Whoops, I posted the last blog as 52, it should have been numbered 51 (but, you knew that.) And, I had written that I wanted to start publishing this blog every Sunday, missed a day, and are you mad at me?
Perhaps you know, in 2011-12 I went to Australia and New Zealand to present my juggling/performing workshop. I wrote many words toward a blog then, too. If you have interest, read from way back on my blog >> http://kitsummers.com/
September 11–As we are entering Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) from the west entrance, we started the climb. From about 6500 feet up to 12,000, higher and higher we went. The air started getting colder, the forest trees changed, the road windier as we went higher.
When we arrived at the top there was a ranger who was answering questions of people, a good thing, I had many questions for her.
After we reached the summit, on the road down we saw people who were stopped, then we saw the moose out in the woods. Really, the only wildlife we saw in RMNP.
There is this one main road you travel through the park on (everyone does.) If you really want to see RMNP you need to hike off-road, I mean, way into the wilderness, this is a huge park. We were not prepared for that, so we didn’t.
This road down eventually brought us to Estes Park, quite the tourist’s town. We drove through, but, because we are not tourists (ever), we did not stop.
I have to say, RMNP has some fascinating mountains and woodlands, but neither of us are very impressed with what we saw there. This, being a Sunday and near the end of the season of visiting the park, many people here, I can better deal with fewer people (of course, I would love it if you were here.)
You may remember, in a recent post I wrote that I wanted to start motivating you more with words from my book series that I am writing. Starting with this one, I will be posting writings, enjoy the read at the end of this blog.
For Tina and me to get on the road like this and live in a van, we had to develop a certain confidence that is holding us on this path. As these ideas helped me, use the words to build yourself stronger.
Sep 12—In Boulder, Colorado now at http://bouldercircuscenter.net/, good to see you, Cindy. Next Sunday I will be presenting a juggling/performance workshop, I am hoping it will go well. Here is Cindy >> http://www.cindymarvell.com/
Today Tina and I walked through Boulder and went to The Pearl Street Mall. Back in 1981, I did many street shows at this mall. Today, being a Monday, there were no performers around; we’ll go back once again while we are here.
In walking through the mall, it was hard to recognize anything; in fact, I could not find the place where I performed back then in 1981. In 2013there was a big flood which destroyed and/or changed much.
September 16—Tina and I returned to Pearl Street Mall, Friday, by the way. We were entertained by four jugglers, two of whom were Peter Irish http://www.feetsofcomedy.com/
and Derek McAlister
Excellent shows by each. I tried, once again, to find the place where I performed at the mall in 1981, but things have changed so much and I could not.
When we saw Derek’s show, but before we talked with him, I said to Tina, “He might be too young to know of me.” After I said those words I thought, “I never thought I would ever say words like that, I must be old now.” But, he did know of me, as did all the jugglers we met. In fact, he called me, “The world famous juggler, Kit Summers”, nice to hear.
Sep 17–Boulder has been a pleasure to be at for a week. We would love to live in this area, but, as you know, we do not like cold or snow, so we will have to pass on Boulder about settling down here.
September 18, 2016—Today I did a short version of my juggling/performance workshop at http://bouldercircuscenter.net/. Because this was introduced so quickly, I only had one juggle who I worked with and a great juggler at that. Kyle Cody Cox will go on to become a star.
It’s been to be in one location for a time, but Tina and I are antsy to get back on the road, toward the west and Utah.
Sep 19—Tina and I went to see the movie, Sully, a good flick.
Just received this link from my friend Daniel Edward Powell, about being in the out-of-doors. Get out and heal yourself, my friend:
From my third book in the series,>>Beyond Your Potential, here is chapter 17>>enjoy the read.
Chapter 17 Confidence and Fear
“Having confidence will bring you far.
Fear is mostly in the mind.
Have the confidence and use fear to benefit you.”
I have noticed that many people go through life lacking confidence, following fear, and being anxious about many things. The words below are to help you to build confidence, to alienate fear, and to help you to get past anxiety. These words can be used to battle any anxiousness you may have in yourself.
A sense of confidence enhances your life in numerous ways. From relationships to business dealings and any other area of life, your confidence will bring you closer to success. You will live a fuller, more contented and supplementary abundant life.
A firm confidence will make you stand out as the leader you are.
As your confidence grows, your good influence over others will grow too. Others will look up to you and expect more from you, and you will be able to supply more to them. Over time, you will recognize both intrinsic and extrinsic motivations to have such confidence and the responsibility that comes with this drive forward.
There are two types of drive: intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic motivation is your internal motivation that tells you to meets your personal needs. Things like juggling, running, or pleasure seeking activities are based on inherent drive. We do these skills because we like them, not because we are required to do them.
Extrinsic motivation is when you are encouraged by external influences that are given or controlled by someone else. Many people are extrinsically motivated to go to work every day solely because they get paid to do so.
If we can find ways to build our intrinsic motivation to go to work every day, we can go further in our careers and in our lives than we ever thought we could have. We can do this by, perhaps, building our confidence and earning more respect from our peers and, therefore feeling accomplished and like we want to accomplish even more, This concept, of course, applies to all aspects of life.
Confidence is not something you have naturally; it comes through practice.
Even if we enjoy our work and have mastered the art of intrinsic motivation, we may still encounter things we don’t like doing such as disciplining other employees for job performance issues or having to fire someone or lay someone off.
We sometimes have to do undesirable tasks as part of our jobs, so we have to find the confidence and the motivation to ourselves to get through the more depressing things in life. That’s where intrinsic motivation is vital.
Confidence will factor in when you have work you don’t like to do. If you apply yourself and confidently do the best job you can do, no matter how mundane or upsetting the job may be, you will eventually learn to like what you are doing regardless.
To learn to like your job or any other aspect of your life that currently isn’t your ideal thing to be doing, train yourself to do things with a different heart, with confidence, and with intrinsic motivations.
When I used to professionally perform as a juggler, I would have to look deep inside myself to find a confidence in my juggling ability as well as the confidence within my ability as a performer.
Most everyone, at one time or another, has seen a street performer or a speaker deliver their performance with little confidence – it’s not very entertaining to watch – and even can be quite disturbing.
The following are fifteen traits of you as the confident person you are:
If you don’t already have these traits, they can be developed.
1 – You try new things. As you know, familiarity is the best teacher. Try new things all the time to allow you to evolve as a person.
2 – You accept change. You cannot get from it, change is the only invariable. As a highly confident person, you may not always like the changes occurring. Do you best to accept the changes and do your best to ride the wave of change?
3 – You have a strong sense of self. You have knowledge of what you like and what you don’t. You have most likely built a strong sense of self by living a broad life and having a variety of experiences. Stretch yourself for more and new experiences all the time.
4 – You learn from your past without dwelling on the memories. The past will be a role in helping us move ahead in life, but not if we get fixed in your past.
5 – You go after your goals and dreams. Drive forward as you can toward your good future, always reaching for more toward your end results.
6 – You have a strong sense of individual limits. Don’t attempt to satisfy others just to make them happy. You must see your results and keep yourself happy.
7 – You distinguish “mistakes” as learning opportunities. Don’t beat yourself up for your mistakes; realize that every slip-up is a chance to learn ways to be more victorious the next time. As a juggler, when you drop the ball, pick it up, learn, and continue.
8 – You take risks. You make informed choices even if there is some risk involved. Know how to differentiate between a gamble and a risk. Get ready as much as they can and then go forward for those risks you feel are worth the effort.
9 – You refuse to be under self-pity. As a highly confident person, you refuse to let the difficulties make you feel victimized. Of course, you feel sorry for yourself at times, but it is important not to linger in self-pity.
10 – You can be alone with your own thoughts. Being on Earth can be quite a lonely place at times. Live your life without needing to fill every minute with conversation with others or by use of technologies (cell phones, e-mail, texting, yelling really loud, etc.) After all, each of us is finding our own individual direction.
11 – You trust your instincts. Our mind will help guide us on our path to make the best decisions. Trusting your instincts helps you to make better choices; therefore, we have a better life.
12 – You take care of yourself. You must treat your body with esteem by giving it a high quality diet in the form of healthy food, relaxation, fresh air, and activity.
13 – You enhance others, not degrade them. As a confident person, you don’t feel the need to build yourself up by putting others down.
14 – You don‘t beat yourself up. Of course, you are not perfect. Even the most confident of us have frail moments. Dust yourself off and keep going.
15 – You celebrate your successes and the accomplishments of others. Truly confident people are not envious and backing away from other people’s successes. They celebrate other’s achievements. Now, it’s time to get out there and do something incredible that you can rejoice in!
There is an overall confidence that must be developed in order to become a good performer, whether one is juggling on stage of Bally’s Casino, or perhaps just giving a speech in a community college classroom. I remember quite often being backstage at Bally’s waiting to start my routine, and I would be activity engaging my mind and my heart to find this spirit.
Eventually, the music would start; the lights would come on; the curtain would open; and I would come blasting out on stage as if I were the strongest and most able person ever to appear on this stage or on any stage.
In my mind it was almost like I was overpowering the audience.
I can find this same confidence now when I need it. This confidence is something that must be developed, and the ability to tap into that confidence at a moment’s notice will come with practice. Train yourself to remain confident, even when bad things happen.
When I was recovering from my accident and coma, I found that when I had confidence in myself and my ability to get better, I was able to get much further through my rehabilitation.
When I had doubts or fears, my progress would stall or stop completely. Then I discovered something that helped me a great deal. If you fake any feeling or emotion long enough and often enough, you will develop that feeling or emotion, including confidence.
When you have confidence, you can do just about anything.
I learned that it’s totally possible and even desirable to fake confidence to yourself and to others when necessary. Even if you are just faking it, you will still feel better about yourself; you will achieve more, and others will believe in you and your abilities. Remember, fake or genuine confidence will take you far in your goals.
If there’s some area of your life that you’ve been struggling with such as finding a new job because you feel that you don’t interview well or making new friends because you don’t think anyone likes you, muster up some fake confidence and go for it! You will be surprised at the outcome.
What do you think I’m doing now by writing this book? Not really, but then again, who knows for sure. Always have full confidence that you will reach excellence, and you will end up there before you know it.
Confidence is a habit that you can, and must, develop for yourself.
You will go much further in life if you have confidence in yourself. True confidence is not about being arrogant or cocky. It’s simply about believing in you, trust in your abilities. Confidence is trusting in yourself and what you can do.
This confidence and boldness comes by preparation, hard work, and maintaining a proper mindset even in the midst of great risk. Later, I will be writing about risk-taking, something you cannot do without confidence.
I’ve developed a ten step system toward self-confidence. Try some of these steps and will see them making you stronger and more confident.
Expect to be successful. This must be first thing in your mind before you try anything. This mindset will direct you toward the success you desire. Confidence and success go hand in hand. Shift your vision toward this expectation. Most people expect the worst, and, so often, that is what happens. As you maintain this positive outlook, you will see and experience more and more successful outcomes in your everyday life.
Make eye contact. Maintaining eye contact with people is a huge display of confidence. Sometimes this is difficult depending on who we are talking to. Some people have a super intense look in their eyes and you might feel like they can see every little bad thing you’ve done in your life simply by looking at you! If you happen to be speaking to someone like this or any other person who intimidates you, just remember to smile and look at the bridge of their nose right in between their eyes – they will never know the difference. They will only see how confident you must be because you are maintaining that eye contact during your whole engagement with them.
Appearance and confidence are a team. What you wear and how you present yourself will make or break your image to other people. Now, I’m not saying to get all jazzed up or to worry about which direction every little strand of hair on your head is going simply to please other people. The idea here is that when you look good, you will also feel good, and it will be much easier to maintain an overall good mood and sense of confidence. Basic practical steps include being clean and smelling good. Additional things to try might be maintaining a clean shaven face if you are a man, jazzing up your wardrobe even if it’s with second hand clothing like from Goodwill or Salvation Army, or working out and sculpting or building your muscles. All of these things will help you to feel better about whom you are what you are capable of doing.
Included in maintaining a proper appearance is being aware of how you carry yourself. If you walk around really slowly with your eyes pointed at the ground and your shoulders slouched forward, it might appear to others that you completely lack confidence and direction in your life. This type of appearance will reflect inwards a sense of sadness and a lack of purpose. Try walking faster or with a little pep in your step. Keep your chin up and a smile on your face. Walk with purpose, even if you don’t have one in that specific moment. Others will see you differently and want the confidence that you project. You will also feel better about yourself.
When you have time, listen to motivational tapes and watch uplifting videos. There are many tapes and videos out there that will help to lighten your mood. Also consider creating your own personal motivational tape or video. Talk about your strengths, your plans, your successes in life, and your goals. If you are having an off day, listen to your tape as a reminder of what you are working toward and how awesome of a person you really are. Reminding yourself often of your good attributes and how you’ve used them in the past to keep you moving forward will help you to maintain strength and confidence.
People are here to help each other. Connect with people to get help when you need it. Talk with them in a positive and confident way about where you are going in your life. Seek their counsel and advice. The more connections we have in this world, the more confidence we can claim as we will have others to lean on when we feel we need help. Remember to pass confidence and encouragement on to others also when they need it.
Help other people. As I wrote before, the more people you help, the better your life can be. Also remember that it’s usually the teacher who learns the most, so work closely with others to help them, and you’ll get grow as your confidence grows.
Focus on the positives in life and surround yourself with them. Many people focus their conversations on negative things like the bad experience they had at the grocery store two days ago or how their partner mistreated them that morning. Instead of talking about negative things, praise and compliment other people or tell a story of an extraordinary happy moment in your life. Compliments are like ice cream – a sweet treat. The more you build someone up, the more positive both you and the recipient will feel. You will like you more and your confidence will grow. By looking for the best in others you will bring out the best in yourself.
Sit in the front of the room. I’ve noticed at shows and classes and other events that many people tend to gravitate toward sitting in the back of the room as far away from the presenter or teacher as they can possibly get. Most people don’t want to stand out or be noticed and perhaps risk being the center of attention should the presenter call on them to answer a question or assist in some sort of demonstration. Yes, this is a confidence issue. You will always find me front and center. I don’t want to miss a thing. The next time you go to a show or a class or some sort of presentation, sit in the front!
Try new things! New and different experiences will build your mind and make you feel better about yourself. Challenges bring on confidence. Even if you don’t necessarily succeed as you intended, you will gain confidence in knowing that at least you were brave enough to try. The more new experiences and challenges you go through, the stronger your confidence will be and the faster it will grow. Starting today, commit to trying something new every day!
As we live our lives, we will find that we may be naturally confident in a certain task we do routinely or a particular ability that we possess. Think of an area of your life where you are naturally confident, be it in your job responsibilities or in playing a musical or instrument or a video game.
The confidence you have in that area of your life can be transferred and used in an area of your life where you are less confident. Draw from the secure areas of your life and apply that confidence to other things. Your confidence will overcome your fear.
Fear is mainly in the mind. I’ve heard fear referred to before as False Evidence Appearing Real. You be the judge. You can take control of any fear you have. Fear is in the same realm as anxiety. Everything we’ve discussed about confidence can also be applied to the realm of fear.
There are ten basic fears that many people share.
The fear of rejection – being afraid of not being accepted by a person or a group.
The fear of change – going down a path that has not been followed before.
The fear of failure – things will not work out the way they should.
The fear of success – feeling guilty for our accomplishments and our successes we have achieved.
The fear of poverty – where will your next meal come from or whether or not you have somewhere to sleep tonight.
The fear of disapproval – what will people say if you do this or what will they think if you do that?
The fear of ill health – getting sick or getting hurt.
The fear of people not liking you – will anyone like you? We all have a strong yearning to be loved.
The fear of old age – growing old and perhaps losing more and more independence and health.
The fear of death – something that will happen to all of us (yes, you too.)
One of the ways I have found to conquer fear is to view what I need to do as a challenge rather than as a seeming death sentence.
When I first started performing, sometimes a healthy fear of negative criticism would pop into my brain. I would then challenge myself to give the audience the best show they’ve ever seen in their lives. The fear would quickly subside, and the show would be great!
Another way to overcome fear is to keep doing what you are afraid of doing until the fear goes away. If you have a fear of speaking in front of an audience, find a venue where you can speak in front of people such as in business meetings or at community gatherings. If you have a fear of swimming, go swimming a couple times a week until you aren’t afraid anymore.
A third way to conquer fear is to learn as much as we can about the thing or person that we fear. If you have a fear of being struck by lightning, for example, it will help to eliminate your fear if you were to research lightning recorded fatalities and injuries and then discover ways to protect yourself and also learn that the chance of something like this happening is slim to none.
Or that person who you have a fear of, learn of them and their passions. Become their friend if possible. Gain knowledge of them as you get to know them.
Knowledge is the solution to fear.
Fears are simply your state of mind at that time. There is a saying I heard once, “Don’t should on yourself.” When I talk to people I never say, “I should do that,” or “I’m working toward that.” I work until I accomplish my goal. If I encounter fear along the way, I use the strategies I’ve shared with you and I JUST DO IT! Your mind will conjure up fears, founded or unfounded. Fear of the future is pointless.
Live in full confidence that you will get through anything.
Fears are usually precarious, but they can be good sometimes—Surprise, Surprise—there are good things about fear. Fear can help us to stay focused; they can keep us safe, and at times, fear may even keep us alive.
Your mind and body react with fear sometimes as a way of protecting you, but you can control that reaction such that the fear doesn’t overwhelm you. When we are afraid, our first instinct is to tighten up our body and turn off our minds — we develop into the opposite of sincerity and playfulness.
Being open and playful will chase fear away. Reducing fear and anxiety and opening oneself up to new dreams and potential is the first step toward a more lasting sense of achievement. Stir up hope and positive thoughts in your mind as soon as you feel fear to reorient yourself towards a better direction.
Transforming fear into hope is never a one-time event. We will have to do this many times in our lives. It follows then that we must develop ongoing strategies and habits to continually keep any fear at bay.
Think about it.
Think back to when you were a child, you would try things that were beyond you with no fear at all.
When we are children, we have much less fear.
After my first accident, I had the fear that any adult might have about such a change. I was afraid I would never walk again, that I could never speak articulately again, or that I could never juggle again (gasp!) I had to develop techniques and ways to get through and over my fears.
To get over the fear of something, study it and figure out exactly what it is that you are afraid of. In your mind, be able to accept the worst that can happen, and also the best that can happen. Then, most importantly, take action.
Without taking action, we will stay in fear—forever.
Taking action to eliminate our fears is a key to success. Another technique that helped me, and can help you, is to picture yourself doing whatever it is you fear. For me, it was seeing myself walking again without help. I developed the courage necessary to conquer the fear that I would fall and hurt myself or that I wouldn’t be able to walk again at all.
An antidote to fear is courage.
Be strong as you conquer your fear. As the cowardly lion knows, to develop courage, act as if you already had it. Just like we discussed faking confidence until it becomes natural and innate, if you fake courage long enough, you will be able to let go of the fear and only feel hope instead.
After my accident, I learned of a man named Tony Robbins. Tony is a life coach known worldwide for his self-help books and motivational programs. He has a home (the Del Mar Castle) near where I lived in San Diego. I had the opportunity to attend one of Tony’s free motivational events after which Tony and I were able to talk.
He invited me to one of his firewalk motivational programs which included a segment at the end of the program where attendees could walk across a hot bed of coals as a means of helping them to conquer their fears.
During his presentation, Tony would encourage his audience and build each person up within their own minds. He would assure everyone that the coals would not harm their feet and related the fear of the coals and being burned to other limitations that people might put on themselves.
Tony spoke of fear and how the mind can be powerful in overcoming fear. During his talk, a ten-foot path of wood was set on fire to burn down to coals. Out of two hundred people at the program that night, everyone made that walk across the hot coals.
Strangely enough, the bottom of my left foot was not burned, but my right foot, which I have less feeling and control in, was burned. Mind controlling over your feet might seem like an automatic process, but that’s only because you’ve been doing it for so long that there is now a strong connection between your brain and your feet.
After my accident, that mental connection was severed, and I lost a lot of the mental control that I had over my right foot which I believe allowed it to be burnt on the coals.
Our brain controls so much of our body it is amazing.
I’ve stayed in contact with Tony over the years and continue to enjoy his motivational techniques and programs. Tony’s programs are more proof that there are ways to conquer your fears.
Joining Tony at his home for lunch with just him and me was a delight. Later, attending his wedding at his Del Mar Castle was a joy.
While we’ve discussed many ways to conquer fear, some people will simply evade fear. Evading fear might make you feel safe, but it won’t take you where you want to go in life. There are several ways that people will evade fear.
1. By being disturbingly normal.
2. By staying away from other people.
3. By not taking any risks in life.
4. By forfeiting what makes them a special individual just so they can fit into the crowd.
Engaging in these behaviors will lead to quite a boring and mundane life. Rather than trying to run from fear, engage it. Teach yourself to deal with your fear in a good way. Care more about yourself and your future and what you have to add to the world than about any fear that shows its ugly face in your mind.
Break through your fears.
When things look bleak, and you are afraid, feed your mind with optimism, confidence, drive, and determination. Persevere knowing that it will take years sometimes to break through some fears and become successful.
Use problems and frustrations and fears as an incentive for you to work even harder. I know you can do it, and you will NOT fail! Fear of failure becomes fear of achievement for those of us who don’t ever try anything new.
My friend, conquer your fears! Take off the limits and confidently accomplish your goals!