Process is The Path (why you can’t skip it)

khalliysgraphy.deviantart.com

Hello! Thinking about Process and The Path is a real ‘Aha’ moment in my coaching workshops. It triggers lots of discussion – then gradually, amidst all the fun and chatter, emerges a light bulb moment – that success or growth or change are neither mysterious nor instant.

To succeed at anything, means that you have set your feet on the path and follow the process – there are no short cuts. (Sorry!) But once you accept this, you are unstoppable! You’ll take the first step on your unique path and you’ll keep going until you reach the end of that particular road. No chasing after bright, shiny objects at the side of the road – something I used to do all the time alas.

It might sound dull or tough but truthfully it’s fun and exhilarating. You can see the results of what you’re doing fairly quickly and this motivates you to keep pressing forward. You have a plan to guide you and you’ll develop incredible focus to ensure that the plan happens.

I’ll put my hand up and admit that I used to hate having to wait. And I wish I had been more patient and trod The Path, because many of my outcomes would have been better. I’ve learned some valuable lessons the hard (read difficult, painful and often just plain dumb) way: that life is short and we regret not taking chances, that procrastination destroys hopes, goals and possibly relationships,  that nothing worthwhile comes instantly and about trusting God, His timing and the process.

Accept that it’s your responsibility to plant your feet squarely on The Path, utilising who you are, to take the actions needed to accomplish your goals.

Stages along the Path

  • You have to map and pursue your own path. It’s individual – what you choose to do is relevant to you, your life and your situation. You have your particular skills, strengths and life experiences to draw on. You have your unique vision of what you want to achieve and why. Pray for guidance with your vision and your plans. Ask for wisdom and discernment. (Proverbs 2)
  • Grasp hold of the vision because vision is slippery and if you don’t pay it enough attention, it disappears. Own it, understand it, appreciate the benefits, nurture it.
  • Do your research, read, watch YouTube experts, talk to people who have experience in what you’re planning.
  • Take action. Even if it’s only baby steps. Actually, I’ve observed that consistent baby steps can carry you a long, long way.

It’s an exciting, rewarding journey 🙂 It may not always be simple – you might need to learn new skills and habits or drop some pastimes to free up more time – but as you travel down  the path  you’ll develop more consistency and expand your aptitude and your capacity. How cool is that?

Yes, you may have a few slips or tumbles here and there – and that’s OK. Process is about learning and growing and becoming more.

It took me longer than it probably should have done to understand and value the Path and the Process and I’m grateful that the penny finally dropped because it’s had a positive and dynamic effect on my life and who I am.  Please don’t waste opportunities like I did. Start at the beginning by visioning your destination, setting goals and work your plan through to the end. Let me know how you get on!

If you have questions, I’ll be happy to answer them in the comments or at ninafcoach@gmail.com & also connect with me on twitter.

Oh and by the way, if you wondered about the wolf – think dogged determination! 🙂

 

It’s Up To You! [the R words]

Jim Rohn

“Nina, you share so much about changing and growth and flourishing. What would you say is top of the list?”

Such a great question! The answer is both simple (taking responsibility for your life and its outcomes) and complex (understanding how self awareness and self management combine with responsibility.) But it’s worth the time and energy if you’re serious about moving forward with your life – and it’s always beneficial to learn more about how we tick.

RSASR

Self Awareness

Self awareness is essentially understanding the positives and negatives of:

  • your drives
  • your values
  • your strengths and weaknesses
  • your attitudes
  • your habits
  • your needs and desires
  • your emotional responses – to your own actions and others’ actions

By being totally honest with with yourself, recognising what works and what needs to be improved, you can act from a position of strength. This builds personal power, boosts self esteem and elevates your effectiveness personally and professionally. You can make good decisions, respond positively to circumstances and set meaningful and achievable goals.

Self regulation

Being able to deal with your emotions, no matter how difficult the situation, by:

  • not acting impulsively
  • not immediately looking for someone else to blame
  • acknowledging your feelings (and those of others) but not allowing feelings to get the upper hand
  • thinking before you respond
  • communicating clearly and calmly
  • staying focused on what’s important
  • looking for the best next step

Self regulation is basically self control to bring about the best result. With this self control we are well-fortified. Without it self-control we are vulnerable. tweet this

“A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.” [Proverbs 25:28 ESV]

Hiding from the truth

Andy Stanley says that, “Irresponsibility is very difficult to see in the mirror.” He’s right!

Psychologists talk about the self-serving bias which is a tactic or process used to protect or enhance self-esteem, in every area of life. Basically, it means that we take credit for good outcomes and blame others for bad outcomes – regardless of how we ourselves contributed to the outcome.

“For example, a student who attributes earning a good grade on an exam to their own intelligence and preparation but attributes earning a poor grade to the teacher’s poor teaching ability or unfair test questions is exhibiting the self-serving bias.” [Wikipedia]

And it’s not helpful in the long term because it deludes us into being less than we can be, when we refuse or fail to take responsibility for our actions. It can also make us unpopular with friends, family and colleagues.

And yes – it is tough to face up to – I’ve had many moments of crying into my pillow when I accepted that I’d played a part in many of the things that had gone wrong in my life. But it’s also incredibly liberating and empowering.

Help yourself help yourself 🙂

It was totally worth the effort I made to overcome the bit of me that wanted to play the victim or the martyr. Like forgiveness, taking responsibility is a huge gift that you give yourself –  the benefits are incredible!

Thank God that it doesn’t matter what we’ve done in the past – every day offers you  a fresh start and an opportunity to plonk yourself firmly in the driving seat of your life and where it’s headed.

When you fully accept that you are in charge of the outcomes of your life and how you react to circumstances, then you can truly move forward. tweet this

Source: Google Images

Source: Google Images

Areas of responsibility:

  • Your words
  • Your decisions
  • Your actions
  • Your health
  • Your finances
  • Your career
  • Your talents, skills and gifts
  • Your life
  • Your spiritual life

“If it’s going to be, it’s up to me.” [Robert Schiller]

Once we get a grip on self regulation and responsibility, we open the door to amazing changes.

You will feel more motivated and more excited about the present and the future. You will feel more able to deal with life. You can plan and set goals. You can stop blaming others (even if it is their fault, deal with the situation) and you’ll know that if problems come against you, you’ll find a way through.

I love the following verse – its sums up everything in this post.

“Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life.” (Galatians 6: 5 MSG)

Any questions or comments?  Share them both or email me at ninafcoach@gmail.com. You can also follow me on twitter 🙂

Nina is a qualified life coach who enjoys learning and sharing about flourishing.  She is a novice blogger.

 

Forgiveness

Graphic source: funnypictures.picphotos.net

Martin Luther King understood forgiveness. So do the victims, pushed into the media spotlight by unfathomable, agonising crime, who publicly – and genuinely –  forgive the perpetrators.

And us? You and me? If we’re honest, we admit that we struggle with forgiveness. Where’s the justice? What about my feelings, my agony, my heartbreak, my broken life? Don’t they count? Why should I let that rotten so-and-so off the hook?

4 reasons why forgiveness is important

  • Forgiveness is a gift to yourself as well as the forgiven – it lets you move forward
  • Forgiveness liberates you – from being stuck, from negative emotions, from stress
  • Forgiveness is essential for healing
  • And, most important of all, Jesus told us to forgive.

“And forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us.” [Matt 6:12 NLT]. 

The Aramaic word for forgiveness means to untie.

Whether you’re angry, distressed, plotting revenge, cursing or just flinching at the memory, you are tightly bound to the event, albeit by invisible cords. This ‘stuckness’ can prevent you moving forward with your life or influence the way you think. “I’ll never trust another man/girl/boss” is just one example of this.

And the instigator  of your misery probably isn’t  giving you a second thought and is enjoying life. To put it another way, you’ve given away your power to enjoy life and prosper.

Furthermore,  you’re being avidly stalked by the  Terrible Trio of resentment, bitterness and anger. These guys are destructive and can eventually crush your emotional and physical health as they release toxic chemicals into your body.

poison

There are common misconceptions about forgiveness which muddy the water and make it seem more difficult. Understanding these helped me enormously. Let’s take a look at what forgiveness isn’t as well as what it is.

Forgiveness doesn’t mean reconciliation

You have choices:

  1. Has the relationship run its course and is now over?
  2. Do you want to keep the person in your life but add boundaries or make changes for the future?
  3. Are you happy for the relationship to continue as before?

Forgiveness doesn’t mean minimising

You can be real:

  1. You don’t have to pretend that the incident never happened
  2. You don’t have to justify how upset you are
  3. You don’t have to forget before you forgive
  4. You don’t have to condone what happened

Forgiveness is purposeful

It’s not called an ‘act of forgiveness’ for nothing. It’s an action not a feeling. It’s something you do, not something you feel. You choose to forgive, and then you work  on it. How long it takes depends depends on the circumstances and the original offence. There have been people in my life that took me a long time to forgive fully, others not so long.

“We think that forgiveness is weakness, but it’s absolutely not; it takes a very strong person to forgive.” T.D. Jakes

Help with forgiving

Believe that it is possible. God never asks us to do anything that’s impossible. Pray for help. Admit that you’re finding it hard and ask GodThis prayer offers some ideas what to say if you’re stuck [scroll down the page]

Pray for the person who wronged you. Pray that you both can understand each other’s position and viewpoints.

Write out your thoughts and  feelings in your journal as you go through the process.

Consider whether it is in both your interests to have a conversation with the other party and/or to let them know you have forgiven them.

“Deepen your understanding of God’s forgiveness through Bible study and meditation. God has been astoundingly, absurdly generous to us. Let that grace prompt humility and gratitude.” Charles Swindoll

Forgiveness is challenging but it is possible and it benefits you immeasurably.

If you have any ideas to add to this post, please let me know in the box below and please feel free to share this post.

You may also find these helpful as well.  Forgiveness:When you forgive but they won’t let you forget by Minister Desiray Lewis  and  Overcoming Hurtful Words. 

Let’s finish with a message from St Paul.

Put up with each other, and forgive each other if anyone has a complaint. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. [Colossians 3:13 GW]

Please share your comments and questions below.  And, if you found this post helpful, please share it with your friends.

Nina is a qualified life coach who enjoys learning and sharing about flourishing.  She is a novice blogger.

We’ve All BeenThat Dog That Walked 30 Miles! (dealing with rejection)

Graphic via Daily Mail

Graphic via Daily Mail

Thousands  fell head over paws in love with  Lady, the gorgeous, greying Lab who walked almost 30 miles, despite being arthritic, to be re-united with her second family, who were unable to take her back. [Read the full story]

I’m guessing zillions of tears were brushed away.

It was  just so achingly sad and poignant.

Lady’s story got me thinking because we’ve all been there, haven’t we? I know I have!

And when it happens,  it’s painful. Oh boy, does it hurt to be shunned!

 

Graphic source - Copy Blogger, google images

Graphic source – Copy Blogger, Google images

We feel unlovable, unwanted, lacking, embarrassed  And as rejection can occur in  romantic, social, family or work relationships it’s going to affect all of us.

Of course, some professions invite rejection. My daughter is in the midst of editing her first novel, which will, hopefully, soon be published. Along the way, she has faced many rejections from literary agents.

Why Rejection Hurts

Much like Lady and her doggy pals, we are social animals and need to feel that we belong to ‘the pack.’  We want to feel loved and accepted.

This desire  is stronger when you are invested in a relationship. Somebody you don’t know well  gives you the cold shoulder and you shrug it off. If you’re turned down for a job, you can recover reasonably quickly and start the search again.

However, if it’s someone you really care for, then it’s much, much harder to deal with.

It’s to do with value and self worth. When someone important rebuffs you, it’s inevitable that you feel judged and found wanting in some way, Even worse, you may have no idea why the other person feels like that. So you’re left floundering, wondering what you did.

We tend to personalise rejection, and our brain runs an endless loop – ‘what should I have done differently? what’s wrong with me?’

And that feeling that you’ve done a few rounds with Mike Tyson is real – Recent research indicates that social rejection triggers the part of the brain  that causes the physical pain we feel when we trap our hand in a drawer or spill a hot drink on our hand.

Dealing With Rejection

“Rejection is merely a redirection; a course correction to your destiny.”  Bryant McGill

I love the sheer bravery of that quote!

It flies in the face of our natural tendency to shut ourselves away, to guard our hearts against future rejection.

And we can’t live like that. In fact, the fear of rejection can become greater than the hurt of the actual experience.

There are ways of dealing with rejection:

  • Don’t take it to heart. Ok, I know that’s easier said than done, but remember that you don’t always know all the factors in a situation. There may be a reason that you didn’t get that job that had nothing at all to do with you and your skills and experience.
  • Accept that you don’t always know what drives others, what inner hurts or pain that cause them to behave in certain ways.
  • Don’t anticipate rejection. It’s natural to want to protect yourself against further hurt – but stay open to new relationships, new opportunities. It’s Ok to be cautious but don’t lock yourself out of life.  If you do that, then you’ve given away your personal power.

 

  • Hang out with people who love you and encourage you. Believe what they say about you!
  • Write a list of all your skills, talents and positive characteristics. Ask others for suggestions. Keep reading it!
  • Forgive.  You may have to work on this over of time – and pray a lot – but it’s totally worth it. Forgiving the people who have hurt you frees you and enables you to move forward.
  • Pray for strength and wisdom. Jesus knows how rejection feels. He understands what you’re going through. His love never falters and He is your rock and your safe place when you are journeying through the pain of rejection. Ask Him to show you what you need to see.

And finally – Lady’s story had a  happy-ever-after ending – she was rehomed by a millionairess!!

You never know how your story will end – so keep on trusting in God’s plan for your life.

By the way, if you found this post helpful, you’ll enjoy this one:  Overcoming Hurtful Words

Please share your comments and questions below.  And, if you found this post helpful, please share it with your friends.

Nina is a qualified life coach who enjoys learning and sharing about flourishing.  She is a novice blogger.

 

Simplify for Success [lifehack]

Are you always busy?

Dashing from here to there and back again, with your never-ending to-do list clutched in one hand, your phone clutched in the other as you frantically send out another FB update or  tweet or  text?

Does  housework feel like the labours of Hercules?

Are the important people in your life are getting less of your full-on attention than they deserve?

Do you fall into bed, exhausted at the end of the day, knowing that tomorrow the whole wretched merry-go-round starts again?

Do you always/often feel less than 100% physically?

Do you feel overwhelmed or that you’re failing?

Do you want it to stop?

If you’ve said ‘yes’ then here are some suggestions to help you simplify your life.  You might find it challenging at first – that’s OK – do what you can.

You’ll feel better, have more time, feel fresher and more productive. Success and simplicity go hand-in-hand.  And remember it’s an ongoing process – you may wish to revisit some of the items on the list again in the future

hih

Do as much as possible this week and chances are you’ll feel so energised you’ll keep finding more and more ways to simplify for success!!

How can you declutter your home? 

Keep all the items that have sentimental value but generally I think that most of us have way too much stuff – from furniture to ornaments and gadgets – that we hardly ever use. Grab some bin bags and go round your house and decide what you genuinely need and give the rest to a charity shop or a friend and let someone else appreciate it.

What about all those things that are going to be mended some day? It’s time to either mend them or dispose of them in some way – do you have a friend who might love the chance to fix it?

Lots of toys that the kids no longer play with? Send them to a charity if they’re still in good condition.

How many clothes do you have lurking in the back of wardrobes that aren’t going to be worn again? [Be honest 🙂 ] Pack them off to a charity shop or give them to friends.

What about paperwork – shred or bin all those old, useless documents and receipts for something that’s been broken for years etc

How can you declutter your time?

Is there any social activity that you can drop and not really miss doing?

What can you delegate? Are there tasks at work that can be handed over to someone else – at least some of the time? What about chores at home? Can you delegate any of those? Are you able to pay for a cleaner to come in once or twice a week and take some of the load off you?

Maybe you could have a gardener come now and again to do some of the heavy work in the garden?

What about food shopping online? Once you’ve set it up it’s fairly easy to redo it each week and still take advantage of any special offers.  And don’t forget you can book tickets on line as well.

Cook simple meals in the evening and, if you can, make enough so that you can freeze some for another day.

Start saying ‘no’

It’s easy to fill up our time with things that we don’t really want to do or don’t really have the time for. Say ‘ no’ to events and invitations unless you’re excited about going or it’s really important to the other person.  But if  you don’t really fancy that  BBQ on Saturday, then simply say apologise and politely turn down the invitation.

Spend less time on the internet

Isn’t it amazing how 5 minutes checking emails or face book mysteriously turns into an hour or more? 🙂 Limit your sessions on social media and see who/what you can delete from your lists.

Stop trying to multi-task

Multitasking is counterproductive as it burdens the brain and slows us down. Read more here.

Instead of multitasking, group similar activities together and tackle them one after another. For example, set aside time to send all your tweets and emails. Or lump all your errands together and do them in one fell swoop,  so that you don’t need to keep driving to various places.

Once you start simplifying your life, you’ll discover new ways and ideas. Make a start and see how much more productive, happy and successful you are!

Thank you for reading this blog post.

Please share your comments and questions below.  And, if you found this post helpful, please share it with your friends.

Nina is a qualified life coach who enjoys learning and sharing about flourishing.  She is a novice blogger.

 

 

 

 

 

7 Reasons why you should love your goals!

 “People with goals succeed because they know where they are going – it’s as simple as that.”  Earl Nightingale

earRight, I’m going to start with a big confession.

I love, love, love goals and goal setting! I can – and do! – talk about goals for hours to anyone who’s interested. [Yes, my family and friends are very long-suffering :)]

Why? Why am I so keen on something that most people don’t do?

And in fact I didn’t use to, until I discovered that proper planning makes a HUGE difference to my life and its outcomes.

Why goals rock – ie why you should love them

Goals are plans and strategies to move you and your life forward, not wishes or daydreams. In other words, goals give direction to your life. How do you know where you’re going, how to get there, or if you’ve got there without goals?  

Writing goals down in a journal and reviewing them regularly, sticking post-it notes in prominent places and/or discussing them with a supportive friend, activates your reticular activating system (RAS). This brings clarity and focus – helping you to quickly spot things that help you reach your goals.  Basically, the RAS is your best buddy in reaching your goals.

Knowing the why behind the goal [all the benefits] gives you purpose and fulfilment.

You simplify your life because you have a clear focus and can eliminate what isn’t going to propel you forward.

Goals make decision making easier.

Celebrating every small success releases dopamine which makes you feel good and encourages you to tackle the next task.

People who set goals and work on them are more successful, fulfilled and happier.

Honestly, what’s not to love about goals? If you have any comments, doubts about how lovable goals are or queries, pop them into the comments box or email ninafcoach@gmail.com

You may also find this post useful – Why and Other Questions You Must Answer Before You Set Your Goals – yes, it’s a mouthful but it’s a good read 🙂

“Setting goals is the single most important step you will take in improving your life.” Oli Hille

dream   Nina Franklyn Bsc[Hons], CCLC, RSA is a qualified life coach, with a special interest in goals, success and influence. She runs popular workshops as well as offering 1:1 life coaching, often via phone or email, for people who are serious about creating a better life or following their purpose.

Defeat Resistance; Be A Winner!

depressed

“Many of us have two lives. The one we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands Resistance.”  [Steven Pressfield]

Ouch!!

When I read Steven Pressfield’s book, The War of Art,  those 2 sentences hit home.

Hard!

And  it’s not just me.

I’ve listened to people in an agony of despair and self-criticism as days drift by without any decisive action.

Maybe you’ve been there too……..

But there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

You can defeat resistance and be a winner!

Resistance affects many areas

  • Creative projects
  • Business building
  • New exercise and healthy eating plans
  • Our walk with God
  • Relationships
  • Studying/writing essays
  • Making a stand for what we know is right
  • Getting involved in community/charitable projects
  • Projects around the house
  • Anything that you might be able to add to this list

Know the enemy

Truth is,  Resistance is far from futile – it’s a strong, overwhelming force that can knock us off our path, overcome our hopes and dreams and leave us reeling in despair and  futility with our self-esteem in tatters.  Over time, it can become a vicious cycle – we procrastinate or give into our fears or self-doubts and we feel a failure which makes taking the right action at the right time harder so we feel more of a failure…… and on it goes.

Slowly over time, not taking the right actions at the right time becomes a habit.

You know how Resistance operates – every time you go to start, something stops you, You don’t feel like it, the weather’s wrong, you should hoover and do another load of washing first, the car needs something doing to it, blah blah blah.

It might look a little different each time, but basically it’s all Resistance.  The result is the same – stuff doesn’t get done – whether it’s running, eating well, writing another chapter, making business contacts.

Resistance is the enemy!  It is the enemy of your life, your success, your purpose and your destiny!

You know when it’s got you in thrall.

Your plans aren’t happening, your work isn’t happening, your progress isn’t happening.

I am reminded of St Paul’s heartfelt lament in Romans 7:15

“For I do not understand what I am doing, because I do not practice what I want to do, but I do what I hate.” [HCSB]

Don’t be fooled – You can defeat Resistance

beat r

Resistance might shout loudly and fill our heads with ‘you can’t’, ‘not now, do it later,’  ‘this isn’t gonna work, it’s not worth doing’ and other variations on the same theme, but the truth is, Resistance is all talk.  It has little substance.  A toothless lion, if you will.

It’s important for you to grasp this, because it is incredibly important, so important that Resistance doesn’t want you to know it and will fight to stop you implementing it.

It can be defeated!

How?

[drum roll]

Action!

“Action Always Defeats Resistance!”  [N.M.Franklyn]

What to do to defeat Resistance

  • Decide that this is a battle you are going to win.
  • Accept that it will take a while – there’s no magic bullet.
  • Commit to creating new habits.
  • Start small – decide that you will work on a task for a short period of time (even if it’s only 5 minutes)  and do it. Then give yourself a small reward 🙂  Then go back and do another 5 minutes or 15 minutes – whatever you’ve decided.  Then have another reward/break. Keep this pattern going.
  • Alternatively – decide that you are going to devote 90 minutes first thing every morning to work and do it. Set a timer so that you can see the time counting down 🙂 Then when you’ve finished, give yourself a little treat.
  • Work on your tasks/projects every day – build new habits
  • Know the benefits of what you are working to achieve – this will inspire and motivate you
  • Forget perfectionism – do the very best you can right now.
  • Find an accountability partner. Choose someone you can trust, who will support and encourage you to stay on track.
  • Seek out someone who is attempting to do the same as you – either in real life or through the internet – and join forces to share the journey together.

Get into the Word

“Be transformed from the inside out by renewing your mind.” Romans 12: 2b The Voice

“Then you called out to God in your desperate condition;
    he got you out in the nick of time.
He led you out of your dark, dark cell,
    broke open the jail and led you out.
So thank God for his marvelous love,
    for his miracle mercy to the children he loves;
He shattered the heavy jailhouse doors,
    he snapped the prison bars like matchsticks!”

Psalm 107:12 TM

I will leave you with a great talk by Nancy Missler

Please share your comments and questions below.  And, if you found this post helpful, please share it with your friends.

Nina is a qualified life coach who enjoys learning and sharing about flourishing.  She is a novice blogger.

Why & Other Vital Questions You Must Answer Before You Set Your Goals

“It’s the why behind the vision that inspires the action.”  NinaFCoach   click to tweet    

The most important question you can ask yourself before you  even write down your goals and start working  them, both professionally and personally is “Why?”
  • Why am I doing this?    [Keep asking this until you have a list of reasons.]
  • What are the benefits of doing this for myself and for those I love?
  • What will happen if I don’t set this goal and achieve it?

Spend time thinking about the answers, discuss them, do any necessary research. Be absolutely crystal clear on the why and the benefits. This will guide and motivate you in the weeks that lie ahead while you work on your goals. Write everything down – so that you can refer to it later. Also, writing stimulates clarity, memory and positivity.

The next questions are about the practicalities of achieving your goals

  • Can I do this at this time and with my set of circumstances? It’s good to have goals that challenge us but if the challenge is close to impossible, it’s better to find another starting place and take the necessary steps.
  • What do I need before I can begin? [knowledge, resources, money etc]
  • What are the opportunities for success and what are the threats?
  • Who can help me?
  • How will I know when I have succeeded? Be clear on this.
  • When will I have finished? Every goal needs an end date – you can adjust it if needs be.
  • Who are my mentors? [either in real life or books, blogs, CDs etc]
  • Who is my accountability partner? I fully recommend that you have one – to keep you on track, to celebrate you successes and to cheer you along. Pick someone you know will be both firm and supportive.

These questions will help you set up your goals for success. If you have any comments or queries, please ask them below or email ninafcoach@gmail.com

Thank you for reading! Every success!

 

 

Overcoming Hurtful Words

Source@ Google images

Joyce Meyer says that “Words are containers of power.”

 And we’ve  experienced that power. The kind word that lifts your spirits at the end of a tough day,  the compliment that makes you feel good, the encouragement you are given during a difficult task.

Words also damage.  Words can HURT. A LOT!  I suffered a lot of verbal abuse as a child and young woman. By the time I was a teenager I had developed anxiety and other emotional problems – anorexia, agoraphobia. The negative beliefs  that had grown deep inside me encouraged me to pick relationships with men who would continue the abuse.

“Words have more power than atom bombs.” (Pearl Strachan Hurd)


Humans are social creatures – we need to love and feel loved and share pleasant, meaningful interaction.

So the pain from ‘word bombs’ lobbed at you for whatever reason –    anger, blame,  criticism,  or venting over a situation that has nothing to do with you –  is excruciating.

And it’s worse if they are uttered by someone important to you, such as a valued colleague, friend, partner.  All kinds of emotions are triggered – shame, embarrassment, anger. And it can leave a permanent scar unless you deal with it.

deal with words

You can’t control what others say  but you can evaluate what was said:

  • Was it sparked by envy about something you have or have achieved? A backhanded compliment.  Can you put it in a more positive context?
  • Was there some truth in it? Is it highlighting an area you need to work on?
  • Was the speaker having an off day? If so, take a deep breath and let it go. As Christians we shouldn’t take offence.  Proverbs 19:11 states, “A person with good sense is patient, and it is to his credit that he overlooks an offence.” [GW] We’ve all said things we regret when we’re dealing with ‘stuff’ and we hope that others will overlook.
  • Is the speaker generally negative?  Some people just are like that. The best way to handle this,  is to accept that’s who they are and pray for them.

joyce meyer words

Action steps for overcoming hurtful words:

It’s OK to cherry pick the steps that are most useful to you – personally I’ve found steps 1, 2, 5 & 7 helpful.

  1. The most important and effective action step you is to choose to let it go, bless the person and move on. Yes, it’s difficult, but it is possible. It’s like they say – all you can control is your reaction to situations. Think of it as a gift to yourself, setting you free from someone else’s negativity.
  2. Write down how you feel in your journal. Putting words on paper clarifies your thoughts and brings insights. Plus, you can plan what to say if you decide to speak to the person about what was said.  Read more here.
  3. Discuss the situation with someone you trust. Another person’s input often reframes events, giving you objectivity, reassurance and affirmation.
  4. Write a letter to the person who spoke the hurtful words – pour out how you felt when they said them and how you feel now. Let it all out. When you’ve finished, don’t read it, either tear it up and flush it down the lavatory or burn it. Don’t send it!! 🙂
  5. Forgive. I’ve had to do this. It needed a lot of prayer and determination and sometimes it seemed like it was a case of two steps forward and one step backwards.  But it made a MASSIVE difference – forgiving others is one of the best gifts you give yourself.
  6. Remember that forgiveness doesn’t mean that you have to go back to the same situation – you can set boundaries or make adjustments. Sometimes, you need to ask God to bless someone and then let them go out of your life.
  7. Ask God to help you overcome the pain, anger, feelings of rejection etc then believe that He will.
  8. If you have been a long term victim of verbal abuse, you may benefit from seeing a counsellor or other expert.

It is possible to overcome hurtful words – I know this from personal experience of years of negative input.  Make a decision to move beyond the pain of hurtful words, pray, trust and believe.

If you found this post helpful, you’ll enjoy: Forgiveness and  We’ve All Been That Dog That Walked 30 Miles: dealing with rejection

Please share your comments and questions below.  And, if you found this post helpful, please share it with your friends.

Nina is a qualified life coach who enjoys learning and sharing about flourishing.  She is a novice blogger.

Journal Your Way to Success!

I am a massive fan of journalling. When I mentioned this recently, one of my students smiled wryly, saying “Come on, Nina, isn’t that a bit teenage angst?”

Everyone laughed.  But I knew what she  meant.

I have fond memories of my [ locked :)]  teenaged journals.  I never scribbled down anything earth shattering but it was a safe place to write out my thoughts and feelings. Then it  fizzled out. And in the throes of  de-cluttering I binned them,  an act I now bitterly regret. I’d love to read them today.

Fast forward a couple of decades [give or take :)]  I became a life coach and realised that writing in a journal regularly is invaluable. It facilitates so many aspects of our life, including our walk with God.

The Link Between Success & Keeping a Journal

The latest research suggests that success is a product of happiness – that the more upbeat and positive you are, then the more effective, efficient and successful you’ll be. The brilliant Shawn Achor calls this The Happiness Advantage.’

shawn achor

Basically, the old school theory that success makes you happy has been turned on its head.

Leading a meaningful life [getting involved, helping others, praying, meditating on the Word] is an essential component of happiness – rather acquiring possessions, money, status. [I love it when the world catches on to what we’ve read in the Bible]

According to Shawn Achor, using your journal to record daily at least 3 things that you are grateful for positively affects the way you see the world and enables you to relive the experience, which boosts your morale and motivation.

Additionally, reading through these upbeat entries now and again will encourage and inspire you.

Benefits to Emotional Health

Journalling gives you a chance to express your feelings fully and to reflect on how situations are affecting you. The act of writing, whether it’s fully coherent or ‘stream of consciousness’,  generates ideas. When you review what you’ve written you start to see issues/events more clearly.

1) Writing  clarifies your thoughts –  your ideas and thoughts are consequently more real and tangible than when they are ‘floating around’ your head.

This enables you to properly assess and analyse what you are thinking. Written down your thoughts and feelings become more comprehensible, so you can review ‘complete’ thoughts rather than vague, fuzzy unfinished ideas. Consequently, you can spot dumb or unrealistic thinking. As a result. you’ll make better choices and decisions.

2) Regularly writing down what is happening in your life lets you  identify recurring habits and behaviours.

Consequently, you have the chance to re-think/re-evaluate how you approach certain situations and, if need be, find a way to handle them differently. This results in improved outcomes for you and for others.

3) You can  track  what is happening in your life, what is working well and what needs re-planning or re-strategizing. You can make necessary adjustments and identify successes that need celebrating.

[Keep a section of your journal specifically to record successes – it will motivate you and cheer you up on ‘bad’ days.]

4) When things go wrong – use your journal to vent –  just let it all out. You can tear the pages out later if you don’t want to keep them.

This prevents you saying stuff that you later regret. Or stops you saying things that you later realise were based on your mistaken perceptions. After the vent, you can work out whether you need to take action and how to do so.

5) Use your diary to daydream. Just let your imagination wander freely and take notes. Words or pictures are fine but a combination of both satisfies the left and right sides of the brain.

You can analyse this later and see if any of it is genuine vision and needs to be added to your goals.

6) Use a section of your journal to record your goals. Make sure that you write in an affirmative style with an end date.

Read through them on a daily basis – ideally, read them out loud as it changes the way your brain processes them.

This keeps your goals fresh in your mind – remember that we move towards what we pay attention to. You can record your progress as well – which is highly motivating 🙂

7) At least once a week (every day is best) write down what you are grateful for – no matter how large or small it may be.

Having an attitude of gratitude has numerous benefits e.g. you are more productive, you enjoy closer relationships with people you love, you feel more satisfied with your life and thus happier, you discover new reasons to praise God

Benefits to Physical Health

Many of us tend to carry stress and negative emotions in our bodies. You know those feelings of tension in the shoulders or stomach when you’re upset or you’ve had a tough day at work. Or you get a bad throat when you’ve failed to communicate what you wanted to say to someone.

Writing down how you are feeling shifts the situation and your feelings surrounding it out of you and onto the page. This ‘space’ between you and the issue allows you to reflect, analyse and understand what is going on and work out a course of action.

How To Start Journalling

jou

All you need is a hard-backed note book and a pen. Have your Bible to hand as well as you may want to read it at some stage.

Make yourself a cup of tea, choose a warm, comfortable place  where be undisturbed, and just start writing.

It might feel a bit weird to start with, but it gets easier – promise:) – and remember, this journal is for you – no-one is going to check your spelling or grammar 🙂

You might sometimes find it easier to draw your ideas/plans or stick in pictures and why not use mind maps as well?

Thank you for reading this blog 🙂 I’d really like to know how you get on with journalling.

Please share your comments and questions below.  And, if you found this post helpful, please share it with your friends.

Nina is a qualified life coach who enjoys learning and sharing about flourishing.  She is a novice blogger.