Monthly Archives: April 2019

Why You Should Say No

Category : Uncategorized

 

photo credit: Andy Tootell @andytoots -unsplash

No is a complete sentence and so often we forget that. When we don’t want to do something we can simply smile and say no.

Are you a people pleaser? Are you the kind of person that friends and acquaintances can always count on to come through for them in a pinch? Are you the one who is always up for whatever is suggested and ready to go on a dime? Maybe being that benevolent, helpful person makes you feel useful, important and valuable. But being that person can also eventually make you feel stressed out, abused, resentful and may even lead to burnout if you are not careful.

We all want to be perceived as helpful. We all want to be liked. No one wants to be perceived as somehow rude or selfish for saying no or declining an invitation. After all, we are social beings and we thrive on relationships. We say yes when we want to say no because we don’t want to feel guilty or have our reputation tarnished. Saying no feels, to many of us, like the ultimate social sin. We feel like saying no will somehow ostracize us from our peers.

But we are are not superhuman. We have lives to live, jobs to go to, families to raise and spend time with, crisis to manage, bills to pay, and our health to take care of. We all have the same 24 hours a day and 7 days a week to live our lives. We have to make choices and sift through everything. We live by the calendar and by the clock trying to fit everything in.  Yet, in spite of our business and troubles, we say yes more than we should or than is healthy.

Here are the top 10 reasons we avoid saying no:

  1. We want to protect our social relationships
  2. We want to keep up our perceived reputation
  3. We want to avoid confrontation and conflict
  4. We feel guilty for saying no
  5. We genuinely want to help or participate
  6. We fear losing out on an opportunity
  7. We don’t want to disappoint
  8. We feel that saying no is not an option
  9. We have not set healthy boundaries
  10. We have not determined our priorities

We must say “no” to treating ourselves, our health, our needs as not as important as someone else’s. We must say “no.”  – Suzette R. Hinton

How Saying Yes Can Hurt Us

Saying yes to others means we are saying no to ourselves

When we say yes to others we are also handling our time over to them; we are no longer in charge of our time since it is now in someone else’s hands. We have essentially said that what they want us to do with our time is more important than what we want to do with it. Time is a precious resource and we should carefully consider how we want to spend it and with whom we want to spend it.

Saying yes to others can bring about harmful effects to our emotional health

We may initially say yes because we want to help or because of any one of the reasons listed above, but saying yes, especially when we want to say no can hold us captive. Feelings of frustration, resentment, powerlessness, and general unhappiness can result. Too much giving out of ourselves and not enough refilling and reenergizing can also lead to burnout. We may have wanted to act in good faith, protect our relationship circles and not cause any waves, but in the end, it is possible that relationships and our health may become seriously harmed as a result.

Saying yes can lead to loss of control

Saying yes just because we are asked for help or invited somewhere is not a good reason to say yes. If we do so just because then we are not really in control of our decision or the resulting consequences. It is a bit like going to the shopping center and buying clothes simply because there are clothes for sale. Just because the clothes are for sale (or even on sale) does not mean we should or need to buy them. If we do, then we are not in control of our money, are we? In the same way, we need to be in control and feel confirmed in saying yes.

Saying yes takes our focus off our priorities

Not only does saying yes to people take away our control, but it also takes our focus off our priorities. Saying yes to some people for the sake of being asked also means saying no to others (our close relations) that we need to spend more time with. Saying yes to being asked for help or an invitation also means saying no to our need to spend time refreshing ourselves (sleeping, relaxing, thinking). Saying yes to invitations out (for example entertainment) can also mean saying no to our need to budget carefully and reduce our spending. Saying yes when we should say no can violate our priorities.

When you say yes to others, make sure you are not saying no to yourself.” Paulo Coelho

Why We Should Say No

Respect from peers

Although some people might at first feel slighted or hurt if we say no to their request, particularly those closes to us, in time most we come to respect our decisions and the boundaries we set by being in charge of our choices. They will see that we are not easily influenced or a “pushover”.  A great many people have difficulty saying no so when they encounter one who is able to do so consistently, they develop an admiration for this ability.

Saying no means we can also say yes 

When we discern when to say no to requests, opportunities and perceived needs, we also open up the opportunity to yes to other things and people. It is liberating to be able to decide for ourselves how we will spend our time (or other resources) and with whom. This freedom takes away any guilt, stress, and frustration since we are fully in charge of our decision.

We have a life too

Our life is ours to live just as others have their lives to live. We can be there for other people, but we do not have to have our lives run by their needs or wants.It is a hard enough job trying to live our own lives and trying to sort ourselves out in all the business and demands of life. Although we are connected to people, we also have to set boundaries to protect our time and other resources.

To protect and respect our boundaries

Our boundaries include physical, emotional, relational and time boundaries. It is our responsibility and privilege to protect them and we protect them by respecting them ourselves and by not allowing others to override them. Saying no is a clear and effective way to give people the message that we know our limits and that we stand by them.

We don’t need a reason

Actually, we don’t. We are under no obligation to defend our reasons or explain or justify to anyone. Now, of course, I am not suggesting that we come across as rude or abrasive- that would defeat the purpose. I simply mean that we do not have to have a reason for our decision and we do not owe an explanation.  We can quite simply say “No, thank you” and leave it at that. And our no should be a no and not a maybe or a no that turns into a yes.

How To Say No Effectively

It is never easy to say no and often our no is met with resistance, manipulation or pressure of some kind. Sometimes our no is respected and honored, but not always. People are people and they have wants and pressing needs- things to be done, people to see and places to go. So how can we get good at saying no?

Inc.com suggests 7 effective ways that we can do this in their article; 7 Tips for Saying No Effectively.

  1. Say it – don’t stall, don’t delay
  2. Be assertive and courteous
  3. Understand people’s tactics
  4. Set boundaries
  5. Relay the question back on to the asker’s shoulders
  6. Stand firm – no means no
  7. Your needs first

So, there you have it. Learning to say no is a healthy skill to develop. It will come in handy many times and save you time (and give you back your time), stress, energy, and frustration. It will also build your confidence and empower you to live life on your terms and not be at the beck and call of unimportant emergencies or must-do-now scenarios.

Did you enjoy this post? Please leave a comment below.

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Diane Lynne enjoys travel, self-improvement, pursuing a debt-free/financially free life. She also loves hanging out with family, friends and being with her dog Skye. Diana is a Quebec City girl. who loves living life.  You can connect with her at livingandstuff.ca

 

 


12 Simple Daily Habits Will Change Your Life

Category : Life Tips

photo credit: Kyle Glenn @kylejglenn – unsplash

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit. – Aristotle

Life Is Like a Layer Cake

Everything we do adds to everything we have already done in our life. Like adding layers to a layer cake, we accumulate the moments that have come before, to give us the present that we are living right now. Our moments of time compound themselves to give us the results we have in the different areas of our lives. We see this truth in our finances, in our professional lives, in our relationships, in our health and just about every area of our life.

Momentum

Achieving good results requires building consistent momentum over time. If we keep up with the good habits consistently over time, we will begin to see our finances improve, our relationships improve, our health improve and our professional life improve. However, distractions or loss of focus can easily make us lose all that we have worked hard to build. Bad habits are not hard to do; they require no effort at all and they are so easy to slip into. And bad habits also deliver bad results.

So how do we get the momentum? Well, first we have to be thirsty for change in our lives. We can use a particular time or event to decide to make changes or we can gradually make changes day after day.  The key is wanting to change and staying on the path day in and day out.

Pump The Water

Like pumping water from a pump to eventually get water, we need to persevere even when we don’t see any results right away, even when it seems like nothing good is happening. At first, no water comes out of the pump, then, as we keep pumping a little water comes and then, finally, it comes gushing out. Don’t be discouraged when at first you don’t see results or when people around you don’t notice any difference. The results will come and they will come exponentially after a certain time.

Everyone can do simple things to make a difference, and every little bit really does count. – Stella Mccartney

Keep It Simple

There are simple things that we can do every day, which don’t take too much time. By doing these consistently, building up a habit, we can build a layer cake of moments that will produce amazing results. Try them – I mean really try them – every day for the long haul and you will see the difference they can make. Simple things done consistently over time will bring better results than doing bigger things inconsistently.

So, without further ado, here they are:

(1) Watch What You Watch

Our eyes are the guardians of our mind as well as being the window to our soul. We see a lot of things and watch a lot of things, but we can choose what to feed our eyes and our mind. We can choose what media we look at and what books we read. Everything we take in is either working for us or against us.

We can also watch to see who we can serve and who needs help. We can watch to see where we can help.

(2) Wonder Like a child

Our mind is a creative playground that we can activate and enjoy. Why not become like a child again and wonder about all the possibilities, the what ifs and the why not?  We can wonder and marvel at the world around us and take an interest in the tiny details. We can begin to wonder a few minutes each day.and start to feel more satisfied with what we have and appreciative of everything and everyone around us.

(3) Walk Anywhere, Everywhere

Let’s get outside and walk around. It doesn’t have to be a timed exercise with the goal of increasing our heart rate and building our aerobic capacity. I mean, just simply – walk for the fun of it, for the health of it. And, we actually don’t have to take our cellphone or media with us. We can just walk and think, wonder and dream. As an added bonus, walking gives us the opportunity to see interesting things around us and meet up with neighbors and people we may know and or that we don’t know yet. Walking outside connects us with the world.

(4) Work: It Pays

Work is a satisfying activity especially when we are in control of when we do it, why we do it and how we do it. Working gives us a reason to get up and a reason to rest after. Work helps us to activate our mind and hopefully our bodies as well. Working with others is beneficial (and challenging – but challenges can be beneficial).

(5) Water: The Elixir of Life

Drink water every day. Drink enough water every day. There are huge health, emotional and mental health benefits to drinking water.  Don’t neglect the water habit.

There are so many benefits from drinking water;

  • alleviates fatigue
  • promotes weight loss
  • improves skin color and texture
  • helps with brain function
  • eliminates waste and toxins

So grab a few glasses of water each day and drink up!

(6) Seek Wisdom

We are not always right and often we are wrong.  We can learn from others and from their experience. Keeping an open mind and being willing to learn will help us to keep on track and not fall into the pitfalls of life that can be avoided. Wisdom goes hand in hand with listening – the more we listen, the more we learn.

(7) Just Love

Without love what is there?  Nothing good happens without love. The Greeks had three categories of love, one of which is agape or selfless other-centered love. When we love in terms of others and what we can do for them and sometimes at a cost to our own comfort or convenience, we will reap huge benefits.

(8) Listen: People Will Love You For It!

Everyone is looking for people to listen to them and to hear what they have to say. Everyone has a story. Why not cultivate the habit of listening to those around us? People are literally aching for people to hear their story, to listen to them. We are all wired to feel accepted, approved and appreciated, and having someone listen to us helps us to feel appreciated and important.

Let’s not listen just to formulate what we are going to say in response to someone else. Let’s listen with no agenda other than wishing to hear the other person.

(9) Read: It Works!

Reading just 30 minutes a day over time will produce amazing benefits. I hear you – “What? I don’t have 30 minutes a day to read!”  Well, quite honestly, I think we spend at least that amount of time on other activities like social media or television each day. And I would add that we really can not afford not to acquire this habit. Reading 30 minutes a day would mean that you could probably get through 2-3 books in a month and 24 to 36 books in a year!  That is amazing! Think of all you could learn in one year by cultivating a simple daily habit of reading.

(10) Rest and Relax

Nap time!! Just kidding! Who has time for a nap every day?  But we do need to rest and recuperate.  Don’t ignore this important benefit. It’s not about all work and no play. There has to be some balance. In fact, regular downtime will increase our productivity and help us maintain better mental, physical and emotional health.

(11) Thank Everyone

We have so much to be thankful for.  The very fact that we are breathing is enough to be thankful.  We actually have so much more than we think we have.  And being thankful, having an “attitude of gratitude”, to borrow a cliché, helps us to take our mind off our problems.

(12) Guard Your Associations

We need people and we need people who will help us grow (and challenge our mental and emotional capacities!).  Encouraging friends are so important to our well – being. Some might prefer to be a “hermit” and not be around people. I guess that’s ok too. But encouraging people do help us to have confidence and challenging people can help us build our skills.

Conclusion:

Live simple. Cultivate good habits and go for the long haul. Enjoy, laugh and have fun.  Give life your very best shot.

Have a great day!

Read Also

Seeds of Possibility

Be Flexible and Win at Life

You Can Make a New Start

The Power of Our Words Part II

Overcoming Fear and Leaving the Comfort Zone

The 10 “Must Do” Things For Success

How Belief Will Open Doors

Was this post helpful to you? I would love the hear your feedback

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Diana Lynne loves travel, self-improvement, living a debt free life. She also loves hanging out with family, friends and her dog Skye. You can connect with her through livingandstuff.ca

 


Are We Less Trusting Today?

Category : Uncategorized

photo credit: Jelleke Vanooteghem @ilumira – unsplash

Trust is the glue of life. It’s the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It’s the foundational principle that holds all relationships. – Stephen R. Covey

Do any of the following apply to you?

  • Do you trust the ATM machines with your money and identification?
  • Do you trust other drivers on the road?
  • Do you trust the Used Items Market (including used cars)?
  • Do you trust drivers in carpooling?
  • Do you trust discount offers on the internet?
  • Do you trust people to be on time or do what they said they would?
  • Do you trust people to repay a loan?

If any, most or even all of them apply to you, you are certainly in very good company. In a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, the following question was asked:

Generally speaking, would you say that most people can be trusted or that you can’t be too careful in dealing with people”?

Millennials came out on top as the least trusting group at only 19%, whereas boomers were twice as likely to be trusting at 40%. Other statistics suggest that people are less and less trusting in institutions. In America 13% trust in government leaders and 25% trust in banking institutions.

You may be deceived if you trust too much, but you will live in torment unless you trust enough. – Frank Crane

Clearly, trust cannot be assumed and certainly, it appears to be very fragile.

What Factors Determine Trust?

How do we decide whether or not we will trust a person or group of people? What are we looking for? In its article The Decision to Trust, the Harvard Business Review outlines the following 10 factors involved in making a “trust decision”.

The level of Tolerance to risk

Our tolerance to risk depends on how much we are willing to cast our cares to the wind and have faith that things will turn out ok. Some people are less cautious or alternatively, more willing to take a chance. Others feel the need to be more in control of a situation and people’s actions.

Level of Adjustment

How comfortable we are in our skin and in our environment can determine the degree to which we are willing to trust. If we feel capable and confident in our selves and believe the same about others, we are more likely to trust them.

Relative Level of power

Our level of authority within an organization can have a certain influence and somehow make us more or less vulnerable to positional risk. For example, an employee is not in the same position or may feel less able to offer constructive criticism than an employer or person in a higher organizational position.

Degree of Security

Our sense of situational security also plays a role is our ability or choice to trust. It could be a matter of career/employment stability or environmental risks such as travel. We tend to measure or calculate the possible scenarios and outcomes of insecure situations.

Number of similarities

Like-minded people tend to gravitate toward one another (even if in love, opposites attract). We are more willing to work with, spend time with and listen to people who share commonalities with us such as common cultural values, shared personality traits, or a common membership to a group such as a sports group or religious organization.

Alignment of interests

Another determining factor in giving away our trust is how well our interests line up with one another. In other words, if I am going to give my trust over to an individual, do I feel confident that he or she is concerned about my interests and that I don’t have to question his or her motives?

Degree of benevolent concern

How much is the other person to lay o the line? Does he have a certain degree of the welfare of other people around him? To what degree is he willing to sacrifice his own interests and serve others over himself? These are important qualities of a leader. A person who puts others over himself will attract the trust of others.

Competence

We are more likely to put our trust in someone who demonstrates competence especially in a professional or service context over other concerns, For example. when we are flying on a plane we are more concerned with the pilot’s ability to fly a plane safely than whether or not he is a likable person. Similarly, it doesn’t matter too much to us as much whether our dentist likes fishing (like we do) if he or she is not able to fix our dental issues.

Predictability and Integrity

How reliable is the person to whom we are considering giving our trust? Do they have a good track record of delivering what they promised? Can they be counted on to do what they say they will do and in the time frame given?  To give our trust to another individual, we need to feel confident that they will come through for us. No one wants to put his trust in someone that can not be counted on.

Level of communication

Effective and honest communication is crucial to building bonds of trust. When people feel that they are free to share and be heard and that information is clear and accurate as well as helpful and given in a spirit of mutual interest, they are more willing to trust. they also tend to feel more trustworthy in the eyes of others.

The fundamental glue that holds any relationship together… is trust.

So what does trustworthiness look like? What does it take to earn the trust of others?

Characteristics of  Trustworthiness?

Inc lists the following 15 characteristics of a trustworthy person in its article: Want to Know If Someone Is Trustworthy? Look for These 15 Signs

  1. Consistent
  2. Compassion and humility
  3. Respectful of boundaries
  4. Willing to make sacrifices
  5. low pressure
  6. Respectful of time (theirs and other’s time )
  7. Grateful
  8. Not overly concerned with money
  9. Have a good track record with being right
  10. Do not engage in gossip
  11. Value learning
  12. Value connecting people
  13. Supportive
  14. Willing to confide
  15. Transparent

Trust is like a paper, once it’s crumpled it can’t be perfect again.

Why Do We Have Trouble Trusting?

Trust and trustworthiness have a lot to do with how we deal with people and are developed through spending a good amount of time with them. Unfortunately, these days, we, as a society (and I am using western societies as an example), are increasingly media- focused rather than people-centered. Our human contacts are often not as deep as they could be and we spend a lot more time with media (cell phones, computers, video games) than we should.

Much of the media that we take in is superficial, negative and sucks up our time and energy. The negative in the media is relentlessly pumped out whereas good news and behavior in the media are comparatively downplayed. So, all in all, we are an individualistic society and spend far less time interacting with people than in past generations.

Is it no wonder that we have such difficulty trusting? When most of what we encounter around us ( in media, advertising) is negative or superficial, and money focused, it is difficult to foster trusting relationships. In a world where people are considered disposable, it is hard to want to invest in people and become vulnerable. We prefer to protect ourselves. so we close ourselves off in an effort to do so.

The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.” – Ernest Hemingway

Trust Is the Glue of Life

As Stephen Covey said in his book The Speed of Trust, “trust is the glue of life”. No relationship, personal or professional can hold any water without it and no effective and authentic communication can take place in the absence of trust. Without trust, we live in fear and will seek only to protect ourselves. Trust is the foundation of all economic and social activity. We don’t have to look very far to see what happens when the bonds of trust break down.

But the good news is we have the power, the information and the ability to foster an environment of trust because trust begins with us. When we show or trust in others, people often (though not always) want to show themselves as trustworthy. Trust breaks down when one side chooses not to trust, but it is built up when trust is encouraged and given. Yes, it is true that trust has to be earned. We can not give our trust away blindly. But we can encourage people to be trustworthy by showing them that we believe in them and in their desire to do good. Trust is a two-way street that should be walked on very carefully and wisely.

Did you enjoy this post? Please leave a comment below.

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Diane Lynne enjoys travel, self-improvement, pursuing a debt-free/financially free life. She also loves hanging out with family, friends and being with her dog Skye. Diana is a Quebec City girl. who loves living life.  You can connect with her at livingandstuff.ca

 

 


Is Procrastination Stealing Your Life?

Category : Life Tips

photo credit: Pedro da Silva @pedroplus – unsplash

Have you ever met someone who says “I’m the queen (or king) of procrastination”? Maybe you have. I know I have. Maybe that person is you. At any rate, I think we are all guilty of procrastination to some degree or another. What is it about procrastination that, even though we don’t like to do it, know that it won’t help us and will even cause us stress, causes us to continue putting off doing what needs to be done? Are we suckers for self-inflicted punishment?

Procrastination is so common that it is almost cliché and yet, it is so destructive. In the business world probably millions of dollars are lost each year due to a failure to get things done on time and a failure to address people problems. In government organizations, procrastination is often ignored or swept under the carpet as problems are not dealt with.  All kinds of problems – health issues, relationship troubles, financial problems, and business or work related issues can be traced to procrastination. It really is the grand thief of our well being and happiness.

Procrastination – The Life Sucker

Is Procrastination Stealing Your Time?

Time is so precious and we don’t get more of it, only less as it goes on. When we procrastinate, we are actually stealing time from ourselves, by keeping ourselves in a “holding state” where we constantly think about what we have to do, but don’t do. As long as we are there, we can not use this time thinking about and doing other things that are more productive and could benefit us. Time spent on fretting about when, how and where to do something as well as going through all the emotions of what will people think, say and do is really wasted time.

Is Procrastination Stealing Your Peace of Mind?

Having that black cloud of knowing we have to do something ( a particular task) and not really wanting to do it is certainly not conducive to peace of mind and wellbeing. It is stressful. It weighs on us and nags at us constantly until we finally make a decision about doing something. Procrastination comes in and hounds us like a tiresome and uninvited guest who won’t go away.  Certainly, peace of mind is worth more than having to go through this.

Is Procrastination Stealing Your Money?

Procrastination can actually be robbing our money. Each time we”forget” to return non-desired goods to the store for a refund, each time we fail to follow up on financial mistakes or fail to budget when we know we should – all of these and many more tasks not done can cost us untold amounts of money simply because we neglected to be disciplined. All these neglected tasks can add up over time and will show up in our pocketbook.

Is Procrastination Affecting Your Relationships?

Procrastination can make relationships suffer and even make them dissolve. Neglecting to keep in contact, forgive, have that difficult conversation, apologize – all these are relationship destroyers and relationships that are “on the line” have a time limit. Each time we fail to think less of the person or people we are in a relationship with and more about our own ego puts another nail in the coffin of the burial of the relationship. Procrastination, where relationships are concerned, is self-centeredness, plain and simple.

Is Procrastination Stealing Opportunities from You?

Think about all those times you said no or shied away from an opportunity. Maybe you felt it wasn’t the right time. Maybe you felt you weren’t good enough or that you would be rejected. Maybe you were scared to dive in. Maybe you wanted to wait to have more money. What if you had said yes? How might your life have been different? Sometimes procrastination – holding off on opportunities in the hopes of a better (or more convenient) one will come along – can shut the door completely for us and we will never know how things might have been.

So many opportunities are lost, so many things are never done because we were waiting for the right time, the most convenient circumstances and the right belief about ourselves and our abilities. Today is the day and someday is not a day on the calendar. Don’t steal from an old person – that old person may be you in the future.

Why Do We Procrastinate?

An article in Psychology Today: 9 Reasons You Procrastinate (and 9 Ways to Stop) suggests the following reasons for why we procrastinae:

We tend to “throw compassion to the wind” and not do what we should do

Procrastination is rooted in not being kind to ourselves. The more we put off doing what we know we should do, the more we keep ourselves in bondage to this task hanging over us like a black cloud. Who wants to live under a black cloud of things that we know we should do but keep putting off?

We may have learned to procrastinate from role models.

We learn by what we see and what we experience and from those around us. We mimic them, either consciously or unconsciously and if our role models and people in our circle of influence are regular procrastinators, there is a strong chance that we will be as well. It might be a good time to find new role models who get things done and reap positive results.

We don’t think we will be good at the task

Sometimes we just lack the confidence. We may just presume .with absolutely no evidence to back our theory up, that we are not able to do what we need to do.  One good place to start would be to not compare ourselves to others and assume that if we put our mind and elbow grease to it, we can do it.

We may be biased against doing a particular type of task.

For some reason, we may have a negative view or prejudice towards doing a certain task and we use this prejudice as an excuse. We may see the task as an annoyance and attack against our personal views. We could begin by being open to trying and possibly learning from the opportunity. It may be that our viewpoint was off.

We may have difficulty estimating time

The stereotypical student is good at miscalculating time, which is why many of them study for exams or finish projects at the very last minute. but students are not the only ones – many of us are guilty of setting inaccurate timelines, imagining that we have more time than we actually do to finish a task. We also fail to factor in the unexpected detours we need to take.

We tend to think short term rather than long term

We can tend to be slightly myopic when it comes to what is important, focusing on the hear and now rather than on the long term impacts and benefits or consequences. Not cultivating a mindset of getting to business and getting things done may have less than desirable consequences down the road of life.

We may have a perfectionist bent that hinders action

Perfectionists- gotta love them! Unfortunately waiting until everything is perfect – the perfect timing, the perfect circumstances as well as the opinion that a task has to be done perfectly will keep a person in the starting position only. In fact, they will never start and the job will never get done (by them). A suggestion would be to let go and be more flexible – allow for mistakes.

Conditions such as depression or anxiety may cause us to be inactive

These conditions can be debilitating and can hold a person prisoner to moods and ways of thinking. Tasks can be overwhelming to them. Apart from seeking out proper treatment, breaking down tasks into manageable sizes can help these people accomplish tasks.

We may have an intolerance towards leaving our comfort zone

Often we procrastinate is due to the fact that accomplishing a task such as calling someone or confronting someone, firing an employee can take us way out of our comfort zone. It can actually terrify us to the point that it paralyzes us. We somehow believe that we are physically or psychologically in danger. The best cure for fear is action, not inaction.

The Takeaway

Let’s call a spade a spade. Procrastination is a thief!  It can steal our money, our peace of mind, our opportunities and attack our relationships. Procrastination is sacrificing the future on the altar of the present. There are reasons why we procrastinate and, for the most part, these reasons are founded in the excuses we make and the beliefs or perceptions we have or tell ourselves. Perception is not reality; it is perception. Beliefs can be changed.  Taking action is the cure to procrastination.

Did you enjoy this post? Please leave a comment below.

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Diana Lynne enjoys travel, self-improvement, pursuing a debt-free/financially free life. She also loves hanging out with family, friends and being with her dog Skye. Diana is a Quebec City girl. who loves living life.  You can connect with her at livingandstuff.ca

 

 

 

 

 


How Being “Flexible” Will Change Your Life

Category : Life Tips

 

Photo credit: Fabien Bazaneque @fabienbazaneque – unsplash

Blessed are the flexible for they shall not be bent out of shape – anonymous

There a good many of us who really don’t like change and we certainly don’t like to have our plans or our routines interrupted. It can even make us feel somehow insecure when the things we are used to doing or the way we are used to doing them suddenly change. Adversity: illness, children growing up and leaving the nest, best friends moving away or having to move can all be unsettling at the least and even traumatizing in the extreme.

And then there is our personality or our temperament. Some of us may be more rigid than others. Some of us don’t deal well with conflict or “messy” personalities at work or school. Some of us panic if things change too much in our environment. Others prefer to crawl into their “cave” rather than have to deal with difficult situations. So here is the question:

Flexibilit requires an open mind and a welcoming of new alternatives – Deborah Day

How Flexible Are You?

That is a tough question, isn’t it?  How we perceive ourselves is not necessarily how others perceive us. Maybe we think we are flexible and open-minded and adventurous, but those around us might not share that opinion. Here are some questions to consider and they are far from exhaustive:

  • How do you handle adversity?
  • Do people consider you easy to work with?
  • Are you open to other (different and opposing) opinions?
  • Do others consider you to be flexible and adaptable?
  • Are you approachable?
  • Do others consider you to be open-minded?

On a scale on 1 to 10 (for each one), how would you rate your flexibility? Did you pass the test? Just something to think about.

By definition, being flexible means being able to bend without breaking. In our relationships, that is certainly true; if we don’t “bend” a little, something will break, usually the relationship.

Flexibility is the key to stability – John Wooden

The Importance of Being Flexible 

There are a number of positive outcomes from being an “adaptable/flexible” person:

1. It Increases the Trust that Others Have in Us

When we are able to adapt to new situations or changing circumstances, it is reassuring to others when we are able to flow with the change and not ball up in panic. Others will see us as a stable ship that is not tossed every which way by the changing winds. They will put more trust in someone they can count on to be present and stable no matter what happens.

2. We May Receive More Personal and Professional Recognition for Our Flexibility.

Adaptability ( another word for flexibility) is a tremendous asset in the business world and just about anywhere. People who tend to take things in stride receive more respect and recognition from others simply because they admire and value the quality of being able to adapt. Furthermore, people appreciate the thoughtfulness of someone who is willing to yield and help others in a pinch rather than remaining focused on their own wants and needs.

3. It Helps Us to Adapt to the Ups and Downs of Change More Easily

Being a flexible or adaptable person helps us to take life messiness with a grain of salt. With this skill or trait, we are not bound by our perceptions or thoughts, but we can adjust the way we think and change our expectations accordingly. the ups and downs of life or the hills and valleys will not have as much of a devastating impact on us because we accept and move forward.

4. It Gives an Opportunity for Growth -We Learn from Adapting)

Having a flexible approach to life can teach us many things. When we are open-minded and willing to learn, we gain new understanding and open the doors to new opportunities which may have been closed if we remain rigid in inflexibility (stuck in our ways). The more we learn, the more we grow and the more we grow, the more adaptable we become.

5. We Become Better at Taking Initiative

Being an adaptable person also means that we are more willing to take risks and open up conversations. We are more willing to try and more willing to fail. It becomes a lifestyle eventually because by taking initiatives and risks, we become more confident and empowered. It is liberating and exciting. Being a flexible person willing to try new things sets us free from being locked into the same old, same old.

6. We Develop an Increased Capacity for Creativity

Increased creativity goes right along with a flexible mindset.  A flexible person is not held down by “the way we have always done things” and are open to new ideas and creating new ways of doing things. More and more organizations are seeking out people who are creative and willing to explore new possibilities.

7. We Develop More Confidence in Ourselves and Our Abilities

As stated earlier, having a flexible mindset can help us to be more confident in ourselves and abilities. This confidence comes from being willing to let go of our routines and step out of our comfort zone to explore new zones. The more we are willing to try and fail, the more we will develop our confidence.

Problems dissappear when we are willing to become flexible – Roxana Jones

The Three Important Questions

1. Who is important?

2. What is important?

3. What is the ultimate goal?

The Who

Problems most often involve people. We are stuck with people whether we like it or not. And conflicts are usually the result of one or both people (or groups) being unwilling to budge on a matter. Since people are usually involved and we are a “people” too, maybe we should look there to see what we may need to change or see differently. In any situation with people, there are questions we need to ask:

Who is involved and important?  Are we looking at the person or the situation? Who is directly or indirectly involved with our choices, attitudes, behavior etc.? In every situation, who is being served: family members, customers, colleagues? Weighing in on who will be impacted helps us to have perspective.

The What

The second question to ask is What. What is happening? What is going on?  Now that we have established the “people” part of the situation, we need to deal with the nature of the problem.

What is the real situation?  Is it urgent or important or both? Setting priorities can help us decide when to put our foot down and when to let it go. Are there creative options that can involve others and help them feel that they have a say?  Evaluate the situation and decide what is important.

What Is the Goal?

In every situation, there is a goal, whether we are aware of it or not. Sometimes people may have a different perspective on the goal or different goals altogether. So, really, this step is about establishing what the common goal is -what are we aiming for the long term? What are we looking to preserve, strengthen, improve or grow?  When we put anything or anyone into a long-term perspective, it becomes easier to be less concerned with holding our position or hanging onto routine or tradition. We can let go and flow.

Can We Be Too Flexible?

We can certainly be overly flexible and this can have a negative impact around us. Simply put, when there is too much flexibility, things don’t get done, expectations don’t get met, people lose trust and confidence and direction are lost. Ultimately, people get annoyed, frustrated and even hurt by too much adapting and compromising. Flexibility is a fine line.  When do we flex and when do we hold the line? We need to set limits, have boundaries and some semblance of structure and direction. Then, once these are in place, we can use our judgment as to when to bend and when to hold tight.

The Takeaway 

Flexibility is really a non-negotiable in today’s world. Everything changes and will continue to change. And we can’t always expect that everything will fall into our neatly packaged way of how things should be done. Flexibility is, at its core, a survival skill- we cannot get along in life without it. If we do not develop this skill, we will fall prey to the winds of life and be a victim of change and adversity.

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Diana Lynne loves travel, self-improvement, living a debt free life. She also loves hanging out with family, friends and her dog Skye. You can connect with her through livingandstuff.ca


Get Amazing Results From Consistent Daily Discipline

Category : Life Tips

 

Photo credit: Hello I’m Nik @helloimnik – unsplash

“Discipline is choosing between what you want now and what you want most.” – Abraham Lincoln

When people hear the word discipline, it can conjure up some less than savory memories from the past. Often the word is associated with orders and punishment. It is unfortunate that this is the image people have about discipline because discipline, especially self-discipline is actually very beneficial and can change the course of our lives in ways we may never have imagined. It can become one of the greatest blessings we can ever have.

We all have areas in our lives that we would like to see improve. We may have bad habits that are holding us back or causing problems. We may have insecurities or fears and, for some reason, believe that these cannot change. Maybe we are struggling with people and relationships or maybe we are having work issues or trouble finding a job. It all comes down to how we think and what we choose to do about it.

Thomas Huxley, who wrote four volumes containing a total of 1,000 success principles was once asked which one he felt was the most important one. He said:

“Do what you should do when you should do it whether you feel like it or not”.

He elaborated by saying that without this principle of self-discipline, not other success principles would work. Whatever you want to change or accomplish in life, it is self-discipline (daily habits repeated over time) that will take you where you want to go. And it really doesn’t matter what it is that you want to achieve; this is the formula. Thoms Edison said regarding discipline:

“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work”.

One of the reasons that discipline leaves a sour taste in our mouths is that most of the time discipline was imposed on us externally, but was often not an internal decision. We may have felt that we were not in control of our decisions, nor in control of the consequences. Discipline began in our homes as children, then was transferred to school discipline and finally, after years of being used to discipline, we come to expect discipline in our adult lives at work, for example. The problem is that we become so used to being “managed” and having our time and priorities managed that we have difficulty managing our own priorities. and time.

‘The place between your comfort zone and your dream is where life takes place”. – Helen Keller

Motivation

In the past, our motivation to be “disciplined” may have been fear of consequences, fear of getting bad grades at school or even fear of losing out. As adults, we may fear losing our jobs or being somehow excluded, isolated if we do not “hold the line”.  Other people are determining our priorities for us.

Positive motivation can come from what we determine is important or gratifying to us. True self-discipline is born out of having vision, goals, and determination to achieve something or change things in our lives.

3 Levels of Motivation

According to authors Chris Brady and Orrin Woodward in their best selling book Launching a Leadership Revolution, there are three levels of motivation which we move through. The authors describe these motivations as hunger (p. 33).

1. Material Things

The first level of motivation refers to those things which “excite our senses” These material things serve as stimulators to our brain in order to build up our reason as to why we would decide to discipline our selves. they give us a goal to work toward, something that is visible and tangible. However, our focus should not be on the things themselves, but rather on how they can motivate us to change and grow.

Sometimes, the authors point out, this “material thing” can be about raising money for a worthwhile cause. It is really about having a goal to work toward rather than gaining material possession.

2. Recognition and Respect

Both recognition and respect are often lacking in society today and people crave them. We long to be appreciated and noticed. too often, however, we end up being noticed for what we have done wrong or for how we have fallen short in the view of others rather than noticed for who we are or what we have accomplished. So a source of motivation can be to be recognized by others: bosses, teachers, parents, the community, our peers.

The authors point out that the deeper level is that we seek and are motivated to earn respect. This respect can translate into proving to ourselves that we can “do it” or proving to others that they were wrong about us for criticizing or doubting us. Whatever the reason, a desire to be recognized and be respected by those we respect can be a strong motivator to change and grow.

3. Legacy or Purpose

The authors state that the third and most profound level of motivation is legacy or purpose. This is a higher level where we go beyond ourselves and our own desires to “sacrificing for a greater good” (p. 39)  and making a bigger impact in the world around us.

We do not determine our purpose, we detect it – Viktor Frankl

It is really about living lives that count for something. Deep inside us is a driving motivation to know that what we do and what we will do makes a difference.

Every man should be embarrassed to die unless he accomplishes something great in this world. – General Douglas MacArthur

How To Develop Self-Discipline

Author and leadership speaker, John Maxwell gives 3 steps for developing self-discipline;

1. Start with Yourself

Often we like to wait for circumstances or other people to change before we decide to change. But, really, the only want that we can change anything is by first changing ourselves on the inside. Once this inward groundwork started, the effects will begin to have an impact on those around us. We certainly can not expect others to discipline themselves – that is their choice and their job.

2. Start Early

Everything worth doing is worth being done early. However, many of us may have gone off track for a long time. But it is really not too late. Every day is a new beginning and we can change tomorrow by beginning today. It has been said that the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, but that the next best time is today.

3. Start Small

Little steps and changes made consistently over time will yield amazing results. Don’t fixate too much on what things look like today, but rather imagine how they could be several years from now.  We tend to overestimate what can be accomplished in a year and underestimate what can be accomplished in 5 years by small things done on a regular, even daily basis.

John Maxwell gives 10 tips on how to organize your life:

1. Set Priorities

Your time and your priorities belong only to you. If you don’t set your priorities, if they are not clearly established, then it is certain that other people and obligations will set them for you and you will find yourself responding to what other people say is urgent, but which is not important to you.

2. Place the Priorities in Your Calendar

I am preaching to my self here.  Priorities need to have a place in our calendar, in our day planners and on the refrigerator calendar. Unless they are visible, they will get buried under all the mess of emergencies and busyness of life.

3. Allow a little Extra Time for the Unexpected

Life is full of unexpected things- some good, some not so good. After priorities have been set and given a place, we can allow for some of the ups and downs of life to come in. Life happens, but when we know where we stand on what ia important, we can meet the messiness of life with a smile and a wink.

4. Do Projects One at a Time

Focus on the job until it is done to avoid all those half-completed jobs that eventually never get done. Do them now and get them done. You will feel much better this way than having the “must do'” list hanging on your shoulders. Yes, some of us can multi-task and are proud of it, but how much more satisfying is it to do it and then check it off your list?

5. Organize Your Workspace

Some people thrive in messiness, but organization can not thrive too well or long in disorganization. A clear workspace makes for clear thinking and also less wasted time since you don’t have to spend extra time looking for what you need. Prepare what you need ahead of time and give each item its place.

6. Work According to Your Temperament

Are you a night owl or an early bird? Do you prefer working in total silence (and solitude) or do you prefer having a lot of activity or noise around you as you work? When are you most productive? Your temperament for productivity should be an important consideration for planning your work.

7. Use Your Drive Time for Light Work and Growth

It is amazing what you can fit into drive time. Rather than listen to the unproductive radio garble, you can use this time to build a better you. Some people can fit in a good personal development book or listen to educational audios such as language audios while they are driving. Imagine if you drive a lot, you could learn a whole new language during your drive time.

8. Develop a System that Works for You

What works for you? How do you learn and in what circumstances do you function best?  If you have a vision of what you want to do, you can find a way to fit it into your schedule in a way that works best for you.

9. Always Have a Plan for the Minutes Between Meetings or Appointments

The snippets of time spent waiting for appointments or between meetings are excellent opportunities to use for building a better you, for planning, for organizing what you need to organize or doing any number of little things that need doing.  Having a book with you for such times as this can be used to fill this time with educational or inspirational information. You could begin learning to read in a new language.

10. Focus on Results, not Activities

Sometimes we get too caught up with the little details of the present and take our eyes off the bigger picture – why are we doing what we are doing? We create habits to develop discipline and we maintain discipline in order to obtain results and that is where we need to focus. Like driving, it is good to look far away and know where we are going rather than up close and not see where we are headed.

The Takeaway

Discipline, truly motivated self-discipline, can be a transformational activity. In fact, it is really the only thing that people can do to transform their lives. We can “live quiet lives of desperation” (Henry David Thoreau) or we can thrive and come alive, grow and excel.

Did you enjoy this post? Please leave a comment below.

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Diana Lynne enjoys travel, self-improvement, pursuing a debt-free/financially free life. She also loves hanging out with family, friends and being with her dog Skye. Diana is a Quebec City girl. who loves living life.  You can connect with her through Livingandstuff.ca


Simplify Life With No Regrets

Category : Life Tips

photo credit: Siora Photography @siora18 -unsplash

“It is a preoccupation with possession, more than anything else, that prevents men from living freely and nobly.” —Bertrand Russell

Life is really very simple, but people make it seem complicated. What do we need, really? We need air to breathe, water to drink, food to eat, clothes to wear, a warm place to sleep and shelter, people to love and a reason to live. These are what we need. What we want and what we like is a whole different story. We tend to spend our lives trying to get what we want, as much as we want, and as often as we want. We live in this crazy mix of trying to satisfy our wants and deal with the desires and emotions of others at the same time.

The problem is that we are so easily distracted and influenced by what is around us. We see, we like; we like, we want. And we are also deathly afraid of letting go of what we have. We accumulate problems (people problems, financial problems, health problems) and we accumulate “stuff” that we don’t even need, but we think we need. We have a lot of trouble discerning between what we actually need and what is only a want. So life gets messy. It gets overloaded with “stuff”, overloaded with people problems, and overloaded with busyness.

“The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less.” —Socrates

All That Baggage!

There is a lot of baggage that we carry around with us – baggage that has accumulated over the years. We hang on to old hurts, failed expectations, failed relationships and regrets. We hold on to objects that bind us to the past. Some of us call these souvenirs, memorabilia or keepsakes. Nostalgically we hold on to these cards, treasures, trophies and other objects of our past and we carry them into the future with us. I have been this person myself.

We also carry around ourselves – everything that we have done or said, everyone that we have impacted positively or negatively, Our baggage includes all our emotions, our fears, and our worries.

Added to all of this baggage is the “stuff” we buy and collect for various uses. It is the “stuff” we have in our homes, our cars and very commonly stashed away in the basement or the garage. Our closets become full of clothes we never wear and our kitchens full of gadgets we rarely use.

“Simplicity is not about deprivation. Simplicity is about a greater appreciation for things that really matter.” – Anonymous

Step 1: Let It Go

Let go of the past. It may have been beautiful or it may have been sad or anything in between, but just let it go. You are no longer there. Keep the memories and learn from the past, but don’t live there. I have been that person who holds on to all the birthday cards, the trophies, and souvenirs in a treasure chest, but I realized that I no longer live there. and no longer need to hold on to them  “just in case”. I have had to let go of friendships that no longer had any life and say goodbye to people who have passed on. It is what it is and it is finished.

What is done is done and what was said can not come back. Make peace with what you did or did not do in the past and move on. Forgive those who need to be forgiven, even if that is you – have you forgiven yourself? Do not hold on to regrets for what you didn’t do; today is a new day – why not begin?

“I am beginning to learn that it is the sweet, simple things in life which are the real ones after all. “ — Laura Ingalls Wilder

Step 2: Decide What Is Important

What is important to you in your life? Who is important to you? If you were stuck on a deserted island who and what would you like to have with you? Who or what would you like to have around you at your deathbed?

How important is time to you and who are you giving your time to? Are you giving the best hours of your life to those you love or are others demanding your time of you? Do you spend your time doing things that are reflective of your priorities or are you caught in someone else’s time table? Are you in control of how your time is spent and who does your time really belong to? Like a precious gift, your time is yours to give or to keep. In fact, time is really all you have and soon, it will be gone.

Decide what you want to do with your time on earth and who you want to spend time with. It is yours to give. The absolute worst thing that could happen is to arrive at the end of your life knowing that you wasted the time you had doing the things that were unnecessary with people who didn’t really care about you rather than do what you truly cared about with the people who mattered most to you.

“Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” – William Morris

Step 3: Ditch the Junk

What is holding you captive? Is it all your “stuff”? Are you tied ball and chain to things?  Do you think you “need” all those things? What if you sold them? What could you do? Where could you travel to? Who could you help? Things require maintenance, upgrading, and replacement – all of these require our time and attention. Do you really want to dedicate your time to “stuff”? Do you really want to work more hours at one or two jobs to finance and maintain “stuff”? The “stuff” does not care about you, so why should you care about it?

Ditch the excuses too. I know that I am speaking directly to the “pack rats” among us (we love you too).  If you are not using it or haven”t for years, it is highly unlikely that you will need to in the future. Forget about the “I’ll keep it just in case I need it’ excuse. No, you won’t!  Get rid of the junk! Forget about the nostalgia excuse: “Oh I’m keeping it because it reminds me of.. or my sister gave this to me”. Sorry! The past is the past and accumulating all these things will just stress you out and give you more work and less space.

“Don’t make the process harder than it is.“ — Jack Welch

Step 4: Resolve to Live Simply

Take control of your time and your space again. Do not let intruders or thieves come in to rob you of these. Things – possessions ( which are not either beautiful or useful) will rob you of your space, your peace of mind and your money. They will also steal your time from you because you have to work to pay for them. The advertisements, the flyers, and pamphlets, not to mention the lure of shopping centers, all try to grab our attention, our time, and our money.

Turn off and tune out the distractions. These are the voices, or should I say the useless noise that tells you what you should have, what you should buy and what you should pay attention to. Honestly, who cares what the “noise” thinks? These distractions will also rob you of your time. Think about social media. Have you ever calculated how many minutes are spent on social media in a day? And for what? Nothing except time wasting useless information.

“Keep it simple and focus on what matters. Don’t let yourself be overwhelmed”.   – Confucius

Step 5: Reconnect With New Habits

Start a new way of living with new habits. Reconnect with people and spend time with them. Reconnect with real food and real meals – the slow food movement. Reconnect with your environment – the natural one. Reconnect with the wisdom of the past and a simpler way of living. Reconnect with books and the classics.

Realize that you do have choices and it is your life. The world will try to convince you of what you need to have and do, but the world is all about money and profit, not your well being. The whole economic system is dependant on people following the mainstream path and contributing to it economically. It is not about freedom; it is about economic slavery. But you do not have to follow that path, you do not have to believe the lies of the economic system. True freedom is knowing what bondage is and choosing not to be enslaved.

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Diana Lynne enjoys travel, self-improvement, pursuing a debt-free/financially free life. She also loves hanging out with family, friends and being with her dog Skye. Diana is a Quebec City girl. who loves living life.  You can connect with her through Livingandstuff.ca

 

 

 


Who? What? When? – The Crucial Confrontation Formula

Category : Uncategorized

 

Photo credit Mihai Surdu @mihaisurdu – unsplash

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter – Martin Luther King Jr.

Have you had those times in your life where people around you are being impossible or expecting impossible things from you? You know when you are a supervisor or boss and you are dealing with situations of insubordination. Or maybe you are dealing with uncharacteristically strange behaviors from your spouse or teenager. You might be in a spot where something needs to be said or done before the situation gets out of hand. Maybe it is time to confront – a crucial confrontation.

The book entitled “Crucial Confrontations” by four authors; Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan and Al Switzer deals with the issue of effective crucial confrontation. This post highlights some of what is discussed in the book. So many emotions, false expectations, things unsaid or hinted at, as well as negative behavior – essentially, the messiness of human relationships create mountains out of molehills.

In our relationships, we tend to sweep things under the carpet (avoidance), tolerate situations which should be addressed, turn a blind eye to certain behaviors and somehow believe that everyone can read our mind so we don’t have to communicate our needs, thoughts or expectations.

The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place. – George Bernard Shaw

What we tend to dislike the most and avoid doing, if we can, is to confront, especially when it comes to authority. We have been taught never to question anyone in authority, so we are afraid to step up and say something when something needs to be said. Often we simply do not have the right information or tools to do so. Many of us would just as soon grow a tumor as speak up. Maybe we think that if we do so (grow a tumor), the other person will finally understand.

The book Crucial Confrontations identifies three phases of handling these prickly situations. The first one is really doing the groundwork, doing the diagnosis.

Work On Ourselves

We need to identify what the real problem is, not what the symptoms are. What is really going on? In a typical “heated discussion” between spouses, the discussion might start off innocently enough, talking about an important issue, but then, as the emotions heat up and defensiveness kicks in, the discussion might suddenly veer off to the matter of putting the toilet seat down and putting the cap on the toothpaste. In other words, rather than find a solution to the actual problem, the discussion turns into a blame-game.

Identify the Problem

  • Identify what happened (the situation)
  • Identify the pattern of behavior that needs to change
  • Identify how it affects the relationship

At the end of the day, every conflict is a people problem – a relationship issue. There is a gap in the relationship that needs to be addressed. This gap erodes the relationship causing doubt, loss of trust and disrespect. Some further questions to ask are:

  • What are the consequences of this behavior or situation? How are they affecting the relationship?
  • What is the intent? Be careful not to assign intent. We can’t know for sure. Is there evidence to suggest ill intent?
  • What do we want for ourselves from the relationship? What do we want from the other person?

Practice doesn’t make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect. – Kevin Patterson

Determine if it is necessary 

Is the situation an ant hill or a mountain? Are we willing to sacrifice ourselves on top of an anthill? Is it an important issue or a non-issue? We humans can sometimes be very good at manufacturing our own problems and turning them into something big.  Evaluate the situation carefully and weigh everything?  For example, with kids, does it really matter if they choose to dress differently than a parent would like? Is their behavior just temporary and normal kid stuff?

Something else to think about would be whether or not this situation is weighing on your conscience (nagging at you). Is it something that you think about every day or prevents you from being functional at home or work? Are you choosing to remain silent and just put up with it?

Speak when you are angry and you’ll make the best speech you’ll ever regret. – Ambrose Bierce

The Confrontation

Here is the part where we need to set our ego aside and put ourselves into the shoes of the other person – as hard as that is to do. It is where we need to listen (yes, listen) to see where the other person is coming from.

Make it Safe

It is pretty much a guarantee that if we come at them with accusations that they are not going to say “oh thank you for bringing that up, I was just wondering about my shortcomings” Pay attention to non-verbal cues such as stance and facial expressions. Remember that people cannot be able to read our mind, so we should expect them to. We need to say what needs to be said.

  • State the situation plainly
  • Establish respect
  • Seek a mutual purpose

Goals without deadlines aren’t goals; they’re merely directions. –  Kevin Patterson

The Goal

The goal is to solve the problem, not to nitpick. The confrontation may not be a linear process and we shouldn’t expect it to be – humans will be humans. Sometimes there will be defensiveness, sometimes the conversation will get off track. But we need to be willing to loop around and go back a few steps if necessary. Sometimes we will need to re-establish safety and trust. Sometimes we will need to get feedback (and receive it) even if we don’t like it.

What we are looking for is a joint solution, a plan of action. There are three things we need to establish:

  • Who? Who is going to do what?
  • What? What is going to be done?
  • When? When (exactly – day/ time) is it going to be done?

So, really, instead of discussing in circles, trying to find the guilty party and who is responsible for the hurt, which is a waste of time and energy, we can put ourselves on the same side of the table and find a workable solution to the problem. It is about working as a team rather than as adversaries.

Remember, to know and not to do is really not to know. – Kevin Patterson

Follow Up

We need to do check-ups to see how the solution and the actions are working and, if need be, come together for adjustments. We should never neglect this important step, otherwise, we may end up falling back into old habits and more conflict. It really is about being accountable for doing what we agreed we would do.

For an effective crucial confrontation we need to remember and work through the formula:

  1. Identify the problem
  2. Identify how it affects the relationship
  3. Decide if a confrontation is necessary
  4. Create a safe discussion
  5. Seek a mutual purpose
  6. Focus on the goal: to solve the problem
  7. Agree on who? What? and When?
  8. Follow up

The Takeaway

As much as we may dislike having to confront a situation and people, it can often be the shortest and most effective way to deal with prickly issues and restoring or strengthening relationships. It is about being real and authentic with a desire to correct a problem. When we take ourselves (and our emotions) out of the situation and focus on problem-solving, we are on a better path

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Diana Lynne enjoys travel, self-improvement, pursuing a debt-free/financially free life. She also loves hanging out with family, friends and being with her dog Skye. Diana is a Quebec City girl. who loves living life.  You can connect with her through Livingandstuff.ca

 

 

 


Face the Fear

Category : Life Tips

Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood – Marie Curie

Fear is that great enemy that holds us back from doing what we want to do, from doing what we know we should do or could do. It is that little voice that whispers in our ear and tells us about all the things that could go wrong. The sidekick of fear is doubt. Doubt makes us question ourselves and even question our worth. Together they imprison us in our minds and keep us in an agitated state enslaved to their message.

Fear robs us of our identity and our humanity. It tells us that we are not who we are and that we can not do what we were born to do. Fear seeks to turn us from bold lions into cowering mice. When it comes right down to it all fear really is wrong information and a distorted view of reality.  What do we fear really? People fear a lot of things, some of which are:

  • Fear of heights
  • Fear of bugs, snakes, and spiders
  • Fear of closed spaces
  • Fear of the dark
  • Fear of getting a disease
  • Fear of blood
  • Fear of violent weather
  • Fear of dying

When we look at these closely, it appears that these fears come as a result of what we think could happen and of not having control over the situation – being confronted with it and not being able to overcome it. And what is our typical response? We avoid these things. Typically we will try to control our environment so that we avoid having to come into contact with the “scary beasties”, we stay away from hospitals because that is where blood and diseases are or we avoid planes and elevators, for example. There are also many adults who need highlights to avoid sleeping in total darkness.  In so many ways we try to control our fears by avoiding them.

Action cures fear; inaction creates terror. – Bear Grylls

There are other fears as well:

  • Fear of the unknown
  • Fear of rejection
  • Fear of failing
  • Fear of succeeding
  • Fear of our emotions
  • Fear of what people will think or do (fear of man)

We fear the unknown, and we fear what people will think about us.  We hold back from speaking up and giving an opinion or an idea simply because of how we think that other people will react. What we are really afraid of is rejection: rejection of our ideas and rejection of us. Somehow, we tend to think that other people are more intelligent, more gifted, have better ideas or are more competent than we are. “Who am I to speak up and offer suggestions or think that my ideas are worthwhile”? we may think. We can also be fearful of what we could accomplish if we actually tried it.  Fear of succeeding can also be a terrifying fear.

With integrity, you will have nothing to fear, since you have nothing to hide. With integrity you will do the right thing, so you will have no guilt. – Zig Ziglar

The Nature of the Problem

As Marie Curie said, “Nothing is to be feared; it is only to be understood“. Often when we are unsure of a thing or don’t understand it, we become fearful of it.  Lack of knowledge and information can bind us and cause us to freeze up. Then, instead of taking action, which could help us to overcome the fear, we prefer to not act, not take the step that could free us and give us confidence.

I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear. Knowing what must be done diminishes fear. – Rosa Parks

The problem is that we listen to to the voice of fear which is rooted in lies. Yes, situations may scare us and even terrify us, but, at the end of the day, they are only situations and situations have a time limit, an expiry date. The voice of fear reminds of all the reasons we can’t, or we shouldn’t be brave. It tells of all the things that could possibly happen and wants us to believe that doing nothing, avoiding situations, freezing up at the thought of even trying is the only recourse we have. In fact, the voice of fear wants us to remain helpless victims of our circumstances.

The eagle has no fear of adversity. We need to be like the eagle and have a fearless spirit of a conqueror. – Joyce Meyer

Fear is also either rooted in the past or in the future. Usually both. Our past experiences and traumas resurface and affect our present abilities to make decisions and take action in the present. Likewise, our fear of what may or will happen in the future can handicap our willingness to move forward. For example, past experiences in certain situations with certain people may have convinced us that we are incapable, incompetent or unable to learn. then we carry these lies into our present and allow them to paralyze us from taking any forward steps. We may think that anything we try is not worth it or will not work anyway, so why try.

Walking Into the Fear

 “Perfect Love Casts Out All Fear” – John 4:18

Three things are immediately apparent in this verse:

  1. Love and fear are diametrically opposed
  2. Love destroys fear
  3. Love is more powerful than fear

From these three observations, we can plainly see that fear is weak – it is a pitiful weakling, It is spoiled and wants attention. When it is confronted, it has no power and what confronts it is love. If we are rooted in love, it is impossible to be paralyzed by fear. The Bible also says that God is love; he is the source of all love. Fear is the enemy of love and the enemy of God.

Love is powerful and with love on our side, we can confidently and forcefully confront fear, recognize the lie that it is and,  “cast it” out of our life. We do not have to live as slaves to fear and its chains. We do not have to listen to its pitiful lies or its “temper tantrums”.

Some Concrete Things We Can Tell Ourselves:

  1. Fear is a lie
  2. Fear robs us of ourselves and our identity
  3. Fear robs us of our future
  4. Fear destroys relationships
  5. Fear destroys dreams
  6. Fear uses our past to persecute us

None of this is to suggest that we will never feel fear. Fear is a feeling, an emotion and it will grip us at times. But fear is also a negative emotion that is rooted in lies. Courage is feeling the fear and doing what we fear doing anyway. Courage recognizes fear for its true colors and defies it, calls it out. Fear is an attack on ourselves and our true identity and when we buy into its lies, we do things that are destructive, time wasting and hurtful to others. We see this pattern all over. People hoard money for fear of losing it. They control people in relationships for fear of losing the people they are in a relationship with. Fear is destructive and debilitating.

I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. the brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear. – Nelson Mandela

You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along. – Eleanor Roosevelt-

The True Identity of Fear

The voice of fear is nothing more than a ruse. Together with doubt, it insidiously debilitates people, convincing them that they are victims, powerless to accomplish anything, change anything or be anything. It messes with our minds and causes us to think that its voice is our voice and our thoughts. The voice of fear does not want people to succeed or be happy.

Overcome and Be You

The good news is that you don’t have to listen. You may feel afraid, unsure, doubtful or inadequate, but you do not have to stay there. Identify the enemy and call him out. Do it anyway regardless of how you feel. The feeling you will get from moving from inaction to action, from saying no to the fear and advancing on it as David did to Goliath will be amazing. It will empower you and boost your confidence. Courage is one step away from victory.

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Diana loves travel, self-improvement, living a debt free life. She also loves hanging out with family, friends and her dog Skye. You can connect with her through livingandstuff.ca

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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