Sunday, 26 February 2017

Forthcoming Posts (Updated 26th February)


Ilfracombe Seas
(photo by - wytchwynd photography)
A very good day from Ilfracombe, N Devon, UK - today is Sunday the 26th February 2017 and I am surprised by how much the weather has altered this week compared to last. It has been quite a really busy week at the office and as this post goes live I will be about to being my drive back to Devon from the East Midlands.  Below is the updated list of the next few week’s topics and when each will be posted to the blog page.

So here is the programme for the next 5 weeks

Wednesday 01 March - "25 Things An Adult Can't Do (But a child can!)

Wednesday 08 March - “Seven Core Principles Of Innovation

Wednesday 15 March – “Stay Safe On The Internet”

Wednesday 22 March – “Test Driving the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV”

Wednesday 29th March – “A Few Points About Mindfulness”

All of the above posts contain simple steps that anyone can follow to make significant changes and hopefully, improvements in their lives.

Some of you may be asking what qualifies me to post these things?   So let me give you a small insight into the world of Dave Baxter 

I have been a life coach since 2006 and hold an Honours Diploma in the subject.  I am a member of Associated Stress Consultants.  I hold a diploma in Music Therapy, I am a certificated Reiki Practitioner, a certificated Crystal Therapist and am currently studying towards a qualification in Colour Therapy.

Furthermore I have had several Personal Development articles published in the USA, I lead guided meditations and run the virtual light centre The Crystal Spring with my business partner Kaz and I also run The Blue Sky Company which is my coaching / personal development brand.

If this has made you think about how you act, or if it has prompted any questions, then please feel free to add them as a comment in the box below or to email me:- thedavebaxter@mail.com

About Dave I am a coach; speaker; radio presenter and founder of The Blue Sky Company.  I am also a therapist and co-own a virtual light centre called The Crystal Spring.  My therapy work includes music therapy; reiki; crystal therapy

LINKS



If you would like to subscribe to this blog please go over to the right hand side of this page and click the BLUE button that says “Follow”.  Once you do that you will be added to my list of subscribers.

Have a fantastic day and live a life of Passion and Power.

And above all

Don't Predict The Future - CREATE IT!

DAve x

PS I send out daily emails each containing a new Inspirational Phrase.  These are available by subscription only and are delivered free of charge to your mailbox.


To be included in these mailings please opt in by sending an email to  moonshadowmedia@mail.com  using "add me" as the subject line. 

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

I Am Flawed........a misconception

The other day while I was preparing this post I started watching a video by a Buddhist Monk (Ajahn Brahm)  This man is English by birth and now lives in Australia, he is a teacher by profession, has had girlfriends and he has an amazing “take on life”



Anway, in the video I was watching he was talking about the skewed view we have of ourselves and how it does not take much effort to believe that we are not like other people.  We may say others are beautiful; others have lots of “stuff”; others have plenty of friends; people want to be round them and so on and so forth.

People often have a negative self image and if they are totally honest can often admit to thinking:-

I AM FLAWED!!!

This is a misconception!!!!

So now let me ask you a few things….. 

I need you to think very carefully and if you can remember ever saying?

I don’t like my nose, it is too big, people always laugh at me because of it, I feel depressed because of it”   if you can then stand by……..

Can you remember saying something like
I’m too fat and boys won’t like me because of that!”  if you can then stand by…….

Or have you ever said
Nobody likes me because I am damaged goods”  if you have then stand by……..

If you have answered these questions with a “yes” then I have a surprise for you and everyone else who has asked similar questions of themselves and got similar answers….

YOU ARE NOT ALONE!!!!

Do you think you are flawed, misshapen, a reject?

So many people look upon what they term as physical imperfections as being catastrophic twists of fate and they believe that their life will be less than perfect because of these things.

However, I would like to suggest that you undertake a small and simple task that will, if embarked upon in the spirit of this writing, change you perception of your self for ever.

So here is another question for you 

Are you prepared to give this task a go – after all what have you got to lose? 

If I am correct in my thinking you will go a long way to losing a self image that is misleading you, that has given you a false impression and a somewhat skewed view of yourself.

So what is the task?

I would like you to take a walk in a place where there are a number of naturally growing trees.  The emphasis here is that the trees must be growing naturally. The place could be a park, a wood or a forest but not a botanical garden or the like!  As you are walking I would like you to seek out and identify “The Perfect Tree

It must stand ramrod straight, it must not lean to the left or the right, nor forwards or back.  The trunk must be a perfect circle and must taper at just the correct angle
It must have perfectly formed and equally spaced branches.  Each of the branches must contain the correct number of leaves, perfectly formed and perfectly spaced.

I would not mind betting that having read the previous two paragraphs you are saying something like “he is talking out of his backside” or “that is just impossible, everyone  knows that you would never ever find a tree like that!”

So yes that is a bit of a challenge and it is doubtful that you would ever find “The Perfect Tree” so if that is the case why do people constantly complain that their bodies are not perfect.

So many of our fellow human beings are continually striving to be as “The Perfect Tree” without realising that it does not exist! There are huge numbers of people who put themselves under a surgeon’s knife, in an attempt to achieve this desired state of perfection, and yet they know that their reward could be a mutilated body; a face twisted out of shape; breasts that become lumpy and misshapen.  How many have known of, or been acquainted with, a lady who has suffered the effects of Botox being injected into her face.  It does not take much thought to see that the chase for perfection or enhancement can go horribly wrong!

Consider this example - a lady believes herself to be overweight and is often heard complaining that she has “thunder thighs” or that she is fat.  This person has spent many hundreds of pounds going to training, slimming clubs, gyms and so on in an attempt to reach her vision of perfection and yet it has always eluded her!  She has even considered buying “slimming medication” online and said that if that failed she was considering undergoing “gastric band” surgery.

It appears that she is constructing her reality in such a way that she has major issues with self esteem and therefore seeks to build her confidence by way of external factors and punishing training schedules.  She has also major issues with labelling and refuses to accept that inside there is a beautiful woman struggling to get out.

I believe that she has yet to learn from her successes, because she is so fixated on her failures. 

As Ajahn Brahm says “you learn from success, not from failure”  thus I believe that it would be entirely possible for her to turn her thinking around and instead of viewing a weight loss of 1.5 lbs as a failure, I would suggest that she looks at that as a big success.  I would then suggest that she looks closely at what she did and begin to replicate the same behaviour over the next and subsequent weeks.  I am fairly certain that she would see results over time, keep or probably improve her health, have increased levels of energy and not spent thousands of pounds of her hard earned money.

If this has made you think about how you act, or if it has prompted any questions, then please feel free to add them as a comment in the box below or to email me:- thedavebaxter@mail.com

About Dave I am a coach; speaker; radio presenter and founder of The Blue Sky Company.  I am also a therapist and co-own a virtual light centre called The Crystal Spring.  My therapy work includes music therapy; reiki; crystal therapy

LINKS







Have a fantastic day and live a life of Passion and Power.

And above all

Don't Predict The Future - CREATE IT!

DAve x

PS I send out daily emails each containing a new Inspirational Phrase.  These are available by subscription only and are delivered free of charge to your mailbox.

To be included in these mailings please opt in by sending an email to  moonshadowmedia@mail.com  using "add me" as the subject line. 


Sunday, 19 February 2017

Forthcoming Posts (Updated 19th February)

A very good day from Ilfracombe, N Devon, UK - today is Sunday the 19th February 2017 and I am surprised by how much warmer it is this week compared to last. It has been quite a busy week at the office and I am really glad of the rest today.  Below is the updated list of the next few week’s topics and when each will be posted to the blog page.

So here is the programme for the next 5 weeks

Wednesday 22 February - "I Am Flawed ......a misconception"

Wednesday 01 March - "25 Things An Adult Can't Do (But a child can!)

Wednesday 08 March - “Seven Core Principles Of Innovation

Wednesday 15 March – “Stay Safe On The Internet”

Wednesday 22 March – “Test Driving the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV”

All of the above posts contain simple steps that anyone can follow to make significant changes and hopefully, improvements in their lives.

Some of you may be asking what qualifies me to post these things?   So let me give you a small insight into the world of Dave Baxter 

I have been a life coach since 2006 and hold an Honours Diploma in the subject.  I am a member of Associated Stress Consultants.  I hold a diploma in Music Therapy, I am a certificated Reiki Practitioner, a certificated Crystal Therapist and am currently studying towards a qualification in Colour Therapy.

Furthermore I have had several Personal Development articles published in the USA, I lead guided meditations and run the virtual light centre The Crystal Spring with my business partner Kaz and I also run The Blue Sky Company which is my coaching / personal development brand.

If this has made you think about how you act, or if it has prompted any questions, then please feel free to add them as a comment in the box below or to email me:- thedavebaxter@mail.com

About Dave I am a coach; speaker; radio presenter and founder of The Blue Sky Company.  I am also a therapist and co-own a virtual light centre called The Crystal Spring.  My therapy work includes music therapy; reiki; crystal therapy

LINKS


If you would like to subscribe to this blog please go over to the right hand side of this page and click the BLUE button that says “Follow”.  Once you do that you will be added to my list of subscribers.

Have a fantastic day and live a life of Passion and Power.

And above all

Don't Predict The Future - CREATE IT!
DAve x
PS I send out daily emails each containing a new Inspirational Phrase.  These are available by subscription only and are delivered free of charge to your mailbox.

To be included in these mailings please opt in by sending an email to  moonshadowmedia@mail.com  using "add me" as the subject line. 


Wednesday, 15 February 2017

It May Not Be Our Fault.... But It IS Our Problem

Hi it's Dave here. 

Welcome back to my blog and thank you for your continued support.  I hope that you are all making this week a great week in your lives, just like I am! 

Let's begin by asking a question

How often do you come across shop assistants or representatives of companies that flatly refuse to do something about a situation, complaint or product failure.  They just shrug their shoulders and say something like “that’s the way it is” or “we can’t do anything about that” and so forth?


It is my belief that (in general) many standards in business are slipping and that a lot more companies need to be declaring

 “It may not be our fault, but it is our problem”

Having an interest in the Corporate world – and something of a desire to work with business clients - this particular piece seeks to provide an insight into something that I feel is extremely important for ANY business and as such it suggests ways that (if implemented) can take an average business onto the road towards EXCELLENCE.

The foundation of this particular post was discovered in an extract from a report about Humana Incorporated working with the Disney Institute to turn their business around.

……not only did Humana have an image to represent the mission, the team had also defined Perfect Service by focusing on six key characteristics.

The first four were the real core elements. –

Accurate
Reliable
Easy to Use
Courteous

The fifth and sixth characteristics were

Proactive 
Personalized

These were goals that the company could continuously pursue in an effort to give customers and consumers an unexpected value.

These six characteristics were destined to be more than just a memo posted on a board.

Together they became “The Filter” through which every customer service decision would pass.

Printed on cards and delivered to each associate, it was a message that would be communicated to Humana’s customers.

On the reverse side of the card, Humana’s Perfect Service values –

Integrity
Respect
Teamwork
Transparency
Accountability
Quality
Leadership
Innovation

These underpinned this new approach.

Combined, the values and characteristics were the foundation of Perfect Service.

Although skeptics shrugged, gradually the key elements of Perfect Service began flowing from the top down and bottom up and, inevitably, everyone was engaged in a higher level of service. The “Naysayers” had lost their voice and ultimately joined the effort.

From the way claims were handled, calls were answered, or customers were treated, a new dynamic was being created. Associates felt better, became more productive and, most importantly, they stayed.

It was clear that Disney had become a key part of the catalyst for change.

Little Things Mean the Most


Perfect Service, modelled by Disney and defined by Humana, was woven into the fabric of corporate culture. Associates were recognized for their individual efforts in striving for Perfect Service. Modelling one of Disney’s practices, Kucera created her own service pins for associates’ participation in the annual enrollment of new clients. To offer personal recognition, Ganoni created shirts and produced cards to acknowledge outstanding efforts.

Furthermore, front line associates were encouraged to come up with new solutions to old problems. “Before, they’d just say ‘That’s the way it is,’ and could be complacent,” explained Ganoni. “Now they were asked to speak up when they saw something that didn’t look right and question it.”

“We also adopted Disney’s view that ‘It may not be our fault, but it is our problem,” commented Murray. “Now we can say ‘Let’s get it done to the satisfaction of our customer.’”

“When you engage your own associates and make them feel good, in turn, they will be more focused and committed to quality,” explained Murray. “They are better at interacting with customers who get better experiences, which ultimately enhances overall value.”

Our Mission ~ We serve. 
With our hearts we create a great place to be. 
With our minds we create an excellent place to shop.

Our Values ~ We are passionate about our customers and will fight for their rights. 
We care for, and respect each other. 
We foster personal growth and opportunity. 
We nurture leadership and vision, and reward innovation. 
We live by honesty and integrity. 
We support and participate in our communities. 
We take individual responsibility. 
We are all accountable.

Lasting cultural change had to be driven from the top, in ways that were visible and meaningful to every employee. During this time, Start’s leaders worked tirelessly to craft a company vision and mission statement, core values, leadership characteristics, service standards, human resources statements, and financial statements.

Four service standards were developed: accessibility, reliability, service provision, and efficiency. The Disney model “Chain of Excellence” was employed to guide the company through its change effort, with elements including leadership excellence, employee excellence, candidate satisfaction, customer satisfaction, and financial results/ customer value. All of this was designed to build further loyalty among Start’s flex workers and clients.


1)     Leadership must begin at the topIt must stay the course, throughout the intervention and beyond.

2)     Set the measurement process up-front

3)    Be careful of promises. Every promise brings new challenges, and people have to meet them. Employees at all levels are watching to see the leaders’ true commitment, versus lip-service. If a leader says materials will arrive on a certain date, they must be there by that date, case closed.

4)    Understand your own culture, and how the program works in your culture, before cascading it to other countries. 

5)     Employ a methodical, top-down strategy 

Make sure the highest echelon of the organization “gets it” and is supportive before cascading the implementation to the next level, and so on.

Experience has shown that, “moving the line” of training down the organization was the most challenging part of the process, because there was extreme sensitivity when the higher level had already been exposed to key concepts and had greater insights than the next group.

Speed in implementation is important, but everyone couldn’t be trained at the same time. To allow time for the concepts to “sink in,” Start spaced its sessions four to six weeks apart. In addition, the company held two management meetings when it transitioned to the next group. The first of the two meetings featured a Disney Institute person, and the second meeting a Start representative.
 
6)     Don’t just conduct the training and then expect changes to become operational

Change takes a long time to take hold. If “everything speaks” – a key Disney principle about the importance of setting – then getting everyone to “speak” the same way requires constant nurturing.

Every company must find ways unique to its culture to refresh the training, reward positive modeling about the culture change, and provide networking opportunities. Start still utilizes its tool kit, and has created 14 functional Service Platforms to further drive home the concepts. Each Director has a service platform comprised of both staff and operations. All employee improvement ideas are communicated through the Service Platform, then sent to the Director, and then communicated to the organization wherever feasible. A reward and recognition program is being created to further encourage innovation and spur positive peer pressure. Communication about the leadership program is mailed to everyone’s home in the same manner. All of this is gradually building pride and ownership in the process.

If this has made you think about how you act, or if it has prompted any questions, then please feel free to add them as a comment in the box below or to email me:- thedavebaxter@mail.com

About Dave I am a coach; speaker; radio presenter and founder of The Blue Sky Company.  I am also a therapist and co-own a virtual light centre called The Crystal Spring.  My therapy work includes music therapy; reiki; crystal therapy

LINKS


Over the years I have read a number of books by the late Dr Wayne Dyer and every single one of those books has made an impact on my life in various ways, below I have selected an example of his work that might be of interest.  This book is available via Amazon.



Have a fantastic day and live a life of Passion and Power.

And above all

Don't Predict The Future - CREATE IT!

DAve x

PS. I send out daily emails each containing a new Inspirational Phrase.  These are available by subscription only and are delivered free of charge to your mailbox.

To be included in these mailings please opt in by sending an email to  moonshadowmedia@mail.com  using "add me" as the subject line. 


Sunday, 12 February 2017

Forthcoming Posts (Updated 12th February)


Hello and a very good day from Ilfracombe, N Devon, UK  

Today is Sunday 12th February 2017 and after having to work yesterday I am glad of the rest.  Below is the updated list for the next few week’s and when each article will be posted to the blog page.

So here is the programme for the next 5 weeks

Wednesday 15 February - "It May Not Be Our Fault........y 

Wednesday 22 February - "I Am Flawed ......a misconception"

Wednesday 01 March - "25 Things An Adult Can't Do (But a child can!)

Wednesday 08 March - “Seven Core Principles Of Innovation

Wednesday 15 March – “Stay Safe On The Internet”

All of the above posts contain simple steps that anyone can follow to make significant changes and hopefully, improvements in their lives.

Some of you may be asking what qualifies me to post these things?   So let me give you a small insight into the world of Dave Baxter 

I have been a life coach since 2006 and hold an Honours Diploma in the subject.  I am a member of Associated Stress Consultants.  I hold a diploma in Music Therapy, My other qualifications include being certificated Reiki Practitioner, a certificated Crystal Therapist and am currently studying towards a qualification in Colour Therapy together with holding 10 First Class certificates for both theory and practice of music awarded by the London College of Music.

Furthermore I have had several Personal Development articles published in the USA, I lead guided meditations and run the virtual light centre The Crystal Spring with my business partner Kaz.  I also run The Blue Sky Company which is my coaching / personal development brand.

If this has made you think about how you act, or if it has prompted any questions, then please feel free to add them as a comment in the box below or to email me:- thedavebaxter@mail.com

About Dave I am a coach; speaker; radio presenter and founder of The Blue Sky Company.  I am also a therapist and co-own a virtual light centre called The Crystal Spring.  My therapy work includes music therapy; reiki; crystal therapy

LINKS

The following link is to Dr Wayne Dyer's book that  I have used regularly during my life and since I have just signed up to Amazon I thought this would be a good way to test the claims that have been made.

Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life: Living The Wisdom Of The Tao

If you would like to subscribe to this blog please go over to the right hand side of this page and click the BLUE button that says “Follow”.  Once you do that you will be added to my list of subscribers.

Have a fantastic day and live a life of Passion and Power.

And above all

Don't Predict The Future - CREATE IT!

DAve x

PS I send out daily emails each containing a new Inspirational Phrase.  These are available by subscription only and are delivered free of charge to your mailbox.

To be included in these mailings please opt in by sending an email to  moonshadowmedia@mail.com  using "add me" as the subject line. 



Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Make A Positive Impact

Hi  it’s Dave here, how has your week been? 

I can’t believe that a week has gone by since I published my last piece on here – doesn’t time fly when you are having so much fun in your life? 

Amanda-Jayne Staddon CEO The Natural Approach Group
(photo by: wytchwynd photography)

I was doing some research for this post and I saw the words that are the title used as a headline about a group of people coming together to make changes for the better to the thing they were involved with.  It got me thinking about how can we go about
 
Making a Positive Impact

I believe that at some point in our lives we will all need other people's help and assistance in one way or another.

The aim of this post is to give you a few simple ways that you can make a positive impact on another person's life.  The more we do this the better our own lives will become.

These pointers are not dictates or instructions they are simply a few ideas that we can all follow.

So off we go.......

The first suggestion may seem obvious but it is surprising how few of us actually do this,

We can do things for other people that will make an impact on their lives, simply because we want to!  - the last 4 words are the important ones “Because we want to” 

It is no use doing things for people out of a sense of obligation or duty.   This will only make our actions counter-productive.

Next – we can seek to develop friendships with new people, they may have something to share with us that can have a profound effect on our life or similarly, the things we share with them may have a major effect on their lives.

Remember, a small impact on someone's life can sometimes be more effective than a large one! 

We do not have to give money.  A gesture or a kindly word will often be significant and can mean a lot to the recipient.  Give willingly and freely, expecting nothing in return and you could well be surprised by what transpires.

Here are a few examples of small things that could make a big difference

1 – hold a door open for someone who has their hands full
2 – carry a shopping bag for someone who is struggling
3 – listen to someone when they want someone to talk to
4 – share your knowledge
5 – share your time
6 – be pleasant to someone you do not know
7 – offer kind words to a work colleague or a family member
8 – commit to help someone every day

Another beneficial thing we can do that will go a long way to making an impact on someone's life is to cultivate a positive mind set –  As Tony Robbins says - this is not “Positive Thinking” like the man who looks at his weed ridden garden and says “there's no weeds, there's no weeds” expecting the weeds to miraculously disappear. 

No! we should become positive in our approach to other people, positive that we are going to make a difference to their lives.  Positive in the knowledge that despite the ups and downs that we all go through, life is good and fun if we choose to make it so.

We can pay attention to new people that we may meet along our life’s journey because they may be there to help (or teach us) as we travel along the road we call life. Do not be quick to judge, take time to form your decisions and thus stand a better chance of making the right ones.

We should be consistent and committed to making a difference, being prepared to give something that will help someone we know or do not know and while doing so enjoying the process.

By putting these few ideas into practice you and I can begin to create the “ripple effect” and as a result of this change the world as we know it.   By taking these actions we will be going some way to making it a better place for all who live here, and what is exciting about this is we will probably never know how many people our small acts of kindness will effect. 

Isn't that just great?

The photo at the top of this article is of Amanda - Jayne the CEO of The Natural Approach Group and the whole mission of T.N.A.G. is to make a positive impact and to help those less fortunate members of our society.  To find out more about their work visit their website at  


If this post has made you think about how you act, or if it has prompted any questions, then please feel free to add them as a comment in the box below or to email me:- thedavebaxter@mail.com

About Dave I am a coach; speaker; radio presenter and founder of The Blue Sky Company.  I am also a therapist and co-own a virtual light centre called The Crystal Spring.  My therapy work includes music therapy; reiki; crystal therapy

LINKS


If you would like to follow this blog please go over to the right hand side of this page and click the BLUE button that says “Follow”.  Once you do that you will be added to my list of followers.

Have a fantastic day and live a life of Passion and Power.

And above all

Don't Predict The Future - CREATE IT!
DAve x



PS I send out daily emails each containing a new Inspirational Phrase.  These are available by subscription only and are delivered free of charge to your mailbox.  If you would like me to include you then please opt in by sending your emailing  moonshadowmedia@mail.com and quoting "add me" as the subject line. 

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Forthcoming Posts (Updated 5th February)

Forthcoming Posts (Updated 5th February)

A very good day from Ilfracombe, N Devon, UK - today is Sunday the 5th February 2017 and after a fantastic weekend of baby sitting duties I have updated the list to give everyone an indication of the next few week’s topics and when each will be posted to the blog page.

So here is the programme for the next 5 weeks

Wednesday 8 February - "Make A Positive Impact"

Wednesday 15 February - "It May Not Be Our Fault........y 

Wednesday 22 February - "I Am Flawed ......a misconception"

Wednesday 01 March - "25 Things An Adult Can't Do (But a child can!)

Wednesday 08 March - “Seven Core Principles Of Innovation

All of the above posts contain simple steps that anyone can follow to make significant changes and hopefully, improvements in their lives.

Some of you may be asking what qualifies me to post these things?   So let me give you a small insight into the world of Dave Baxter 

I have been a life coach since 2006 and hold an Honours Diploma in the subject.  I am a member of Associated Stress Consultants.  I hold a diploma in Music Therapy, I am a certificated Reiki Practitioner, a certificated Crystal Therapist and am currently studying towards a qualification in Colour Therapy.

Furthermore I have had several Personal Development articles published in the USA, I lead guided meditations and run the virtual light centre The Crystal Spring with my business partner Kaz and I also run The Blue Sky Company which is my coaching / personal development brand.

If this has made you think about how you act, or if it has prompted any questions, then please feel free to add them as a comment in the box below or to email me:- thedavebaxter@mail.com

About Dave I am a coach; speaker; radio presenter and founder of The Blue Sky Company.  I am also a therapist and co-own a virtual light centre called The Crystal Spring.  My therapy work includes music therapy; reiki; crystal therapy

LINKS


If you would like to follow this blog please go over to the right hand side of this page and click the BLUE button that says “Follow”.  Once you do that you will be added to my list of followers.

Have a fantastic day and live a life of Passion and Power.

And above all

Don't Predict The Future - CREATE IT!
DAve x

PS I send out daily emails containing a new Inspirational Phrase These are delivered free of charge to your mailbox and if you would like me to include you then please opt in by sending your email address to  moonshadowmedia@mail.com and quoting "add me" as the subject line. 

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Overcoming Shyness

Hi it's Dave here and thanks to you for visiting my blog page.  This week I thought I would take a look at something that is quite debilitating and is known to be something of a "show stopper"  Then I give you a range of ideas about how you can take action to reduce these effects and

Overcome Shyness

Have you ever noticed that inner discomfort when you suddenly end up thrust into a group of people you have never met before?  It first happened to me when I was at a party and the host said something like:-

“This is my good friend Dave: he works for one of the world’s greatest lighting companies. They work on some amazing jobs.  Go on Dave tell them about some of the top end clients your company has worked with!”

So then what happens?  Your mouth probably goes dry; you probably blush; you feel awkward and start shuffling your feet; you could even start to sweat (do you know that one?).

Inage by: wytchwynd photography

I do - and it came about because I have a great friend (Tom) who used to regularly put me in that situation. Over the years I have learned to deal with it and can now turn to something that I call “my instant confidence toolkit”   I am now (with practice) able switch it on and off as required. 

I have even learned to do it on the telephone when things like the above statement suddenly get dropped into the conversation. (Tom has a habit of doing this on speakerphone when he has a classroom full of German Students)

So because I have been talking about this recently I was invited by a few people to put together some of my thoughts and pointers concerning the subject of Shyness.  Never one to recoil from a challenge I put my research head on and began to pore over many people's work that focussed on the topic.  Below is the result of my labour.

Shyness, as defined by Dr. Bernardo J. Carducci of the Shyness Research Institute, has three distinct components:

·     Excessive Self-Consciousness – meaning that you are overly aware of yourself, particularly in social situations.
·     Excessive Negative Self-Evaluation – this means that you tend to see yourself in a negative way.
·     Excessive Negative Self-Preoccupation – you tend to pay too much attention to all the things you are doing wrong when you are around other people.

Having taken that explanation as a “given” my thoughts turned to providing a collection of a few tips and pointers designed to help shyness sufferers move towards overcoming this perceived problem.

But before we go further let me explain why I say it is a “perceived problem”.  Really it is quite simple, there is no such thing as a shy gene!  The state of shyness is often created by a combination of the following 3 things:-

a weak self image
a pre-occupation with oneself
labelling

Nobody is born shy, therefore it must follow that shyness is, like a vast majority of other “ailments or phobia”, learned behaviour.  The direct result of recognising this fact is the conclusion that - if shyness is learned, then it can, by its very definition, be unlearned. 

The question is how?  Listed below are a number of things that we can do to help us overcome shyness -

Pointers and tips for overcoming shyness

learn to understand your shyness, what triggers it and when it does kick in what are you concerned with?

change from being self conscious into a state of self awareness.  The world is not concentrating on you and what you are doing.  Become aware of what you are thinking and what you are feeling at these times.

identify your strengths and learn to use them to your advantage.  

Find something that you are good at and concentrate on that.  This will enable you to boost your self esteem and it will help you to build your self confidence

learn to like yourself – you are the key to moving forwards in your life and before you can make progress it is vital that you put aside all your preconceptions about who you are.  You are the only you there is, embrace that you!   When someone asks you if you like or love yourself you can immediately answer, without hesitation, “of course I do, why wouldn't I?”

Understand that it is ok to be different! - Wouldn't life be boring if we were all the same, thought the same thoughts, went to the same places, drove the same cars and so on? Remember that you are a unique individual, that there is only one of you and rejoice in that knowledge.

Focus on other people, take an interest in what they have to say, ask questions and wait for the answers.

Learn to breathe consciously and maintain a focus on your breathing whenever you feel pressurised and /or nervous.  Take deep breaths, inhale and exhale slowly.

It is also useful to move about or take exercise when you begin to become anxious. it helps you to remove yourself from the situation and to refocus your mind.

Visualise yourself as a confident person - when you place yourself in that state notice how you feel, what you see, how you stand, how you place your hands and feet.

Use the power of affirmations - create a short affirmation to help you return to the mindset of being capable, confident and at ease with your wonderful self.

Sometimes it is good and worthwhile to “face your fear” - when a situation develops that causes your shyness to surface instead of running for the door, stand your ground and face it head on.  The more often you do this, the stronger you will become.

I personally use this next tool often – Accept that not everyone will love you.

To paraphrase the late Dr Wayne Dyer's book “Your Erroneous Zones”.  During the US  Presidential Elections when George Bush and George McGovern went head to head, it was recorded that the victor received 53% of the vote and yet that was declared a landslide victory.  So if you manage to get half of the people plus 3% to love you then you have got yourself a landslide!!!!

Now in my own life, I want approval, I like approval, I seek approval but I don't need approval and when you understand and act on this information the same could be said of you as well.

Get rid of the notion that you need to be perfect.  In the words of Winston Churchill "perfection is spelt paralysis". It is far better to be natural and to make mistakes than to chase the ideal of perectionism and be unhappy.

Another huge point that has a drastic effect on your approach is carrying around a label.  If you tell yourself and others "I'm Shy" then guess what?  You are shy.  Get rid of the label and acknowledge that you used to be a person who behaved in a shy manner, but from now forwards that person has gone and you welcome the opportunity to be more outgoing and friendly.

Practice thinking ahead!  Knowing what you are going to say during a conversation or during a talk that you are giving can really help in overcomine your shyness thinking.

Put yourself on the limit in order to desensitise your fear

Relax, breathe and move with grace

Do what you feel comfortable doing.  Go to places where you feel at ease and begin to relax and enjoy the moment.

Focus on the moment!  Give it your full attention and don't keep worrying about what will happen in the future.  Now, this moment, is all that you have.  Treasure it and make it special.

The final point I have to make is to advise you to seek out your success.  Each time you have a success moment, write it down!   At the end of each day review the list and ask, “what did I do there?”  “how did it feel?”.  This will then become your Journal of Success and if you do this diligently it will help you to recreate the same situations often, until they become second nature.

So there you have it the things that go together to make up my instant confidence toolkit.

If this has made you think about how you act, or if it has prompted any questions, then please feel free to add them as a comment in the box below or to email me:- thedavebaxter@mail.com

About Dave I am a coach; speaker; radio presenter and founder of The Blue Sky Company.  I am also a therapist and co-own a virtual light centre called The Crystal Spring.  My therapy work includes music therapy; reiki; crystal therapy.

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Have a fantastic day and live a life of Passion and Power.

And above all

Don't Predict The Future - CREATE IT!

DAve x

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