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Psychological strategies
Sep 07

3 Proven Psychological Strategies to Add Years to Your Life!

By Dr. Jack Singer | Confidence , Self Improvement , Stress Management

No, we haven’t found the fountain of youth. However, psychologists and neuroscientists have conducted a ton of research regarding how people can flourish in this life and enjoy happiness, while actually extending their lives— in both a physically and mentally healthy way. This post truly captures the essence of the three most powerful, research-based psychological strategies to make this happen – quickly and permanently!

1. Maintain optimistic expectations

Optimistic expectations can help you challenge setbacks that come your way. Neuroscientists have discovered that self-talk can actually re-wire your brain in either a very positive or very negative way, depending on whether it is optimistic or pessimistic. This re-wiring process is called “neuroplasticity.” One of the best ways of changing your thinking is to develop an optimistic interpretation of negative events that you experience.

Burgeoning research by Dr. Martin Seligman (“Learned Optimism”) involved hundreds of studies where people were trained to change their hard-wiring from reacting to disappointing events pessimistically, to reacting optimistically. Thus effectively changing feelings of helplessness and hopelessness (the main contributors to depression) to hope and self-confidence helped them eliminate their feelings of depression.

Many of these studies also show when people develop an optimistic attribution of negative events, they can often recover from the physical challenges associated with chronic depression and anxiety.

So, how do you explain setbacks and unfortunate events to yourself?

How do you persevere and remain resilient under adverse circumstances?

Do you look at setbacks as overwhelming catastrophes or as hurdles that can be overcome?

How Pessimistic People View Setbacks

I refer to this kind of self-talk as “linguistic toxicity.” When bad things happen, pessimistically hard-wired people tell themselves such things as:

  • Internal Cause (“It’s my fault.”)
  • Permanent (“It’s a permanent flaw.”)
  • Pervasive (“It’s always going to be this way for the rest of my life.”)

How Pessimistic People View Good Outcomes

When good things happen to pessimistically hard-wired people, they view it as

  • External Cause (“It was a fluke, or luck.”)
  • Temporary (“This won’t last.”)
  • Exclusive (“I was lucky with this, but the rest of my life is awful.”)

How Optimistic People View Setbacks

I refer to this type of self-talk as “linguistic nutrition.” People who are hard-wired, or learn to give themselves optimistic explanations for setbacks, view them as follows:

  • External Cause (“This was a fluke and an exception to the rule of how things go with me.”)
  • Temporary (“This is a fluke occurrence. It won’t happen again.”)
  • Exclusivity (“I had difficulty dealing with this, but in the rest of my life I am thriving.”)

How Optimistic People View Good Outcomes

People that are optimistic expect good outcomes to occur frequently.

  • Internal Cause (“It’s my skills, work ethic and motivation that caused this to happen.”)
  • Permanent (“I certainly expect good things to continually happen to me.”)
  • Pervasive (“This is just one example in my life where I have the skills and talent to be successful.”)

Obviously, it is extremely important for people who are not hard-wired to attribute unfortunate outcomes in an optimistic sense, to learn how to remove their pessimistic thinking habits, and change them to positive thinking.

2.  Laugh as often as possible

Research on the amazingly powerful effects of laughing on the body and mind started with the groundbreaking book by Norman Cousins (“The Anatomy of an Illness”).  Cousins chronicled how he completely recovered from a terminal diagnosis by laughing out loud several times a day, for at least a few minutes each time.  He produced the humor by watching the funniest videos he could find (“The Three Stooges,” “Candid Camera,” and others) while hospitalized for his illness.

Once he saw how his pain subsided while laughing, he convinced the medical staff to take his blood pre and post laughing episodes.  The results were remarkable.

His symptoms immediately went into remission, and he helped fund massive research projects studying the power effects of laughing and having fun on brain chemistry, and the eradication of physical symptoms.  One of the more modern advocates of the power of bringing fun and humor into ones’ life is Dr. Steve Allen, Jr., a physician and the son of the famous comedian, Steve Allen.

3.  Maintain a strong support system of friends and family

Depression affects nearly 15 million Americans and each year close to 43,000 commit suicide in this country. Recent research into how to minimize depression without using psychotropic medication demonstrates the idea of an “Anti-Depression Toolkit.”

Three powerful tools in the toolkit are are:

a) using healthy self-talk (“linguistic nutrition”)

b) any form of spirituality, including prayer and meditation

c) frequent exercise.

However, the most important “tool” by far is having a caring, empathetic, and non-judgmental support system.  While depressed individuals often lack the energy or motivation to reach out, it is a critical component of mental health. For example, widows and widowers are particularly vulnerable—having lost their soul mate, and they can slip into depression if they do not build an alternative support system. If you suffer from depression, you must also stay away from critical, judgmental, anxiety-provoking, and demanding people. You can always consult with a therapist to decide who to include and exclude from your network.

Research shows that when one has a strong support network their emotional strength grows. This means getting involved with an objective sounding board of like-minded peers, and removing yourself from the isolation that accompanies depression. Social interaction is conducive to a healthy and active lifestyle.

There you have it. Do you want to build amazing resilience to stress, add joy to your life, and extend your well-being far more than you have ever dreamed? Add an optimistic and expected habit. It brings fun and laughter into each day, and nourishes your support system.

sales success
Aug 04

Simple Secrets for Using the Power of Positive Affirmations to Supercharge Your Sales Success

By Dr. Jack Singer | Blog , Confidence , Sales Professionals , Self Improvement

Since Ruth Fishel published her classic book, Change Almost Anything in 21 Days,” the power of using positive affirmations has gained much attention.  We now know from the rich research conducted in the field of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) that our belief systems and the thoughts connected with them drive our success or failure.

Much outcome research has been conducted with sales professionals. Why do some sales professionals get overwhelmed and flee the profession within a year, while others flourish and continue to build successful careers?  The answer lies in the self-talk habits that sales professionals bring with them when they first enter the profession and continue to use as they adapt to the stresses and strains of selling as a career.

What Are Affirmations?

Affirmations, positive or negative, are the statements we make to ourselves, based on how we interpret the situation in which we find ourselves at the moment.

All too often, our affirmations are negative and self-defeating, such as “That client said ‘no’ to the sale because I screwed up.”

Such a negative affirmation will produce serious damage to the sales professional’s confidence and self-esteem, thus leading to more “failed sales attempts,” and a self-fulfilling prophecy of feeling hopeless and helpless results in continual selling failures.

The good news is that we have choices in the types of affirmations that we say to ourselves, and positive affirmations said consistently can have powerful benefits, both in career success and even your health.

World-renowned experts, such as Dr. Bernie Siegel and Dr. Martin Seligman, the father of the Positive Psychology Movement, point to many cases of people overcoming devastating illnesses, using positive thinking, including repeating positive affirmations.

Dr. Seligman sites 40 years of his own research connecting sales success with affirmations that sales professionals use to maintain an attitude of optimism and gratefulness, discarding “failed” sales as flukes and focusing on the next sales opportunity.

5 Characteristics of Successful Affirmations

1. They must be positive.

The verbiage must always be positive. For example, saying, ”I am confident about my sales skills” is much better than saying “I no longer doubt myself in terms of my sales skills.”

2. The must be said with passion and gusto.

When we believe that our affirmations are true and in the present, and we repeat them with power and energy, we begin the process of conditioning our subconscious minds to actually strive toward making these beliefs true in the present.

Affirmations must be given more than lip service. When you say it with conviction, feel it by visualizing it as real, and let the wonderful feelings of having already accomplished this, then you re-program your mind and your body to accept it as part of the new you.

“I know that what I have to offer my customers will absolutely impact them in a positive way and they will thank me over and over for providing these products (or services) to them!”

3. They must be said in the present moment.

Our subconscious minds do not know whether something is happening in reality or in our minds. For example, if you close your eyes and visualize holding a half of a lemon and see yourself taking a juicy bite out of it, you will salivate, as your subconscious mind believes this visualization is in fact really happening.  Our bodies respond to what we think about just as if it were actually happening at that moment.

So, with affirmations, be sure to state them in the most positive way and as if they are happening and real, right now. Even if you don’t know who your next prospect is, state it as if you have already met this potential customer:

“I know exactly how my product (service) will benefit this customer and if I were this customer’s best friend, I know exactly what I would say right now to convince him to buy.”

4. They must be realistic.

Giving yourself unrealistic affirmations sets you up for frustration and disappointment. Positive affirmations should reflect views of yourself and your success that are truly possible, not only in your fantasies.   For example, I cannot realistically affirm that I am becoming a famous actor or athlete, but I can affirm that I am a terrific psychologist and mentor for sales professionals.

5. They must be personal.

We can only make affirmations about ourselves, not what we want other people to be.  So, give yourself affirmations about your success as a sales professional, living out your career goals in the present.

A wonderful example of using a positive affirmation to explain ones’ success, despite missed opportunities in the past, is this quote from Michael Jordan:

I have missed more than 9000 shots in my career.  I have lost almost 300 games.  On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to take the game-winning shot and I have missed.  I have failed over and over again in my life.  And that’s precisely why I succeed!”

How to Get Started Using Positive Affirmations

  • Use your computer desktop to post your affirmations and repeat them at least 10 times a day, rotating new ones weekly
  • Use sticky notes posted on your bathroom mirror so you will begin to repeat your affirmations while brushing your teeth or brushing your hair
  • Use more sticky notes on your refrigerator, your car visor, or other places that you frequent daily
  • Use affirmations as mantras to use during meditation, while engaged in yoga and while conducting mindfulness exercises

The key to success is repetition and, as Ruth Fishel has shown, if you are consistent, you can change your life and your success in as little as 21 days!

The Important Link Between Optimism and Sales Success
May 26

The Important Link Between Optimism and Sales Success

By Dr. Jack Singer | Blog , Confidence , Sales Professionals , Self Improvement

How do you explain unfortunate events to yourself, such as not getting the sale? Is the tone of your self-talk optimistic or pessimistic? As it turns out, the way you explain negative life events matters because there is a link between optimism and sales success. Based on over 1000 studies, we know that optimism has the power to boost your sales.

Research on the link between optimism and sales began with an investigation of a major life insurance carrier, and since then it has been replicated in more than 1000 studies over 40 years, across many industries and sales organizations. The findings of these studies proves definitively that maintaining an optimistic explanatory style brings dramatic success.

Optimistic VS Pessimistic Explanatory Styles

Explaining Failures

It boils down to how you explain unfortunate events to yourself.  For example, if a sales professional has a disappointing sales call, how does he/she react and explain that disappointment to himself/herself?  People with an OPTIMISTIC explanatory style rationalize the “failure.” They see it as a fluke, a temporary setback and not representative of who they are in general.

A person with a PESSIMISTIC explanatory style, on the other hand, will view unfortunate events as directly related to their inadequacy. They see it as a permanent issue and representative of other “failures” in their lives.  They often view the situation as an insurmountable obstacle and conclude that they may need to consider a change in career.  Sales professionals who quit or are fired are most often pessimistic in their explanatory style.

Explaining Successes

When good outcomes occur, such as closing a sale, OPTIMISTS believe it was exactly because of their skill. These successes will repeat themselves and they view the success as proof that they have the talent to continue to be successful.  Optimists have what social scientists refer to as an “Internal Locus of Control.”  They perceive that outcomes are in their control.

When good outcomes occur to PESSIMISTS, they are more likely view them as “lucky.” The success was temporary and not indicative of their skill and effort.  Pessimists embrace an “External Locus of Control,” where they believe that circumstances beyond their control impact them constantly.

This ground-breaking research by Dr. Martin Seligman led to a questionnaire which can easily determine whether someone tends to maintain an optimistic or pessimistic explanatory style. Knowing the link between optimism and sales, companies often use this instrument to select the optimistic applicants.

Want to learn more? Check out Dr. Seligman’s book, Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life. You can also take this Learned Optimism quiz from Stanford, which is adapted from the book.

Research on Optimism and Sales

Here is a sample of the many research findings that show a clear link between optimism and sales:

Insurance

Optimistic sales agents outsell pessimists by 38 percent, and extremely optimistic sales agents outsell pessimists by 88 percent.

Real Estate

Optimistic sales agents outsell pessimists by 33 percent, and extremely optimistic sales agents outsell pessimists by a whopping 319 percent.

Banking

Top sales people are 25 percent more optimistic than below-average sales people.

Automotive

Optimistic sales people outsell pessimists by 20 percent, and optimistic sales managers outsell pessimists by 27 percent.

Telecommunications

Optimistic sales people outsell pessimists by 29 percent, and extremely optimistic sales agents outsell pessimists by 39 percent.

Customer Service

Top customer service staff are 50 percent more optimistic than below-average staff.

In addition, optimism is good for more than just posting excellent sales numbers. Research also shows that optimistic people live longer and have stronger immune systems.

The link between optimism and sales may have you wondering – are you doomed if you are hard-wired with “Pessimistic Genes?”  Absolutely not!  Developing optimism can be easily learned, so there is hope for all professionals. Every individual can start today by practicing a more optimistic style of self-talk. Also, if you think your sales team could benefit from a lesson, I am available to help – just email me at DrJack@FunSpeaker.com or give me a call at 800-497-9880.

Self Doubt and Confidence Check Box List
Mar 04

Creating a Game Plan for Success to Conquer Self-Doubt

By Dr. Jack Singer | Advising the Advisors , Confidence

The best way to eradicate fear is to begin by understanding the distorted thinking that causes it to appear in the first place.

“Imposter Fear” is based on false beliefs; believing that you are really not as competent as you appear to others and it’s only a matter of time before your incompetence is uncovered for all to see. “Imposter Fear” is a learned response to events and situations that you encounter in your job and it can lead you to feeling overwhelmed with anxiety. For a financial advisor, unpredictable stock market fluctuations, hostile calls from clients, being responsible for managing clients’ retirement nest eggs, overwhelming paperwork, and compliance/fiduciary issues are events and situations that potentially could cause such a fear. The key word here is “could,” because fear and anxiety do not have to result from dealing with such situations.

Ultimately, it’s not economic or stock market fluctuations that determine how confident or insecure you feel in your profession. It’s not dealing with disgruntled clients that determines how anxious you feel. Instead, it’s always your “self talk” about these issues that determines whether you will thrive or struggle during difficult times.

The culprit is your “internal critic.” Your “self-talk” is that little voice in your head, which I call your “internal critic,” and when that voice is filled with negative, pessimistic, self-defeating and distorted thoughts, insecurity and fear build within you. That little voice spews out thoughts which contain an average of 55,000 words per day, and studies show that for many of us, up to 77% of those thoughts are negative, self-defeating messages. Examples of such fear producing self-talk are, “My manager is difficult to deal with, and I will always have problems with him,” or “I can’t please this client because he constantly asks difficult questions. I wish I could get rid of him!”

The wisdom about how our inner thoughts and beliefs about events are critical determinants of our well-being has been proposed by scholars for centuries. The Greek philosopher Epictetus said, “Men are disturbed not my things, but by the views which they take of them.” In Hamlet, Shakespeare wrote, “There’s nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” Famous psychoanalyst, Alfred Adler put it simply: “We are influenced not by the facts, but by our interpretation of the facts.”

Researcher Shad Helmstedder spent his career studying the impact of negative thinking on both our fears and emotions. He concluded that, “All of us have collected thoughts and beliefs and ideas about ourselves that weigh us down and hold us back from reaching so many of the opportunities that life holds in store for us.” By repeating negative beliefs and ideas, we negatively program our sub-conscious minds and undermine our confidence.

How to take charge of your “internal critic.” We now know that our “internal critic” consists of persistent patterns of negative, self-defeating thoughts that we habitually employ whenever we encounter difficult situations or events. So, as noted above, in the work life of the advisor there are daily situations that are unpredictable and which can lead to self-defeating thinking. However, once you learn how to modify and control your negative thinking, you will take charge of your goal to be the most influential and powerful advisor you can be to your clients.

How do advisors know when they are engaging in negative, anxiety provoking thoughts? There are key words and phrases that trigger negative thoughts: Examples of such trigger phrases are: “What if . . .,” “I hope I don’t . . .” “I should have said . . .” “I can’t . . .” “I always have problems with . . .” “This client is impossible…” “If I can do this…” “Maybe this would be best…”“I feel overwhelmed because…” “I will never be able to satisfy…” and “I’ll bet he is just trying to annoy me because…” Each of these triggers leads to negative emotions.

The road to changing these patterns begins by keeping a notebook next to you at your desk and every time you catch yourself using one of these trigger phrases, simply write it down. In a week you will clearly see the negative thinking patterns in which you engage. Be conscientious and write them all down. People are eleven times more likely to change a habit it if they write it down (rather than just thinking about it), so don’t skip recording any of these trigger examples.

Below is an easy-to-learn, five-step game plan for eradicating these triggers and the unfortunate emotions that follow. Just like a world champion athlete, this is how you develop mental toughness:

Game Plan Step 1: Once you recognize the specific trigger phrases that you tend to use, you can stop those phrases dead in their tracks. Put on a loosely fitting rubber band on your wrist and every time you catch yourself beginning a negative, self-defeating thought (such as, “What if I don’t know how to answer my client’s question?”), snap that rubber band, while telling yourself (with gusto) to “stop this silly thinking!”

Game Plan Step 2: Take a deep, calming breath, in through your nose slowly and deeply, holding it to the count of four, then exhale completely from your mouth, to the count of seven, pushing out every last bit of air. Repeat this a few times and you will quickly dissolve away anxiety and experience relaxing sensations.

Game Plan Step 3: Challenge every negative thought with questions, such as “Do I really have any evidence that what I’m afraid will happen, will actually happen or am I simply anticipating the worst?” Just because I have a scary thought doesn’t mean it has to play out that way. Why not visualize myself calmly handling this situation and see how relieved I will be when I accomplish that?”

Once you challenge your negative, pessimistic thoughts and change your thinking to more realistic ideas, you will recognize that most of your fears are just fabrications of the worst case scenario and you really do have more control over your situation then you ever gave yourself credit for.

Game Plan Step 4: Remind yourself of your identity statement. An “identity statement,” is a complimentary description about the value you bring to your clients and the goal of having such a statement in mind is to boost your confidence whenever you doubt yourself. For example, “I am a very successful advisor. In my career, I have overcome many obstacles and helped my clients to successfully navigate economic roller coasters. I am proud that I have helped many families to preserve and enhance their wealth and my success is not based on having to be perfect.” Repeat this statement until you strongly believe in yourself and your skills.

Game Plan Step 5: You anchor this mental toughness routine by once again taking a deep, calming breath, in through your nose slowly and deeply, holding it to the count of four, then exhale completely from your mouth, to the count of seven, pushing out every last bit of air. Once again, repeat this a few times and you will quickly dissolve away anxiety and will produce relaxation.

This is the same five-step mental toughness game plan that I teach to professional and world champion athletes. I don’t know if Joe Flacco employed this strategy every time he tried to overcome anxiety, fears and doubts, but I do know that if you embrace this strategy consistently, you will maintain the mindset of a CHAMPION ADVISOR!

Joe Flacco
Feb 18

What Advisors Can Learn from Joe Flacco

By Dr. Jack Singer | Advising the Advisors , Confidence

I don’t know Joe Flacco personally. But I know a thing or two about what it takes to become a champion, as he did by winning the 2013 Super Bowl.

With my 33 years of experience as a professional sports psychologist, I have counseled and trained many professional football players and world champion athletes. They all face challenges, adversities and setbacks during their careers One thing they had in common was that most “imposter fear” – a psychological obstacle that many advisors experience-

Imposter fear occurs when, no matter how much confidence or even swagger an athlete may display to teammates, opponents, coaches, or his fans, self-doubt nags at him, and he worries that he will be exposed as inadequate to the challenges he faces. In Joe Flacco’s case, he was always unheralded, first by entering the NFL out of I-AA Delaware. Pundits wondered if the unassuming Flacco could perform on the big stage of the Super Bowl, and they predicted that in the line of fire he wouldn’t compare to the much ballyhooed quarterback of the 49ers, Colin Kaepernick .

Advisors can also experience “imposter fear” – worrying that their success is owed to luck and somehow they’ve fooled others into believing they are skilled advisors. They believe that it’s only a matter of time before that luck runs out and they are exposed. This is a frightening prospect. They anticipate embarrassment and ultimate failure in their career. This fear of failure causes performance anxiety.

I have helped many athletes overcome their “impostor fear” to consistently perform at their best. The exact same set of skills I teach them can be employed by advisors. I was recently invited to consult with a wealth management firm whose president was concerned about inconsistent performance from a large percentage of his advisors. Moreover, because of the ailing economy and a roller-coaster stock market, his assets under management were declining sharply. [Note: For confidentiality reasons, the name of the firm is not mentioned and the advisor names listed below are not the actual names of my clients]

Following a series of confidential interviews with a sample of advisors in the firm, it became clear to me that many from anxiety, because of the market conditions and because of the somewhat unrealistic their president, but also because they harbored their own internal insecurities. I designed a series of training programs the advisors how to recognize and overcome their fears, maintain an optimistic and proactive approach with their clients, use active listening skills, overcome stress and anxiety related to their job and ultimately lead to their clients directing new referrals to them.

Jun 09

How to Remember Names

By Dr. Jack Singer | Confidence

Does this happen to you? You just met someone at a social function or a meeting and you instantly realize that you can’t recall their name. People place great value on being recognized and you don’t want to be considered rude or awkward.

Here are 4 simple tips to help you retain the name of the person you just met.

1. Focus. You want to send a positive message to the person you’re meeting. Pay attention to your pose. Are you leaning in, are you telling the person that this moment is important to you and that he or she has your undivided attention?

2. Ask. Repeat the name back to the person you’re meeting. Ask if you’ve got it right. This makes you an active participant in the meeting and shows that you are paying attention.

3. Make sure you know how the person’s name is spelled. It will help cement it in your mind. And once you have repeated the name and the spelling in your mind, cross reference it with something else — possibly a celebrity’s name that you are already familiar with.

4. Employ. Once you have everything clarified, it is very helpful to introduce your new acquaintance to someone else. This makes you say the name out loud and fixes it in your memory.

The Perils of Perfectionism
May 19

The Perils of Perfectionism

By Dr. Jack Singer | Confidence , General

Finding work/life balance in today’s busy and highly competitive world could never be described as easy. For most perfectionists, however, it is downright impossible.

Although many people tend to think of being a perfectionist as a positive thing, true perfectionism is, in many ways, extremely counterproductive. Not only does the need to attend to every last little detail waste unnecessary time and lead to tasks and projects taking much longer than they need to, but it typically means that perfectionists end up allowing work to eat into their own personal leisure time. Perhaps worse still, even once the job is finally handed over, the perfectionist still never feels that he or she has completed it well enough and so is left with intense feelings of frustration and low self-esteem.

Striving for excellence is something that can only benefit ourselves and our employers, but there is a world of difference between this and trying to achieve the impossible. As human beings, we are not built to be perfect; trying to achieve perfection is a certain road to unhappiness. By all means give everything your best shot, but know when to stop because your best really is good enough!

wonder woman pose
Mar 27

Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are

By Dr. Jack Singer | Confidence , Stress , Stress Management

3 videos by Amy Cuddy that you should watch.

There has been a lot of research into how others perceive our body language, and the importance of sending the right message. However, Amy Cuddy delves into how we are influenced by our own body language — and how a few strategic power poses can make a world of difference in our self-confidence and stress levels.

http://youtu.be/1YyH2frFL1A

 

 

What makes you tick?
Mar 13

What Really Makes You Tick?

By Dr. Jack Singer | Confidence , Self Improvement

Self Improvement – 5 questions you should ask yourself

If you are like me, I often view myself as somewhat contented with my life the way things are, but of course there is ALWAYS room for improvement. It is human nature to want to aspire daily for something deeper and more meaningful in life.

But life can sometimes get in the way, or to put in in plain language, there is often not enough hours in the day to really do all of the things that you want to do or feel the need to do.

Asking yourself these questions can be helpful when you begin to feel bogged down in the daily business of living.

1. What do I really want?

This is of course the  question of the ages. There are always dreams and ambitions that need to be nurtured and acted upon. Dreaming without action does not move you forward.

2. Should I really change?
If you are consistently feeling that you are letting yourself down in small or large ways, then the answer should be pretty obvious.

3. What’s the bright side in all of this?
Look at making small, consistent, POSITIVE changes as a journey. If you ensure that each day is 1 percent day than the day before, you are making great changes over a very short period of time. Don’t set impossible goals for yourself. Make goals that ensure that you are just that small bit better than you were yesterday. Consider it along the lines of compound interest! It really adds up quickly.

4. Am I comfortable with myself?

This requires some exploration. Go deep within to find out who you are in the deepest recesses of your authentic heart and soul.

5. Have I done enough for myself?

Have you, or is there something more you want to do? Do you have dreams, wants and wishes that you have convinced yourself that you don’t deserve or will never be able to afford. (Insert your own excuses here). Examine them, discard or discount the excuses and then get busy getting what you really do want for yourself.

So? What really makes you tick? I would love to hear from you! Just leave your comments or questions in the box below.

free-consultation

 

Mar 08

Your Game Plan for Releasing the Champion Within to Your Business

By Dr. Jack Singer | Confidence , Sales Professionals

by Jack Singer, Ph.D.
Professional Sport and Business Psychologist

Your Game Plan for Releasing the Champion Within to Your BusinessRunning a successful business requires the exact same skills from its managers and employees that professional sports teams require from their coaches and athletes.

To stay at the top of your game requires the three C’s: Confidence, Concentration and Control.  All three of these key elements overlap and depend on the others for ultimate business success.

  • Confidence is the single most important variable in improving your performance and it comes from positive self-talk. Recognize when you give yourself negative, self-defeating messages, such as thoughts that begin with “What if…,”  “I hope I don’t…,” or “I shouldn’t have…” I call this negative self-talk the “Internal Critic.”  For so many of us, that critical, internal voice dominates over the rational, positive, optimistic one.
  • Concentration is directly affected by your self-talk.  To run a championship-level business, you cannot be distracted by fears, worries or negative emotions, all of which incubate in negative self-talk.  A simple formula for success is: Your Performance=Your Talent +Motivation-Distractions. Keep the distractions to a minimum and your performance will always reflect your true talent.  Can you guess what the number one distraction is? That’s right…  negative self talk!
  • Control your negative self-talk, and you control your destiny!

So how does one do that, you ask? 

Here is a simple, but powerful, five step mental toughness routine that only takes a few minutes to practice each day.

  1. Wear a loosely fitting rubber band on your wrist and every time you catch yourself beginning a negative, self-defeating thought (such as, What if I fail at this endeavor?”), snap that rubber band, while telling yourself (with emphasis) to stop this silly thinking.”
  2. Take a deep, calming breath, by breathing in to the count of four through your nose, hold it for four seconds and then a big exhale from your mouth, to the count of seven.
  3. Challenge every negative thought with questions, such as Do I really have any evidence that the thing I’m afraid will happen, will actually happen or am I simply anticipating the worst?” If you challenge those thoughts, you will realize that most of your fears are just fabrications of the worst case scenario.
  4. Give yourself an “identity statement,” which is directed at boosting your self-confidence.  For example, continuously visualize yourself as having already accomplished your business dreams, and tell yourself how proud you are of your accomplishments.  When you do this consistently, you are well on your way to success. The more frequently you visualize your success as if it has already happened and continually think about it in positive terms, the more quickly your subconscious mind will actually want to make it happen for you.
  5. Complete your mental toughness routine with another deep, centering breath.

It’s simple: Practice the “three c’s” of success each day, then you will bring out the true champion within and your business will thrive!

Free 20 Minute Telephone Consultation with Psychologist Dr. Jack Singer

About the Author:

Dr. Jack Singer is a professional speaker, trainer and psychologist. He has been speaking for and training Fortune 1000 companies, associations, CEO’s and elite athletes for 34 years. Among the association conventions which Dr. Jack has keynoted are those which serve financial planners.

Dr. Jack is a frequent guest on CNN, MSNBC, FOX SPORTS and countless radio talk shows across the U.S. and Canada. He is the author of “The Teacher’s Ultimate Stress Mastery Guide,” and several series of hypnotic audio programs, some specifically for athletes and some for anyone wanting to raise their self-confidence and esteem.

In his speaking presentations, Dr Jack teaches sales and financial services professionals the exact same skills he teaches to elite and world champion athletes to Develop & Maintain the Mindset of a Champion!

To learn more about Dr. Singer’s speaking and consulting services, please visit DrJackSinger.com and FunSpeaker.com or call him in the U.S. at (800) 497-9880.

Apr 17

Mental Skills for Musicians

By Dr. Jack Singer | Applied Sports Psychology , Confidence , Stress , Stress Management

By Jack Singer, Ph.D.
Certified Sport Psychologist

Dr. Jack Singer discusses Using imagery and hypnosis to help musicians overcome pre-performance jitters and improve the quality of their performances.The effects of anxiety on performance (both harmful and beneficial) have been well documented in such diverse areas as athletics, public speaking, test-taking and acting. A relatively new area of research studies the impact of anxiety in the realm of music.

“Music performance anxiety” (MPA) is characterized as “the experience of persisting, distressful apprehension about and/or actual impairment of, performance skills in a public context, to a degree unwarranted, given the individual’s musical aptitude, training and level of preparation.”  Phew…what a mouthful that is!  What this boils down to is debilitating anxiety during auditions or performances. MPA affects musicians of all ages and abilities, just as performance anxiety affects athletes of all ages, from amateur to professional.

As with anxiety with athletes, all anxiety is not bad.  In fact, you may be surprised to know that being too relaxed can negatively impact performance as much as too much anxiety.  The key is to determine where the cutoff point is, so that one can prepare for a performance by allowing the development of just the right amount of anxiety to motivate and pump up (the singer or musician), but not so much that she/he will begin to worry about failing or disappointing, which will quickly lead to full-blown stage fright.

In a new study reported in Sport, Exercise & Performance Psychology, thirty-three musicians (including singers, pianists, string, bass and woodwind musicians) were put through a training program very similar to the work I do with elite athletes.  Half the participants were put in the “treatment group” and were taught how thoughts (e.g., “what if I stink up the place”), behaviors (e.g., breathing incorrectly) and feelings (e.g., fear of failure) interact.  The other half of the participants were considered the control group and had not formal training of the above.

The treatment group participated in four short training workshops, aimed at learning how to recognize negative self-talk, how to stop it immediately and how to use visualization (imagery) to maintain concentration, decrease anxiety, and improve concentration.

The results showed that the treatment group musicians had less anxiety and had significantly higher quality in their performances, than did the group that received no treatment.  I can substantiate these results, as I have used imagery and hypnosis to help musicians overcome pre-performance jitters and improve the quality of their performances.  Like athletes, if musicians visualize the ideal performance they wish to accomplish, as if they have just completed it and the audience is applauding, etc., they will be conditioning their subconscious minds to follow that lead.  Amazing you say?  It really works…just practice as hard as you do your music.

The more knowledge musicians have about what contributes to their MPA and how to reduce that anxiety to manageable levels, the more enjoyable and rich their careers will most likely be!

Free 20 Minute Telephone Consultation with Psychologist Dr. Jack Singer

Dr. Jack Singer is a Certified Sport Psychologist and a Professional Speaker.  Contact Dr. Jack at: 1-800-497-9880 or by using the form below.

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Jun 22

How to Develop Confidence in Yourself

By Dr. Jack Singer | Blog , Confidence

Do you struggle with doubts that hold you back from reaching your dreams? Are you timid in situations that may present roadblocks to your success? Instead of settling for a mediocre life, learn a few simple strategies that will help you to feel confident in every situation. Confidence in your talents and abilities is closer than you think. You were created for a purpose, and you’re the only one who can fulfill that purpose.

Each one of us has a lot to offer the world. All you need is to discover the passion inside of you and agree to leave your comfort zone in favor of a life filled with joy.

Try these tips to begin developing self-confidence today:

1. Get to know yourself better. And be VERY HONEST with yourself. One big obstacle that holds you back from living the life you deserve is often a lack of knowledge of who you are. Sit down with a pen and paper, and ask yourself these questions:

  • What would you dare to attempt if you knew it was impossible for you to fail?
  • What are your dreams? What did you dream about doing and becoming as a child? What have you always wanted to attempt?
  • What are your talents? What do your friends and family say you’re good at? What abilities have you received compliments on?
  • What are your soft skills? What are your hard skills? And where can you use these skills to help yourself and serve your family, friends and community?
  • What are you excited about in your life right now? What’s great about your life?
  • What area or areas of your life do you wish to improve? What steps can you take to improve those areas? Whose help could you enlist?

When you begin to get clear on who you are, what’s important to you, and where you’re headed, you’ll begin to feel empowered and in control of your destiny. This confidence seeps into every area of your life. Allow your passions to fuel your confidence and stir you to action that will move you forward in the direction of your dreams.

2. Fake it. One of the quickest ways to gain confidence is to pretend you’re confident already. It may seem silly at first, but if you begin to move your body and speak like you would if you were confident, you’ll quickly gain self-confidence.
 If you find yourself walking around most of the time with slumped shoulders and looking at the cracks in the sidewalk, you are not feeling or behaving in a confident manner.

  • How fast does a confident person speak?
  • At what volume does he or she speak?
  • How does he or she gesture with his or her hands?
  • How fast does he or she walk?
  • How does he or she move his or her body body?

Pretend you’re confident by moving your body in confident ways. Your emotions will follow the movement of your body.

3. Learn from someone who’s already successful. Confidence breeds success. As you accomplish the things you set out to achieve, your confidence in your abilities will grow. You can experience this increasing confidence by trial and error. Or, you can shorten the learning curve dramatically through a mentor.

  • Find the person who’s the best at what you’re trying to accomplish. Approach that person and ask them to show you the ropes. Ask them to show you how they arrived at their success and how they maintain it. With a mentor, your chances of success increase dramatically, thereby strengthening your confidence.

Confidence in yourself and your abilities is within your reach. Starting today, you can begin to feel the ease that comes from faith in your own abilities and talents. By applying these three strategies today, you can take seemingly small steps that lead to a giant reward. Increase your confidence and begin to experience the successful life you deserve.