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I live in the Seattle Area but I grew up in Portland. As a young boy my parents would take my sister and I on a couple hours drive to the Oregon Coast. One of our favorite destinations before hitting the beach was the “Pixie Kitchen.” It was a unique restaurant with all sorts of colorful rooms and enchanting rides. My favorite room was the Room of Distortion. It was filled with mirrors that would change how you looked. Sometimes you would be tall and stick-like. Sometimes you would be short and stocky. Sometimes you were wavy and sometimes you looked smushed! We would all get the giggles and have a blast living in that world of make-believe.

Looking back now on the Room of Distortion, I think to myself,

What is your view of yourself?

I’ve come to realize that during coaching and training experiences, business executives, professional athletes, and even recognized celebrities all view themselves through a mirror. That includes you and me. We all have a fun house mirror image of ourselves. That image of ourselves dictates a lot of our behavior and performance level.

Sometimes our image is strong and confident, while other times it is weak and insecure. You might feel lovely and beautiful or ugly and unattractive.

Remember: That image is powerful and can dictate how we behave and how well we perform in daily activities and one time experiences.

HOW TO LOOK AND LISTEN TO THE EXCEPTIONAL YOU:

Start with the Right Mirror Image

You’d be surprised at the number of high-profile clients who struggle with self-image, self-concept, and self-esteem. Start by creating an image of yourself based on self-worth, not what an overbearing parent used to tell you, or a highly critical boss. It shouldn’t be based on the number of hairs on your head or your body weight or the clothes in your closet. Instead, focus on what is good and right about you. Focus on the things that say how exceptionally smart and talented you are. On the things that depict how beautiful and handsome you are on the inside. Things that show you that you are gifted and compassionate and created for success and positive contribution.

I coached a professional golfer who, at one time, was in the top 10. But over time, he got beat up by his defeats. Soon his image sunk and his game went down with it. We literally started from ground zero and rebuilt his self-image brick by brick by focusing on personal accomplishments.

If you looked at him now, you would have thought he was an attractive and confident athlete his whole life. But in reality, he was once very fragile and in need of some serious self-image repair.

How did we work together to turn his self-image around?

We made a list of 6-8 personal affirmations. We looked at them each day and repeated the Exceptional You affirmations. We literally stood in the mirror and spoke the affirmations out loud to ourselves.

  1. I am an exceptional person of high performance
  2. I am healthy and fit and attractive
  3. I am gifted and confident
  4. I am positive and magnetic with a personality that draws people to me
  5. I am caring and compassionate for others
  6. I am a thought leader and success achiever
  7. I am soulful and spiritually centered

Your list should reflect you and your talents, the areas that you are exceptional. We don’t all have the same areas, that is why we can all work together and bring new things to the table. Maybe you don’t have one of the same qualities as your older sibling, but there is no doubt that we all have something. You are exceptional.

Listen to the Right Tapes

Recently, I coached Karen whose self-image plummeted over the years due to her father’s destructive and cruel words. She struggled with her weight and with feeling unattractive. She had grown up in a home where she was compared to her younger sister who was “the pretty one.”

She said, “Steve, every time I was to reach for success I hear my dad say ‘you’re fat’ or ‘why can’t you be more like your younger sister?’”

To help her, we made Karen 3×5 cards with new statement about who she was as a person. We removed the old dated 8-track tape stuck on repeat in her mind and upgraded to a digital message of positivity, power, and purpose!

TRUE STORY: This then single, quiet, and insecure young woman is now a Microsoft executive married with children and she looks wonderful! She is radiant and confident.

Actions that drive new behaviors

Replace those old, negative thoughts with thoughts of the new Exceptional you! Then watch your behaviors slowly start to reflect those beliefs and uncover that new you. Be intentional about your messaging and be deliberate to correct those negative thoughts that will creep in every once in a while. Listen and repeat the positive.

This coming year’s results will be determined by your mirror image. Align it to your Exceptional You!

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