15 tips on how to stand up for your conviction: Be brave, speak up!

15 Tipps on how to stand up for your conviction: Be brave, speak up!

How about your courage to speak up?
Stand Up! Speak Up! - 8 Tipps on How To Stand Up For Your Conviction: Speak Up!

Stand up for your conviction

 

Some people have an opinion that deserves attention. Often, however, this opinion is not heard. Then it is time to decide whether to keep it that way or to share the point of view more clearly with others. Not everyone dares this step. What about you?

Overview

Hope is not the conviction that something will turn out well but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.

Václav Havel

Why don’t we stand up for what is right?

 

I appear to me that too few people are willing to stand up for what is right. Too many times we keep on complaining about the injustice in the world, but so few of us are willing to stand up and speak up. With little or no backing those few who do speak up then inevitably find themselves victimized – and that while others watch in silence. Somehow we completely miss the fact that when we do not speak up against injustice we become complicit in it.

Why is it that when people observe something wrong being done or said, they simply cannot find the courage to speak up against it? Is it that we fear being victimized? Or do we fear being disliked?

 

 

 

We don’t want conflict

 

I know how hard it can be to speak up. Most of us want to be nice to other people. We don’t want conflict.

Sometimes we aren’t certain that we even know what we want to say, but we know we should say something. While searching for the perfect words we may hesitate.

 

 

 

It takes courage to speak up

 

Yes, it takes courage to speak up. And when we start to speak our truth, we often don’t do it elegantly. Especially when we are emotionally engaged we can be clumsy and a little overbearing or inarticulate. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t speak our truth. It just means we need to practice being brave. Are you brave enough to tell the truth, even it is not mainstream? And are you willing to show respect by doing it in a way that supports your values without hurting others? Becoming aware of what prevents you from speaking up and facing the fear of being disapproved is the solution to start speaking up and giving your contribution. If you are looking for support …

You don’t want to look away?

 

Some people have an opinion that deserves attention. But if this opinion is not loud enough yet, then it is time to decide whether to keep it that way or to share it more clearly with others. How about you?

Leave the hiding place

 

Unfortunately, a lot of people are hiding, staying hidden. Not everyone dares to take the step into responsibility. Often possible consequences are avoided, sometimes rightly so. However, it is usually not necessary to sacrifice oneself as a martyr. Usually, it is enough to have the courage to talk about it in such a way that other people also form an opinion about it and can join if necessary.

Sometimes we run open doors and, although we expected resistance, we are welcomed with open arms. If not, then there is some headwind. So what? Those who dare to express their own opinion in non-totalitarian systems and do not cause unnecessary damage in the process may get a few bruises. But even that usually feels better than swallowing everything. Because those who have the impression that they are at the mercy of what is happening will suffer at some point. Sooner or later, people who build up such inner pressure become unhappy, ill, and sometimes even explode emotionally at some point. Then the frustration discharges in a way that is no longer appropriate and easily hits people who often have nothing to do with it. Therefore…

15 tips for dealing with resistance

 

 

1. Resistance as an indication to leave the mainstream

 

Instead of getting angry about the resistance or feeling it unpleasant, it helps to perceive it as a positive sign: It means you leave the mainstream, you come out of the slipstream of prefabricated opinions, and now follow your path.

Those who polarize are more likely to be noticed, you will now participate! Good!

 

 

 

2. Stay relaxed

 

Keep a cool head and a constructive serenity with which you can make the best decisions and act skillfully.

 

 

 

3. Remain true to your values

 

Just when the resistance becomes more intense and the tone rougher, you can show that you take the values you represent seriously, that you live them. This is what distinguishes heroes from fanatics.

 

 

 

4. The willingness to learn

 

Take a closer look at every feedback, even the uncomfortable ones, even the inappropriately expressed ones. There may be something to learn. Perhaps you overlooked something. At least then you will have a better basis for your argumentation.

 

 

 

5. Keep the focus

 

Don’t let the resistance take you astray. Always focus on your goals and priorities and remain flexible concerning the way ahead.

 

 

 

6. Dealing with fear

 

It is quite an individual matter how people deal with criticism. Some people find leaving the mainstream too unpleasant and others enjoy the provocation. Everyone has their limits, their themes, which are filled with fear. The better we know ourselves and work on ourselves, the tidier we are on our way.

 

 

 

7. Motivation

 

“Convincing is not difficult for a convinced person,” said Friedrich von Schiller. Knowing why it is worthwhile to stand up for something helps to summon up the courage to do it and to stick to it. A high degree of motivation is required, especially for larger challenges. Why is a topic so close to your heart?

Knowing why it pays to work for something helps to find the courage and to stick to it. Know what you want to accomplish. What is the key message you wish to communicate? Before you begin, you need to know what the desired outcome is. What is the exact reaction you want to get from your audience? Before speaking, visualize how you want your audience to react when receiving your message and the way you want them to feel afterward.

 

 

 

8. Know your content, your position

 

Anyone who has dealt extensively with a topic feels safer. How familiar are you with the topic? If you have dealt extensively with a topic, it feels safer to talk about it. Be prepared by doing your research and having visual aids to support your message.

Conviction is a feeling of certainty in your beliefs. Knowing that you’re on the right side of an issue makes it easier to stand up in the face of opposition. Challenges will come, but you can withstand them with a firm belief. Walk your talk.

When people challenge your belief, they are testing it. If you back down, then they will see it as a weakness in your position. Therefore, be armed with the facts and data points needed to convey your message if challenged. Review your message in advance, to determine whether there is conflicting data, and try to anticipate where there could be a difference of opinion. Test your arguments before you leave home. It is useful to have a list of opposition arguments and counter-arguments.

 

 

 

9. Know your audience

 

Not only do the arguments count, but they also have to be understood by the recipients. So adapt the communication style to the listener. To do that, it is necessary to know the target group, which in turn allows many insights into their thinking and other arguments.

It is important to understand your audience. Before communicating, try to better understand your audience.

  • Who are they?
  • What do they already know?
  • Do they need a lot of details?
  • What may they want to hear?
  • Are they engaged and interested in what you have to say?

 

One of the most important aspects to be heard is to be a good listener. Too many times when others speak, we are just waiting for a break where we can jump in to share our opinions or experiences. Practicing active listening and pausing to collect your ideas before you share yours will refocus the audience’s attention on your message.

 

 

 

 

10. Speak the language of the target group

 

Not only do the arguments count, but they must also be understood by the recipients. So remember to adapt your communication style to the audience. To do this, it is necessary to know the target audience, which in turn allows many insights into their thinking and other arguments.

 

 

 

11. Authenticity

 

Listeners feel whether someone is pretending or means what he is saying. Body language plays an important role here.

 

 

 

12. Relationship

 

If you’re tired of feeling like you’re talking to a wall, think about your relationship with your audience. Only when sufficient rapport (sustainability of a relationship) has been established will messages reach their recipients. Only then do they get a real chance.

 

 

 

13. Personal attitude

 

Practice respect. Listeners perceive the attitude towards them. Does the provider of an idea see this as an offer or does he consider any person to be stupid who thinks differently, who does not accept it immediately? In the eagerness to dedicate oneself to a deserving cause, the respect towards those who think differently is easily lost. Filter bubbles and echo chamber effects can then lead to an attitude that seems arrogant. This then has the effect of an obstacle that makes it difficult for undecided and dissenting people to rethink their opinions.

 

 

 

14. Travel companions

 

It can be easier to work together with other people. At least if the common goal and the values match. Especially with larger challenges, it helps to mutually encourage each other.

 

 

 

15. Support

 

External help can make a lot of things easier. I sometimes offer such support free of charge to charitable projects. This will give you additional perspectives, inspiration, helpful knowledge, and skills as well as concrete support.

Preparation of important speeches and presentations

 

Those who do not speak are not heard and even those who speak up are not always successful. There are a few more steps that need to be mastered.

Do you want to convince with your message and also as a personality? Then I will help you to prepare your speeches and presentations. You determine the scope. At least I recommend a test run with professional feedback for you and your message. Then you will know how you and your content are perceived, what you should do and what you should leave out, where there is potential. Why do you want to get such helpful feedback so late after your real performance? Then it is too late for adjustments. Benefit from the advantage. My definition of luck: Preparation meets opportunity.

You can best estimate for yourself where the effort is worthwhile concerning the expected benefit. Here you will find the fees for my support (communication, psychology, language, structure, voice, body language, storytelling, rhetorical means, media such as PowerPoint and Co., etc.)

You are not in Berlin right now? Then choose meetings with me via telephone or video support. Whereby there are quite good reasons for a trip to Berlin.

By the way, many people suffer from such intense stage fright in front of an audience and therefore their performance lags behind their possibilities. Too bad, because with my help performance in a good condition is possible. Just in case...

Just ask me personally

 

Please post any questions that may interest other readers in the comments. Are you looking for professional support?

If you are interested in coaching, training, or consulting, for organizational questions and to make an appointment, you can reach me best by e-mail (mail@karstennoack.com). You can reach me by telephone at +49(0)30 864 213 68 and mobile phone at +49(0)1577 704 53 56 from Monday to Thursday from 9:00 to 18:00. Most of the time I am in sessions, so please leave a message with your phone number in Germany, then. Please remember to be very specific about the reason for your call. I will call you back as soon as possible. The privacy policy can be found here.

Transparency is important. Therefore you will find answers to frequently asked questions already here, for example about me (profile), the services, the fees, and getting to know me. If this suits you, I look forward to working with you.

P.S.

 

Are you brave enough to tell the truth, even it is not mainstream? What do you want to stand up for?

stand up for your conviction: Be brave, speak up!
This article is a short excerpt from the more comprehensive course materials my clients receive in a group or individual training or coaching.

Published: March 2, 2005
Author: Karsten Noack
Revision: January 1, 2021
Translation: ./.
German version:
K:
H:
T: RR
#245

Recognize the 11 most common manipulation techniques

Recognize the 11 most common manipulation techniques

How to protect yourself from being manipulated
Manipulation

This is how you identify manipulation techniques

 

Discover how to recognize manipulation and choose counter-strategies. Here are descriptions of eleven types of manipulation techniques including body language.

What is manipulation?

 

The term manipulation has different, sometimes more, and sometimes less negative meanings. This article is about targeted and covert influence aimed at controlling perceptions, decisions, and the behavior of individuals and groups. This can be done with good or bad intentions. Manipulate means for most people to manage or influence skillfully, especially in a manner that seems to be unfair:

 

 

 

What possibilities of protection exist?

 

The first step is to identify the most common manipulation techniques. Then you can choose and use the appropriate counter-strategies.

 

 

 

How can manipulation attempts be identified?

 

The most essential requirement – to protect yourself from manipulation – is to know yourself well. Then you can interpret a possible gut feeling without detours.

We are especially manipulable when we are uncertain. Point!

Okay, I’ll decorate it a bit more, but that’s the core message: Someone who rests in himself is harder to manipulate! Many manipulation techniques are based on sowing doubt, making others feel guilty, or taking advantage of low self-confidence.

 

 

 

The 11 most common manipulation techniques

 

Let’s start with the different manipulation techniques in detail. Which manipulation techniques do exist?

Here is a selection:

  1. The principle of reciprocity
  2. Exclusivity/scarcity
  3. The persistence trap
  4. Herd instinct
  5. The friendship trick
  6. The authority trap
  7. Repetition
  8. Emotional tricks
  9. Selective information
  10. Killer phrases
  11. The fear trap

 

 

 

1. The principle of reciprocity

 

With small favors, other people can be guilty. That’s a popular way of manipulation. Living together is mutual. As long as the principle of reciprocity leads to a largely balanced exchange, everyone benefits from it. Thus, the reflex of responding to a gift with a gift is deeply rooted in many people. However, the connection between giving and take can also be exploited. For example, investing one easy favor on another makes one feel obligated and desirous of reciprocating. Frequently, the response does not correspond to the actual intention in other circumstances.

Unfortunately, the experience of being manipulated in such a way often leads to a profound reluctance to accept a favor from other people in the future.

As with all other attempts at manipulation, coexistence becomes more difficult when people feel manipulated. Too bad, because small gifts are good for human relationships. As long as these mechanisms are not unilaterally abused, the principle of reciprocity benefits everyone.

 

Examples:

 

  • If a small favor of a colleague is accepted there are then inhibitions to reject the request for an inappropriate favor.
  • Beggars with flowers, who first give away a withered flower and then demand a donation, for which one could buy a whole bouquet of fresh spring flowers.
  • A harmless variant that uses the principle: There are higher tips if the waiter puts a candy next to the bill.

 

 

 

2. Exclusivity/scarcity

 

While stocks last! Not only the spectators of the teleshopping channels succumb to the fascination of scarcity. It is easy to get the impression that offers that are almost always sold out must be particularly worthwhile. Otherwise, they would not be so popular, right? The bottleneck is usually homemade to manipulate and make something more attractive than it is. Again, it helps to understand your own needs, instead of being pressured. Reject inappropriate calls without a guilty conscience!

 

Examples:

 

  • Special editions
  • Auctions
  • Sale, special offer, special occasion. The impending loss of freedom to make a decision urges people to choose the option, even if it has not been a priority so far.

 

 

 

3. The persistence trap

 

The “foot-in-the-door technique” entices to take the first step in a certain direction. This happens, for example, by asking for a small favor. This favor serves as a door opener. People are then much easier to persuade. Sometimes it is enough to ask someone to take a look at a task for a moment and then ask them afterward if they take over the task completely. This persistence trap significantly increases the probability that we say yes. People tend to be consistent.

In other words, once a person has taken a commitment, he or she is more willing to comply with requests that are consistent with it. “He who said A must also say B” or “what has been started must also be brought to an end. This often works but is nonsense. Pay attention to your gut feeling; Do you want that?

 

Examples:

 

  • During the Milgram experiment, this principle was also used. Initially, subjects were asked to administer harmless surges. This was then slowly increased, so it was harder to get out.
  • Fundraising collections that ask for a signature and then a donation.
  • Colleagues asking you to read something first and then ask for help.
  • Sales events with friends

 

 

 

4. Herd instinct

 

Holy crap: Billions of flies can not be wrong … Even humans are herd animals. What many others do and approve of is considered proof of correctness. As we know from the lemmings, this is not always recommended in practice. It’s not that easy with group intelligence. So beware of purchased references and peer pressure.

The safer you are, what is important to you, the harder you are to manipulate.

 

Examples:

 

  • Haha! In shallow TV series and talk shows recorded laughter ensures that the audience also laughs.
  • A company describes its product as the best-selling. Well then …
  • “Wollt Ihr den totalen Krieg?” (Do you want total war?) To this question in the speech of Joseph Goebbels of 1943 probably no mentally healthy person would have answered with “Yes”.

 

 

 

5. Friendship trick

 

Pleasant, nice to meet you. For people who are sympathetic to us, it is much harder to deny wishes. That makes use of the friendship trick. It creates a pleasant atmosphere first. This creates a basis for influencing the manipulator. Experienced observers recognize the overly conspicuous techniques for the promotion of rapport, such as the mirroring of body language, statements, etc.

 

Examples:

 

  • The cliché of the used car dealer in TV series agrees with the customer during the small talk, coincidentally has the same hobbies, etc.
  • Excessive praise.
  • Trying to anchor good states.
  • The exaggerated imitation of verbal language, body language, and statements.

 

 

 

6. The authority trap

 

I am Professor Dr. hc. Trickster.

The authority and the expert trick are based on combining a convincing appearance with credible-sounding arguments that are not always true. This works especially well if we have no authority in the relevant field.

Authority can also be borrowed. Some manipulators hide behind other supposed authorities. This often has the purpose to prevent openly expressed doubts. A particularly striking example of this is the electric shock experiment by Stanley Milgram. In experiments, more than 60 percent of the authority-led participants were willing to administer surgeries to supposed participants who would have been deadly in reality. And that, although the supposed participants groaned after every impulse, screaming in pain and begging, the experiment may be ended. No mercy, the expert said …

Knowledge is power? Yes! So in case of doubt, inform yourself! And that’s especially true when you encounter resistance. How real is the expert status if he refuses to prove the correctness of statements or if we want to inform ourselves? The alarm bells should ring!

 

Examples:

 

  • Acquisition and use of titles.
  • Status symbols like expensive cars, luxury watches, etc.
  • The dentist or the wife of the dentist in advertising for tooth cream.
  • The quality seal of a more or less prestigious institute.
  • The reference to the result of a well-known management consultancy.
  • American scientists have found out …
  • The colleague who claims that the management wants …

 

 

 

7. Repetition

 

Through constant repetition, we can be manipulated. It is often tried to increase the credibility of a statement by the constant repetition as in brainwashing. As the number of repetitions of an assertion tends to increase, the willingness to accept an assertion as true tends to increase. Through repetition, a notoriety effect occurs that causes us to adopt a familiar friendly attitude. Yes, we humans are quite vulnerable.

 

Examples:

 

  • Advertising messages are repeated very often.
  • Brand symbols that are placed at sporting events etc. in as many places as possible.
  • Repetition of messages in presentations.

 

 

 

8. Emotional tricks

 

Appealing to a person’s feelings is often more effective than turning to their reason. Concerns that are likely to fail at the logical level can sometimes be enforced on the emotional level. This is often used to eliminate our logical decision-making ability.

 

Examples:

 

  • Sad photographs at a fundraiser.
  • Horror scenarios in sales talks with the solution by a particularly expensive product.
  • Creating feelings of guilt to reduce self-esteem followed by a request (emotional blackmail).
  • To appeal to vanity.
  • Donation or hell as in the Middle Ages

 

 

 

9. Selective information

 

The exposure or omission of relevant information is very often used for manipulation. Even the line between truth and lies still offers a lot of leeway for liars. Sometimes this latitude is even used with good intentions, but it is a delicate step to the dark side.

Education offers some protection, as well as own research, as far as information is available. Good listening provides unintentional hints. Whereby sometimes the missing statements are more informative than the voluntarily expressed information. The exploration of possible interests of the manipulators also provides clues and urges caution.

 

Examples:

 

  • Propaganda
  • Study reports with predetermined goals
  • Lobbyism

 

 

 

10. The killer phrases

 

Ouch, what a painful argument! Killer phrases are attempts to manipulate individuals or groups by ostracizing any further treatment of a topic. Killer phrases are to be discovered as such and may not distract you. Killer phrases are taboo!

 

Examples:

 

  • We have always done this way!
  • That’s not possible anyway!
  • That’s none of our business.
  • If I were you, I would say so.

 

 

 

11. The fear trap

 

Even those who consider themselves relatives of Vulcanian Commander Spock are rarely truly objective in their perception and decision-making. We, humans, are very guided by feelings. That’s why manipulative people like to foster fears. They exaggerate the unpleasant consequences and if possible give the impression of time pressure. This works particularly well in large groups, in which less swarm intelligence rather than mass hysteria dominates.

 

Examples:

  • It may be too late tomorrow.
  • Imagine …
  • If you don’t accept the chance, who could forgive you for not acting?

Do you want to expand your knowledge and skills?

 

If you want to expand your knowledge and skills, come to my training and I’ll show you how to identify, ward off and even use advanced manipulation techniques yourself. I recommend 2 to 5 hours for this worthwhile topic.

Preparation of important conversations and negotiations

 

Communication can be very easy. But often it is not. Sometimes we say things and then later notice from the reaction of our conversation partners that they seem to have spoken to someone completely different. I didn't say that with the best will in the world. - Or did I say that after all?

More or less consciously, conversations are about convincing other people of something - be it a special offer, your personality, a perspective, or a necessity. If this doesn't happen fast enough and above all not exactly to the point and descriptively, the person we are talking to quickly loses interest, and we lose the hoped-for opportunity. — Conversation failed.

You can let me support you in the preparation of your conversations and negotiations (to be on the safe side: no legal advice!). Find out how you and your message are perceived (arguments, body language, language, voice, and much more). I will familiarize you with effective tools and communication strategies. Develop your psychological skills, learn to stay calm, act confidently, remain authentic, and finally convince.

Just ask me personally

 

Please post any questions that may interest other readers in the comments. Are you looking for professional support?

If you are interested in coaching, training, or consulting, for organizational questions and to make an appointment, you can reach me best by e-mail (mail@karstennoack.com). You can reach me by telephone at +49(0)30 864 213 68 and mobile phone at +49(0)1577 704 53 56 from Monday to Thursday from 9:00 to 18:00. Most of the time I am in sessions, so please leave a message with your phone number in Germany, then. Please remember to be very specific about the reason for your call. I will call you back as soon as possible. The privacy policy can be found here.

Transparency is important. Therefore you will find answers to frequently asked questions already here, for example about me (profile), the services, the fees, and getting to know me. If this suits you, I look forward to working with you.

P.S.

 

Do you recognize efforts to manipulate you?

Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing. Albert Schweitzer

This article is a short excerpt from the more comprehensive course materials my clients receive in group or individual training or coaching.

Published: June 20, 2016
Author: Karsten Noack
Revision: October 6, 2021
Translation: ./.
German version: https://www.karstennoack.de/manipulationstechniken-erkennen/
K:
Ü: Review required
#131484

Here and now

Here And Now

Be present, aware and enjoy!
 
Here And Now

Planing?

 

I love making plans!
Plans to reach the goals.
Plans for personal growth.
Making plans to change the world.
Plans to …

Yes, planning is important.
But let us be aware of the side effects.

Even so, it is essential to realize the bigger picture it has some risks …
… We could miss being in the moment right now.

 

 

 

Be present, aware, and enjoy!

 

Are you present? Is your mind here, or is your mind elsewhere?

Whatever you are doing, be present and aware of it while you do the task. It’s more about your concentration than anything else. Being present means that you are focused on what you are doing. Plan your future and enjoy being in the here and now.

Let me quote John Lennon; “Life is what happens to us when we are making other plans.”
I like making plans, it is fun!

How about making plans and enjoying every step on the journey to reach our goals.

More Articles

 

This article is a short excerpt from the more comprehensive course materials my clients receive in a group or individual training or coaching.

Published: June 21, 2001
Author: Karsten Noack
Revision: August 14, 2019
Translation: ./.
German version: 
K: 
H: 
T: RR
#1890

One side of character is integrity

One Side of Character is Integrity

Personality and decision making

One side of character is integrity.
Integrity is being consistent in thoughts, words, and actions.

 

One Side of Character is Integrity

Overview

 

 

 

Definition: Character and Integrity

 

The definitions of these two words are often stretched or misrepresented.

 

 

Character

 

The character is the sum of qualities shown up in a person or group, moral or ethical strength, and the description of a person’s attributes, traits, and abilities. The character is who you are. It defines you and guides your actions, hopefully in a positive way.

 

 

Integrity

 

Having integrity means that you live in accordance with your deepest values; you’re honest, and you always keep your word.

Integrity is steadfast adherence to a strict moral or ethical code, being unimpaired, sound, whole and undivided. C. S. Lewis meant; integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching.

 

So what?

 

When we live our lives with integrity, it means that we’re honest, and we let our actions speak for who we are and what we believe in. Integrity is a choice we make, and it’s a choice we must keep making, every moment of our lives.

People with integrity often have the same characteristics in common: they’re humble, they have a strong sense of self, they have high self-esteem, and they’re self-confident. These characteristics are important, because, sometimes, you’ll be under intense pressure from others to make the wrong choice.

To develop and protect your integrity, start by identifying your core values. These are the values that you refuse to compromise on, no matter what. Next, analyze every choice you make to ensure that you’re doing the right thing.

P.S.

 

What do you think about integrity?

This article is a short excerpt from the more comprehensive course materials my clients receive in a group or individual training or coaching.

Published: June 21, 2001
Author: Karsten Noack
Revision: August 14, 2019
Translation: ./.
German version: 
K: 
H: 
T: RR
#1890

Are impatience and laziness cardinal sins?

Are Impatience and Laziness Cardinal Sins?

What do you think?

 

Impatience and Laziness

There are two cardinal sins from which all others spring: Impatience and laziness.

Franz Kafka

 

 

 

Do you agree?

 

In my mind, it isn’t that bad. Laziness is a quality by which the brain prevents a lot of energy which can otherwise be wasted in doing the unimportant tasks. Impatience, on the other hand, is a state in which the brain doesn’t want to wait for the actions and results. Therefore, the two can’t be related directly. However, one may say that laziness would consume the time which otherwise might have been used to do some productive work.

What do you think? Do you think that impatience and laziness are sins? Or do you see the good intent?

Promises and integrity: Who cares about the promises of yesterday?

Promises and Integrity: Who cares about the promises of yesterday?

Do you walk your talk?
Promises and Integrity: Who cares about the promises of yesterday?

Walk your talk

 

Actions that follow words? Authenticity? Walk your talk? In a world in which we are not accustomed to doing that, this is quite remarkable.

Keeping promises

 

Making promises and keeping promises isn’t the same. Many people promise mountains but deliver molehills.

Although Shakespeare said “a promise made is a debt unpaid”, what is left of this attitude in today‘s world? More widely used today is probably the notion; promises cost nothing. And what about empty promises?

In particular, the advertising industry depicts that no one is bothered about empty promises. Most people don’t take those promises for real. But this isn’t a new phenomenon.

“The message I hear well, but I have a little faith,” said Goethe. We have somehow become used to a lot of promises not being taken seriously. It is assumed that promises won’t be fulfilled or if so, only partly.

In some areas of business and marketing, the number of unrealistic promises made to us is absurd! Who truly believes that even the deepest wrinkles dissolve with anti-wrinkle creams? In TV ads tricks and gimmicks show 12-year-old girls styled as adult women to make mature women believe they can also have younger-looking skin again if they use the advertised miracle product.

Indulgent and largely unrestrained, the promises just keep coming and coming playing on our desires. However, people will see through the empty promises as lies and we won’t trust them anymore.

Those who promise much, forget a lot. Remember that, because promises quickly evaporate. It helps if your promises are quickly forgotten. A decreasing span of attention means promises go unnoticed faster and faster. Don’t worry about what you promised yesterday. This is immensely liberating. Who cares about moral reasoning? The bigger and louder, the better!

 

Everyone’s a millionaire where promises are concerned.

Ovid

 

But … Who makes honest promises in this bold way, runs the risk of being unheard. Of not being noticed or taken seriously. In the end, a large volume of promises will be reduced to only a few that you can keep. But there is also an opportunity or chance to hold yourself to those promises and maintain a reputation that you are honest and keep your word. Few, however, are willing to follow this path.

 

Do not give your word too quickly, so you do not break it; much better is to keep more than you promised.

Friedrich Rückert

 

It is better to make fewer promises because those who promise too quickly and too often rarely keep them. Actions that follow words? Authenticity? Walk your talk? In a world in which we are not accustomed to doing that, this is quite remarkable.

Just ask me personally

 

Please post any questions that may interest other readers in the comments. Are you looking for professional support?

If you are interested in coaching, training, or consulting, for organizational questions and to make an appointment, you can reach me best by e-mail (mail@karstennoack.com). You can reach me by telephone at +49(0)30 864 213 68 and mobile phone at +49(0)1577 704 53 56 from Monday to Thursday from 9:00 to 18:00. Most of the time I am in sessions, so please leave a message with your phone number in Germany, then. Please remember to be very specific about the reason for your call. I will call you back as soon as possible. The privacy policy can be found here.

Transparency is important. Therefore you will find answers to frequently asked questions already here, for example about me (profile), the services, the fees, and getting to know me. If this suits you, I look forward to working with you.

P.S.

 

Do you keep the promises that you make?

May you live all the days of your life. Jonathan Swift

This article is a short excerpt from the more comprehensive course materials my clients receive in a group or individual training or coaching.

Published: June 21, 2008
Author: Karsten Noack
Revision: August 14, 2019
Translation: ./.
German version:
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T: RR
#1890

More contentment through self-acceptance or does that reduce the motivation?

More contentment through self-acceptance or does that reduce the motivation?

Accepting oneself as the key to happiness and personal development
self-acceptance

Does self-acceptance reduce motivation?

 

Many people consider discontentment to be the most important motivator. My observation: We are happier when we learn to accept ourselves as we truly are. And we stimulate personal development this way.

More contentment through self-acceptance

 

Psychologists at the University of Hertfordshire conducted 2014 a survey. 5,000 people were asked to rate themselves on the 10 habits identified in a study as keys to happiness.

 

 

 

10 keys to a happier life

 

As the 10 keys to a happier life are named in the Study (external Link).

Giving: Doing something for other people
Relating: Connecting with others
Exercising: Moving the body and taking good care of it
Awareness: Living consciously
Trying out: Trying and learning new things
Direction: Setting appealing goals
Resilience: Getting on your feet with inner strength
Emotions: Figure out what’s good for you
Acceptance: Accepting oneself
Meaning: Being part of something larger

Together, the ten keys of happiness result in the acronym GREAT DREAM.

 

 

 

What’s missing? Self-acceptance!

 

The most interesting result of the study: The participants’ self-assessment was largely positive. The only habit that many people failed on was self-acceptance. Almost half of the participants rated themselves on a 10-point scale with 5 or less.

 

 

 

Causes

 

In our culture, there is enormous pressure on us to be successful and to constantly compare ourselves with others. This causes dissatisfaction and fear. It is intended to motivate us to perform better.

 

 

 

How can we learn from that insight?

 

Many people consider discontentment to be the most important motivator. My observation: We are happier when we learn to accept ourselves as we are. The fear of losing motivation through self-acceptance is not only unjustified, but the opposite is true. Self-acceptance also makes it easier for us to evolve naturally.

The insecurity and pressure resulting from comparisons and lack of self-acceptance hinder personal development. Exactly the opposite is achieved through pressure. Positively formulated: practicing self-acceptance removes obstacles so that personal development is easier to achieve. It is worth paying attention to self-acceptance.

 

 

 

Practicing self-acceptance

 

It is important to treat ourselves as benevolently as we treat other people. This also includes considering one’s own mistakes as an opportunity to learn. Those who tend to be overly critical of themselves should practice recognizing and appreciating their strengths.

To be at peace with yourself, it helps to take time to get to know and like yourself.

If you constantly compare yourself with other people, it is easy to underestimate your possibilities and characteristics. Each one of us is unique. However, what we take for granted, we easily overlook and underestimate.

Just ask me personally

 

Please post any questions that may interest other readers in the comments. Are you looking for professional support?

If you are interested in coaching, training, or consulting, for organizational questions and to make an appointment, you can reach me best by e-mail (mail@karstennoack.com). You can reach me by telephone at +49(0)30 864 213 68 and mobile phone at +49(0)1577 704 53 56 from Monday to Thursday from 9:00 to 18:00. Most of the time I am in sessions, so please leave a message with your phone number in Germany, then. Please remember to be very specific about the reason for your call. I will call you back as soon as possible. The privacy policy can be found here.

Transparency is important. Therefore you will find answers to frequently asked questions already here, for example about me (profile), the services, the fees, and getting to know me. If this suits you, I look forward to working with you.

P.S.

 

What are your thoughts on the subject? What is your attitude towards yourself and self-acceptance?

Future: That time when our business is doing well, our friends are loyal and our happiness is secured. Ambrose Bierce

This article is a short excerpt from the more comprehensive course materials my clients receive in a group or individual training or coaching.

Published: May 29, 2020
Author: Karsten Noack
Revision: May 29, 2020
Translation: ./.
German version:
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T: RR
#452

Good fear, bad fear

Good fear, bad fear

How to free yourself from limiting fears.
Fears and anxiety

Good fear vs. bad fear

 

Fears are unpleasant obstacles on the way to a fulfilling life. This article is about what fears and anxiety good for and how to let go of limiting fears.

Good fear, bad fear

 

There are some obstacles on the journey to a fulfilling life to master, again and again, and again. Many of these obstacles have to do with fear.

 

 

 

Personal development

 

Fears have a huge impact on our lives. Fear reduces the joy of exploration, play, imitation, and creativity, causes stress, alters the personality. And I am writing here about the fears that many of us know.

 

 

 

Everyday fears and other anxieties

 

Some things in life are uncertain. We win something, we lose something. Not everything in life evolves as planned and sometimes it gets harder. That’s when worries can take on serious forms.

Many people are afraid of something. Many things can frighten us humans. Some fear is justified, others unjustified or at least exaggerated;

  • the fear of being judged by other people
  • the fear of being alone, of exam situations, speaking in front of an audience
  • the pressure to perform

Fear rarely makes it better.

Fear makes life more difficult. For example our decision-making.

Decisions also have consequences and this can be a burden, can cause anxiety. Fear stands in the way of making clever decisions. Paralyzed by fear, the scope for creativity is not explored and used. Important conversations are avoided out of fear, or they are painful.

Often relationships are only maintained out of fear of being alone. Many stay in the job because they worry about not finding a more suitable one and finally dare to approach to their calling. Many challenges and therefore chances remain unexploited because of fear.

Often the fears are unjustified or at least disproportionate, and yet they slow us down, distract us, or even paralyze us. Many of them have the characteristics of demons, which on closer inspection turn out to be projections. And even if they turn out to be substantiated, it is usually better to align and design resources accordingly than to ignore them.

In the case of phobias it becomes very obvious; avoidance makes the fear grow. There and elsewhere, avoiding unpleasant issues does not solve them, the problem just gets bigger.

How about the purpose of fear?

 

What is fear good for?

 

1. Fear is supposed to protect us

 

Hardly any human emotion has such a bad reputation as fear. People are even afraid of fear.

Fear has a vital function, it is an alarm reaction that should protect us when there is a threat. It is designed to prompt us to flee, to fight, or to exercise extreme caution.

The fear reactions are partly based on innate reflexes and some are learned. Both acute fear and worries about future events that might threaten our existence can be helpful. In the right dosage, it stimulates us to take action. But when fear prevails, it blocks us until we are paralyzed.

 

 

 

2. Anxiety promotes peak performance

 

Fear can unleash incredible powers. For a short time, the body is ready to perform at its best when anxious. Usually, this lasts as long as the dangerous situation lasts. However, increased physical abilities are not as helpful in many situations today as they were in our ancestor’s situation. Unfortunately, our cognitive abilities largely take a break in the meantime.

 

 

 

3. Physical reactions

 

When we are anxious, we notice above all the accompanying symptoms; trembling, wet hands, palpitations, rapid breathing up to shortness of breath, dry mouth, altered facial expressions, paleness or blushing, sweating, trembling, weakness, dizziness, diarrhea, urge to urinate and nausea as well as altered, limited perception up to a blackout.

Fear is a primitive system. This fear reaction is supposed to protect us from danger and the physical reactions that accompany it are natural. This is also the case when fear and anxiety are learned reactions to an unpleasant experience. Then the strong aversion to possible risks should protect against having that negative experiences again. However, too much fear restricts the ability to act appropriately.

Where does fear come from?

 

The fear response starts in a region of the brain called the amygdala. But how and why did the human species developed that mechanism?

In human history, our species once was a source of food, our ancestors were in danger of being eaten. You and me, we are descended from those who were more careful. The ancestors who were not afraid did not reproduce so often because they were eaten in those times. This has probably left patterns during evolution. Parts of our brains have not yet adjusted to the changing world.

In our somewhat more civilized world, existential threats are usually of a different nature.

Nowadays, only a few people are consumed by hungry wild animals. But our brain still evaluates situations according to old criteria and triggers primal physical reactions. Today this no longer happens in the wild, but for example in meeting rooms and in front of an audience. It is still frightening to leave the supposedly safe center of the herd. The so often praised individuality usually aims at maintaining the security of belonging to a group. On the periphery and outside the herd we feel threatened.

A stage is not a battleground, but if the reptilian brain believes that the audience might be dangerous, you may experience severe stage fright.

Here, and in many other situations, fear no longer helps us directly to save our lives. In the best case, fear leads to an activation, like a cup of espresso. If the fear increases to a restrictive blockage or even takes on pathological forms, then it is harmful.

We get used to some fears through repetition and to others we do not. Fears are not pleasant, apart from the thrill of a horror story, a roller coaster ride, or extreme sports.

Overcome fears

 

To overcome limiting fears is worthwhile even with mild forms. Fears haunt many people into their sleep and lead to nightmares, which in turn leave traces. Here, as in other areas, unreasonable fears unnecessarily reduce the quality of life. Such ballast works under the surface, it influences perception, thinking, and acting and should be discarded.

 

 

 

Get help with fears and anxieties

 

Fear and anxieties have many forms, manifestations, effects. Each form requires different steps. While stage fright, for example, can still be handled and solved by yourself or in coaching, real public speaking anxiety or glossophobia requires competent psychotherapy. Public speaking anxiety is considered a social anxiety disorder.

Given an appropriately experienced therapist, anxiety disorders can also be treated very well, improvement, and finally resolving them will be achieved soon. However, some fears do not require psychotherapy because they are not considered pathological. These are the anxieties that are not found in the ICD-10. ICD-10 is the abbreviation for the 10th version of the International Classification of Diseases. Whether anxieties are pathological, is not always so clear. Good coaches know when to recommend an expert. By the way, for 20 years I have been helping people affected by anxiety disorders as a therapist with permission to practice psychotherapy two days a week. Yes, fear has many forms.

“Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.”, said John Wayne. So, face your demons and you will support your personal development. Ask for support.

Just ask me personally

 

Please post any questions that may interest other readers in the comments. Are you looking for professional support?

If you are interested in coaching, training, or consulting, for organizational questions and to make an appointment, you can reach me best by e-mail (mail@karstennoack.com). You can reach me by telephone at +49(0)30 864 213 68 and mobile phone at +49(0)1577 704 53 56 from Monday to Thursday from 9:00 to 18:00. Most of the time I am in sessions, so please leave a message with your phone number in Germany, then. Please remember to be very specific about the reason for your call. I will call you back as soon as possible. The privacy policy can be found here.

Transparency is important. Therefore you will find answers to frequently asked questions already here, for example about me (profile), the services, the fees, and getting to know me. If this suits you, I look forward to working with you.

P.S.

 

What fears are preventing you from doing something that is actually important to you?

Great Ideas Need Wings As Well As Landing Gear And...

This article is a short excerpt from the more comprehensive course materials my clients receive in a group or individual training or coaching.

Published: May 20, 2020
Author: Karsten Noack
Revision: September 25, 2020
Translation: ./.
German version:
K:
H:
T: RR
#4521

The strength of character and how to cultivate it. 20 factors

The strength of character and how to cultivate it. 20 factors

Stand up for your own personality. This is how you foster strength of character. That's part of it...
Hints for strength of character

What is part of the strength of character?

 

Do you stand up for yourself and your concerns, are you true to your values even when there is a headwind? This article is about 20 elements of character strength and how to cultivate them.

Character and strength of character

 

The character describes a person, shows how someone actually is. The character influences significantly how a person is perceived by others.

If a person is considered to have the strength of character, this is meant admiringly. It is about the number of positive character traits, especially the moral attitude.

Those who do not disappear uniformly in the masses attract attention and may encounter resistance. Some people are frightened by this. What about you?

Do you stand up for yourself and your concerns, are you committed to your values, even when there is resistance? Those who cultivate strength of character are more successful and live a more fulfilling, self-determined life.

What are the building blocks of character strength and how can we cultivate it?

20 factors: What is part of the strength of character?

 

Here are 20 factors that contribute to the strength of character.

1. Curiosity

 

Healthy curiosity, in the sense of being interested, is a daily motivator that keeps us active and therefore more agile. The desire for knowledge is physically and mentally demanding, makes us more sociable and happier. Without curiosity as a drive, there is no learning, no wisdom.

 

 

 

2. An own opinion

 

Not all of us allow ourselves our own opinion, even fewer people are prepared to stand for their own opinion with self-confidence. Insecure people tend to assimilate in order not to attract negative attention. The fear of rejection and conflicts slows down or paralyzes some people, they are hiding themselves and their opinions.

 

 

 

3. Courage

 

People of weak character are fickle, orienting themselves to the least resistance. They give way at the slightest pressure and prefer to bend rather than bite.

If necessary, personalities with strong character dare to take a bold stand-point for something. They are also not afraid to lead the way, to venture out of the anonymous mass and the comfort zone.

 

 

 

4. Knowing the own strengths

 

It helps us to be aware of our strengths in a healthy way. Those who know their strengths can cultivate them and use them more effectively.

 

 

 

5. Knowing the own weaknesses

 

Knowing your weaknesses enables you to make better decisions. The willingness to dedicate oneself to personal development and, if necessary, to make peace with the fact that something cannot be turned into a strength despite all the effort involved, helps.

 

 

 

6. Loyalty

 

Loyalty requires personality. Loyalty means faithfulness and reliability. It is expressed towards spouses, friends, family, employers, etc.
Loyalty may also require you to put your interests aside for the benefit of others.

People of strong character know their values and priorities and pay attention to ethical behavior. They are also prepared to tread uncomfortable paths.

 

 

 

7. Honesty

 

Honesty and sincerity are important virtues. With honesty, we combine reliability, commitment, and openness. To be truthful about what is said, even when it is uncomfortable, requires strength of character.

 

 

 

8. Willingness to take responsibility

 

The willingness to take responsibility also includes admitting mistakes. People with strong minds take full responsibility for their actions and learn from the feedback instead of trying to use excuses. This sometimes includes the willingness and ability to apologize when it is time to do so.

 

 

 

9. Patience

 

Constructive patience is an important quality of a strong personality. This includes the willingness to remain true to oneself despite short-term rewards and temptations. Only this way it is to master greater challenges.

10. To know our priorities and values

 

People of strong character know their priorities and remain true to themselves and their values. I know from most people of strong character that they deal with philosophical issues. They wouldn’t call it that personally, but they are dedicated to higher goals and visions. This has a very strengthening effect on the personality.

 

 

 

11. Willingness to stand up for other people

 

The willingness to stand up for other people, even if it involves personal disadvantages, requires strength. Promises can be made, but doing it is not so common.

 

 

 

12. Self-reflection

 

Self-reflection paves the way for personal development where other people obstruct themselves. Self-reflection fosters learning and good decisions. Those who know themselves well are much harder to manipulate and live their own lives. This frees and activates potential.

 

 

 

13. Be at peace with oneself

 

Bruises, unprocessed traumas, and limiting beliefs make us more vulnerable to manipulation. Those who are occupied with themselves unnecessarily are distracted. Being mentally tidy promotes focus, more resources are available for important tasks.

Being at peace with oneself makes life easier; thinking and acting are congruent. Actions arise from their own decisions, which in turn are based on their values. Decisions are not externally controlled or based on deficits.

 

 

 

14. Not having to prove anything

 

Having nothing to prove is so liberating. Where some dazzlers loudly offer more illusion than reality, the personalities of strong characters do not have to prove anything. Another reason why people of strong character can be more authentic and relaxed.

 

 

 

15. Focus

 

Those who are engaged everywhere hardly get anywhere and sooner or later become tired. Some tasks deserve to be given the appropriate attention. This requires priorities and focus.

 

 

 

16. Being present

 

Being in the present sounds easier than it is sometimes. Some people prefer to reminisce about the highlights of the past. Others dream of a distant paradise-like future instead of working on it. There is not much to recognize of attentive contact with other people.

 

 

 

17. Benevolence

 

Strong people can wish other people good luck and treat them well. Strong personalities are not afraid of other people achieving something.

Weak ones are often afraid that other people’s successes will set them back themselves. This is particularly evident with narcissists.

 

 

 

18. Keep pushing

 

Setbacks or even traumatic experiences can be painful. They can leave behind serious injuries and break people. However, they can also promote immense personal growth.

Strong people are resilient and take setbacks as feedback. They learn from it and start again. Each experience is a chance to get closer to their goal.

 

 

 

19. Indulgence

 

To stand firm for oneself and one’s convictions are compatible with considering other points of view, exchanging views respectfully, complementing one another, learning. People of strong character are self-confident and this allows benevolence towards other people, while insecure people try to protect themselves and their position through ignorance. People make mistakes and it is good to forgive oneself and others for that.

 

 

 

20. Creating instead of being a victim

 

It requires strength of character to continue upright even in strong headwinds. People who are focused on the possibilities remain more constructive than those who consider themselves victims of the circumstances.

How can character strength be cultivated?

 

The mentioned character traits provide the direction. In coaching, I take a closer look at the status and goals of my clients. This is often very personal when personal development is meant seriously. Then we proceed step by step, mentally and concretely. The strength of character can be cultivated in many ways. The important thing is to live character strength.

Just ask me personally

 

Please post any questions that may interest other readers in the comments. Are you looking for professional support?

If you are interested in coaching, training, or consulting, for organizational questions and to make an appointment, you can reach me best by e-mail (mail@karstennoack.com). You can reach me by telephone at +49(0)30 864 213 68 and mobile phone at +49(0)1577 704 53 56 from Monday to Thursday from 9:00 to 18:00. Most of the time I am in sessions, so please leave a message with your phone number in Germany, then. Please remember to be very specific about the reason for your call. I will call you back as soon as possible. The privacy policy can be found here.

Transparency is important. Therefore you will find answers to frequently asked questions already here, for example about me (profile), the services, the fees, and getting to know me. If this suits you, I look forward to working with you.

P.S.

 

Do you pay attention to your strength of character? Do you stand up for yourself and others, your values, and your concerns, even when there is a strong headwind? How authentically do you act?

Great Ideas Need Wings As Well As Landing Gear And...

This article is a short excerpt from the more comprehensive course materials my clients receive in a group or individual training or coaching.

Published: May 19, 2020
Author: Karsten Noack
Revision: May 19, 2020
Translation: ./.
German version: https://ww.karstennoack.de/persoenlichkeit-mut-charakterstaerke-coaching
K:
H:
T: RR
#452

Opinion making needs reliable information

Opinion making needs reliable information

Long live the freedom of speech, especially if it is practised respectfully.
Information

Information as a foundation for opinion-forming

 

Instead of blindly adopting opinions, it is worth investing in your own opinions. But where does the information come from?

Opportunities to form your own opinion

 

Long live the freedom of speech, especially if it is practiced respectfully. Different viewpoints can be very enriching. Diversity can help us to form our own opinions. Who has a monopoly on wisdom?

When analyzing information, however, it is also worth taking a more critical look at the origin. It only takes a moment and can be very enlightening. Far too often I read about news that comes from well-known propaganda sources. This is another reason why it is worthwhile to allow a few thoughts about the specific interests. Instead of blindly adopting opinions, it is worth investing in your own opinions.

Let us think for ourselves!

P.S.

 

How do you deal with the information that is intended to help you form your own opinion?

blank

This article is a short excerpt from the more comprehensive course materials my clients receive in a group or individual training or coaching.

Published:May 2, 2020
Author: Karsten Noack
Revision: May 2, 2020
Translation: ./.
German version:
K:
H:
T: RR
#121

error: Copyright