decisions is an essential step in becoming a leader, according to Mind Tools. When you make a decision, you must take a systematic approach to get there. For example, if you’re deciding which features or styles you need for a product, your modus operandi should include surveying or talking with customers. Developing decision-making skills is one of the most valuable abilities you can learn, and business leaders know how to make the hard calls. They’re the ones buying your product. Similarly, the ability to decide where to go on a date or how to handle a personal situation is an attractive quality to the opposite sex.

How you communicate as we mentioned above also relates to this process. Hearing “I don’t care” is very different than “I do not have a preference and willingness to “. The intent is often not implied, so practice clarity in the decision making process.  What are you needing to make the decision?

Business Skill 4: Negotiating

Negotiating is one of the most valuable and fundamental compromise skills anyone can learn. In sales, for example, you have competitors who may be vying for the same clients. To get the order, you must stress the benefits of your product over competitors, defend any organizational shortcomings and even change the price to close the deal. Negotiating is also essential in your personal life. You may need to sacrifice a session at the gym or skip a favorite event to appease your spouse.

Start developing some of these essential business skills that can have a profound effect on both your work and social life. You’ll be a much happier and contented person because of it. It may feel awkward at first – but you have to learn to stand before you can run!

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Boosting Your Confidence by Finding Your Niche

Posted April 26, 2018 By Frank Strona

Finding the Power of Self

With the stresses and hardships of everyday life, it seems like our confidence and self-esteem are among the first feelings to suffer, along with overall happiness and wellness. We all have those moments when it seems like whatever you do, someone else does it better. Or worse, it feels like we are a “day late” to the party. Sometimes we make a decision at one point in life professional that moves us away from a place of confidence, for good reasons, only to find out along the way, a part of “you” got lost. I know it happened to me when I moved from being more of an independent educator and facilitator to working from within the system of some organizations.  In my effort to be the best I could be “at work”, I forgot how to keep the best of who I was in private.

But there’s no need for despair, finding your own self-worth is a journey that takes time. Learning how to trust in yourself is the part two of that journey. But for now, let’s consider some ways to get back in touch with the parts of us that inspire, bring joy and a sense of fulfillment.

stuck in a circle

It’s all too easy to get stuck focusing on getting to the “goal” and miss the moments of the journey.

Luckily, there are quite a few simple strategies you can use to boost your confidence and find success. It all works the same, once you are finally realize you are in a place in your life when discovering a fun hobby, beginning a new career, or finding your niche in something new and exciting. It is the process of that discovery which leaves us with the lessons, that are the best confidence boosters available. From completing crossword puzzles and sketching landscapes, to woodworking, and taking online courses, trying a new craft, doing stand up or even joining a book club. If you search thoroughly enough, you are bound to find your niche. And remember – you don’t have to lock yourself into any one of them. Take the time to try several out for size.

 

Artistic Mediums

Sketch & Draw It

If you enjoy doodling and drawing, something in the art field may already appeal to you. This can include anything from pursuing a career as a cartoonist or illustrator to a tattoo artist or skin painter. You can use your passion for art in a variety of different ways. One easy way to start is to get yourself a journal or notebook and just begin doodling. Try committing to doing something in it once a day. Small or big, original or just a “copycat”; it won’t matter for now. Just start to get in the habit, and get your hand-eye coordination in a creative mood. Some time back I posted about some journals and notebooks that I suggested – go ahead and reread that post here on some of my fav books. Don’t underestimate the power of “doodling” either. Sometimes those random sketches is a person way of working things out in your brain. I often keep a doodle pad at my desk exactly for that reason.

Write It

If writing is one of your passions, there are countless writing opportunities online alone, many of which you can complete remotely, from the comfort of your own home. Producing pieces of art and writing can, not only increase confidence but cause feelings of accomplishment and even pride in one’s hard work. Start simple – remember, no one has to even read them. But after you write something – pay attention to how you felt during and after. Remember some of us, no matter how tech we are, still are drawn to the old school pen and paper. While others gravitate to e-journals & blogging. Getting an account on Medium.com is a perfect way to start slow and also read how others do it. You don’t always have to publish your work right away. But I found over the years, its always better to save it.

Picture It

A favorite shot from Boston Summer 2017

Photography is another way to express yourself, view the world, and use visual art to better understand yourself. If you’ve dabbled before, try photographing something new. It could be close-ups of nature, long shots of landscapes, or maybe candids of the people you love. Try doing a selfie just to see what you do or don’t like about the medium. You don’t even need a fancy camera to get started, just try taking simple shots on your phone camera. Our smartphones have amazing capabilities to capture what the most expensive equipment can and it’s something you can start anytime.

Design It

Artspace in Atlanta

Interior design could be your niche if you enjoy the visual arts. Decorating your home or office can help give you artistic passion an outlet and improve your own living space. There are many different resources here as well, from staging and house flipping programs to online reviews and decoration advice forums, you’ll find many different ways to explore decoration and arts in your own home. Remember – you can always start small and help those of your friends who need a new look. It’s good practice for you and they are paying for the materials so it’s a win-win for both. 

Craft It

Crafting is not only a good way to pass the time but can be a real challenge for your brain. Whether you start by creating jewelry, knitting, or scrapbooking, crafts offer an opportunity to use your mind in new ways and find solutions to tiny problems. Using crafts as a form of artwork is also a great way to express your inner self and find more meaning in the smallest things. You can use these talents for years to come and will continue to find practical uses for your crafting. This holiday season, for instance, I started making a bunch of bookmarks and journal “keepers” for friends that has now ended up as a little side project. You read more about them in my blog post about them at BiteTheRoad.Com.

Physical Challenges

Me letting go and getting out

Maybe you prefer exercise or sports to improve your mood and self-esteem. Routine exercise, whether you walk, run, swim, lift weights, practice yoga, or play badminton, not only improves your physical health but your emotional health as well. Exercise increases serotonin levels and other feel-good hormones, which help to relieve stress, anxiety, and depression, improve mood, appetite, and sleep, and boost confidence, self-image, and self-esteem.

Exercise programs like CrossFit help to encourage beginners by giving them actionable goals and motivated friends and mentors. You can find a gym, class, or program that turns into a great community of support and friendship.

Get “Edumacated

Online learning makes anywhere you are the classroom

ok – I mean “educated”. Another way to boost your confidence is to explore new learning opportunities. Nothing is better nor more powerful than knowledge. Do you have any college credits? Are you ready to learn something new that could easily develop into your perfect niche? You could attend a physical university or take online courses from your own home, and on your schedule. The possibilities are endless. The best part “learning for the joy of learning” is it is often less tethered than the demands of grades. That lack of pressure can actually allow being in school again feel like a fresh experience.

There are thousands of schools spread across the United States and countless fields of study from which you can choose. You can earn a degree in botany, biology, business, accounting, literature, education, music, art, history, medicine, or real estate.

Share Yourself

Give back. When you find yourself, you have the opportunity to share what you’ve learned and the skills you’ve gained with others. Sometimes volunteering and outreaching with different programs is actually the best way to discover yourself and your own worth. Mentoring, speaking in classes or forums and sharing your know knowledge

 

Whatever sparks your interest and becomes your niche is certain to improve your confidence, especially when you begin gaining momentum and achieving success. Use these ideas as a jumping-off point to find what sparks your interest.

 

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