Feel the Shake

You’ve been there: obsessing about that very important meeting, or event, or opportunity that’s coming up very soon. You’re looking forward to it, but you’re worried about it, and possibly dreading it at the same time. You can feel the tension mounting the more you think about it. You feel all alone in your anxiety. It’s a clusterfuck of competing emotions. As this moment fast approaches, you’re wondering: “Why the hell did I sign-up for this… ?” 

Through my lifelong research and in my personal experience, managing this stuff effectively is what separates the ‘haves’ from the ‘have-nots.’ I’ve always been fascinated by the factors that separate the famously successful from everyone else. I’ve been devouring biographies, watching documentaries, and studying successful musicians, actors, artists, entrepreneurs, and others for years to learn about their journey’s. How they got from here to there, and to uncover what truly sets them apart.

Rob Lowe, one of the original 1980’s “brat-packers,” has had a long, and storied career in both film and television spanning over three decades. To me, he continues to epitomize the tenets of a real-world rock star as an enduring acting icon. His autobiography, Stories I Only Tell My Friends, includes the riviting details about his career-launching, yet arduous audition process for the Francis Ford Coppola flim, The Outsiders in 1982.

“There were days when I would’ve liked to have faced lower expectations and less pressure than learning at what this particular level demanded.” ~ Rob Lowe

This story made clear to me that two things must happen for people to achieve any type of “success” personally or professionally. First, you have to consistently take action and do what most others will not do. And second, you must be able to deliver results in the midst of the inevitable stress, angst, and anxiety that follows.

I’ve heard it said: “Nothing hurts a failure but a try.”

You must be deliberate about putting yourself into uncomfortable and uncertain situations at times. These are the types of situations that have you shaking in your boots, figuratively and literally. Extraordinary outcomes only come from first making choices that most others will not make. These are the difficult decisions, and ensuing actions that have the great potential to expose you to ridicule; and to place you in very vulnerable positions that make you a target for scrutiny and criticism. You’re thinking: “Am I out of my fucking mind?” The answer is… YES, you are out of your mind, and waaay out of your comfort zone. But, this is also the place where most worthwhile happenings, happen…

It’s at this point that the majority of people will opt out; they’ll quit because it’s the softer, easier way. Very often, our natural instincts are to go small; to retreat; to get invisible when faced with challenges or change. Instead, the best go big. They run into, instead of run away. They forge ahead, though often afraid. They then do their damndest to deliver the goods.

At some point, we all find ourselves alone on the “stage.” It’s an inevitability, and it’s exhilarating.

So how do you NOT get so shaken that you cannot perform? Three things:

  1. Feel the shake. Let it be. Don’t run from it, lean into it. You not only have to be willing to face it, but you must also embrace it. Let it help you by allowing it to push you to higher levels of performance. It’s a friend, not your foe.
  2. Focus on what the shake really is. It’s fear. But fear of what? When you boil it down, it’s simply the fear of looking bad or of being seen as not good enough in the eyes of others. That’s it; and that ain’t shit. It means nothing. Once you understand how base and universal these fears really are, they are much easier to manage and overcome. Everybody has them… EVERYBODY. And most people are actually rooting for you, whether you know it or not. Take comfort in knowing this, and let it empower and embolden you.
  3. Finally, let #1 and #2 Fuel your performance. Channel that energy into executing what your hard work and preparation has positioned you to do. Turn it into positive energy, not just negative anxiety. You’ve earned the right to be there, and deserve to be there, because you GOT there in the first place.

Now go kick ass!

Stay tuned-in…

Please share and click HERE for info on my Communichology course.

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Call to Action

So many are scared… to make a move… a real move… in the right direction…

Sometimes we can be our greatest ally and our own worst enemy simultaneously.

Most people long to live more fully, more freely, to feel more fulfilled, and to contribute more profoundly.

Many have shied away from opportunities, and recoiled from challenges and wonder why they feel like they’re stuck in an infinite funk.

Shooting themselves in foot, and becoming perpetual victims of self-inflicted wounds they say:

“But that’s just how I am. I’ve always been this way.”

But, there are endeavors, ventures, undertakings, projects, and situations that demand a new perspective and approach if we hope to affect different outcomes.

Human behavior is largely influenced by learned mental scripts and activity patterns that have been instilled in us from an early age. Some serve us; some don’t. It’s our job to honestly assess which ones are which.

Let me be clear:

  • I am not advocating becoming someone or something you are not.
  • I am not encouraging people to be artificial, superficial, or fake.
  • I am not urging people to be actors or inauthentic versions of themselves.

Instead…

  • I’m endorsing that people embrace those parts of their personalities that are already there, but may be lying dormant.
  • I’m asking people to move out of their comfort zones and take action in areas that they have historically side-stepped or overlooked.
  • I’m prompting people to get honest and objectively decide to make changes for the best interest of themselves, and others around them.

Anything less is fear-based and the ultimate selfishness. To do less is to deny others the ultimate greatness and uniqueness of you.

So, I’m daring you to move.

“Tension is here | Between who you are and who you could be | Between how it is and how it should be | I dare you to move | I dare you to lift yourself up off the floor” ~ Switchfoot

If the fear of moving into the unknown is the illness, then action is the antidote.

This stuff is live-giving IF embraced.

The call to action begins by making a decision to answer the call; to finally decide to begin doing things differently than you’ve ever done before; and to be disciplined for the benefit all around you.

You’re staring down the barrel of a new beginning.

But nothing changes until you change.

Will you answer the call?

This is the “easier-said-than-done” stuff that most won’t do.

How about you?

Stay tuned-in…

Please share and click HERE for info on my Communichology course.

Get my articles and exclusive content with science-based insights to shiFt your communication from adequate to ass-kicking!


 

It IS Self-Help!

The term “self-help” gets a bad rap all-too-often. It’s looked down upon by some as corny, ineffective, or worse… inconsequential.

Hardly.

What’s ineffective and very consequentially disastrous is denying that YOU are driving your own ship… that YOU can help yourself.

Relying soley on some external “source” for direction is foolish, misguided, and sometimes tragic.

Look at it again… I said: “relying SOLEY upon…”

Seeking various forms of outside counsel, guidance, encouragement, and support isn’t a bad thing in and of itself.

As long as this is done in addition to, and not instead of, the realization that only YOU have the power to change your reality and influence your outcomes… right here, right now.

So it IS about self-help! It has to be…

the shiFt:

Recognize that no one or no thing is going to truly be able to help you until you are willing to help yourself first.

This requires recognizing the difference between needing and wanting.

We all need lots of things. But until we want what we need, no changes are going to to happen. At least not long-lasting change.

This is much more than just personal development. This is about personal achievement. This is about actually accomplishing the goals you undertake both for business and for pleasure.

It starts with YOU, and your awareness, and your decisions, and your commitment to take the initiative to transform your lifestyle.

It’s an inside job.

Stay tuned-in…

10 Tenets

By now, everyone knows that in today’s lexicon, the term “rock star” is a figurative expression used to identify someone who is great at what they do. For example, if you’re a “rock star” of plumbers, then you likely fix leaks and clean pipes better than your peers. If you’re a “rock star”  teacher, then you connect with and influence your students in ways that will be remembered long after school’s out for summer…

I used to use this phrase quite a bit in my writings a few years back to describe a way of life; a philosophy and a lifestyle if you will. I called it the RockStarWay. But today, these words are overused in pop culture and have become passe in my opinion. So I shit-canned using it all together in my stuff. But, the 10 tenets I used to describe the skills necessary to rock in the real world are still spot on and always applicable. So these are for the 5% of people who are interested in getting the best possible personal and professional end-results and outcomes by embracing and demonstrating skills in several key areas.

Here are the 10 TENETS (core principles) of Lifestyle Initiative Training:

1) Commit to being a GREAT COMMUNICATOR – Easier said than done. Few are as good at this as they think they are. All transactions with people, places, and things begin and end with communication in all of its various forms, in all types of situations and circumstances. Great communication is complex, multifaceted, and requires continual hard work to master ongoing. Intuitively understanding and applying the art and science of “Communichology™” is a key concept and cornerstone of Lifestyle Initiative Training.

2) Practice being PERSUASIVE – People don’t get lucky, they influence outcomes. The intersection of preparation and opportunity is where movers and shakers consciously place themselves to get ahead. Make others feel empowered by appealing to their needs. Master human relations skills and others will follow you. The successful understand that “success” and “failure” is largely their own fault. The ability to positively influence intention and action in yourself, and in others, is a key concept of Lifestyle Initiative Training.

3) Demonstrate COMPASSION – Those who put others first, ultimately never finish last. Extending an uplifting and encouraging attitude, and hand toward others is contagious. Caring for more than just yourself, your stuff, and the center of your universe is a key concept of Lifestyle Initiative Training.

4) Seek opportunities to LEARN new things – The smartest in the room know what they don’t know. Wisdom is the recognition that there is always more to learn or unlearn. Critical thinking is the rule, not the exception. Answering “Yes” to the “Is it possible…” question is a key concept of Lifestyle Initiative Training.

5) Accept RESPONSIBILITY and seek SOLUTIONS – Living in problems only perpetuates them. Recognizing what’s wrong and then resolving to solve is how excuses become extinct. It’s those who stop blaming everything that truly start becoming something. Being accountable becomes desirable. Admitting mistakes and owning your own honesty is a key concept of Lifestyle Initiative Training.

6) Embrace CHANGE – The only certainty is recurring uncertainty. A person’s success is proportional to the amount of change they can endure. Being flexible and pliable is more than nice; it’s necessary. The ability to adjust on-the-fly and in-the-moment, while still producing top quality is a key concept of Lifestyle Initiative Training.

7) Take massive ACTION – Action is the antidote to fear. Life is full of too many risk-talkers and not enough risk-takers. Following deliberate and diligent planning, systematically executing your plans at high levels is a key concept of Lifestyle Initiative Training.

8) Master your EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE – Beyond reading, writing, and arithmetic, it’s much harder to be “smarter” emotionally. It’s also arguably more important in the big picture. Being aware of both your own, as well as others’ emotional states is a crucial skill-set to develop; and then the to ability to manage your emotions for situational-appropriateness and effectiveness is a key concept of Lifestyle Initiative Training.

9) Be a student of SOCIAL STRATEGY – This is the all-important art and science of understanding human nature within the context of complex social situations. Leaders must study how human beings effectively interact socially to achieve their desired outcomes for maximum benefit. The most perceptive among us gain valuable perspective by “seeing things” and missing less than most. Strategically understanding how to successfully navigate the many varied and intricate social interactions we find ourselves in is a key concept of Lifestyle Initiative Training.

10) Commit to RECOVER – from that which ails you in the form of neuroses, rejection, and/or addiction by being clear-headed, cogent, and conscientious . It’s not if bad stuff happens; it’s when. Winners recognize this and are able to rebound from both internal and external challenges. Neither extreme optimism nor pessimism is necessary. Possessing a healthy realism and a resilience to not only survive, but to thrive is a key concept of Lifestyle Initiative Training.

Acknowledging that these 10 tenets are easy to read and understand, but hard to own and execute is the first step. Being willing to work toward mastery of these areas is a lifestyle worth initiating.

Stay tuned-in…


 

Dare You To Move

I get it.

You get down. You feel out sometimes. You get stuck in ruts… don’t we all right?

But this doesn’t have to mean you’re down and out all the time.

Winners in the game of life aren’t victims; always blaming. Winners are victors; always beginning again. Winners exchange excuses with extra effort and get after it.

With this post, this site, and this life’s work, my life’s work… I’m daring you to move.

I’m daring you to apply all the common sense you claim.

I’m daring you to reach higher levels of performance and acheive whatever it is you aspire to achieve.

the shiFt:

Moving requires taking initiative and being proactive.

It requires being honest with yourself first and foremost. Without this honesty, nothing else matters.

It’s about embracing effective intrapersonal communication skills and understanding your unique psychology.

It’s then about executing effective interpersonal communication skills with everyone you interact with.

This is hard to do. This is often uncomfortable.

Winners willingly choose to live outside of their comfort zones much of the time.

“Everything you want is just outside your comfort zone.” ~ Robert Allan

Winners recognize that this is the place where true growth occurs.

We don’t grow when we’re comfortable. We grow when our pain is sufficient enough to WANT to make necessary changes.

“The tension is here | Between who you are and who you could be | Between how it is and how it should be” ~ Switchfoot

So, I dare you to move… outside of your comfort zone…

And, I dare you to move… inside the vantage point where “seeing things” clearly begins…

It’s the tag line. It’s also the call to action.

Your move…

Stay tuned-in…

Please share and click HERE for info on my Communichology course.

Get my articles and exclusive content with science-based insights to shiFt your communication from adequate to ass-kicking!


 

A Million to One?

million to oneA million to one… are these the odds for success?

Not necessarily.

Hedge your bet by inverting this assertion. It should read one to a million

In radio, DJ’s and hosts are trained to speak as if they’re broadcasting to an audience of just one person (note: not all professional broadcasters in radio I’ve worked with endorse this approach however. Some prefer to focus on a ‘small group’ of people instead of just one. Call it a “niche” perhaps).

Regardless, the idea is to keep the feel of the “conversation” intimate and personal. To establish and keep a connection… This philosophy is sage advice for any circumstance that involves interacting and influencing others.

The target audience needs to begin with just one.

Maybe it will get to one million, maybe it won’t.

Either way, it doesn’t really matter if what you’re doing really matters.

Matters to who?

To you.

Because if what you’re putting out there is important (to you), and if your content is impactful (to others), then the size of the audience, especially in the beginning, is less important than all of the aforementioned factors. If those elements are there, you will eventually attract interest. Many get this whole thing backwards. They’re planning for, and marketing to the big audience before they’re even sure who their small audience is.

Connecting with just one person…

Making a difference to just one person…

Impacting just one person…

Getting through to just one person…

Helping just one person…

… is the ONE thing worth millions.

The world tells us that the numbers matter; the heart tells us that they don’t.

So work toward being one in million, instead of worrying about a-million-to-one odds.

Odds are, the truth of the matter… your truth within the matter… is what really matters most.

Stay tuned-in…

Watershed

watershedThere’s nothing glamorous or appealing about a “starving artist.” Perhaps it’s attractive at some point; short-term, but never really appealing, long-term.

No one truly enjoys going without; struggling; just getting by; barely making it.

Only on television and in movies is this portrayed as desirable. These story lines and scripts are written by folks who are often already very comfortable in their lifestyle.

There comes a point when a person wants/needs to earn what they know/have proven they are worth. This may require shelving certain endeavors that may have been full of promise, but never fully materialized for whatever reason(s)… likely some combination of both internal and external factors.

Some may call this selling out. I would have when I was younger. But not today. Time + (my) experience = (my) wisdom.

This is a watershed moment…

The honest realization of where one’s personality best fits within any kind of income-producing endeavor is important and powerful. In addition to personality, one’s relative place in their life is also equally important.

It’s not enough to just “do what you love.” You have be able to do what you love while also managing the inevitable other (sucky) stuff that comes with it. For example, I love to speak, encourage, and inspire others. Always have… I used to think that travelling all around, speaking to different groups would be great. I finally made that happen, and guess what? It wasn’t great. It was just OK; sometimes less than OK. The speaking part was great, the travelling that came along with it wasn’t. When I was younger, this lifestyle would have been perfect for me. Not today… I like to be home with my family more than I don’t.

Depending on what point they’re at in their lives, some people need to work in a very structured, organized, often micro-managed environment. It suits their personality best. Some need to be primarily autonomous, totally self-employed, no overriding management except from themselves. Still others thrive in an environment that blends these two extremes.

So where does my personality best thrive at this point in my life?

I need the freedom to make my own destiny. But I also desire some amount of structure underneath this entrepreuerial spirit. Not sure exactly how that looks or works, but I’m willing to explore how to make it happen. This is the opposite of selling out. This is cashing in actually.

So, so long, long-suffering soul. I’ve seen that movie, and the ending is a disappointment…

Stay tuned-in…