Thoughts and such like.....
This summer we've experienced some major fluctuations in our weather, from scorching hot days to freezing cold and somewhere in between, and although we might complain about the weather we've been lucky on our Island not to have experienced the extreme wildfires that much of our Province has seen this summer. In fact wildfires seem to have been hitting many places in the World over the past few months, from Sweden to Greece, Australia to Russia not to mention the US and Indonesia. It's interesting to note that until I looked up wildfires around the World I really hadn't realized what an impact they were having - climate change affects us all and yet some of us don't see how we contribute to the problem by ignoring it.
It's a bit like when we're going through change, we tend not to see what's happening in other peoples world... or at least that's me.. I'm ridiculously bad at noticing things when I'm focused on something, I've vowed to be better, however my kids often laugh at how I missed something or someone's expression because I'm focused on whatever I'm doing, and I think I'm like that when change, whether expected or unexpected, happens. I tend not to see what's going on around me, particularly if the change is either unexpected or unwelcome. I become so focused on my world, so caught up in the 'unfairness' or sadness of what has occurred that somehow I'm oblivious to what is going on around me. It's not intentional, rather it's how I've tried to deal with it, I rarely reach out to others as I have this ridiculous tendency of having to deal with things on my own, I guess a hangover from childhood when problems were there to be solved by me, not expected to be passed onto parents or those in charge. Now, I've begun to learn that how I deal with change may not always be the best, and I'm working on changing this habit.
Change is an unavoidable part of life, and although some changes are easier to manage than others, how we respond to change is up to us! Research shows that how we deal with change can have significant impact on our emotional and physical health. Even good change can affect how we manage ourselves and our time, and we are more likely to move through change successfully if we acknowledge the challenges, explore our options and remain positive, giving ourselves time to adapt to our new reality. In other words, how we deal with change whether in life or business is important. More often when we talk of change we mean change that may affect us in a negative way, like the loss of a partner, divorce, or loss of a job, or a promotion that didn't happen, things that may not seem to be a big deal to others can affect us emotionally. Sometimes even retirement, which we may have looked at with excitement, when it becomes reality can have a negative emotional effect - we no longer have a place to go each day, the chats in the coffee room no longer include us.
When change happens we can turn to other distractions, such as drinking or acting irresponsibly, avoiding meetings that discuss the change, or pretending it's not happening and continuing on as before - however this can make things much worse. Sometimes we may need to engage professional help, but family, good friends or colleagues may also be of support. It's important to examine and manage our feelings as they arise as this can help us move forward, talking to others who have faced difficulties head-on and come out stronger can also help us reflect on new possibilities.
Three things we can do to work through change:
In the Tiny Buddha, (tinybuddha.com/blog/13-ways-to-change-when-life-changes-around-you/) Loren Hills wrote that 'Just as the seasons change, so do we. Some changes we can choose, others we do not.' She went onto suggest that we start by being present to the changes that occur everyday around us, 'natural changes that take place in everyday life'. Often we have no choice, change happens and we can continue to resist and be left behind or we can accept and move forward. Often our resistance to change comes from fear - fear of the unknown. Take time to figure out what your fears are, and try to work through them. Changing how we react to change can enable us to learn and grow.
When moving through change don't be surprised if success doesn't come immediately, working through change requires consistent and persistent action, stay present and focus on what needs to be done immediately.
Remember you only have one life to live, you are in charge of how you live it, so live it to the fullest and and embrace the change that continues to occur throughout your journey. Living the life that's left to you with gratitude, positivity, and happiness while fulfilling the dreams you have carried throughout your life!
A coach can help you navigate your way through change, if you would like help moving through change, contact me for a free discovery session.
As my friends and many of my regular blog readers know I have two sons. What I realized this weekend when my youngest came to visit was how incredibly focused they both are. As they were growing up, I ignored conventional wisdom and told them always to go for their dream, what made them happy. Both have followed that advice, sometimes hurting for it, the eldest as a musician, always broke, but going through university realizing there are many ways to work in the music industry, and find his path there. The youngest who dreams of playing professional rugby, continuing to hone his skill, working out each day, practicing, stretching, rolling and taking on MacJobs, or jobs that don't lead anywhere, just to be able to do what he dreams of.
This ability to go for our dreams is what separates many people from the rest of us - they have a belief in themselves and their ability, they work hard and go without because they believe. We admire those 'who've made it', people who've worked hard and become who they dreamed they would be, but sometimes we forget the cost, or we ignore those trying to climb the ladder. It's so much easier to give up, to say no, I won't make it or there are too many obstacles in my way. It takes courage to follow your path. There are those who despite setbacks continue to live their dream? They may never be famous or household names, they may never be rich or turn heads as they walk by, but they continue to live their dream in the life they live.
I believe it is never to late to dream - or try for your dream. There seems to be a belief that our life is already written, we can't change it - I don't believe that, our role is to grab that pen and write our own story, in all it's glorious technicolour, whether our dream is to travel the World or to stay at home - it is our story we develop and shape it as we wish! What do you dream of, and what excuse do you have for not trying? Many people don't believe in themselves 'It'll never happen, why bother?' they reason. However, if you never try, of course it will never happen - what if you tried? You have to believe in yourself, before others can believe in you! Each day is precious, don't waste it - reach, Steve Jobs said:
Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.'
If you're working in a job you hate, counting the minutes until the day ends, why? You only have this one life; what will it take for you to change so that you can follow your dream? It's never too late to pursue what you love, and if there are others who will be affected by you following this dream, talk to them, they love you, they will want you to be happy and will be there for you as you work toward your goal. Clients will often say, I can't remember that far back, when I ask 'What did you dream of in your teens/twenties/thirties - I call them on it, we never forget our dreams. We may lose them in the hustle and bustle of a busy life, but we don't forget. Ask yourself, if I had five million dollars what would I be doing with my life?
Our goals and passions needn't be huge in the worlds' eye, but are huge for us, we are the ones who want to wake up invigorated each day, loving what we do... sometimes we have to take other roles to allow us time to develop our talent, and that's okay... we all need to feed ourselves. And, sometimes our own fear is the biggest hurdle we have to cross, I know, I lived in a place where I was no longer fulfilled, I had almost become numb and joyless... however more than anything I was afraid to change, afraid for myself and my family.... the good old 'what's ifs' came to visit my head and danced around, making merry, building up arguments as to why I shouldn't embark an a new adventure - the whisperings of so called sage voices telling me that I hadn't enough saved, that I was a fool to leave a secure well paid job to forge my own path and what would happen if....if.. (fill in you own blanks). I wonder has this ever happened to you?
When I did leave, eventually, the voices and naysayers in and out of my head shook their heads, oh was I in trouble. However, my kids asked 'What took you so long? and when I gave all those answers, their response 'so what.... things will work out... what if you have to sell the house - you can always buy another' was all I needed to hear. It takes time to build a business, reach a place of security, times when you're constantly questioning yourself with 'What do i think I'm doing? Who do I think I am that I could do this....? When you talk to the dying about their regrets, many say it was not following their dream when they could have/should have. The risks we don't take are those that we regret. Confront the doubt head on.
People who follow their dream often say how alive they feel, they work hard but it doesn't feel like work, they continually improve themselves to make their dream a reality. Happiness shines through them and is contagious. They like themselves more, they don't begrudge working at the weekends - they have flexible schedules. They inspire others, like you and me as we face our fears and win. Not only do they learn new things, but they enjoy the challenges they face. They inspire us all, Yes, it's risky, but all things that are worth it, are. Don't allow fear or challenge stop you from moving forward.. It's good to get out of your comfort zone, who says you can't? The only person limiting you, is you!
Remember you only have one life to live, Remember you only have one life to live, you are in charge of how you live it, so live it to the fullest and enjoy your journey. Live the life that's left to you with gratitude, positivity, and happiness fulfilling the dreams you have carried throughout your life!
Last week I had a call from a real estate sales person wondering if I had considered selling my home. I was having trouble understanding him, and had asked him to repeat himself when the phone line went dead. A few minutes later the phone rang again, this time a different sales person came on and when I mentioned I had been talking with someone else he proceeded to tell me what a poor worker his colleague was, and how much difficulty they were having with him - most peculiar, but more importantly for that firm, not the kind of discussion he should have been having with me! When speaking with customers, I don't think I'm off by saying complaints of this sort should be kept inside the organization and certainly one employee should not be criticizing another to a potential customer. I quickly ended the call and mulled it over.
The conversation got me thinking about negative people and the effect they can have on each of us, on our organizations and on our World. It's easy to get caught up in a negative conversation, we've all done it at sometime, however being around negative people is toxic for us and can slowly trickle into our life, colouring our view of the world and our place within it. When we allow negativity to direct our actions and behaviour it means that we haven't set boundaries.
Setting boundaries and our own interaction with a negative person means we set limits on our contact with them and the rub off effect on us. Keeping our interactions short and to the point, not getting caught up in their rhetoric can also help avoid getting pulled into their negativity. I read somewhere about thinking of a negative person in a similar way to someone who smokes: would you spend endless time with the smoker, inhaling the air around or would you limit your time with them?
Shawn Achor, author of The Happiness Advantage calls the negative pattern of thinking 'The Tetris Effect', and suggests it's 'a metaphor for the way our brains dictate the way we see the world around us'. He talks about getting stuck in a pattern of only seeing the negative, and missing the positives. Okay, so it's not so simple, however Achor goes onto say 'Constantly scanning the world for the negative comes with a great cost. It undercuts our creativity, raises our stress levels, and lowers our motivation and ability to accomplish goals'. I would add that hanging out with people who constantly look on the negative, also affects our ability to look at the positive side of things, for example, the next time you spend time with someone who has this type of personality, try and scan yourself once you return home - what's your mood like? how do you feel?
Achor talks of the 'positive' and negative' Tetris Effect - if we only focus on one area then that's all our brains will see. He states and research confirms that we can train our brains. So if we begin to revise our thinking and start looking for the positives, we can 'profit from three of the most important tools available to us: happiness, gratitude, and optimism. The effect of all three is to grow in positivity and happiness, a side effect of which is greater work performance and achievement of goals! So, even in times of adversity it pays to be an optimist!
Setting boundaries about how we want to be treated, is a part of self care, also establishes our identity and supports mental health. If you set boundaries, you can control chaos in your life, remember you aren't responsible for how another person feels, only for yourself. If you find that you need to set boundaries, do so clearly and succinctly and, stick to it, don't waver for anyone! This can be hard, especially if the other person is not used to them, but be persistent - this is for you and only you can do it.
If you must or have to interact with someone who's always complaining, for every negative thing they bring up, ask for a positive solution, this really does get them to stop and think - don't fall into the the habit of giving them a solution, but make them work for their own. It'll really get them to view their situation from a different angle.
Remember you only have one life to live, you are in charge of how you live it, so set those boundaries and give up living with the negativity and toxic behaviour of others. Live well, take up with new positive friends, live the life that's left to you with gratitude, positivity, and happiness!
Maeve O'Byrne's Blog