Pillar To Post Newsletter September 2011

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Many people are feeling overwhelmed by the need to achieve, the complexity of competition, and a fear of failure or rejection. As a result their self-confidence is like the mystical unicorn — elusive and seldom, if ever, seen. You will probably never catch a unicorn, but here are the five steps that will help you capture your self-confidence.

1. Focus on what’s right, not what’s wrong.
When people talk about work, school, life, and other people they are usually talking about what’s wrong or everything that could go wrong. That type of thinking can nullify your strengths and kill your self-confidence.

Unconsciously your mind negatively perceives disappointment as a threat. You automatically begin to focus on the perceived threat or what’s wrong or could go wrong. This is not an alligator, you can fight it.

Completing and constantly saying the following phrases to yourself will build confidence:

I have a good chance of succeeding because…
Everything will work out because…
I’m great for this position, listing, or opportunity because…
Today is going to be an extraordinary day because…
These declarations won’t magically make things perfect but they will help to bring back your self-confidence.
Once you begin to regularly use these and similar phrases you will create vivid images in your mind that will help you to…

2. Visualize Your Victory.
Your unconscious mind makes no distinction between imagination and reality. Think about that. If you imagine having confidence then you will actually experience being confident. Find a quiet place and for a few moments imagine what you will see, hear, feel, taste, and smell during your victory. Envision yourself successfully achieving your desired outcome.

3. Thoroughly prepare and be authentic.
You know if you’ve properly prepared for the task at hand. It’s difficult to be confident when you’re not prepared and pretending to be something that you’re not. Thoroughly prepare and keep it real. Be authentic. As you prepare, focus on what’s right, visualize your victory, and…

4. Avoid Disaster Dan and the Taverns of Turmoili.
Have you ever known or heard of someone that never has anything good to say? Do you know what you should tell people like that? Absolutely nothing. Don’t tell them about your dreams, aspirations, or goals. Don’t even tell them your name, email address, or where you live. And if they know where you live it’s time to move! These kinds of people dwell in Taverns of Turmoil — negative environments — which should be avoided at all costs. Instead use your time to….

5. Set bite-sized goals and celebrate success.
When a task, goal, or obstacle appears to be insurmountable your self-confidence can begin to wane. The good news, however, is that small, successful experiences can produce more confidence. As your confidence grows, celebrate by giving yourself a treat or doing something you enjoy. Then set another small goal and celebrate again. This technique is a tremendous confidence booster.

Self-confidence is a priceless asset that will frequently tip the odds in your favor. The five steps you just walked though will keep your self-confidence from being like the unicorn – elusive and seldom, if ever, seen.

Writer and coach,


Here are a few things that you can do inside your home to keep the water out of your home.

• Install backflow valves or plugs for drains, toilets and other sewer connections, the valve will automatically close if sewage backs up from the main sewer, preventing water from entering your homes.

• Inspect pipes and hot water tanks regularly for leaks – replace them at the first sign of rust or corrosion.

• Never leave taps running unattended – replace cracked or aging fixtures like sinks, tubs and toilets before they become a problem.

• Inspect hoses every 6 months and replace any with kinks (always leave 3 to 4 inches at the back of an appliance to prevent crimping). Replace plastic connection lines on appliances with steel braid hoses.

Be aware of signs that indicate your pipes or plumbing may be leaking – look for condensation around pipes, watch for stains on walls or ceilings, or a musty smell.

Arrange to have someone check your property daily if you are going to be away from home.

Here’s wishing you have a comfortable, safe and dry fall in your home.


Many people think of adding square footage to create more space. But here’s how to create the illusion of space without adding more square footage.

1. Think diagonal views. Stand in one corner and arrange a clear view to the other corner. Place floor tiles on the diagonal. It makes the space seem larger, pushing the walls out.

2. Lighting will open up space. To give your house an airy feel, use simple window dressings to bring in natural light and steal space from the outdoors.

3. Accessorize. The bigger a piece of artwork is, the bigger the feeling of space. A wall filled with many small pictures seems cluttered and space appears smaller.

4. Let there be height. Use at least one tall element in a room to draw the eye upward, towards the ceiling. Not only does this maximize the vertical space in the room, but it also draws the eye up to the less crowded ceiling space above.

5. Play with the furniture. Try to move furniture away from the walls if space allows. It will give a feeling of openness when a sofa isn’t butted against a wall. If buying new pieces, purchase items on legs versus feet. The higher a piece sits from the floor the more visual space is present.


Your house can have people thinking that they would love to live there even before they step through the front door.

Spruce up the Grounds.
For love at first sight, neatness counts. Trim bushes and shrubs. Clear the driveway. Place a pretty welcome mat by the front door.Coordinate the hardware.
Don’t mix and match metals. Brass locks, silver door handles and a black mailbox will clash. For a coordinated appearance, all outdoor metals should be the same color.

Change the color.
Go with a neutral, traditional gray or beige. Classics don’t go out of style. Color is key. The same house may look like a dream in sage green, but a nightmare in brown.

Make a great first impression.
The front door is the most telling detail of your house. Give your entryway an instant makeover by choosing a handsome wood such as mahogany, or cut-glass storm doors.


Clients often ask Pillar To Post inspectors about the value of upgrading windows. There are many good reasons to upgrade windows but it is often difficult to decide based solely on dollars and cents.

Save Energy
Replacing old drafty windows with modern windows will saves energy, but the cost will not likely justify the energy savings. Break even will only occur after 20 to 30 years. Beware of claims such as 40% savings on your energy bills. Realistically, you may save 10% to 20%. If saving money is your only goal, consider weather stripping and repairing the windows you have.

Comparing Windows
U-Factor The National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) has developed a standardized rating system call the “U-factor” which provides a single number with which to compare windows. The U-factor is a number between 0 to 1: the lower the number, the better. 0.35 is good. In cold climates, the U-factor is the most important factor for selecting a window.

Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) In climates where air conditioning is more important than heating, the SHGC is the most important factor for choosing a window. The SHGC represents how much heat from the sun penetrates the window. The SHGC is a number between 0 to 1. For air conditioning climates, a number less than 0.4 is good. For heating climates, a larger number, such as 0.6, is better.

Advanced Technology

Argon Filled
Some manufacturers put argon gas, a better insulator than air, between the panes, resulting in a more efficient window. Most experts agree that the argon does not last forever.

Glass Coatings
Coatings or films can dramatically improve the efficiency of a window. In a heating climate, low-E glass allows short wave solar radiation into the home for a heat gain, and prevents heat loss by reflecting the longer wave heat from inside your house back into the room. In hot climates, the window can be coated or tinted to reduce heat gain from the sun. Ask a home inspector, or another impartial professional, whether you need to upgrade your windows. A window salesperson will likely give you only one answer: yes.

Here are a few ways to reduce the stress of life and say goodbye to nagging worries that undermine your confidence.

1. Ease anxiety with eggs. High levels of the stress hormone adrenaline can switch your brain into overdrive, filling your head with racing thoughts. Egg’s amino acid taurine can nix the rush.

2. Boost calm by daydreaming Let your mind wander and think of something pleasant for 15 minutes and rev the soothing beta brain waves.

3. Stop stress with fresh air.Has your home been sealed tight with air conditioning on high? It may have elevated levels of mild pollutants (for instance cleaning products) that can increase stress-inducing cortisol. The easy fix is to pop open a window for 10 minutes or so.


Here are some simple, smart economical ways to remove scuff marks on floors.

1. Get sneaky. Black-soled shoes may have made streaks on your tile floor, but rubber-soled sneakers can whisk them away. Simply tie on your sneakers and buff the marks with the point of your sole – no bending required.

2. Dryer sheet solution. Have hardwood floors? Lift scuff marks safely by using a dryer sheet (even a used one will do). Simply rub at the marks, making small, circular motions.

3. Dab with rubbing alcohol. Vinyl floor looking streaky? Dab a little rubbing alcohol on a clean white cloth and wipe. The marks will disappear without damaging the floor’s finish.


1. Modern windows are more energy efficient,
Using less fuel preserves our environment.2. New windows eliminate drafts and cold spots.

3. New windows look better, potentially increasing the value of your house.

4. New windows function better and are often easier to clean.

5. Modern windows block street sounds better.


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