Great Ways To Increase Your Confidence & Success

Success will not give you confidence.  However, confidence in yourself and your abilities willGreat Ways To Increase Your Confidence & Success make you successful!  One way to build your confidence is to eliminate the word “can’t” from your vocabulary.  Instead, when you don’t know how to do something, figure it out by thinking through the situation or task and doing research if you need to.

Here are a few other ways you can learn to be more confident:

  • Challenge Your Self-Limiting Beliefs: Parents, teachers and special friends had your best interests at heart, but they didn’t know your limits.  YOU choose those.  Think about a person who excelled in spite of seemingly impossible odds and use them as inspiration!  Push through your self-limiting beliefs!
  • Be Careful What You Commit To Memory: Memory is not fact.  Your brain is confirmation-biased, meaning it stores information consistent with your beliefs and values.  Aha!  So be aware and careful of what you store.  Edit those important memories!  Keep the ones where you do well at something.
  • Use Positive Self-Talk: Self-talk CAN improve focus and achievement.  Be positive and consistent.  Especially when things are tough.  Envision your best results.
  • Counter The Negative: Negativity is supposed to protect us but it really limits us.  Counter every negative thought with a positive one and keep that positive thought for at least 20 seconds.  Acknowledge both good and bad emotions, label them and move on.  Don’t “dialogue” or talk about the bad or give it power.
  • Be Curious: Curiosity is a very valuable trait!  It stimulates life-long growth and helps to maintain your ability to learn.  It keeps your mind active instead of passive, makes you more observant, opens new worlds and possibilities for you AND creates an adventurous response!
  • Overcome Self-Doubt: Identify the areas where you doubt yourself and remove them!  Develop resilience to life’s inevitable obstacles.
  • Don’t Let Fear Run Your Life: When we feel out of control, or are in a state of fear, we no longer think clearly.  A big obstacle is in the way.  Embrace what your fear; think about it, imagine the worst that could happen, breathe deeply and relax.

Becoming more confident is definitely worth the time and effort!  After all, if you don’t believe in yourself, how do you expect anyone else to?

Cheers,
SD County Escrow Team

Do You Have The Basics of Estate Planning In Place?

Lots of us think it will be a long time before we become old.  But “old” age is reached not just through the passage of time but also by being healthy and perhaps lucky.  When it comes toDo You Have The Basics of Estate Planning In Place? estate planning, it’s best to be prepared rather than find ourselves in an “oops” situation!  Below are a few valuable estate planning steps that are recommended by the experts:

  • Be clear on where you and your finances are now. (You can’t even ask Google how to get to a specific address unless you know where you are now!)
  • Be clear on the roadmap you will need to get where you want to go. These should include:
    • Basic living expenses that need to be covered/provided
    • Children – housing, feeding, care and education, unexpected events
    • Scenic stops along the way – vacations, children’s weddings, special anniversaries and celebrations, bucket list items
    • Special savings for Mother nature and life happenstance challenges that may come your way
  • Proper Estate Documents you will need:
    • The Will – to affect YOUR decisions about the remainder of your estate. Include an executor/personal representative, guardian for minors, tax and administration costs management.  Without a will the state law will make these decisions on your behalf.
    • Trusts – in California a Living Trust has replaced the essential functions of the traditional will and become the centerpiece of estate planning. This legal entity, the trust, accepts the assets and, although usually managed by the “Settlor” (maker of the trust) or his/her attorney, designates successor management in the event of passing or incapacity.  This is NOT a public document, and most are set up to be changeable, including designation of beneficiaries and grants to them.  Charitable Remainder Trusts are a means for people to endow chosen charities for named benefits, amounts or percentages of the estate and can be a significant tax savings benefit to estate/heirs, even while the donor is living.  (Consult your financial expert.)

If tomorrow were a promise, life would be so much easier, even if the promise didn’t fit our dreams.  But the fact is, we don’t know what tomorrow will bring.  So take a bit of time to make an estate plan and cover the basics.  Perhaps doing so will make your tomorrows better and safer!

Cheers,
SD County Escrow Team

How To Interpret Body Language & Make Changes To Yours

Body language; the more you can interpret it, the more help it will be to you!  And changing your own body language will be easiest if you first observe, and listen, to others.  You’ll want to:

WATCH THE EYES – Notice where the other person’s eyes are looking and what their pupils do (enlarged pupils often indicate attraction or honesty, while contracting pupils indicateHow To Interpret Body Language & Make Changes To Yours disinterest, dishonesty or worse).  To convey honesty and confidence, remember to look directly at your listener’s eyes and put excitement or sincerity into the verbal delivery of your message.

WATCH POSTURE – You probably don’t need an explanation here but confidence is conveyed with straight, open posture…shoulders strong and bold, feet direct and legs not tucked under.  Body language experts often suggest copying the military posture or super hero stances.

PAY ATTENTION TO HEAD POSITION & HEIGHT – Even in the animal kingdom, dominance is usually granted to the tallest.  We can’t change our actual height but we can hold our heads up, keep our chests and chins out and a smile on our face.  It seems silly when experts talk about standing –vs- sitting, and choosing a higher chair or place to stand, but tall individuals automatically have power and are accepted as leaders.

LISTEN TO PITCH – Pitch may tell you as much as someone’s expression.  So notice what others are saying to you with their voices and what you are saying back to them with yours.  You can convey warmth and security with a controlled, sure voice.  You can conceal any nerves if you remember to take a deep breath and put on a pleasing facial expression before you utter your next words.

PUT IT ALL TOGETHER – If someone’s eyes, posture, stature and pitch do not agree in their messages, it may be that they are not in accord with their own words!  Perhaps they are being intentionally deceptive or perhaps their inner beliefs are not in line with the image they are presenting.

Cheers,
SD County Escrow Team

Stand Up & Be Your Own Advocate

If you answer ‘yes’ to some of the following, it may be a sign that you aren’t standing up for yourself or being your own advocate.

Do you ever do things…

  • …because someone else wants you to, and you don’t want to hurt their feelings? Stand Up & Be Your Own Advocate
  • Or, because you feel selfish standing up for what you think is right or best for you?
  • Or, because you’ve developed a habit of letting someone else make important choices for you, and it is too hard to say no?
  • Or, because they push, and you give in because you don’t want the conflict?
  • Or, because a sales person keeps selling; asking ‘why’ and ‘what’, trying to engage you long after you have said no thank you?  (This type of situation almost becomes a severance to your relationship and/or a judgment on your ability to think and a closed path to the ultimate “no!”

One of the hardest and best skills to learn is to trust yourself, stand up for yourself and take care of yourself.  To, as one of the proponents of being your own best advocate says, find the combination of directness and kindness to deny the offer and end the conversation.

Often the most difficult advice or sales pitches to deny, come from friends/family that really care about you.  Sometimes their comments are even the result of your asking for advice.  And that can be a hard one to handle.  But just because you asked for advice doesn’t mean you have to follow it.  Just say, “Thank you.  I have been pondering this situation for a while, and have not yet found the answer that suits me, but I so appreciate your input”.

While learning to be your own best advocate, it helps to keep in mind that you are the one who knows your situation best AND has to live with your decision.  Just remember that there is a difference between “self-care” and being “selfish.”

Once you regularly practice living the life you’ve chosen (versus what someone else tries to choose for you) you’ll be pleasantly surprised by what happens!

Cheers,
SD County Escrow Team

What Roger Federer Taught Us After He Won His 8th Wimbledon

With all the great qualities on display this week at Wimbledon, from the young people coming up to the heroic courage of athletes fighting through pain and fear, it is still a challenge to match the skill and refined character Roger Federer delivers in every tournament.  Of courseRoger-Federer-Wimbledon-winner that is the primary job of an icon.  We look at what Bill Gates has accomplished in his field and business, and admire that his character is what raises him above even those racing to compete.  We look at Bill Russell, Michael Jordan and LeBron James; they made it to the top and…kept going!  They took others with them.  Life gives us icons from time to time, even though we are careful about giving that name to anyone.

In the sports limelight are those who have done very well and succeeded in the sports world AND donated generously from their success.  Our ex-football team donated to many local causes and had players like Junior Seau who put his personal self-worth into giving and working with the community for many causes.  Drew Brees has lifted New Orleans not only in spirit but also by personally joining in the recovery of “his town.”  Warrick Dunn is recognized as perhaps the most charitable man in football, working tirelessly to support single parents so they won’t need to take a second job, which is where his mother was killed while working to support her family.  Andre Agassi and his wife, Steffi Graf, have turned their commitment to excellence into a mission of teaching young people the value of education and sharing as they change the lives of thousands.  They’ve also raised children who respectfully carry the torch onward.

And finally, having taken competitive success in tennis further than any of his predecessors, Roger Federer and his “team” give to their chosen beneficiaries AND share the lessons that took him to his pinnacle of success.  After his record breaking achievement at the Championships Wimbledon, Roger shared words that can take any of us beyond our expectations:  “I kept believing and dreaming.”  Sure, his diligence at working out and practicing is legendary, almost as much as his renowned amiability in the locker room.  Even in the minutes before a big game, he’s been known to take a few minutes to help a colleague.

Icons are more than winners; they are people who expect their highest achievements to include demonstrating the highest standards.

Cheers,
SD County Escrow Team

How To Discover Your Passion

Whether it relates to finding a life career track or enjoying your life to the fullest, being aware of what excites you the most can be a very valuable guide.How To Discover Your Passion

Your life passion is not something you are born with.  It takes a little time and effort to discover.  One way to discover your passion is to answer the 5 questions below and then look at your answers for guidance.  Be sure to spend at least 5 minutes considering each of the following:

  1. Name the top 3 peak experiences in your life. (If you jot down more than 3, narrow your list until you get it down to the best 3!)  What do they have in common and what do they tell you about yourself?
  2. If time and money were no issue, what would you spend every day doing?
  3. What dreams have you given up? Why?  Was it fear?  Did your values change?  Would you care to rekindle any of these forgotten interests?
  4. What is the hardest thing you have ever had to overcome? What were the repercussions or benefits of doing so?
  5. Time feels like it is flying by when you are _______?

This introspection may help you take the most beneficial path you have ever chosen!

Cheers,
SD County Escrow Team

Tapping Into Your Power & The Sources That Can Drive You

Every trainer, self-improvement guru and parent tells us how much power we have within ourselves.  Sometimes we agree, and sometimes we go as flat as a bad tire.

The good news is that there are many Power Sources we can grab onto that will help drive us along!

  • The strongest driver you can latch onto is the Power of PURPOSE and PASSION.  If yourTapping Into Your Power & The Sources That Can Drive You purpose and your passion are connected, you will have double the drive.
  • Contribution brings Power.
  • A skill that gives you Power in the minds of others is Expertise.
  • There is the Power of Enthusiasm, and close to that is the Power of Laughter.  If you can share either, you can likely engage and recruit those around you.
  • Focus will Power your results.  So will facing up to a challenge!
  • Close to that behavior is the Power of Stepping Up, Stepping Out; not letting anyone put you in their box or corner.  This is all part of the Power of YOUR Intention.

The above are all Steps To or Sources of Power that you can use to make your life what you want it to be.  They all point to an awareness of WHO you are, WHAT you want and what is most IMPORTANT to you.

  • No one reaches their potential all by themselves, but don’t copy others.  Take inspiration from others and then create your own path and milestones.
  • Don’t take your cues from the response of others, follow your own star!
  • It doesn’t take a lot of time, meditation, exercise or list making.  Just open your unconscious and listen.  As you wake, as you think, as our mind is interrupted, the ideas will come forth…and you will find and maximize your Power!

Cheers,
SD County Escrow Team

Phrases That Invoke More Trust

There are some phrases we can all use that will invoke trust from people.  Respected sources suggest:

  • “How do you think that went?” – Reserve your judgment, avoid defensiveness and let the other person gauge their success by their own standards.  This lets them choose what they want to talk about.Phrases That Invoke More Trust
  • “Here’s what this means for you – Let people know where they stand and feel assured, especially if you are the boss, that they are safe and that you have their best interests in mind.
  • “That was my fault” – Be human and use this phrase when it is true. In general, being forthcoming with this truth causes people to like us more.
  • Would you mind helping me?” and “Can I get your advice?”  – This extends your honesty and the fact that you value the contribution of the other person.
  • “I couldn’t have done it without you.”This is the highest form of recognition and appreciation or respect for another’s skills.
  • “I trust your judgment” and “I’m all ears”These phrases mean the same thing and the second one conveys the message more subtly. Both phrases indicate that you respect the value of the other person.
  • “What can I do to help?”This question, especially when asked during stressful or deadline situations, acknowledges that there is a load being dealt with, and that you consider it a team effort not just a one-shoulder boulder.

Trust is a totally personal experience.  It is when you expose your vulnerability and trust the other not to take advantage of you.  Whether the relationship is business, personal or yet to be defined, trust creates the basis for all strong relationships.  And giving trust to another is one of the greatest gifts you can offer.

Cheers,
SD County Escrow Team

How To Quit Wasting Time

If you had to choose between more money and more time, you would choose time, right?  We can all get more money, but we are limited to 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.  We can’t actually get more time but we CAN protect the time we do have and use it more wisely.

Tips to help you stop wasting time, that may not be obvious, are:

  1. Have A Dream & A Plan – As a child, we have dreams about what we would like. Don’t let go of your dreams.  Let them fuel your days and help you construct your plans.
  2. Learn To Say “No” – Saying “yes” every time someone asks you for something (including your time) is NOT always the best answer. Consider the mutual benefits and reply with the answer that serves both people the best.
  3. Choose Who You Spend Your Time With – Making smart choices about who youHow to stop wasting time! spend time with can boost your productivity, happiness and energy and result in your ability to make better life decisions. Don’t waste your time with people who emotionally drain you.
  4. Schedule Time For Pleasure – Block out time for pleasure activities and put rewards on your calendar. You’ll feel rejuvenated and be more productive than if your motto is ‘all work and no play’.
  5. Feel Your Life! – A major regret in many older people is that they didn’t celebrate and experience and feel enough of their life. Share your love, your magic and your caring with the world around you.  Open up.  Don’t waste your time going through life numb.
  6. Be Authentic – Be your authentic you. Don’t waste time following other people’s dreams or their thoughts about who you should be.  Live your own dreams.  Do what you desire and reach toward your goals.  Your only competition should be who you were yesterday!
  7. Ask For Help – Don’t try to reinvent the wheel (or process, or product, or solution, etc…) that was already created by someone else! Ask for help and keep things moving forward.  You can find a way to pay the person back if you feel you need to.
  8. Don’t Sit In Park or Go Into Reverse – Don’t let discouragement or depression get a hold of you and keep you from moving forward in life. When gray times arise, look for the lesson, the possibility, the motivation and go find that sunshine!  If you do something good, let your motivation take you to the next step.  If you do something bad, take the lesson in how it debilitates your life and then move forward.
  9. Focus Where It Matters – Focus on things you can do effectively or areas where you can affect a change.

Cheers,
SD County Escrow Team

Adopting a New Point of View for the New Year

Are you still trying to decide on what your resolutions will be for 2017?  Make it easy.  Instead of setting unrealistic or unattainable resolutions, change yourAdopting a positive point of view point of view (POV).  For instance, instead of giving up everything you like to eat and promising to subsist on kale and water, you can focus on eating smaller portions of the right foods.  You’ll smile as your belt pinches you less and less and your mirror casts a kinder image.

Positive Point of View

  • Instead of promising to give up your $3 morning coffee and expensive cocktails and to shop only at bargain stores, you can visualize the piggy bank into which you regularly put your savings and its burgeoning budget for your fabulous vacation, kid’s college education, or a more secure retirement mantle.
  • Each morning you can be down about having to go to a job you don’t love and being overworked and underappreciated OR you can feel grateful for being more fortunate than a lot of people, put your best self out there every day and earn not only your own self-esteem but appreciation from your colleagues and perhaps even your employer.

Try adopting a positive point of view, and you will be surprised how easy and fun it is to see your life and surroundings in a new light!

Cheers,
SD County Escrow Team

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