Stopping Confidence Thieves

Did you ever notice that a person who has real confidence is rarely the one who tries to rob you of yours?

It’s usually the person who is not so comfortable in their own shoes who has the need to say and do things that erode the positive way you would like to feel about yourself.

And that point is the best defense against confidence thieves.

Here are a few others:

  • Confidence thieves are usually passive aggressive meaning they look harmless but find ways to expose your perceived weak side.
  • Make it your policy that no one gets to criticize you except you.  This doesn’t mean you’re perfect or immune from criticism, it means you will run an ID check on the person exposing weaknesses. Who are they? Why would they say that?
  • Vet them first before considering anything they have to say.  Don’t let them into your head unless you open the door.
  • Be on the lookout for things that don’t feel right.  Pointing out that “You don’t have much experience doing presentations, do you?” Or “This is a bad time to be looking for work” playing on everyone’s natural concern with being unemployed. “That looks good on people built like you” (who are people built like me?).

Confidence thieves are jealous.

They are often subtle using questions to make their point.

And can be family members, mates, good friends or associates.

The best way to rob a confidence thief is to always assume you are capable of dealing with life’s challenges. Believe in you at all times.

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José Fernández

The death of promising young Miami Marlin’s pitcher José Fernández is a wake up call that none of us have any guarantee how long we will be on this earth no matter what age.

Fernández died in a boating accident at 24. The exuberant Cuban-born star had his whole life ahead of him.

His girlfriend was pregnant with their child and ironically Fernández died in the Atlantic Ocean, the same body of water where he saved his mother from drowning while they along with his sister escaped Cuba.

Older people are usually more aware of the ticking clock than young people.

But even age doesn’t give anyone a free pass.

Life is to be lived in the moment 100% present.

It’s not necessary to think about death but how we can take better advantage of the life we now have.   Just ask a cancer survivor. They master the art of living as an unexpected benefit of their disease.

Jimmy Carter is in his nineties and is fighting cancer to gain as much time as he can because he has more things he wants to do.

The past is a file that we visit but always return to the present.

The future is where we look to plan and yet we must come back to the present where all life lives.

The sad ending for Jose Fernandez reminds us that the only thing any of us have for sure is the time we have right now – this instant. That’s where our happiness lives.

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Remembering Loved Ones

The NHL hockey player Bobby Ryan lost his mother this past July.

The pain of his loss was only soothed by the level of his appreciation for everything she did for him.

In a post funeral letter, Ryan wrote “I lost you just a few days ago, and I already miss you a lot.  Even though I had a chance to say goodbye, there are still a few things I’d like to tell you”.

Among the many appreciations was how his mom sacrificed to make it possible for him to play hockey, her fight against an abusive husband and the warmth of their relationship together.

There is hardly a week that goes by that I don’t think of my mother and father and how I want to tell them thanks again and again.

Thanks, dad, for being the most honest person I ever knew.  A straight arrow who set a high bar for me.

And thanks mom, for giving me the spunk in my personality and the belief that I could do virtually anything.

When a loved one is gone, it is still not too late to write the letters or visit the grave site for a one-on-one conversation.

I want it to be as if my loved ones will never be gone from my life even if they are not present in the flesh today.

If you have the time, here is Bobby Ryan’s letter to mom that will touch your heart and inspire you to write your own letter.

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The Best Way to Change People

Not by controlling them.

That never works.

The hardest thing is to let go of all the issues that are making us unhappy.  Humans don’t want to give up control without a fight.  We would rather get our way or try to convince another person that it is in their best interests to change.

Except it never works.

A sure way to be unhappy is to try and change someone.

So the secret is to learn to cultivate an outlook that lets you throw off the things that you feel as if you would like to control.

Your partner is not listening to you and you feel ignored.  Try as you may, you will probably never change this.  All you will do is make yourself unhappy.  Spend money on therapy.  The answer:  change the way you look at this and see if you can find another way he or she exhibits another way for you to be recognized and validated.

Your boss always has to be right.  Good luck taking on this project because your boss is likely to go right on assuming they are right and everyone else is wrong which will make you very unhappy.  Your time and focus would be better spent not looking to your boss for this type of approval.  Give it to yourself for a job well done.

The best way to gain control is to give up control.

The alternative is to be forever unhappy.

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How to Make Peace with the Past

Visiting the past is a good thing.

It helps us understand the present.

But looking back is like looking in your rearview mirror too much while you’re driving – we’re more likely to make bad decisions when we don’t keep our eyes on the road ahead.

Accepting what has happened in the past is the most important reason to revisit it.

Learn from what has taken place.

Deal with the appropriate issues and move on.

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