Confidence in Your Inner Potential

Are you taking advantage of your untapped inner potential of greatness? If so, what are going to do about it? Are you getting everything you can from life? If not, you're not looking hard enough. Life is too short to reflect on "if only". Infuse your thoughts with confidence.  Boldly live your life your way. Rejection is just one more step to ultimate success.  Focus on what you think and stop worrying about what others think. Keep your dreams in the forefront of your mind.  Many of you may be trapped in situations you don’t like because you refuse to acknowledge your inner potential to develop new knowledge and skills. Let people who think you are awesome ignite the spark within you.

One of the most satisfying benefits of teaching the SOAR process is to experience watching others begin to realize their full potential. Their self-confidence rises to the top. They exhibit a “can do” attitude. There are many suggestions on how to build self-confidence from the way we carry ourselves, our method of speech, where we sit when we are with others, being grateful, and complimenting others. While all these can be helpful the key to developing self-confidence is putting your dreams into action.

What is your next level in life? Reward yourself by taking that next step that will move you closer to achieving your dreams. Create your vision based on your dreams and put in the effort to make it happen.

Early in my business career, when I thought I was exhibiting self-confidence my actions were interpreted as arrogance. I came to realize there is a very fine line between the two.  It took me about 4 days into a 6-day on-site sensitivity training course (my boss made me do it) to realize my business associates were correct. Not only was I personally acting arrogantly, I was extending this unhealthy behavior to defend my teammates. The group helped me identify the behaviors, attitudes, and phraseology that created the perception of arrogance.

I wasn't cured in that week. But, it was a start. I continue to work on the attributes that fueled the perception of arrogance. It isn't easy. There is a trigger. When I feel defensive I work on the words I use and check my body language and how I carry myself. I believe I have finally tamed the wild beast.

I encourage you to be self-confident and caution you not to be arrogant. It is beneficial to believe in your talents and abilities. They help to overcome fear and find the personal freedom most of us seek. Maintain an optimistic view of life. Have faith in yourself, but be alert for signs of superiority and not acknowledging your mistakes. Those are the signs of arrogance. When we share information we should be confident, not arrogant.

You were not born great; you were born with an inner potential to become great. Acknowledge your inner potential and reap the benefits.

Critical Thinking

What is critical thinking? Clinically defined as intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action. Are you still with me?

I like Barry K Beyer's definition. Critical thinking is making clear, reasoned judgments. This is a practical non-clinical definition. I'd like to follow up on his definition and see if I can help apply it to our everyday activities. I believe the opposite of clear reasoned judgment is cloudy thinking, non-clinically defined as unclear and unreasoned judgment. Now that was easy, wasn’t it?

I'm not demeaning those who are clinically foggy in their thought process. I have total and extensive empathy and sympathy for them. The rest of us may be able to fine tune our critical thinking process by following a few simple steps.

There are times when I'm speaking or writing when I find myself fighting unclear thinking or unreasoned judgment. When I’m aware this is happening, I stop and reflect on the “SOAR Without Limits” process.

Here comes the commercial - a synopsis of the SOAR process.

  • First, be clear on your desired outcome. What result are you seeking?

  • Second, recognize the issues getting in the way of achieving your desired outcome.

  • Third, seek out pertinent information to mitigate the negative issues and reinforce the positive ones.

  • Fourth, develop hypotheses to address the issues. What alternatives or options do you have?

  • Fifth, prioritize your intended actions. Do first things first.

  •  Sixth, test your thinking on others. Ouch!

If all else fails, go back to the clinical definition and attack each element in order. I’m looking forward to your comments on this one. I just know you’ll think about it.

Enthusiasm

Is enthusiasm the magic potion we need to achieve something great? Ralph Waldo Emerson seemed to think so. How about those not great things we want to accomplish, would enthusiasm help us achieve them also? How does our enthusiasm affect others? When we have a passionate interest in something or an eagerness to accomplish something, our buy in is stronger than when we lack enthusiasm.

If you are always enthusiastic you need to read no further. I would appreciate it if you would share how you maintain that enthusiasm in our comment section.

For the rest of us, let's see if we can help develop a greater sense of enthusiasm. I've researched enthusiasm and haven't found anything earth shattering. Mostly what it is and how it affects us, but very little on how to attain it. The best I can suggest is that an attitude for excitement must come from within. Others can be excited about an idea, but if you don't buy in, your interest may not be stimulated.

Can we turn enthusiasm on and off at will? I believe we can. We just must find the right reason for getting excited. How do we go about finding the right reason? It helps to understand what motivates us as individuals. Perhaps it is survival, one of our strongest instincts, or self-satisfaction, maybe not as strong but significant. Whatever the motivation, tap into it.

When I discuss writing with others, writer's block keeps coming up as a deterrent to getting the writing done. I can honestly say writers block has not been an issue with me. However, I have experienced a lack of enthusiasm at times. When I begin writing whether it is a Paz Pontification, my memoirs, or my books, I find it easier to put words in the computer when enthusiasm is present.

I find this gratifying since enthusiasm was rarely missing during my business and social endeavors. Okay, enough about me. Let's focus on you.

If you are enthusiastic, you'll feel energetic and have a passion for what you do. One of the traits I always look for in a colleague or friend is a sense of eagerness for life and what they have done to achieve a desired result. Enthusiasm helps us become people focused, productive, loyal, and maintain good health. The task at hand must be fun, not laborious, if we are going to be excited about a project.

Thank you if you have read this far. Unfortunately, I have no magic potion except that which is in each of you. Push the power button within you and find a way to have fun at what you are doing. If you do, I believe you will be eager to achieve your desired results with enthusiasm.

Let me know what you think.

False Memories

A false memory is a fictitious or inaccurate remembrance of an event that may or may not have happened. Our memory is said to be like a video recorder. While a video recorder truthfully documents and stores the event precisely and accurately, our memory is subject to misconceptions and errors.

Even though we may feel and believe our recollection is accurate, there is no assurance that it is. People can feel confident that their memory is accurate, but this confidence is no guarantee that a memory is correct.

As I was writing my memoir, I tried to distinguish between real and false memories. False memories can be triggered by being influenced by misinformation or attributing the information to someone other than the original source. Our memories can become more precise with the passage of time or with new information. Most of us are not infallible. I’m aware of one exception - she shares wedding vows with me.

Most of the time our false memories are harmless. We may change a character or setting to enhance the story line. We forget where we left our glasses. Other times these false memories can have an impact on our behavior. I'm not a doctor or scientist, so I can't offer a magical cure for this abnormality in our thought process. I can only share with you what I've read and experienced to help you recognize your false memories and help you get back on track. Just like we witness events through our own paradigm, we remember past events filtered by time and experience. It can be more difficult to accurately remember a painful event than a gala event.

While writing my memoirs, I found myself walking a tight rope between what I thought I remembered and the versions family and friends shared with me. I had to decide whether my version of the events or the version of another was closer to reality. And whether it made a significant difference in the story. Did my sister break one tooth or two when she jumped off the garage into the snowbank? They were her teeth, so two became the "memory". A memoir is a story. Naturally, I want to make the story as plausible and realistic as can be.

So, what causes False Memory? According to the research conducted by Elizabeth Loftus (she does have her PHD in mathematical psychology). Here are some factors she found influenced false memories.

  • Misinformation

  • Incorrectly attributing the original source of the information

  • Existing knowledge

  • Other memories can inhibit the formation of a new memory
Any of these factors can cause us to mistakenly recall an event or even perceive it as false. Her research demonstrated that it is possible to induce a false memory through suggestion. Also, false memories form more readily when enough time has passed that the original memory has faded. The further away a person is interviewed from the actual event, the greater the chance for false memories to creep into the history record.


This may be difficult to believe. Everyone has false memories. It would be wonderful if our memories were as reliable as we think they are, but even the best among us can form false memories. Want to prove it to yourself? Start writing your memoirs.

Human Spirit

The human spirit exists in theology and nature. What is this universal component of life? It's a blend of human philosophy, psychology, art, and knowledge. Sometimes called the soul or mental part of humanity. I suggest the heart should be included in this blend. When our hearts and minds merge to achieve our desired outcomes, we experience all the components of the human spirit.

The human spirit is an intangible element of life that we all experience and use in different ways. For many it is a challenge to seek and comprehend truth. The human spirit gives us the capacity to pursue the truth of our existence.

Our birth is the first step to creating and contributing to our self-worth. We exist in multiple time frames and places simultaneously. We may long for the past, look to the future, and live in the present. Each of us creates our own blend of these elements. Human spirit helps us confront the future with imagination and hope. Issues and differences can be resolved with confidence. If we change our self-perception, we can overcome any perceived limitations. We are rewarded when our values and beliefs are confirmed by others or events. We put ourselves in a position to realize our dreams.

As a personal coach my intent is to tap into the hidden potential of each person who seeks my help. They are encouraged to overcome any limitations and take advantage of their gifts. Satisfaction comes when they beat the odds and persevere to the end. Their latent talents are expressed when all the components of our human spirit converge.

Most of us have suffered failures and have celebrated successes. Growth occurs when we continue to try and eventually endure. When we care, we try. When we don't care, we don't try. Personal indifference is worse than failure. Try new things. Love what you do. Let your self-confidence replace any anxiety or self-doubt you experience when trying something new. What do you want to try today?

Motivation

We are always motivated, but are we motivated to achieve our desired outcomes? If not, why not?

People desire to thrive. We want to succeed. We are motivated when we engage in a desirable activity. When we are intrinsically motivated, we do things because we enjoy doing them, not for any external reward.  Influence from external sources is not motivation. Others can create an environment in which you may feel more inclined to motivate yourself. They can also create an ethos of pressure and tension that can lead people to exhibit undesirable behavior.

Three psychological needs are essential for intrinsic motivation to become optimal. Here are some questions you can ask your self each day to improve your ability to ensure you motivate yourself in your desired direction.

Autonomy

  • Begin each day asking yourself, “What choices do I have?”

  • End each day asking yourself, “What choices did I make?”

  • Now ask yourself “How did I do?” You do have choices. Those choices determine whether you will come closer to your desired outcome. Examine your values. Will they move in your desired direction? What is your deeply ingrained purpose?

Relatedness – At the end of each day ask yourself.

  •  “How did I demonstrate my values today?”

  •  “How did I contribute to something greater than myself today?”

  •  “How did I contribute to something beyond my own self interests?”

Competence – At the end of each day ask yourself.

  • “What did I get done?”  Check off your to-do list.

  • “What did I learn today?”

  • “How did I grow?”

  • “What did I learn today that will actually help me be better tomorrow?”

If you wait for someone or something else to satisfy your psychological needs, you’ll wait for a very long time. No one can motivate you. Only you can motivate you!

Regrets

Today, let’s talk about regrets. I imagine that we've all had a few regrets - some of us maybe more than others. The challenge facing us is to not to dwell on these regrets. Remorse and guilt get in the way of us accomplishing our dreams and goals.  They are just another form of excuses. Regrets are negative and focus us on our past. They detour us from our intended purpose.

How do we go about making sure that regrets do not impede our progress? I'm sure you've heard this before, but it is worth repeating and remembering.  The short answer is: Let go. Easy to say hard to do!   Letting go means forgiving others and sometime more importantly forgiving ourselves.

After all we're only human and we're going to make mistakes. Mistakes are opportunities to learn. Take those lessons to heart. Learn from them and make the next effort just a bit better than the last.
Doctor Edwin Land’s, the inventor of instant photography, philosophy was: “Success is a series of failures”. Transform your “failures” into positive energy and move forward.

Come along with us on this journey to Soar Without Limits.  Put your regrets in the rear-view mirror and take that next step that will get you closer to your desired outcome. Join in the conversation and share your thoughts.

 

Resiliency

Resiliency is our ability to recover from setbacks. Have you experienced a few setbacks in your life? Who hasn’t? What is your resiliency barometer?

1

2

3

4

5

Setbacks stymie my progress.

Takes me some time to recover from a setback.

They get to me for a while then I recover.

Depending on the severity of the setback I can recover quickly.

Setbacks? What are setbacks

Well it’s obvious that the closer you are to rating yourself as a 5, the faster you can get on with whatever activity you were working on when the setback occurred.  You are fortunate if who can take a setback in stride.  Most of us probably fall into the 3 and 4 range. Anything below that needs some attention if you are to achieve your goals and dreams. Analyze the cause of the setback and quickly consider the options you available to move you forward.

The SOAR Six-step process is a valuable tool to add to your mental tool box. Someone has experienced what you are going through. If you find that person their insight as to how they addressed their setback will be helpful to you. This is one of the places where expanding your personal network can be very valuable. Valuable information is available in libraries and over the internet. If setback prevent you from functioning normally, professional help may be the answer.

Whatever your situation, I hope a few setbacks won’t stop you from reaching your objectives and achieving your dreams. In the words of Dr. Robert H. Schuller, “Tough times don’t last, tough people do.” Be resilient!  Don't let the tough times define you. Be that tough person that can react to a tough situation with personal fortitude and creativity.

Rest

There were times that my assignment required many hours per day, seven days a week. When I was a bit younger this was a common occurrence. At my slightly advancing age, this level of activity would be a bit taxing.

Young or old we all need to reboot – to shut down the system and clear our memory banks. The reboot is necessary for our well-being. If we don’t take the time to rest, circumstances will take over and force our hand.

Rest gives us the opportunity to reflect on our accomplishments and to focus on what is ahead while living in the present.

  • A time to invigorate our mind and body.

  • A time to catch up with family and friends.

  • A time to reevaluate our values and be sure they are consistent with our life’s goals.

  • A time to explore new situations and environments.

  • A time to relax and enjoy the world around us.

  • A time to exercise our body and mind in different directions.

  • A time to concentrate on areas of our life we have neglected.

  • A time to let go of our daily concerns and center our attention on our desired outcomes.

This is that day for me. Pick your day and use it to use God’s power to revitalize your mental and physical being. Enjoy your day of rest.  You can turn the power back on tomorrow.

I’m going for a walk and listen to some classical music.

Saying is not Doing

How many times did you say you would do something and life got in the way? Sometimes our actions are contrary to what we say. Taking action may be one of the most challenging activities we undertake. Procrastination seems to want to creep into our DNA when we least expect it. If you want to break the procrastination habit, you need to stay in the moment and focus on the action you should take.

That is the moment you have. Use it move from saying it to doing it. Starting gets us moving. Make the effort to begin the task. "Inch by Inch Anything is a Cinch" (Robert H. Schuller)

Concentrate on the pleasure you'll experience when you complete the task at hand. Then, take the next step in your action plan. It takes courage to start and move the needle forward. Think about past successes. Remind yourself of how you felt when you succeeded.


Success

Many years ago, I posted the following adage in my office.  It is still there.  I’m reminded each day that any success I reach will be up to me.

Each of us must decide our own measure of success. When you achieve a desired outcome, you attain success.   Yes, you deserve to succeed. A major component of success is growth. You must always keep growing. Life is a onetime event. Be a dreamer. Then follow up with action. Without action, dreams become wishes rather than desired outcomes.

If you are going to experience life to its richest you must be able to turn an adversity into a positive happening.  Leave the status quo behind and move toward motivation. How we react to events separates successful people from the crowd. It take courage to act in the face of fear.

“I can't give you a sure-fire formula for success, but I can
give you a formula for failure: try to please everybody all
the time.” ―
Herbert Bayard Swope

Focus on getting your projects done -  not necessarily perfection.  Perfection will come with practice. Successful people constantly examine their values and moral compass. They seek advice and counsel from others with varied viewpoints. The more objective you can be when you weigh decision options, the higher the probability your decisions will move you forward to your desired outcome.

Thankfulness

Where do I begin? As I often counsel others, first things first.


First, my parents and sister.
They created a loving and safe environment where we could challenge with respect, yearn for knowledge, enjoy what we do, and above all, to love one another without judging. I have tried to live up to these values, but often wonder what path my life would take if I exhibited these values more consistently.



Second, my family.
The many lessons are too numerous to relate here. I'll share one experience that has stayed with me throughout my life. When our eldest Son, Randy, was 7 years old, I was strongly admonishing him for some now forgotten act he had allegedly committed. He looked up to me, I was taller than he at that time, and said, "Dad, you can't live my life for me." This is one lesson, I can honestly say, I not only learned but have practiced. Counsel only goes to those who ask or indicate a willingness to see another point of view.

Third, my many personal friends over the years.
Moving almost 30 times has made it challenging to keep up with them. Fortunately, Facebook and other social media have made it possible to stay in touch. I'm thankful for the occasional 'Like" and/or comment I receive and pleased to add my own "Likes" and comments to theirs. Frequent physical travel is somewhat difficult, so I'm grateful for the communication opportunities technology offers us.

Fourth, my business and volunteer organization associates.
They provided me with opportunities to grow as a human being. Many became person friends. It wasn't attractive at times, but it was instructive. I was blessed to work with some of the most talented and productive team members in both business and volunteer settings. I trust, in some small way, we were able to enhance the lives of the team members and those affected by the decisions and actions of the teams. I know they did mine.

Fifth, my talented spouse (the last should be first).
Words can't express my gratitude for the 26 years Mervyn has been my best friend and partner. She quietly offers me encouragement and constructive feedback. If it weren't for her I doubt I would have fully recovered from my strokes and be writing this today. She has always been a strong helpmate during the good and bad times. Fortunately, not too many bad ones. I'm extremely happy she, somewhat reluctantly at first, allowed me into her life. She shows me what it means to be loving, empathetic, and compassionate always. I'm still trying to emulate her.

Thanks to all of you for helping me deal with this fantastic experience called life. I'm grateful to all of you who read this blog and offer your suggestions on improvement. Please keep it up. I need you.

Visualization

One key element of the SOAR process is our ability to visualize our desired outcomes. Some of us can do this anytime and anyplace. Most of us find that getting into a quiet place and a relaxed state of mind helps us visualize our desired outcomes and the process we will use to achieve those outcomes.

Visualization is the art of being able to imagine scenes in the past, present, or future in our mind’s eye. It has used to change one’s thoughts and expectations. When you visualize your desired outcomes, you are attempting to peer into the future. If you have ever played a sport you, either on your own, or encouraged by a parent, teacher or coach envisioned yourself succeeding at the task at hand. Perhaps it was hitting the ball squarely or making that difficult catch. Whatever is was, it was designed to have you experience success before engaging in the actual event.

When you use visualization as part of the SOAR process you are picture a successful result once you complete your process. You see the result and practice the various steps you need to take to get to your outcome.

I’ve successfully used visualization to change unwanted habits and create more desirable ones. Your desired outcome may be personal – to stop smoking. There are many “aids” available to stop smoking. But I contend that the only aid needed is to be able to envision how our life would benefit from a smokeless life style. This approach can be applied to just about any personal habit we want to change. 


Visualization can also help you pre-live what you want to accomplish in the future. Once visualized, you can apply the process to identify the methods and resources needed to achieve those desired outcomes. Take a few moments and give it a try. With practice it will be a subconscious tool for you to Hopefully, you will find a new tool to help you make your goals and dreams come to fruition.

What's Right

Are you asking the "what's right" questions? When you focus on your intuition you have a better chance of asking the “what’s right” questions. Asking the “what's wrong” questions leads us down the path of trying to fix something rather than create something. When you spend time concerning ourselves with what’s wrong, you drain your energy. 

The rational/logical mind deals with “what's wrong" questions.  The intuitive mind processes the " what's right" questions. When you ask “what's right" questions, you can go directly to the intuitive mind and bypass the rational mind It's easier and more effective to focus on what you need to do right to resolve an issue rather than working on how to figure out what went wrong. Asking the “what’s right” question leads to positive solutions.

I'm reminded of a consulting assignment when the company was charting its daily production and pondered over the days when production was low. A lot of time was spent trying to determine what went wrong. I looked at the chart and asked them to focus on the days of higher production and ask the question 'What did we do right that day?" The following days the chart took a decided upward trend.

 Here are some “what’s right” questions.

  • What are you like at your very best?

  • What needs to be done to make my dream come true?

  • How do we shift from a company just getting by to one of profitability and wealth?

  • How do I find the right people to help me get to my desired outcome?

If you strive to be a visionary leader or an effective personal coach, you might want to consider the types of questions you ask. Ask "what's right" questions for your own self-development.  If this pontification was of interest to you, you might find What if? and Self-talk blogs of interest.

Worry

Worry is the destroyer of dreams.  We live in a society that thrives on worry.  Worry is just another form of ego, pride, and need for control.  In the spirit of full disclosure, I was probably a number 1 worrier in my early years.  How’s that for an ego trip? I would worry just about everything and everybody.

I’m not sure when it happened, but as I was preparing to write this I realized I don’t worry anymore and haven’t for some time.  Even during the latest depression when all the possessions we had accumulated were in jeopardy of being taken away from us I didn’t worry.  I began to work the SOAR Six-step program.   I ignored my potential fear and set  out to achieve my desired outcome to salvage what we had and build to a better tomorrow. I was fortunate to know friends and business associates within my network who were willing to give me an opportunity to work my plan.  I firmly believe if I had chosen to worry rather than taking realistic steps to overcome the obstacles that I perceived were before me, we would not have been as fortunate as we are today.

Are worries getting in the way of your attaining your goals and dreams?  What if you were to stop worrying and do the next right thing?  And, then do the next right thing and so on.  Why don’t you try it for a while? See if it makes a difference in the way you approach life.


What do you do with your worries?  You give them away by sharing your needs with others who can help you. Some of us just give them to a supreme being and trust that the guidance we get will keep us focused on the task at hand without having to be worry about the tasks ahead of us.

You Are Good Enough

Yes!  You are good enough. You do not have to live for anyone but yourself. If you want to change and grow that is your decision, not anyone else's. If you decide you want to learn a new skill, change your behavior, develop a new talent, and/or study a new subject that obligation is to you and you alone. You can seek help from others but not change because they want you to. You are good enough.


If you decide you want to improve some aspect of your life, here are a few suggestions to consider.

  • Visualize your desired outcome. See it happen in your mind's eye.

  • Write it down and post it where you will see it every day.

  • Commit the time needed to accomplish your objective. Don't procrastinate.

  • Seek help and encouragement when needed.

  • Enjoy your success

If you decide you want to shed an old habit and/or just create a new habit, then make it happen.

Want some encouragement to achieve your dream? Follow the Soar Without Limits Process. Send us an email and tell us how we can help. This no charge peer-to-peer interaction provides valuable feedback to help you on your journey.

Please download a Summary of the Six Steps of my book “SOAR Without Limits”.


Download a Summary of the Six Steps