Posts

Completing Any Goal: From Tripped-Up to Triumphant

It’s February.  Only a month and a half ago many of us set goals and made New Year’s Resolutions.  How’s that working out for you? Are you making strides or are you…stuck?

It’s OK. Many of us get tripped up on the path to triumph. You’re at a critical point at this moment though– you can choose to throw in the towel or push through. When you have trouble imagining how you’ll ever achieve your goal (whether it’s writing a book, completing a dissertation, moving up a level, enrolling more people, or making headway on a project, etc) it’s time to stop and go through a visioning process.

When I work with clients one-on-one or in groups, I take them through several visioning exercises.  One that I often begin with has 5 steps:

(1)  See it: Close your eyes.  Look at your goal square in the face.  What does it look like when it’s finished?  When you look around, who do you see?  Where do you picture yourself?  Get specific.  I often encourage my clients to put together a vision board that keeps these pictures in the forefront of their minds.  What images remind you of your goal?  What lies beyond once that Read more

Limits, Labels & Luggage: Leaving Behind What Holds Us Back

Based on Dr. Robyn Silverman’s Keynote: Limits, Labels & Luggage: Shedding the Past so We Can Claim Our Future

Many of us have what I like to call, “Goal Envy.” We see others setting and achieving goals that we want to be our own.  And yet, we come up with all kinds of reasons why we can’t succeed.

It’s not the right time.

I’m not that kind of person.

I would never have the _______, _________, or _________ to be able to do it.

Even before we try—no—even before we allow ourselves to think about setting such a goal–we have already come up with why we could never achieve it.  So, we sit by watching, longing, and wishing that our “luck” would change.

When we think of those who do indeed succeed we know that luck (being in the right place at the right time or knowing the right people) may be just one small piece of their success.  Intuitively we know that hard work, brains, skill, and a go-gettem’ attitude may have also played a part. But more than all of those things, these people know that the true secret of success is the: (1) Removal of limits; (2) Shedding of Labels; and (3) Unpacking of one’s Luggage.

Limits: These loom in front of us like a stop sign at the foot of a mountain.  We Read more

Got Vision? Dr. Robyn Silverman Introduces the Powerful Word of the Month

The Powerful Word of the Month is VISION.  Isn’t vision a GREAT way to start off the New Year?  It urges us to take the time to imagine what it would feel like, look like and sound like when we finally achieve our goals. It gets us excited and motivated.  It keeps us inspired when things get tough. Vision keeps us moving forward in the direction of dream realization. Lack of vision can leave people spinning their tires, going in circles, or just going the wrong way. For those reasons, vision is a vital part of goal-setting.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PNKDqIgoH9I]

Vision Quotes:

“A vision is not just a picture of what could be; it is an appeal to our better selves, a call to become something more.” — Rosabeth Moss Kanter

“Are you closer right now to where you want to be than you were a half-hour ago?” –Robert Cooper

“Vision is a minomer. Great vision does not just engage the eyes– but rather, all the senses that continually assure us that our goals are right within reach.” –Dr. Robyn Silveman

“Keep your dreams alive. Understand to achieve anything requires faith and belief in yourself, vision, hard work, determination, and dedication. Remember all things are possible for those who believe.” –Gail Devers

“People only see what they are prepared to see.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

“We are limited, not by our abilities, but by our vision.” — Unknown

Make it a Powerful Month!



Watch out! Goal Sabotage: The 7 Words that Block Your Dreams

Watch out! Goal Sabotage: The 7 Words that Block Your Dreams

Dr. Robyn Silverman

It’s easy to blame others for getting in the way of our success. But in 2011, how about we take responsibility of our goals and our outcomes? As we are creating our vision boards and writing down our goals (have you done this yet?), check your language and your self talk. Are you the one saying “no” to your dreams and to yourself? Are you coming up with excuses of why you can’t succeed this year?

Looking in the mirror can be painful but when it comes to goal-setting and goal-getting it’s the only way to keep things real. Why aren’t you as successful as you believe you should be? Why does full success elude you? Perhaps you begin but don’t commit. Perhaps you try but get sidetracked. Perhaps you go through the motions but lack belief. Of course, it’s not enough to create the vision, we must initiate consistent action as well.

“The vision must be followed by venture. It is not enough to stare up the steps– we must step up the stairs.” –Vance Havner

Sometimes we don’t see the success of action as a two-sided coin—on the one hand we must initiate action, and on the other, we must remove barricades. Some are placed by others while others are placed by our own volition, even if not consciously intended.

Here  are the 7 words I revisit at the beginning of each year to ensure that I am fully invested in my own goals and am not quietly sabotaging them:

(1) No: Such a small word but like an ant, powerful for its size. It’s arguably one of the most powerful words in the English dictionary. Definitive by nature, it requires no other explanation for what it means. When planning and taking action on our goals, it’s the enemy of progress and the dasher of dreams. While we must say no to some things to say yes to others, saying no to our own dreams not only shuts out possibilities, it kills something within us.

(2) Can’t: This word is a mind-trick. “Can’t” is the little voice inside our heads that tells us what we are not able to do. It’s our Read more

Keep Your Eyes on Your Own Plate: How NOT to Compare in a Competitive World

Is your plate half empty or half full? Thanksgiving bounty

A Thanksgiving Article about Celebrating the Bounty Right In Front of Us

It was a popular discussion in our household. Three kids. Three desserts. Six eyes darting back and forth.  Who got the best cupcake? The biggest dish of Jello? The largest number of Mandarin “dinky” oranges?

“Mom! Scott got more than me!”

Dad would jump in before it ever got out of hand.

“Robyn.  Look at your own plate.”

Or, as the years went on, a simple point downward at his own plate would tell of his sage advice.

Ahhh. Fatherly advice.  We don’t always appreciate it when it’s handed out, but I can tell you, now that my father passed away, I cherish these little tidbits that were so “him.” It’s advice that I remind myself of from time to time when my own perfectionistic Gremlin comes out to rear its ugly head.  “Are you achieving enough? Do you have enough? Don’t you want what she has?”

Comparison is normal.  People do it in all areas of their lives.  Weight. Money. Success. And the opportunity presents itself at every age and in every scenario.  One boy has more blocks, one girl got more time with Dad, one teen gets to stay out later, one career woman gets a Read more

Want to Achieve Your Goals This Year? Watch This!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wrtuVkIYtb0]

Many of us are thinking about new goals and new years resolutions as we get ready to delve full throttle into 2010. Yes, it’s the New Year and the New Year brings all kinds of promises in the form of New Years Resolutions 2010. How many of us keep them?

We know that writing down our goals is one step towards achieving them. We also should declare them publicly– tell people close to you– or your success coach– so that you can be kept accountable. My coaching clients are visiting their declared goals from last year as they set their goals this year to see how their goals must be tweaked in order to REALLY be achieved.

Remember that your goals must be positive, planned, present and possible– and you must believe in what you declare! Combat those negative thoughts with a set task list which benchmarks and times to celebrate.

Declare it now! Here or on FaceBook– we would love to hear how you and your family plan to make 2010 your best year yet.

Wishing you a very powerful 2010-

Dr. Robyn Signature

PARENTS! FREE Back to School Fears Teleseminar Wednesday Night 8/26

Dr. Robyn Silverman

Only a few spots left!

FREE “How to Help Your Children Deal with Their Back to School Fears” Teleseminar!

Dr. Robyn Silverman

Good morning powerful parents!

After I was interviewed as the parenting expert for Education.com on How to Deal with Back to School Fears in Children and related articles, I was contacted my several parents who wanted to know more.  They were having many issues and concerns with how their children handled “newness,” especially the transition to school.

So I’m offering a special FREE Parenting Tele-Seminar TOMORROW for all Powerful Parents on Back to School Fears and Dealing with New Situations.

The Teleseminar will take place on THIS COMING WEDNESDAY, August 26th at8pm EASTERN, 7pm CENTRAL, 6pm MOUNTAIN, and 5pm PACIFIC.

There are a limited number of lines—and only a few left now that we are closer to the date.  Please sign up now to be part of this FREE event!

We will be going over several concerns and questions including:

  • What are some typical fears that children will be dealing with when going back to school?
  • How would parents know if their children are really having a problem?
  • What specific action steps can parents to take to help their children cope?
  • What would cause a child to exclaim “I’m never going back!”
  • What big mistakes can parents make in these situations?

And other questions too!

Looking forward to hearing you on the teleseminar! Sign up here!

Dr. Robyn Silverman signs

Why Does My Child Keep Quitting?

Angry boyIs your child quitting everything they start? Need a Commitment Overhaul?

Here is a letter from a parent to Dr. Robyn Silverman asking about why her child keeps quitting his activities. What’s interfering with her child’s commitment level?

Dear Dr. Robyn,

I hate to admit it, but my child is a quitter.  Knowing the Powerful Word of the Month at our school this month is commitment, it seemed that now was the perfect time to ask what’s going on here.  I don’t want to raise a quitter.  Have any ideas on why a child quits everything they start?

–Jan K, Baltimore, MD

The question of commitment and quitting comes up every time our Powerful Words schools present Powerful Words like commitment, determination, attitude, or goal-setting.  As Powerful Parents, we want our children to show commitment and determination.  So what’s making them quit?

Children quit for all different reasons.  Some children feel bored while others feel overwhelmed.  Some children have unrealistic expectations that they are going to be performing the kind of martial arts, gymnastics, swimming, or other sport that they see “in the movies” or in the Olympics on the first day that they attend.  Other children see “today’s activity”  simply as another activity that they do—easily interchanged with football, basketball or dance lessons– so why stick with one thing?  Still other children feel invisible to the instructor, picked on, misunderstood or scared when they take class.

The first major reason for quitting is the instance of a curriculum-based clash. Simply put, when children feel overwhelmed or under-challenged, they will want to quit.  After all, when something is too difficult or too easy, it isn’t fun anymore! The over-challenged child may feel as though he cannot keep up, catch up, or otherwise progress at the pace that the other children in class are progressing.  The under-challenged child may feel uninterested, disinterested, or just plain bored.  You can determine this if your child would rather play with friends than go to class or fights you on practicing when they used to find it exciting to do so. Whatever it is, there is clearly a clash between the child’s learning level and the curriculum they’re learning at this time.  These children will surely start looking for other ways, whether it is in football, hockey, dance or marching band, to fill their time and hold their interest– sometimes, they just keep moving from activity to activity looking for something to hold their interest.  It’s important that we delve into this issue with our child because it’s easy enough to move our children to a different class, get them extra help, or have them take some extra classes to address this issue.

The second major reason for quitting is the case of the value-based clash. If you, as a parent, don’t value what the child is learning at their current activity,  the child will often sense it and want to quit.  For example, if you regard their current activity, like martial arts or gymnastics,  as “just another stop on the way between football and piano,” the child will too.  After all, a child will want to quit something if it has little or no perceived value to the parent.  Children tend to take their cues from their parents—so when Mom and Dad don’t care, neither will they.  As parents, we need to make sure to check our own attitude when determining why our children might be quitting.  If we can adjust our own behavior and attitude, our children will too.

The third major reason for quitting is the often elusive personal-based clash. When children or parents feel uncomfortable at an activity, uncomfortable around a coach or teacher, uncomfortable around another child or another parent who is there at the same time, or undervalued by staff, they will likely want to quit.  Perhaps there has been a misunderstanding or a miscommunication.  Boundaries may have been breached or buttons may have been pushed in some way.  Perhaps the most common personal clash is when the child perceives that the teacher or coach doesn’t “like him” or “care about him”.  It’s vital to find out if something happened between your child and another person in the class so that the issue can be addressed and any misunderstandings can be cleared up.

The fourth major reason for quitting is the instance of the situational-based clash. While the above reasons have a negative undertone causing a “falling away” or a “falling out,” situational clashes are due to an actual lack of money, resources, or ability to continue.  When families do not have the money to pay for lessons, the car to get their children to your class, or the person to bring the child to your school, they will likely need to quit.  There may have been a divorce or a death, a new job opportunity, and illness or a lay-off that caused this situation to arise. Schools and sports facilities are often very sorry to see these students leave, given that they would stay if they could.

Finally, the fifth major reason children might quit is…because they can! We want to make sure that children aren’t creating a pattern of quitting that is being supported by their parents.  Sometimes, we are just too overprotective or too easily swayed by our children’s attempts to get out of fulfilling their promises. While it is easier to have children quit something that making them stick it out til the end, children learn their patterns early.  If they see that they can quit without consequence, they will learn this as a fact and quit whatever feels uncomfortable, challenging, frustrating or boring to them as they develop and become teens and adults.  It may not seem like a big deal when they are 8 years old but it certainly becomes so when they become 18 or 28 years old! Set positive patterns now so that they learn commitment and the benefits of seeing goals and promises through to the end.

Make sure to ask questions rather than lecture.  Why do they want to quit?  Did anything happen in class? Are they bored? Overwhelmed? How do they feel about their friends in class? Their teachers? Is the curriculum too hard? Too easy?  And also, remember, to watch what you say and you do.  If you are quitting your activities, or someone else of influence in your home or family is doing so, children will learn volumes about the loop holes in commitment.  Take your cues from your child’s Powerful Words instructors this month and expand on what they are talking about in class with your children. Discuss it at the dinner table and in the car.  Tell stories about your own triumphs and how you stuck with something even when it was difficult. Talk about the importance of seeing the end and setting goals. And of course, set the precedent that your family always finishes what they start– everyone should have that “no quit, go-for-it attitude!” that helps each member to lead with commitment– and your children will surely learn to follow suit.

Dr. Robyn Silverman signs

Getting children to redefine what their best is…everyday

Dr. Robyn SIlverman as a young teenager

Do you see “vision” in the eyes of your child?

Dr. Robyn Silverman for Powerful Words

Some might say that the difference between a successful child and an unsuccessful child is brains.  Others might say talent. Still others, might realize that it may just be the vision and belief that one can set goals, go after those goals, and succeed in achieving those goals.

When I was about 8-12 years old, I was convinced that I was stupid.  My brothers had been in all the advanced classes- I hadn’t. My brothers got high marks on all their tests—I didn’t.  My brothers were among those kids invited to their teacher’s home for a special celebration of “smartness” and I…played with the Barbie dream home.

It wasn’t like I was failing anything—I was pretty much just average. But boy—it was convenient to believe otherwise. “I’m not as smart as my brothers” and “I’m stupid” became my mantra.  It was my answer to all things challenging at school—all bad grades, the reason I was more of a follower than a leader among my friends, my fallback mantra anytime I got stuck in a pickle–  it provided my perfect excuse for mediocrity.

What’s funny about the repetition of a mantra is that not only do you begin to believe what you are saying—but so do others around you. My family just knew that they needed to help me out quite a bit since I could hardly do things myself.  My mother barely would say anything about the Cs on my report card because they were clearly the best I could do. My father admitted later on in life that he began to thank God that I was cute since I didn’t get blessed with the brains in the family. It’s not their fault.  I was VERY convincing.

So, when I entered 8th grade, I didn’t expect anything different than my typical average performance. Nobody did. But in meeting Mr. Hendrickson, who asked us all to call him “Hendi” since he was only 24 years old at the time, I had met my match.  Still young enough to know what a cop out looked like and old enough to know the difference between poor self esteem and actual stupidity, he called me into his office.

“What do you need in order to ace this next math test?”

“I can’t ace any test.  I’m a horrible test taker and I stink at math.”

“But what if you could?”

“Could what?”

“Ace the test. What would you need to do it?”

“Someone else’s brain?”

(The parent/teacher look.  You know the one.  You probably give it to your children when they make such remarks.)

“OK. I guess I would need a lot of extra help (but I couldn’t resist)…but a brain transplant couldn’t hurt.”

“Fine. My door is open to you everyday during free periods and after school. As for the brain transplant, you don’t need it.  But you need a thought transplant. You need a new definition of what your best is.”

“I try my best.”

“No, you try what you once believed was your best. You need a new definition. Your current definition is yesterday’s news. What do you want now? What can you do now? I don’t think you know what you are capable of.”

“Not much.”

“You’re doing it again. I’m not buying it. I want you to wipe clean the slate and see what’s possible now.  You’re going to ace this test.”

“If you say so.”

No , I want you to say so.”

“I’m not there yet.”

“Get there.”

“I’ll try.”

You see, I was basing my performance level, my attitude, and my belief in myself on who I believed I was—the stupid one—not on who I could be. Once this belief was exposed, I needed to either prove him wrong or prove him right.

So for the next 2 weeks I came in every day for extra help.  An opportunity had opened up—not that it wasn’t always there but I hadn’t been willing to take it.  After all, why bother when the results were bound to be the same?  Perhaps even with extra help, I wasn’t going to be able to do it.  But in the back of my head, a tiny voice asked meekly, but what if you could?

The day of the test came. I took it and didn’t feel half bad about it. Not that that would make a difference—since the results were bound to be the same.  But what if they weren’t?

It was later on in the day that I bumped into Hendi.  He stopped me in the hallway and said; “You did it.”

Not believing my ears I asked, “I did what?”

“You aced the test.”

Doubting these different results I questioned, “are you sure?”

To which he joked, “I’m not checking it again.  See… you can do it.  And now we all know.  We all have a new definition of what your best is. So, now you’re really in for it!”

It’s a day that changed more than just my definition of my best. It told me what was possible. It changed my vision of the future and redefined what I was capable of NOW rather than going by what I thought I was capable of then.  It infused me with confidence and the ability to push myself and to redefine what my best is every day.

Children must have the ability to dream if you want to see them rise to their potential . They must believe in what’s possible even if it hasn’t been done before.  They must be willing to challenge themselves and others. And yes, they must redefine what is “their best” everyday and refuse to live by yesterday’s definition of one’s best.

As parents and teachers,we must give children the permission to succeed—dropping who they might have been and building on who they can be. Sometimes we all get stuck in believing their performance sabotaging mantras. It’s time to stop allowing it to happen.

So, how are you inspiring your children to redefine their definition of their best?  Looking forward to hearing from you.

Dr. Robyn Silverman signs

[digg=http://digg.com/educational/Getting_children_to_redefine_what_their_best_is_everyday]

How do you celebrate achieving a goal?

toasting to the achievement of a goal

Goal Setting and Celebration: Inspiration from First Grade Phonics

Dr. Robyn Silverman

When I was on 1st grade, we used to do phonics.  I remember the June day like it was yesterday.  It was warm in the school and we were all suffering from an acute case of Spring Fever.  It was on that day that we completed our last day of Phonics.  Mrs. Rabin announced, “You’re all done! Congratulations students! You can throw away the cover!” We all got up and my friend, Leanna, started a frenzy of little kids skipping around the room towards the trash can singing “no more phonics! no more phonics!” It was fun!  We felt great about ourselves! We got to the end!  I never forgot it.

What happens when YOUR goal or benchmark is reached? What about when your child reaches his or her goal?

Let’s say that you lost the 25 pounds you wanted to lose. You completed the course you needed to take to finish your degree. You’re child moved to a higher level. S/he finally got the A on in her hardest teacher’s class. Whatever it is, what’s the celebration plan? We’ve overcome so much, it’s hard to change…you did it…so it’s time to celebrate, isn’t it?

Without celebrating a goal, the whole process of goal-setting and goal-getting feels dull and meaningless! As the Powerful Word of the Month is Goal-setting, this is a great time to teach our children to celebrate before moving on to the next goal.

Celebrating can come in all forms—it can be as serious as being given an award or as silly as doing a funny “celebration dance” with a friend or parent. It can be as simple as a making a chocolate-milk toast to the success that was made and as intricate as baking brownies, wrapping them in a special tin, and sharing them with a friend, teacher, or sibling who also had some kind of success.  Celebrating can be going to the movies, giving your child a night off, going to dinner, or even buying her a congratulations balloon and hanging it on the back of her desk chair in her room. You can turn up the radio up really loud and invite him to jump on the bed with you (if that’s allowed for this special occasion). Whatever you do, you do need to commemorate the process if your child is going to learn that making and achieving goals is fun and something extraordinary.

One last hint– be sure that you do it too.  When children see you celebrating your goals, they’ll be more compelled to set and celebrate their own.

So, how do you and your children celebrate the success of your goals? Are you a bed jumper? Brownie baker? Movie goer? If this step has been missing in your goal-setting routine, what would you like to do? Give yourself something to look forward to…

Comment below so others can hear your ideas.  We can all get inspired from one another.

Dr. Robyn Silverman signs