Tag Archives: confidence

The Role of Eye Contact in Effective Communication

The ability to make eye contact in a comfortable manner is one of the most important parts of nonverbal communication – in regards to business and personal relationships, it can also be one of the hardest to master.

Eye Contact for Effective Communication

The Role of Eye Contact in Effective Communication

Most of us either make too much eye contact which comes off as “stalker stare” or not enough, which comes off as nervousness and dishonesty.

It might seem as if being comfortable and confident – neither extroverted nor introverted – would be the key to achieving the perfect balance.  achieving just the right amount of eye contact can be so challenging – with extroverts making too much eye contact and introverts not making enough, but that is not always the case.

Personality Types and Eye Contact

But, achieving just the right amount of eye contact can be so challenging because, for some people, nervousness in interpersonal relationships shows whether intended or not. extroverts often making too much eye contact and introverts generally not making enough, but that is not always the case.

Nervousness can impact both extroverts and introverts – with extroverts often making too much eye contact and introverts generally not making enough, but that is not always the case.

My Own Experience Improving Eye Contact

Using myself as an example, in the past, I tended to be extremely introverted. If talking with one or two people I was fine, but in a social setting, I was the one enjoying listening to others talk. Rarely would I ever press to shift the focus to myself, and when I did try to speak, my nervousness left my eyes darting around, then, my darting eyes would shift over to stalker stare, affixed on the friendliest looking person in the group.

With practice, I was able to improve my ability to make eye contact, and I want you to know that if I can do that, so can you. So here are a few tips that can help you improve your ability to make effective eye contact – some are from my experience and others are from the sources linked.

Tips for Improving Eye Contact

  • Practice in front of a mirror. If you can’t look your reflection in the eye and talk to yourself, you probably also can’t look anyone else in the eye long enough to have a conversation.
  • Record yourself. Make a recording of yourself reading a short speech or talking about something that interests you.
    • This gives you a great way to analyze how the way you make eye contact because you can see what works and practice recording over and over until your eye contact looks natural in the recording.
  • Match your partner’s eye contact style. According to the website, Improve Your Social Skills, a good way to achieve just the right balance in making eye contact is to make eye contact when the person you are speaking to looks at you and look away when they do.
    • (I love this advice, though I am picturing two “stalker starers” making way too much eye contact or two people who struggle to make eye contact not looking at each other at all.)
  • Mimic a good conversationalist. Study how much someone you admire as a conversationalist makes eye contact, then practice making about the same style and length of eye contact they do.
  • Boost your self-esteem. While a damaged self-esteem is not the only thing that can make your ability to make eye contact go wrong, boosting your confidence and self-esteem can only help when you want to improve it.
    • Set yourself up for small successes by planning and doing things you know you are good at, and write some simple positive affirmations about your good traits.
  • Write down things that make you feel gratitude. Just like becoming more confident, experiencing gratitude can only help as you work to improve the way you communicate.
  • Identify with people you talk to. Look for things you find positive or admirable in a person you don’t especially like but have to deal with anyway.
    • This one is hard, but even the biggest jerk around will typically have at least one or two positive traits you can focus on, so you can relax and make proper eye contact when they talk to you.
    • Finding something good and human in someone who tends to make you feel intimidated makes it easier to adjust your gaze to an appropriate length.
  • Count the seconds. If you feel as if maybe you are making too much eye contact, count the seconds. If you go over three or four seconds when talking to someone other than a romantic interest – a mutual romantic interest – then look away from a moment – or at least blink.

Eye contact can be a tricky part of effective communication, but it is possible to practice improve at this form of non-verbal communication, and making the effort can be important as you work to rewrite your life story.

Can Visualization Really Help With Weight Loss?

While there is a lot more to weight loss than just visualization, visualization is a tool you can use to help you stay focused on your goals as you build healthy eating and fitness routines into your daily life.

Visualization and Weight Loss

Visualization and Weight Loss

“Changing the way you approach weight loss can help you be successful. Set goals and focus on lifestyle changes like being physically active instead of focusing on just weight loss itself.” – National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

Anyone who has ever tried to lose weight can tell you how hard it can be; the challenge is that you still have to eat and you still have to deal with the same emotions and stressors that caused the weight gain in the first place.

I can’t even guess how many times I have latched on to one or two components of the weight loss process, like reducing calories or exercising a certain period of time, only to see initial success followed by disappointment – and I’m not alone – the $650.9 billion per year weight loss industry wouldn’t exist if I were the only person dealing with weight issues.

Visualization Helps You Change the Way You Think

One thing you can add to the mix to help you lose weight and gain a healthier lifestyle is visualization because it puts the unlimited power of your subconscious brain behind your weight loss efforts.

Alone, visualization won’t melt the pounds off your body, but it can help you build the confidence and self-esteem needed to make a physical change, and it can help you maintain your ongoing focus as you take the steps necessary for weight loss.

Weight Loss Visualization Tips

This is the easiest way to get started, but it costs a few dollars, and for many people the easy way is not always the most effective way – (you have to ‘know’ yourself) – you can buy or download weight loss meditation and visualization CDs or download them from the Internet, then listen to them several times throughout the day as you  relax or as a complementary part of meditation.

Another way that takes a bit more effort is to write your own affirmations about weight loss, total fitness, and your health, then memorize them and add them to your meditation time, or if you don’t meditate, repeat them when you wake up, mid-day, and just before you go to sleep.

Visualization alone won’t change your body, but adding it to a healthy eating and exercise plan as part of a healthy lifestyle can help get you where you want to be.

5 Beautiful Kindness Quotes

The Hidden Power of KindnessI woke up today thinking about kindness: about times in my life when I have been treated with kindness and about times I went out of my way to be kind to someone else, and such a beautiful feeling of gratitude swept through me that I wanted to send some of that kind of positive energy out into the world.

5 Beautiful Kindness Quotes

I hope you’ll enjoy these five short quotes about kindness.

“Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.”  – Lao Tzu

“Beginning today, treat everyone you meet as if they were going to be dead by midnight. Extend to them all the care, kindness and understanding you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again.”  – Og Mandino

“You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.”  – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Constant kindness can accomplish much. As the sun makes ice melt, kindness causes misunderstanding, mistrust, and hostility to evaporate.”  – Albert Schweitzer

“It’s also selfish because it makes you feel good when you help others. I’ve been helped by acts of kindness from strangers. That’s why we’re here, after all, to help others.”  – Carol Burnett

What Is Kindness?

While we each have our own, personal definition of kindness buried inside of our hearts; kindness is defined by the Oxford dictionary as the act of being friendly, generous, and considerate.

Even the smallest act can have a positive impact on someone’s day or life, and it feels just as good to do something kind as it does to be treated kindly – so – if you get the chance to do something kind today, take that chance – it’s for your benefit, too.

 

3 Easy Self-Empowerment Exercises to Help You Take Control of Your Life

If you are feeling down about your life, it can feel as if empowerment is an impossible thing for you, but it’s not.

7 Habits of Highly Effective People (Become Self-Empowered)
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Becoming self-empowered is a process, and it’s the same for almost everyone, it’s just that some people never really try to take on the process and some manage to slip through it with more ease than others.

Wherever you are at in that, there are some simple things you can do to help yourself move through the process to self-empowerment more quickly and with greater ease.

3 Easy Self-Empowerment Exercises

Go ahead and grab a notebook and pen, or open up a blank document that you can use to record your work on these exercises.

  1. Dream Big: Start by writing down that big goal – or even all of your long-term goals.
    1. It’s perfectly okay and normal if they are “crazy big” or so big you can’t ever imagine them coming true.
      1. If you worry that someone will find your notes and make fun of you, first, you are probably surrounding yourself with the wrong people, and second, encode them so only you can read them.
        1. You can even destroy them when you finish the exercise, though if possible it’s best to keep them and refer back to them every couple weeks or months.
  2. Start Small: Rather than start work on achieving one big, or long-term goal, think about, and record, the steps to make that big goal a reality.
    1. You don’t have to do it all in one day – and if you can do it in one day – it isn’t really a long-term goal anyway.
      1. For example: if your long term goal is a better job so you can live as you wish, financially, but you need to get an education to get the job you want, signing up for college and registering for your first semester of classes would be a good first short term goal.
        1. The advantage of setting these small short-term goals is that each one in itself is easy to achieve – you are setting yourself up for success by setting a series of achievable goals, and each success you experience adds to your sense of accomplishment and self-empowerment.
  3. Record Successes: Make a checklist of the small steps you are taking and plan to take, and check off each one as you complete it.
    1. This gives you a visual confirmation you can look at any time you need a bit of inspiration and a reminder that you have indeed completed steps toward your long-term goal or goals.
      1. Being able to look at a checklist of your accomplishments can speak to your psyche in a unique and effective way.

Personal Growth is a Journey

“We are the creative force of our life, and through our own decisions rather than our conditions, if we carefully learn to do certain things, we can accomplish those goals.”  – Dr. Steven Covey PhD

Don’t expect to change every single thing that’s wrong in your life at once, at best that would be overwhelming – at worst it is setting yourself up for failure.

Always remember that a small success is better than no success and that each small success is but one step on the path to creating and living the life you want.

3 Profound Confidence Quotes

Confidence (or the lack of it) shows in the way we act and present ourselves – and it impacts how successful we can be in aspect of our lives.

3 Profound Confidence Quotes

“Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers, you cannot be successful or happy.”  – Norman Vincent Peale

“Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.”  – Lao Tzu

“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.”  – Eleanor Roosevelt

Do You Have Any Favorite Confidence Quotes to Share?

The Confidence Code
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I hope you enjoyed these three quotes about confidence, and if you would like to join the conversation, feel free to jump in with comments or to share your own favorite confidence quotes.

The Power You Gain From Showing Compassion to Others

It’s easy to think of kindness and compassion as something you give away – that takes from you – but the opposite is true because showing compassion can help you increase your personal power and confidence levels.

“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” – Dalai Lama

The Link Between Kindness and Empowerment

50 Mindful Steps to Self-Esteem
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When you show compassion to someone else, it begins to bolster your self-esteem and helps you grow your personal power.

Helping someone else broadens your perspective and lets you see that, no matter what your circumstances are, you still have the power to make someone else’s day, or even their life, brighter.

In addition to extending compassion outwards, though, you can also practice self-compassion — by giving yourself a break and by seeing your good qualities instead of focusing on things you perceive as bad.

But… How Can I Help Anyone?

If you are wondering how you could possibly help anyone, for example if you are in a bad situation yourself, the help and compassion you offer don’t have to be big and drastically life-changing for the other person in order to make a positive impact on your (and their) life.

In most situations, we all have to work out our own big and life-changing struggles on our own anyway – if we want to make lasting changes in our lives – that is.

The kindness and compassion you offer can be as simple as a smile that lets another human being know they have been seen and valued, holding a door for someone carrying a heavy load, or buying someone who looks cold a small cup of coffee.

What Does Compassion Mean?

Compassion is described as a sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings and misfortunes of others.

I would add to that definition of compassion that compassion is the inner force that awakens a feeling of empathy in us and that it is the catalyst that can spur us to engage in acts of kindness.

When you are feeling down, when you have a low self-esteem, when you feel like failure is washing over you — you are focusing on yourself and the things you feel are wrong or sad or pitiful about your life – and that kind of thinking is a trap that benefits no one.

Let the compassion you feel as you look at the people around increase your self-esteem and you lead you to a better place by acting on impulses to help others.