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How to strengthen skills n abilities

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When we decide to develop some skill or ability, especially one that may be new and relatively unfamiliar or uncomfortable, we may benefit from some or all of the five ways top athletes and businesspeople alike strengthen their skills:

1. Visualization
2. Affirmation
3. Education
4. Association
5. Action

VISUALIZATION means forming and holding pictures in our mind. Although it was a radical idea at one time, today it is common knowledge in the sports world that 'mental practice' has almost as much positive impact as physical practice. And, in mental practice, athletes practice perfectly. The imagination is a powerful thing.

If we feel weak in communication skills and dread going to a job interview, we might build a mental movie of us going on a job interview, getting along well with the the interviewer, being calm and relaxed answering the questions brilliantly, and getting hired instantly. Once built and run, our mental movie is stored in memory and can be recalled at will.

Visualization is simply the re-running of this mental movie over and over and over again. Once we understand all that, we can make it work to our benefit.

Affirmation is another means of programming the subconscious mind. Sometimes this is called "self-talk." Most people talk to themselves all the time, constantly, though usually silently. And most such self-talk unfortunately reinforces negative self-image beliefs. Here is an example: Lipi locks her keys in the car. To herself, she says "You idiot!" Then, "i can't seem to remember anything. I'm such a screw-up." Lipi has translated the incident into an indictment (Condemnation), a criticism of herself. It's interesting by the way that most peoples' self-talk is critical. Obviously, we do so many great smart, good and right things everyday, yet, in self-talk, we probably do not praise ourselves for doing those things. But we make a mistake, and we are all over ourselves, like our worst enemy!

The reason that is so harmful is that our subconscious mind accepts cumulative affirmations (the same affirmation heard and said repeatedly) as a “command” then it does everything in its power to fulfill the command. If we tell it that we are clumsy over and over again, it will exert its control over our physical body to literally make us even clumsier.

The good news is that you can tell it something you want to be over and over again, and it will work on making that command a reality. Now this is not “magic.” It won’t do much by itself. But as a reinforcement tool, it can be very powerful. Let’s say you’re always late and have decided to change that about yourself. You have chosen a new direction; you are going to be a punctual person. You affirmations might be:

1.   I am the kind of person who always shows up on time.
2.   Being on time and reliable is very important to me.
3.   I value and respect my own time and others’ time, so I honor my commitments.

ASSOCIATION is the fourth method of strengthening a skill.We talked about association previously too. If you want to get good (or better) at  something, then it just makes sense to be with people who are as good or better than you at that thing . If you bowl, for example, you’ll never get better if the only people you bowl with are less skilled than you are. To get better as a bowler, you’d bowl with people slightly better than you are, who would challenge you, from whom you, from whom you could learn by observing.

“A man only learns in two ways, one by reading, and the other by association with smarter people.”  -Will Rogers Famous American “cowboy humorist”

ACTION is the fifth tool. None of the above tools are of much value unless and until you take action on your thoughts and ideas. And, incidentally, most people drop the ball right here, over and over again, throughout their entire lives. The world is full of people who will tell you about the “great idea” they had, did nothing about, then saw someone else turn it into a successful product or business. Procrastination – the putting off of doing something- is the universal language of the POOR|

If you study successful people in any field, but especially in the business world, in term of careers you’ll quickly notice that they have a tendency to quickly follow decisions with actions. You become what you DO, not what you think or say, and not what others think or say about you.


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