How to Be Assertive Without Alienating Your Partner

How to Be Assertive Without Alienating Your Partner

Asking for what you want—and setting boundaries around what you don’t want—is a key life skill. But sometimes in our enthusiasm to practice this skill, we over-do our own assertiveness and end up with a partner wh… READ MORE

Let Your Light Shine

Let Your Light Shine

You were born with the ability to do whatever you want to do. People like the Wright Brothers, Nikola Tesla & Oprah Winfrey have shown us that humans can fly, transmit electricity wirelessly and inspire millions of … READ MORE

How to reinvent your career in 9 easy steps

How to reinvent your career in 9 easy steps

Are you an employee, business owner or manager who suddenly finds it necessary to reinvent your career due to the economy, a lay off or going out of business? Or, do these uncertain times simply inspire you to make a ch… READ MORE

The Road to Forgiveness is a Journey Toward Freedom

January 3, 2015 | READ 0 COMMENTS & JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Freedom“If unresolved anger is a toxin to the spirit, forgiveness is the antidote,” wrote Brian Luke Seaward in his book, Stand Like Mountain, Flow Like Water: Reflections on Stress and Human Spirituality.
When people get hurt, they often react with resentment, anger, rage, even hatred. While some of these feelings may be appropriate responses, holding on to them can cause emotional pain and stress. Nurturing old wounds and resentments is like tending weeds in the garden. The more care you give them, the more they take over until there’s no room for the feelings that can nourish you.

Forgiveness doesn’t mean condoning inappropriate behavior and excusing personal violations. It doesn’t mean giving up or hiding or denying what was done. To forgive someone of something doesn’t necessarily mean turning the other cheek so that you can be hurt again. To forgive doesn’t mean you forget that you were harmed. Or that you felt the way you did as a result.

What it does mean is letting go of the feelings of anger or resentment, so that you can get on with your life. Forgiving is a process—sometimes slow—that heals wounds and returns our power to us. So long as we hold onto old feelings, we give control of our lives over to those who have hurt us. Forgiveness sets us free.

Ways to Forgive
It’s not as though you can just decide to forgive someone and it is done. Forgiving is an active process. To get from here to there is a journey to be travelled. But you don’t have to take it alone. Don’t be afraid to ask for help along the way.

Acknowledge all the feelings. Though anger and resentment might be on top, beneath may lie feelings of hurt, betrayal, loss and grief. Uncovering these more tender emotions may be painful, but, like curves in the road, it is part of the journey to be travelled.

Stop blaming. So long as you hold someone else responsible for your feelings or circumstances, you don’t own your own life. You stop blaming by accepting total responsibility for your life.

Release the desire for revenge. The wish to inflict suffering or pain on the person who hurt us keeps us in a place of suffering and pain. We cannot experience the freedom of forgiveness until we are willing to move away from the need to punish.

Learn to accept. It’s virtually impossible to stop judging; however, the fewer negative judgments we make, the easier it is to accept. And, according to author Wayne Dyer, “Acceptance is forgiveness in action.” Think of how useless negative judgments are: does it affect the weather because we say it’s awful? Imagine complaining to God about the quality of a sunset. Judgements say very little about the judged, but communicate lots about the one who is doing the judging.

Decide to confront or not. Talking with a person who has harmed you may or may not be the best action to take. Professional assistance can help you in making this decision.

Let go. Only through releasing all feelings of anger, resentment, or animosity can forgiveness be unconditional. “Sweet forgiveness cannot hold any taste of bitterness,” says Brian Luke Seaward. “When feelings of anger are released, the spirit once held captive by the encumbrance of anger is free to journey again.”

Self-forgiveness
Forgiveness is not just an outward expression toward others. Turning the open hand of forgiveness inward is one of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves. When we forgive ourselves we acknowledge our human limitations, release ourselves from our own judgments and practice self-acceptance. These actions are essential for a life of freedom and joy.

Through action or inaction, out of fear, pain or confusion, we may harm ourselves or others. But when we say, “I’ll never forgive myself,” we sentence ourselves to a life of guilt and shame.

Practice self-forgiveness through:
accepting yourself rather than judging yourself
honoring yourself rather than blaming yourself
nurturing yourself rather than criticizing yourself
releasing the past rather than holding onto it

Forgiveness, even self-forgiveness cannot be forced. And it may not come easily. Like many other skills we must learn, self-forgiveness takes practice. If you are unable to immediately release the past and move on, be forgiving of yourself and continue the practice.

Rosie Coppin, the Energizer Coach, helps people who want to make changes in their life – whatever they may be. Ready to take control of your life but not sure how to start?
Contact Positive Goals & Solutions today for an exploration of what’s possible for you. Mobile: 0414 511 455

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Plan Your Work, Work Your Plan

January 3, 2015 | READ 0 COMMENTS & JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Plan Your Work, Work Your PlanWe all want to be successful, right? We all dream of accomplishing big goals and reaping the rewards of a job well done.

But how can you improve the odds of coming out on top? Here are a few tips that should help you out…

1. Make a plan.

Start with point A (where you are) and point B (where you want to be), then think of every possible way you can imagine to get there. Be sure to include any obstacles that you can foresee and how you might overcome them.

2. Make a list of benefits.

Without expectation at the end of your effort, it’s really easy to get stopped by problems. If you list out all of the rich rewards of achieving your goal, you’re more likely to stick with it through the difficulties and achieve success.

3. Get going.

Now that you know where you’re going, how to get there, and what you’ll have once you’ve arrived, get started…and KEEP GOING. No matter what happens, don’t give up. Work your plan every step of the way, and you will achieve the success you desire.

You don’t have to know every step of the journey or every obstacle that you’re going to face, but you can easily establish a basic framework that will help keep you on track along the way.

What plans can you make today?

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Dealing with Difficult Coworkers

October 4, 2014 | READ 0 COMMENTS & JOIN THE DISCUSSION

shutterstock_114118150There’s one in every workplace.

He’s the colleague who is always late to work and never meets a deadline. He’s always apologetic and ready with an excuse and promises this is really the last time he’ll ask for a favor. You’ve been the nice guy, even covering up for him, but now you’re sick of it.

Or it might be the coworker who takes credit for work you did, steals your ideas and talks about you to others. A master of double-talk and double-dealing, she’ll deny everything and try to convince you—and others—that you’re the crazy one. You’re so angry and obsessed with her behavior, sometimes you wonder if you are going crazy.

Until recently, focus has been on how to manage the difficult boss or managing employees. The issue of problem coworkers has received less attention, yet in one study, 80% of people reported that a single coworker contributed significant stress to their workday.

This stress isn’t just dangerous to employees; it has a negative impact on the entire company or workplace. It can lead to poor work performance, absenteeism and health problems. Sometimes outstanding employees who see no solution to a toxic coworker look for a new job. In today’s competitive work environment where finding and retaining talented people is increasingly difficult, this is a loss few companies can afford.

Complaining to management about a problem coworker is often ineffective and can backfire, making you look like the problem. But, there are some effective steps you can take to deal with this common workplace challenge. Remember, if you believe you have some control, you do.

Look to Yourself First
Are you the problem? Do you listen without interrupting? Do you take everything personally? Are you willing to change? Taking responsibility for your part will make it much clearer how to proceed with a problem peer.

Make Sure This Isn’t About Personality or Office Politics
Gender, race, culture and religion affect behavior in the workplace. In her book Problem People at Work, management consultant Marilyn Wheeler outlines some common ways men and women are different at work, and says that neither approach is better than the other. For example, numerous studies on work and gender show that men tend to focus on one thing at a time and value results over process, while women focus on many things at one time and often value the process as much as the results.

What may be offensive to you may be normal to someone of another race or culture. Understanding critical gender, racial and cultural issues can put the problem in perspective.

Classify the Problem Objectively
Measuring the problem helps make it less threatening. Not every problem colleague is the same. One approach is to identify if this situation falls into one of three categories: difficult, challenging or toxic. Knowing this will help you take the right steps.

Difficult
This is a situation that can usually be solved by a single action. For example, your coworker loves to schmooze and interrupts your workflow with comments, personal problems or requests for help. A one-on-one friendly conversation in which you explain the problem usually helps. Offering to go to lunch together or setting a scheduled time to talk will help avoid turning a pest into an enemy.

Challenging
This is a situation that requires more work on an ongoing basis. Take the coworker who turns every situation into a competition and can’t seem to grasp the concept of teamwork. In her book Working with Difficult People, communications consultant Muriel Solomon strongly suggests taking control immediately when a coworker is deceitful, manipulative or exploitive. Stay calm, be firm and up-front. Refuse to be drawn in, but state how you see the problem as clearly and courteously as possible. Understand that this behavior has insecurity and fear at the root, therefore puncture this person’s influence, not his pride. Like medicine for a patient, you may have to repeat this several times as needed.

Toxic
Like some chemicals in the workplace, some coworkers may be truly harmful to your health. In fact, these people are like “a hidden cancer” in the workplace, according to psychologists Alan A. Cavaiola and Neil J. Lavender. In their book Toxic Coworkers: How to Deal with Dysfunctional People on the Job, they list a range of personality disorders that, when taken to extreme, can tear a workplace apart.

Examples are the coworker at the centre—and usually the cause—of every office blow-up. Histrionic and explosive, this person can’t get control of his temper or emotions, and the workplace is in constant turmoil. Or it might be more hidden, like the colleague who can sniff out and exploit every one of her coworkers’ weaknesses. She’s the boss’ pet and the office poison.

Because people with true personality disorders actually view their symptoms as strengths, it’s hard to confront them. In some cases, the best solution is to avoid this person as much as possible, keeping all interactions matter-of-fact and brief. If the situation is truly harmful, some consultants advise that you document examples. This may be a situation where talking to a manager is your best recourse.

Our jobs and careers are an integral part of who we are. Dealing effectively with problem coworkers can help keep our work lives successful and satisfying.

Having problems in your workplace? Contact Positive Goals & Solutions today to discuss  how we can help you. Mobile: 0414 511 455

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