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Feedback Q&A on Excellence

by Ron Kurtus

Readers have sent in a total of 206 comments and questions on Excellence issues. They are listed according to date.

You can read them to further your understanding of the subject.

List of next 10 letters




Esteem Never knows what to say in a conversation Australia
Confidence I want to improve my English skills Pakistan
Comfort Zone Wants to raise comfort level Australia
Confidence Co-workers make me feel incompetent USA
Confidence Lack communication skill in college China
Fear Thinking too much about fears ruins my sleep India
Firewalk Kahunas, NLP and firewalk UK
Confidence Wants to get in with the cool kids USA
Firewalk Woman performs firewalks Canada
Confidence Worried about going to college USA

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First 10 letters

Never knows what to say in a conversation

Topic: Esteem


August 1, 2006

Hi, I was reading an earlier email about someone with a low selfesteem problem. I have a similar problem where I never know what to say to people when in a conversation because I'm not used to being in a conversation with people around my own age. My friends have told me I should be more out there but it just doesn't come naturally to me and I just can't seem to do. My friends go over each other houses all the time but I sit back and don't say anything so I am never invited. But when I am invited and I am there it feels like I am being a real downer cause I dont talk and get involved because I don't know what to say. I have never had such good friends and yet I can't bring myself to talk to them. One of themm wants me to right him a letter and all I can come up with is a blank piece of paper. If you could help me in anyway it would be grately appreciated. Thanks for taking the time to read this.

Jackie - Australia



Low self-esteem can come from not being able to converse well with others. It becomes a vicious circle, because you feel uncomfortable after talking with someone and then you feel more unsure about yourself.

The biggest thing to realize in a conversation is that most people love to talk about themselves. By being a good listener and asking questions about the other person's interest, you will be able to hold a good conversation. This also relieves the pressure of trying to think of something clever to say.

You don't have to impress people with your knowledge or speaking skills. In fact, often people get bored with the person who has the "gift of gab" and controls the conversation. Instead, everyone likes the person who is curious and interested in what they have to say. Of course, you can inject your own comments and experiences if you want, but there is no pressure on you to do that.

If you are able to get other people to talk, you are considered a valuable person to them. And when you realize this, your self-esteem should go sky high.

When someone writes you a letter, save the letter as a reference when you answer the person. You can ask about different things mentioned in that letter.

But also you need to be able to tell a little about yourself in both letters and in conversations. What do you like? What have you done lately? These may sound trivial, but they are worthwhile, especially in a letter.

I hope these ideas help.

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I want to improve my English skills

Topic: Confidence


July 24, 2006

i m a student of MBA ,my problem is that my english is very weak ,i become very nurvios when i faced lanuaged problem ...please help me how can i improve my skills


sadia - Pakistan



Practice with speaking and reading English as much as you can. But it is good to look to simple English. Trying to improve your English with MBA material can be difficult.

Read some easy and enjoyable fiction books in English. If you do no understand a word, use a small dictionary to look up that word. Also, write it down.

Another thing you can try is to listen to the speeches we have in spoken word. You can read along the text and perhaps read aloud as you hear the text spoken. Unfortunately, it is a computer voice, but it still can be effective. See:

I hope those ideas help you improve your English.

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Wants to raise comfort level

Topic: Comfort Zone


July 24, 2006

Hello, I am out of my comfort zone where as its way above what I think my level of comfort is. I'm not sure how to get to the higher level but quickly. All my life I have lived within my comfort zone and not excelled in anything and my parents never pushed me. I am now 32 years of age and are having to do things out of my comfort zone but I am struggling. Do you have any tips of reaching a higher comfort level .

Thank you


Shelley - Australia



Pick goals where you need to stretch yourself a little. Have a challenge that is a little better than you have ever done before. If you never push yourself, you become stagnant. As the expression goes: "No pain, no gain."

Picking a challenge too high can be unrealistic and discouraging if you are set back. A moderate increase will cause you to try again, if set back.

Once you have risen to a new level, your confidence increases and you can try to move up again to an even high level. It is like lifting weights to gain strength or losing weight to become more trim. You set a goal that pushes you a little, achieve that goal, congratulate yourself, and then set a tougher goal. Rising to a new, higher comfort zone takes time, because your mind must accept your new achievement and ability.

Don't wait. Set some goals in areas to improve and start to prove yourself and raise your level. You know you can do it.

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Co-workers make me feel incompetent

Topic: Confidence


July 11, 2006

My fear in starting a new task on the job and worrying about making a mistake and how my co-workers perceive me. It sometimes traumatize me and I feel incompetent and humiliated. How can I over come that fear?

Marion - USA



Typically, when given a task to do at work, you evaluate whether you understand the requirements, if you have the skill to do the task, how difficult it is, and what are the consequences of failure.

Usually, if you don't do a good job or even fail in an assignment, your supervisor will reprimand you or it may show up on your performance evaluation. Often the boss will appreciate it if you work hard, even if the job isn't as good as needed.

If your co-workers are making judgments about your work or competence, they are completely out of line. It is none of their business. If I was their supervisor, I would tell them to keep their opinions to themselves.

The only person you need to worry about impressing is your boss. That is the person who gives your paycheck and determines if you get a raise. Don't let your co-workers affect your performance. Don't let them criticize you. Like I said, it is none of their business.

I hope you have a successful career at your job.

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Lack communication skill in college

Topic: Confidence


June 20, 2006

lf l don't do a good job in dealings with other students on college,or lack enough communication skills that impede my potential to get ahead in my character formation,even l can't figure out appropriate topics to talk to others,and can't win the favor from the girls l like, under such circumstances,what should l do in order to exude confidence?

- China



Although there are some people who seem to be able to talk to anyone, often they are only talking about themselves. Soon that becomes boring. A truly good conversationalist works to get the other person to talk about himself or herself.

Observe what interests the person and ask for information about the subject. This is very effective in talking to girls because most boys want to brag and talk about themselves. Girls appreciate someone who will let them talk.

Once you become familiar with the other person, you can add in things of your interest.

Getting others to talk about their interests relieves the pressure of having to figure out something clever to say. It takes patience, but if you can get the other person to talk, your own confidence increases.

I hope these ideas will help you.

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Thinking too much about fears ruins my sleep

Topic: Fear


June 20, 2006

hi my fear is that if i tend to think about myself that how my brain works,asif like if fear comes i use to think about that adrenaline is secrered in my body that inturn makes me alert that inturn wont allow me to sleep. that makes me think about acidity will tend to happen in my stomach which inturn leads to stomach problem,thereby creating increase of hormone serotonin instead of melatonin in the night inturn makes me sleepless.which gives stress and depression. how to tackle this problem.without sleep i know that my body tend to get deterioted.

raghulan - India



Sometimes knowledge of how the body works can cause problems, if you think about it too often. Certainly, do not think about how your brain or other organs function before going to sleep. In fact, it is always good to spend time with a minimum of stimulus in preparation for sleep. Watching an intense television program or using the computer just before bed can also cause similar problems with tension and lack of sleep.

Stress and tension not only can affect your sleep, but it also can do damage to your health. If you feel stressed, stop and take a deep breath, hold it for a count of 8 and then slowly release it, telling yourself, "Relax.". Repeat the breaths four times, and you will find that much of the tension is relieved.

Hopefully, that will help you get your mind off your stomach processes and improve your sleeping.

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Kahunas, NLP and firewalk

Topic: Firewalk


June 11, 2006

Hi I am interested in the article by Ron Kurtus on firewalking but I beleive there is more to the NLP than perhaps first meets the eye! check out although there is scientific backing I'm not sure this is a closed story. This also has large scientific backing, I was lead to this from Michael Talbot's book The Holographic Universe which I quote Part 1: "A Remarkable New View of Reality" "Sit down before fact like a little child, and be pre-pared to give up every preconcieved notion, follow humbly wherever and to whatever abyss Nature leads, or you shall learn nothing. - T. H. Huxley"

An interesting read with supporting science sources from Pribram, Bohm, Einstein and alike.

Hope you find this of interest!

Niall - UK



Thanks for the interesting resources. Tony Robbins used the firewalk to show people how they could overcome fear. Actually, it had little to do with NLP, which is related to communicating. We plan to have a section on that in the near future.

The teachings of the Kahunas relate to special powers that could fall in either realms.

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Wants to get in with the cool kids

Topic: Confidence


May 14, 2006

hey guys. I go to a high school just outside of Toronto, Ontario. Anyways, this high school is just like any other one in the world. Theres the cool kids who sit at the cool kid table in the caf. They all go to parties, and they all have girlfriends. Im decent friends with three or four of them, but I they also sit at the back of the caf. I just don't have the confidence to walk up to them, say hi, and sit down. After reading your aricle, i realized that maybe this was because when i was in grades 3,4,5 and 6, I was bullied. But then i stood up for myself and it stopped. What can I do to go up to this table, sit down, and meet all the other guys that ive never talked to before in my life. I guess i'm just scared that there gonna tell a joke, make me look stupid, and then everyones gonna laugh at me. But then again, none of them would do that in reality. Im sure that you find this all very confusing, but try to help me out and give me an answer. Hopefully sooner then later.




You never want to go to a table and sit down uninvited. This is not only true for the cool kid table but also for any table where kids all know each other.

The way to do it is to ask permission first. If you see a friend or someone you know at a cool kid table, you can go over and say "Hi" to him. Say a few words and then ask, "Is it OK if I join you?" The worst thing they can do is to make some excuse not to have you at the table. If that's the case, you can just say, "OK, that's cool," and then leave. If they say it is OK for you to join them, you can introduce yourself to them.

Note that even if they let you sit with them, they may not include you in the conversation. Don't try to force it or to be the life of the party. You need to be accepted, and that often takes time. Later, if you see one of them in the hall, you can say, "Hi."

Sitting with them the second time may be more difficult. If they don't want you around, they may think you're a pest. Perhaps just walk by the table and say, "Hi" and move on. It would be nice if they asked you to join them.

Note that this technique can often be used to join a table of girls. If you can do that, the cool guys would want to know you.

Also note, that the cool guys that have all the parties and such usually have money. Often their grades aren't good and they aren't all that nice, because they know they are so cool. It is something to think about when trying to get into their crowd. Usually, being your own person is better than depending on a group to make you popular.

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Woman performs firewalks

Topic: Firewalk


May 4, 2006

In your questions, you indicatd you had no info on people who do firewalks, at least in the Toronto area. Natasha Secord, trained by the same people who trained Tony Robbins, does firewalks in this area. She resides in the Niagara Region and holds them across Canada. She can reached at I will let her provide her phone number if you wish to have it.

Julia - Canada



Thanks for the feedback. I will post your information. Interested people can contact Natasha.

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Worried about going to college

Topic: Confidence


May 2, 2006

how can i gain my confidence back when i got nervous and scare in college and happpen to make me mentally ill how can i believe in myself to do college.




Are you afraid of dealing with people in college or have you lost your confidence in doing the difficult work required?

Don't try to impress people and you will be able to relax.

Try to manage your time, so you are able to finish all your school work. Get to know other people. You will find that others are worried about college too. After a while, you will get used to the routine and your confidence will start coming back. Above all, give yourself encouragement that you will do well.

Best wishes on have plenty of confidence in college.

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