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Top 10: self management…

1:  self-awareness: how well do you know yourself, and also how you come across to others?  Do you have blind spots – behaviours you are unaware of – positive as well as negative?  How will you find out?  Two suggestions: 1) ask others to give you such feedback, honestly (well intentioned blind spot feedback is a gift, not a criticism); 2) watch carefully for others’ reactions to your behaviour – it will often reveal the impact you are having

2 self-control: self- awareness is one thing, but is no use if you have no self control.  It’s no good knowing you interrupt someone, but still continuing to do it!!  Often lack of self-control is associated with strong emotional drives, and emotion hijacks reason.  So a key tip is to put a ‘programme break’ between emotional reaction and physical behaviour – the old ‘count to 10’ or equivalent: buy yourself some calming or thinking time

3 self-esteem: do you give yourself a hard time?  those with low self esteem are usually their own worst enemies – they are the only ones who think as badly or harshly of themselves.  Decide to be your own best friend, rather than your own worst enemy!  Take a balanced stock of yourself, your life and your assets.  Often it’s a case of ‘seek and you will find…’ so look for the good in yourself, and your achievements…

4: self-confidence: the key trick here is to realise that confidence follows action, and not the other way round.  Don’t wait to do something ‘until you are confident’: it will never happen.  You can’t wait to play the piano ‘until you are confident’.  You have to give it a go, practice, and learn – and improve.  That’s how confidence occurs – it grows from action, not leads action.  Think about things in life you are confident about?  How did it happen?  You probably took a deep breath, gave it a go, and found out that nothing bad happened – and you may even have enjoyed it/been better at it than you thought….and it’s that that gave you the confidence to continue

5: self-discipline: things often go awry because of this – a lack of stickability, determination, focus, dedication.  So take a look at the reasons why you lack self-discipline.  Do you blame other people and things as an excuse for not taking responsibility for your own actions?  Instead of saying ‘the TV distracted me’ (blame), say ‘I allowed myself to get distracted by the TV’ (personal responsibility).  If you blame the world, you will wait for ‘the world’ to get it right – which will never happen.  Instead, take ownership for your own actions.  If you are easily distracted, or lose concentration, then work on these issues – how do you get distracted?  What can you do to minimise or prevent this?

6: self-motivation: there is only one person in this world who can motivate you – and that’s you.  Others can help or hinder, but essentially, it’s down to you.  That’s why some people succeed in the most difficult of circumstances, and others fail despite every advantage in the world.  Factors crucial to your own motivation are: knowing it is down to you (self-belief, see below); a clear aim or goal, which is also valued by you; an ability to achieve, a willingness to take action, and regular success…

7: self-image: how do you see yourself?  remember that who you are is essentially down to you – your choice.  Decide on the kind of person you want to be – then do things that take you in that direction.  What impression do you want others to have of you?  What reputation, or brand, do you want?  How do you want to be remembered?  What legacy do you want to leave behind?  Identify it, describe it, work out how you would represent it, then get on with creating it through what you do, what you say, and how you say it…

8: self-efficacy: personal effectiveness: set yourself meaningful and achievable goals – external (things you want to achieve in the world – eg visit India); and internal (ie within yourself – eg be calmer as a person).  Then work our a strategy for getting there.  Two tips: make the goals realistic, and achievable in bite-size chunks; and be willing to seek help – particularly from positive role models: how have they done it?

9: self-satisfaction: allow yourself to succeed, and to pat yourself on your back for your successes.  Avoid being a perfectionist – you will never be satisfied, and always disappointed – because human perfection isn’t possible.  We are all fallible.  If you are a perfectionist, try this instead: ‘I’m going to be the best I can be, and do the best I can do’ – that is always achievable…

10: self-belief: this underpins almost everything else.  If you don’t believe, you can’t achieve.  So have a look at the beliefs you have – about yourself, and about the world you live in.  How many are empowering, and how many are self-limiting?  Remember – they are only beliefs: wherever they have come from, they can change: you can (and should) choose your beliefs…

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