Category Archives: Grow Your Life

5 Ways to Turn Your Negative Self-Talk Into Positive Self-Talk

 

#GrowYourLife  #BuildYourBusiness 

Life Area: Personal

Topic: Negative Self-Talk


5 Ways to Turn Your Negative Self-Talk Into Positive Self-Talk

 

Whether you tell yourself, “I’m never going to be promoted,” or you constantly think, “People think I’m weird,” negative self-talk affects how you feel and how you behave. In fact, the conversations you have with yourself often turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy.

For example, imagine someone who thinks, “I’m socially awkward and no one wants to talk to me.” To cope with their awkwardness, they avoid striking up conversations with people and limit their interactions. Consequently, people think the person is socially awkward and therefore that belief about themselves is confirmed.

I’m reminded of a story my mentor and friend, Coach John Wooden, told me years ago of a prospective recruit visiting UCLA and telling Coach that he felt the people in Los Angeles weren’t very friendly. To which Coach challenged the young recruit that maybe it was he that was being stand-offish and not being very friendly to those who greeted him.

Negative self-talk and having our own limiting beliefs is a universal problem. Read about how to transcend your limiting beliefs in this guest post [here] and listen to this Talk with Tom podcast episode to learn more. Over the years, I’ve coached countless people on changing their negative dialogue. And I’ve seen first-hand how developing a more productive inner dialogue helps individuals create a more optimistic outlook and create positive change.

So whether you call yourself names or you always talk yourself out of trying something new, here’s how to deal with negative thoughts in a healthy way:

 

1. Recognize Your Negative Thoughts

When you get an email from the boss that says, “I need to meet with you as soon as possible,” is your first thought that you’re about to be fired or do you think you must be getting a raise?

Many of your thoughts are automatic. They just pop into your head without any conscious effort.

So it’s important to take a second to evaluate your thoughts so you can recognize thoughts that are unrealistic, unproductive, or irrational.

 

2. Look for Evidence That Your Thought IS True

Just because you think something doesn’t make it true. In fact, most of your thoughts are more likely to be opinions rather than facts.

So ask yourself, “What’s the evidence that this IS true?” Sticking with the example of the email from the boss, what evidence do you have that you’re about to be fired?

Create a list of the evidence that supports your thoughts. Perhaps you called in sick for days in a row recently. Or maybe you missed a deadline on an important project a month earlier. List as many reasons as you can.

 

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Talk with Tom: Episode #36 | TwT Motivational Minute: Resilience

 

In this episode of the Talk with Tom Motivational Minute, Tom discusses how he learned from his own failures to be resilient and the ability to bounce back.

As he states in this episode, “I am… regarded as an authority on financing, investing, negotiating, and business strategies. I made a ton of mistakes along the way and have gone from Rock Star to Rock Bottom to Rock Solid. One of the critical skills for ongoing success is the ability to bounce back from adversity.”


Every month Tom shares topic after topic to Grow Your Life and Build Your Business. If you’re not already a subscriber, join us. Talk with Tom is 100% free, and there are special benefits available only to our subscribers, so be sure you subscribe yourself on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts, and we look forward to seeing you right back here on the last Wednesday of every month with Talk with Tom.

How To Cultivate A Growth Mindset

 

how to cultivate a growth mindset

#GrowYourLife  #BuildYourBusiness 

Life Area: Personal

Topic: Growth Mindset


How To Cultivate A Growth Mindset

 

Download this FREE Resource on my Resources pageGrowth Mindset vs Fixed Mindset – and you’ll learn the difference between the two mindsets. In this post I’ll take you inside my recently completed read Mindset: The New Psychology of Success authored by Stanford psychologist and researcher, Carol Dweck.  Dweck’s book was published to much fanfare in 2006, yet it is only in recent years that it achieved mainstream adoption, and came to my attention.

 

Dweck’s research includes a landmark study which found that children who are praised for their intelligence are more likely to choose future tasks that validate their perceived intelligence and make them look smart. Conversely, children who are praised for their effort are more likely to choose tasks that help them learn new things.

 

The first group have what Dweck calls a ‘fixed mindset’: they avoid challenges because they don’t want to jeopardize their reputation and, thus, their intellectual development stalls. The second group have a ‘growth mindset’: they thrive on challenges and they aren’t afraid to fail because they know they can try again, fail again and fail better.

 

“Why waste time proving over and over how great you are, when you could be getting better?” writes Dweck in Mindset. “Why hide deficiencies instead of overcoming them? Why look for friends or partners who will just shore up your self-esteem instead of ones who will also challenge you to grow? And why seek out the tried and true, instead of experiences that will stretch you?”.

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Talk with Tom: Episode #35 | TwT Motivational Minute: Definite Major Purpose

 

In this episode of the Talk with Tom Motivational Minute, Tom discusses the importance of having a Definite Major Purpose in one’s life.

Thoughts are things, and powerful things at that, when they are mixed with definiteness of purpose, persistence, and a BURNING DESIRE for their translation into riches, or other material objects. That’s how Napoleon Hill’s famous book Think and Grow Rich begins.


Every month Tom shares topic after topic to Grow Your Life and Build Your Business. If you’re not already a subscriber, join us. Talk with Tom is 100% free, and there are special benefits available only to our subscribers, so be sure you subscribe yourself on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts, and we look forward to seeing you right back here on the last Wednesday of every month with Talk with Tom.

The Only 8 Slides Your Pitch Deck Needs

 

The Only 8 Slides Your Pitch Deck Needs

#GrowYourLife  #BuildYourBusiness 

Life Area: Professional

Topic: The Only 8 Slides Your Pitch Deck Needs


The Only 8 Slides Your Pitch Deck Needs

 

When I first meet with startup entrepreneurs, the most often asked question is some form of “How do we raise capital?”

It’s very wise of them to ask because in the end if you’re not well capitalized, you won’t last. Yet rarely do they know the steps to raising capital, let alone how to apply them. I tell them, VCs and other investors are investing in you as a person as much as they are investing in your company product or service. So, I tell them “be authentic”, “be open book”, “be vulnerable”. Let them get to know you and trust you. They need to do that long before they see your proforma, rate of return, or sales projections.

Often the first impression to such an audience is your presentation or “pitch deck”.  The reason I want to talk about pitch decks is simple: I see too many that are simply not good. What should be a short, powerful presentation to pique investor interest too frequently falls way short. Nothing I’m about to tell you about how to build the perfect pitch deck amounts to magic. It’s just simple fundamentals. So here’s how to do a pitch deck right, slide by simple slide:

Slide 1: Present your statement of purpose.

When I talk with a young entrepreneur, I always start by asking, “What’s your big idea?” What I’m looking for is a statement about who they are and what they do in a sentence so elemental and polished that the listeners “get it”. This statement is worth spending some time on, because it might just be the most important dozen words you ever write. It also needs to be a living statement that evolves and grows with your business, your market, and dependent on what matters to your investors. And … remember this, the first slide sets the tone, and you either grab them or lose them with this one.

Slide 2: Introduce your team.

Now, introduce them to you and your team. Let them get to know your team members’ professional backgrounds, why you’re each well-suited for the business, and how you all work together synergistically with complementary skill sets. And what are investors looking for in your team? Three things, really: that they’ve done it before, that they’re the best at what they do, and that they’re incredibly confident. Bring as many team members as you think helps your cause and show off the veritable tour de force of talent that’s going to give the room absolute confidence you can pull off everything you’re about to lay out.

Slide 3: Identify the problem.

If you’re pursuing the kind of big idea that matters to venture capitalists, you need to comprehensively and vividly identify the fundamental problem you’re solving. This accomplishes a couple of things. One, it demonstrates that you understand current market pressures and the macro trends that drive them. Second, it forces you to train a spotlight on what you’re aiming to tackle by ensuring it’s an actual problem in the world. If you can describe the problem better than your audience, chances are they will assume you have the solution.

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Talk with Tom: Episode #33 | TwT Motivational Minute: Face Your Fears

 

Any time you want to do something for the first time, there is probably some fear involved — especially if you are taking a risk in pursuing the want. Listen to a quick lesson from Tom Hart on how you can proceed while facing your fear(s).


Every month Tom shares topic after topic to Grow Your Life and Build Your Business. If you’re not already a subscriber, join us. Talk with Tom is 100% free, and there are special benefits available only to our subscribers, so be sure you subscribe yourself on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts, and we look forward to seeing you right back here on the last Wednesday of every month with Talk with Tom.

Talk with Tom: Episode #32 | The Role Luck Plays In Our Success

 

The results of recent studies strongly suggest that luck and opportunity play an underappreciated role in determining the final level of individual success. Success may truly lie at the intersection of preparation meeting opportunity, however, that is not the entire story. As the researchers point out, since rewards and resources are usually given to those who are already highly rewarded, this often causes a lack of opportunities for those who are most talented (i.e., have the greatest potential to actually benefit from the resources), and it doesn’t take into account the important role of luck, which can emerge spontaneously throughout the creative process.


Every month Tom shares topic after topic to Grow Your Life and Build Your Business. If you’re not already a subscriber, join us. Talk with Tom is 100% free, and there are special benefits available only to our subscribers, so be sure you subscribe yourself on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts, and we look forward to seeing you right back here on the last Wednesday of every month with Talk with Tom.

The Role Luck Plays In Our Success

 

#GrowYourLife  #BuildYourBusiness 

Life Area: Personal

Topic: The Role Luck Plays In Our Success


The Role Luck Plays In Our Success

 

I recently recorded a Talk with Tom podcast episode on the topic of the role luck plays in our success. You can listen to it [here]. For those of you who favor the written word, I offer up the fascinating findings from a number of studies I came across in my research.

The results of a recent Italian study conducted by researchers Alessando Pluchino and Alessio Biondo, dovetail with a growing number of other studies based on real-world data, which strongly suggest that luck and opportunity play an underappreciated role in determining the level of individual success. As the researchers point out, since rewards and resources are usually given to those who are already highly rewarded, this often causes a lack of opportunities for those who are most talented (i.e., have the greatest potential to actually benefit from the resources), and it doesn’t take into account the important role of luck, which can emerge spontaneously throughout the creative process.

What are the secrets of the most successful people?

 

Time and again things such as talent, skill, mental toughness, hard work, tenacity, optimism, growth mindset, and emotional intelligence have been cited.

Brendon Burchard from research for his recent book High Performance Habits: How Extraordinary People Become That Way identified six common habits:

 

Three Personal Habits including:

. Seek Clarity,

. Generate Energy, and

. Raise Necessity; and

 

Three Social Habits:

. Increase Productivity,

. Develop Influence, and

. Demonstrate Courage.

 

All these underlying assumptions influence how we distribute resources in society, from work opportunities to fame to government grants to public policy decisions. We tend to give out resources to those who have a track record of success, and tend to ignore those who have been unsuccessful, assuming that the most successful are also the most competent.

But are these assumptions correct?

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Talk with Tom: Episode #31 | TwT Motivational Minute: Optimism

 

Practicing optimism, the opposite of negative thoughts, creates a healthy environment for success.


Every month Tom shares topic after topic to Grow Your Life and Build Your Business. If you’re not already a subscriber, join us. Talk with Tom is 100% free, and there are special benefits available only to our subscribers, so be sure you subscribe yourself on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts, and we look forward to seeing you right back here on the last Wednesday of every month with Talk with Tom.

Simple Strategies To Increase Workplace Productivity

 

workplace productivity

#GrowYourLife  #BuildYourBusiness 

Life Area: Professional

Topic: Workplace Productivity


Simple Strategies To Increase Workplace Productivity

 

Workplace productivity is top of mind for both business owners and employees/contractors. My business coaching clients know that the more efficient they can run their operations the more profitable the business will be. Employees and Independent Contractors know that the best measure of their value are their results. These two objectives merge at the sweet spot of workplace productivity with a win/win outcome. To encourage a more productive workday I offer to both business owners and employees four workplace productivity strategies:

 

MAKE YOUR WORKDAY SYNC WITH YOUR ENERGY  We are most productive in the first four and a half hours of the day, so arrange to tackle you most challenging or important task during this time. Don’t look at emails, answer phone calls or multitask. “One of the saddest mistakes in time management is the propensity of people to spend the most productive hours of their day on things that don’t require high cognitive capacity, like social media,” behavioral scientist Dan Ariely has said. “If we could salvage those precious hours, most of us would be much more successful in accomplishing what we truly want to.” As my friend, Brian Tracy says: “Eat that frog first!

 

RECHARGE YOUR BRAIN  If you try to concentrate on one piece of work without taking a break, your mind will wander. “The brain cycles from highest attention to lowest attention approximately every 90 minutes,” Jeff Stibel, brain scientist and author of Wired For Thought, has said. “You should hit the reset button about that often.” Going for a quick walk around the block will boost it. If you can’t get out or it’s raining, it helps to just take a break from your screen and sit in a different location, like a conference room to read printed material or make a phone call. I recommend using the pomodoro method of concentrated work for 50 minute stints then a 10 minute break and so on. Check out the app Pomodoro Time Pro to keep you on track.

 


 

When I’m conceptualizing a workshop or speech presentation slide deck, I edit out the obvious, the irrelevant and any repetition.

 


 

USE LESS WORDS  The world-famous TED Talks are limited to 18 minutes, and there’s a good reason why. Research shows that too much information prevents the successful transmission of ideas. In presentations, nobody wants death by PowerPoint! A picture can speak volumes. Also, don’t expect your audience to read your slides while listening to you. When I’m conceptualizing a workshop or speech presentation slide deck, I edit out the obvious, the irrelevant and any repetition. Whatever the task, I try to find the shortest route to convey my message.

 

HAVE FEWER MEETINGS  How many real decisions are made in meetings? They’re usually made beforehand and the meetings simple sign off on them. The ratio of time versus value for a typical meeting is rarely justified. Remember, less is more. If you’re running the meeting, include as few people as possible. Set a clear, short agenda and a time limit – and stick to it! If a problem must be solved, deal with it first. If you’re an attendee, ask for the agenda in advance. If other issues arise that threaten to get in the way of decision-making, suggest firmly but politely that they be dealt with at a later date. And, speaking of TED Talks, check out this 6-minute TED Talk by David Grady entitled “How To Save The World (or at least yourself) From Bad Meetings.


Please share this post with your family and friends. 

My mission is to inspire people and organizations to live their highest vision.

I am a Success Strategist and Master Coach. I provide transformational coaching and training for individuals and organizations to help you Grow Your Life and Build Your Business by getting clear and focused on what you want, why you want it, and how to create it. Learn more about me at SuccessSeriesLLC.com.

There is no better endorsement than that of a friend, so if you like what you’re reading or are using my many FREE resources, tell a friend to join the Tom Hart Success Series Community, to receive email notifications of new blog posts and Talk with Tom podcast episodes, learn of upcoming events, and other news, by visiting my website  and clicking on the offer to receive my FREE monthly resource by leaving their email address OR forward this to them and have them simply click here (we respect your privacy and do not tolerate spam and will never sell, rent, lease or give away your information to any third party).

Talk with Tom: Episode #30 | Creating Successful Relationships

 

On today’s episode of Talk with Tom, we continue with our February theme of “Relationships” with a discussion of Part IV (Create Successful Relationships) of Jack Canfield’s best selling book The Success Principles.

You will hear best practices for team and family communications to gain better clarity, make win/win agreements and optimize your listening skills.


Every month Tom shares topic after topic to Grow Your Life and Build Your Business. If you’re not already a subscriber, join us. Talk with Tom is 100% free, and there are special benefits available only to our subscribers, so be sure you subscribe yourself on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts, and we look forward to seeing you right back here on the last Wednesday of every month with Talk with Tom.

Relationship Series #3: 10 Tips For Having More Meaningful Relationships

 

#GrowYourLife 

Life Area: Relational

Topic: Relationship Tips


10 Tips For Having More Meaningful Relationships

In this last of my February Relationship Series, I give you 10 tips for having meaningful relationships. The term “relationship” encompasses many forms: clients and customers, work colleagues, one’s significant love, parents, children, even acquaintances and strangers to a certain extent. All of these “relationships” can have a positive or a negative influence on our lives. The condition of our relationships, and most certainly our most significant relationships, have an impact on our successes in each of the 7 life areas.

Want to know how to achieve more meaningful relationships with those around you? Start with these 10 simple tips:

1. Take inventory of the relationships you have.

Some relationships are meant to last for a long time, others serve a short-term purpose or life lesson. Take an inventory of the relationships you have and see which ones you would like to keep and which you should let go. Letting go of unnecessary or toxic relationships make room for new ones to show up.

2. Be happy with yourself.

As I described in my blog post A Simple 3 Step Process to Self-Acceptance found [here], your most important relationship is your relationship with yourself. Be happy with yourself…always.

3. Be positive.

Here’s a quick question. Would you rather spend time with someone who is a downer or someone who is upbeat?  Barbara Frederickson, a psychologist at the University of North Carolina, backs up the obvious by writing in Psychology Today, that positive emotions help us “broaden and build” relationships.


Would you rather spend time with someone who is a downer or someone who is upbeat?


4. Don’t be someone else.

Be yourself. Be authentic. As Adrian Savage puts it in LifeHack, “If you can’t trust yourself, why should others trust you?”

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Relationship Series #2: 8 Equivalents of Functional Teams & Functional Families

 

functional families

#GrowYourLife 

Life Area: Relational

Topic: Functional Families


8 Equivalents of Functional Teams & Functional Families

Continuing my blog theme of “Relationships” for this month of Valentine’s Day, I identify today 8 habits that crossover from functional teams at work to functional families at home. It was an article in Real Simple magazine by author Patrick Lencioni (The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team) that prompts this post translating organizational dynamics to a family setting:

 

Identify your core values. Companies define their core values because they provide a great framework for making all kinds of decisions. To apply this idea to your family, think about what common traits drive each family member.

 

Establish a single top priority.  If everything is important, nothing is. Too many companies fail because they spread their time and energies too thin. Answer this question as it relates to your family: “If we accomplish one big thing as a family in the next few months, what should it be?”, and then work on it.

 


If we accomplish one big thing as a family in the next few months,

what should it be?


 

Keep your values and top priority visible.  You don’t need an engraved plaque stating your vision and mission, but write it down and stick it on the refrigerator where everyone will see it everyday.

 

Don’t make snap decisions.  Companies (and families) tend to take on commitments out of peer pressure or guilt, before they understand what’s involved. Gather information and then make a decision.

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