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Taking the Tiger by the Tail

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Taking the Tiger by the Tail
By Donna Verna
Posted on 8/8/2018 10:00 AM

Have you heard of the phrase, “taking the tiger by the tail?” 


Years ago when I was studying Business Marketing at Auburn University, I would wear a  nice dress on the days that I had a big exam, presentation or test.  I had heard that grooming and dressing well helped a person to feel more confident and perform better.  So, I would do up my BIG hair (well, it was the early 1980’s), put on a dress and my nylons, take extra care with my make-up and strike out of my dormitory feeling like I had that test, presentation or exam by the tail even before I entered the classroom.


According to, how we look is closely linked to how we feel about ourselves.  If we feel that we look great, our confidence levels are known to soar.  Your confidence levels can then influence every area of your life, from your own feelings of self worth to how you manage personal relationships and how you perform at work. (1)


Confidence.  What a difference it can make.  I am not talking about over-confidence or an “in your face” kind of personality, but the kind of confidence that creates a positive magnetism, an ability to better work your business and handle relationships effectively.


Here are some things that will help you take concrete actions that improve your competence, your self-image and increase that self-confidence.  


  1. Groom yourself.  A shower, good hair style, glowing skin and clean teeth can boost your mood.  Find and invest in products that make you look your best.  Have you ever been talking with someone and all you could focus on was their dry, cracked lips?  Get some Lip Balm - and not all lip balms are created equal.  Ask a professional like your local friendly Mary Kay Consultant (hint, hint).
  2. Dress nicely.  This means something different for everyone, but looking nice and presentable can help you feel good about yourself and ready to tackle the world.
  3. Think positive.  Replace negative thoughts with positive ones.  Be aware of your self-talk.  Be actively aware of any negative thought that says something is too difficult or too much work and get rid of it like stomping a spider (seriously) then replace it with an “I can do this” attitude.  Focus on solutions, not the problems.
  4. Act positive.  It is one thing to think positive, you need to put it into action.  When you do this, you change yourself, one action at a time.  You are what you do, and so if you change what you do, you change what you are.  You’ll soon start to notice a difference. (2)  Smile and the world smiles with you.
  5. Know your strengths.  Make a list of your positive attributes.  No matter how long or short your list is, focus on your strengths.  
  6. Be kind and generous.  Ivan Misner, the founder of BNI, calls it “Giver’s Gain.”  Mary Kay Ash, founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics, calls it having the “Go-Give spirit.”  Act in accordance with the Golden Rule, being generous with yourself and your time and what you have improves your self-image.  Volunteer to make the lives of others better with a charity or good cause.  You’ll feel better about yourself, instantly.
  7. Speak slowly.  A person with authority speaks slowly.  It shows confidence.  What you have to say is worth the time of the listener to hear it.  Give this a try.
  8. Stand tall.  Yes, your mother was right, posture is important.  People who stand tall and confident are more attractive. 
  9. Increase your competence and knowledge.  Becoming more competent helps you feel more competent.  Study and practice your business, your craft.  Be prepared.  Empowering yourself with knowledge is a great tool to being more confident.
  10. Exercise.  Do some sort of exercise regularly.  It helps you feel better in the body you are in, releases endorphines, and helps you live longer.  BOOM!
  11. Do the small things.  Small achievements make you feel good, and they add up to big achievements.  I recently read the book, “Make Your Bed - Little Things That Can Change Your Life...And Maybe The World”  by William H. Mcraven.  It starts with the premise that if you make your bed first thing in the morning, you have already achieved something and gives you the first sense of accomplishment.  Then go do another and another.  I recommend this book.
  12. Clear your desk.  On a larger scale, if you work from home, re-do your office.  Sometimes work may seem overwhelming.  Clearing the chaos of a messy desk or office can give you a fresh boost.
  13. Wear something RED.  Jen Thoden, founder of the personal style site called, “Your Color Style”  recommends rocking something red can get a rush of empowerment for yourself.  So, for men, it might be that red tie or logo on your shirt.  For women, rock those red pumps or try a bold red lipstick.  Writers for “The Odyssey” write, If we're going through the effort to say something, it's probably important and you probably want someone to listen to you. But sometimes it seems like people aren't even listening to a word you're saying. So put that perfect shade on your lips and people will be drawn to them! They'll lean in to hear every word you say as they look at that fabulous color. (3)


So, try a few of these ideas and watch your confidence grow.  Grab that “tiger by the tail.”