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.

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Stop Delaying – 10 steps to beat procrastination

“The more complex a decision is, the more you’re tempted to procrastinate. Boil it down to the essence first.” Pastor Rick Warren

Hi, thanks for coming to my blog! I really appreciate it.

Procrastination causes people  problems. Fact.

I know from experience the pain and misery it causes.  That horrible, queasy feeling of  unfinished or neglected tasks  hanging over me. The worry. Yuk! Even worse –  the prospect of having to explain to God why I wasted so much time.

But you can beat procrastination – and you can start today, not tomorrow *wink* click to tweet

First of all, we’ll have a look at some background to the dreaded P word and then go through tried and tested ways to beat it once and for all! (If you can’t wait, just scroll down 🙂 )

Procrastination has very harmful effects:

  • Thomas lost his business because he kept putting off sending invoices to clients.
  • Caroline could have got a first at university but only scraped a pass because she never handed her work in on time and didn’t revise for her finals.
  • Edward‘s friends are fed-up because he always turns up late, if at all, and he never keeps his promises because he’s ‘always too busy.’

Two types of procrastination:

20% of adults are trait procrastinators who habitually postpone or stall, like Thomas and Caroline. In other words, they routinely procrastinate, putting off even essential tasks ‘until tomorrow’.

Edward falls into the Type B Procrastination classification – mentioning a long list of irrelevant tasks he ‘had to do’ rather than the tasks he was meant to be doing.

In fact, Edward is always scurrying from one place, one task to another. However,  he fails to deliver, personally and professionally. “I’m so sorry,” he says, “I’ve been so busy lately…..” and he reels off a list of activities that ‘prevented’ him doing what had been expected of him. None of which impress or placate his friends or work mates.
The reasons for  procrastination include:

fear of failure or fear of success – both of which can be crippling

anxiety/low self-esteem – procrastination has a strong link to self-esteem. In fact, they feed off each other – if you have low self-esteem then you often procrastinate.  This increases low self-esteem and on and on it goes……

perfectionism

inability to plan or start

inability to delay gratification e.g. it’s more fun to play computer games than start the report your boss asked for

The penalties of procrastination:

Disappointment – you   don’t get a table at for an anniversary dinner because you didn’t book in time or you can’t wear your best suit for an important interview because you didn’t take it to the dry cleaners in time.

Self-sabotage – you don’t get the job because you didn’t apply in time. Researchers believe that trait procrastinators tend to have lower levels of wealth, health and happiness.

Increased stress – because things don’t get done which causes problems  and also because putting things off causes people to feel guilty, irritable and defensive.

Lower self-esteem – which makes it more likely you will procrastinate in the future. It also encourages people to drink too much alcohol, overeat or smoke.

Increased stress in other people because we haven’t met our obligations to them professionally, personally or at church. This in turn causes us to feel stressed or guilty.

How to conquer procrastination:

“Be transformed by the renewing of your mind”

Romans 12 v 2 offers insight into how to get the better of procrastination; by changing your mind-set you can significantly change your life.

1)  The vital first step is to make a conscious decision that you no longer want to procrastinate.  You are going to be known as the ‘always does’ person and not the ‘never does’ person. Pray over this. Read through Proverbs.

2)  Keep telling yourself that “I ALWAYS perform tasks in a timely fashion. I am competent and capable. I can do it!”  Say it over and over again until you genuinely start to believe it.

3)  Writing things down is essential as it makes you focus on something real. This is motivating and energising. Write out a list of everything you have to do – either at work or at home. Then review it and assign each task an Urgency Quotient:

uq Vital – for tasks that are urgent and important. If you have more than one Vital task then the most pressing is UQ1, followed by UQ2 and so on.

uq Important – for tasks that need to be done soon but are not urgent. Again, number them in order of importance.

uq Later – for tasks that can safely be left for a while.

uq Delegate – for tasks that you can hand over to someone else.

Now you can prioritise – start with uq Vital 1 (uqV1) and work through the list. You are going to feel great the moment you start on the list! Trust me on this 🙂

4)  Now plan! I always tell my students that a few minutes planning their answers in an exam will make all the difference to their result. During the planning stage break the task into smaller, do-able steps. Each time you achieve a step cross it out. This  adds to  your feeling of purpose and achievement.  So, you feel massively motivated.

5)  Check you have everything you need before  you start. Nothing is more discouraging than realising half way through a job that you haven’t got an item or a resource and that you are going to have to down tools and find it.

6) Make sure that your work area – either at work or home – is well-organised and free from clutter. Clutter drains you emotionally.

7)  Forget perfectionism! Instead focus on excellence – do the absolute best you can at that moment.

8)  Don’t  be distracted.  (Bubble Shooter used to be my downfall – although I did try to claim it was ‘thinking time’ 🙂 ) Remove all possible distractions and temptations. Focus. Remind yourself of the benefits of finishing the work in a timely manner.

9)  Learn as you go – so that next time you face the same task you know that you can do it successfully and to an excellent standard. This is highly motivating.

10) Reward yourself each time you accomplish a task! You deserve it and it will motivate you. It doesn’t have to be anything big – just something that will make you feel good. Plus you will be able to bask in the praise from others who have noticed the change in you 🙂

So, give these ideas a go and see what happens. Remember, that it takes a while to establish a new habit – so don’t give up if you slip back into old patterns – just start again.  Let me know how you get on!

Also, you can personalise these powerful words from The Bible:

(I) Trust the LORD and his mighty power. (Psalm 105:4)

God’s Spirit doesn’t make (a coward) out of (me). The Spirit gives (me) power, love, and self-control. (2 Timothy 1:7)

For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength (Philippians 4:13)

I  am new to blogging and welcome all comments – good and not so good 🙂 If you have any queries about this post please email: mountain_movers@ymail.com or contact me on facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Successful-Living-With-Mountain-Movers/129287903793665