Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

When you compare yourself to others, in that very instant you may possibly be negating yourself and what you have already achieved in your life.

I remember my coach saying,

“Don’t compare other people’s outside world, to your inside world”.

You really do not know what is going on in their world, or whether they are truly happy, especially when you compare yourself to another person and what they have materially.

For example, you might notice a colleague who looks and acts confidently with external material success and you catch yourself saying “Where’s my success, I work just as hard” or “I wish I could be as confident as him/her”. Only you know those moments that really hit you in the stomach.

Next time you catch yourself in this position, notice your tone of voice as to if it has a negative charge of hope and wishful thinking. Behind this emotive feeling is generally a put-down of your own capabilities, your own potential to achieve in life.

The thing that you may not be aware of is that the other person is probably comparing themselves to you – about some completely different area of inadequacy within themselves. We all have our own inadequacies.

The day you stop comparing and start to acknowledge
the strengths and good fortune of others will be the day
you unleash your unique attributes.

Just notice how the more you keep comparing, the further away from you that good fortune gets. You will not receive that which you do not acknowledge within yourself. So next time you notice yourself comparing, catch yourself and acknowledge others for their good looks, qualities, possessions, good fortune etc.

For example, the next time you see a confident and successful person, say in a positive tone of voice, “Wow! That’s for me!” Start to get excited about the fact that you have attracted this quality into your life just by seeing it in others, for this is normally an indication that you are ready to unleash what’s already inside of you.

The sooner you choose to acknowledge others, the sooner the things you see in their lives will show up in your own life. Creating a supportive self-image will accelerate your growth and transform your life for the better.

Create a Supportive Self-Image

What is your perception of yourself? This can be a challenging question to ask. How you feel, see and think about yourself is everything. Self-image is not something that just happens to you; it is that all-important concept you have of yourself. Having a negative self-image will create a negative outcome when you try to move towards achieving your goals. The good news is that you can change your self-image, your personality and your behaviours.

If you see yourself as a winner in life and you act like a winner, then all areas of your life will begin to flow. Use strong images with pictures, feelings and words with the roles you want to play in life. What you see for yourself, is what you attract, and what you feel within yourself, is who you are.

Take the time to identify how you see yourself and how you truly feel about yourself. As you become conscious of who you want to become, you can make the change.

Powerful Teamwork with Engaging Communication

Are you having challenges when it comes to creating a team who works well together? When it comes to developing a champion team, there are principles that are not often spoken about which are vital to the success of your team working together, instead of a group of individuals hoping it all comes together at the end of the day.

I remember as a World Masters champion sportswoman, when on the field if we did not communicate we would not know what action our team members were about to take. We needed to hear the communication loud and clear so we knew exactly what support our team members needed. We needed to know exactly what move to make, where we needed to be positioned on the field in order to win the game.

Without clear and assertive communication our whole team would play as individuals without support. Without backup, we would not be able to create momentum. The game became much harder and not enjoyable to play with a whole pile of individuals not playing well together as a team.

I remember certain team members who did not have confidence in asserting themselves because they did not believe in their own abilities. This was when the team knew they needed to communicate early enough before the next play. In other words, the team had to carry that player. This was most frustrating at times because on the field you do not have time to wait as the gap of opportunity would close up very quickly.

Getting to know everyone’s communication style was the key. This meant getting to know each team member and finding out what they needed in the way of support for their full performance and potential to be played out on the field.

This was when I gave extra one-on-one time with team members who needed development and support; otherwise, the whole team would suffer. Yes, this takes time, but you will be surprised how quickly your team will step-up and lead with the qualities of a champion leader when you make time to get to know what they need. This is because they feel heard and understood.

For success in your professional and personal life, the same rule applies.

Powerful Teamwork with Engaging Communication

As your team moves into their plays, they will come up against challenges and the unexpected. They need to know how to read the play early and communicate before the play occurs in order to adapt to these challenges. If the communication is not loud and clear, then you will lose the game.

A champion leader inspires others by having an inquisitive communication style by asking open questions to evoke a deeper understanding of whom that person truly is. They are curious and listen with all their senses about what they are saying and what they are not saying. They see everyone as being the master of their own life who has the answers to all their questions.

The power of engaging communication is when you become the observer.

I like to call this the ‘helicopter view’. This is when you are able to be a witness of your own and of others’ communication style, where you listen without judgment. You will then know exactly what to say in the moment that will inspire and lead your team with respect, clarity, and acknowledgment.

This reminds me of a story about a client named Jordon, who came to me for leadership coaching, wanting to improve his team’s communication and efficiency. The first thing I asked him was, “When was the last time you acknowledged your team members?” With a proud smile on his face, he said, “I took them out to lunch to celebrate winning our last contract.”

“Great incentive for celebrating a milestone,” I answered. Then I asked another question, “When was the last time you acknowledged your team members on an individual basis, unexpectedly?” He looked at me in a puzzled manner and replied, “What do you mean, unexpectedly?”

I explained every one of his team members has strengths, qualities and natural talents they are using on a daily basis. If he began to acknowledge his team members for their natural talents, instead of taking their strengths for granted, then each individual will start to feel more and more confident to the degree that even their so-called ‘weaknesses’ will become strengths. This will shift the energy, attitude, and mindset of all team members to work in harmony with efficient and effective results.

The challenge I gave Jordon was to genuinely acknowledge team members for one of their natural talents during the next week. He did this, and to his surprise, he noticed a dynamic shift in the efficiency of the team working together.

An added bonus was while he had always had an ‘open door’ policy; the team had never used it. After he started to acknowledge them, they felt much more confident and comfortable to communicate any challenges, or concerns, before they got out of hand. Much to Jordon’s surprise he even witnessed the team members starting to acknowledge each other more.

The other challenge I gave Jordon for that week, was to have him acknowledge his wife for something he really appreciated, on three separate occasions. You can imagine how he was feeling the following week when we had our next coaching session! Yes, by acknowledging his wife regularly, he had also improved his relationship with her. This effect also rippled out to their children.

Even when there is nothing wrong in a relationship, there is always room for improvement, which is not highlighted until you do something different, and outside the square.

I have used Jordon’s example with team leadership acknowledgment; however, the same applies to all situations when working with people.

This includes acknowledgment of family members, sporting clubs you may be involved with, working environments, business owners and staff, parents and children at school, etc.

If you are having challenges in developing a powerful team that works well together, do not waste another minute banging your head against a brick wall, contact me today for an introductory coaching conversation about your communication and leadership style.  www.annettestanton.com/contact/

Once you have read the article, leave a comment and let me know…

What’s the single most important action you can take right now towards developing your engaging communication style?

If you know of a leader who is being challenged in developing the art of engaging communication, please share this article.

Strengthen your Strengths

“Your natural strengths are the gift you have to offer the world.”

Most people do not acknowledge their own strengths, abilities and natural talents. Your strengths are the qualities or skills that you are generally good at, are drawn to and enjoy doing. When you clearly identify and acknowledge your own strengths, you will re-ignite a glow inside of you that will automatically strengthen your strengths.

You will miss out on a lot of life’s exciting opportunities that you know you would love to experience if you do not bring your strengths to the forefront. For example, you could miss out on applying for a new management position, asking someone you admire out for dinner or starting your own business. Your strengths will become weaknesses and lie dormant if you are not conscious of what they are – and especially if you do not utilise them in your life.

This reminds me of one of my clients, Sally, who was naturally very creative. She would paint, draw and design cards in her spare time. I said to her in one of our group coaching sessions that it was easy to see that her natural strength was being creative. Sally said that she could not see how that could be a strength because that was what she had always done in her spare time.

“How could it be strength when that was just how she was?”

I then asked her if she knew anyone else in her group of friends who did the same things in their spare time, to which she answered No. I explained that it is easy to not see our own strengths because they have become a part of who we naturally are. When Sally started to own her strength of creativity she started to share her artwork with others and even began to frame some of her work to hang in her new home.

Many people are busy putting themselves down and focusing on what they are not good at instead of focusing on what they are good at doing. When you focus on your strengths and utilise them to their fullest capacity you will be surprised at what you can do.

Let’s not forget your so-called ‘weaknesses’, as it’s important to be aware of these and to acknowledge them also. I do not consider weaknesses as a weakness. The thing about a weakness that most people do not realise is that it is only a part of you that you have not practised enough for it to become strength.

Notice how your strengths are strengths because you enjoy utilising them and they then come easily to you. Your weaknesses may be areas that you do not enjoy as much, so don’t be too hard on yourself if you choose not to have them become a strength. If a particular weakness is something that you would like to become strength, all you need to do is to learn and practice it until it becomes a part of your strengths.

Look for Strengths in your Whole Life

I was coaching Julie, who shared with me that when she was writing out her strengths, she noticed that they mainly related to her working career and experiences. This challenged Julie because while work was a major part of her life, she wanted to balance this more and look at strengths in other areas of her life.

So we explored this by looking at the balance wheel. Julie went to the gym regularly, so one of her strengths was looking after her well-being and fitness. Another obvious strength to me was that Julie was very well organised in having a routine that she was committed to maintaining. Another area we looked into was family and friends and the way Julie kept in contact with them on a regular basis even if they lived in another state or country. The strength, in this case, was staying connected with loved ones by keeping in touch over the phone, no matter where she lived in the world.

As Julie started to explore her strengths, I observed a glow in her eyes and a huge, engaging smile on her face. I acknowledged her for having a great smile. This was also a strength Julie had – and she was not even aware of it.

So you see your strengths are not just about your qualifications and work experiences. In fact, you need to have a look at all areas of your life. You may be a great father/mother, or easily connect with people, you may be a person who excels at routine and being organised, or you could be a great ideas person. Dare to expand yourself in becoming aware of your own strengths. Take a look at the list below giving some examples of strengths.

List of Strengths

  • Well organised person
  • Great smile
  • Committed person
  • Connect with people easily
  • Great communication skills
  • Open and honest
  • High standards
  • Great father/mother
  • Healthy and fit
  • Enthusiastic
  • Honest work ethics
  • Positive nature
  • High energised person
  • Loving wife/husband
  • Great systems in life/business/career
  • Put people before results
  • Very creative
  • Love life
  • Acknowledge self and others
  • Visionary
  • Balanced life
  • Genuine interest in others
  • Team player
  • Leader
  • Great manager

Coaching Tip

You have natural strengths, talents and abilities that you use every day. When you own who you are and what you do well, this will give you greater clarity of vision and confidence because you will know exactly why you do what you do.

Make a list of your top 10 strengths. Be really generous with yourself and write whatever comes to mind. Be mindful about where in our life you are expressing your strengths.

I encourage you to give yourself a boost of certainty and confidence by taking on the challenge of making a list of your top 30 strengths and let me know how you go.

By strengthening your strengths with conscious awareness and mindful action, you will gain clarity with natural confidence knowing Who you truly are and Why you do what you do.

There is no competition when you know Who you really are, What unique strengths you have developed and in What way you naturally express your strengths. This way of living will ultimately give you your purposeful Why each day.