Jul 28, 2009

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Jul 21, 2009

Time to Wake Up - Again...

(This was originally posted in February 2009.  I felt it was still relevant to current circumstances, and just reading it again made me feel empowered.  I'm re-posting so that it can be a reminder to me and anyone else out there who might need it!)

Have you ever had one of those dreams – where you’re trying to scream but no one can hear you?  Or where you are telling anyone and everyone something so important that your life depends on it – and NO ONE believes you or will even LISTEN to you?   Well – welcome to the nightmare I’ve been living in for the last few months.  th_1516785221_bdd6d36492

We’ve been dealing with family drama – which has subsequently seeped its way into the business area of my life as well.  It hasn’t been easy – and not just for me, also for those close to me.  Many things have transpired:  a little back-stabbing, some under-handed manipulation, some false rumors, a little bit of taking credit where it ISN’T due, along with lots of word-twisting and lies, lies, lies.  And all this for the love of money, power and control. 

Because of these things, my life has been turned upside-down – my workload has tripled, my home life has been greatly affected and even my children have felt some of the ripples of this negativity.  The worst part of it all, though, is not being heard.

There are many people in my “world” that don’t believe you need to be heard.  They believe that you can let go of many things on your own.  This can be extremely frustrating – not just on a personal level, but especially when, as a professional, you try to address a business problem in a professional manner, only to be shut down because that person doesn’t want to “hear it”. 

So, several months of being overworked, never being heard/validated and becoming more and more tired, started to make me feel a little depressed.  But, just as I was beginning to give up, I received a very special email...one of my daily “Notes from the Universe” which I subscribe to on www.tut.com:

"When you can look beneath their behavior that hurt you, Kelly, and you can see the frightened child - it becomes nearly impossible to be angry and carry a grudge.
And you SO can.

ILY, The Universe          

Besides, Kelly, your happiness, abundance, health, and friendships are NOT dependent on how others behave."
(emphasis added by me)

When I read that, I felt a huge rush of relief.  All of a sudden I got it.  I got what some of those around me were trying to tell me… but there was a BIG difference in the presentation.

There are kind, gentle, loving ways of getting a point across to someone.  Being supportive isn’t just about getting that person to the end result.  Being supportive is also about listening, being that shoulder to cry on, or that friend to lean on.  Being supportive is about being there.

(Telling someone you don’t want to hear it, is quite frankly, just plain mean!  And it conveys the message that you just don’t care and can’t be bothered.)

So now, I wake up each morning and remember that MY happiness does not depend on the behavior of others...  th_strongwoman2

It’s as if those are the greatest words I’ve ever heard.  That one simple sentence is so freeing to me. 

No one can control me, insult me, make me feel sad or unhappy – unless I let them.  

At least not anymore - I’m taking my power back.

Jul 19, 2009

Using Positive Self-Talk to Conquer Any Goal

Do you feel like you are always talking yourself out of success?  As soon as you start to set goals for yourself, do you suddenly have nagging thoughts about how you aren't up to the task or how you simply aren't qualified to carry it through? 

If you have ever experienced either situation, you need to change the way you respond to your inner dialogue.  Instead of obeying your negative commands, you can use positive self-talk to counter the negativity and overcome nearly all anxious thoughts.

Setting Goals and Sticking to Them with Positive Self-Talk

Are you initially filled with excitement when you first set goals for yourself? Are these thoughts then followed by self-doubt and self-defeating thoughts that stop you in your tracks before you even get started?

It can be difficult to make the most of your life when you are constantly talking yourself out of being a success.  It can be frustrating and discouraging to have these thoughts constantly plaguing you. Many of us, in fact, don't even realize we have them! All we know is that we don't have the confidence to stick to our plans and reach our goals.

But there's another way!

Positive self-talk is an effective way to set goals and ensure that you stick to them, even if you have never been able to do this before.  The way this works is that you decide what goal is important to you, and then you plan the logistics of how you are going to attain this goal.  When self-doubt starts kicking in, you will respond with affirmations that prove your success without surrendering to the negative pressure. Since you're reading this article, it's clear that you're no quitter and you're certainly not a failure, so start believing in yourself!

Re-Programming Your Mind

Affirmations are essentially positive statements that re-program your mind for the positive. The moment you have a self-defeating thought you'd be able to counter the negative with a motivating statement. An example of a positive affirmation is: "I am worthy of great success," or "I see myself in the winner's circle."  What this does is replace negativity with thoughts that will help you move toward your goals instead of further away from them.

Positive self-talk is easier to implement than you might think. You may not be aware of the severity of the negative dialogue currently within your mind. However, once you begin with positive self-talk, you will suddenly realize that you are self-sabotaging the goals you set for yourself from the minute that you make them. This process can open your eyes to exactly how much this inner conversation has been interfering with your life. You'll feel hopeful that you can now set goals and surpass them.

Through positive self-talk you will be able easily set long and short-term goals for yourself. And when you use affirmations, you'll have accessible tools to help you push yourself further than ever before. Learning to quiet negativity with positive thoughts is a great move toward setting and attaining future goals with ease.

Jul 11, 2009

Effective Steps For Managing Anxiety

Have you ever been in a situation that brought on sweats, rapid heartbeat and shortness of breath? You probably weren’t having a heart attack but an anxiety attack.  If you suffer from anxiety disorders, learning to manage it is the first step to overcoming it.

Anxiety is characterized as extreme reactions to fearful situations.  When someone follows you into a dark alley, those anxious feelings of a racing heartbeat and sweaty palms gives way to heightened senses and a rush of adrenalin that can save your life.  This is the fight or flight syndrome. 

In the case of frequent anxiety, the fearful feelings are dread of a particular situation and not the situation itself.  Getting caught in traffic can cause an anxiety attack over what might happen when you get to work late.  Starting a new job can bring on anxiety attacks.  You don’t know anyone and fear of that unknown can send you into a panic.

Everyone experiences panic or anxiety in small ways.  Like the fight or flight example, it can save your life.  In new situations, we get panicky but when the outcome we fear fails to materialize, the anxiety stops.  For someone with chronic anxiety, this is not the case.

Every situation that brings anxiety is not life-threatening.  More than likely it is an extremely stressful situation that has brought on the anxiety as a way of dealing with it.  Unchecked anxiety of this type can lead to depression.

If you suffer from anxiety attacks on occasion or a more frequent anxiety disorder, there are steps you can take to keep your anxiety under control. 

1. See a professional.  This is always a good first step.  Self-diagnosis of any type of physical or mental condition is unwise and can be dangerous.  A professional psychologist can help you understand your anxiety and prescribe medication or other effective techniques.

2. Get a good night’s sleep.  During the sleep cycle, your body repairs itself.  You feel more rested after several hours of restorative sleep, reaching the REM stage.  Most people need eight hours a night which varies within an hour or two each way.

3. Exercise on a consistent basis.  Exercise helps you to use oxygen more efficiently.  It helps to get more oxygen to the brain.  It also increases focus which may help you see solutions to problems rather than simply worrying about them. 

4. Meditate.  Meditation is more than chanting mantras.  Yoga is an exercise that involves quieting the mind and controlling your breathing.  Simple mediation such as taking 5 minutes to clear your mind everyday can work wonders in the fight against anxiety.

5. Manage the worry.  When you feel your pulse start to quicken, count backwards from ten.  As you count, focus on the situation.  What has actually happened? Resist the urge to read anything more into the situation. 

6. Don’t use alcohol.  You might think that the glass of wine is relaxing your tension but alcohol is a depressant.  In anxious situations you could rely too heavily on it and gain another problem in the process.

7. Find some relaxing activities.  Stress can rob you of your energy.  On a regular basis, do something you like such as gardening, painting, reading or listening to music.  

Anxiety can come into your life at any time.  It’s normal.  When the anxiety becomes frequent you could be at risk for more serious conditions.  If you feel your anxiety is starting to take over your life or increasingly causing you problems, seek professional help immediately.  There is no need to suffer this terrible condition in silence.