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Excellence Feedback

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 15 letters




Never knows what to say in a conversation Esteem Australia
I want to improve my English skills Confidence Pakistan
Wants to raise comfort level Comfort Zone Australia
Co-workers make me feel incompetent Confidence USA
Lack communication skill in college Confidence China
Thinking too much about fears ruins my sleep Fear India
Kahunas, NLP and firewalk Firewalk UK
Wants to get in with the cool kids Confidence USA
Woman performs firewalks Firewalk Canada
Worried about going to college Confidence USA
Lost confidence after moving to new area Confidence USA
Have an inferior complex and can't talk to people Confidence India
I've been sabotaging myself Confidence USA
Athletic excellence in a state of insurgency Win Athletics Uganda
Allesandra not originator of "The Platinum Rule" Alessandra Platinum Rule USA

Next 15 letters


First 15 letters


Never knows what to say in a conversation

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 (11595)


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

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 (11536)


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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Comfort Zone

Wants to raise comfort level

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 (11537)


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

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 (11459)


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

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 (11360)


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

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 (11362)


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

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 (11311)


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

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.

TJ - USA (11106)


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

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 (11018)


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

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Worried about going to college

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.

- USA (11008)


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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Lost confidence after moving to new area

April 9, 2006


My name is Chad Lucas im 22 and i live in Central Arizona and for the last three years ive developed an overwhelming lack of self confidence and will power. The simple task of just getting out of the house to get a job seems overwhelming, but the strange thing is that before i moved here i was the most confident person i could be "prabably too confident for my own good" and today its just the opposite. I've tryed so hard it seems to build a little will power but it seems that no matter what i plan to do one day i allways end up doing the opposite and i come home with less money than i had and feeling defeated inside. After a while it turned into a self inflicted case of extreme depression or a feeling worthlessnes. I feel I'm repeatedly beating myself up and I fear that if i dont figure things out real quik theres no telling where i be or what i'll do in the future. The best way to describe the way i feel is "I am my own worst enemy". Could you offer me any advice to help focus on what needs to be done for myself to feel human again because right now all i ever seem to feel is the sesation of curling up into a ball in the corner and letting the world fly past me without notice. get back to me if you can.

Chad - USA (10794)


Moving to a new area can be disruptive to your confidence, since you almost have to prove yourself all over again. If it is a smaller community, where everyone knows each other, it takes a long time to break in. Also, cultures are different. For example, I had a friend who moved from LA to the Midwest. He was a good looking guy, but he couldn't get a date for 2 years. Women thought he was too slick and didn't fit in.

Getting shot down and losing your confidence also can lead to a mild depression, where you lose energy and drive. It can be a vicious circle.

First of all, take a couple steps back and look at where you want to be going in your life. What type of job would you really love to get? Don't think in terms of money as much as what you would really love to be doing. If you do what you love, the money will come.

Make a list of the things you like to do and the things that you are skilled in. Also, make a list of your achievements. This is beyond what you would put on a resume. I am sure there are things you are proud of that aren't work-related. Looking at that list, you can see you have a lot more going for you than you give yourself credit for.

You are going to have to build up your confidence a little bit at a time. Be your own coach, and every time you do something or achieve something, give yourself some encouragement. Catch yourself, if you start criticizing yourself. Never, ever put yourself down again. Who needs a coach like that?

It isn't a bad idea to get involved in some local organizations. These are things where there isn't any pressure on you to perform. Volunteer activities are great to build up your own esteem while helping out others. Plus, you may meet people that can help in your career or in getting a job.

Just take some small steps in the right direction to get back to where you know you should be. A little at a time and soon you will be successful and confident again.

I hope these ideas help. But wishes in getting over the doldrums.

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Have an inferior complex and can't talk to people

April 8, 2006


I m lack of confience whatever game i play i do not play prperly everybody is fooling me so i m now not playing any games, i also do not have many friends, i also have inferior complex when i want to tlk with other people i feel shy & i try to ignore i think that they will think bad about me, i even cant talk to my father prpoierly please help me

rahul - India (10784)


Someone must have caused you to feel inferior. Perhaps it was too much criticism from teachers or your parents. But also, things you say to yourself can cause that problem.

You need to correct that situation and get to feel good about yourself. Forget what other people say or think. You need to realize the talents that you have.

Instead of thinking about all the times you have failed, make a list of all the achievements you have had. Consider even small successes you have had, especially that no one else knows about. When you look at that list, you can realize that you certainly are better than the average person. There are many who are not able to do the things you can do. Keep that list and add to it, when you recall your achievements.

Find out what you really enjoy and are good at. Concentrate on your strengths. If there are games where you are not good, avoid them. Look to games where you are good. And then get better to build up your confidence.

Smile and greet people, including your friends and your father. The person who greets first is the more powerful one in the interaction.

If you are shy about talking, observe and then ask questions about the interest of the other person. Let them do the talking. People like those who will listen more than those who talk too much.

Often it is difficult to talk with your father unless he respects you as an adult. Even then, it can be difficult. Instead, ask him about things he is interested in. Ask him about his childhood or something that will get him talking. You relationship will relax then.

These are all not easy things to do. Feeling shy and without confidence is difficult to overcome. Always give yourself positive feedback and encouragement. Never criticise yourself. Slowly you will build up your confidence and become a champion.

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I've been sabotaging myself

April 4, 2006


Hi Ron,

Just wanted to let you know how much value I got from your article and short-test on confidence. I'm 36 years old, and have been spiraling out of control, both professionally and financially, and I've been devoting a lot of time to the thing that got me there in the first place...confidence.

I attained a fair amount of success on Wall Street, but I never thought I deserved it, so I sabatoged myself, getting myself fired, and not being able to recreate any sort of success since (5 years later).

I've been trying to make something happen, but it's very difficult to reverse the pattern of self-deprecation when I am my own worst enemy. But the one thing I do have going for me is my desire (and will) for change.

If you have any advice, or can suggest somewhere I can turn for assistance, it would be much appreciated.

Thank you,

Eric Geier

Eric - USA (10745)


For some people, success comes too easy, such that they may feel they really didn't work hard enough or deserve it. If their self-image doesn't mesh with their status, they may actually do things that will lower their position. This is often seen in lottery winners. It sounds like you are in the same boat.

It isn't so much a case of lack of confidence--which is how sure you are that you can achieve something--as it is a lack of self-esteem or feeling of self-worth.

One thing to do is to take a few steps back and take stock in what you want to do in life. Making a lot of money on Wall St. is nice, but is that what you really want to have to define who you are? What are the things you really enjoy and are good at? If it is working with investments or whatever, recognize that is what you are good at and that is what you want to pursue.

If you are good at something and work hard at succeeding, you deserve the rewards. Accept your skills and never, ever criticise yourself. Also, if someone gives you praise, say "Thank you." The person who acts self-depreciating is thinking of himself and not thinking of the kind gesture made by the other person.

A big part of our philosophy is to give back and help others succeed. It is championing a worthy cause. Succeeding, winning, achieving a goal or making a lot of money is only the first part. You've got to seek to help others succeed. That will give you the greatest satisfaction.

In that case, you can't afford to sabotage yourself. Other people need you to succeed, so that you can help them.

I hope I didn't get too much on the soapbox here and that these ideas will help. Best wishes in getting back to where you should be.

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Win Athletics

Athletic excellence in a state of insurgency

March 23, 2006


What strategies can lead to Athletiics excellence in a state of Insurgency? (consider the Coach, athletes and sport officers)

I am a student of sport science,
Gulu University.

Balaam - Uganda (10572)


In a country where there are armed conflicts, athletic excellence can be challenging because of possible threats. But that does not mean that people cannot seek to improve themselves and do their best. Business goes on and so do sports.

Military personnel often train for physical fitness and also like to enter in athletic competition to use their skills as well as for enjoyment. the same it true for students and non-military people.

Also see our section on Winning Competitions at:

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Alessandra Platinum Rule

Allesandra not originator of "The Platinum Rule"

March 7, 2006


Just an FYI: The phrase and the definition of "The Platinum Rule" was in existence and in print years before Tony Allesandra decided to use it. It appears before l980 in the published materials of Tracom Corporation.

Tony not only lifted the phrase from them, but he lifted the entire system of social style with the four quadrants. It's the height of moxie (and more) for him to have trademarked the phrase.

Adam - USA (10369)


Thanks for the information. Unfortunately, in business the first person to trademark a phrase owns that phrase, even it he was not the originator. Basketball star Magic Johnson created the phrase "Three-peat" to indicate three straight championships, but then his coach Pat Riley trademarked the phrase and made money on using it afterwards.

Allesandra notified us that his expression was trademarked and required us to give him credit to have it posted on the web.

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