Building Self Confidence Blog

60 Seconds to Confidence tip #15

Do you remember your parents ever saying to you, ‘Mind your language!’?

They may have being referring to something they thought was rude or cheeky about what you said.

The reason why they mentioned it and why I’m mentioning it now is because our language patterns can have a really powerful influence on our emotions.

Of course there are the obvious things like self-criticism, blame or praise, but what I’m talking about is more subtle.

If I say to you, ‘This sorting out your relationship or career or business issue…it’s going to be a problem,’ how do you feel?

How does that feeling change if I say, ‘This sorting out your relationship, business or career issue…it’s going to be a challenge’?

And what if I say, ‘This sorting out your relationship, business or career issue…it’s going to be an adventure.’ How do you feel now?

I’ve found that most of my clients say they feel more positive about tackling the issues when I call it a challenge or an adventure. If you do too, then use those words!

Basically, I’m encouraging you to use whatever language helps you to feel most resourceful and positive about getting something resolved. So, if you have become jaded with the politically correct use of the word ‘challenge’, then find your own empowering vocabulary.

Madeleine Morgan Executive Coach and Leadership MentorHave fun creating more uplifting language patterns for yourself and watch your personal, career and business success soar!

Warm wishes



60 Seconds to Confidence tip #14

If you are finding that Procrastination is a thief of your success in any area of your personal, business or career life, this week’s tip will be helpful to you.

Think of one task or goal you keep procrastinating about and, with that task in mind, take this procrastination busting test:

  1. Is the task really a project? Should it be chunked down into more manageable activities?
  2. How important is it that you do it? Could or should it be delegated?
  3. How important is this task or goal, really? What will you gain or lose if you do or don’t do it? Sometimes it’s effective to procrastinate – the task or goal on your To Do list wasn’t that important anyway.
  4. What are you thinking about the task that’s stopping you from doing it? Does it seem boring, difficult or likely to fail, for instance? What beliefs do you need to change to allow yourself to see it as fun, easy and likely to succeed?
  5. What do you need to know or know how to do to make this task easy? Is there a knowledge or skills gap that you need to bridge?
  6. What are you doing to stop yourself and what could you do to start yourself? Some people find it helpful to create some artificial adrenalin by setting an alarm clock for 45 minutes’ time and then they work flat out against the clock in a focussed way. It’s a stressful way to cope but effective when used from time to time. Other people find that promising themselves a reward for successful completion is a great incentive. Recently a client of mine bought himself a new tennis racquet as a reward for completing a difficult work assignment. Tennis is one of his passions so the reward was really meaningful.
  7. What environment and resources do you need to help you complete this task easily and effortlessly? Some ideas could be: a quiet and tidy space, a coach to reduce the challenge and motivate you, a mentor who can give advice because they’ve been there and got the T shirt, a piece of technology, some training or a block of time to get into the zone.

Madeleine Morgan Executive Coach and Leadership MentorRemember to procrastinate later and enjoy the sweet taste of success by completing those important tasks now!

Warm wishes



60 Seconds to Confidence tip #13

Research shows that if you want to build your personal, career or business success on firm foundations, you need to know when you’ve done a good job.

Did you know that individuals vary in the way they are convinced about whether they’ve done a good job?

For instance, I’ve coached clients who know they’ve done a good job only because they get confirmation from outside themselves – for instance a good appraisal, testimonial or positive feedback from someone else. These people find it very hard to think or feel they’ve done a good job if they don’t get this external feedback. They often lack confidence when they are in a work environment or have relationships where others only give feedback when something is wrong. They may under-estimate their abilities and achievements. Or… they may become arrogant when they receive too much unrealistic praise.

While it’s good to get a reality check by seeking outside feedback about our successes, the usefulness of that feedback can depend on how well qualified the person giving it is - and how skilled they are at being constructive.

Other people I’ve coached know they’ve done a good job because they have strong inner standards they set for themselves. So even if other people say they’ve done a good (or a bad) job, people with inner standards are not convinced if what other people say doesn’t match their own assessment.

Madeleine Morgan Executive Coach and Leadership MentorSo how do you know that you’ve done a good job? What external measures or internal critieria for assessing your performance in your personal, career and business life do you need to develop so that you can have a balanced and realistic picture?

Warm wishes

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60 Seconds to Confidence tip #12

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A friend of mine told me he was going to a business conference. When he got back, I asked him how it went. He said, ‘It was just how I thought it would be…boring, lonely and a complete waste of time.

His experience reminded me of a valuable thing to remember:

‘Thoughts can become things, so choose the good ones!’

Did my friend’s thoughts become self-fulfilling? I wonder if there were other people who went home after that conference energised and inspired having found interesting things to do and people to meet?

But…if you’ve ever tried consistently to think positively, you’ll probably be saying to yourself, ‘Thinking positively is easier said than done!’ After all, we tend to be surrounded by bad news. We’re more wired to see obstacles and things that are wrong than opportunities and things that are right. And…sometimes… we choose to be right rather than to be happy.

One way we can train our minds to focus on good thoughts is by asking questions. Our brains are question answering machines…our neck-top computers.

So, here are some powerfully positive questions to ask yourself every day to help you train your mind to think in a positive direction and create positive things.

  • ‘What can I be grateful for?’
  • ‘What can I appreciate about myself/someone else?'
  • ‘What have I done that I can feel proud of today?'
  • ‘What do I already have (skills, resources etc.) that will help me achieve…?'
  • ‘How can I make this turn out well?’

By answering these questions regularly you can:

  • Build your career, business and personal confidence
  • Pour positive energy and inspiration into difficult situations and relationships
  • Have more fun on the journey

Madeleine Morgan Executive Coach and Leadership MentorWhat new questions do you need to ask yourself so that you can create new things?

Warm wishes


60 Seconds to Confidence tip #11

A regular reader of these tips asked me to talk about how to maintain a positive mood at work when the team is feeling dispirited. Her request reminded me of an amazing story…

One way I’ve helped clients and teams to enjoy their work is to coach them understand how to choose how they feel about their circumstances.

A famous example of how choosing your attitude can determine your altitude is The Pike Plaice Fish Company in Seattle. This humble market stall was going bankrupt. The owner and his team felt they were just insignificant fish sellers being buffeted by economic circumstances which were way out of their control.

That was until they decided to create their own mood and jazz up the way they sell fish.

Now thousands of people visit the stall every day to enjoy the uplifting and humorous buying experience the fishmongers provide. The team members feel a great sense of purpose, their customers love them and their business is booming.

The Pike Plaice Fish Company in Seattle has become world famous. Their philosophy, ‘work that’s fun gets done’ has been translated into many successful businesses large and small.

Here are a couple of videos to help you catch the flavour of their approach.

Madeleine Morgan Executive Coach and Leadership MentorWhether you are a business owner, manager or a team member, what is one way you can adapt the FISH philosophy to your workplace and not only influence team morale in a positive way but also help the business to thrive?

Have fun!

Warm wishes

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60 Seconds to Confidence tip #10

If you’re feeling like there is someone in your life who is just so much hard work to get on with or you’ve had that ‘Why can’t they just…?’ moment, this week’s tip could be just what you need.

Imagine this - your business, organisation or family is like a beach ball with many different coloured stripes…blue, green, yellow, red, orange, purple, turquoise, lime green, etc.

Each member of your team or your family is standing on a different coloured stripe according to their personality. For instance, blue people are standing on the blue stripe. As far as they are concerned, your business or family is Blue. Blue tasks, points of view, beliefs, values and goals are the most important thing.

Blue people find it hard to see things from the perspective of the other colours and the other colours feel the same way about each other, especially when Blues communicate in Blue Language and, let’s say Yellows, communicate their points of view, beliefs, values and goals in their Yellow way.

I remember helping the team members in a charity to discover what colour they were. In the past, they had tended to find it hard to pull together as a team…the other colours were just being awkward as far as they were concerned and people were feeling frustrated with each other.

They discovered that all the Blues were working in finance and all the Greens were using their therapeutic skills to help the ‘patients’. The CEO was Yellow/Red – providing the new, creative ideas and focussed drive forward. Once they realised that everyone was just where they should be to be effective…they started to respect the value each colour contributed to the success of the organisation and their teamwork improved massively. For instance, it was easier for the Blues to be more receptive to budget requests from the Greens and easier for the Greens to accept that some financial realities really needed to be faced.

It can be comfortable but also risky for a family or a business to be too much one colour. Because everyone shares the same weaknesses as well as the strengths.

A few weeks ago, I was delivering a Time Management course in a very Green business. Green people tend to be very caring and supportive so they gave a lot of time and excellent customer service to the clients but neglected the Blue, Red and Yellow tasks because they weren’t natural to Greens. This was causing havoc with the business’s ability to grow, and ironically, service the clients even better.

Madeleine Morgan Executive Coach and Leadership MentorSo, the next time you feel frustrated with someone, be curious about what colour they might be and how you can benefit from their way of being. Get curious about your colour – when we design our career and business around our colour we can enjoy even greater success.
Bring more colours into your personal, career and business life…they could help you find the golden pot at the end of the rainbow.

Warm wishes


60 Seconds to Confidence tip #9

If you’re feeling like you’re in a ‘double bind’ at the moment, this week’s tip could be timely.

What do I mean by a ‘double bind’?

Well, if you feel you’re in a situation where whatever you do or whatever direction you take, there will be some pain attached so you slide into inaction and procrastination – that’s a ‘double bind’.

Here are some ‘double binds’ my clients have expressed recently:

  • I need to make more sales but I hate selling’
  • I want to be a strong leader who my team respects but I don’t like being aggressive’
  • ‘I need to earn more money but I don’t want to lose the quality time I spend with my partner’
  • ‘I ought to leave this difficult relationship but I’m worried I’ll regret doing that’
  • ‘I should go for a promotion but I’m anxious that I won’t be able to manage the responsibility and decision making’
  • ‘I need to have a difficult conversation with him but I’m afraid I’ll mess it up and he’ll blow up in my face’

One way to deal with a ‘double bind’ is to ask yourself a question that begins with ‘How can I…?’ and that also has in it an assumption that the double bind can be resolved.

For example:
‘How can I make more sales while enjoying selling?’ or ‘How can I earn more money and still have lots of quality time with my partner?’

These are solution-focussed and open questions that unlock the creativity and resources of our brains, our ‘neck-top computers’.

The answers may not appear immediately but they could well pop up when you least expect them – such as when your hands are busy and your mind is free, like when gardening or out on a walk. I often get those ideas when I’m in that state between being asleep and being fully awake, early in the morning, so I keep a notebook handy to help me capture them.

Madeleine Morgan Executive Coach and Leadership MentorWhat open, solution-focussed question could you ask about a ‘double-bind’ in your life? What doors could it open that previously seemed shut?

Warm wishes

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