Monthly Archives: January 2013

How To Keep Your Glass Half-Full

Do you know people who consistently poo-poo any new idea – especially yours? small__5458325252Without even taking the time to consider the nuances, the intricacies, and the brilliance of the thing, they say ‘no’ before the words are barely out of your mouth. Whatever you say, they disagree. You are wrong and they are right.

I know a few people like this.  I call them ‘energy suckers’. No matter how pumped you are, they come along with their energy-zapping vacuum and point it in your direction. They’ll cut down every point you make. Stomp on your enthusiasm. Squash your high until it’s as flat as a pancake; the school-yard bully to your Pollyanna.

Well guess what? You are right (likely – I don’t know what your idea is. If it’s jumping off a cliff without a parachute then I’m pretty sure, in this instance, you are likely wrong).

What I mean is, if you are coming up with ideas: ideas that light you up; ideas that get your creative juices flowing; spontaneous take-life-by-the-wazoo-and-enjoy-it ideas then you are right and they are wrong.

So how do you stay positive against such pessimism? 

This is a difficult question to answer and an even harder one to deploy. In my case, I have learned a few coping skills – long to come by, trial and error methods that seem to work, most of the time.

Method #1

First there’s the SIIYE method, short for ‘Stick-It-In-Your-Ear’. This took some learning, especially difficult for me since I am a do-what-I’m-told-don’t-make-waves kind of person so standing up for my point of view sometimes goes against the grain. This method works most easily if you are sure of yourself and know your idea is going to work. For me though, it’s a silent, to myself ‘Stick It’ to the perpetrator and I go ahead with my plans, without their blessing.  And when it works out, as it often does, proving them wrong is very sweet revenge – an imaginary highest-of-fives.

Method #2

Next there’s the ‘What’s That? I Didn’t Hear You?’ method. Again, be sure of yourself so you don’t get swayed.  Energy suckers sense unsure-ity. With this method, you have to be able to block out what they just said and pretend it never happened but the next step is crucial; you must self-talk yourself back to the top of the pyramid where you felt strong before you shared your thoughts, or quickly find a comrade to boost your moral. Timing is everything here. The quicker the better or their blabber will start to infiltrate your plan and knock you off your feet.

Method #3

Then we have the ‘Misery Loves Company’ method. This is when the dastardly deed-doer has succeeded in doing his dastardly deed and has sucked all the helium out of your balloon. This is where chocolate (lots of it) and a good friend with a sympathetic ear (you may need more than one of these) comes into play. You also need lots and lots of angel-on-your-shoulder self talk to get you back on track. This is vital since the devil on the other shoulder is smirking right about now. You have now been toppled from the tip of your peak and the climb back up seems steeper this time. But take heart, you will reach the summit again – stronger and wiser.

Method #4

Finally we have the ‘What’s Your Problem?’ method.  And this I mean sincerely. Sometimes it helps to try to understand why the person has thrown manure on you. What is happening with them that makes them so negative? Most often, they are jealous of your spirit, your ingenuity, your energy. They are envious of your position, and more importantly, disappointed with their own.  Once you meet them where they are, you may see it’s not about you at all thus allowing you the courage to follow through.  And on your way up to the top, throw some encouragement their way – their glass needs topping up.

Raise Your Shields

Once you’ve made your decision to embark on your own – without their help and assistance – mind your step. They may stick their foot out to trip you now and again. And should you start to crash, securely fasten your oxygen mask by activating the methods above. Learning to raise your shields will break their suction.

If you are sure of your destination, how you get there doesn’t much matter – as long as it’s honest – and

when you arrive is the precise moment you were meant to.

Share how you’ve gone against the cynics in your life and flourished in spite of them. 

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Quotes That Make You Go Hmmm…

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“Dreams are illustrations
from the book
your soul is writing
about you.”

— Marsha Norman

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5 Non-Verbal Messages You May Be Sending – Everyday

small__795619869From the moment you rise, the day’s conversations begin:

“Will you be able to drive the kids to soccer tonight?”

“Have you got your homework?”

“Where did you last see it?”

“Have a great day.”

“The report is on my desk.”

“How can I help you?”

“Did you hear the latest?”

…and the conversations continue until bedtime only to begin again with the morning’s alarm.

Our daily lives are filled with questions and answers, statements and recounts, but have you considered what else you are saying?

Have you ever:

  • shushed someone who has entered the room anxious to speak to you but you’re watching television so you signal them to sit then only respond to them during a commercial?
  • told your kids you’re too busy to read to them or play a game or help with their homework when you’re checking your emails and reading the latest jokes being passed around?
  • rushed in front of someone, swung open the door and passed through it quickly, allowing the door to swing closed behind you?
  • rolled your eyes at someone else’s comments?
  • carried on a text conversation with someone when you are out for dinner with someone else?

…and the list does not stop here.  It could continue for pages.

We all likely do these things from time to time – I know I have, and on more than one occasion I am not proud to admit (although I try only to do the last one for child-related reasons).

What we aren’t conscious of in these moments of seemingly insignificant, non-verbal interactions, is the effect we are having on the recipient.  We are saying to them:

You Are Not Important To Me.  

Through grimaces, snorts, smirks, body postures, dropping eye-contact, turning our heads, turning our backs, walking away, we make thousands of non-verbal gestures every day.

Of course not all non-verbal messages are negative.  Smiles, winks, glimmers in your eyes, hugs, kissed, and laughter, to name a few, are all positive loving indications that the person is important.

The ratio of negative to positive is what needs to be considered.

Only by becoming mindful of these non-verbal ‘conversations’ and their impact on others, especially those we hold most dear, will we have the greatest chance for meaningful positive impacts on our future interactions, building toward strong positive relationships.    

What non-verbal messages have you sent or received?

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Positive Ponderings: What’s Your Role?

medium_6170062290

If all the world’s a stage, 
what’s your role?

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Bright-Side of the Web: How to Regain Your Gratitude

This beautiful video reminds us how to appreciate
all that is around us.

video credit: YouTube

Quotes That Make You Go Hmmm…

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“A wise man pays attention
to what is said
but listens to what goes unsaid.”

~Ryan Steyn

 

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What Would ____ Do?

small__4682381011Sitting at your computer, you plot out your perfect dream job.

You’ve researched the education required to get the job; you qualify. Check!

You’ve scouted out the perfect type of clients or employers. Check!

You’ve nailed down the location you most desire to work. Check!

You know your competition and how you can outshine them. Check!

You’ve created a website, online profile, business cards. Check!

What’s next?

…oh ya, actually getting the job or the client to hire you. 
This is the tough part.

Do you have the self-confidence to pull this off?

Do you have the guts to pick up the phone?

This is a particularly difficult task if you are changing careers.  You know you can do this wonderful life-affirming career but how do you convince others that you can do it? Unfortunately I don’t have the magic answer to this other than to say if you know it’s right, you can make it happen – with a lot of really hard work.

However, one thing that I have found helpful in times of self-doubt is to imagine I am someone else; a person of inspiration.  Someone whom I admire for their courage and confidence.  Someone who has climbed to the top one step at a time, beginning from the bottom-most rung, and I ask myself:

‘What would ___ (Oprah, Tony Robbins, Richard Branson) do?’

You may not even need to enter the celebrity realm.
What would your best friend and successful entrepreneur, Steve do?
What would your annoyingly-perfect-because-she’s-successful-and-you’re-not sister do?

Think about what it took for them to reach their pinnacle.

Where did they start and what steps did they take to get there?

If you don’t know, ask them.

Ask them how they handled rejection (‘cause you know that’s coming).

Ask them the most important thing they learned when they were starting out.

They will likely be flattered and may offer to mentor you, giving you a boost up those seemingly very steep first steps.

What have you got to lose?
…only your dream job.

 

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