Favorite Gifts For Building Kids’ Confidence For A Lifetime!

photo-75In BEST BOLD U™ I inspire self-leadership, ownership & confidence in motivated Men & Women who create their own success. Not in kids. And yet think about where our confidence begins… yes, it can begin right there… in quiet moments of kids at play.

Whether you’re in that favorite-of-the-moment buyer category of retail marketers everywhere: professional aunts or uncles buying for nieces and nephews… or a wise grandparent uninspired by today’s toys… or a holiday-crazed Mom or Dad tired of tracking down top-selling toys only to discover they’re sold out…

Here’s an inspired solution:

3 FAVORITE CONFIDENCE-BUILDING GIFTS TO POSITIVELY INFLUENCE KIDS… FOR A LIFETIME!

…along with few BOLD Nuggets to eliminate the guess-work & make life easier for YOU: 

! 1.  THEIR OWN FULL-LENGTH MIRROR

The greatest gift we give ourselves, when it comes to happiness and success, leading and living the life we want? Self-Confidence. 

With ever-decreasing privacy, and ever-increasing parading of kids through social media as magical mini-me’s living up to our mega vision of what success and happiness could look like in their amazing life… (oh, the pressure!) Take a step back, and let the real gift in this gift be whatever reflects in THEIR view.

The simple gift of a Full-Length Mirror gives kids the gift of quietly discovering, play-acting, pretending, creating, wondering,  dreaming, dancing, making faces, smiling, crying, learning to love themselves just as they are… getting comfortable in their own skin now… to build their own confidence for whatever comes later… and eventually these little dreams turn to bigger questions: how will I ask her to prom, what will my wedding dress look like… 

BOLD Nugget:  Hang the full length mirror on the back of their bedroom door. So they can close out the world, eliminate distractions (yes, even you ;) and get into their own little dreamland, where they can learn to create their own happiness, believe in their own greatness, build their own self-confidence, love who they see reflecting back… and they just might have a greater chance to become adults who are comfortable in their own skin. (I could say much more, but you get it, and I didn’t intend this to become a lesson in self-leadership… only in gift giving ;).

Quiet time for you. Dream time for them. 

!! 2.  THEIR OWN VOICE RECORDER

As adults we know the importance of trusting our own voice, developing our own point of view, the confidence to speak up in our work and life: Voice Confidence.

And yet so often we’re learning this in action, in front of others, which is when fear and impostor syndrome threaten to stifle our best efforts as we struggle in self-doubt, self-sabotage, silencing our own voice, in some cases, before we’ve even had a chance to develop our own voice.

What if kids built their confident voice naturally, individually, getting use to that not-at-first-familiar tone, adjusting for whatever emphasis they want, becoming their own ME in their own special way, thru play?

BOLD Nugget:  The Voice Recorder needs to be one they can operate on their own. So no, the one on your smartphone isn’t what this is about. While I’m not writing to promote any brands, when our kids were growing up the Fischer Price recorder was exactly the gift that inspired this idea – way back then – some of the best strategies are exactly that: timeless!

Get ready to smile as you start hearing singing and crazy-fun voices and new characters coming to life in your own home… *Welcome Ladies & Gentlemen!* or *Everyone in their seats, quiet please, shhhh, it’s time for class…*

!!! 3.  FAVORITE SHOES THEY CAN MOVE IN

As adults we know the best way to get unstuck when we’re struggling is to Do Something: Get Moving! And when a more introspective response is called for – those times you need to stop, get quiet and reflect – well, at some point you do need to get moving again:  Confidence In Action!

I believe in giving in to brand-passion when it’s justified (and hopefully on sale!) If the athletic shoes they really want, they ones that will inspire them to get outside and get moving, playing, trying out new sports at least long enough to experience being part of an action-focused team… investing in their favorite athletic shoes can be money well spent.

Teach kids early on the importance of wearing clothes they can move in… starting with shoes they can move fast in.

BOLD Nugget:  This might be the time to pull out the stops… buying whatever Favorite Shoes They Can Move In – shoes they LOVE – that they’ll move in, run in, play hard in. Oh and let them get dirty. Great minds and active bodies are not built by staying out of muddy puddles, off wet grass, or walking on dry sidewalks.

Ah, memories! Without embarrassing our two now-grown kids… they’ve each followed their own life dreams and work in careers they love: one a sales pro & business owner, one a passionate teacher. Did mirrors, voice recorders, and athletic shoes they loved play a role in any of that? I have no doubt that in some way, they absolutely did!

_________________________________________________________________________

© 1993-2014  Ann Ulrich, THE BOLD! FACTOR® Catalyst, Strategist, Leader, Keynote Speaker & Mentor: “Navigating Success With Confidence! Self-Empowerment For Emerging Leaders & Motivated Professionals.” Subscribe to receive blog posts at:  AnnUlrich.com

 

Barbra Streisand’s BOLDest Of All

photo-8I was looking forward to a great night’s sleep after fun holiday travels for Thanksgiving and before our big family wedding tonite…

And yet there I was, glued to the TV until 3am last night, captivated by Barbra Steisand’s stunning video concert, Back In Brooklyn.

A big fan of A Star Is Born, I later tried to replicate her tricky-nimble vocals of Queen Bee in our Summer rock band while getting that out of my system…

And I still love singing her passionate Lullaby For Myself, which drives my husband David nuts every time I do (if you know the lyrics, you’ll get why in our 34 years of marriage, well, he’s just never been a fan of that one ;)

I don’t watch much TV and especially not in the middle of the night… so what was it about this concert that pulled me in?

Her range is noticeably huskier now, which in a way makes her performance richer – still gigantic, enormous, powerful, soul-soaring, sky’s-the-limit-shattering range as ever…

And yet that’s not where her power lies…

The essence of Barbra Streisand comes alive in her quietest moments, where she takes all that big talent, her massive voice, her powerful wow, and laser-focuses it…

Drawing her own stark contrast… shifting on a dime to quiet… in an up close and personal kinda way… delicate, breathtakingly so, as tho singing and speaking only. to. you.

In her quietest moments, her voice, her impact… can be her richest of all.

Just as your Quiet Confidence can indeed be… your BOLDest of all.

________________________________________________________________________

® 1993-2013  Ann Ulrich  THE BOLD! FACTOR®   BEST BOLD U   AnnUlrich.com

PHOTO:  This purple bowl of red spoons are a favorite in our kitchen – they hang out next to a favorite soup cookbook authored by my friend, Paulette Mitchell. I am grateful every Thanksgiving (every day!) to have been so smart all these years to stay out of the kitchen, and instead sing the praises of my when-he-has-time hobby chef husband David ;)

5 Ways You Can DO ONE BOLD THING™ To Select Yourself For Success With Confidence!

photo-2When you wake up tomorrow, Monday September 23rd, you’ll have 99 days until the new year begins.

99 DAYS… EACH DAY AN AMAZING GIFT!

We do not get today back. We don’t get a single one of these next 99 days back.

Be Your Own BOLD CAFFEINE! Promise yourself you won’t sleepwalk through a single day, a single hour, or a single moment!

By the way, naps and inspired downtime are not sleepwalking. You know when you need to step back to get ahead. Super SMART. And just because you’re Super Busy does not mean you’re not sleepwalking… in fact, I’m pretty sure it’s when we over-commit that we are MOST at risk of self-induced sleepwalking… right through our work, right through life.

99 DAYS… JUST THINK WHAT YOU CAN ACCOMPLISH OR CHANGE OR BEGIN…  BY STARTING. RIGHT. NOW!

It will only happen if you get focused, get committed, get going and keep going. I’m on this exciting ride too… and I’m here to champion you… so let me know in the comments below how I can help.

What’s inspiring me to inspire you?  Many things. Here’s the big one:

On our home calendar today, it wasn’t the *first day of Autumn* that caught my eye, it was this: 265/100. I’ve never noticed this countdown before. Today it not only caught my attention, this number urged me to stop and re-commit NOW- not waiting till, you know, *happy new year* – instead, taking action right now.

And since I’ve been at this awhile, I’m pretty good at taking my own BOLD action. How do I keep it fresh for myself? Keep walking my talk? By challenging myself that my own BOLD action needs to be the one I’m – for whatever reason – AFRAID to take. THAT’S the one I must do next… even when… especially when… it’s easier not to.

To keep reinforcing what I know I need to do, I create ways to reinforce YOU. Selfish? No, Smart. ;)

There isn’t a single story, trip-up or triumph, or lesson or BOLD Nugget of advice in all of BOLD that I haven’t personally and/or professionally faced or dealt with… or in some way experienced, too.

Where to begin? Start here:

DO ONE BOLD THING.

How?

SELECT YOURSELF FOR SUCCESS.

And then?

Here’s the 5-Way FORWARD-FOCUSED WHAT IF (by the way, Forward-Focused is the ONLY What If worth asking!) Question to ask yourself – to take a quick inventory as your own reality check – when you’re not sure where to start taking your next BOLD action to create your next Success:

It’s not about CAN You.  (YOU CAN!)

It’s about WILL You.  (WILL YOU?)

WHAT IF YOU WILL…

1.  CHANGE one thing you know is not working.

2.  CREATE one new way to share your gifts & talents. 

3.  COMMIT to making your next success happen.

4.  CALIBRATE your busyness based on your priorities.

5.  CHAMPION yourself first.

Your very first step is your BOLDest of all… whether your focus is work or life:

DO ONE BOLD THING.

SELECT YOURSELF FOR SUCCESS!

OWN IT WITH CONFIDENCE.

IT’S UP TO YOU!

I’m committing to my next One BOLD Thing.

Will You? BRAVO! If you share yours in the comments below we can help champion you!

_______________________________________________________________________

© 1993-2014  Ann Ulrich, Owning It! at THE BOLD! FACTOR®  BEST BOLD U!   AnnUlrich.com

PHOTO:  While out on a quiet walk last Fall, I came across this beautiful scene… sort of nature’s bouquet hidden deep in the woods near our lake cabin. And now, with 99 days remaining in 2013, I’m reflecting on the amazing(!) adventures since launching my own business in 1993. As I step into high gear this Fall, taking my own BOLD-BOLDer-BOLDest action presenting powerful new BOLD Keynotes along with creating the next iteration of THE BOLD! FACTOR®… and launching BEST BOLD U! I’m blessed, thrilled and inspired to champion the BEST BOLD in YOU.

What To Do When Fear Of Failure Risks Your Next Success

photo-73It’s not that you can’t. (You can!)

It’s not that you’re not willing. (You are!)

It’s not that you don’t want to. (You do!)

It’s not that you don’t know what to do or who to ask for help. (You know!)

It’s not that you’re lost. (You’re here!)

It’s not any of that…

So what is it?

What’s stopping you from taking that one next step?

What’s stopping you from moving forward to create your next success?

What’s stopping you from achieving that one dream that still keeps you awake in giddy excitement at even the thought of it? 

That one thing you would do… if only you could… if only you were willing… if only you really wanted to… if only you knew what to do… if only you could find your way there…

OK, just breathe for a minute and trust me on this one.

I feel your angst. I know your pain. I hold my breath at the thought of wanting to get there so bad you feel like you will explode – or implode – if you don’t.

I know the feeling when all you can produce are tears.

I’ve been where you are.

This morning I was there. 

And then I remembered the one thing I forgot to do. 

Trust me enough to hear me out… I’ve got your back on this one.

Instead of fighting forward, it’s time to step back.

To the beginning.

And before you can step back you need to

STOP.

STOP being afraid.

STOP being so certain that you will fail. Or that you’ll fail again.

STOP being so certain that you don’t already have everything you need to get there.

STOP being so certain about everything you are so certain about.

Where from here? Ready? Here it is.

You simply missed the very first step.

Start here:

SELECT YOURSELF FOR SUCCESS.

That’s it. THE KEY TO THE END IS HOW YOU BEGIN.

Name your Success. Claim it. Own it.

Get Going. Keep Going. Even if baby steps are all you can move forward on right now. Know, trust and believe YOU will succeed… and that it won’t be perfect… and that it will be tough and it will be exhilarating and just plain FUN to be on your way there.

Keep Going even when others insist you will fail.

You’re not doing this to please them anyway, are you?

Keep Going even when YOU insist you will fail.

Not everyone is going to buy in to what you’re doing… because what you’re doing is not going to be for everyone. It’s for the people you’re creating it for. And that’s enough.

And if you think for a moment that you don’t already have everything you need to succeed, scroll back and read the first 5 lines again.

So there you go. Watch you soar…

Send a postcard from the stratosphere of your renewed Confidence in you!

You had it in you all along!

You simply forgot to start at the beginning.

The place to start your next Success is right where you are:

Do One BOLD Thing.

SELECT YOURSELF FOR SUCCESS.

OWN YOUR SUCCESS WITH CONFIDENCE.

It’s Up To YOU!

_______________________________________________________________________

© 1993-2017  Ann Ulrich Inc.   AnnUlrich.com

PHOTO:  Last Sunday at our cabin, I had no idea my phone camera would capture the stunning essence of the moment: sparkling water and rippling sky in effervescent shades of blue. And in that moment I realized how grateful I am to choose to live my life without dreading blues on Sundays. Ah, the gifts we gift ourselves.

Owning Your Success Amidst The Ultimate Success Stifling, Confidence Crushing, Fear Fueling, Influence Immobilizing Impact Of Impostor Syndrome

photo-46Years ago, when I first learned of Impostor Syndrome, I knew I too had (gulp!) experienced the lockjaw impact of its unrelenting grip.

Sound familiar?

Yes, Impostor Syndrome is real.

And yes, you are imminently capable of the Success you imagine for yourself …and yes, you deserve to own the SUCCESS YOU HAVE ALREADY ACCOMPLISHED!

Herein lies your challenge and your opportunity:

Owning It. With Confidence.

Owning Your Success… With Confidence! 

I am writing this post to introduce you to what has become one of my favorites among many great business-and-life-influencing books I’ve read: *THE SECRET THOUGHTS OF SUCCESSFUL WOMEN: Why Capable People Suffer From The Impostor Syndrome And How To Thrive In Spite Of It.* by Valerie Young, Ed.D.

First things first: Impostor Syndrome is NOT a Women-only derailer. 

It’s an equal opportunity success crusher for Men and Women – a potentially devastating confidence destroyer – knowing no bounds related to stage of work or life. 

In fact, I’m realizing now the concepts and realities of Impostor Syndrome may in fact be a subliminal driver behind everything I’ve created in my own business since 1993, including THE BOLD! FACTOR® CONFIDENCE and in work I’ll continue to create in this now-and-next stage of my business – inspiring, encouraging, championing and guiding inspired people like you to Own Your Success… With Confidence! The heart and soul of The BOLD! Factor all along.

BOLD Truth: You can create phenomenal success when you own your success.

These qualifiers (expressions you may be unknowingly crediting your hard-earned success to!) drive my passion for helping people claim their confidence and own their success… 

Valerie Young points out in her book the fascinating way Impostor Syndrome reveals: “in denying the existence of evidence of success in your own life… the problem is your compulsion to explain your success away with qualifiers:

photo-34*It was only because they like me… I was in the right place at the right time… It was luck… I don’t deserve this… Someone made a terrible mistake… I had a lot of connections… If I can do this, anyone can… It is only a matter of time before I am found out… I am a fraud… A fake… Phew, I fooled them again!*”

In her book, Young (who refers to herself as a recovering impostor and invites you to Join The Club!) notes the co-discoverers of Impostor Syndrome, Pauline Clance and Suzanne Imes, identified four coping and protecting mechanisms: diligence and hard work, holding back, charm, and procrastination. In her work, Valerie has observed three more: maintaining a low or ever-changing profile, never finishing, and self-sabotage.

OUCH.

Any of those ring true for you? A few sure do for me. My work is and will continue to be better for this discovery. I hope the same for you, too.

Last night I picked up the phone and called author, now friend, Valerie Young.

It was a wonderful call, as she referred to it: “meeting a kindred spirit!” Valerie had some good advice for me on how to tackle writing my book, and what worked for her. We agreed it’s the hardest work either of us have done. We talked about where we’re at and our visions of what’s next.

A few more expressions – this time from accomplished people tossing their success to the wind – with powerful feelings of impostor-induced self-doubt. Sound familiar?

Who would think Meryl Streep would ever get cold feet at the beginning of every project, telling a reporter: “Why would anyone want to see me again in a movie? I don’t know how to act anyway, so why am I doing this?”

Or Mike Myers expecting the no-talent police: “At any time I still expect that the no-talent police will come and arrest me.”

Yes, even our beloved Maya Angelou: “I have written eleven books, but each time I think, ‘Uh-Oh, they’re going to find out now. I’ve run a game on everybody, and they’re going to find me out.'”

If you know someone who might benefit from knowing about Valerie Young’s book, I hope you will share this post with them. It’s the reason I paused my own book writing this morning, to spread the word – with, for, and through you – on how you can create massive Success & Happiness when you learn to release the grip of Impostor Syndrome… by owning your success with confidence.

Your Success is NOT about Luck. YOU earned it!

Thanks for stopping by and for sharing any Aha’s with us in the comments below… or not… as you wish. This is one uber-personal subject, that’s for sure. Till we meet again:

IMG_1621Do One BOLD Thing.

Own Your Success… With Confidence.

IT’S UP TO YOU!

_________________________________________________________________________

© 1993-2017 Ann Ulrich   AnnUlrich.com

Photos:  MASK: David and I found this glass mask during the fun week of our daughter Natalie’s and Dan’s wedding in Playa Del Carmen. And once we pick up a fabulous leather mask like one we found in Italy, we’ll have started a new collection. Masks – as art – can be fascinating!  RAZZLE DAZZLE FORTUNE COOKIE: A favorite blingy gift I’m inspired by everyday, sharing it with you here as a reminder that your Success is not about Luck. Own Your Success With Confidence.™ YOU earned it!

5 Ways To Friend Your Fear & Create Your Next Success!

cropped-background-boldstripes.jpgWhether the fear you’re facing is your next presentation, client meeting or difficult conversation… no matter how accomplished an executive or how rookie a rising star you are… whether you’re navigating unchartered territory or familiar ground… start here:

1.   Breathe. Exhale. Smile.

Smile?! Yes. Trust that you’ll get through this. It isn’t the first time fear held you in its vice-like grip, right? And it won’t be the last. So why not take a little pressure off! Smile to yourself – as a powerful positive nod to believing in yourself – trusting that soon you will be looking back on this whole thing with a smile at how fear could have incapacitated you – rendering your impact nothing more than a past al dente spaghetti noodle. Picture yourself looking back and realizing sure, it could have been worse, and yet, it wasn’t. Smile.

2.   Re-Think *Immobilized* To Stop The Quicksand Feeling Of Fear.

We all have times we’re stopped in our tracks – immobilized – in fear. When no matter how strong we are, how experienced in business and life we are, the time comes when we simply cannot take a single. step. forward. Worse yet, the downward spiral of sinking in quicksand, engulfed in fear. In the moment it can all feel like eternity. It’s not. Being immobilized is real, for sure. It’s also temporary. You will get through this! And right about now you may want to repeat #1 above and focus on believing in yourself again.

3.   Friend Your Fear.

Trying to slay that dragon called fear? Friend your fear! Let fear be the fuel that helps you find the strength and energy to soar, back on top of your game again. Fear is a sign of vulnerability; your honest vulnerability helps keep you real. Fear helps guide your decisions, interactions and actions, and helps you consider how you might approach, prepare or execute differently next time. Fear teaches. Fear inspires. Fear reminds you how much you care. There’s a lot to friend in fear!

4.   See Fear As Getting Caught In The Rain. OK, A Downpour.

Both fear and downpours can take your breath away. Both can startle you with unexpected timing and intensity! Both can feel relentless, inescapable… yet both are often fleeting. Both can render your moment, your day, your life… wrecked. STOP. Shift your thoughts, actions and outcomes from Old to BOLD! Even when caught in a downpour, drenched to the bone, you didn’t melt, right?!

5.   Don’t Buy Into Fearless.

When someone claims to be forever fearless – or advises you to be – don’t buy it. Work with your fear. Accept fear as a natural and necessary reality of your work, your life, your growth. Let fear fuel your next success!

Next time you find yourself facing, creeping into, or fully immersed in, fear…

Do One BOLD Thing. 

Own It Like You Own It. 

It’s Up To YOU!

_________________________________________________________________________

© 1993-2017   Ann Ulrich    AnnUlrich.com

Photo:  Like a warning sign, fear can alert you to be aware. I prefer to think of my own fear as stopping me in my tracks momentarily, alerting me to new possibilities. It took me years of being afraid of the dark to realize it’s much more fun to friend my fear, than fear my fear.