Category Archives: conflict

Choose How You Want to Feel

By Kare Anderson
Emmy-Winner | TEDx | Connective Behavior | Speaker | Columnist | Author | Strategist
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Breandan and Emma, the couple up the hill from me in Sausalito have been married 54 years, they proudly told me last year. They walked, hand-in-hand past my home each morning, usually laughing, smiling and pointing out things to each other along the way.

Originally from Ireland, they listened, in bed, to BBC News at dawn so they usually had a tidbit of news to share with me if they happened to pass my home when I was finishing my lame attempt at morning exercises in the back yard.

When Emma died suddenly, Breandan stopped walking. He stayed inside their home and ignored my knock on their door. Several times. Later, when he started walking again, he told me his son, a motivational speaker on leadership, suggested that he start saying positive self-affirmations every morning “to lift his mood.”

He retorted, “My mood doesn’t need lifting! It’s right where it’s supposed to be.” So his well-intentioned son then mailed him a card pack with cheery faces on one side and, on the other, a series of upbeat daily affirmations. The card pack was entitled ”Yes, I Can!” to which Breandan hotly responded (to me, but not his son, I gather) “No I won’t!”

Write Yourself Through Your Journey to a Better Emotional Place

That gift inspired Breandan to get out of the old chair he sat in most days, with a morose look on his face, and take action, but not in the way his son intended. He wrote his own collection of “realistic affirmations.” I figured that the sentiments reflected his way of responding to grief, his stubborn resistance to being told to feel better and his core attitude about living life as it happens. Some were darkly funny. Yet his basic resilience started to shine through as he finished writing his sayings by the end of the year. “Not every cloud has a silver lining so start liking the clouds.”

I thought of Breandan when I read that Norman Vincent Peale may have been wrong, at least for some people, when he advocated saying positive self-affirmations to lift one’s mood. That’s a startling revelation for many of us Americans who have been bombarded with self-help messages based on the belief that positive affirmations are entirely beneficial.

“Repeating positive self-statements may benefit certain people, such as those with high self-esteem, but backfire for the very people who need them the most,” concludes social psychology professor Dr. Joanne Wood. Even those with high self-esteem felt only slightly better after repeating a positive self-statement.

The news gets worse for those with a low self-image Wood and her colleagues found:

• People with high self-esteem are more likely than those with low self-esteem to try to improve their moods when they are sad, as well as to savor their moods when they are happy.

• Those with low self-esteem sometimes even try to dampen their happiness, and engaging with others on Facebook seems to reinforce that reaction.

Don’t Fight Those Feelings. Instead, Notice Them, Then Choose What to Feel

Like obsessing more about the elephant in the room after being told to ignore it, being told to repeat “get happy” sayings, when sad, can make us feel even more sad. As Ed Yong concluded, “Statements that contradict a person’s self-image, no matter how rallying in intention, are likely to boomerang.“ “Don’t believe everything you think. “Thoughts are just that – thoughts,” wrote Pocket Peace author Allan Lokos.

Instead, of trying to change your feelings (as cognitive therapy attempts to do) change how you choose to view your thoughts. That approach calls on us to be mindfully observing what we are thinking and feeling from a calm pool, so to speak, without getting repeatedly sucked into the downward swirl of them. As Thich Nhat Hanh wrote, “Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor.”

Practicing this way we can notice what we are feeling in the moment without immediately reacting, thus becoming better at choosing how we want to act. This approach is called ACT:Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. To reinforce that practice, “think of yourself as a kind friend,” suggests Duke University psychology professor Mark Leary. That bolsters yourself-compassion and thus your happiness. “One is a great deal less anxious if one feels perfectly free to be anxious, and the same may be said of guilt,” Alan Watts wrote.

Breandan, by the way, has begun writing his memoir, describing some of the adventures he shared with Emma, the people they met and the joy of living with her “through thick and thin.” His writing enables him to take the ACT approach, to observing and accept his sadness at his wife’s passing and to choose to focus, instead, on the many of the happy times they enjoyed together. He showed me the quote he chose for the first page:

“In the end, just three things matter:

How well we have lived

How well we have loved

How well we have learned to let go” ~ Jack Kornfield

As Byron Katie would say, he is “loving what is.” See more ideas at my Quotable and Connected column at Forbes.

https://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20140716144633-7216756-choose-how-you-want-to-feel?_mSplash=1%5C&published=t

How to Reprogram Your Mind

A great video worth sharing….

FROM Brendon Burchard – and the High Performance Academy

“The first thing you have to do in order to improve your mind is to take total control of your attention and notice: Where are my thoughts right now? Are they positive or negative? Are they helping me feel alive, engaged, and grateful in this moment? Am I present with my current experience or trapped in the past? Are my thoughts supporting me or are they automatically coming up negative and self-protective in ways that are not advancing my life? Just to be aware, to be conscious of what’s going on in your body, in your sense of feeling and emotion now, this is the stuff of becoming mature, connected, and happy.”

JillSunnyOct12

From “How to Reprogram Your Mind”:

CLICK HERE

http://tmblr.co/ZTb1Dv1Kd3jTo

Make THE decision in the right state of mind

Here is a great video that can help anyone with a tough decision, a tough situation, facing a situation or challenge that brings fear.

We all have to go outside a comfort level, we need to handle things without fear.

Our story can empower us or limit us.

http://getrmt.com/v1.php

How to create harmony in a group

A video and quick blog From: robbinsmadanestraining.com

Know anyone who has a strained relationship with a family member or friend? Or a business partnership jeopardized by misunderstanding? Of course you do.

Well, in today’s Robbins-Madanes intervention, you’re going to see a process for setting aside resentments and reuniting people. There is no stage, no audience – just Tony and a family around a table.

You’ll learn a process for looking beyond limiting communication patterns, perceiving people’s true deeper needs, and healing your relationships. In 45 minutes Tony was able to resolve a conflict that had caused this family untold struggle and pain for over 5 years.

Click here to see it

We begin the story with Tony surprising Ron and Marie as they pull up to their house… and then comes the real shock! I hope you’ll take the opportunity to learn this valuable process for yourself, your family and friends, and your clients.

Survive the Unthinkable,

 

I am always on the lookout for good books.

I try not to ‘over-recommend’ either, but here is a great one….Survive the Unthinkable,

 

…here is some background…..you may know someone in a situation that this may be relevant…..

Violence against women remains one of the most common human rights abuses in the world. Women ages 15 through 44 are more likely to die or be maimed because of male violence than because of cancer, malaria, war, and traffic accidents combined.

Rape and attempted rape are very much silent assassins. Only 16 percent of rape victims actually report an incident to the police, which means that the statistics we have about rape in the United States barely reflect the grim reality. The World Health Organization has found that domestic and sexual violence affects 30 to 60 percent of women in most countries. And the majority of offenses are committed by someone the victim knows or at least recognizes.

Perhaps the most disturbing truth is that the rape perpetrator will probably victimize seven to nine women before he’s jailed.

In our increasingly violent collective, women must often yield to an incessant voice that warns: Be careful where you walk. Be careful where you park. Be careful where you go. Be careful what you wear. Be careful what you say.

The unnerving posture of gender violence is what prompted me to seek out the best self-defense instructor I could find for the women I care about in my life — who just happens to be the author of the book you’re holding in your hands right now.

Tim Larkin’s Survive the Unthinkable relays a message of empowerment, not panic. It’s the key that can unlock your personal power as a woman.

With many things in life, the truth is often nearly 180 degrees from what your imagination might suggest. The principles and methods that Tim Larkin shares in this critical book are perfect examples of this:

  • Women need NOT be vulnerable to attack, and they already have the tools necessary to avoid violence or protect themselves in those rare instances where avoidance isn’t possible.

  • Even the most violent sociopaths are incredibly vulnerable once you know the psychology of what drives their behavior.

  • The people who are most effective at “self-defense” typically have no formal training.

Being able to protect yourself doesn’t require muscle, fancy techniques, or months of practice at the martial arts studio. All that you need to live confidently and joyfully is knowledge and the willingness to apply it.

As a woman, you have people who depend on you — perhaps your partner, children, siblings, friends. Please consider the ability to defend yourself a responsibility, not a luxury, in much the same way that you might exercise, wear your seatbelt, or get regular medical checkups.

This book presents imperative components that ensure peace of mind, which ultimately allows us to find fulfillment in our daily life. The emotional edge my friend Tim Larkin presents helps to create a better life through key adjustments to our perception, psychology, and awareness. You can trust, as I do, that Tim Larkin’s teachings are the most effective, thoroughly tested, and reliable way to ensure your safety, confidence, and self-assurance, which will in turn enable you to effectively cooperate with others, operate at optimal productivity, and get the most enjoyment out of every day of your life.

www.timlarkin.com

Approximately   1.9 million women are physically assaulted annually in the United   States alone. In his New York Times bestselling book Survive the Unthinkable, Tim Larkin empowers women to   understand that surviving a potential attack isn’t about being   physically bigger, faster, or stronger; it’s about knowing how to   self-protect, not self-defend. – See more at: http://www.timlarkin.com/book.php#more

(Foreward by Tony Robbins)

Feeling stressed, tense, worried?

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You know, we’ve all been there in one way or another: we’ve been tense and focused on money, maybe stressed, maybe short with our spouse, maybe short with our kids….and in that moment when we’re stressing about money, we’re missing the world around us.

You know what I mean when I say “That awful feeling in the pit of your stomach because you feel like you have to worry about running out of money at the end of the month.”

I’ve been there, then back on “top”, then stressed again, a few times in my life.

I heard a funny thing the other day; someone was saying how they thought ‘rich people’ always think about money and ‘rich people’ are all shallow.

Maybe some are shallow, but in my experience and from what I read, when you had enough money to pay the bills and to live in a decent way, you’re NOT thinking about money much at all. When you have enough to cover the bills, you can think about fun things, about things that you WANT to do in your job and career, and things that you can do for or contribute to others – you can choose to enjoy life a little more.

When I was struggling with income and bills, and when I observe others that have the same struggle to pay bills and meet their obligations, they think about money all day long.

There is a great book that I highly recommend called “Bridges out of Poverty”. It helps explain how people struggling in poverty are constantly thinking about how they are paying the bills, food on the table, tires on the car, utility bills, etc.

Even if we aren’t at the poverty level, we can sometimes have some traits of the poverty mindset……we worry about money, about paying the mortgage, about our jobs, etc. This never creates a good feeling inside, does it?

Again, as someone that has been back and forth, here is some wisdom that I’ve learned from a few others and I believe that it really can help:

  • Focus on what you want, not what you don’t want – instead of focusing on the bills and lack of cash, focus on the things that you really want, the freedom, peace of mind, better health, better relationships, enjoying life, security for your family, etc.

  • Watch your self-talk- we all talk to ourselves and ask ourselves questions throughout the day. There is enough negativity in the world, don’t add to it by bringing yourself down. I was someone who beat myself up for many things and once in a while still do – if you do also, STOP. Reflect on accomplishments, look for references why you’re good at something, ask yourself questions like “Why do I deserve this?” and “Why am I so lucky?” instead of things like “Why can’t I earn more money” or ‘why is this such a struggle’ or ‘why don’t I ever win anything?”

  • Have a vision – ok maybe your life isn’t where you want it to be now and you want to improve – almost everyone does….create a vision. It doesn’t have to be a major complicated thing – something as simple as some bullet points or a paragraph or two is fine – create a simple story of you as you want to be – make the story in present tense as if you already have it – as if you are already “THERE” and you’re looking back on today, when you are struggling. Make sure that in the story you talk about how you’re proud of the steps you took, the hard work, the good attitude, and how you changed for the better. Remember, tell the ideal story of your life as if it is already done!

  • Enjoy the present, live in the moment – when we worry about the future or fret over the past, we miss moments and experiences right in front of us. I recall a time when my wife and I had time alone and I sat there worrrying about something that never even happened. Another time I recall worrying about something and basically ignoring my daughters when I had a free day with them. We all lost and nothing was gained. Take a moment to look around, be aware, and live today’s life. Things can happen in a moment. Look for miracles. You gotta celebrate life’s moments no matter what. There is no rehearsal.

  • Here’s something that can be the toughest for any of us – do the above each and everyday. We can all do things for a while or on occasion, or here and there. We have to ask the right questions, focus on the good stuff, reflect on our vision, and enjoy the present every day! We all must take action – even if they are just baby steps each day. Ask, ‘what thing, regardless how big or small, can I do today?” You don’t have to spend long on it – but at least 5 -10 minutes. Can you turn off the TV, put down the phone, or walk away from the computer or ipad for 10 minutes if it makes you better?

Remember, people with much less smarts, ability, education, opportunity have done great things, contributed, made money, helped others, and been successful , you have the ability, you have the power inside, you just need to take action.

http://www.onewebstrategy.com

😉

The meaning you assign…..

We all have times or days when something happens and ‘boom’ we’re in a funk, in a bad mood, or in some way we feel like we lost ground, got hurt, was betrayed, etc. etc. etc…..right?

Maybe your sister got asked to go to your favorite concert and you didn’t …. on your birthday!

Maybe you didn’t get that job offer….

Maybe you have someone in your life sending you negativity – maybe even hate — your way.

All that can, and often does, make us feel bad. (Do you ever think about that saying “Feel Bad”?)

We feel bad because we assign certain meaning to it. In many ways we CHOOSE to let an event mean something to us, then we feel a certain way, according to how we’ve grown up, been conditiioned to do so.

Here’s an example:

A relative of mine had a big problem with another relative of mine and me. So, to “Show Us” that relative moved away, didn’t talk or communicate with us for 20 years. We tried to reach out to her a few times but eventually we went about our lives and enjoyed life. We didn’t know any better.

Recently I found out that this person who went away, did so to “punish us” and make us feel bad about something she thought we did (we didn’t). So for 20 years, she was sending us negative waves, so to speak, and intended for us to ‘feel bad’. However she didn’t communicate well enough, because we didn’t know that.

So for 20 years, we felt good, we didn’t know that she wanted us to feel bad. Had we known otherwise, we probably would have felt pretty bad, right?

But look at our daily lives and those few examples I gave at the start. We assign “bad feelings” to all or most of those. If we get rejected, we automatically tell our selves that is “Bad” and we should feel that way.

But what if we interpret it differently. What if we hold judgement until later? Did you ever have something happen that seemed ‘bad’ but turned out to be a great thing? Me too.

What if you said, “Whoa, I didn’t think that would happen, but let’s see how it plays out…”

For instance, you really want a job. Your friend thinks you’d be great for the job. You get a connection and you get a referral into an interview. All looks great. Then you get rejected. You’d probably feel “Bad”.

But what if, in time, that company was found out to be tied to another company doing unethical and illegal things. What if that company you wanted to work for shut down totally, all people lost their jobs and you would have lost your job?
That happened to me. I interviewed and interviewed for a cool job. I wanted it bad. I got rejected. I made myself feel so bad that I had to take off work from my real job for a day to recover. Then that  company closed it’s doors after it was linked to several accounting and ethics scandals. Everyone lost their job. I was glad that I wasn’t apart of it.

Missing a concert on your birthday? That could hurt, sure but what if you thought about it differently? What if you asked different questions? Assign different meaning?

…..maybe there are times that you can’t feel super happy, I understand. Maybe you won’t be jumping for joy but I bet that there are ways that you can find a different more empowering meaning. Try it, even just as an experiment.

Think about Victor Frankl’s book “Man’s Search For Meaning” – if you haven’t read it, please do.

I heard someone the other day say that not getting her child into a dance studio was ‘horrific’. I know this person well enough and luckily we have mutual respect that I was able to speak frankly. I pointed out that while it could be disappointing, using the word “horrific’ probably is just making it worse, plus it isn’t teaching your child the best things, in fact it is probably something worse that an alternative life lesson. I cited Frankl’s book and asked if he would think this situation was horrific. Luckily she recognized my point and found some humor in it and lightened up a bit. (I rarely speak up like this and I don’t pretend to know everything)

We all do it, just look for ways to make those “bad” moments better.

Avoid labeling things as good or bad. They’re just events. See what happens.

Avoid assigning meaning. Or if you must., assign something good “OK I got rejected from this one, I’m expecting something better to come along so the Universe/God/whatever is making me wait until that’s ready….” or something like that?

Thanks, take care….

http://www.onewebstrategy.com

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