Have confidence in music and in life

posted in: life lessons | 1

The other day, I learned a valuable lesson about the need to have confidence in music and in life.

have confidenceThe band I play  in had just went through a tough rehearsal. We were supposed to play the next day, and to say we were struggling would be kind. We’d tried to learn a few new songs, and all but one were bad. Real bad.

We finally replaced a few of the harder songs with easier tunes, but our music was still pretty rough. When we started playing, I thought about some advice a piano teacher gave me years ago. I was nervous just before a recital and she said, “Steve, if you mess up, just keep going and no one will notice.”

I’m not sure she was being completely truthful, but her suggestion helped calm me down and helped me play better, I’m sure. Since then I’ve thought of her words many times.

So when we started playing the other day, I decided to play with confidence. I knew that if I played tentatively I would almost certainly mess up.

I don’t know if the other band members picked up on it, but I do know that we played better than we had at any time during practice.

I thought later how the music lesson also applies to life. Confidence is often the difference between success and failure. It’s like someone once said, “If you think you’re going to fail, or if you think you’re going to succeed, you’re right.”

So next time you get nervous about something, get in harmony with your optimistic side. Have confidence in music and in life. Even if you make a mistake, keep going. No one will notice.

Lessons learned while watching Wambach

posted in: life lessons, persistence, teamwork | 0

I just finished watching the USA women move into the semi-finals of the World Cup soccer tournament. In case you missed it, the United States team was behind until Abby Wambach scored a goal just before the game ended.

Earlier, it seemed like everything was going against the team, including several questionable calls. But the U.S. players ended up winning on penalty kicks when goalie Hope Solo made a great save and Ali Krieger made the winning kick.

I took away a few lessons from the game. I learned similar lessons from Landon Donavan last year.

The first is, as Jim Valvano often said, “Never, give up!” ESPN’s Jeff Carlisle says the game was a triumph of self-belief over skill.

The U.S. players kept playing even when it seemed like they were surely going to lose. Abby Wambach’s header into the goal came in time that was added to the end of the game because injuries earlier.

The second lesson is that sometimes you need to keep trying even if you fail the first few times.

U.S. player Megan Rapinoe had made a number of passes that had not found their mark, but her pass to Wambach was a thing of beauty. Rapinoe kicked it to the absolutely best spot for Wambach to score.

The third lesson was something I almost missed, have confidence.

I watched the replay about 10 times. On about the third, I noticed that Wambach raised her hand just before Rapinoe kicked the ball toward her.

Wambach wanted the ball to come to her, even though several players from Brazil were around. She wanted it, she got it and she tied the game because of it.

The next time you face an obstacle in your business or in life, have confidence, keep trying and never give up.

Strength under control

posted in: strength | 2

Has anyone ever described you as gentle?

Did you take it as a compliment?

I admit, I’ve always had a negative feeling about the word. Who would want to be gentle?

Then this morning, my pastor talked about the passage in the Bible where Jesus describes himself as gentle and humble. Humble, I was OK with. Gentle, not so much.

Then my pastor defined gentleness as “strength under control.” The example he gave was wild horses that are tamed. They still have the same strength, the same horsepower if you will, but it’s been brought under control.

As I thought more about it later, I remembered one of the highest compliments I received in 20-plus years as a journalist. A state legislator who I had interviewed numerous times told me I was a “gentleman reporter.”

I told him I appreciated it, but I wasn’t exactly sure what he meant until a few years later when a colleague wrote a column about me when I was leaving the paper. He pointed out that some reporters thought you should do whatever it takes to get the story, and added that I would disagree with that but get the story anyway.

As I thought about that, it brought to mind my pastor’s description of humbleness as “the sane estimate of ourselves and our abilities.”

I’ve often underestimated myself and my abilities simply because I didn’t want to appear stuck up or overconfident. That’s not exactly insane, but it wasn’t good thinking either.

I’m not sure where I got it, but somewhere along the way I got the erroneous idea that thinking less of myself would somehow allow other people to think better of themselves.

Life doesn’t work that way. In fact, the opposite is true. It is by being true to ourselves that others are better able to get in touch with their true selves.

Steve DeVane
This free e-book helped me better understand myself.

Overcoming fears on the path to success

posted in: MLM, network marketing, success | 2

Earlier tonight, I was reading Steve Pavlina’s personal development blog about switching to a 100 percent raw diet. I admire his commitment and the general reasoning behind his move. Two sentences in a section on dealing with social issues struck me.

“Every time you stretch beyond the social conditioning, risking the rejection of your peers, you simultaneously serve as a powerful example to them,” he said. “You help other people awaken to the knowledge that they can exceed their current performance levels.”

This not only applies to changing your diet, it fits perfectly into how we promote our network marketing business. Let’s be honest, MLM doesn’t have the best of reputations.

Some folks have the wrong idea that it’s some kind of illegal pyramid scheme. Other people have been burned by MLMers who pressured them to buy unneeded products or resources. Some distributors have wrongly thought that the way to make their company look good was to make other network marketing companies look bad.

I believe we can turn that around. By presenting a positive perspective and telling the truth about our companies and our products, we’ll peel back the layers of disinformation and dishonesty.

I know that I have often been needlessly concerned about what people would think about me being a network marketer. To paraphrase Pavlina, by stretching beyond my social conditioning and risking the rejection of my peers, I serve as a powerful example to them.

Moreover, with that risk comes reward — self-confidence. Since, I’ve been involved with this mentoring system I’ve grown as a network marketer and as a person.

This reminded me of a quote one of my coaches once told me. The quote has been wrongly attributed to Nelson Mandela, but it’s actually from a book called A Return to Love, by Marianne Williamson.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

Overcome your fears and help liberate others.

Steve DeVane
This free e-book helped me overcome my fears.