When I first read “Refuse to Choose” by Barbara Sher (not an affiliate link) I was incredibly relieved. I had always thought something was wrong with me because I had so many interests, and I would be completely enthralled with one thing for awhile and then give it up in a moment and jump into something else. Society (not to mention family) seemed to disapprove of this behavior, and it always had me wishing I only loved one thing so I could define my future.
As it turns out, I’m not “ADD” as many people liked to call it. I’m totally normal. In other moments in history, these personality types were not considered “lost souls” who couldn’t make up their minds. They were called Read more…
I had the pleasure of recently being interviewed by the Co-Founder of Noomii.com. I talk a bit about my coaching philosophy and tell my personal story of what took place in my life to make the big change and dedicate my life to helping others acheive their human potential. Enjoy!
I get a lot of clients who are successful in most areas of their lives, but seem to be stuck in the social part, or the relationship part. I’m often asked what to do to find that significant other or to have more friends.
There are a lot of reasons why you have attracted the people who are in your life into your life. There are meanings you have put on what a relationship is about and what friendship is. There are things you may be re-creating from your past that you are “benefitting” from in your current relationships. Keep in mind that a benefit Read more…
In my experience, the more successful and intelligent the client, the more difficult it is to coach them during the first several sessions. There are many reasons for this, but here are the big three: Read more…
We all want to help those people in our lives who are important to us, especially when they are in distress. Sometimes when we try to help, however, it seems like we make things worse. Our good intentions sometimes seem to be “thanked” with defensiveness and aggression. Here are some things to pay attention to in order to truly create solutions and avoid conflict:
1. Did they ask for advice? When someone is troubled, sometimes they just want to vent. Giving advice when someone just wants to talk is a message that you are not listening and can lead to frustration.
2. Are you asking insightful questions or telling? To help someone solve a problem, tapping into that person’s creativity is much more effective (not to mention fun) than telling them what to do. And obviously, a habit of telling someone what to do could be a big part of the conflict in your relationship.
3. Avoid closed-ended questions. A closed-ended question is any question that can be answered with a short one or two word response like “yes or no.” Just about any question that has “you” as the second word is a closed-ended question.
4. Avoid “why” questions. Why questions will put the other person on the defensive. They will have to justify their actions or lack thereof. This is not a lot of fun for someone who came to you with a problem.
5. Are you validating or attacking? Sometimes a person will complain about their partner or a job (that they really like most of the time), and giving validation for the person’s emotions can be helpful. But if you start bad-mouthing the job or criticizing the significant other, that puts the other person on the defensive, and the interaction goes from your being a friendly ear to adding to an already difficult day.
6. Unsolicited Advice. Avoid starting sentences with “You should.” “You should” sentences are a form of unsolicited advice or criticism. You should have known better. You should look for another job. These are simply opinions and are not helpful.
7. Release judgement. Try to imagine that you don’t know the person, and the solutions they come up with, though they may not agree with what you think is right, are just as valid. When someone feels they are being judged, they will be less likely to express new perspectives.
8. Let them own it. If you feel responsible for fixing their problems, do your best to let go. If you have helped them to come up with a course of action, let them run with it. If it fails, they’ll learn. If it’s successful, it’s theirs and will build confidence. If they follow your unsolicited advice and it fails, guess who they’ll blame?
9. Listen and wait. When someone is talking, let them finish and keep the voice in your head quiet and still. Wait a few moments to see if they have completed their thought.
10. Use Open-Ended Questions. This is the secret to getting to the heart of the matter, to tapping into the other person’s creativity and coming up with new solutions the other person can own. Instead of “Why don’t you just tell him like it is!?” You could ask, “How do you think you can make yourself heard in that situation?” “How important is it to you that he sees your perspective?” “What would it mean to you if he understood where you were coming from?” See the difference?
I hope you found these helpful. Of course, there are many more ways to communicate better, and we are all human. The first step is taking responsibility and wanting to communicate better. It is easy to forget that <strong><em>we</em></strong> are an important factor in our interaction with others. We sometimes judge how those around us communicate as if we are not present. Try this on in regards to communication: What you get back is what you put out there.
How could this distinction change your relationships? What would the world be like if everyone adopted this way of thinking?
This is not a blog post about being positive. Nor is it about how negative thinking is ruining your life. It’s actually about nothing and its benefits. Confused yet?
Humans generally do not like walking into the unknown, so in regards to the future, we are constantly filling in information where it is lacking. We run through different scenarios of potential outcomes, or expectations.
Let’s start with the positive. If someone always has positive expectations, there’s a good chance that many outcomes will fall short. The distance between a positive expectation and a real outcome is disappointment. So if your fantasies about other people are still alive or if you are a perfectionist, chances are you are disappointed a lot. Staying positive becomes effort, a huge burden you drag forward through an unfriendly world.
An alternative to this is having negative expectations in which you are always ready for the worst case scenario. If you are always waiting for the worst to happen, from time to time, you will be right. You’ll also have evidence to prove it. People with negative expectations love to be right—you can hear them repeat “I knew it” over and over again, even when something unexpected happens like losing their cell phone. People who always have negative expectations choose to be victims of a harsh universe, and are always waiting for the other shoe to drop when something good happens.
Okay, so positive expectations disappoint me, and negative expectations will turn me into Scrooge, so what should I try to do to live a happier life?
What if you had no expectations? What if however things turned out would be okay? What if you knew you could handle the full range of possibilities between the best and worst case scenarios? You can. How do I know? Because you already did. Bad things have happened to you and you survived. You fixed it. You dealt with it. Good things happened, too. Lots of them, if you think hard enough (I challenge you to make a list!).
Letting go of expectations is not an easy thing to do. It doesn’t mean you are not making an effort toward a positive outcome, it just means you can let go of those things you have no control over. The voice in your head will have less to say, and that makes everything a little more peaceful.
Your body is just that–it’s a long-term lease on a vehicle that takes you, the person, around in the world. Making this distinction is one very effective method to help you do the things you know you should be doing like eating right and exercising. (FYI, this simple shift in thinking helped me to lose 2 pounds per month for about 3 years)
When we consider our bodies to be the same as our person, we can mistreat it when we have had a bad day or are full of negative self-talk. So you made a mistake at work today… feel the emotion, let it go, learn from the situation, and move on—what does that box of Twinkies have to do with it? Do you beat your car with a crowbar when it gets a flat tire? Do you call your car a fat pig when you fill its tank?
Take your body to the doctor. Take your body to the gym, or at least for a walk around the block. Put high-quality fuel into your body. Dress to express what the body carries inside it. Don’t do things to your body that you wouldn’t do to a car that needs to last another half century!
You have a body. You are not your body. And you only get one. Take care of it.
Extra weight and credit card debt are symptoms of the same thought process. How do you feel when you look at your body in the mirror? Think of the extra fat as caloric debt. How do you feel when you sit down to budget? Think of your debt as financial blubber. If one of those gives you a knot in your stomach, thinking your goals are unachievable, keep reading. Read more…
Have you ever met someone for the first time and they tell you about a tragedy they had suffered in the first few minutes of conversation? Chances are, you felt pretty uncomfortable. But you still said the nicest, most soothing words you could think of even though you hardly know the person.
When someone is stuck in a victim way of thinking, they are constantly looking for people to agree with them or to give them sympathy.
Here’s a hard piece of truth: we all act like victims. When we Read more…
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