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Use these strategies to improve self-confidence

Use these strategies to improve self-confidence

Do you have self-confidence? Has self-doubt caused you to question whether you are enough or worthy?

You can eliminate self-doubt (or at least alleviate it) by using communication strategies to take action and improve self-confidence.

Check out episode 231 with Debra Roberts and learn more communication skills for handling difficult conversations.

Where does self-doubt come from?

Self-doubt, which results in overthinking, comes from how we were brought up. Our upbringing continues to be part of us, we carry it with us. In addition, self-doubt comes from how we’ve been culturally conditioned in society. But not to fear, you can eliminate self-doubt if you take action to change your mindset.

We are constantly underestimating ourselves. Comparison and imposter syndrome play a significant part in self-doubt. Women often underestimate themselves internally and sometimes misrepresent themselves externally.

The power of your voice to improve self-confidence

They may be exceptional leaders and experts but misrepresent themselves, for example, in their voice, they don’t project their voice, they don’t speak with conviction. Another example is upspeak, which is when you end a statement with a question mark. Doing so makes you appear less credible.

Punctuation will also make a difference in how confident and credible you seem. For example, when you introduce yourself, say your name and pause before going on to add more details.

To use your voice to improve self-confidence, record yourself or have a friend or coach evaluate with you.

Speak with conviction, smile, and keep your voice light as well as projected. In addition, have vocal variety, change your volume, pitch, and pace so that you come across with more interest. Another important factor for credibility is the power of the pause. When you don’t pause, you can seem nervous and out of control to the audience. This is important because people don’t listen well to people who seem out of control. So pause occasionally.

Your voice can make you more interesting.

Using your voice also helps build an emotional connection and trust with your community and audience.

Strategies to eliminate self-doubt and gain more self-confidence

  1. The Broadway Musical Technique
    • Many women think they aren’t good enough, not worthy. When you realize you are in a place of self-doubt, say the thought out loud. Then, sing it out loud, like someone in a Broadway musical. You will think it’s pretty funny. It’s important to note, that there is neuroscience behind this. When you change how you say the negative phrase, it changes the neuropathways in your brain. This will help take the power away from and eliminate self-doubt or negative thoughts.
  2. Celebration Portfolio
    • Make a list of everything you’ve accomplished and collect testimonials about you from others.
  3. Five in Five
    • Ask five people that you know and trust for 5 positive qualities and/or characteristics about you.

The brain is so miraculous that God created it so that we can change the neuropathways from negative to positive. But the key is action. You can’t make changes in your mindset if you don’t take action. No one would ever say to us the things we say to ourselves. Nor would we say them to someone else.

Robyn mentioned the 5 Cs journaling method. Catch the negative thoughts, challenge them, and change them to have more control over your thoughts and become more self-confident.

Words not to use when you want to improve self-confidence

The two most common words we should avoid are just and little. For example, “I have just a little tip I want to share with you” versus “I have a tip I want to share with you”. Just and little are modifiers that take away from the strength of our language.

The third word or phrase to avoid is saying “I’m sorry” unless you’ve legitimately wronged someone. Instead of saying I’m sorry, say excuse me, or thank you for your patience, or thank you for understanding. When you say I’m sorry, it can infer that you don’t want to take up space or you don’t want to bother someone.

Practice helps improve self-confidence

It takes practice to be a better, more confident communicator. Record yourself or practice with someone else and then debrief after. Review what you’ve done and evaluate yourself. Get feedback because practice without feedback isn’t useful.

Secondly, affirmations can be powerful. For example, people love to hear what I have to say. Choose one affirmation to focus on at a time. Your brain needs repetition to absorb the work and for it to become a habit. Memorizing and reciting scripture is also a great way to practice and improve your mindset.

Remember, God wants to know what’s on your heart, what you want. He knows what He wants for you, but He also wants to hear from you and learn what you want. You could even ask him to help you eliminate self-doubt.

Karen shared that her faith informs every decision she makes in her personal life and her business. She also emphasized that we can ask God for what we want, but we must know what we want. An exercise she encouraged us to do is to put our hands on our hearts and ask God to speak life over us and ask the Holy Spirit for guidance.

When asked to define confidence, Karen explains that it is a firm foundational trust in yourself, but as believers, it’s a firm foundational trust in God working in us. She also emphasized that we need to own the gifts that God has given us. When someone compliments you on your gifts, for example, your voice, say thank you.

About Karen Laos

Karen Laos, Communication Expert and Confidence Cultivator is on a mission to eradicate self-doubt in 10 million women by giving them simple strategies to ask for what they want in the boardroom and beyond.

Coached by her father, Karen first recognized the power of confident communication when she successfully negotiated her first flea market purchase at six years old. She now guides women to transform self-doubt into self-confidence resulting in more clients, job promotions, and negotiation wins. With 25 years serving as a C-Suite advisor and commanding coveted stages such as Google, Starbucks, and NASA, Karen leads the frontline of best practices for creating results through confident communication. She guides corporations and individuals with a proven model and is known for her actionable tips and ability to build trust quickly. During her corporate career, she led a team of facilitators while traveling the globe consulting industry leaders on the seemingly soft skills that impact the bottom line.

Karen is the author of Trust Your Own Voice: Growing Your Influence Through Confident Communication, as well as the host of her highly-ranked podcast, Ignite Your Confidence, equipping women to stop holding back and start taking their seats at the table. Following her lifelong dream to live in Manhattan, she rented an apartment there for the month of her 50th Birthday.

Website for Karen Laos

Additional Resources

Download free resources to grow your business with more confidence. 

Apply for a Thinking it Through Wins and Wisdom Feature on The Robyn Graham Show


You need self-discipline to succeed

You need self-discipline to succeed

If you want to succeed in life and business, you need mindset, strategy, action – and self-discipline.

We face many things in life, and if we want positive outcomes, we need self-discipline. It enhances our lives. We achieve more and are ultimately happier. The happier we are, the more success we have.

What does the Bible say about self-discipline?

In 2 Timothy 1:7 we read, “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline.”

There we have it. God gave us self-discipline. And if he gave it to us, we are to use it. We may find it hard to be self-disciplined, but God gave us the Holy Spirit to help us. It is like a muscle. We have it, but if we don’t use it, it won’t get stronger. We build on our ability, with the help of the Holy Spirit, to be self-disciplined.

What are the benefits of self-discipline?

Many! Let’s take a look at a few of the areas of our lives influenced by self-discipline.

Health – physical and mental

As you know, health is paramount. We have these incredible miraculous bodies and minds but we have to care for them. You must have a level of self-discipline if you are going to maintain a healthy mind and body. Eating healthy and exercising takes energy and many days it’s easier to skip the workout and eat on the go instead of practicing healthy habits. Instead of thinking of either as a punishment, think of them as habits that you’ve created to nourish your mind and body.

Reframe your thoughts about the benefits of eating healthy and exercising. Then, create and implement a strategy to visualize what your habits will look like, and what you know you can adhere to. Take action consistently. You need self-discipline for all three, mindset, strategy, and action. If you aren’t disciplined and don’t adhere to the strategy and action, you won’t succeed and ultimately, put yourself at risk.

If it’s too hard to adopt healthy eating and start exercising at the same time, choose one, and then add the other. But exercise is equally important to your mental health as it is to your physical health. The same with eating healthy whole foods. When you have self-discipline, you choose to take positive action and do the mindset work to reframe your thoughts, you create a strategy and implement it, and you take action consistently. The food you eat influences how you think and feel so self-discipline to eat healthy is of utmost importance.

It may feel like a sacrifice

In Romans 12:2, Paul tells us, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing, and perfect will.” Sometimes, we must do the hard thing and not conform to what society is influencing us to do or think.

Maybe you want to give something up or change a behavior that isn’t healthy. It will feel like you’re sacrificing the fun stuff and it will be hard. Again, this is where self-discipline (self-control) is critical. We can’t change if we don’t adhere to a strategy, that may feel strict and hard. But if you want to be healthy and/or achieve success, sacrifice and dedication are necessary. When you struggle with making a sacrifice in the name of self-discipline, think of how Jesus suffered so that you could have the Holy Spirit in you to guide you and support you.

Another example is a journaling practice. You know that journaling is beneficial to your mental health and overall wellbeing but you try it for a day and then stop. Self-discipline is key to creating a consistent journaling practice. When you employ self-discipline, you will be consistent and see results faster.

But remember, if you slip up a day or two, it’s okay. When you practice self-discipline, you will be able to quickly get back into the routine you are striving for.


Self-discipline can influence relationships in several ways. How easy is it to get annoyed at someone? With self-discipline to do mindset work you can transform your mind to think more positively so that the small annoyances, and big ones too, don’t bother you as much. Self-discipline will also help you prioritize time with loved ones. In addition, as you employ self-discipline to improve or maintain your health, you will be more present and positive in relationships and be able to do and experience more, with more joy. When you are self-disciplined to take care of yourself by eating healthy and exercising you reduce stress and therefore are happier when with family, friends, and co-workers.

Paul’s letter to Titus provided the expectation for elders of the churches. In chapter 1 verses 7 and 8 he says, “Since an overseer manages God’s household, he must be blameless—not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. Rather, he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined.”

Self-discipline, self-control, and willpower all rolled up into one job description. Paul may have been outlining how elders were expected to live thousands of years ago, but the same applies to us today. 


Self-discipline will help you adhere to the strategies you create to achieve your goals. It will help you set reasonable goals and achieve them in a timely manner. Self-discipline is an integral part of taking consistent action. Instead of putting things off, which will increase stress and ultimately negatively impact your relationships and health, self-discipline will allow you to check things off your list and achieve what you need to achieve the way you need to do so.

Level of happiness

When you are healthier you are happier. Likewise, when your relationships are going well, you are happier. The happier you are, the more likely you are to achieve success because happiness improves productivity.


This is pretty straightforward. When you are self-disciplined to put in the time to learn on a consistent basis, you will learn more. The more you learn, the more you can apply to achieve success in all aspects of your life. Knowledge is power. Use self-discipline to start learning more scripture. Dedicate time each day to read the Bible or do devotions. Instead of letting life distract you, use self-discipline to adhere to the strategy to learn more and therefore, grow spiritually, or in the knowledge you need for other areas of your life. Data shows that people who are self-disciplined learn better and perform better.


People often get stuck in a someday phase. To get out of the someday phase you have to learn and do. At first, you’ll spend more time learning and less time doing, but then the time split will flip. You’ll need to spend less time learning and will do more. When you know more you hesitate less and take more action. The more action you take, the better you perform. For example, with public speaking.

The more self-discipline you have, the more you’ll practice. When you practice more, your talk will come off better and resonate more with the audience. This is also true if you are on a sports team or a work team. The more self-disciplined you are to practice, take action, and dedicate necessary time to projects, etc. the better your performance will be. Self-discipline also applies to being more thorough and making fewer mistakes because you take your time to ensure things are done right.


Self-discipline is key to persistence and consistency, both of which help you achieve more. Not only that, but self-discipline helps you navigate and overcome adversity. You stay focused on the positive instead of letting the negative overrule your heart and mind.

Be an example to follow

When you practice self-discipline, you become an example to follow.

If you aren’t achieving your goals . . .

Do you feel like you could achieve more? And I don’t mean by working more. If you employ self-discipline, you will use your time better and become more efficient. Maybe it’s staying off of your phone, not scrolling on Instagram, eating healthier, time blocking, or exercising. Whatever it is that you need to do, use your self-discipline and do it. If you believe you can, you will. And the added bonus, if you believe in Jesus as your savior, you have the Holy Spirit in you. He will give you the power of self-discipline when you ask Him to. If you’re struggling, ask.

More on being intentional to grow your business. 

Struggling to grow your business and need accountability?

If you are struggling to grow your business because you haven’t yet tapped into your self-discipline and need accountability to take intentional effective action, schedule a free consult with me. Let’s see how I can help you.

You need intimacy to succeed

You need intimacy to succeed

The connection between relationships, intimacy, and business is stronger than you think. Your relationships and your level of intimacy with yourself, others, and God influence your business growth.

Relationships and intimacy influence business growth. Of course, you can think of relationship marketing, but your personal relationships and level of intimacy with yourself, your spouse, and even with God are also important. You need intimacy to succeed in life and business.

Intimacy begins with being present

Social media is one of the distractions that keep you from being present. We need personal connection and intimacy and trying to emulate everything and everyone you see online distracts from focusing on being present and building connection.

As a business owner, it’s easy to compare yourself with other entrepreneurs, but it’s so much better to support one another, hold each other up, and build relationships with like-minded people. Take a step back and not look at what other people are doing and concentrate on what God is calling you to do. Get intimate with the Holy Spirit and listen to what he’s telling you to do for the next right step.

Improving intimacy with God

To be truly intimate is also to listen. Don’t just pray, tell God your problems, ask Him for things, but then listen. Dr. Brown emphasized that it’s also important to ask God who we are, who he wants us to be, and how we should use the gifts he’s given us.

If you think about it, you need intimacy to succeed not only sexual intimacy. You need intimacy with God. To be in a relationship with Jesus to communicate with Him and listen for Him.

Intimacy with self

Another way you need intimacy to succeed is through self-acceptance. You need an intimate relationship with yourself to accept yourself, to love yourself, to respect yourself, and to be kind to yourself. In addition, all of your relationships will begin with your relationship with yourself.

You should never say anything bad about yourself because you have to live with yourself for the rest of your life. The world may talk about you but don’t talk negatively about yourself. The Bible says that we are to love our neighbor as ourselves. Truly love yourself because people will treat you the way you treat yourself. Even Jesus took time for himself. As a business owner, it’s important for you to as well. When you rest, you will have more energy to build intimate connections.

Intimate connection with your spouse, your kids, and others requires you to have good self-intimacy and to know yourself and your boundaries.

You need intimacy to succeed and that means being truly present

When you are truly present, you are in the moment, you aren’t thinking about what’s going to happen in 10 hours. When you find yourself distracted, use your five senses. Find 5 things you can see, smell, taste, touch, hear. For example, if doing dishes, focus on doing dishes. If having a passionate moment with your spouse, focus solely on that.

Learn more about balance and intimacy by listening to episode 116.

Things you can do to be fully present

The first is to focus on your five senses at that moment. Secondly, transition from work to home so that you can let go of other things and be in the moment. Learn to go with the flow. Nothing in this world is perfect. Stop trying to make everything perfect. It’s okay if you aren’t perfect. Imperfection makes the world beautiful.

And the third thing you can do is ask for help. Even if you ask the kids to help with dishes, laundry, etc. In both life and business, you need to ask for help. Not asking for help is one reason entrepreneurs don’t succeed.

Fourth, remember that sexual intimacy shouldn’t be a chore. Intimacy should be similar to a playground. Focus solely on the person you are with.

If you stop worrying in the bedroom and just play, you’ll have more intimacy.

How to change the mindset around intimacy and sex

You need intimacy to succeed in your relationships. Intimacy begins with communication.

Realize that menopause is real. There are real challenges that occur when the body transitions into menopause.

Eating properly and exercising helps with anxiety, depression, and your hormone levels. They also help you feel good about yourself by releasing positive endorphins.

Remember that what you liked when you were younger, may not be what you like now. So communicate your needs and what you want with your spouse. It takes 20 to 25 minutes to warm up a female’s body. Men don’t understand what women want, so you need to have the conversation – outside of the bedroom so that the bedroom doesn’t become a pressure cooker.

Men are more visual, whereas women are more emotionally connected.

The reason people get divorced

The number one reason people get divorced is because of loneliness. Loneliness is different than being alone. When couples aren’t communicating there can be a lack of trust.

How can couples grow closer and begin communicating better?

There are several things couples can do to improve their relationship.

  1. Schedule and go on date nights
  2. Do check-ins. Talk and have real conversations. If it is difficult to talk, use paper and a timer. Talk from the place of I feel and the other person can write – take notes – which helps you understand from the other person’s point of view.
  3. Validate your spouse’s feelings. Don’t argue about a person’s feelings.

When you are experiencing difficulty with expressing your feelings because of the reaction of the other person, you both need to pay attention to your emotions and how you feel physically. The other person should be able to recognize what it looks like when the other person starts to get upset. There are solutions for having difficult conversations.

When one or the other person gets upset, it’s important to take a time out. Allow yourselves more time to process and to calm down. Calm down before you continue to communicate.

Remember, anxiety is not an excuse for communicating poorly or overreacting. If your spouse is anxious and gets upset when you express your feelings, you may need to take time out before pursuing the conversation. Writing and journaling, help process difficult conversations, and sometimes people need to move and work off the pressure or stress of the conversation. This is intimacy.

Does alcohol influence your sexual relationship and intimacy?

If you need intimacy to succeed, how does alcohol influence your ability to be intimate? Alcohol can sometimes become a third party in a relationship. When a partner goes to alcohol instead of to their partner when they are upset, it can cause additional conflicts. Alcohol may influence the thoughts and feelings toward another person. It can block you and prevent you from being vulnerable. Likewise, any addiction will decrease intimacy completely.

Should be living alcohol-free? Listen to episode 169.

More on conflict intelligence and navigating communication and relationships.

About Dr. April Brown

Dr. April Brown began her career as an accountant and then became a counselor. She now has a private practice and focuses on intimacy because people need connection. Dr. Brown helps individuals and families improve their connection. She believes that intimacy begins with your relationship with God, your spouse, and your children.

Learn more and connect with Dr. April Brown

Website for Dr. April Brown

If you want to be healthy, adopt sustainable habits. 

If you want to be healthy, adopt sustainable habits. 

Are you ready to adopt sustainable habits that help you feel better, be more productive, and achieve more success?

When you adopt sustainable habits you can create sustainable change in your life, mentally and physically. Best of all, you can create sustainable habits without feeling overwhelmed and frustrated. 

If you have felt stuck or like you are struggling in any area of your life, it may be time to adopt sustainable habits for a healthier version of yourself. 

It’s time to play

Many times, especially once we hit mid-life, we feel something, go to the doctor, and he or she gives us a laundry list of things to do. This is overwhelming and oftentimes, things are forgotten, or it feels impossible to keep up with them. 

Janet uses her PLAY method to help people adopt sustainable habits to create sustainable change in their lifestyles. 

Robyn emphasized that people often use anxiety or hormones as excuses. Maybe symptoms or feelings are related to these, but they aren’t excuses. You must take action to navigate them instead of staying stuck using them as excuses. You can’t overcome struggle without action. 

What is PLAY and how to use it to adopt sustainable change and create sustainable habits? 

PLAY stands for Please Look After Yourself.

Janet suggests that when change is necessary, start with your vision. What is the vision you have for yourself for your future? She mentioned the 5 Why’s, which were also referenced in episode 224 when talking about problem-solving with Sarah K. Ramsey.

Janet emphasized that when you are aligned with your vision and your why, you can create sustainable change. 

Your vision and your why are important when you want to adopt sustainable change

Identifying your vision and your why is the first part of the PLAY method. 

Second to identifying your vision and your why is recognizing that you do not have to go to a gym. 

Janet referenced the Blue Zones by Dan Butner. One of the things that Dan discovered is that people who lived the longest and healthiest never went to a gym. They simply incorporated movement into their day. This is natural and playful. For example, gardening is a form of movement and is playful. 

The minimum amount of movement everyone needs is 20 minutes a day or 150 minutes a week – this recommendation is the bare minimum to fight chronic disease.   

If you are struggling go back to when you were a kid and what you enjoyed doing. Robyn referenced using the same concept to tap into creativity.

More on living a healthy lifestyle.

The third part of PLAY is to keep it simple. 

Janet recommends breaking behaviors into tangible, actionable steps. It is much easier to adopt sustainable change when you make it easy. For example, if you like two vegetables, start eating them every day until you are ready to try more vegetables. 

When you keep things simple, you are more likely to be consistent. Consistency will enable you to create sustainable change. 

Remember, there is no one size fits all but simplicity will always be key. Fun and simplicity are part of sustainability. Before considering fad diets or workouts, evaluate if they align with your goal to adopt sustainable change. 

Sustainable change takes time

There is no quick fix when you want to create sustainable change. Robyn associated sustainable change for health to the time it takes to create a personal brand 

Janet emphasized that a 1% change daily can add up to significant change over time. 

Likewise, when you start to make the consistent change you feel better. When you feel better, you eat better. When you eat better you sleep better. It becomes a positive cycle. 

In addition, adopting PLAY as a fundamental for getting healthy and inviting friends to play, like going for a walk, it also helps end social and emotional isolation. 

Adopt sustainable change today

In summary, identify your vision for your future, recognize that you do not have to spend hours in the gym and that movement can be fun, and lastly, keep it simple.  

About Janet Omstead

Janet is a certified behavior change health coach with over 20 years in the health and wellness industry. 

Her superpower is knowing how to coach her clients into making sustainable lifelong changes.   

Janet’s impact is greater because people don’t hire her to give them a one-size-fits-all plan.  With her support, they practice movement/exercise, good nutrition, better sleep, and stress reduction — in a practical, playful way. 

Janet’s clients get to create a vision of what will work for them, so it sticks for life.   As a result, they improve their health markers, lose weight, move easier, and feel better.  Best of all, they pursue what they want most in life, whether running around with their grandkids, chasing their bucket-list goals, or simply enjoying their day-to-day lives. 

Janet believes that when you are healthy and playful, life is better. 

She is also the author of The Playbook, How to Get in the Habit of Good Health. 

Learn more and connect with Janet on her website: Janet Omstead

Have you or someone you know been struggling with anxiety? Download the free eBook, Alleviating Anxiety by Creating Healthy Habits for a Health Mind today.

Strategies for effective problem-solving

Strategies for effective problem-solving

Many people struggle with effective problem-solving.

Effective problem-solving is influenced by many factors, especially if you are a people pleaser, are overthinking, or are stuck in indecision.

Being a people pleaser makes effective problem-solving a challenge

People pleasers make decisions based on a few thoughts:

  1. Will I make the other person (people)  happy?
  2. How do I do the right thing – which is usually about keeping other people happy?
  3. What if people judge me and don’t think I’m a good person anymore?

People pleasers often do not have the ability to effectively make decisions. When you can’t make decisions, you can’t effectively problem-solve.

Using a decision process help achieve effective problem-solving

Sarah uses the analogy of taking spaghetti decisions and making waffle decisions. Spaghetti decisions are multi-faceted situations, they are complex with multiple people and challenges involved. When facing spaghetti decisions, you must waffle them down. Break down the decisions by individual problems. Not all problems are the same.

When problem-solving, it is especially important to break out the emotional problem from the more tactical or strategic problem. People pleasers often have perfectionism and want to take care of everyone else first, putting themselves on the back burner so to speak.

People often block the solution for practical problems with emotional problems. In order to problem solve, you must separate the two. Sarah used the example of public speaking. You may be nervous about speaking, but you also need to figure out what to say. Two very different problems. But the emotional problem of being nervous can block the ability to figure out what to say.

Know the problem you are trying to solve

Before you can solve a problem, you have to know the problem you are trying to solve.

Instead of asking “why”, ask “what problem am I trying to solve”. Then ask “what problem am I really really trying to solve”. And yet again, ask “what problem am I really trying to solve”.

Doing this exercise will help you achieve clarity around the problem.

Information is available to us, but if we don’t know the exact problem, we can find the solution.

Abstract thinking influences problem-solving skills

The more you overthink, the more procrastination you will have and the less productive you will be.

Sarah referenced the book, Designing Your Life, written by two engineers who wrote a book on gravity thinking and actionable thinking.

An example of gravity thinking is wanting a promotion in a family business and you aren’t a member of the family. Instead, actionable thinking is getting a different job.

Women have a different way of thinking, Sarah refers to it as abstract thinking. As women we get into more what-ifs, maybe, etc. This cycle of thinking will never solve the problem but may lead to burnout.

Implementing actionable thinking is powerful. Think about what action steps you can take to solidify your future. Taking action is the only choice if you want to move forward past the problem at hand.

An action step is something you put on your calendar.

Toxic Relationship Problem

Sarah emphasized that in the toxic relationship space, 100% of the time women say that they wish they’d done something sooner. They wish they’d taken action before they actually did. Most people wish they’d made decisions or taken action sooner.

The influence of smart girl syndrome on effective problem-solving

Women with smart girl syndrome think that if something isn’t working, they should work harder, or they need to try something else. And they do this on repeat.

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again with the hope to get a different result, an Einstein quote. This is what Sarah refers to as Smart Girl Syndrome. Women with this syndrome, keep pushing and don’t recognize that the goal is not a good goal.

An example is someone who wants to start a business. They are stuck because they are overthinking which is leading them to procrastination. Instead of staying stuck, hire a business coach. This would be an actionable item instead of continuing in a cycle of trying things over and over that aren’t working.

If you have a problem, hire an expert who can help solve it. There are a lot of payoffs if you hire help. When you aren’t stuck in your head or solving problems that you don’t have the ability to solve, you save a lot of time and energy.

Why versus how influences effective problem-solving abilities

If you are focused on the “why”, you will probably never have the answer. However, if you focus on the how and what, you can begin to solve the problem. “Why” questions take up way too much energy and there aren’t answers.

When you are stuck in the why, and there is no answer, you create a sense of helplessness. You waste time and energy. Instead, create an action plan.

Discern whether you are asking something that is reasonable or not. If not, you are wasting time and energy and you will not be able to solve the problem.

But Mouth

When you use the phrase “but” you are not going to be able to solve a problem. There are people who pride themselves on being a problem finder. On the other hand, there are problem solvers.

No one likes a problem finder. It never makes anyone feel better. If you can’t make the transition to being a problem solver, stop being a problem finder. It is not productive.

If you find yourself saying “but” when faced with making decisions, you need to stop. Big “buts” cause blocks and do not provide a solution. Likewise, someone who uses “buts” is pretending to do a lot while they are actually doing nothing.

Using “buts” is a sign of wanting to give up. If you are tired of being in a rut, stop using “but” because it is just an excuse. If someone is trying to help you but you continue to say “but” and make excuses without accepting their advice or taking the recommended action, you will remain in the same place – stuck.

Sarah’s books will help you with effective problem-solving skills

Becoming Toxic Person Proof: Clear the Confusion and Learn to Trust Yourself

Problem Solved: Simple Habits for Complex Decisions

Book Recommendation

Designing Your Life: How to build a well-lived, joyful life

About Sarah K. Ramsey

Sarah is a fife strategist, relationship specialist, creative solution finder, and heart-centered problem solver.

She is a professional problem solver and relationship expert. she helps people unravel complicated situations and complex personalities so they can move forward faster professionally, and personally. Her work in coaching began by helping people unravel the confusion of high-conflict personalities and finding ways to work with people who were non-negotiators.

Sarah is the best-selling author of the book Becoming Toxic Person Proof: Clear the Confusion and Learn to Trust Yourself. She is also the host of the Toxic Person Proof podcast which reaches thousands of listeners around the world. Her new podcast Problem Solved, Decision Made breaks down the concepts presented in her newest book Problem Solved: Simple Solutions for Complex Problems.

Connect with Sarah K. Ramsey and learn more about her by visiting her website.

Overthinking while starting your business? Download this free eBook: 10 Strategies to Start and Grow a Business without Social Media

Happiness leads to productivity

Happiness leads to productivity

You have the choice to start behaving in a way that makes you happy, which will lead to more productivity.

Happiness can seem elusive, out of reach. Sometimes, as entrepreneurs, we lose sight of what we value most, our cup gets empty, and we lose the sense of happiness.

You can personally create your path to happiness

There are three essential things that all people need to achieve their fullest potential in relation to contributing to the workplace.

  1. Autonomy to grow and have a sense of freedom
  2. Contributing – show our competence
  3. Affiliation – connection and community so that you don’t feel isolation and loneliness

The burning platform of change means you have to take action and create change.

Your happiness in your work depends on autonomy, contribution, and affiliation.

When those three things are present, we feel happy, we feel like our cup is full. Then we will produce our best work.

In producing our best work, we create reinforcement.

Happiness is the pathway to productivity but then there is a self-reinforcing loop once we begin producing what we want. It is also motivating to produce the results you desire.

Change your behavior and don’t wait for someone else to change

Show Up Positive

Rita wrote the book, Show Up Positive to address changes in the corporate climate resulting from Covid. During Covid, we lost community and autonomy.

Commiserating quickly becomes complaining and when we start complaining, it starts a snowball effect of complaining and it erodes relationships within your business and in relationships. Comparison, doubt, and imposter syndrome escalate when complaining takes over conversations.

Biologically we are programmed to need to know danger for survival. We are preconditioned, self-alert, to things that put us in danger, including our self-worth. And we give more attention to the negative things than positive ones – Negativity Bias.

The only way to overcome the negative is to insert the positive. Rita used the analogy from The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey, build a bank account with good messages so that when negative things happen you don’t go into the red.

Show up positive and find happiness

In Show Up Positive, Rita provides 50 words that you can use to fill your own cup, not to change someone else, but to fill your own cup and experience happiness. Use your own strength from within. This may not be instantaneous, but we all have the ability to change.

The more work we do to change the negative to the positive, the more likely we are to change the neuropathways in our brains. Only then will we be able to see more positives than negatives. This becomes daily work. It isn’t a one-and-done. We have to create the change.

When you practice paying attention to your own cup, you start noticing things in other people. You can reflect the beautiful things you see in the world back onto others like a mirror.

Gratitude exchange to improve happiness levels

Sit and write gratitude notes. Then talk about what you felt in your body as you wrote the gratitude note. You may feel relief from stress, you may smile, and you may feel lightness. Before you’ve handed off the note,  you’ve already filled your own cup.

Robyn encourages you to write down three things at the end of every day that you are grateful for. Adopting this practice will help you sleep better and notice the blessings in your life, even the things that felt like failures. There is always something to be grateful for. Always.

Misery loves company until people grow tired of being miserable.

We have habits of exchanging our misery and it’s like the toilet bowl that sucks you down. It takes the joy out of your environment.

This is not a sprint, it is a transformation through consistent practice. One small change can lead to BIG change.

About Rita Ernst

Rita owns the business consulting practice, Ignite Your Extraordinary. She focuses on organizational psychology and the behaviors of people, from the perspective of what human beings need to come together to be more productive.

Learn more and connect with Rita:

Website for Rita Ernst

Connect with Rita on LinkedIn


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