Why more time spent doing nothing will make you more productive

Have you ever had the experience that your greatest ideas come to you when you’re not focused on them?

Like you’re standing in the shower thinking about a work challenge and suddenly you come up with a solution. Or, you’re on vacation, laying by a pool, sipping a cocktail and suddenly you know what direction to take your business in. Or, you go to bed in a tiff with your partner not knowing what to do and wake up with clarity and the actions to take to settle the dispute are obvious?

It’s because you do. Your brain is making critical connections when you’re not focusing your attention on a task, when you’re letting your mind wander.

Why more time spent doing nothing will make you more productive

When you are doing nothing your brain goes into a mode of thinking called your Default Mode Network (DMN). This is opposed to the mode it’s in when you’re focused on a task, which is your Task Mode Network (TMN). Using both these modes of thinking is critical. But most of the time we are using too much of our TMN and not enough of our DMN. When you’re in your DMN, that’s when creativity, rejuvenation and magic happens.

So if you get anything out of reading this post, get this: Relax more, work a bit less and you’ll be more productive, efficient and effective in everything you do.

You own your dreams and what you choose to do with them.

Relaxing more = increased productivity

Massively successful people like Thomas Edison, Leonardo Da Vinci, Einstein and artist Salvador Dali were smart enough to notice this about themselves. They learned that their creative brain was most subtle at certain times. They didn’t necessarily know why — as neuroscientists are beginning to understand today — but, it is said that both Edison and Dali used to fall asleep with large objects in their hand so that the moment they were in deep sleep they would drop the object, wake up and would have a solution or a stroke of creative inspiration.

Einstein went as far as to say that: “imagination is more important than knowledge”. Stimulating useful creativity really involves being able to embrace and use a childlike inclination for play as an adult.

I want you to understand how useful your daydreams are. They are not just useless fantasies. They contain valuable information about what you authentically want and the actions you should be taking to move you in the direction of a future that inspires you.

Eric Klinger is a professor of psychology at the University of Minnesota who devoted his career to understanding daydreams and in his book, Daydreaming, he writes:

“We think of daydreams as scatterbrained and unfocused, but one of the functions of daydreaming is to keep your life’s agenda in front of you; it reminds you of what’s coming up, it rehearses new situations, plans the future and scans past experiences so you can learn from them.”

If you’re willing to place value on your daydreams, to notice them, allow yourself to daydream you can extract valuable information from them about your authentic self and what you deeply desire.

Successful people are big daydreamers. And they use daydreaming very strategically whether they unconsciously see that they are doing this or not. They respect and use their daydream thinking and many learn at young age that when they key into the things they think about and use it in reality it benefits them.

This is especially tough for many of us to do today. We live in the era of information and our environment is constantly demanding our attention and taking up the time we spend daydreaming. Most people go to bed and wake up with their cell phones.

There’s a focus on being productive, being efficient. In fact, it’s how we are conditioned. We are conditioned to work and get things done and not to daydream.

So today, when you’re in the mode of go-go-go take a moment to reset. Even if it’s just for five to ten minutes. Sit down, get quiet. Think. Daydream. Imagine. See what comes up. See if this relaxation time amplifies your output and makes you feel more joyful and connected.

And start honoring your daydreams. Ask yourself:

What is this imagery telling me about what I want and need to do?

Then don’t push it aside. Use it. You are the only owner of your dreams. You’re the only one that has the power to grow an idea, a dream, that you have for yourself. On the flip side, you also are the only one that can stomp out your dream and stop it from becoming a reality.

So, today, take some time to chill. Relax a bit more this week and see how beneficial it is to your life and your goals.

secrets of successful entrepreneurs

Secrets of Successful Entrepreneurs

The Internet has made building and running a business far more accessible than it used to be. Anyone can cheaply and easily build a website, set up shop quickly in a global marketplace, and work from home in their pajamas. So here’s a selection of the secrets of successful entrepreneurs that I have learned over my 20s.

As an entrepreneur, I can tell you what a fulfilling career it is. I’m 29 today and I built my first business when I was 21. This is why, like many of my millennial pals, I can’t imagine working for someone else. Though I did initially. As many entrepreneurs do, I worked a 9 to 5 job (until I was 26) while building my own businesses on the side.

secrets of successful entrepreneurs

The view from my office.

So, I remember what it was like to… Have someone else rule my financial destiny. Wake up at 5am for a one-hour (sometimes two-hour) commute to the office. Request permission for time off. Ugh!

I also remember how creatively starved I felt. I had to defer to the higher-ups to make key decisions. They ultimately controlled the destiny of the business.

These are some of the reasons many people switch to entrepreneurship:

The lifestyle allows you to be fully self-expressed in your career. It provides you full ownership of your time and money. And, there is no roof on your income potential! All of these are priceless.

But, if you choose the entrepreneurial route, step into it with your eyes wide open. Its has its challenges.
For wannabe entrepreneurs, and those in the throes of building a business, there are pitfalls you’ll want to avoid. Follow the rules below to fast track to business ownership success:


Secrets of Successful Entrepreneurs

Build a war chest

Having little money to support yourself is a surefire way to get in action fast, but it’s extremely stressful. Financial stress is debilitating. It will impact your ability to make smart choices for your business. You may find yourself making decisions based on fast-money versus thinking about what the business needs. Too many people quit their jobs before their business is stable.
That being said, it can be tough and exhausting to work in a high-pressure role for another company while building a business.

Before you jump into entrepreneurship, ensure you have an ample war chest, or build it around a full-time job. Make sure you have an income or structure that supports basic survival needs. At a minimum, you need to have enough money to cover housing, an Internet connection (of course), a mobile phone, groceries, and transportation expenses like a car, subway, bike or bus, etc. The private jet comes later!

Don’t expect overnight success

Successful entrepreneurs can make running a business look glamorous and easy. Ever watch an ad for a webinar about becoming an entrepreneur? They show scenarios like this: A millennial entrepreneur stands in front of a giant mansion with a pool, his laptop at his side. He shares a story about how he has automated his business. He makes millions and spends his time traveling the world.

While this life is possible for entrepreneurs, what’s left out of this story is the time it takes to build a successful business, and the struggles most entrepreneurs go through.

Similar to many of my entrepreneur friends, when I built my first business I had a bit of a “build it and they will come” mentality. I created a beautiful website, got some fancy business cards and started hitting networking events.

But I soon found that clients weren’t flocking to me as I had envisioned. It was my first hard lesson in the importance of learning about my target market first and doing more work to build a killer brand that would attract the right people.

Rarely are new businesses overnight successes. It takes time and a great deal of determination. Many entrepreneurs fail because they aren’t patient. Entrepreneurship requires mental toughness, immovable resilience and a granite-chiselled conviction to succeed.

A great idea for a new company is easy to churn out. However, the real work is creating a business that serves an unmet market. You may discover you need to tweak your initial strategy, sometimes many times over before you hit growth and revenue that will support your dream life (or frankly that even pays the rent or mortgage).

A business can take years to build, even when you’re following the advice of experts and doing all the right things. Be patient, determined and believe in yourself.

Be flexible and adapt your plan

Businesses sometimes fail because the person running the company is an artist or creator and not a true entrepreneur. To succeed you need to be both business-minded and creative. You need to be willing to do the books, create the products, build a team and hire people, open the mail and be social media savvy all at once!

Like most entrepreneurs, you may find that some of these jobs are not your strengths. And worse, you’ll hate doing a few of them. For instance, I handle the books for the digital marketing agency my husband and I own, and I don’t particularly enjoy it. But it’s a requirement for the business, and I like saving the money and being involved knowing what’s going on in the company finances.

You also need to be a strategist. That means deciding and choosing what the business needs by listening to what your customers need, not what you want to create. These are two very different approaches.

For example, let’s say you want to run a successful clothing boutique. You create a target market, then purchase an initial inventory of clothing that you love and think will be great. Now, you can be an artist and continue to buy items you like, or you could pay attention to what the hot items are selling, and buy more of those. Too bad if you don’t like the in colors or fashion trends. That doesn’t mean you can’t bring your own flare to the inventory you buy, just make sure it also moves off the shelves and keeps you in business.

Entrepreneurs are willing to crush all their notions and ideas about how their business should work. They let the business lead. They take themselves out of the equation.

Be 100% responsible

Young entrepreneurs often look at business as an easy way to make money in their sleep while they spend their time having fun. And yes, this is part of the beauty of living the entrepreneurial lifestyle.
However, it’s important to remember that even if you automate your business and free up your time, you’re the one in charge.

You always need to be the visionary behind business and, to think ahead. This is true even if you done a great job setting the business up so it runs without you. When your business is doing well, you must consider what it needs to stay doing well, or how it could do better. When it is struggling, you need to double your resolve and get through the hard times.

As an entrepreneur, you pay you. This is both exciting, as you have ultimate control over your financial destiny, and scary. It’s on you, and only you, that ensures the success of the business.

Find a mentor

If you want to build a successful business and you’ve never done it before, seek out a mentor. Look for someone who has a proven track record for success, and choose someone you trust.

I can guarantee that wouldn’t be in business today if it wasn’t for the mentors and life coaches I’ve had along the way. Think of it this way: An Olympic-level athlete would never train for a competition without a coach. It’s the same thing in business.

Your mentor may be someone you hire and get coached by. Or it could be a collection of online experts you follow and learn from. A mentor is paramount for your success as an entrepreneur. Building a business can be a lonely, frightening and confusing process. A mentor will teach and guide you. Use them to answer questions and bounce ideas off.

Find a incredible business person who is willing to be your mentor and suck all the business marrow out of them. For many successful business owners getting to coach a newbie entrepreneur is a joy. They’ll be as grateful to you as you are to them.

Mastermind your way to success

Surround yourself with a group of entrepreneurs by joining or creating a mastermind group. It might be a group made up of local entrepreneurs that meets weekly in your community. Or it could be an online group that meets in forum or on a weekly Skype call.

When I recently found myself stuck in my business I remembered what I learned from a mentor: “go to your community”. I realized that in the new area I’ve recently moved to, I didn’t have a group of entrepreneurial friends. So I quickly made some requests and connect through social media. It doesn’t have to be complicated to get a few like-minded people together.

A mastermind group can provide a weekly accountability structure; a way to make sure you meet the targets you set for yourself. It also gives you a platform to ask questions, share ideas and resources, and learn from other entrepreneurs.

Learn digital marketing basics

Entrepreneurial success requires basic literacy in digital know-how. This is true, even if you hire an agency to build your website, run your email campaigns, or drive traffic to your website. Third parties care less about your business than you do, so understanding the mechanics of digital marketing and hiring experts to execute the strategy is key to your success.

You will save a great deal of money if you learn how to do the simple things like:

● Build a WordPress site from a template.
● Record a video on your mobile phone and edit it.
● Set up an email sales funnel and landing pages.
● Write enticing sales copy.


At minimum, you’ll need to learn how to write great blog content, and use social media platforms to promote your business.

Find a digital marketing savvy friend to school you. Or seek out online experts or groups. Take an online course. Watch tutorials on Youtube. Learn digital marketing so your business stands a chance of being seen.

Use failure to succeed

Building a business is a process. You won’t do everything perfectly. Be okay with mistakes and failure, and understand that failure is a gateway to success. The more you fail, the more you can tweak your strategy, and the closer you get to learning what works.

When you accept failure as part of the process, and not something that can stop you, you’ll be on your way to great success.

Yes, there are times when running your own business will be confusing, challenging and frustrating. Find comfort in knowing that these tiny hurdles along the way are part of the process. Believe in yourself and keep going.

Being an entrepreneur with all its challenges is an incredible livelihood. It allows you to be self-expressed in your career. You get to be in complete control of your financial destiny. And, you get to live the life of your dreams.

Listen to the audio version of this post with additional insights. Download the mp3 here. 

Repair Melania Sized Mistake

How to repair a Melania Trump sized mistake in four simple steps

Melania Trump sized mistake

Did you make a Melania Trump sized mistake?

Melania Trump. Oh boy.

If you are like me, you may have gasped in disbelief after it was revealed that Melania Trump plagiarized Michelle Obama in her speech, when she introduced her husband Donald Trump at the Republican National Convention.

If you’re not aware of what happened, to catch you up, Melania repurposed word-for-word phrases from Michelle Obama’s speech from the Democratic convention eight years earlier. Oops! Guess she thought no one would remember?

(Later a Trump staffer, who penned the speech for Melania, admitted to using Mrs. Obama’s phrasing inadvertently.)

Can we even call it a “faux pas”?  It was more of a dino sized “doo-doo”.  A massive and embarrassing mistake.

While most of us will never make a mistake of this magnitude — one that’s performed in front of the world — we all have made mistakes that have resulted in big mess ups. If you have a pulse and an opposable thumb (aka you’re human) then at sometime in your life this will happen.

You may even be in a bind right now over a mistake you have made recently.Not to worry. If you read the steps below, it’ll get you out of hot water, I promise.

I am going to use Melania’s big mess up as an example of how she – or at least the Trump camp – could use the four no BS mess fixers to fix a mistake and make it right so it gets resolve and forgotten quickly.

If you stick to the four step process below, you will always come out unscathed, victorious with your integrity intact. And you’ll be able to easily repair any relationships you’ve imHow to Repair a Melania Sized Mistake - DOWNLOAD CHEATSHEETimpacted. Life will quickly resume life as usual or will be better than it was before.

How to redeem yourself when you mess up big time like Melania Trump did 

I’ll be using Melania’s mess up as an example to walk through the thinking process you can go through to fix any mistake.

Step 1: Turn a Melania Trump sized mistake into an opportunity by looking for “what’s missing”

Know this: A mistake is an opportunity to learn something about yourself and to fix something that isn’t working.

Remembering this when you make a big mistake will keep you from plunging into a total mental breakdown. It’s a way to maintain your personal power.

So look for the opportunity. Consider what didn’t work – I call it the “what’s missing” factor – that led to you making the mistake.

In Melania’s case:  She needs to look at what led to her mistake and review how it happened. Look for the source of the errorDid she not have time to write a good speech so she borrowed from Michelle Obama? In that case her time management is the breakdown and she needs to implement a new structure to fix it. Or maybe it’s that she doesn’t know about plagiarism and other basic business processes? If it’s ignorance she should work on becoming more detail oriented or business savvy, especially since her husband is running for President of the United States.

Step 2: Identify ALL the impacts of the mistake

Ask yourself: What are the impacts of my actions?

In other words, what further breakdowns or upsets were caused by your actions.

And who was impacted.

This may include asking people involved what the impact is for them. Most of the time you get the impact on you and guess at what the impacts are for other people but it’s possible you’ll miss something. So ask the people involved how they feel. Find out what they now think of you.

You need to know what’s broken to fix it. Missing even just one impact can create lasting resentment.

In Melania’s case: Here are a few impacts that resulted from her actions. (You may see others).

  • The world sees her as a complete idiot – a personal impact.
  • Her husband looks like a complete idiot for letting her make this mistake.
  • Her husband is seen as incompetent potential president. 
  • Trump could lose supporters. 
  • Trump could lose the election.
  • The entire Trump family is embarrassed and it could potentially affect their credibility, careers or businesses.
  • Michelle Obama may feel ripped off.
  • The Republican Party may be embarrassed, especially those that have gone to bat for Trump.
  • She ruined a moment that could have raised the profile of the Trump camp and the Republican Party.

Step 3: Create a structure to repair the impacts of the mess up 

“I’m sorry” is never an effective way to repair broken trust with other people.

The only time “sorry” is effective is when you’ve done something small or insignificant.  “Oh, sorry I stepped on your toe” for example is an okay use of the phrase.

However, if you cheat on your partner, then saying “I’m sorry” will never work.

In Melania’s case: She needs to take action to repair what’s broken. She should:Publicly address the nation about the issue, take full responsibility, and explain how and why it happened. She needs to share the cause of the breakdown (identified in Step 1) and then share her structure so people can restore their trust in her, and her husband.

Whatever structure she implements needs to be designed to ensure this mess up doesn’t happen again.  It could be a structure of working with a new speech writer, of checking her own work. Maybe she could use plagiarism detection software to ensure nothing is ever reused without attribution in future speeches. She could even choose to never speak publicly ever again. 

Whatever structures she chooses to use, it needs to be a structure that satisfies all the parties involved and fills the holes left by all the impacts. In Melania’s case, she needs to repair the impact she’s left on her husband, her family, the Trump team, the Republican Party and even the nation.

Step 4: Follow through on your promises

If you’ve messed up and made up and shared a new structure with others involved then you need to: Do what you said you were going to do.

Consistent actions and time will repair what’s broken or make things better. Honor your word.

Anytime you go to say “I’m sorry” think of this structure and remember it. It’s the best way to restore other people’s trust in you. This will allow you to get ahead in life. You will be someone who is accountable. Someone who makes opportunities come out of bad situations. It’s what real leaders do.

What do you think of the formula?

Use the formula in your life today and let me know what you think. Post in the comments below this post or shout out to me on social media. I love hearing from you.


And if you haven’t already, join the coolest (free) club on the web that’s committed to you living the life of your dreams. Repairing your Melania Trump sized mistake is only the beginning of how we’ll help you make your life awesomer: Click here to JOIN NOW.

Conquer your fear of public speaking in 4 easy steps

How to conquer a fear of public speaking

How to conquer a fear of public speaking -simply and easily

Public speaking terrifies most people, but it doesn’t have to. Study and implement the simple four-step process below and conquer fear of public speaking once and for all.

You will experience more freedom, fulfillment and self-expression than you ever have before.

But — a warning before you read on: Step 1 of the method below might scare you. Keep reading. Step 2, 3 and 4 make Step 1 easy.

And keep this in mind: Public speaking is the No.1 fear in the world. So to master it, will give you an edge over most people in all social situations.

Now, the term “public speaking” is open to interpretation, so let’s  first define it. Many people would say it’s the act of one person delivering a speech to a large group or audience.

However, any moment where you stand face-to-face in front of one or more people and you’re the only person talking is public speaking.

So talking to your neighbor Joe and his dog and son as you walk by him on the street also qualifies. Though that’s much less flashy. And it’s a smaller audience.

This means that most people will experience the fear of public speaking at least once in their life and likely many more than that. Experts say that to conquer fear of public speaking can seem to be one of the hardest things to do. The fear is also extremely common. What brings on the fear depends on the situation: Who you are speaking to and where you are speaking are the determining variables. This is why in certain situations the mere thought of communicating can paralyze you.

Conquer fear of public speaking: It’s actually not that hard

Why do we get so scared about talking to other people? Underneath this fear is a universal desire all humans possess: To be accepted. We all like to be liked. To fit in. (This is true even for people who pretend they don’t care what people think. These people have an even deeper fear so they protect themselves by pushing people away. But I digress.)

It’s an evolutionary process that’s hardwired into our species. Our ancestors survived because they learned to collaborate. The reverse, – being ostracized – was a death sentence.

Of course, it’s not like that today. If your communication offends people (usually) you’ll survive, but your biology still maintains its old reflexes. Your body has a built in trigger that alerts you to threats in your environment. Sometimes you’re aware of this behavior sometimes you’re not.

If you manage to speak while still deathly afraid, you will likely experience a mix of physical symptoms such as: sweating profusely; a rapid beating heart; stuttering. Which, doesn’t make for an engaging presentation for others.

Aside from these major annoyances, the affects on your life can be much worse, including:

  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Resentment
  • Frustration

…and a rather sad existence.

Now imagine if you were in complete control when you spoke? What would that be like? Imagine if you were a super confident casanova-style smooth talking speaker that charmed and engaged and inspired anyone you spoke to?

Now, here’s the critical tip about fear: It’s worth it to train yourself to master the fear long before you’re confronting it, or in full flop sweat crisis.

It may surprise you how easy a feat so daunting as learning how to control the world’s No.1 fear. Read the four step process. Take it on, and rock your life.

Steps to conquer fear of public speaking

Step 1: Book yourself a speaking gig

I warned you this first step would take a bit of courage, but stay with me on this. The steps to follow will make Step 1 a breeze.

Everyone’s an expert on some topic. If you don’t think you are ask someone who knows you really well.

Find a group you can speak to and book yourself a slot. This is a “throw your hat over the fence” approach, that will have you walk right into your fear and deal with it.

Sounds scary but it’s not if you follow steps 2, 3, and 4…

Step 2: Use this easy formula to plan an engaging talk

We’ve all experienced feeling trapped in a moment of time having to listen to a not-so engaging speaker. You know those instances when you feel rude to leave so you stay and put up with having to listen to someone? That’s what I’m talking about. It sucks listening to someone speak who doesn’t do it eloquently or at least make it interesting.

Don’t be that person.

Here’s how to prepare a presentation that doesn’t suck. When you practice this method you can use it in all your spoken communication – business meetings, telling stories at parties, at PTA meetings, etc.

Here’s what you need to do:

Before you present consider the quality of the message you’d like to convey. Ask yourself:

1. What outcome do I want to achieve by delivering this speech?
2. What key message would I like to convey?

Now, here’s how to go about writing your speech:

Use the formula expert copywriters use to write words that sell. The acronym is: AIDA. (I learned this from John Carlton, if you want to be an expert in words that sell read something by him or take one of his courses. What he teaches will blow your mind).

AttentionInitiate immediate engagement with your audience by speaking about a pain point they have.

InterestTell a story, share a nugget of information most people wouldn’t know. This develops intrigue.

DesireSpeak to what they are not doing about the pain point so to arouse their deep human urges to do something about it.

ActionDon’t leave people hanging. You’ve inspired them and they are excited, tell them do something.


Step 3: Practice delivering your talk over and over…and over

Read your talk aloud to yourself.

Read your talk to yourself in front of a mirror.

Read your talk in front of someone you are comfortable with (a spouse or good friend).

Conquer fear of public speaking by practicing in front of encouraging friends

Conquer fear of public speaking by practicing in front of encouraging friends

conquer fear of public speaking

Read  your talk for two or more people. Ask them for feedback. Tweak your talk if you need to.

(Here’s a bonus secret tip. Instruct them to be really interested in your speech and to cheer you on. Even though this may not be authentic. Do it as an exercise. You will be amazed at how easy it is to talk to a group that loves what you have to say and forgives any stumble.)

Practice your until you can do it without your script. When you know it that well you can into the realm of performance.

Then finally, perform it. Have fun with it. Be funny with it.

Deliver it from memory again and again and again.

Put on the clothes you would wear and deliver it again.

If you can practice in the location where you’ll be delivering what you need to say, do that.

Step 4: Turn on your confidence switch before you’re in performance

On the day of the speech, you don’t need to do any rehearsal work. At this point you should know it well. Most of the hard work to conquer fear of public speaking is done!

Instead, focus on what you need to do to mentally and physically feel good. Go for a walk or a run or get some exercise. Eat a healthy breakfast. Iron your shirt and shine your shoes. Get yourself into a state of feeling good.

As your performance nears you’ll likely start to feel some agitation, some anxiety, some nerves. Good! This helps you be in an state of alertness. If you find yourself succumbing to the negative physical cue that comes with pre-performance. Use one of these four methods:

  1. Visualize the outcome you desire. Close your eyes. Visualize yourself feeling confident, walking out on stage and being awesome.
  2. Use character modeling. Character modeling is a tool I teach that allows you to step out of yourself and into the shoes of someone you consider to be an expert. You can put on their characteristics like putting on a suit.
  3. Breathe. If you’re having trouble managing physical symptoms close your eyes and separate yourself from your physical surroundings then breath. If you can do this for a few moments you’ll calm your natural biological tendencies that happen when you’re in a fear state.
  4. Ground yourself in your burning desires, your commitments. Simply thinking about what you are committed to can have you shift your focus from the present moment to the outcome you are looking to achieve.

After your talk the only thing to do is evaluate your performance. Look for ways you can improve. What’s most important is that you then book yourself another speaking engagement. Each time you speak in front of a group you will reduce your fear. Keep practicing. The added bonus: As you share your words you’ll inspire people to do the same and to take action from whatever it is you talk about. That’s the beauty of communication and expressing yourself.

If you want more extensive tips on conquering fear – including your desire to conquer fear of public speaking – or to manage different types of fear you may face, you’ll want to grab this quick free fear-stomping guide: 12 Ways to Be Confident On-Demand



How to read body langauge

How to decode body language and read unspoken communication

How to read body langauge

How to decode body language:  Free cheatsheet available in this post

Free body language cheatsheet – DOWNLOAD at the bottom of this post

Want to activate a SUPER POWER you already possess?

It’s the ability to read body language. In this post I am going to teach you how to decode body language and use it to your advantage.
There is also a free body language cheatsheet you can download at the bottom.

Millions of years ago, before humans developed an ability to speak, the main mode of communicating with the tribe was through throat grunts (how unsophisticated!) and by reading the body language cues of others.

The skill of reading body language is innate to all humans. But, as we’ve evolved, we now express ourselves with spoken language, most people have lost or dampened this natural ability.

Although most people are not particularly adept at read body language, we all use. Gestures are fired on autopilot. Most of the time you’re unaware of what you’re saying with your body. These knee-jerk reactions are controlled by your brain as you react to stimulus in your environment.

Just as others send signals to us, we send signals to them. And some people are better than others at decoding gestures.

Ask yourself: How aware are you of the signals you’re sending?  How aware are you of the signals people are sending to you?

It may surprise you to know that: 55 percent of communication is expressed using body language. (7% is through spoken word, and 38% through voice tone)

So, it’s worth learning to interpret the silent language of everyday gestures, and se it to your advantage.

And remember: People may lie with their words, but they never lie with their bodies.

When you activate this super power you’ll become an expert people reader. And, when you understand what others really think (behind what they say) you increase your chances of achieving outcomes you desire.

Below, are the top ten body language cues you should know. If you’d like a free body language cheatsheet you can download and print with the 10 cues and images CLICK HERE or download at the bottom of this post.

How to decode body language and read unspoken communication

Here is a summary of the 10 body language cues. These are illustrated in my free body langauge cheatsheet.

1.The pursed and stretched lip smile

When a person smiles without showing their teeth and by stretching their mouth as far as it will go from side to side they are hiding something from you. They either don’t like you, are withholding a negative opinion about you or what you are saying, or they know something you don’t and are not going to share.

2.The covered lip lie

If you are watching a person speak and they cover their mouth it’s a direct clue that they are lying. Ever heard the term “speak no evil”? It will help you remember this body language cue. Your brain unconsciously directs the hand to cover the mouth in an attempt to try to block out words of deceit.

3.The torso hug

Crossed arms is a closed off position. It signals that a person is not comfortable with you or doesn’t like what you’re saying. It doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t like you. Some people have a tough time letting people get close to them because they’ve had a bad past experience by being hurt by a person or group of people. From this perspective, the arms crossed presents as a barrier of protection.

4.The one-handed head support

If a person supports their head with one hand and places an index finger pointing up along the side of the face, they are not interested or being critical about what you’re saying. Often they have an opposing opinion.

5. Increased blinking

This can be more difficult to notice, but when a person increase their blinking or leaves their eyes closed a bit longer than seems natural, they are bored by what you’re saying.

6. The pointed-foot stance

How legs are positioned send unconscious cues. In group settings if you see a person standing with a pointed foot they’ll be directing it to the person they think is most interesting or attractive. Conversely, if you’re talking to someone that wants to leave you’ll see their foot pointed towards the door.

7. Arms crossed, legs crossed.

If a person crosses their arms and legs, they are not interested in communicating. If you notice this while speaking in front of a group, your audience is not engaged.

8. Handshake equality

Dominance is often expressed using a handshake. If you meet someone and they shake your hand with their hand slightly above yours, they want to dominate you. A completely equal shake where both hands meet and remain parallel to one another (no hand is above the other) shows respect and even power.

9. Pupil dilation

This one is tough to identify but highly valuable. If a person is in a positive mood, becomes excited or is attracted to something they see, their pupils will dilate. If you’re good a detecting dilated pupils it can help in sales positions or if you’re single and want to know if your date is interested in you.

10. The upper hand triangle

If you’re in a negotiation, playing a game or having a friendly debate, and you see a person bring their hands together and place them into a peak position (they make a mountain with their hands) this means they believe they are confident that they are winning the deal, game or debate.

Now you know how to decode body language, use the ten gesture cues to understand what the people you interact with are not saying and are silently communicating. If you see a negative cue, you’ll be able to address it. A positive cue will let you know that you are on track and should continue the conversation.

And, keep in mind that context (ie. the environment and specifics of a situation) matters. This should also be considered when assessing body language cues. For a detailed guide on how to be a superior body language decoder grab this cheatsheet you can print and refer to.

-or learn mastery – buy my definitive ebook…