Ever worry about the future? Maybe feel insecure about
your job or the way society is going?
These worries and concerns can really start to weigh
you down. If feeling stressed out does not help you to
solve the problem then what does?
What can you do? There are three specific things you
can do to take charge and thrive even in difficult
1. Power In Numbers
Make a point of building stronger relationships with
family members, friends and colleagues. Now is a time
to reconnect with people you have not spent much
quality time with in the last few months or even in
the last few years.
Get on the phone and call all the friends and family
members you are a little out of touch with. Simply
take a few minutes to wish them the best for the
holidays and to let them know you were thinking about
Keep the conversation light. The purpose of the call
is to stay in touch. Ask how they are, tell them a
little news about your life. Be positive and upbeat.
I do this at all times of the year and online I use
email, skype and instant messenger to stay in touch as
well. That way anytime I find something funny or
interesting I can pass it onto those friends I haven´t
seen in a while so as to brighten up their day and
stay in touch.
For example, I have a good friend in Seattle who
designs software to track brain wave patterns. I have
no idea what his work really involves but I can still
send him related articles about the employment of
similar software in Europe and Asia. He often doesn´t
see these because he only has time to read the heavy
duty technology reports..
Staying in touch with people is very important in
difficult times. Why is that? I explain why in the
2. Help And Be Helped
Make it a focus of your day to help others. In your
neighborhood, at work and with the people you meet
throughout the day be alert to opportunities to help
Make this a habit and it won´t take long before there
are people everywhere you go who are delighted to see
you and eager to help you in anyway they can.
Secondly, you´ll feel great about yourself. Helping
without wanting anything in return is very satisfying
– it comes with its own reward. You´ll feel happier,
more confident and enjoy higher self-esteem.
Finally, allow others to help you. This is important.
Unless you are open to receiving you will block others
helping you. Let them give.
What happens when you help and let others help you?
You create special bonds with people everywhere you
go. If you ever need help there will be many, many
people eager to help you.
Let me give you an example. Years ago I worked for a
major telecoms company which had paperwork for every
imaginable task and activity.
One day I needed a particular form urgently but I
didn´t have any left in my desk. Was I stressed out?
Not at all because I knew someone would give me a copy
of the form.
I walked over to a group of my coworkers and asked for
help. One guy, Frank, reached into his desk and
happily found a copy of the form I needed.
What is amazing about this story is that Frank was one
of those guys who never helped anyone out. One of the
other guys even spoke to me later that day to say how
amazed he was to see Frank help me out so willingly.
What Was My Secret?
I just told you. Make a point each day of being
helpful. Do that and you´ll enjoy an army of friends
and colleagues who will gladly help you out whenever
you need something.
Let me give you another example. Almost ten years ago
I was fired from a job or downsized as they put it to
avoid legal issues. There I was at 10 a.m. on a Friday
morning driving home from the office one week before
Was I worried about the future? Not really. I wasn´t
pleased about what happened but I knew I´d be okay
because of my philosophy of help and be helped.
What Happened Next?
A woman who knew me at that office spoke to a friend
at another company in the same industry and the week
after I got fired I was head hunted by that direct
competitor. I got an almost 50% higher salary and much
better working conditions.
That´s the power of having people in your life who are
eager to help you. It´s also a lot of fun so start
today and make a point of helping people in your
neighborhood, at work and even with people you may
never meet again.
3. Express Your Personality
The last point I want to make is about being yourself
and letting your personality shine. The points I made
earlier are all well and good but unless you feel able
to speak up, to lend a helping hand and to reach out
and make a connection none of this advice will help
Those people who never have the confidence to talk to
to others can really suffer when they need help and
support. They get ignored and left behind not because
people don´t care but because others never got to know
them in the first place.
That´s why self-confidence and good conversation
skills are so important. When you have communication
confidence people will get to know, like and trust you.
More Smiling Faces?
Wherever you go you see smiling faces and hear kind
words. Life is fun and you know you have a supportive
team behind you. this gives you great strength to deal
with the ups and downs of life.
This is so different to the guy who hesitates and
stumbles over his words. I used to be like that. And
life was difficult. I´d spend most of my time with a
few close friends and avoided other people. It was
like having a barrier between me and all of the people
I had to deal with day to day.
Very few people really knew and understood me and I
got used to it being that way. I felt like it was me
on my own against the world.
After I finally got a handle on communication
confidence the difference in my life was night and
day. It was like someone flipped a switch and the
world was suddenly full of happy, loving people who
wanted to talk to me, listen to me and spend time with
Feeling Secure With People
For the first time I felt safe and secure in groups of
people and it was fun getting to know people. The
ordeal, effort and stress I used to endure was
replaced with a light happiness that changed
Imagine for a moment. You are walking around your
local mall. People stop to talk to you. Smiling and
pleased to see you. In stores they know you by name
and ask about your family and want to find out what
you´ve been doing.
Everyone listens when you talk. You feel appreciated
and respected. You make small talk and enjoy each one
of these little conversations.
You get home and you have voicemails from friends. You
check your email and you have even more messages from
people who want to meet up with you.
Life Gets Easier
Now, imagine what a difference this will make to you
when dealing with the challenges of the economy. It´s
no longer you against the world. You have a team of
supportive and caring people to turn to for advice and
You can deal with any problem when you can turn to
other people for input. There will always be someone
who knows how to fix the problem. Or they will know
someone they can ask for the solution.
Communication confidence is the ultimate life skill in
tough times. Make a point of getting to know more
people AND connect with them. Build solid, lasting
relationships with more and more people and your
future will be much brighter.