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Stop hating your body and hating yourself!

And when it comes to body image? Hey, in my books, I interviewed world renown leaders who acknowledged their horrible self-esteem problems that were rooted in what they weighed or how they looked. Few even pretended their self-esteem was rock solid because this is the disease of our generation: We beat ourselves up.

If we’ve failed at something, we remind ourselves of it long after we should have moved on. We tell ourselves we aren’t smart enough or fast enough or credentialed enough to try something especially hard or new.

This is how we have programmed nonoxinol 9 our thinking. We have put all those dark thoughts in our head and repeated them so many times that they are the first thoughts we have when it comes to our performance, our place in the world and our self-worth. Write down ten negative things you have told yourself this week, and really look at them. Are they grounded in reality? Would other people say those things – to that degree? Besides, you are a flawed individual – just like everybody else. Why harp on gloomy and pessimistic views of yourself?

Fawn Germer is the best-selling author of four books and speaks to corporations and organizations about courages and creative leadership strategies. marijuana geodon

The Slump

I am about to admit something embarrassing. It goes back a couple of decades, to my first years as a reporter out of college. My old boss at The Florida Times-Union got himself one of those Commodore computers in the early days of the home PC and figured out a way to categorize and calculate how reporters were performing. We’d get points for the number of stories we produced and the placement of the stories. If the stories were scoops or blockbusters, we got bonus points.

At the end of the month, good ol’ Nick Bournias (still one of my favorite bosses) would publish his “Nicky Points,” ranking us from first to worst.

We’d all commiserate about his stupid rating system, griping that we weren’t manufacturing shoes but rather, performing an immeasurable public service as journalists.

When I finally left the paper, Nick published a special edition of his newsletter, praising me for all the times I was on the very top of that list and teasing me for the times I was on the very bottom.

It was so true.

What was it they used to say? “When you’re hot, you’re hot. When you’re not, you’re not.”

Well, I’ll admit it.

I’ve been through plenty of spells when I was not hot. Or warm. Or even lukewarm. My performance was excruciatingly cold.

And, I wish I could write this in past tense, as though my slumps were all a thing of the past, but there are weeks when, as a writer, I am on fire and weeks when I am in recharge mode.

Sometimes my brain needs a break.

Remember that. Brains need breaks.

Bosses label those spells when we shut down or slide from excellence into mediocrity as slumps, but, I see those moments as crucial brain vacations that let me recharge my batteries so I can perform again. It took a lot of years for me to learn that I can’t drive in fifth gear every day without completely burning out my internal shifters. I remembered that when I became a manager and saw my people go through the same experience.

We need those down periods so we have the energy to perform when the time comes. We do not have an inexhaustible supply of energy; we have limits. Success comes in cycles. It is never a straight shot from earth into the stratosphere, so when you catch yourself sliding a little, don’t panic. It has happened to everyone.

What the negativity does

Don’t be so skeptical of the value of positive self-talk until you really look at the wonders of all the negative self-talk with which you’ve filled your brain. Yes, isn’t it a wonder how some of us voluntarily build ourselves up to be worthless, unattractive failures?

If you look in the mirror and see “fat,” you will be fat. If you look at your career track and think “average,” you will be average. If you look at possibility and see impossibility, you will encounter impossibility. You know it’s true that when you say you can’t, you can’t.

So this blog will, in part, teach you how to believe you can, because you can.

The beauty of it is, it is not hard at all to erase those negative tapes and overwrite them with positive ones that will drive you to a less stressful, more productive and happier life.

You’ll Fall Down

Ski instructors will tell you a very true fact about the sport: If you look at the dangerous route below you and try to figure out how the heck you will be able to maneuver it, you’ll fall down.

Just ski.

Do it, don’t overthink or over analyze it. Move forward.

We don’t do that with our lives, do we? We see what looks like a treacherous path ahead of us and talk ourselves out of trying it before we even start. We are so afraid to trust ourselves that we choose instead to limit ourselves.

free gunfight at the o k corral movie download Some of us think we are “average” or “middle class” or “worker bees” or “mid-level managers.” As we label ourselves, we limit ourselves. We set ourselves apart from those who succeed at the highest levels. It’s almost like we are mentally delineating the career “haves” and the career “have nots,” and are literally choosing to place ourselves with the “have nots” because we don’t see ourselves with the same potential and possibility that the superstars exhibit.

Why?

The power of repetition

The tapes inside your head are powerful. If you repeat a negative remark enough times, it will load itself into the permanent memory on your personal internal hard drive. I don’t believe you have the power to completely erase those tapes because it does seem like they are ready to play themselves again, as soon as you stop repeating your revised versions through affirmations. But, you have great control over the tapes and possess the ability to write over the bad ones, recording positive, constructive and productive affirmations that your psyche will absorb and use if you repeat them enough.

Like I said, I am no different from anyone else. I have had good times and bad in this life. When I am in a bad spell, I have to remind myself how easy it is to fix things by saying the right words to myself. It’s so easy, but it can be so hard to get started.

So, make up your mind. You want an easier way? You can have it.

Fawn Germer is the best-selling author of four books and speaks to corporations and organizations about courages and creative leadership strategies.

Unstick yourself. Your rut is your prison.

The last day at my job in Denver was especially memorable because one of my colleagues confided, “You are so lucky to be getting out of this place. I’ve been so miserable for the last ten years here that I can’t stand to come in. I feel sick every time I walk in the door.”

“You’ve got to get out of here,” I urged.

But she never did. More than ten years later, she is still working at the same job for the same abusive boss — and it is tragic. Another decade and she can retire with what has to be the worst pension in employment history. What a sad way to waste a life.

She lacks the confidence to take charge of her destiny and instead sacrifices all the possibility her life holds in hopes that she can hang in there long enough to get a sheet cake and pension check. Plenty of people live like that.

Extended misery is a choice from which you are always free to liberate yourself. Just cure yourself of your inaction.

Most of us fear change, but change is the one thing that leads to greater opportunity and success. Make the decision over what you want, then figure out the steps you need to take. Check them off, one at a time, and don’t psyche yourself out of the unpleasant tasks because, if you just buck up, they don’t take much time. Think of how often you have put off doing your resume because it is such a pain. Well, how long does it really take? A couple of hours? A day? Just do it.

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Whether it is a resume or any other first step, just commit to the idea, then carry through one step at a time. Once you walk a little, you’ll be ready to run. But, you won’t go anywhere if you won’t put on your shoes.

shelter online Fawn Germer is the best-selling author of four books and speaks to corporations and organizations about courages and creative leadership strategies.

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Too Busy to Live

I went to a small dinner party where someone who is in the Fortune 10 most powerful women in business. She was warm, accessible and kind. But she didn’t have much to offer our conversation about life balance except her regrets that she has no time to golf or hang out or do any of the things she would really like to do. It’s as if she’s too busy to live.

I asked, “Why don’t you just do some of those things so you don’t burn out?”

She looked at me like I just didn’t get it. “I have the weight of the world on my shoulders,” she said. And, she meant it. Then she said, “When I accepted this job, I made a commitment to the company and the stockholders. I have no other option.”

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Truth is, I didn’t get it. Why would anyone choose to give up life for work? Even a temporary sacrifice like that is too much because, living in one dimension, you will challenge your physical and mental health to the point where you stop living in a colorful world. We’ve all seen colleagues humbled by heart attacks and strokes, or even extended bouts of depression. The one thing I think we are all called upon to do is live in the moment. Live a vibrant, colorful life in the now.

I think of two veteran journalists who loved my newspaper so much that they had their ashes encased in the walls after they died. Instead of having their ashes spread in the glorious Rocky Mountain around them, they chose the newspaper lobby? It said everything about what the paper meant to them and, probably, what they thought they meant to the paper. But, theirs was a sad choice, because decades after their deaths, people didn’t care about who they were, what they’d done or what they meant to the history of the newspaper. It was a bit of a joke that there were ashes in the wall. And, aggravating the insult, when the paper was moved into a new building, the remains were removed and buried in a cemetery. Management didn’t even extend the courtesy of letting them make the move with everybody else.

You can give and give and give and give, and the business will take and take and take and take. In the end, who you are matters so much more than what you did.

The business won’t love you back.

Fawn Germer is the best-selling author of four books and speaks to corporations and organizations about courageous and creative leadership strategies.

You Can Do Better

“You can do better than this.”

I can still hear my mother’s voice.

I was in the tenth grade and I had brought home a report card that boasted a few As, a couple of Bs, a C and the only  D I’d ever gotten – in geometry. I didn’t see anything wrong with that report card because it wasn’t much different from what my friends brought home, except for that little episode with geometry, for which I still don’t apologize.

But, Mom did see something wrong with that report card.

“You are not average,” she said, “So you can’t bring home a report card like this. If you were average, it would be all right. If I knew this was the best you could do, it would be all right. But, it isn’t the best you can do and you know it. You can do better.”

I hadn’t really thought about it before, whether I was smart or talented or anything else. I was just a kid who wanted desperately to fit in despite being hindered by a major case of nerdiness. I wanted to be average because then I would blend in with the others. Teenage life would be so much easier blending in with the crowd. No one would expect me to do anything more than the minimum. Hanging there with mediocrity seemed like a pretty safe way to get through high school.

If you think about it, I was right. And it applies to our work situations today. Mediocrity is a very safe place to hang. You don’t have to deal with the risk of being extreme – either too excellent or too poor. You aren’t a problem child that needs to be put on probation or dealt with. You aren’t a model of excellence who is a target for people who are jealous or threatened. You’re just in the crowd.

My mother’s tone of voice made it very clear that I would be making a few changes with regard to my academic approach.

It’s amazing how quickly I turned things around after that lecture. All As, and a B in geometry. I just had to make the decision.

I’ve had to make that decision again and again throughout my career. It is a conscious decision to ratchet things up another notch, to produce more, to concentrate harder, to work longer, to deliver. It is a decision to leave the pack and be excellent.

Fawn Germer is the best-selling author of four books, including an Oprah pick. She speaks to corporations and organizations on courageous and creative leadership strategies taken from her interviews with the best-known leaders of our times.

Your Big Plan: The Greatest Piece of Fiction You Will Ever Write

I often joke about the initial plan I had for my life as an author. I would write the book in three months, then sell it for the high six figures, maybe seven. The book would then come out six months later, debuting on top of the New York Times ultracet no prescrition best-seller list. Oprah would see the book on the shelves while out shopping at the Chicago Barnes and Noble, then buy it. She would love it so much that she would call me up, have me whisked off to Chicago, then have me on the show as she told the world to buy my book. She would so fall in love with me that she’d invite me home for dinner with her and Steadman. attacks effexor with treating xr panic

Quite a plan, right?

Your “life plan” is the biggest piece of fiction you will ever write. You can try to organize and structure your plan, but you can’t make it fit perfectly in a world of so much unexpected drama. I certainly never counted on my book being rejected the first time by every major publisher, or it being released right around 9/11.

If you must have a plan, have a plan. But, plan to change it, because life will demand you change it. The seemingly clear path you devise to turn your vision into reality will twist and turn and run into dead ends. It will lead you into brick walls and open fields. Things you expect to be hard might be very, very easy. Things you expect to come easy might never come at all.

The plan helps you refine your vision and gives you direction so you won’t stall out. But, success does not happen according to plan. It happens, but you have to help it happen by being flexible, shrewd, quick-thinking and resolute about what you want. You can lament the twists and turns, or you can learn to expect them, and enjoy them for the extra challenges they present.

Fawn Germer is the best-selling author of four books and speaks to corporations and organizations about courages and creative leadership strategies.

Rewrite The Negative

What could all of us do if we could just rewrite the negative stories we tell ourselves? If you tell yourself that “It’s too late,” because you are “too old,” then stop being negative. If you say you “aren’t as smart as” your boss, your boss’ boss or the head honcho at the top of the company, you are likely making a very false assumption. Sometimes there are brilliant people in charge. Sometimes, there are not. Just don’t dismiss your own brilliance until you see how far it will carry you.

There will always be someone smarter than you are. And someone who isn’t as smart. There will always be someone with more savvy – and less. Someone with better intellectual instincts – and worse. Someone who is more creative – and less.

Do you have to wait until you are the best in every category before you can see yourself as capable of achieving at a high level? No! You will never win all the marbles. You don’t have to. You just need to focus your vision, make up your mind and go out and do the work. Remind yourself again and again that the people who succeed are not the best or the brightest. They are the boldest.

Just be bold.

Fawn Germer is the best-selling author of four books, including an Oprah pick. She speaks to corporations and organizations on courageous and creative leadership strategies taken from her interviews with the best-known leaders of our times.

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