This week I spoke in a public speaking class. I know, it’s just like inception. This is one of my favorite presentations to give. I want to start by recognizing their professor, and my friend, Michael DeStefano. Mike wants to see his students learn and succeed. When he brings in a guest speaker he doesn’t care about text books. He asked me to speak about whatever I wanted as long as it would help. I wish there were more teachers like him. 90% of my presentation talks about growing your self image. To me your self image correlates to your ability to public speak. Your ability to speak correlates to your bank account. That will be my next post. For now, lets cover 3 simple steps to make your self image soar.
“Your Self Image Is a Sub Conscious Summation of Your Life’s Victory’s and Defeats”
1) The T Equation
Take a piece of paper and draw a big T. On the left side list all the successes that you have had in your life. Some examples:
- Sports team victories
- Important shots, hits, putts, passes
- Good grade on a tough test.
- Won a competition (I list both Prom King and Dance Champion 🙂
- If you asked a girl out and she said yes, or if your crush asked you out, write it down.
- Made a great meal
Winners focus on the wins they have had in their career. Michael Jordan missed over 9000 shots in his career. Every time he got the ball with the game on the line, his mind went to game winning baskets he’s already made. In life too often we focus by past failures. This test will change that.
What goes on the other side of the T? Nothing. Leave it blank. Instead I want you to keep a separate list. This list will be lessons learned. With each failure we learn. The goal is to learn, adjust and not make the same mistake again. These lessons are so important. The victories will be our focus.
2) The Mirror Technique
I remember the first time I spoke into a mirror. I had my head down, felt awkward, looked uncomfortable. Man I thought, if this is how I look in the mirror, how will others view me? Yes, it’s uncomfortable. Get used to it. It works.
I started practicing this method when I started public speaking more often. I remember the first time I tried it. I couldn’t take myself serious. I knew if I felt that way, others watching me speak would feel the same. This technique is a long term solution. Over time, with consistency people began to notice. Our subconscious is susceptible to things we say out loud. Combine that with the act of looking yourself in the eye. This is good practice for speaking to others. It also creates accountability with the most important person, yourself.
When you look in the mirror do you see your best friend or your worst enemy? That determines the rate of growth of your self image.
3) Don’t Allow Negative into Your Life
I know. Easier said than done. The media spits negative. Our family and friends share negative before positive. Strangers complain before you can introduce yourself. All the negative that you encounter daily sows seeds of doubt in your mind. Those seeds of doubt can kill your self image.
As individuals we are getting smarter about what we allow in our body. Most people know Red Bull has 39 grams of sugar and McDonalds won’t help your cholesterol. We need to be vigilant about what we allow in our minds.
“Your mind is your greatest asset or your greatest liability. You determine that by what you allow in. “
Preventive strategies are always best. Surround yourself with positive people. Even with the most positive circle, doubt still creeps in. Combat negative thoughts with positive spoken word. Your mind does not respond to positive thoughts. Spoken words create images in your mind. Those images resonate. I create daily affirmations that I recite out loud. Affirmations should be positive and present tense. Not sure what to say? There is an app that can help.
These are methods I use to grow my self image. That growth allows me to be a better public speaker. This is a major component of growth as a professional. It can also allow for an increase in responsibility and compensation.