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Do you wake up in the morning feeling bad? Do you want your day to go better? Are you sick and tired of being sick and tired? If you've answered yes to even one of these questions, read on.
Trust your gut How many times did you know the right way to go, but because someone convinced you otherwise, you listened to them. There is NOTHING more powerful than your inner guidance. Trust it more. When you feel uneasy about a person, place or thing, take it seriously.
Don't listen to critical people People who are judgmental feel badly about themselves and they are probably projecting that on to you. If someone always seems to complain a lot, stay away. Why subject yourself to that type of negativity? Be around people with good vibes.
Do what makes you happy You are entitled to good things like, love, joy and happiness. Be aware of negative mind-talk and don't let it get the upperhand. Do what you enjoy.
1. “It’s time we become comfortable with the uncomfortable conversations about race… Instead of being color blind, we need to be color brave.”
- Mellody Hobson
2. “Let me tell you something: The only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is opportunity. You cannot win an Emmy for roles that are simply not there.”
- Viola Davis
3.“Dreams are lovely. But they are just dreams. Fleeting, ephemeral. Pretty. But dreams do not come true just because you dream them. It’s hard work that makes things happen. It’s hard work that creates change.”
- Shonda Rhimes
4. “And what my mother meant when she said you can’t eat beauty was that you can’t rely on how you look to sustain you. What is fundamentally beautiful is compassion for yourself and for those around you That kind of beauty enflames the heart and enchants the soul.”
- Lupita Nyong’o
5. “I’m realizing you don't need to change anything about yourself. This is who you are, and it’s okay. That’s daring.”
- Uzo Aduba
1. "You can do anything you want, even if you are being told negative things. Stay strong and find motivation.”
- Misty Copeland
2.“I am a hot-blooded fire and I am fearless.”
- Amy Schumer
3. “Work smart, get things done, no nonsense, move fast.”
- Susan Wojcicki
4. “Let us make our future now, and let us make our dreams tomorrow's reality.”
- Malala Yousafzai
5. “I've still got it. I refuse to lose.”
- Robin Roberts
It seems like nearly everyday someone is asking me “how do I know if he is my soulmate?”
It’s a valid question.
Besides having a sense of “knowing” and feeling like you have known them forever, you must discern if they are a viable “life partner.”
Simply having feelings of deep recognition is not enough for a long, happy, successful relationship.
We all have many, many soulmates (some of friends, children, siblings, parents, business partners, even pets!), but, for a lifetime romantic partner, you need much more.
So, before saying “I do” (or “I re-commit to you my beloved”) see if he or she fits this criteria:
You have been in a committed relationship for at least one year, have met his family and friends and he has met yours, and you both love each other.
These are the basics, and here is more:
You and your soulmate share chemistry, compatibility, great communication skills (these can be learned, but, if possible, learn them BEFORE the wedding) and most importantly a shared vision for the future (kids, lifestyle, etc).
You don't have to do everything together (and shouldn't) but you must decide ahead of time that you each have space and support for the others passions.
And then look at their behavior:
If you can check most or all of the boxes, you've got a keeper!
Photo Credit: Carl Studna
A friend called me this week and he was in a surprisingly good mood. Surprising because earlier that day, he hit an ice patch while driving through his neighborhood and then plowed into a stationary car. The good news was no one was hurt at all. The better news is what he told me about how he handled his stressful situation: “Three months ago I would have let this ruin my morning or even the entire day. Today’s accident was frustrating, sure, but it didn’t stress me out the way it would have in the past”.
My friend did what not many know how to do—to stop stress before it gets hold of you. Here are three surprisingly effective ways to do that:
Make sure your conscious mind is driving the bus
To handle stress on the spot and prevent it from controlling you, you have to use your conscious mind to interrupt the patterns of your subconscious mind. The truth is, most of us have a habitual, patterned response to frustrations, annoyances, disappointments, mistakes, and failure we can call the “typical stress response.”
Surprising stress relief technique: The next time you feel a stress attack coming on, take a breath and ask yourself this simple question: “What is driving my bus—my conscious mind or my subconscious mind?” This one simple question will interrupt the typical stress response your subconscious mind automatically went into and make it easier for you to use the next two techniques.
Give your problem to a friend
When something happens to us, it’s terrible—and it’s going to get worse. I’m exaggerating, of course, but you get the point. Stress is about perspective and some people have more practice in getting and maintaining perspective than others. If you want to handle your stress you have to start mastering the art of seeing your problems and challenges from a solution perspective.
Surprising stress relief technique: If you’re really stressing yourself over something, take it to a friend who will be able to look at your challenges from the outside and with a clearer mind. She will be in a stronger position to help you problem solve—and if she needs to she can give you a kick in the rear end to take action to get out of your automatic stress response.
Bonus stress relief technique: If you don’t have access to a friend, get two chairs and face them towards each other. Sit in one chair and envision your friend in the other chair. Have him tell you all about his stress—which happens to be the same stressful situation you’re in—exactly the same. Listen empathetically, ask a few questions and let him say everything he needs to say. Just listen until he’s finished. What would you tell your friend? That his situation is horrible and hopeless? Of course not. So what would you tell him? That’s exactly what you can now tell yourself.
Turn your stress around in three minutes:
Remember what I said about most people’s response to stress being automatic and habitual? The problem with that is most of their automatic responses only keep the stress going. You can do the opposite. You can begin to practice a new response to things that used to set you off or put you in a bad mood. All it takes is three minutes.
Surprising and effective three-minute stress relievers:
Katie’s boss stops by her office and asks a question that she is stumped by. She has two options: she can either look blankly at her manager OR give a confident answer! “That’s a great question, I’ll get back to you tomorrow morning with the answer.” A successful woman doesn’t always know the answers, but she does always stash a few tricks up her elegant sleeves!
It’s okay to say “I don’t know"
In moments of doubt, admit that you don’t know and say you need more time. People will respect you for being truthful. Give a date and time when you will have an answer and set a follow up meeting.
It’s okay to ask questions
After all, you want to get the best answer—and it doesn’t mean you’re not smart if you don’t immediately respond. Neha was at a panel discussion and it wasn’t clear what was being said. In the Q&A portion, she asked for clarification. She knew all she needed was to ask a clarifying question to get back on track. Not surprisingly, she also found she was not the only person who was a bit confused.
Be prepared, put in the hours
Janice was nervous before her final interview at a prestigious firm that would not only catapult her career, but also pull her out of financial debt. The more she thought about what was at stake, the more anxious she felt. But finally Janet decided she’d had enough, put on her prepping hat, and got to work. Ultimately the only way to get over not knowing enough is to do something about it! She researched, talked to her contacts, practiced answers and got the information she needed. Successful women like Janice are not afraid to put in the hard work and preparation to find their way out of a tough situation.
Call in markers
Sometimes the situation may call for an expert opinion, a specialist in the field. A successful woman realizes when she needs to get some support, and because she has helped lots of people, she is not shy about calling in some favors.
Nowhere to go? Try inside
Sometimes, what you don’t know is accessible with reflection. A successful woman knows when to take some time out for introspection. Going to a quiet space to think can allow a solution to rise from within. Guide yourself with journaling. It is a powerful practice.
- Leena Roy, CFA/CPC is a Professional Coach for Managers. A program designed to elevate and empower Mid-level Managers & Professionals to achieve their highest potential. You can follow her on Twitter @CoachLeena or on Facebook.
I can’t tell you how many times my female clients have told me they don’t feel comfortable showing their true emotions in the workplace. They don’t want to be perceived as being unprofessional or accused of being manipulative, weak, or intellectually inferior. Being emotional at work can be uncomfortable for many people. So, we hide our emotions hoping that will make us appear stronger, smarter, and more “professional.”
You would think we’ve evolved beyond that, but we haven’t, not by a long shot. Too often women are accused of being “too emotional”—especially at work. But is that true? I’m going to address what is often thought and said about this topic and set the record straight:
You’re a bitch if you get angry
The truth: A man can say the same thing a woman says, in the same tone and with the same body language that a woman says it, and he’ll be admired while the woman will be labeled a bitch. Leadership consultant Doug Sundheim, in the August 15, 2015 Harvard Business Review online article wrote, "…there’s a gender bias around showing emotion at work. I’ve seen that in the same places where men get labeled tough, passionate, or open, women get labeled bitchy, hysterical, or weak.”
It’s time we dropped the double standard. Anger is an appropriate response for women just as it is for men when there is an injustice, when someone is being mistreated or when someone is talking over you or constantly interrupting you. Don’t be ashamed of your appropriate anger; own it and use it as needed. The truth is you’re not “too emotional” when anger is the appropriate response—you’re courageous.
You shouldn’t cry at work—that’s just manipulative
The truth: The best way for me to convey the truth about this point is to share a story. I talked to a female colleague last week who is an executive coach. She had a meeting with a male senior manager she was coaching. His lack of emotional intelligence was preventing him from leading his team well. My colleague really believed in him, and after she shared what she thought his strengths were, she began to talk to him about his weaknesses in his communication and relationships—she knew he could be a great leader and she wanted to help him become that. As she was telling him what no one else dared to, her eyes welled up and the tears fell.
To her surprise and relief, the senior manager who had such a tough exterior, had his own tears. He told her, “I knew you were really smart and that you cared; I just didn't know how much. For the first time ever, I think I can actually change the things I need to change.” The truth is you’re not too emotional if you cry at work when it fits the occasion—you’re demonstrating your humanity.
Don’t be so sensitive; it’s just business
The truth: You can bet when someone says “It’s not personal, it’s just business,” it's likely personal. As long as people are involved, there’s always the human aspect involved. Here’s what I’d say to anyone telling me, “Don’t be so sensitive”: “I’m glad you’re not so sensitive—that means however sensitive I’m being or not being right now won’t bother you in the least.”
Both men and women have feelings and we all can be hurt or offended at times by what others say or do. The fact that (in general) men might hide their emotions more often or outright deny them doesn’t make them more professional. The truth is, you’re not too emotional if you’re bothered by someone’s remarks or actions—you’re just like the rest of us, whether we’d admit it or not.
When you first started your job, every day was shiny excitement. You learned new things and often wondered if you could keep up. The days now seem routine. You no longer look forward to coming to work. Is it you – or the job?
Ask yourself these six questions:
Am I paying a price for staying?
You invest time and effort in your job. Is your current job worth the career opportunity cost? Take the weekend or an evening to consider whether you want to be in your current job five, ten, or even two years from now. If “no” resounds loudly in your brain, and you stay another year, will you be more or less ready to get the next job on your career ladder?
Are my “tales of woe” old?
Your friends used to listen when you told them the dumb things your boss or coworkers did or what wasn’t working well at your job. Now, their eyes glaze over with disinterest. Your job stories are even boring you.
Ask yourself – can I fix what’s not working at my job or in my organization, or is it outside of my control? If you’re not happy and can’t actively fix what isn’t working, you may need to move on.
Have I lost trust?
You or your boss have crossed boundaries one time too many. Now, you no longer trust the person you work for, nor she you. When trust disappears, something vital vanishes from the work relationship.
Or perhaps you’ve seen your manager or management team’s values up close and personal and don’t like what you see. Wouldn’t you rather work for someone you could respect?
What else is out there?
Have the job walls started to close in on you? Do you spend more time every night reading Craigslist and Indeed job opportunities then you spend making dinner? Does every posting seem more appealing than your current job? If going to your work feels like stepping into a daily bath of unhappiness, it’s time to pull the plug.
Do I get along with my coworkers?
Do you look around the table at a staff meeting and not see anyone you like, want to learn from, or want to spend time with? While you don’t need to become outside-of-work friends with your coworkers, if one of them sat next to you on a long distance flight, would you want to change seats? If so, perhaps you need to move on, and this time devote some of your job search time to considering what type of people you want to work with and for.
Is it my job or me?
It’s always a good idea to look in the mirror before you decide to leave one job for the next. If you change jobs every year, the problem may be you and not your job.
Has the glow worn off your job? Could you get it back? Or do your answers to the six questions above tell you that it’s “time to move on.”
© 2016 Dr. Lynne Curry, author of Solutions and Beating the Workplace Bully and founder of workplacecoachblog.com.
1. “Only when we’re brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.”
― Brené Brown
2. “The only way to get what you really want is to let go of what you don't want.”
― Iyanla Vanzant
3. “It takes courage...to endure the sharp pains of self discovery rather than choose to take the dull pain of unconsciousness that would last the rest of our lives.”
― Marianne Williamson
4. “I think I deserve something beautiful.”
― Elizabeth Gilbert
5. "Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.”
― Oprah Winfrey
Sooner or later, most of us experience the dreaded “career slump. It’s where you’ve lost your normal drive and you begin to do work that isn’t quite up to what others have come to expect from you. Whatever the cause, if you ever find yourself in a slump at work, here are four ways to get out of it:
Take it seriously
You might be tempted to say, “What can a few weeks hurt?” The truth is any slip in our quality of work will hurt us—and those who count on us. Would you want your auto mechanic to be thinking, “I’ll do my best work on the next car, no need to worry about this one.” In the same way, you don’t want your boss or co-workers to doubt your commitment or your ability to do great work—every time.
Identify the cause
Is something in your personal life affecting your work? Have you recently been wondering if your boss values the work you’re doing? Are you getting less sleep than normal? Are you letting an unresolved conflict with a co-worker affect your work? Have you suffered a big setback or even failure and it’s caused you to doubt yourself?
Identify the solution (s)
If you’re in a slump because you’ve burned yourself out, you can’t work harder to get out of your slump. That will likely only make matters worse. You have to figure out a way to do your work without burning yourself out.
Have you asked for the resources or additional help you need? Or are you burned out because you’re trying to make yourself be passionate about something when you really need to re-evaluate and perhaps reinvent yourself and your career? If what you’ve been doing to get out of your slump isn’t working, that’s a clue you haven’t found the right solution--keep looking.
You might not be bored at work but that doesn’t mean you’re challenging yourself. The interesting thing about doing great work is we have to keep raising the bar, we have to step out of our comfort zone and we have to take risks.
Otherwise we end up doing our job in the same old ways and we lose our enthusiasm for what we do. However, sometimes we need to challenge ourselves with new responsibilities and new work. What would you love to do, even if it’s not a part of your job description. Having a vision that's outside your job description will breathe new life into you and your work--even the work that fits within your job description.
Take pride in what you do
If you’re in a slump it’s likely you’ve quit respecting and valuing what you do. However, there are no unimportant jobs. There are only jobs we have labeled as “menial” or “dull” and that attitude is a reliable predictor of a slump coming on. I recently did a training for a company and the division president participated all day with the commitment of a new hire.
When I pointed that out to him during a break he said, “I started here at the bottom. But on the first day of orientation a senior manager of the company told us, “There are no unimportant jobs here—everyone is important and everything is important." I have to admit I didn’t pay much attention what he said that morning. However, when I saw him cleaning off the tables after our lunch and emptying the waste cans I promised myself to never say any job was small or unimportant.
Hello! I'm Alan Allard, and I'll be your career coach for the month of October. This month will be all about you, but before we get started, you might want to know a few things about me as well.
I am a former psychotherapist, and for the past nine years I have worked as a consultant, executive coach, speaker, trainer and life coach. I help companies, teams, and individuals thrive by challenging the status quo and creating unprecedented success and fulfillment. I am the author of Seven Secrets to Enlightened Happiness: Your Guide to the Life You Were Meant to Live, which can be purchased here. On a personal note, I am married to my high school sweetheart and we have two incredible daughters (as well as two equally incredible sons-in-law) and I'm a grandfather too.
Over the next few weeks, we'll be taking a look at what you can do to increase your success, fulfillment and happiness—both in your career and in your overall life. Please let me know in the comments if if there are any specific topics you'd like me to address. Thanks, and I look forward to another great month!
Here are 3 things a confident woman never regrets. (Remember, if you don't feel confident, you can "act as if" you do).
1. Being authentic. A confident woman knows that her greatest strength is to be herself. She doesn't try to be someone else.
2. Picking her priorities and running with them. A confident woman knows that she can't be behind all issues. She chooses the most important and acts accordingly.
3. She doesn't compromise her integrity. A confident woman believes what she values is key to who she is. No matter what circumstances she's faced with, she doesn't waiver on what is most important.
1. “Becoming fearless isn't the point. That's impossible. It's learning how to control your fear, and how to be free from it.”
― Veronica Roth, Divergent
2. “There's nothing like deep breaths after laughing that hard. Nothing in the world like a sore stomach for the right reasons.”
―Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower
3. “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”
4. “You are worthy of all good things. Give yourself the care you give others.”
5. “I like flaws. I think they make things interesting.”
―Sarah Dessen, The Truth About Forever
6. “Sometimes you don't need a goal in life, you don't need to know the big picture. you just need to know what you're going to do next!”
―Sophie Kinsella, The Undomestic Goddess
7. “You were given life; it is your duty (and also your entitlement as a human being) to find something beautiful within life, no matter how slight.”
8. “I am not pretty. I am not beautiful. I am as radiant as the sun.”
―Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games
Most of us want to be acknowledged and it is the most frustrating when people don’t listen to what we have to say. Well, here are 3 ways to turn a new leaf and get listened to.
Pick Your Issues
Someone who fights every issue and is the first to object to whatever is on the table gets looked upon as a nuisance. Everything should not be as important to you. Choose your priorities and let things that don’t really matter go.
Know That What You Say Matters
If you want others to believe in you, you must believe in yourself. Do a quick inventory of your talent, and experience, you have a lot on the ball. Never sell yourself short.
Not Everyone is Has an Attitude
If certain people are dismissive, it’s probably because they have their own agenda, and don’t try to guess what that is. Don’t let their bad attitude get to you. Everyone is not like them. One bad apple doesn’t spoil the whole basket. If you have something important to say, look at someone else as you say it. Go where it’s warm.
When your energy dips, you can perk up your neurochemistry if you know how it works.
1. Divide a task into chunks
Your brain releases dopamine when you see the finish line, and it feels great. But when the end is not in sight, your energy may drop. You can spark your dopamine by dividing big tasks into small chunks. This may seem illogical, but your mammal brain is not a logic machine. I learned this trick from a cycler who told me he bikes up a mountain by dividing it into quarters and celebrating each milestone. He doesn’t stop to rest; he just celebrates neurochemically. That sounded dumb to me until I learned about dopamine. Now I divide my long hauls into chunks!
We presume distraction is bad, but we’re drawn to it because it works. Imagine your ancestors singing a capella while carrying the harvest in from the fields. Boring, back-breaking labor filled their days and they needed distractions to stay positive. Today’s work is not always suited to distraction, but it works great for some tasks. For example, last night I had to finish a tedious graphics project. Fortunately, my desktop was full of short video talks I had put aside for this purpose. I listened to the talks while doing the graphics and had a great time, even though either task alone would have bored me.
3. Hedonic Reset
Your brain is designed to adapt to things - even good things; so when you’re eating the most delicious brownie ever, your brain actually stops noticing it after a few bites. Yikes! You can reset your brain to regain some happy chemicals, the way you can make salt taste saltier if you go without it for a day. For example, if you have to take a life-or-death credentialing exam, bring a brownie with you, but don’t eat brownies the whole time you’re studying for the exam. You will long for the brownie, and it will give you a great feeling just when you need it most. I use this trick for air travel - when I find something fun to read, I put it aside for my next long plane ride, and end up actually looking forward to the tortuous journey.
Have you noticed that your energy spikes when you work on a project you believe in? That’s because your brain releases dopamine when you approach a reward that meets a need. Of course it’s more complicated- if you worked on your passion project all the time, you would not approach rewards all the time, and your dopamine would sag. This brain we’ve inherited is always trying to meet needs, both social and physical. We all have frustration because rewards are unpredictable and not within our control. Sometimes you have to give up one reward to pursue another. When you’re frustrated, it’s good to know that it only takes one step toward a reward to stimulate your dopamine, as long as you find a step you believe in. Maybe it’s hard to believe. Maybe the last step didn’t work. But you have inherited a brain designed to make course corrections again and again.
Something new and different gets you going, even when you’re tired. Novelty triggers dopamine. Imagine your ancestors living on acorns through the winter. They would walk far for a chance to eat berries. But after filling up on berries for a few weeks, they would walk far to eat fish. We’ve inherited a brain that responds to variety, so find ways to build it into your day. You could save your fun task to do in the middle of your dreary task. You could take on new tasks or do old tasks in new ways. You may think you don’t have the energy for this, but you might get a surprising boost.
You can’t be energetic if you abuse your body, so none of these strategies are meant to substitute for proper sleep, nutrition, and work/life balance. But even with great physical habits, your mental energy can sag in the face of tough challenges. It’s nice to know that your brain can release good feelings while you tackle challenges. It’s important to accept your limits, though. I lost my credit card twice last year because I let myself get so exhausted that my attention lagged. I was doing things I loved so I didn’t want to say no to anything, but I learned the value of accepting my limits.
- Dr. Loretta Breuning is the founder of InnerMammalInstitute.org and author of Habits of a Happy Brain: Retrain Your Brain to Boost Your Serotonin, Dopamine, Oxytocin, & Endorphin Levels
Don’t Attach Danger
So often what happens when we are feeling insecure is that we add fuel to the fire. If we took a moment, and asked ourselves some questions, it might help. For example, when you are afraid of the worst case scenario happening, ask yourself, “Is this true?” “Will this really happen?” Most cases, you will say to yourself “no.” From that place, you can start to calm down.
Think of what your best friend would tell you
Try to take yourself out of it--you are probably too emotional to think clearly. If you can call your best friend, do so. If not, take a few deep breaths, and ask yourself, “What would they do or say to me in this situation?” When this new insight, you can start to look at what is challenging you in a different light.
Give Yourself Credit
Whatever happens, know that you can handle it. You have a lot of experience, and what you don’t know, you can get others to weigh-in.
Have you ever landed a job, been excited by the “We’d like to hire you,” call only to experience applicant’s remorse? You wonder, “should I have accepted this job or waited for a better offer?”
If you’d like to know for sure that you’ve landed the right job, ask yourself these questions.
What matters most to me?
Is it challenging and meaningful work or pay and benefits? Do I want a hard-charging or a team-oriented culture?
Make a list of everything that matters to you. With your list as a yardstick ask “How does this job measure up?”
Who will I work for and with?
We spend more waking hours with those we work with than with our family. What do you know or can you learn about your potential immediate supervisor? Did you feel a connection in the interview? What management style can you expect?
What vibe did you get from your prospective co-workers? Do they appear happy and motivated? What value system and ethics do they bring to the table? What’s the corporate culture?
Where might this job take me?
What learning or advancement opportunities come with this position? Does this organization promote from within? Offer training or tuition reimbursement? Allow you the autonomy to make decisions? What growth potential does this organization itself have? Does it stay abreast with social media and technology?
How will this job impact my life?
What level of job stress can you expect? What work schedule and flexibility is offered you? What might accepting this job do to your work life balance?
Is this the kind of organization you can feel proud working for? How are they regarded in their industry and by their clients or customers? How stable are they?
And what if this potential job doesn’t measure up?
Despite the truth in the song, “if you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with,” think long and hard before settling for a job you know won’t be right for you. After all, if you can’t give your job your all, you risk your reputation, and your chance to land your next and better job.
What’s your decision? Is your current job right for you?
When you are in a negative environment
If it is your workplace, or people in your home, know that you do not have to take it in. You can DETACH. Sometimes just knowing that it is their problem, not yours in enough. You can also visualize a healing light around them. Visualization can be very powerful and gives you some perspective that often their drama has nothing to do with you.
When you are out with a negative person
If someone is very negative, it is better to excuse yourself and separate from them. Sometimes, we may feel guilty about doing this, especially if it’s a family member, but the price we pay for staying is too great. If we can’t remove ourselves, the next best thing is not to engage with them. Don’t fuel the fire. Let them rant, you don’t have to be a part of it. (Britt, please check spelling of rant)
When negative mind-talk is getting the best of you!
Spot it. Be aware of what you are telling yourself throughout the day. Would you talk to your best friend like that? NO. So stop. Turn your attention on something else that is more nurturing to you. Often, this requires doing something totally opposite of what you think you should do.
When I’m frustrated, I scream. I stomp. And sometimes I just quietly fume. But none of this is a problem when frustrated. Why? I find out a lot about what I think as I listen to my rant. However, the one thing that is entirely unproductive is blaming the situation or another person for how you feel. It reinforces feelings of negativity and powerlessness, which does nothing to point the way to a workable resolution. Nor does it help us feel any better.
There is a much more productive way to have your frustration work for you! Let’s look at Gabrielle (Gabi) and her story of frustration. On Thursday at 3:00, Gabi’s colleague, Peter, still hadn’t delivered the data she needed in time for the scheduled Monday presentation to the executive team.
Here are steps you can take when frustrated, through the lens of what happened for Gabi.
1. Rant – get it all out in a responsible way. Gabi ranted privately to herself: “I’m so angry! I’m going to march over to Peter’s cubicle and give him a piece of my mind! But, that would further strain my working relationship with him. He knows the presentation is Monday. I just have to wait and trust him to come through. I can’t wait any longer, though – the deadline is approaching!” She continued to spin in this circle of complaint through the remainder of Thursday afternoon and evening. Then…
2. Release your tension and name the emotions. Gabi consciously took deep breaths and released the knot in her stomach. Gabi realized that in addition to her frustration, she was anxious. She determined that if she focused on achieving her goal, her anxious feelings would probably subside.
3. Reflect on the need giving rise to your frustration, and ensure your goal is clear and empowering. A goal is a result that you are striving to achieve within the desired timeframe. The failure to fully specify the result and the timeframe can lead to more frustration and less achievement.
Gabi reframed her situation in light of the need driving her frustration, which was “to achieve her goal”. At first, she defined her goal as “getting Peter to give her what she needed.” But this was not precise enough, and really, Peter was just the vehicle she was using to achieve the end-goal. So this time, she tried: “Having the required data in hand before end of business on Friday.”
4. Brainstorm some options that could achieve the clearly stated goal. Gabi considered whether she could modify her belief that she could accomplish this goal by asking the team to give her another week for the presentation. She also thought she could see whether a resource other than Peter could help her get the data she required. And lastly, Gabi thought about meeting Peter face to face, rather than communicating through text and email, as she had been doing, to explain her situation and ask whether he could provide the information by end of day Friday. She slept on the options and decided to visit Peter first thing Friday morning.
Gabi felt pleased. By using her frustration to get strategic, defining her goal in an empowering and clear way, and finding an option that was workable, Gabi had more confidence and less anxiety. When frustrated, fix the problem, not the blame.
Andrea Zintz, President, Strategic Leadership Resources (SLR)
Women say sorry all the time -- for the small things and the really big things. As women, we tend to be concerned about the emotional impact of what we say and the choices we make. Our instinct is to want to smooth things over. Far from being a problem, this is actually a great quality in almost any social situation and the first thing we need to stop saying sorry for is for saying sorry – if that’s what feels right and natural! A confident woman may feel free to say she is sorry if she really is.
Conflict often arises when women feel the need to say sorry for things for which they don’t really WANT to apologize. Meet Susan, a confident woman, who refuses to say sorry for putting her own needs first.
Standing Up For What Is Right For Her
Susan is married to Jake. Jake would like to move to a suburb that is much further for her commute. What is right for Susan’s husband may not be right for her. Susan explains the reasons she isn’t interested in that location and how it would worsen her quality of life. She is able to communicate her needs and preferences and does NOT NEED TO SAY SORRY because her husband isn’t getting his way.
Asking For Help
Susan, like many wives, ends up managing the household and her career and the children. It doesn’t seem to stress her out as much as her husband Jake. She is able to plan meals, stay in touch with friends and family and pay bills on time and so on – a lot has to do with her ability to multi-task, plan, and pay attention to detail. When she asks for help from her husband, such as taking out the trash at a certain time, she does not feel guilty for interrupting him. Women do it all without flinching, and yet apologize when they are overwhelmed! Even Batman needs Robin. At work, if she reminded her peer of a deadline, she would be considered a great team player. At home, if she reminds her husband to take out the trash, she may be ignored or criticized for being a nag. Not only does Susan not need to take on everything alone; if she does, she certainly does NOT NEED TO SAY SORRY if she needs help!
Women often make career compromises for the sake of the family. Susan decides she is in a really good place at home and at work. She and Jake have one child just getting past the hectic toddler stage and about to start a steady school schedule. She is ready and excited to get back to building her career with her extra time. While she and Jake have decided not to have a second child, their mothers are up in arms. They were both looking forward to a second grandchild. She starts to feel the anxiety build, but after talking to her coach, she is reminded that she gets to make the decisions that are right for her. Susan does NOT NEED TO SAY SORRY for not wanting a second child and putting her ambitions first!
Whether having a difficult conversation, getting push back from a team member, and being frustrated at work, Susan inevitably tears up in response. Susan is a kind, successful, and emotional woman. The same emotionality allows her to be sensitive to her coworkers, empathetic with her team, and intuitive in various social situations. Susan does NOT NEED TO SAY SORRY because her coworkers are uncomfortable with her vulnerability.
Prioritizing Life Balance & Wellness
Susan has recently been experiencing exhaustion and poor health. To the dismay of her boss, she starts going to the gym during her lunch hour (and actually taking the full lunch break after all these years!) or leaving earlier in the evening to work out. Creating life balance is extremely important to improve quality of life, spend time with family, and take care of yourself. Her boss may not be pleased but she does NOT NEED TO SAY SORRY for prioritizing her wellness.
Susan ultimately decides her job isn’t fulfilling and discovers her real passion. Unfortunately, it rocks the home’s financial stability. Jake has a lot of questions, mainly about her experience as an entrepreneur and the repercussions and impact on the family. Being detail-oriented and with high emotional intelligence, she is prepared for this discussion and explains her plan. Susan understands she needs Jake to be on her side to move forward and make her new dream a reality, and she too is concerned about the inconveniences to the family. Susan must be responsible, but she certainly does NOT NEED TO SAY SORRY for having the courage to start over.
To sign up for a complimentary consult and confidence-building tips, please email Leena Roy at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow @CoachLeena.
Leena Roy, CFA/CPC is a Professional Coach for Managers. A program designed to elevate and empower Mid-level Managers & Professionals to achieve their highest potential.