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October 2011

Empower yourself with positive self-talk

You may be familiar with Susan Jeffers book “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway.” It's one of those books that will make you stop and think differently every time you read it. What fear is holding you back from experiencing life and your career the way you want to?

It would be easy in our professional lives to let fear take hold and keep us frozen in place and downright depressed. But how about letting fear move us to a position of power, energy and enthusiasm? We all know people who have pushed through a truly bad situation and turned it into a positive one — even in times like this.

Is fear of public speaking, picking up the phone or expressing an unpopular opinion keeping you from being proactive and moving forward? One of Jeffers' 5 Truths is: “Pushing through the fear is less frightening than living with the underlying fear that comes from a feeling of helplessness.” Since about 90 percent of what we worry about never happens, we're wasting a lot of negative energy.

Make a list of ways to keep a positive outlook: inspirational CDs, books (your own so you can mark them up), index cards, positive quotes, statements of affirmation all over your apartment, and on the dashboard of your car. One client plays James Brown's “I Feel Good!” every morning. Others meditate for 15 minutes and get in tune with their energy source.

If we actually commit to this kind of routine it will change our lives. Our energy will increase and our fears will begin to diminish. And a big payoff is that we become a magnet for other positive-thinking people. We'll find ourselves saying “Let's see what good will come from this situation.” We will begin to gain the power we need to handle whatever life throws at us.

Gather a professional or personal group together and use this book as a focus for discussion.

I would love to hear your feedback on this topic and welcome your emails.

Kathleen Martinek, former UNCG alumni career counselor, has more than 15 years of experience in career development and corporate management.









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