“The worst moment of my life,” I thought, as I sat down at the table. My gut seized. No! I think I’m going to throw up.
After more than five years of work, my dream project was being taken from me. This project was going to set the positive course of my next 30 years of life.
However, the tall guy, who was going to take the project and my dream from me, glared at me from across the table.
I decided to be polite. This simple lunch, in a nearby diner, was hopefully going to create peace and a positive resolution. I reached for the napkin dispenser to get a napkin to hand him.
Reaching for that napkin, I stood up, and my suit jacket sleeve caught on my tall, plastic cup of water.
And time stopped. The water cup tilted, balanced on the edge of the bottom rim.
I felt it in that instant.The water cup’s going to spill over, and I can’t stop it.
Splash! Water all over the table.
My gut clenched. Now, I’m going to vomit.
But both of us were in action, tossing napkins on the table, trying to stop the water from soaking the floor. Such water would create a hazard for the server’s return to our table.
The other guy laughed. I didn’t.
But … a miracle. Some tension was eased.
I then improvised and built rapport with the other guy. And the project was not taken from me. An agreement was reached.
I share this story because the true source of how you can believe in yourself is probably different from your first imaginings.
How can this be?
Through the standard school system and the guidance of parents and guardians, many of us were taught to believe in our talent. “Oh, you’re so talented at this.” We were required to be a good boy or a good girl. We heard, “I’m so proud of you. You got an ‘A’ on this report.”
On the other hand, I’m now inviting you to look at certain essential supports for your real and sustainable belief in yourself. You can build success and the ability to influence others on these true supports of your self-belief.
The essence of our conversation here is to…
Shift from a Thought Pattern of “I believe in myself because I accomplish”
“I believe in myself because I prepare, participate, learn and adapt in the moment.”
You see that this is a shift from the external to the internal. You empower yourself by looking at your internal choicesas opposed to letting other people’s opinions rule your life.
Here are 3 Secrets for Sustainable Belief in Yourself
1. Measure by your heart, not their approval
You’ve likely noticed that much of your life you have been graded, and your performance has been measured. Here I’m suggesting that we measure by our hearts. You measure by your own values and your own aspirations.
Fortunately, I carried on to shift from concern about his scorn to transforming this moment into an opportunity to create rapport. With such rapport, we moved forward to a resolution.
When you measure by your heart, you approach your life with a growth mindset. You’re learning, preparing, and rehearsing. You’re able to get better and develop your skills.
Meanwhile, the truth is you can do all the appropriate preparation and rehearsal and still not get the outcome that you want. Perhaps, the marketplace does not respond to your work. The feature film The Princess Bride landed with a thud at the box office. But this film has continued for decades to serve millions of people who have purchased copies on VHS, DVD, and Blu-ray.
Some of our work serves as a staircase to our doing better work with our next project.
Elon Musk said that success requires having a high pain threshold. Along this line, we’re looking at nourishing your personal strength by measuring by your heart. That gives you the stamina.
The good news is: When you measure by your heart and not their approval, you can give yourself appropriate acknowledgement that you are moving forward.
2.Engage with doing and being present
All of life includes improvising. Every conversation you experience calls upon you to listen, adapt and respond. Many conversations involve restraining yourself and keeping certain emotions in check. In the situation that include my tipping over the water cup, I needed to carry on and ultimately create rapport to bring the painful and stressful situation to a resolution.
In my work as the Spoken Word Strategist, I help my clients focus on Words. Strategy and Rehearsal. This process helps each client develop compelling communication for an important situation.
Consider dividing your goals into Effort-Goals and Result-Goals. Your Effort-Goals will focus on preparation and rehearsal. With the appropriate Words, Strategy and Rehearsal, you will be able to improvise and be in the present moment — and perform at your best.
We seek to develop our vital skills that include focusing on what you’re doing in this present moment.As a side note: It’s valuable to develop daily habits like meditation so that you can shift from a stressful perception into one of calm and peace. Even a daily five-minute meditation session can change the structure of your brain. You’ll be empowered to perform at your best in moments that feel truly stressful.
3. Define Your Own Healthy Identity
Many of us are locked into the identity placed on us by parents, guardians, and the traditional school system. The old idea was you have value based on “you are talented, and you accomplished what we say is important.”
Instead, consider defining your own healthy identity built on something other than other people’s approval and only accomplishments. Build your identity on how you devote efforts and you participate in life. The idea is that you focus on how you prepare, participate, learn and adapt in the moment. This gives you a solid foundation, which helps you maintain your poise in stressful situations.
My point is: Avoid relying on other people’s version of your identity. Instead, choose your identity as someone who prepares, learns and adapts.
Facing other really tough moments in my life, I have relied on rehearsing every day, and I work with mentors. I have developed improvisational skills to perform in stressful situations.
Focus not just on your accomplishments and other people’s approval. Consider an internal approach in which you measure by your heart. You will radiate more confidence, and people will say Yes to your influence.
Build your internal strength as you say to yourself: “I prepare, participate, learn and adapt in the moment. I am growing. I take appropriate risks and feel fulfillment in my life.”
“Let’s make a movie,” my friend said. That unleashed so much creativity that we made a feature film that went to the Cannes Film Market. My directing, co-producing, writing and acting in that film also opened the door for me to become an educator and author of over 50 books.
Before that, another four words launched my time as a lead singer in a band and song composer. Those words were “Let’s record this music.” That was a chapter of my life. I was not gifted as a singer. 😊
Here are another four words: Make the dream happen. At 8, I saw on TV, the Disney film, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. The dream to walk on the ocean floor like Captain Nemo stayed with me. Years later, I fulfilled my 8-year-old self’s dream to walk on the ocean floor. I sure didn’t expect that I’d wear eyeglasses underwater.
By the way, the four words that launched the idea for this article were “Share information — make offers.” I read these words in the book, Chillpreneur by Denise Duffield-Thomas.
When I saw those words, Share information — make offers, it opened a new door for me. For years I continue to serve clients in my role as the Spoken Word Strategist and Executive Coach. But these four words opened my thoughts, so I could serve a whole different market.
Two Powerful Elements of “The Four Words that Change Your Life”
First Element: Your Creativity is Unleashed
The 4 Words that can change your life unleash so much creativity. You become full of energy. You have a purpose and a mission. You’re serving somebody by making something. It feels great!
So, after I read Share information — make offers, I decided to convert material from some of my 50 books on Amazon and create these 3 Online Courses for udemy.com:
I felt thrilled to create these courses. Have you had the experience of feeling excited to express your creativity and serve people?
Second Element: You’re Released from a False Limitation Placed by “The Experts”
The four words that can change your life release you from a false limitation placed by “the experts.”
Experts told me: “Do not release modest cost online courses.” However, reading the guidance from Denise Duffield-Thomas, I realized that I could reach a completely different market, while continuing to do personalized work as theSpoken Word Strategistand Executive Coach. I could continue as an International Speaker from New York to New Zealand (with Silicon Valley, Thailand and more).
With videos in online courses, I could serve more people. The strange thing is when somebody only pays $10 (super discount) for a course, they are still more invested than someone who pays nothing. Just receiving free information may not spark necessary, life-changing efforts. But taking an online course that you paid for can beyour springboard to a better life.
Let’s Craft Your Four Words to Change Your Life
Here are questions to help you focus on four words and change your life:
What 4 Words represent an invitation for you to try something different and unleash a lot of creativity?
How can you craft the words, so they’re easy to memorize? (examples: Let’s make a movie; Let’s record this music; Share information — make offers)
How can you take an appropriate risk?
Now, I’ll close with this question:
What new chapter are you going to open in your life and how are you going to unleash your creativity?
My hand shakes, reaching for the doorknob. With my first time on the Stanford University campus, I have this one meeting — one chance — to secure a big opportunity. If I do well, I’ll be able to serve as a guest lecturer to MBA students at Stanford. I’d enjoy a significant step forward in my journey as an educator. Or I could fall on my face.
Can I do this?
How about you? Have you recently faced one of those do-or-die moments? One of those moments of “my life changes for the better or I could choke”? I’ve learned about a crucial element to rising to a higher level of success. It’s learning how to perform at your best when you’re tired, afraid or feeling rejected.
This was so important for my clients and audiences that I developed a process, The 3 A’s to Perform at Your Best.
Access what you don’t know
Adapt through rehearsal
Align with your Personal Energy Buffer
1. Access what you don’t know It’s crucial to develop a Circle of Support. I have my own coaches, and I serve as the Spoken Word Strategist and Executive Coach for my clients. In your Circle of Support, have those people who will listen to you when you have a fledgling idea. Be careful about any negative family members. I have a family member whose negativity creates a place where good ideas go to die. Instead, I invite you to develop friendships with people who can walk with you during a process of uncertainty. I’ve noticed that a new idea might sound like something with no chance to work, but it can serve as a step on a ladder so that you rise.
2. Adapt through rehearsal Rehearsal has served me in so many areas: job interviews, acting on movie sets, speeches and interviews on television.
My rehearsals helped that day at Stanford University. I secured two opportunities to address MBA students at Stanford.
Here is a crucial distinction. You do better by going beyond merely rehearsing your text. Instead, focus on rehearsing for situations when things go wrong. When you know how to handle something that goes wrong, your True Confidence is enhanced.
For example, if you misspeak, you can say, “That’s not what I meant to say. What I meant to say was …” Then, you start again and express the words in an effective and compelling manner. It’s still vital to rehearse how you will handle a mistake. You make your method to recover into a part of you.
3. Align with your Personal Energy Buffer To perform at your best in a high-stress situation, rehearsal is key. As a trained actor and professional speaker, I noticed that with effective rehearsal I have even more freedom to improvise. How is this so? It’s because I have connected with the essence of the most important ideas that I want to communicate.
Just as important as rehearsal, your Personal Energy Buffer can empower your performance. By this I mean, you need extra personal energy every day. Why? Because on any day you may be hit with a painful, scary, bad surprise. With extra personal energy, you’re ready to face such tough moments. You build up your Personal Energy Buffer by getting enough sleep. I log my sleep, and I’ll take steps to gain more sleep if I miss hours of sleep on a particular night.
The basics will help you develop that extra buffer of personal energy. The basics may include good nutrition, exercise, quiet time (perhaps, meditation), playful time with a pet, and quality time with people you care about.
The value of a Personal Energy Buffer comes to light with research on tennis pros. During a tennis match, a tennis pro only leaps into action for 20 minutes — of a 3-hour match. Otherwise, the tennis pro is relaxing between bursts of energy.
One of my clients, a sports psychologist, emphasizes that she helps Olympic athletes develop appropriate poise and relaxation so they have full access to their best energy when necessary.
Your Personal Energy Buffer helps you bounce back from rejection. It takes energy to say next! and make the next phone call or go to a meeting after having a disappointing experience of rejection. Do what is required to keep up your strength.
Nurture yourself and keep yourself strong. This is the process so you can succeed even if you’re tired, afraid or feeling rejected.
Go the Next Step and See the Video Ep. 50 “Succeed Even If You’re Tired, Afraid or Feeling Rejected” (16 min.)
many happy moments, Tom
Tom Marcoux Spoken Word Strategist CEO – Executive Coach – Pitch Coach Speaker-Author of 47 books
Get the Advantages to take your business to a higher level. Learn Leadership Advantages, Pitch Advantages, and Success Advantages. To Soar with Confidence, you learn and use principles for top level communication to board members, team members and the media. “Marcoux demonstrates how to “Prepare a Compelling Story that Moves Emotions.” He mentions techniques that he teaches clients for developing compelling Ted Talks.” – Dantalion Jones
Learn the vital skills of pitching your ideas and enrolling others into your vision. Get that “Big Yes” to funding your project.“This insightful book shows you how to zing a curveball right past the parts of the Hollywood exec’s brain that want to say no before you even make your pitch. You will learn what works when pitching, and more importantly, why, so you can get to YES much more often. Buy this book now. Consider it Spring Training before the big game.” – Danek Kaus
This invaluable guide, used by people in 15 countries and now in its second edition, will help you become immune to dark persuasion. Learn to use countermeasures to defend yourself against unethical persuasion and seduction tactics. Break any trance in which a salesperson is trying to get you to buy something not to your benefit. “Learn how to defend yourself against manipulation. Best book you’ll ever read to protect yourself, feel strong and move forward in your life. Highly recommended!” – Dr. JoAnn Dahlkoetter
Imagine dining with Walt Disney, Steve Jobs, Oprah Winfrey, Albert Einstein, Martin Luther King, Jr., Helen Keller, and John Lasseter. These seven people share one thing: They’re great communicators. So this book will help you become a great communicator. “Marcoux especially stresses the importance of personal branding, of coming across as trustworthy and dependable.” – Einar Masson
You want wealth, abundance and enjoyment–yes? Wouldn’t it be great to learn the real strategies that the Rich use to create Sustainable Wealth? This book takes you behind-the-scenes to what really works. You’ll see a lot of myth-busting, and you’ll learn the strategies that get real results. “Tom Marcoux gives you an inside look on the psychology of what it takes to be successfully wealthy in life. It’s more than just taking advantage of opportunity, but also about taking care of yourself. This book discusses a number of strategies that we often overlook when it comes to leading a successful life that leads to wealth generation.” – Barry Adamson II
Would you like to Amaze yourself? This book helps you Get Stronger so you can Get It Done!You’ll learn how you can Get Credit for It! All three elements are crucial so you rise to a higher level of success and happiness. Think about it. If you get it done, but you’re a physical wreck—you lose. If you get things done, but you don’t Get Credit for It—you cannot get new clients. And, you’ll lose your current clients—if they don’t know, in their gut, how their lives are better because you’ve brought them significant benefits. Here’s a secret: You can unleash the Amazing You! Executive Coach Tom Marcoux helps you develop Extreme Confidence. “Tom Marcoux, once again, has written a book filled with practical insights and veteran business expertise that allows individuals to acquire the tools to balance personal and professional life. Tom’s wisdom possesses depth and the experience of someone who has ‘walked the walk.’” – Dr. Arthur Ciaramicoli
Learn how you can tap into your natural gifts and tendencies to radiate Three Types of Charisma. Discover how to influence people with your words. “Marcoux explodes this myth: Charismatic people always feel comfortable before and during an important event, such as public speaking, networking or some other social event. This book shows how you can feel discomfort but still come across as confident and charismatic.The secrets include ways to radiate all three forms of charisma Marcoux describes as Warm Trust Charisma, Natural Charm Charisma and Magnetic Charisma.” – Danek Kaus
This book will empower you with the 3 Skills every Great Leader needs to succeed: Relate, Optimize and Intuit. Learn to excel as a RoiLeader. The Bottom-line: You need an “unfair advantage” of top communication skills. Use Expansive Thinking to handle Disruption and get out ahead of it. “Shape the Future, Lead Like a Pro empowers you with essential leadership skills. Integrity is the foundation of Authentic Leadership. This book helps you lead and retain people who appreciate true leadership and who will excel for your organization.” – Christopher Salem, Host of Sustainable Success Radio Show