Thursday, January 27, 2011 Interviews with Monica Marie Jones

Monday, January 17, 2011

Is Your Thinking Stinking?

Yesterday at church the pastor said that when you are going through hell…the only way that hell could have gotten inside of you or your home is through your mind.  His words were exactly what I needed to hear because I’d been dealing with negative thoughts all week to the point where I was losing sleep. As much as I motivate and encourage others, I was slowly being taken out by entertaining negative thinking.

It all boils down to fear and we know that fear and faith can’t co-exist.  I don’t mean to recap his whole sermon, but he was so on point that I’d be doing you an injustice if I didn’t share.  The other profound point that he made had to do with faith.  He said that there are three things that need to be in place in order for faith to be faith:   1.) Believe it 2.) Speak it. 3.) Act on it. 

Believe it
See yourself in the future. Whatever it is that you want to happen…you must believe that it will. Visualize it. Picture it. Draw it if you have to. Think of it as already being yours.

Speak It
We often underestimate the power of our words.  You will begin to see what you say so choose your words wisely and keep them positive.

Act On It
We can believe it and speak it all day, but if we don’t act on it, we might as well go right on back to living in fear or allowing hell into our home and into our mind.  Another important point that the pastor made is that sometimes the corresponding action to the faith is to “shut up and wait.”  So think about what the proper actions are that will go along with what you are believing for.

I’m usually extremely positive, but last week I was all out of character. I had to check myself.   It all came down to changing my thinking.  Now, when negative thoughts try to enter my mind, I picture myself swatting them away with a tennis racket.  That may seem silly, but hey, it works for me so I encourage you to do what works for you.

This week, I want you to check yourself to make sure that you aren’t allowing negativity, fear, self-doubt or any other stinking thinking to seep into your subconscious.  Remember, the only way that hell can enter your life is through your thoughts AND the only way that hell can exit your life…is through your thoughts.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Ask for What You're Worth

When I travel to do consulting or speaking engagements, the clients generally cover travel expenses. I am often given the option to choose my flight preferences.  For those of you that travel frequently, you know that connecting flights can be a nightmare.  If your first flight is delayed, then it may make you miss your second flight. Another headache is when you end up in airports and on planes all day because your layover in between flights is so long. Either way, it makes for a stressful and draining day of travel, which often takes away from the energy needed for the performance that you plan to give when you speak, teach or train. So needless to say, my preference is for straight flights.

As I was looking through the flights I realized that most of them had connections.  I also noticed that the ones with the layovers were considerably more affordable than the ones that were straight flights on the airline that I usually travel on so that I can accumulate frequent flier miles. 

This time I tried something a little different. Instead of feeling bad for choosing a more expensive flight, or trying to save the company money by selecting the cheapest flight, or even sending my top three choices…I simply sent my first choice and left it at that.

As I waited for the response I began searching for my second and third choice because I felt that surely they wouldn’t honor my first request.  It was too expensive. I got prepared to accept my fate of having to take a cheaper flight even though all of the departure and arrival times were either ridiculously late or painfully early. 

In the midst of my melancholy search I received a response.  It was the confirmation for my first choice flight! It was a straight flight on my airline of choice. The client booked it without a question or a concern.  They saw the value in my services thus matching the quality that they know I will deliver with the accommodations that they arranged for me.  It made me realize that ‘affordable’ and ‘expensive’ are all about perspective.  If we want something different for ourselves, we must think differently about ourselves.  If I thought of myself as priceless, then I wouldn’t have thought of that flight as being too expensive.

The lesson in all of this is two-fold.  The first is that you must know your worth.  If you expect and accept less, then that’s exactly what you will get…less than what you are worth.  Look at it like this…if someone said, “I want give you some money.”  And your response was, “You can give me $5 or $500 or $5000.”  Which one do you think they would choose?  Most people would probably go with the $5 since you gave them that option.  Don’t low ball yourself. Start high because you are worth it. If negotiations are necessary, then so be it, but don’t settle for less than what you are worth.  When you ask for less it may cause those who you are communicating with to believe that you are not qualified or confident when it comes to your ability to execute the task.

The second lesson is that you must ask for exactly what you want.  You’d be surprised at how often you actually get it.  We have not because we ask not. A more common occurrence is that we have not, because we ask for less than what we truly want or are worth.

This week I challenge you to ask for what you want.  The worst thing that can happen is that someone can tell you “no”...they can’t kill you.  If you don’t know your worth, then perhaps you should take out some time to learn about it.  Once you know your worth, adjust accordingly.

Monday, January 3, 2011

How Do You Talk About YOU?

How do you talk about you?  If you hear something so often for so long you start to believe it. Your own voice, whether it's speaking internally or out loud is the one that you hear the most. So as you clear old things out of your life and bring in new things, you may want to remodel how you speak about and to yourself.

I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve heard people say, “I feel so ugly” or “I’m fat”.  I might as well just start responding to them by saying, “You sure are,” because what we speak seeps into our subconscious and subliminally hypnotizes us into believing what we are saying, then as result we end up becoming those things…even if it is only in our own mind. No matter what others see, when we look in the mirror, we only see what we’ve spoken ourselves into being.

Even more detrimental than negative self-talk that focuses on physical appearance is when people defeat themselves before they even try by speaking negatively about their ability.

For years I taught dance to young people and I got to a point where I had to ban the words, “can’t” and “don’t” from my classroom.  I told my students that those were curse words.  They took it so seriously that when a new student came and said one of those words, or an existing student slipped up, there would be a collective “ooooooooh”. ..that sound we make when someone is about to get in trouble.

I had those children convinced that those were two more four letter words to add to the list of profanities that they weren’t supposed say.  But if you look at the term ‘curse word’ literally, it is like we are putting a curse on ourselves when we speak so negatively.   I would ask those young people, “How do you know what you can’t or don’t know how to do before you’ve even tried?”

This New Year, I challenge you to focus on changing the way that you talk to and about yourself. Out with the old negative self-talk and in with the new positive self-talk or affirmations.

“An affirmation is a positive statement of (positive) belief, and if we can become one-tenth as good at positive self-talk as we are at negative self-talk, we will notice an enormous change.” – Julia Cameron, Author of The Artist’s Way