Confidence Managing Stress Stress

The Fatal Flaws: Stress and Self-doubt

Hi everyone! Silvia Lafair here, and I’ve been working diligently on my stress-busters program and a new book that will be coming out, which is for me, fun and exciting but something happened yesterday that made me decide to do this video today.

I got a call from someone and I didn’t recognize the voice. So, when I said, ‘Who is this?’ He said, ‘This is an old friend, who’s been through your leadership program,’ and I still couldn’t get the voice, and he said, ‘Don’t you remember me? My name is not good,’ and I thought it’s a pretty odd name, not good? He said, ‘Yeah, and my last name is enough,’ and I went, ‘Not good enough?’ and I went, ‘Oh my god! How are you doing Donald?’ and it was very funny because I hadn’t talked to him in a while, but he had won the award for the biggest self-doubter in our program.

Now, what I want to say is, looking at this, it’s very interesting in all the research, women tend to have a bit more self-doubt than men. Although, men hold it back more but in doing the research, we’re women, as women we’re playing catch-up all. So, men listening to this, please pay attention because it’s important, and I have some statistics here. It’s really a generational thing than not good enough. Do you know that women couldn’t even have a credit card under their own name until 1974? A man had to co-sign with her. That kind of makes you feel a little doubtful about your own abilities, and talk about this thing called pregnancy. It wasn’t until 1978, up till then women could be fired for being pregnant on the job. So, there was a lot of questioning and self-doubt and I don’t want to make this into a women’s camp, in a men’s camp.

I just want you to get that, self-doubt is the fatal flaw that keeps everything locked down, and we have to fight against it. It’s like being in a cage. Think of a beautiful bird in a beautiful bird cage, and they’re there looking around saying, ‘I want to get out of here,’ not realizing that the door to the bird cage is open. All they have to do is push it with their head. It’s the same with us, all we have to do with these cages we’ve created for ourselves is, kick them with her foot, push them with their arm, push them with our head. However, whatever works for you but it really is important to begin to look at this self-doubt now.

I have in the program that I’m working on, this stress buster’s program. I have a whole area that we’ll talk in more depth about it, but what I would like to give you today, just my little, little tidbits is, if you can think of these three questions to ask yourself at the end of every day. It’s very important to think about it, because this is where you have to move past self-doubt.

One is, ‘How honest have I been in talking with others? Am i telling the truth?’ If you’re saying, I’m not sure, and what does that mean? How do you present yourself? What are you saying? And the other thing. Somebody also, that this Donald who called me said, ‘Is vulnerability the same as as being a doubter? A self-doubter?’ It’s a part of it, but being vulnerable is, simply telling your truth. It’s being honest. Self-doubting is saying, ‘I’m not good enough,’ which was his name for a while.

All right, the other question. So, that’s one, ‘How much did I tell the truth and where did I do it today?’ The next question is, ‘Did I shrink away from anything that I was going to do today because it made me uncomfortable?’ And that’s really important, and just kind of look at it as, you ask this. It will untie those knots inside. What I call, ‘The I’m not, cannot, should not, not good enough, that turn into knots, K-N-O-T-S that keep us locked.

So, the ‘we don’t see that the door to the cage is really open,’ and the third question is, ‘Who did I judge today?

That’s really an important one because when we are judging others, we’re also judging ourselves. So, I want you to think about who do you judge, and what do you say when you’re judging them? What do you say when you’re finger-pointing? Because there is that boomerang effect, and it really is about you.

So, those are things – I just wanted to give you some things to stir the pot a little bit today, and if you have questions or comments, please put them under this, and if you like this, I’d appreciate a like.

I, not have been doing this that long, but I’m really getting that people on Facebook think. Likes are good, so whatever. If you do, I’d appreciate it.

Now, this fatal flaw of self-doubt started when we were very young, and it crept up and crept up and it gets deep into us. So, we’ve got to work with it. So, those three questions, I’ll say them again: one, ‘How honest have you been today?’ ‘What did you shrink away that you felt you couldn’t really do that you’ve pulled back from made you uncomfortable?’ And, ‘who did you judge?’

That’s it for now. Chew on that. Just remember that, door to that cage of the self-doubt. Door is unlocked. All you have to do, is kick it open.

Thank you. Have a beautiful rest of the day, and let’s make a new day about how we handle stress and all the fears that are around at this time. Thanks so much.

Confidence Managing Stress Stress

Stress and Confidence

Hi everyone! Today, I’m going to talk about stress and confidence, and it brought to mind a time when I was in a very stressful situation that wasn’t meant to be stressful. It was supposed to be fun. Trust me, it was stressful and how even now, during this time of craziness, I pull on that to say, ‘You can do it to myself.’ So, here’s what happened.

This is a bazillion years ago.

I went to one of the first Tony Robbins firewalk programs. We were in Manhattan and they were about 200 of us, and it was right across from Penn Station. If you know Manhattan and we were on, I think the second floor of this place, we were learning the techniques to do the firewalk and I thought, ‘Well, I’ll learn the techniques but I’m not so sure I’m going to do the fire walk.’

Anyway, off we go learning how to use neurolinguistic programming, and it’s very powerful. It was really a lot of fun. He was a great teacher and then he started down the stairs leading us out to the sidewalk where there were two. I think there were two places where you could do the fire walk. It was evening. There were three ambulances parked there, which you may just say, ‘What did I get myself into,’ and there I was doing my right arm up, looking at it, going cool moss, because what’s the opposite of hot fire? Well, it’s cool moss.

So, there we were walking down this, there saying, ‘We can do it. We can do it.’ I still Wasn’t sure if I could and you could feel the stress mounting and the stress hormones just charging through my body, but it was fun right? It was a not. It was a contrived stress situation. Let me put it that way.

So, when we got outside, I remember kind of looking around to see how other people were doing it, and somehow I got pushed toward the front of the line, and all of a sudden, there I was standing in front of the hot coals, looking up at this very tall man. He was about nine foot seven. I thought, looking up at Tony Robbins. If you don’t know who he is, go google him, but he’s a really big interesting guy, and I’m standing there, and he looked down, and I said, ‘No, no, I just came to see what it’s like,’ and he looked at me and he said, ‘You’re ready?’ He said. I’m ready. I didn’t say I’m ready, but all of a sudden there I am. I said, ‘I don’t think so.’ He said, ‘No, you’re ready.’ So, I took a deep breath, put my hand up, and walked across the hot coals saying, ‘Cool moss,’ got to the other side, and it was spectacular because I walked on this hot thing that was supposed to burn my feet, and I was fine, and then what you do is, you celebrate.

So, people were there hugging me, and it was in days when we could hug each other. Not that long ago, hugging and celebrating and this went deeply into my nervous system. I could do something I didn’t think I could do, and it could really turn out very nicely. So, after I finished celebrating, I turn around, and then this is what’s interesting, my husband Herb was with us, with me and Julie my daughter, and all of a sudden, I turn around and I look and there’s Julie with her arm up getting ready to go, and I went, the stress really went high at that point because I said to myself, ‘Are you crazy? You are taking it with your own feet, that you could have risked burning is one thing, but taking your daughter? What if something happens?’ And I started to feel this stress going up.

Anyway, it was too late. I’m already on the other celebration side. Julie walks across. Did a great job. Put her arm up and did the cool moss and then we celebrated, and then a little later Herb came across, and the three of us were really fine. It was so exciting.

Now, Julie and I, and her but Julie and I and Herb, particularly have talked about this recently, and how when stressful situations occur. Now, we both can pull on that memory of that moment of walking across, doing something that looked impossible and we were able to do it.

So, I want you to think about this. There is no such thing as a stress-free life. We all know that. Now, we’re all dealing in many ways with our own ways of handling either being furloughed or money not coming in or the dreams we had being pushed into the background, and we’re doing it.

So, my suggestion when it comes to stress and confidence is, find a way. I’m not going to be doing a fire walk in these days, but find a way to do something that’s going to challenge you, that you know isn’t going to destroy you. Although, I have to tell you, there were a few people who did get burns on their feet. So, it’s not a simple walk across without any kind of issues, but find something that you can do, because doing something that’s very stress-filled and surviving it, overcoming it, getting past it will keep you strong during these times.

So, to all of you, I say have a beautiful day. Find a stress situation you can master and let me know about it. So, to your success.

Thank you so much. Till soon.

Communication Confidence Leadership Leadership Strategies Leadership Styles

Gravity Statements (A New Way Of Thinking) Saves Leaders Aggravation

Today I’m discussing:

Gravity Statements (A New Way Of Thinking) Saves Leaders Aggravation.

Here is what you will learn when you listen in:

* How Gravity Impacts your conversations.
* The key to a great Gravity statement.
* Let Gravity help you get past overwhelm.

Are you ready to explore this powerful concept deeper? Sign up for a breakthrough session with me here:

Confidence Leadership

How Your Self-doubt Can and Does Destroy Your Relationships

I’m sharing how YOUR self-doubt can and does destroy YOUR relationships.

In this video I share with you:

+ Self doubt is a learned behavior and where it often get started in your life.

+ What happens when your abilities clash with your beliefs.

+ How mirror neurons (huh, what are they?) help or hinder your relationships.

Let me help you learn to challenge your negative self-talk and move to next level success.

Are you ready to cast aside your self-doubt? Sign up for a strategy session and I’ll share the strategy and the steps you need to take in order to yourself move forward.

Click this link and add yourself to my calendar:

Communication Confidence Gutsy Leadership Leadership Strategies

The Benefits and Backlash of Self-Promotion

I love this video I cover:

+ + Why modesty is an over-rated virtue.
How self-doubt sets up sabotage.
How to “toot your own horn” without being obnoxious.
The world has changed and women can no longer be shushed or denied their time to speak out.

Using the tips, I will give you for effective communication can boost your personal brand as you you self-promote.

Let me help you find the balance point between overwhelming others with your prowess and undervaluing your accomplishments.

It’s easier than you think and will help you get your next promotion or the plum assignment you’ve been yearning for.

It’s’ time to Go Bigger>>> Go Bolder>>> GO GUTSY

Business Business and Life Patterns Confidence Gutsy Leadership Leadership Strategies Leadership Styles

Why Women Today Need To Go Bigger, Go Bolder, Go GUTSY!

When I was researching my book “GUTSY: How Women Leaders Make Change” I came across some fascinating, frustrating, and vital information that made me want to stand up and yell “Hey everyone. It’s about time. Time to break away from past cultural fears that still create so much self-doubt and hold us back from playing full out.”

Let me explain.

Has anybody been to Salem Massachusetts?  On Halloween? It’s a “madhouse” (pardon the pun) of psychics everywhere ready to do readings.  It’s also a great place to explore some of those cultural fears that still have a hold on us.

Halloween is a special time in Salem. However, all year round great information is there for us to learn about the witch trials of 1692. Women, bona fide healers who worked with herbs and their own intuition, were considered well, witches. That was a time when any GUTSY woman knew to keep her intuitive abilities undercover or suffer an ugly death.

Interesting that modern brain research indicates that women have an advantage in the ability to sense when something is about to happen. And yet, most of us ignore this internal warning system probably because we just want to fit in and stay safe. Could it also be subtle memories about ancestors who did not shut up and were burned at the stake that makes us wary? 

Who knows?

Let’s go back even further and check out Greek legends. Anybody reading this named Sandra or Cassandra, pay super strict attention. Here’s the love story: the god Apollo fell in love with the princess Cassandra. He gave her a gift; so far a typical story. The gift, however, was more than a gorgeous bracelet or trip to a lavish island; it was the gift of prophecy.  

Now, this gift was non-refundable… Yet, when Cassandra did not get all mushy about Apollo, he became a scorned lover and wanted revenge. Yup, happens all the time. So, the only thing this mad man could do was put a curse on her; make it so no one would listen. Thus, when she warned that her beloved homeland, Troy would be destroyed no one would believe her.

Hummmm. Ancient Greece, witch trials, women getting brushed aside when they see where things are heading; told to mind their own business. 

Look, we all know the speed of change is constantly escalating and yes, we do need to speak out. No more letting fear and self-doubt win.

Remember Sherron Watkins? She was a former Vice President of Corporate Development at Enron. She helped uncover that ugly scandal. As a whistleblower, she, to this day,  discusses the isolation that comes from talking truth to power and how important it is to speak out.  Ask yourself, are you Gutsy or Bold?

It is only through talking truth to power and being brave that we can continue to transform the patterns from the past. Karen Mangia is a great example of a Gutsy Woman and you can read all about her here.

That’s why I started my private Facebook Group “Women Leaders Inner Circle” to have a safe place to discuss how to erase self-doubt, stop listening to the inner critic that can paralyze even the most talented people, and find the confidence to go bigger, go bolder, go GUTSY.

Please join me and add your voice here:

It’s about you, it’s about me and it’s about time.

Change Confidence Gutsy Leadership

5 Steps to Get Yourself Out of Overwhelm

Use these 5 steps to get yourself out of overwhelm…

In this broadcast I cover:

What you, as a leader, can do to get more energy, confidence, focus, and ease by making some simple changes.

I share the specific, time tested tips on how to move past frustration and anger when demands on you seem impossible.

Business Business and Life Patterns Confidence Growth Leadership Leadership Strategies Success

3 Key Ways to Win at Work

My work with individuals and groups over the years has helped me to uncover 3 key ways to win at work when you’re feeling frazzled and ready to throw in the towel.

Have you found that at one time or another you wanted to stuff a sock in someone’s mouth rather than listen to them wail or rail? 

Think about the gal on your team that never stops complaining, or the big shot who is always bragging, or the bully who steamrolls over others with their point of view and never listens to others. 

You go home exhausted from the tension and lack of cooperation.

“It’s just business,” you say to yourself with a shrug. 

Hey there, pay attention. That’s just traditional wisdom playing with you.

And it’s simply NOT true.

There are businesses with great leaders who get along, have fun at work, enjoy solving challenges together, and make great profits. 

You belong in that setting. Here’s what many leaders have done to create workplaces that work. 

Let’s look at the three main ways of changing what’s not working, for you or those on your team (Hint for leaders: you need to start with yourself before you can be of help to others). 

Here is the way OUT: 

Observe your own behavior: If you have a problem and you solve it, that’s great. That’s what business is all about. However, if the same problem keeps showing up time after time, well then, you have a pattern to deal with.

Once you declare a problem to be repetitive, then you can make change happen. 

Understand the root issues: Close the door or go sit in your car. No distractions. Write out what is keeping you stuck. Not a dissertation, just a short paragraph. Now, answer this question “When else did you have the same feelings of frustration and upset?”                         

Connect the dots from past upsets to the present problem.  My bet is that you will see quickly how the past and present are related.

Transform by taking action: This is where you commit to change. Take an honest look at the part you play in the on-going situation (yes, you do play a role, so don’t try to wiggle out of this by pointing your finger at others). Changing behavior beyond a superficial way requires discipline, experimentation, and practice.

There are 13 major patterns that get in the way of positive relationships at work. You can find out which one/s have you name on them by taking the Leadership Quiz at  

Take the quiz. It’s eye-opening.

Cause if you don’t, you’ll stay stuck in pattern repetition, like the guy in the movie Groundhog Day. 

Once you learn to harness your own power by transforming the negative patterns into healthy ones you get amazing rewards. There is more honest communication, better relationships, optimized team collaboration, and greater financial success.

Become a pattern buster and watch your leadership abilities soar. 


Confidence Growth Managing Stress Stress Success

5 Sayings That Will Inspire You Even When You Feel Overwhelmed and Frustrated

I want to share a story from one of my coaching clients that I’m sure will resonate with you if you’ve ever found yourself feeling overwhelmed and frustrated…

One of my coaching clients sent the following, “I had a fender bender on the way to work. Then, because I was late and rushing, I tripped going on the up escalator. (Who the heck ever trips on a UP escalator?). Then, I spilled coffee on my new shirt.  

They say bad things come in 3’s. 

It’s not true. Bad things can be like an avalanche and keep happening. I will tell you what happened later after I ask for some HELP. Yes, I really need some help to quash the loud, unforgiving voice in my head saying, “You really are a total jerk.” 

My self-doubt has me glued to my office chair. I’m afraid to get up for fear that I will start the next wave of 3 more terrible things happening to prove what a jerk I really am. 

What I need is a way to turn off the noise in my head and get some work done. So, please give me something to smile about. 

That said, back to my bad luck day. 

My assistant stood at the doorway of my office with a look of “How can I tell him this?” 

The “this” was that one of our best clients is taking business elsewhere. AND, informed us in a very sanitized email with little explanation. 

At that point, I thought I should poke a pen in my eye.  

That would be “bad thing 5” and then maybe be proactive and cancel my massage (where I figured I would get my back out of whack) to stave off “bad thing 6” when I got a message that my massage was canceled.  

Now I must worry about what next awful thing will happen. 

What do you suggest when a bad day is really, really, a bad day? 

Here is my response. 

When stress is high, and energy is low you need some of my Bumper Stickers For The Brain. You gotta remember the following: 

Change is constant: Become like a flowing river by constantly adapting and improvising and keep moving. 

Victims become victors: Find at least three options to each situation by asking yourself what else you can do to feel the fear and do it anyway. 

Winners never whine: Winning is an attitude that includes grace under pressure to not judge, blame or attack yourself or anyone else. 

Obstacles are opportunities: You’ve hit a bump, or several, that are merely detours to your final success; know that hope is not a plan, you need to act, not just react. 

Stay the course: Keep your eyes on your goals and don’t let feat, self -doubt or imposter syndrome drag you down.  

Get a FREE copy of my Bumper Stickers For the Brain Book Full of Sayings that Will Inspire You

Just click on the button below and get your copy today

Change Confidence Growth Human Capital Management Success

The Gratitude Intervention Challenge

When was the last time you practiced gratitude? This post is all about the power of gratitude and my invitation to join me on a gratitude intervention challenge.

“Yesterday was a soggy day, with non- stop rain and draining humidity” began an email I received with the subject title of “What a happy day.” 

It didn’t make sense…

It was a long, detailed email about work difficulties and disappointments. Until the end. And then I thought, “OKAY, I get it now.” 

I’ll skip all the complaints and go right to the punch line. 

“So, Sylvia, I was standing at the bottom of the Macy’s escalator waiting for my husband who was taking forever to get a new pair of jeans. I was frustrated and miserable. I hated work, I hated me. As I leaned on the jewelry counter thinking every negative thing I could about me, my life, the state of the world, the amount of time I was wasting waiting here, when a kid walked over, he must have been about eleven years old. 

His smile was infectious.

He leaned toward me and said ‘You really look great today. I mean, you really look great!’ And with that he did a perfect pivot and before I could even say ‘huh?’ he was gone.  

My husband descended the escalator and greeted me with ‘Well, you sure look happy now. Did you buy something special?” 

I was still processing that moment of unexpected appreciation and all I could muster was ‘Didn’t buy anything special. I was given something special.” 

Here is my response to my client: 

“I’m glad you are working through all the messy issues at work. And hooray for that mysterious little boy. He gave you, now, all of us, a precious gift. 

I call this a GRATITUDE INTERVENTION CHALLENGE and I suggest we all lift our gratitude quotient by doing what that little boy did. Reach out and touch someone. 

Give gratitude, acknowledgment, appreciation, thanks to someone who doesn’t expect it.

What will that do for you? What will that do for the other person? What will that do for our very contentious world that needs more positive, creative energy? 

It will make you feel better and hopefully the other person also.  

 The Gratitude Intervention Challenge 

Acknowledge someone who annoys you or you feel betrayed you at work. Maybe it’s someone who is the office gossip, or the bully who made you look stupid on purpose or, the over the top pleaser who stepped in with a smile to get the plum assignment meant for you. 

Think about that person for a moment…They may:  

  • See you as a threat 
  • Be miserable inside themselves 
  • Want to be your friend and feel inadequate 
  • Have serious health issues 
  • Be in relationship difficulties 

Now, find something you can acknowledge them for. 

Come one, you can find at least one thing. Then ask if they can meet for a few minutes and ask them where they would like to meet. Ask them, don’t tell them.  Giving gratitude and learning to understand each other is at the core of great leadership.

I’d love to hear the results. Do what scares the crap out of you and strengthen your gratitude muscle. 

Remember, the tiniest effort can have a huge impact.