Tag Archives: resilience

Dancing with Courage: A Journey on Overcoming Adversity

In this podcast episode, Myrna Young interviews J.R Martinez, a burn survivor and New York Times bestselling author. J.R shares his inspiring story of resilience and strength, from, overcoming adversity, as a child to surviving a tragic accident in the military. He discusses the importance of gratitude, vulnerability, and embracing one's true identity. J.R's motto, “life is what you make it,” serves as a powerful reminder that we have the ability to adapt and, overcome adversity.

Adversity is an inescapable part of life, but it is how we, overcome adversity,  that shapes our future. J.R. Martinez's remarkable journey from a devastating injury to a triumphant victory on “Dancing with the Stars” is a testament to human resilience. In this thought leadership article, we'll explore the inspiring conversation between life coach Myrna Young and J.R. Martinez, who lives his life leading with heart, light, and an indomitable spirit.

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Key Takeaways:

  • Gratitude and focusing on the micro aspects of life can transform one’s perspective and foster resilience, overcoming adversity.

  • Embracing vulnerability allows for personal growth and is an essential component for triumphing in unknown territories.

  • Seeking out and stepping through the metaphorical ‘cracked doors’ of opportunity can lead to unanticipated, life-changing paths.

Overcoming Adversity: The Foundations of Resilience

Resilience is not an innate attribute one is born with; it is a trait that is meticulously developed over time through life experiences. J.R. Martinez's early years were marked by frequent relocation and witnessing domestic abuse, which laid the foundational stones of his resilient character. His reflections with Myrna emphasize the vital role those years played in equipping him to face the dire circumstances he later encountered in Iraq. His message is clear: our past forms the crux of our survival instinct.

“…you can't start my story at the age of 19… you're dismissing all of the things that have shaped me…”J.R. Martinez

Martinez underscores the necessity of practicing resilience through exercises in adaptability and mental fortitude. This early life training taught him to value what he had over what he desired, a lesson bestowed upon him by his mother's transparency regarding their financial constraints. It is these assets of character, woven over the fabric of 19 years, that empowered Martinez to persevere through the life-altering injuries he sustained.

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Vulnerability: The Power in ‘Not Knowing' in Overcoming Adversity

The conversation delves into the concept of vulnerability, particularly in relation to growth and success. Martinez's time on “Dancing with the Stars” exemplifies vulnerability, as he had to concede the leading role to his professional dance partner and trust in her expertise. It's a potent metaphor for life – sometimes one must follow to find a new path forward.

“You have to be vulnerable… You also have to be willing to be vulnerable on the show.” J.R. Martinez

This vulnerability also extends to interpersonal dynamics. By willingly entering the room of a fellow burn victim, bearing the still-fresh scars of his own injury, Martinez opened a space for mutual healing. Surrendering to the unknown prospects life presents – be it recovery, a dance competition, or a new career – requires one to embrace vulnerability. It is through this exposure that J.R. Martinez was able to reclaim his identity and, overcoming adversity, by showing the world that he is not defined by his scars.

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Overcoming Adversity:  Doors of Opportunity

J.R. Martinez speaks of the ‘cracked doors' – opportunities that present themselves, sometimes in the most unexpected ways. These doors beckon us to step into the unknown, to lean into discomfort and trust that it will lead to growth and transformation. He recounts how being open to such prospects led him from being an actor on “All My Children” to a winner of “Dancing with the Stars.”

“…I've seen enough cracked doors, a little bit of light, and I've gone over there…” J.R. Martinez

This theme conveys the importance of seizing opportunities, even when they diverge from our preconceived notions or original plans. Martinez’s willingness to walk through these openings has allowed him to redefine success and, overcome adversity, proving that life can flourish after tragedy.

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Harnessing Extraordinary Perspectives

The key points from J.R. Martinez's dialogue issue a clair call to everyone gritting their teeth and, overcoming adversity. The mapping of his life showcases gratitude, vulnerability, and the courage to chase the flickers of light that promise a continuation of journey and discovery. His story reveals that triumph can emerge from the ashes of despair when one leads with an open heart.

Martinez's narrative, full of wisdom and light, offers profound insights. While not everyone will dance on national television or write a bestselling memoir, their everyday courage, manifested through gratitude, open-mindedness, and a willingness to seize unexpected opportunities, is a dance of triumph in its own right. Whether facing personal battles or global pandemics, it is these human stories that echo the enduring message: Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, but learning to dance in the rain!

Additional Resources

How to Turn Adversity into Opportunity

Art of Fluidity: How to Flow Like Water

Water is a powerful force of nature that can teach us valuable lessons about life. Just like a river flowing through its banks, we too encounter obstacles and challenges along our journey. By mastering the art of fluidity, we can learn to navigate these obstacles with grace, ease, determination, and humility. In this article, we will explore the wisdom of water and discover six ways to flow like water in our own lives.

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Key Takeaways: Flow Like Water

  • Embrace change: Water does not resist obstacles; it finds a way around them. Similarly, embracing change is crucial for personal growth. Learn to adapt to new circumstances, challenges, and opportunities with a flexible and open mindset.
  • Cultivate resilience: Water does not break; it bends. Developing resilience is key to navigating life's ups and downs. Like water, bounce back from setbacks and view challenges as opportunities to strengthen your resilience.
  • Find your path: Water finds its path. Rivers don't flow in a straight line; they meander and adapt to the landscape. In life, discover your unique path and be open to exploration. Allow yourself the freedom to evolve and pursue your passions.

Embrace Change like Water

Water is a master at adapting to change. It does not resist obstacles; instead, it finds a way around them. Similarly, embracing change is crucial for personal growth. Life is full of unexpected twists and turns, and the ability to adapt to new circumstances, challenges, and opportunities is essential.

As Coach Myrna Young explains, “Embracing change is crucial for personal growth. Learn to adapt to new circumstances, challenges, and opportunities with a flexible and open mindset.” When we resist change, we limit our potential for growth and development. By embracing change, we open ourselves up to new possibilities and experiences.

Cultivate Resilience

Water does not break; it bends. It is a powerful force that can withstand tremendous pressure. Similarly, developing resilience is key to navigating life's ups and downs. Just like water, we can bounce back from setbacks and view challenges as opportunities to strengthen our resilience.

Coach Myrna Young emphasizes the importance of cultivating resilience, stating, “Developing resilience is key to navigating life's ups and downs. Like water, bounce back from setbacks and view challenges as opportunities to strengthen your resilience.” Resilience allows us to bounce back from adversity and continue moving forward. It enables us to face challenges head-on and overcome them with determination and perseverance.

Find Your Path

Water finds its path. Rivers don't flow in a straight line; they meander and adapt to the landscape. In life, it is essential to discover our unique path and be open to exploration. We must allow ourselves the freedom to evolve and pursue our passions.

Coach Myrna Young encourages us to find our path, stating, “In life, discover your unique path and be open to exploration. Allow yourself the freedom to evolve and pursue your passions.” Just like water, we must adapt to the circumstances and flow with the current. By finding our path and staying true to ourselves, we can navigate life's challenges with authenticity and purpose.

Stay Present

Water is fully present in the moment, whether it's flowing gently or crashing with force. It teaches us the importance of mindfulness and staying present in our own lives. By practicing mindfulness, we can respond thoughtfully to situations rather than react impulsively.

Coach Myrna Young highlights the significance of staying present, stating, “Practice mindfulness to stay present in your own life. This allows you to respond thoughtfully to situations rather than react impulsively.” When we are fully present, we can make conscious choices and act in alignment with our values and goals. It enables us to navigate life's currents with clarity and intention.

Water Goes with the Flow

Water effortlessly moves with the current, adapting its course accordingly. It teaches us the importance of letting go of rigid plans and going with the flow. Going with the flow doesn't mean being passive; it means being adaptable and responsive to the circumstances.

Coach Myrna Young shares a powerful visual, stating, “Imagine being in a rapid and paddling against the current. You're not going anywhere. But if you sit back and let the river take you where it wants to go, it's a much more pleasurable experience.” When we stop fighting against the current and go with the flow, we allow life to unfold naturally. We embrace the unknown and trust that everything is happening for our highest good.

Learn from Nature

Observing water in nature provides profound lessons. From the tranquility of a pond to the power of a waterfall, water exemplifies adaptability and fluidity. Spending time in nature allows us to draw inspiration and reflect on our own journey.

Coach Myrna Young encourages us to learn from nature, stating, “Observing water in nature provides some profound lessons. Spend time in nature to draw inspiration and reflect on your own journey.” Nature has a way of reminding us of our interconnectedness and the wisdom that can be found in the natural world. By immersing ourselves in nature, we can gain a deeper understanding of ourselves and our place in the universe.

In Conclusion

Mastering the art of, flowing like water, is an ongoing process. Embrace change, cultivate resilience, find your path, stay present, go with the flow, and learn from nature. These are the steps towards living a more adaptable and fluid life. As we navigate the currents of life, let us remember the wisdom of water and strive to be flexible, resilient, and graceful in our journey.

So, the next time you sit by a lake or watch a river flowing, take a moment to reflect on the lessons water can teach us. Embrace the fluidity of life and allow yourself to flow with grace and ease. Remember, just like water, you have the power to adapt, overcome, and find your unique path.

Under Pressure: No Pressure No Diamonds

Are you under pressure? The timeless wisdom encapsulated in the phrase “No pressure, no diamonds” invites us to reframe adversity as an opportunity for growth, resilience, and the discovery of our true brilliance. It allows us to shine like a diamond.

In the tapestry of life, challenges and pressures are the crucible that forges our character and brings forth the radiant gems within. So if you find yourself, under pressure, embrace it as the pressure that forms your diamonds.

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Under pressure: Embrace your challenges

No pressure no diamonds, speaks to the idea that pressure, much like the intense heat required to create diamonds, is the force that refines and shapes us. Instead of fearing challenges, we are encouraged to embrace them as the transformative catalysts that bring out our inner strength and resilience.

if you're above ground then you're going to have challenges so make those challenges shape you, make those challenges make you shine like a diamond.  The Mantra or the phrase, no pressure no diamonds, speak speaks to the idea that pressure much like the intense heat required to create diamonds is the force that shapes and refines us.

So instead of fearing challenges we're encouraged to embrace them as the transformative catalysts that bring out our inner strength and Brilliance.  All right, so do not run from the challenges they are here to shape you and make you shine shine like a diamond.  How are diamonds made?  By pressure!  Diamonds are renowned for their Brilliance and similarly within each individual lies a unique Brilliance waiting to be uncovered.  The challenges we face serve as the polishing agents that reveal the inequalities, talent and capabilities that remain hidden in the absence of adversity.

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A Diamond start off as a Coal

You all know that diamonds start off as coal, and the pressure make this big lump of coal,  this horrible looking stuff, turn into one of the most valuable commodities on Earth.  So if you are coal right now, accept adversity, accept the pressure because that is what going to turn you into a diamond! Growth through adversity, this is a call to view adversity not as an obstacle but as an essential part of the journey towards self-discovery and personal evolution.

Just as a diamond emerges from the rough, our true potential is often realized through navigating and overcoming life's difficulties.  Resilience forms diamonds, resilience is the ability to buns back from challenges. Resilience is the jewel that glistens, under pressure.  The mantra, no pressure no diamonds, inspires us to cultivate resilience as a precious asset allowing us to navigate life's complexities with Grace and emerge stronger on the other side of adversity, transforming pressure into power.  Rather than succumbing to the weight of pressure, this mantra empowers us to harness it as a source of energy and motivation.

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No Pressure No Diamonds: Pressure reveals our Brilliance:

Diamonds are renowned for their brilliance, and similarly, within each individual lies a unique brilliance waiting to be uncovered. The pressures and challenges we face serve as the polishing agents that reveal the innate qualities, talents, and capabilities that may remain hidden in the absence of adversity.

A diamond's brilliance is the amount of white light it reflectsBrilliance is an optical property of diamonds that contributes to their value, beauty, and price. It's also the basis for a diamond's brightness and sparkle

Under pressure: Grow Through Adversity:

“No pressure, no diamonds” is a call to view adversity not as an obstacle, but as an essential part of the journey toward self-discovery and personal evolution. Just as a diamond emerges from, under pressure, our true potential is often realized through navigating and overcoming life's difficulties.

Growing through adversity means that adversity changes us. When things get difficult, we tend to drop our self-care and focus on sticking to what we know. That's how we burn out, not because we wear out from working too much — which is often how we deal with adversity — but because we're not integrating our emotions.

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Transform Your Mind Podnews

No Pressure No Diamonds: Resilience forms diamonds

Resilience, the ability to bounce back from challenges, is the jewel that glistens, under pressure. The mantra, inspires us to cultivate resilience as a precious asset, allowing us to navigate life's complexities with grace and emerge stronger on the other side of adversity.

It’s important to note that being resilient requires a skill set that you can work on and grow over time. Building resilience takes time, strength, and help from people around you; you’ll likely experience setbacks along the way. It depends on personal behaviors and skills (like self-esteem and communication skills), as well as external things (like social support and resources available to you).

Being resilient does not mean that people don’t experience stress, emotional upheaval, and suffering. Demonstrating resilience includes working through emotional pain and suffering.

Under Pressure: Transform it to Power:

Rather than succumbing to the weight of pressure, this mantra empowers us to harness it as a source of energy and motivation. When viewed through the lens of growth, it becomes the fuel that propels us forward, driving us to reach new heights and achieve our aspirations.

Pressure: Lessons from Nature:

Nature itself teaches us the profound truth embedded in this phrase. Diamonds are formed deep within the Earth under immense pressure. Similarly, our personal diamonds – our strengths, wisdom, and resilience – often emerge through the trials and tribulations of life.

No Pressure No Diamonds: Celebrate the Journey:

When we face challenges, it is a reminder to celebrate the entire journey, including the challenges along the way. Each obstacle is an opportunity for transformation, and every step taken under pressure is a facet that contributes to the multifaceted brilliance of our lives.

Conclusion:

In the grand symphony of life, “no pressure no diamonds” echoes as a powerful refrain, urging us to embrace challenges, cultivate resilience, and recognize the brilliance that resides within. As we navigate the complexities of our journeys, may this mantra inspire us to shine brightly, transformed by the pressures that shape us into the unique and resilient individuals we are meant to become.

Additional Resources

How to Shine Like a Diamond with Clarity and Value

Life Lessons From An Abandoned Girl

Jannette Blair, author of “The Tears Behind my Smile” shares, life lessons, she learned  from her long-life journey of an, abandoned,  girl and then an, abused woman, who faced challenges in every walk of her life and the strength she gains from each experience she suffers.

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Life lessons from abandonment

The book, The Tears Behind my Smile is a long-life journey of an, abandoned, girl who faces challenges in every walk of her life and the strength she gains from each experience she suffers. It is not an autobiography with an ordinary beginning and a predictable ending; instead, the book depicts a series of emotions occurring in the author's life and how she alters herself from a self-pitying girl into a strong, resilient woman. It will enlighten the readers on not to depend on anyone and become the superhero in their own story. Jannette shares the, life lessons, she learned along the way

Myrna: Janette, please give us some context of your, life story,  and the, life lessons, you learned along the way of the, abandoned, girl becoming a superhero. Fill us in on the, story of your life. .

Jannette: I was born in Jamaica, and just a little it's a small community in one of the smaller parishes. And while growing up, I didn't know a mother. I was always wondering, who is my mother? Where's my mother and why have I not seen one? And so, it was it was a hard life. I went through where I had tons of step mothers, who was not really mothering material at all.

While growing up I was the, abandoned, girl. I was not allowed a certain person's house because this man had a beef going with my father; they had a fight and he decided, okay, this child can never step foot into my house and this child will never eat food from my house. And so, there was a time when my sisters would hide food around the house to feed me and I'm talking when I was a baby. I would stay outside the gate, just looking at all the others children playing, but I couldn't play with them.

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I felt like nobody's kid abandoned by my mother

I was like I was nobody’s kid. The, abandoned, kid that nobody wanted. I remember one day getting a small cup of tea and a piece of bread. And I looked around and this man was coming. And he said if you put that bread to your mouth, I am going to slap you.  I was so afraid so I just stood there shaking. He came over he took the cup and bread from me and poured the tea on the ground.  Now I am fighting fears, I can’t even cry because I would get a whipping. one of my, life lessons, was not to cry when you are hurt.

After that my father brought in a woman to help look after me. And she was even worse. She hated me.  I remember one night this lady that was supposed to be taking care of me lit my favorite dress on fire out of spite.

Myrna: That is an amazing story of cruelty to a child. I'm understanding is that your dad was looking after you and you didn't have a mom and we know that women or men or whoever is the step child is you have the Cinderella story where they don't want to treat the other person's child well.  It’s a common occurrence in the Caribbean.

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That behavior is not that prevalent in North America because you always hear about these blended families. The father has four kids and he married a woman with four kids and they live like the Brady Bunch. So, I understand the women treating you badly. But I don't understand this guy that was so cruel to you that didn't want you to eat at this house.  Who was that person? Do you remember who that was? What was the, life lessons, you learnt from this event?

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Life Lessons from growing up without a mom

Jannette: Yes, until this very day, I still don't go close to him and he's still alive. That guy was the stepfather of my sibling. And so, what had happened? So, I became the fat that he used to fry my father. And he transferred the grudge against my dad on me.

Myrna: I hope he's suffering today because you know all that bad karma. Why would you hate a small child?  That is that is a despicable thing to do. I don’t even understand the woman who was supposed to be your mother and set your dress on fire, because she wanted to hurt you. Wow. Now I'm very interested to hear how you transitioned from this cruelty into adulthood. Did you ever find your mom?

Jannette: Yeah, she didn't want me. So, it's not like I didn't have a mother. She didn't want me, she, abandoned, me. She was mad at my dad for not marrying her. And so, when her mom heard that my dad refused to marry her, her mom came and took her and my other siblings, they left me.  I was the fourth child but at that time she had five children. So, she took the others and left me.

After going through so many different step mothers, I finally found one who was good to me and she was murdered in front of me when I was 15.

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I witnessed my step mom being murdered

Myrna: Oh, my goodness, your story keeps getting worse. What happened?

Jannette: They came knocking on the door one evening and I told her not to open the door because we had a blackout that evening and there was no light. So, she didn't open the door. But they used someone who she knew to come and knock on the door saying hey, I need your help. But something within me was saying something's wrong. They fired one shot through the window and the bullet hit her in her mouth and she was died at my feet.

Myrna: Wow, what was the reason?

Jannette: She had a witnessed a robbery and so she could have identified them, so they killed her.

Myrna: Wow. All right, yes this is Jamaica for you. How did these, life lessons, help you to transition to becoming a superhero in your life?

Jannette: When I was born, I think I lived a rough life, I also think life was hard throughout my entire life.  But I was able to put the pieces together and laugh about stuff. And when I was told by my mother that I would not become anything, I said no I can't believe that person.

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My mother told me I would never amount to anything

I asked my mother to help me with school and she said, you will not become anything, so I will not spend my money on you. So, I had to pick myself up and ask one of her sisters if I could move in with her. She said, yes. She took me with her to her job while she was working, and I was the one doing most of the work, but I didn't care. Because I saw a shining light. I see your brighter days ahead. Plus, I'm no longer in this house with my mother.  Yes, another of, life lessons, was that you had to work if you wanted to be successful in life. I have to work; but it was a better aim for me to get to what I want to become. I came to America in the year 2000.

Myrna: Was life better for you in America?

Jannette: Yeah, it was better, I was working. I met a guy and at first, I thought, oh, I'm not going to get into a relationship. By this time, I'd had a daughter.  I dated this guy for almost two years. I was traveling, I went to Indiana. I spent a year and four months there. I went back to Jamaica. And then I came back and I went to Mississippi and I spend maybe six weeks in Mississippi. It was not for me

Mississippi Biloxi, I experienced people walking around with signs that says no blacks allowed.

Myrna: Right? Okay. Yes, down south. So, what happened to this guy?

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Abandoned girls become abused women

Jannette: Okay, he sent me a ticket to come to Las Vegas and I visit Las Vegas. I decided to stay and got a job within the first week. But then as my luck would have it, my work permit expired so I couldn’t work.
So, now I can no longer work.  And he did a 360 switch. I can't work and I don't have any money coming in. I needed to get married, I need papers, blah, blah, blah. You knew that I couldn't stay in the country without proper papers.

So, he said, okay, let's do this. I really don't want to lose you. So, let's just get married and get your Green Card, but that was not true. Because we got married, I think it was October 28 2001 and by Thanksgiving one month later, I was beaten and kicked out of the apartment that I paid for. I was taken to the hospital and then I ended up in a shelter for domestic violence. The, life lesson, here is than men want you to be dependent on them.

Myrna: My goodness. All right. I can't wait to hear the end of this story. You're still in America. So, what happened?

Jannette: So, there was a restraining order filed against him. Of course, I don't have my, Green Card, and my husband started calling me because he wanted me to drop the charges. He's promising me everything that he never did before. I tried to drop the domestic abuse case, but after the OJay Simpson case, they didn't allow me to drop the case. So, the domestic violence case went to court and my husband had to go to anger management class for a few months and he was mad about that. So now he's not hitting me anymore. But the abuse turned to verbal and emotional abuse.

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Deciding to stay married with abuse

Myrna: So, you guys got back together. You're still married?

Jannette: Right. Because I needed this paperwork, my, Green Card. So, when the, abuse, wasn't physical anymore, it became mental. And so, I have to talk myself through days and nights. I had a childhood friend; I would call her every day, every night. There wasn't a day that I didn't cry, a night that I didn't cry. My husband was just ruthless.

But fast forward to everything else, I was able to get my, Green Card. I stuck it out. I became silent to everything that was going on. It didn't have a say in much of what was going on. I learned to drive because I couldn't drive and I had to pay to learn to drive, he refused to teach me. One day after I learnt to drive, I was taking the bus to work so I asked if I could drive one of his cars. He had 2 cars, and he wanted to charge me to use his car.

Myrna: Wow. I can see why your book is called Tears Behind My Smile! So, yeah, that is an amazing story. What made you decide to write the book?  You've gone through these horrible things, you were born into that situation with your mom and dad, then you went into, abusive relationships, but you know something in life that's basically how it happens. You know what I mean? When you are not nurtured as a child, for some reason we also get into these, abusive relationships, as an adult.

Book Tears Behind My Smile
Book: Tears Behind My Smile

Writing the book Tears behind my smile

Your husband was obviously a, narcissist. And you attracted him, narcissists, are attracted to people that they think they can abuse.  He chose you.

Jannette: One of the reasons I wanted to write the book, I know that I am not alone in this. I am not the only person going through what I was going through. And for me if I can help someone to say, don't take your life, because sometimes people kill themselves because they were going through certain abuse and they don’t know where to turn. And I said, if I can help somebody to let them know, hey, you’re not alone, you're stronger than you think you really are. Now, so get up, pick yourself up.

Myrna: So, in the book do you give women some advice of what you did in order to in order to stick with this horrible situation? Because the marriage has a purpose?

Jannette: Yes, and I tell them to turn to God. With all that was going you have to hang on to Jesus. Because most of the time, you have no one else. Believe in God and yes, he will help get you through.

Additional Resources

How to Heal the Mother Wound From Your Childhood

 

How to Use Mantras to Build Self-Confidence (The Skill of Self Confidence)

To me the most important thing about that Ted talk,  the reason I did that talk has over 20 million views is because I struggled with, self-confidence.  I had to, build self-confidence so I sat on the bench of a soccer team.  I got kicked out of University. When you grow up as a black man in a white man's world, you're always not feeling like you're quite up to it. ~ Dr Ivan Joseph

I am speaking to the infamous Dr Ivan Joseph. Dr Joseph is a best-selling author of the book “You Got This: Mastering the Skill of Self-Confidence.

Listen to the full interview 

Short Bio: 

Dr Ivan Joseph was born in Guyana, South America, my birth country.  He immigrated to Toronto, Canada at the age of 5. I immigrated to Toronto, Canada as well but at the age of 17. As he became a  young man of color, he often felt disenfranchised and disconnected. But he excelled in sports and  attended a small University in Iowa on an athletic scholarship, then achieved his Master’s Degree, and  a PhD in psychology. This lead to him becoming a professor, AND being awarded Coach of the Year. For ten years he was the Director of Athletics for Ryerson University in Toronto, and spearheaded the 100 million dollar renovation of the iconic Maple Leaf Gardens. Dr Ivan is now the Vice Provost of Student Affairs at Dalhousie University, one of Canada's most distinguished and competitive institutions. ”

Introduction to, Self-Confidence Definition

Self-confidence definition, is the genuine belief in your ability to accomplish the task at hand.  Everybody needs to understand that you may have all the talent in the world,  you may be the most beautiful person in the world, the smartest person in the world,  the strongest person in the world; but if you don't have this genuine belief that you have that skill,  you will never put your hand up to answer the question in the math class or sit on the board, or volunteer to be the do the presentation,  or choose to join the team.

Myrna – What was your journey from an immigrant boy and a man of color and then transcending that to becoming a doctor, a performance coach, a Tedx speaker, an author?

Dr Ivan – l  think  like many immigrants who come to North America whether that be your audience, that's American or my audience that's Canadian, we all choose to leave our countries of birth for hopefully a better future.

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There's something that's grounded in all of us that chose the country of citizenship and that is a desire to achieve.  We were not comfortable or we were not content with what we had and discontent drives us.  That desire is to be better and to pay it forward for our families.  Those parents who are immigrants who grew up as kids, we are drilled with that constant mantra you need to be twice as good.   It's not good enough to be average, you need to get an A.

You could end up  internalizing that message where you're never quite good enough and that is where a lack of, self-confidence, gets rooted. Great jobs will pass you by because you don’t have the, self-confidence, to go after it. So you're pushed to the corners or to the edges of society.  You start to not achieve what you may have achieved if you had, self-confidence, whether that's from your own internal belief or from society.

All of us will fail in life at some time. When you fail, you hang on to that failure and it becomes paralyzing.  You're then not willing to take the next risk to achieve. It took me many strikeouts, to use my sports analogies,  or swinging and missing to succeed. With every success I , build self-confidence, was tapped up.

How do we, Build Self-confidence?

Myrna – As I was preparing mentally for this interview I asked myself how I, build self-confidence? I think I have been, self-confident,  all my life and I was wondering how I, build self-confident,  and my own response was that life experience was my confidence builder. If somebody tells you that you're good at something or somebody tells you you're pretty or you get good grades in school, you start, building self-confidence, that you can do most things.

Dr Ivan – One of the things about, build self-confidence, is the more you achieve the more it grows. The more you achieve the bigger it gets.  You'll get your opportunity, you'll get your promotion and then you start all over and your, self- confidence, will wane.

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How Does, Build Self-confidence, Equal High Performance?

Myrna – So let's transition to our, build self-confidence,  topic.

Why do you believe, building self-confidence, optimism,  grit,  and resilience are fundamental skills in achieving high performance goals?

Dr Ivan –  If you don't believe in yourself, you will not put yourself in front of anybody and risk failure.  So the genuine belief is the foundational cornerstone of success.  We can all outwork and learn to do whatever we want, given enough time; but if we're not willing, really willing to put ourselves out there, it doesn't matter how talented we are.

Myrna – I understand not having the, self-confidence,  to do a job or not having the, self- confidence, that you're gonna win the race or not having the, confidence, when you're down 20 points in the fourth quarter and have the, confidence, that you can still win because I've seen that happen.

But what I don't understand is why women can be beautiful, have a great body and don't have the, self-confidence, that  they can walk in a room and own it. Instead they don't project anything, they  don't protect any energy.  They want to be in the corner, and then you have the woman who is not by standards attractive; but she walks in a room  and she feels that she's got it and you know she gets the guys.  Because guys think that, self-confidence, is sexy.

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Why do we Lack, Self-confidence?

Dr Ivan – Well I'll never comment on a woman's appearance or looks.  What I would say that anybody whether it's a female or a male or an athlete or a young girl or a young man. It's the measuring stick that they're using to measure themselves against.  This is key.  If I'm measuring myself up to Denzel Washington, I may never feel like I'm good enough.  It's human nature to always be in competition and in comparison with others.  Whether it's the Joneses next door, whether it's what you did last week,  we are always looking at how we compare and stack up.

So your message to the young woman who may not be attractive, or the gentleman who may not be as smart, or the person who doesn't think they have as much as the next person; you can't tell them they are attractive or smart, they won't believe it.

This is why we have to start with this genuine belief and, self-confidence. We'll call this maladaptive perfectionism.  This is when you  have an unrealistic understanding of what perfectionism is or excellence is and you chase that almost impossible thing.

Myrna – What about optimism and the gift of resilience to achieve, high performance goals?

Dr Ivan – Optimism and, build self-confidence, takes you to the next level.  You believe that you can make it.  You're, confident, you may have setbacks,  you may fail or flounder; but this is where grit comes into play. Grit, is the genuine belief in your ability to accomplish the task despite setbacks.

The only way to develop, grit, in order to achieve your goals is to experience failure.  There is no other way to grow, grit, and resilience than to sit and be comfortable with being uncomfortable.

So many people out there won't ever achieve, because they are so caught up with the embarrassment of failure.

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How to, Build Self-Confidence, Resilience and Grit

Dr Ivan – One of the first things you have to recognize is that your thoughts influence your beliefs which influence your actions.  It's this whole cyclical self-fulfilling prophecy. What you tell yourself you become,  so you gotta stop the negative talk like:

  • Oh my God I look terrible in this dress.
  • or I'm never going to get this Job
  • Or I'm not as smart as these folks
  • I can't do this, I'm no good

We keep saying these things to ourselves and they beat us up,  so you got To Stop the negative talk.

3 Centering Mantras to, Build Self-Confidence.

  1. In my book I teach some centering exercises to help stop the negative self talk and, build self-confidence
  2. Positive statements or mantras help replace the negative self talk.
  3. Replace the negative self talk with a positive statement or an affirmation e.g
  4. I  am the captain of my ship and the master of my fate.
  5. Nobody outworks me,
  6. I can learn anything.

Mantras to,  Build self-confidence:

1 – “MY TIME IS TOO VALUABLE TO WASTE IT WORRYING ABOUT THE THINGS I HAVE NO CONTROL OVER.”

2 – “THE OUTER IS ALWAYS A REFLECTION OF THE INNER.”

3 – “I TAKE NOTHING PERSONALLY.”

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Myrna – I'm a big believer in positive self-talk.  I fluctuate back and forth about affirmations; but I know as a Life Coach, that you should speak it until you believe it. Sooner or later if you keep on speaking it, you will start to believe it.

Dr Ivan – In sports we call it the as if principle.  Act as if you already have it.

Myrna – How can we , build self-confidence, and develop a winner's mindset?

How, Building Self-confidence, contributes to a Winners Mindset

Dr Ivan – I think  a, winner's mindset, and, self-confidence, go hand in hand. I'll flip your question around and say, build self-confidence, helps you build a winner's mindset.

Write a letter to yourself about all the things you're great at. There's going to be times when you feel like you can't do it and you need to change that. Take that letter and read it to yourself and whatever that letter says congratulate yourself on it’s accomplishment.

Write that letter to yourself because, there will be  times when people tell you you can't do it.

When you feel like you can't do it,  that, winner's mindset, will be turned on. The other way to build that, winner's mindset, is to be careful and be intentional about the company you choose.

Myrna – I know personally that will work because how did we start off our conversation?

Saying that, self-confidence, comes from past experience.

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Mastering the,  Skill of Self-confidence

Tell us about your book “You've got this: Mastering the, Skill of Self-Confidence”  I know that your TedX on the, Skill of Self-confidence, has over 19 million views. Why do you think  that talk resonated with so many people and did you put some of that content in your book?

Dr Ivan –  To me the most important thing about that Ted talk,  the reason I did that talk was because I struggled with, build self-confidence.  I sat on the bench of a soccer team,  I got kicked out of University. When you grow up as a black man in a white man's world, you're always not feeling like you're quite up to it.

One day when my wife came to me, she was my girlfriend at the time and she realized after I'd been sitting on the bench, that  she saw me practice and said I was terrible. She had already seen me play a really good game and she said to me.

“What happened to your game?  You let that man define your sense of self-worth.  Didn't you tell me that he didn't play high level Soccer?  That you've been coached by some of the best?”

I realized I had given my power away and that affected my performance, because I didn't believe I was good any good anymore. I stopped that very day and changed my mindset. I went on to start to play like I was meant to play, I became the captain of that team playing in the all-conference finals.

It wasn't that man who belittled me, I belittled myself. There's always going to be people who don't believe in you,  it's your job to change that person's mindset, not to fulfill their belief prophecy about you.

So the reason that TedX talk resonates with everybody is that we all have feelings of Self-doubt. We all need to, build self-confidence.

  • I'm not smart enough
  • I'm not rich enough
  • I'm not skinny enough
  • I don't look good here
  • My teeth aren't this
  • You get the new job and you're great but then you get the promotion
  • I don't know if I can do it
  • I don't think I can do it

What I did with the book, was I shared some of that Ted talk and I went even further to create exercises, practical pieces and workshops in that book as a self-help guide about how to go about, building self-confidence.

I teach  about higher expectations, talking about skill and mastery. Listeners of the podcast will get a 20% discount using the coupon code Myrna

To order click the link below

https://drivanjoseph.com/ivans-bookivans-book/

If you go on  the website and order the book, I'll give you the course materials.  I think it's a great opportunity for people who want to grow and learn how to develop their, self- confidence, to improve their performance.

Follow Dr Ivan Joseph on Linkedin, Twitter and Instagram

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Dr Ivan how can our listeners Transform their Mind to Transform their life?

Just remember your mantra! You are the captain of your ship and the master of your fate.  So whenever you're feeling overwhelmed, remember You Got This!

Additional Resources

How to Build your Self-Confidence Muscle

Setting Goals Leads to Higher Performance