Welcome to the Motivational Mirror!

Sunday, July 23, 2000

Written and Published by McFadden Seminars

Edited by Kristina Bielskus

Issue 1







Welcome to the first edition of The Motivational Mirror. I designed this newsletter for you, to use as another guide on your self-empowerment journey. I have spent over 15 years as a psychotherapist, university instructor, author and lecturer gathering information and developing techniques used to raise your self-esteem and dramatically increase your success. I am sharing this thought-filled and action provoking information with you so that you can begin to make immediate changes in the way you see yourself and live your life.

I have worked with hundreds of people wanting to turn their lives around. Over the years, I realized that most people have the same concerns:

These universal concerns led me to develop five skills every single person needs to master in order to transform their lives. They include building self-esteem, disagreeing effectively, assertiveness, achieving goals and developing strategies for success. I have focused all of my efforts into developing tools to teach you these absolutely vital skills. My web site, book, audio tapes, and newsletter are packed with lessons, pointers and practical advice centered around these important life skills.

Enjoy the newsletter! Each issue is full of valuable "how-to" tips and real life examples of ways to improve your life and work towards success every singe day. Save each issue. Print them out for future reference. Keep coming back for inspiration and positive support.

Wishing you great success on your empowerment journey,


P.S. Bookmark The Motivational Minute http://www.mcfaddenseminars.com/themin2.htm and view our free video seminar filled with great information, hosted daily by me.



Develop a gratitude journal. Many of us do not treat ourselves very well. We tend to focus on what we have done wrong, the mistakes we have made and all of the things that are lacking in our lives. We spend more time beating ourselves up instead of praising what is spectacular. Thinking positively about yourself is the rule of thumb, but many of us have years of negative programming, and when life gets hectic and our plans fall apart, we often revert back to a less then kind viewpoint of ourselves.

Do yourself a favor and start a gratitude journal today. Get a spiral notebook, or any type of blank diary, and write in your journal every single evening before you go to bed. Reflect back on your day and document all of the wonderful things you accomplished. Include progress you made toward your goals, random acts of kindness, positive reactions, and new behaviors. Include anything and everything that is positive (donít bother yourself with negative thoughts) about yourself and what you have done. Most importantly, praise yourself. You cannot praise yourself enough in your gratitude journal!

You may only be able to think of a few items to include in your journal when you first start. Do not worry how much you write only that your entries are positive and that you make an effort to add to your journal every single night. After a while self-praise will be instinctual and you will find yourself with a more positive viewpoint even when things do go wrong. On those bad days, use your past journal entries to lift your spirits and remind yourself how awesome you are.

The overall point is that your daily inventory of positive behaviors will train you to focus on your thoughts and actions, which will encourage change and develop persistence.




Building your self-esteem is the most important project of your life. Every part of your life revolves around how you view yourself.

If your self-esteem is high, you will live a life filled with success and joy. If your self-esteem is low, chances are your life will be plagued with unsatisfying relationships, self-abuse and missed opportunities. If you suffer from low self-esteem, instead of beating yourself up about it, make the commitment to learn the skills that will help you love yourself. If you think your self-esteem is already high, try any of these new techniques to increase the success you are already experiencing.

Three behaviors guaranteed to increase your self-esteem. (They should be practiced daily to increase effectiveness.)

  1. Use positive self-talk. Notice all of the wonderful things you do throughout the day and silently praise yourself. There is no room in your life for self-bashing. When you notice that you are thinking negatively, pause for a moment and turn those words around to focus on the positive. Give yourself encouragement when the going gets rough.
  2. Rewards. Reward yourself often, especially when you accomplish something challenging. Work well done deserves a treat. Your rewards do not have to be expensive, just meaningful to you. Make the reward special by creating a mini ceremony around the presentation. Rewarding yourself shows that you acknowledge your effort, and think you deserve special things in your life.
  3. Journal. It is very important to chart your progress daily. Journaling is an excellent way to document your success. Use the gratitude journal in the monthly tip as a starting point. Your journal is a great resource for days when you do not feel like participating in your self-growth or when you feel like fate has conspired against you. Once you become a habitual journal writer, expand your repertoire to include poems, short stories, song lyrics or any other creative musing. You can see the enormous changes in your life by reading early journals. It is important to remind ourselves what a great job we have done working toward success in our lives.


More self-esteem tips





The power to succeed in every area of your life resides in your ability to disagree effectively. When you disagree with someone you are not fighting with them, you are merely stating an opinion or desire that is different from theirs.

Disagreeing with someone is a positive interaction. You are telling them who you are and what you want. If someone does not agree with your point of view, itís okay. We are all entitled to our own opinions. People who disagree effectively never personalize.

In order to state your opinion successfully, to disagree positively, you must follow these four steps.

  1. Know your goal. Be very clear about why you are in disagreement. If you are in the middle of a conversation, pause for a few moments to collect your thoughts. Clearly, state your opinion and the reason behind why you are disagreeing. Give this some thought; donít fly off the handle. When you are aware of your goal throughout a disagreement, you are less apt to become emotionally drawn into a negative confrontation. Listen to make sure everyone understands your position.
  2. Stay on topic. If the conversation gets off track from the goal of your disagreement, get back on topic by repeating your position. Most disputes get lost immediately when someone responds to your initial statement by changing the subject. Be sure that you get a direct response to your goal. Any other comment is off topic. Refuse to be seduced into discussing or including other issues (one thing at a time please!).
  3. Agree to disagree. A disagreement revolves around people stating their own personal viewpoints. There is absolutely no reason for one to agree with what the other is saying. You do not need to convince someone of your viewpoint. Your disagreement will lose its effectiveness if you approach it with the mindset of getting others to cooperate with you. If you want someone to respect your opinion, you must extend them the same courtesy. If someone is trying to draw you into cooperation or a unanimous agreement, and you don not believe that you should do so, repeat steps 1 &2.
  4. Repeat. Stay committed to yourself and your message. Keep repeating steps 1, 2 &3 over and over throughout the entire disagreement. Know your goal. Stay on topic. Agree to disagree.

Mastering these steps for effective disagreement will increase your personal power. You will feel confident in stating your opinion/desire regardless of what others think or the pressures they put on you to change your mind. This skill automatically leads to increased self-esteem!

More tips on how to disagree effectively




Assertiveness is another very important communication skill that increases your personal effectiveness every time you practice it. What is assertiveness? Assertiveness is asking for what you want, standing up for yourself, telling others how you feel in a positive way without trying to manipulate or coerce them into agreement. Assertiveness is necessary in communicating who you are and what you stand for.

Those who are not familiar with assertiveness often confuse it with aggressiveness. It is very important to realize that when someone is assertive they are not trying to manipulate you. They are just telling you how they feel. If you disagree, that is okay with them. When someone is aggressive, they are trying to get you to agree with their position and will not stop attacking until they get their way. They are often hostile and the situation feels threatening.

Below are some characteristics of aggressive behavior. If you notice aggressive behavior in anyone you are having a conversation with, stop communicating immediately. They are trying to intimidate and coerce you into accepting their ideas and are not acting in a positive manner. As long as this behavior is evident, you will not be able to have a meaningful conversation.

When a person is aggressive, they are out of control. There is no need for you to participate in aggressive situations. End the conversation and walk away. If you give up your position or participate when someone becomes aggressive, it is an indicator to them that they can manipulate you. Refuse to cooperate with this bullying type of behavior. If you do end the conversation, it is your responsibility to resume it at another time.

More tips on assertiveness




We all have desires for specific things in our life. These dreams translate into goals. In order to turn our goals into reality a clear-cut plan is necessary. Our goals need to be in front of us at all times to keep us focused, motivated and on the lookout for opportunities. One fun way of keeping our goals fresh in our minds is to create a goal board.

  1. Develop a map of how you would like your life to turn out. Take some time to think about what you want out of life, what your deepest desires are. Take several days to really get clear about those things you want (you might want to do this alone so you are not under pressure from anyone else). Be outrageous in your thinking. Do not alter your goals just because they seem impossible.
  2. Cut out pictures from magazines that reflect your goals. Paste these pictures on a piece of poster board. Be as specific to your goal as possible. Use words if the picture cannot describe your goal down to the last detail. Use photographs of yourself to personalize the goals. Paste your face onto the body you have always imagined, in the window of your dream home, etc. Use this technique for all your goals. By using your picture, you are able to visualize yourself clearly in each scenario.
  3. Put your goal board in a prominent place where you will see it every day. Great places are your bedroom, bathroom or refrigerator. Be careful who you share your goals with (this may effect where you keep your goal board), some people may not understand what you dreams are or try to convince you to be less outrageous. If this happens use your journal, rewards and self-talk to get back on track.
  4. Go for it!

More tips on achieving goals





One important strategy for success is finding role models with traits you admire. One of the easiest ways to achieve success is to find people who are living successful lives and imitate their positive behaviors. We do not need to reinvent the wheel in order to be successful.

Choose ten people you admire. You can use friends and family or figures from history, literature or pop culture. Your list may be more interesting if you include several people whom you do not know personally. Make sure you choose these individuals for the positive qualities you admire in them. Some examples may be your father, best friend, co-worker, boss, Mother Theresa, Elton John, Sammy Sosa, etc.

On a sheet of paper, create a column with the ten names. Next to each personís name, write the qualities you admire in them. There may be one quality that gets your attention, or several. Include them all. Examples of positive traits include courage, kindness, humor, stamina, athletic ability, perseverance under extreme circumstances, etc.

Recognize that you possess every single quality that you wrote down! If you did not already have these qualities, you would not be able to see them in others. You have what it takes to be successful. Learn to brush away the self-doubt and identify how you use these qualities in your daily life. Start noticing these awesome traits in yourself.

Use this list to recognize that there are people in your life who are already teaching you strategies for success and improving your self-esteem, and you are one of them. It may be hard to accept this concept at first, but do not give up on understanding and believing you have what it takes to realize your dreams. Carry your list around with you to remind yourself of the terrific qualities you possess. Tape the list to your bathroom mirror where you see it several times a day. Tape it to your desk at work for inspiration.

More strategies for success


***New feature coming soon!***


This portion of the newsletter will feature actual questions from our readers answered by

Nancy McFadden, M.A. In each issue Nancy will provide in-depth answers and suggestions to the questions or concerns provided by you, our readers.

This is your chance to get that nagging question answered. This is your chance to empower yourself with information tailored exactly to you. Our experiences tend to be universal. We all have the same concerns. We share similar problems. Finally, there is no need to look any further to find the solutions and answers we are all looking for.

We welcome your questions!

We would appreciate it if you focused your questions around the following subjects: self-esteem, motivation, achieving goals, achieving success, communication, relationships, building wealth, assertiveness.

In the subject box of the email please write: Q & A.

Send your questions to newsletter@mcfaddenseminars.com, or visit our web site



By Eric McFadden


When I first started this business, it was to help my mother achieve her goal of being a professional public speaker. She was already an instructor at a university, had an average class of about 200 students, and was a guest speaker for several associations and businesses. She wanted more and together our goal was to bring inspiration and hope for those who really needed it.

From the very start, I have always imagined that somewhere in the world there was someone looking to change their life. Someone who just went through a divorce or just lost a job, lacked one, or was not happy with the way their life was turning out.

I thought that if someone was looking for direction and could not find what they needed to improve their life that they would be lost and may never find the right path to make all their dreams come true.

I knew that my mother had the information these people needed. After all her thesis for her masters degree was on empowerment.

So, my mission was to get this information to the people who needed it.

I wanted people to know that help was available and their dreams could become a reality no matter where they came from or where they were at the present moment.

After publishing the "Lifeskills Series "audio tape seminars and book, "Step Aside Gentlemen Weíre Coming Aboard," I have made my mission a reality.

Even though the book is written for women I believe many of the principles apply to men as well as women. I have learned so much from the book and seminars that I want to give a manís perspective to the information contained in both.

I will be using my column in this newsletter to let everyone know that men and women may be from different planets but we all live on earth. And, as human beings looking to fulfill our dreams. Maybe I can share my thoughts with others and open the doors for everyone to find true happiness in all of their endeavors.



By Kristina Bielskus


I have been staring at my computer screen for nearly an hour trying to decide how to start my first column. I keep typing, deleting, typing, deletingÖ Iím half-crazed with the idea of writing the perfect feature. So, here I sit, nearly paralyzed by my perfectionism. I have to work very hard not to fall into "the trap". The trap of refusing to start something because I cannot predict the outcome. The trap of not trusting myself to produce quality material. The trap of wanting others to validate my talent, instead of doing it myself.

I am a perfectionist. Sometimes that works to my advantage, but mostly it keeps me from achieving my goals. Often it is a heavy burden, always having to be perfect, to be right.

I assume there are thousands of people who feel the same way as I do. Iím not sure though, no one has ever really mentioned it. This is no surprise. In our "perfect" world, by telling others such information, we single ourselves out. If we reveal a side of our character that others perceive as a flaw, we put ourselves in danger of being different. We do not want others to think less of us or scorn us, so we never say a word. Even something as seemingly innocent as perfectionism is taboo. If I view my perfectionism as a fault, then this type of behavior is bad. In turn, if I participate in that behavior then I am bad. Recognizing a fault in myself that I believe undermines my character causes me a great deal of pain.

Nearly everyone walks around with some sort of pain in their heart. For many this pain grows and grows because they seldom bring it out into the open. If only we could communicate our pain and confusion instead of hiding behind a wall of silence.

This silence also holds true for positive communication. Not only do people have difficulty talking about their emotions they also have a hard time talking about feel-good stories, how they overcame their pain and negativity. Why do so many people walk around as if magically cured, instead of sharing their healing journey? Imagine how many individuals would be comforted to realize they were not the only ones experiencing a particular emotion or life struggle.

How sad that we deny ourselves solace by refusing to communicate. Well, frankly Iím tired of it! It is my intention in this feature to begin communicating with you. In turn, my wish is for you to begin communicating with others. The first step in healing is to realize that you are no different from the rest of the world. Emotions such are fear, hate, love are the same for all of us regardless of the experience. When we communicate this becomes apparent.

I want to create a bond with you through my experiences and emotions, using this column. Every month I intend to write about myself. In my story, you will probably hear many similarities with your own life. We all struggle to be good people, to achieve success on our terms, to embrace spirituality and develop meaningful relationships. I want us (including myself) to realize that we do not have to be afraid of communication. By letting go of this fear, I hope to make it obvious that we all come from a similar mold.

I want to set an example by tearing down my wall. I no longer want to be ashamed of my emotions. I want to share my healing journey. Let us all develop a connection with people in our lives, in our city, in our country in our world. Refuse to cooperate with a ban on communication. You no longer have to feel as if no one understands. I do.



Submitted by Mariette Jones

When I first met Nancy, I felt like a lost person. I was stuck with an unfulfilling life and a very sad past. Nancy talked about the importance of "committing to Self". (What was that?) I took her tapes home and played them often. I needed to change my mind about a few things. All my life I had put other people first, trying to please them, hoping they in turn would take care of me. It wasnít working. I started to see that it never would. I needed to think in a new way.

I listened to Nancyís first tape, "Building Self-Esteem," until it almost wore out! Continually, for about a week, I let it wash over me. Into my mind, she repeated a new way of thinking I needed to hear. At the end of the week, my mind was ready to try something new. I stepped away from being committed to pleasing others and stepped into committing to Mariette.

What was it that I needed to live a fulfilling life? What would bring me joy?

I knew I needed to boost my confidence level, so again, I listened to Nancyís tapes. I found the courage to join a Toastmasters Club in my hometown of Windsor, Ontario. This club is a public speaking group. I was serious about conquering fear, or at least walking through it. I wanted to be confident with myself in front of others. (I had always been painfully shy.)

Since then Iíve received my first paid public speaking engagement, been elected as President of our club (allowing me to stretch my leadership muscles) and made many new friends. Because I am paying attention to what I want and need, Iíve given myself permission to try new things. I now take risks I would never have dared to in the past.

Adventure is my middle name now. Because of my commitment to me, I am getting to know my true, innermost Self more and more each joyous day.

To submit a success story for the Winnerís Circle, mail to newsletter@mcfaddenseminars.com

Please include Winnerís Circle in the subject box.

McFadden Seminars reserves editorial discretion.


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