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5 Ways to Get Back on Track When You Feel Lost

Submitted by WomenWorking on Mon, 08/22/2016 - 09:23

Feeling lost in the wilderness of life with so many decisions ahead? Here are some natural resources we all have!  

Find your Map
It helps to ground us when we remember where we started. It may be time to internally retrace your steps to find out where you should go next. From a career perspective, it may be remembering what you studied in college and what you loved about in the first place that got you where you are now.  Have you strayed from that course? Now that you remember what you wanted in the first place, it’s easier to figure out how to get back on track. 

Look up at the Sky 
We have a natural compass. Just like looking up at the stars and sun can help us find our bearings, similarly we can look up to our vision and up at our future goals to get back our perspective. We are guided by our values, our mission in life and the legacy we would like to leave behind.  

Turn on the Torch 
In the darkness, remember you can turn on a light. And the light can be in the form of your life advisor, a boss, a mentor, sponsor, or coach. They can shine the torch on your path forward by reminding you of who you are and what you’re great at. Sometimes all we need is a new perspective. 

Reach for Comfort 
Out in the cold, we may need the warmth of love to fill us. Our families are our cheerleaders and support systems. You may need to reach out if it’s been a while but true friends, close family, or loved ones tend to be no more than a phone call or email or visit away. 

When we lose momentum, it’s time to refuel our souls and bodies. Whether it’s the feel-good exercise hormones, comforting music, healthy food, positive mantras, or inspiring readings – when you’re losing momentum and feeling lost, take time to energize and charge up those life batteries. 

Don’t forget to use your inner resources when you start losing direction and purpose, you’re the best map for yourself! 

Leena Roy, CFA/CPC is a Leadership & Life Coach. Choice over Chance is designed to elevate and empower Mid-level Managers & all Professionals to achieve their highest potential. Please join me on FB: Choice over Chance or follow me @CoachLeena today.

How Confident Women Know it is Time to Trust their Gut about People

Submitted by WomenWorking on Wed, 08/17/2016 - 10:28

When the confident woman’s brain is overloaded with facts and data but a decision seems to be getting any clearer it may be time trust her gut instincts! 

Adding to the team 
Hiring decisions between two equal candidates can often come down to a final “feeling” of who will be the best fit for the organization and team.  The confident woman can trust her gut instinct beyond the first impression and the work experience. This instinct can speak more volumes than all the words on a resume. 

During transition periods 
At work or personally, sometimes without anyone saying it in so many words, you can get wind of an unspoken change ahead. It can be the way people won’t make eye contact or your senior VP is no longer responding to messages.  There can be a shift in energy that is only sensed by your intuitive gut.  The confident woman can trust that instinct and be extra prepared for what’s to come. 

In a conflict or challenge
In periods of conflict or being challenged in the workplace, the confident woman will have to quickly assess who is on her side and who she can look to stand up for the right thing. Her female instinct is key to helping her make that decision. Sticking to her guns and enrolling the right people on to her team allows her to face her challenges with grace. 

Making work allies
One of the important relationships at work can be your peer network. While it is always necessary to build your network, the confident woman will be discerning in who she picks to be in her inner circle. A group of people who have her back and can be trusted to stick up for her when she is not in the room.  The inner circle becomes her support and contingency plan! 

When do you trust your gut instinct? Look forward to seeing your comments!   

Leena Roy, CFA/CPC is a Leadership & Life Coach. Choice over Chance is designed to elevate and empower Mid-level Managers & all Professionals to achieve their highest potential. Please join me on FB: Choice over Chance or follow me @CoachLeena today.

6 Habits of Highly Successful People

Submitted by WomenWorking on Tue, 08/16/2016 - 10:26

I know we all hear about exercising and meditation being great habits, but what are some of the other SECRET rules that successful people follow every day? 

1. Successful people don’t give in to every impulse. They live mindfully and have the ability to self-regulate. It may sound hard, but with practice, it becomes a no-brainer as they grow personally to eat well and take care of their minds and bodies on a daily basis. 

2. They do ask for feedback to learn daily and work on self-improvement. It’s a continual journey they embrace without being defensive. It is no good to have advisors or team members who only agree with you, because where is the growth in that?

3. They do take small breaks. Not at the end of the week or month, but everyday small breaks to take a walk, chat with a friend, cook, or even take a nap can go a long way to relax your mind. These breaks are important to refresh your mind, step away from the task and come back with more energy and perspective.  

4. They do their research. Successful leaders don’t depend on someone else to do the work or give them answers. They know they need their own team to do the research and analysis to get the best and most suitable results. Research and review happens daily. 

5. They pay attention to small details. Ultimately if we don’t handle our circumstances, our circumstances will handle us! There are minute details in our life and they require small amounts of daily attention. Don’t shirk the small stuff! 

6. Successful people ask for help. They know that there are some projects you just can’t do alone. Or, it may be outside the area of their expertise, or they may already have too much on their plate, or they may recognize that someone else on the team has the perfect skills for the assignment. Whatever the reason, leaders are never afraid of sharing the load and the credit.  

Leena Roy, CFA/CPC is a Leadership & Life Coach. Choice over Chance is designed to elevate and empower Mid-level Managers & all Professionals to achieve their highest potential. Please join me on FB: Choice over Chance or follow me @CoachLeena today.

Why Immature Men Are Threatened by Powerful Women

Submitted by WomenWorking on Fri, 08/12/2016 - 11:22

Generally, men like to take the wheel. Whether at work or in a relationship, the man, traditionally, thinks he needs to be the one in control. So when a strong, confident woman enters his life, an immature man might feel shaken up by her self-assuredness. Here’s why:

He’s knocked down to size
When he’s in her presence, he’s forced to recognize that she’s not there just to boost his ego. Instead, she’ll challenge him intellectually and won’t be afraid to call him out when he makes a mistake. She makes him realize that his idea isn’t always the right one.

He feels pressured to succeed
A man can expect a powerful woman to be supportive and push him to do better. This can be intimidating to an immature man, knowing that his actions are being watched. She’s also going to be the first to offer (constructive) criticism, which most immature men don’t like to hear. He might feel like he has to have a bigger paycheck, turning the relationship into a competition. 

He tends to shy away from commitment
When a powerful woman dates a man, you know she’s going to be giving it her all. She knows what she wants, that’s why she chooses to be in a committed relationship. Immature men can be fickle when it comes to getting serious.

She’ll always speak her mind
A strong woman is not going to let anything get past her. If she’s feeling a certain way about something he did, she’s going to confront him. She’s not going to lie or make excuses, and that’s threatening to a man who is used to having people cater to him.

She’s not easy to impress
An immature man probably isn’t used to putting a whole lot of effort into relationships. To sweep this type of woman off her feet takes effort. James Michael Sama, a relationship expert at Huffington Post, said, “Do not shy away from strong women, and do not be intimidated by their passion for life. Instead, be excited that you have found your teammate. You have found your partner in crime.”

- Barbara Bent

9 Negative Habits That Can Derail Your Career

Submitted by WomenWorking on Wed, 08/10/2016 - 09:24

Being late: Being late to work meetings regularly can taint your reputation for professionalism. Take a few minutes the night before or during the day to plan for the day ahead and prepare accordingly. It’s more important than you think! 

Avoiding meetings: We can fall under the radar by repeatedly avoiding meetings and discussions. Don’t make it a habit as it ultimately impacts your role and growth opportunity in your department. 

Not backing up or saving work: Being overwhelmed and rushed, we can forget to back up and save our work. As a habit, that increases the likelihood of losing valuable data and having to re-do work. Make it a new habit to save, save, save! 

Not cleaning out the inbox: Emails have become our primary form of correspondence. Not filing or clearing out our inboxes regularly can create a backlog of 1000s of emails and we may end up missing or not responding to the important emails. Start this week by creating folders, priority levels, and automatic rules to file emails and help you get sorted! 

Internet browsing: As our attention wanders at work, it’s easy to just click on an Internet browser and start searching. Or sometimes we are mid-search and a new link grabs our attention and before you know it, 15 minutes has flown by. Break this bad habit by having a self-imposed timer for browsing. You can always save new links for viewing later instead of clicking on them in the moment. 

Snacking at work: Substitute your sugar or salt fix during the workday with healthy snacks. With a little bit of planning and research, it’s easy to find a variety of healthy snacks that are not overloaded with carbs, sugars, and salt. 

Social Media trap: Just like the Internet, we can easily get caught up in our social media feeds. Turn off notifications during the workday or when you have important things to get done. Choose certain times of the day to spend catching up with social media. 

Emotional shopping: When stress rises and we have no time to leave our desks, we turn to Macy’s or for our emotional lift. Whether it’s making a quick purchase on a sale item, or putting in a bid for an unbelieve price on a designer product, the relief we get from shopping is expensive and short-lived. Try to relieve stress at your desk by journaling a few lines, taking a few deep breaths or making a quick call to a loved one instead. 

Sending calls to voicemail: A bad habit that comes with having caller ID is not answering calls. Our ability to be responsive can nip issues in the bud and take things off of our list instead of always adding to it. If you have the time, answer the phone instead of just sending it to voicemail. In the long run, it makes you better able to handle unexpected and unwanted situations. 

What’s your bad habit and how did you overcome it?  Look forward to seeing your comments!  Please join me on FB: Choice over Chance or follow me @CoachLeena today.

Leena Roy, CFA/CPC is a Leadership & Life Coach. Choice over Chance is designed to elevate and empower Mid-level Managers & all Professionals to achieve their highest potential.

50 Shades of No

Submitted by WomenWorking on Mon, 08/08/2016 - 09:21

What do we really mean when we say ‘no’? When it comes to our careers, we frequently don’t actually mean ‘never’ when we say no, yet that is what our co-workers often hear. So how can we soften our NO and say exactly what we mean? 

Not now
A no can be time specific. We just mean ‘not right now’ or ‘not yet’. Instead of saying ‘no’ to your boss, try, ‘I would love to get that project to you, so let’s negotiate a better time.’ It leaves the door open for conversation. 

Not you
A no can be about the people involved. We might look at the partners in a project and say no to the entire venture. And yet, what we really mean is, ‘I’m not thrilled about this person but this could be highly successful if we involve a different group.’ 

Not here
Geography can often play a role in our decision to say no. For example, we may say no to a job because it is outside of our preferred locations. However, if we were more specific with our no and we said, ‘I can’t work in that location’, the company may be able to amend its offer with a remote or work-from-home option, or an offer to work at a different branch. 

Not so much/little
Sometimes, our no is about balance. When we start dating, we may get turned off by too much or too little attention from our date.  It is not the person necessarily that we want to say no to, but that is what ends up happening when we are unable to articulate how we really feel. 

Not in this way
The specifics of a situation can cause us to turn down the whole deal.  For example, a promotion lies just ahead, but then you learn you will need to fire 5 people right away as you enter the job. You aren’t saying no to the promotion or added responsibility, but you are saying no to the way in which it would have to unfold. 

Sometimes a no is simply a no. At other times, a no is triggered by a secondary choice we are not comfortable with. If we look a bit deeper, we can decide when it is appropriate to say no, and when we can negotiate a middle ground that will work with a no AND a yes.

Share your empowerment tip or challenge with us in the comment section or at Choice over Chance. You can follow me today @CoachLeena. I look forward to hearing from you.  

Leena Roy, CFA/CPC is a Leadership & Life Coach. Choice over Chance is designed to elevate and empower Mid-level Managers & all Professionals to achieve their highest potential.

Is There Really Such a Thing as Work Life Balance

Submitted by WomenWorking on Thu, 08/04/2016 - 10:19

As a young working mother who owned her own business, I struggled to balance the different parts of my life and learned six secrets for creating a sense of balance.

Treat each part of your life as a vacation from the other part
If you carry stress from one location to another, you can never play a one hundred percent game in either location. If you tend to take your work stress home with you, decompress when you drive home tonight. To unwind, listen to music or notice the beauty of the sky at stoplights en route. Tomorrow, when you arrive at work, decide you’re on vacation from your home life. If you genuinely commit to your job during the day, you work faster, harder, and have more energy and time left to tackle your home chores. If you truly shed work at the end of the day, you score a semi-vacation every night.

Write yourself back into the equation
You know the drill. There’s always something. The son with the broken collarbone, the daughter who’s going to “die” if you don’t drop everything at work to get her the science project she left home. Although at the end of the day you’ve handled all the kid issues and kept your boss happy, you can't say you’ve taken good care of yourself.

What if you wrote yourself back in to the equation by doing one small thing for yourself each day? So, what will be your treat -- a short thirty minute walk at noon, a conversation with a friend to make you feel better, or knowing that you’ve chosen only healthy foods for your lunch? Whatever it is, realize you’re restoring balance.   

Realize how much you do for yourself (even when you don’t) 
We can drive ourselves crazy thinking “when do I get time?” Except, if we think about what matters most, we’d put healthy, happy kids on top of the list.  This means what we do for our family, we do for ourselves – and we’re actually good at it. So what if the teen daughter never says thank you because she thinks the world revolves around her? You know what you did and what you had to juggle to accomplish what she needed. Give yourself an A.    

Perhaps your co-workers can manage to excel at their job and spend extra time detouring into procrastination, chitchat, or excess perfectionism, but you can’t. If you want to keep your job yet put personal life first, you need to focus intensely on work while at work, psyching yourself to work with extra speed. 

When you turn your work life upside down to get the science project from home for your daughter, leverage what you’ve done by saying, “it would have taken you a minute to put into your backpack but it took me an hour plus to deliver it. I love you, but next time, you need to remember.”  If she hears and learns, your hour wasn’t “wasted.”

Notice the small moments
Challenge yourself to see and use small moments. For example, do you sit patiently while waiting on hold on the phone or could you complete a small chore such as cleansing your delete log so your on-hold waiting time pays off? When traffic is stopped at the light, can you take two slow deep breaths and get in two abdominal holds – or at least enjoy the relaxing breaths while you gaze at the clouds? Can you slip that discussion you need to have with your son about paying more attention to his teacher into the conversation the two of you have as he’s helping you make the dinner salad?  

Accept that balance is a work in progress
Don’t expect to get balance “right” every day. Those who watch successful NASA flights learn that even the best flights involve constant mid-course corrections. One day without time for yourself means nothing – unless you turn that derailment into a permanent pattern.

Noticing what’s right and the progress you’re making pays huge dividends. I’ll never forget how exhausted I felt when I arrived home one night and realized I’d spent the drive home thinking about all the things I hadn’t done. The next night I reflected on what I’d accomplished as I drove home and notice the energy change.  

Which of these six secrets can you use to take back your sense of balance? 

© 2016, Lynne Curry, executive coach and author of Solutions and Beating the Workplace Bully. Follow her @lynnecurry10 or or on

5 Reasons Arguing is Good for your Health

Submitted by WomenWorking on Thu, 08/04/2016 - 08:28

Most of us don't want to confront others--tough conversations are difficult to have. But why is it a must? In the end if we hold it all in, we only hurt ourselves.

1. No two people see it the same way. What makes life interesting is that we see things differently. It would be boring if we agreed all the time. Diversity is a good thing.

2. Not saying how we feel builds resentments. When we pull back, say things inauthentically, agree when we don't feel like agreeing, we most likely will harbor resentments.

And resentments can have a toxic effect on any relationship, and also your health.

3. Disagreements can make a relationship stronger. The fear of someone leaving if we say how we really feel haunts many of us.  But having the willingness to work through differing points of view

makes life interesting and builds trust.

4. Your opinions matters. People in the best relationships, "Agree to Disagree." They appreciate their partner's point of view, without having to take it on. They also know what they think and feel is 

5. Asserting yourself brings with it self-respect. When you stand up for yourself and say what you really feel, you build self-esteem.

4 Ways for Introverts to Be More Assertive

Submitted by WomenWorking on Wed, 08/03/2016 - 08:47

For the introvert in the workplace caught in a world full of outgoing self-promoters, it can feel like a constant effort to be heard, understood and respected. Corporate culture tends to reward those most visible and vocal, so here are 4 quick strategies for an introvert to insert herself into the limelight. 

Put your hand up first 
The natural tendency of an introvert is to think before speaking. Combat this by putting your hand up or say, “Excuse me” or, “What about…” the moment someone stops speaking. This creates the space for you to talk before you can stop yourself. Once the attention is on you, you can ask a clarifying question or offer your thoughts on the topic or even summarize the situation from your perspective. Whatever it is, you get a chance to contribute and be heard. Chances are you are more prepared than you thought! 

They took credit, again? 
Something an introvert often faces is a colleague taking credit for his or her work. If this happens in a meeting, jump in right away to clarify: “Thanks for sharing that Mr. Credit-taker, I would just like to add that in doing this work, we…” Say your bit, whether it’s highlighting the work you both put in, or sharing a result that was not previously mentioned or simply clarifying that you were both on the team. Assert yourself politely and firmly.  

Communicate Ahead 
Knowing ahead of time that it may be hard to jump in or speak over a group of extroverts, send your thoughts in writing, in advance. Shoot an email with your analysis or questions to the team before a group discussion. This should naturally create a way to bring up your email during the meeting and allow you to verbalize what you have already written. If that doesn’t happen, at least the team is still aware of your contribution and you have asserted yourself. 

Request What You Need 
Don’t be afraid to ask for what you need. Introverts may withdraw to create space for themselves. At work this can come across as non-cooperative and disengaged. Speak to your manager or team and tell them you are in the middle of a project and will need some quiet time. This lets them know you are aware and concerned while allowing you to assert yourself and share what you need, without it being awkward or difficult. 

The introvert journey can be a tough one, but with proper communication and an empowered approach, you can set yourself up for success on your own terms.  

Are you an introvert? Share your empowerment tip or challenge with us in the comment section or at Choice over Chance. You can follow me today @CoachLeena. I look forward to hearing from you.  

Leena Roy, CFA/CPC is a Leadership & Life Coach. Choice over Chance is designed to elevate and empower Mid-level Managers & all Professionals to achieve their highest potential.

4 Health Benefits of Hugs

Submitted by WomenWorking on Tue, 08/02/2016 - 10:34

Who doesn’t like a hug? From toddlers to great aunts, there’s a reason people are always trying to pull those they love into a tight embrace. It’s not just because it feels good, which it does, but because it’s good for you too! That’s why Dr. Nandi is encouraging you to become your own health hero, so reach out and hug someone today.

Here are some of the health benefits you can expect to experience from hugging.

According to a study completed at the University of North Carolina, hugging drastically improves your blood pressure. It not only makes it drop immediately post-hug, but for those who regularly hug the people they love, the improvement can be more permanent. It’s so significant that the blood pressure drop is similar to that achieved by prescription medication. As an added bonus, hugging also reduces heart rate, putting you at less of a risk of cardiovascular issues.

Hugging does more than improve your blood pressure, it also boosts your immune system. Because it stimulates the thymus gland, which is in charge of regulating your white blood cells, those who hug fight off infections better. These people tend to overall be healthier and more disease-free than those who keep people at arm’s length.

Whether it’s due to the oxytocin or the body closeness, hugging improves your relationships with people. By building trust, you’re creating a sense of security and boosting your self-esteem and self-worth. Hugging also improves people’s communication and tends to make them get along better. After all, it’s hard to be mad at someone who gives really good hugs.

Hugging helps you let go of your daily stress and become more relaxed. Physically, it relaxes your muscles and releases tension in your neck and shoulders. Mentally, it gives you peace and is like taking a big, deep breath for your well-being.

If you’re looking to do something easy to improve your health, Dr. Nandi says to grab the person next to you and give them a hug. It not only improves your day and health, but it helps theirs as well.


• While hugging someone you love has its own rewards, you don’t have to be close to the person you’re hugging to reap the health benefits

 Hugging increases serotonin, a neurotransmitter often associated with feelings of happiness and well-being

 All hugs make you feel better and improve your health, but if you can get them to last at least 30 seconds, you’ll experience a surge of hormones and a boost to your hugging health benefits

• The roots of self-esteem are rooted in tactile sensations from infancy, so hugging and touching drastically improve them

• Hugging puts you in the moment, allows you to let go of stress, and be present and mindful

Partha Nandi M.D., F.A.C.P is the creator and host of the internationally syndicated medical lifestyle television show, Ask Dr. Nandi. Dr. Nandi delivers passionate and inspiring talks to empower the world in his mission, “To Be Your Own Health Hero.”

Signs You Are Compromising Yourself Too Much

Submitted by WomenWorking on Tue, 08/02/2016 - 09:52

Research shows that too often women are more worried about being liked than respected. This desire to be liked can take us to extremes and be detrimental to our success. 

Being liked is not bad and it is important as a leader. But when being liked makes us compromise our values and our personal dreams, we end up not liking ourselves as we watch other people attain the goals we desire.

Here are five signs you are compromising yourself too much.

1. People no longer ask you strategic business questions, but rely on you to perform unimportant tasks because they know you’ll say yes.

2. Co-workers and managers assume you agree with them on issues you don’t because you didn’t want to speak up in opposition.

3. Other people are taking credit for ideas you’ve shared and you say nothing. You rationalize by tell yourself “it doesn’t matter who gets credit as long as it gets done.”

4. You always say yes to more work, and are wondering where your life and time went at the end of each day or week.

5. You feel bad and wish you had taken an action, spoken up, or shared a new idea but are now hesitant to be seen as a disruptor or ‘troublemaker.”

If any of these signs describe you, it’s time to get into action and stop.

Easier said than done, you think? 

My next post will provide 5 actions you can take to change and get the respect you deserve from yourself and others.

Meanwhile, take time to observe your behavior, thoughts and feelings around over-compromising. Jot down when you feel stretched, the specifics of the situation, what you say and what you do. 

Look for themes or repeat situations and read my next post to help you take charge of yourself and your career.

Simma Lieberman is a speaker, consultant and coach in diversity, inclusion and executive leadership. Contact her now at, or viisit her website

3 Reasons Confident Women Do Not Buy into Shame

Submitted by WomenWorking on Mon, 08/01/2016 - 11:21

Shame and guilt are often confused with each other, and yet they are completely different in how they make us feel about ourselves.   

Guilt serves to remind us that we have moved away from our value, and have perhaps made a choice that was not aligned with our best selves. This allows you to acknowledge and learn from the mistake.   

Shame, on the other hand, just makes you feel bad about and devalue yourself. That is why Warrior Women around the world say “no thank you” to shame!  

The difference is critical when you put it into practice.

Guilt looks like this: “I made a bad choice; that was not very insightful of me.”  

And this is shame: “I made a bad choice. I am the stupidest person I know.”  

Three reasons why the warrior woman doesn’t buy into shame?  

1) The Warrior Woman KNOWS herself. She knows her strengths and weaknesses. If she made a mistake, she can bounce back, and find a lesson, and grow from it. Or get the help she needs.  

2) The Warrior Woman LOVES herself. She knows she’s both lovable and valuable.  She can make a bad choice just like anyone else; it doesn’t reduce her intrinsic goodness or what she’s capable of accomplishing.  

3) The Warrior Woman is into BEING herself. She has learned and loved herself to the point where she  is comfortable being her true self in the world. When she goes down the wrong path, it is never long before she checks in with herself. As she self-corrects, she also knows how to rise above and forgive herself. 

Forgiveness and self-acceptance are the Warrior Woman’s antidotes to shame. She won’t be taking that poison pill anymore.  

Need support managing fear and shame? Please share your thoughts in the comment section or at Choice over Chance.  You can follow me today @CoachLeena, I look forward to hearing from you.    

Leena Roy, CFA/CPC is a Leadership & Life Coach. Choice over Chance is designed to elevate and empower Mid-level Managers & all Professionals to achieve their highest potential.

5 Lessons Your Single Mom Taught You

Submitted by WomenWorking on Fri, 07/29/2016 - 12:25

It may not be the “typical” family dynamic, but single moms have become a huge sector of the population. It certainly is not an ideal situation, by any means, but it made both you and her stronger people. Maybe you resented the fact you had no father at some points in your life, but you knew there was always at least one person counting on you and loving you with all her heart. If you have a single mother, you can surely recognize these invaluable lessons you learned from her:

Don’t let others steal your joy: No matter how upset you might be because of what someone said about you or how they treated you, don’t stay down--rise above the disappointment. She had her share of negativity thrust in her path, but in the end, she came out stronger. Only you can control your happiness, so don’t give that power away to someone else. 

Be independent: It’s so important to be able to hold your own as a woman. It’s all about being able to get through each day, often without the credit you deserve. Your mom is a living lesson of an independent woman who doesn’t have to rely on outside approval to feel good about herself--she’s tough as nails. But at the same time, she teaches you to be gentle and caring. Balancing strength and sensitivity isn’t easy, but it’s a priceless lesson to keep in mind as you go through life.  

Love yourself: First and foremost, be able to love yourself for the good and the bad. You might have insecurities, but so does everyone else. She taught you to love yourself unconditionally and learn from the mistakes you’ve made. She told you that everything happens for a reason, so let go of what didn’t work out and don’t beat yourself up for it.

Live with no regrets: The past is in the past, nothing we can do can change that. She is an example of persevering when things didn’t go her way. She had to focus on the present and the future. Take comfort in knowing that each day can start with a clean slate. 

Always have hope: Life isn’t fair. Instead of being bogged down by mistakes and misfortunes of the past, keep your focus ahead. There were probably many times when she felt that all hope was lost. Instead of being a victim, she turned her thinking around to become a warrior, and shows that you can be one, too.

“Strong women don’t play victim, don’t make themselves look pitiful, and don’t point fingers. They stand and they deal.”-Mandy Hale

*Many of these lessons are not exclusive to single mothers

- Barbara Bent

Habits of Deceitful People (and how to steer clear of them)

Submitted by WomenWorking on Fri, 07/29/2016 - 12:17

Deceit is like a lie, but it’s trickier. A deceiver often has an elaborate plan to mislead and falsely persuade you. The worst part is that such deception can be hard to spot. Look out for these telltale signs to catch them red-handed:

“Microexpressions”: These subtle clues, according to the FBI, are “fleeting expressions of concealed emotion, sometimes so fast that they happen in the blink of an eye--as fast as one-fifteenth of a second. This results from the individual’s attempt to hide them.” But you don’t have to be an FBI agent to make use of these nonverbal cues. So the next time you feel like you’re being duped, look closely for a slight strain in their smile or when they cast their eyes to the ground. The FBI website also said, “facial expressions of emotion are the closest thing humans have to a universal language.” 

On the defense: A deceiver is likely to get defensive when they’re lying to you. They may avert their gaze or cross their arms in a conversation. These physical signs of defense are their ways of protecting themselves when they know they could be caught in a lie.

They “fluff” the conversation: The person might use repetitive statements. This way, they can waste time while their mind churns to come up with their next lie. Another small but telling hint is when they avoid using contractions like, “can’t” and instead use, “cannot,” just to buy time. 

Here’s what you can do to steer clear of deception:

Analyze their countenance: Are they nervous or angry? Do they seem distracted? Take their normal behavior into consideration--are they acting differently than they usually do?

Keep asking questions: Throw them off guard by asking very detailed, specific questions. Can they keep up?

Be aware of contempt and know when to walk away: When someone realizes you’re a target for deception, their behavior can turn into contempt. By definition, they feel that you’re “beneath consideration” and don’t deserve respect. Pamela Meyer, a certified fraud examiner, says, “contempt is the ultimate red flag. When someone is angry at you, you’ve still got traction with them, but when they display contempt, you’ve been dismissed. It’s a poisonous emotion, especially when paired with deception. Once someone shows it, it rarely goes away.” At this point, know to keep this person at a distance to avoid further deception.

- Barbara Bent

How to Bring Healthy Closure to a Relationship

Submitted by WomenWorking on Fri, 07/29/2016 - 12:02

When a relationship ends, people often find comfort in closure. However, we can harbor feelings of anger, pain, and sadness instead of peacefully coming to terms with what has happened. Sometimes, you’re able to negotiate that closure with your partner. Other times, you don’t get that chance, and have to find closure within your heart and mind. Here are helpful tips to guide you through both of these tough situations:

Finding closure with a partner

Communicate honestly: To make any change, you’ll have to be honest with your partner and tell them, face-to-face, exactly how you feel and why you think things are not working. Remind each other of the positive parts of your relationship.

Don’t place blame: Be careful to express your emotions in a way that you’re not blaming one another for pain in the relationship. Keep your conversation focused and calm. If not, you could regret something you said down the road.

Search for “mutual benefit”: Dr. Jeremy Nicholson, a social and personality psychologist, says, “Even in a breakup, relationships are still a social exchange, and there is still the possibility of mutual benefit. Therefore, at the end of a relationship, it is still important to focus on where you can meet both your needs and those of your partner.”

Finding closure within yourself*

Grieve: Ending a relationship is a loss. You need time to be sad and feel the pain before you move on. Dr. Abigail Brenner, a psychiatrist, says “Prolonged or incomplete grief may contribute to making poor choices in the future. The ability to trust, to be honest, and to be yourself is essential for a new, healthier relationship or situation to present itself to you.”

Acknowledge and accept what’s happened: Have a conversation with yourself--ask what you are holding on to, and why? Is this pain consuming you and preventing you from accomplishing what you want in life? What do you think will happen if you move on and let go? These are the kinds of questions that clear our minds and motivate us to find something better down the road.

Make a game plan: Write down what’s most important for you to do right now. Staying organized in this visual way will help as you pave your path into the future. Dr. Brenner suggests, “Shift the emphasis to what you need, what makes you happy. Don’t worry about pleasing others.”

*Some of these steps need to happen even if you are finding closure with your partner

- Barbara Bent

5 Tips to Manage Your Frustration at Work

Submitted by WomenWorking on Thu, 07/28/2016 - 10:14

Your co-workers are loud. You seem to know more than your manager. You are constantly being called in for your expertise, yet your boss gives you a minuscule raise after you waited three years for it. Your company seems to relish meetings more than getting the real work done. Some of your colleagues fail to perform their job responsibilities and keep getting away with it. These are just some of the many things that can cause your level of annoyance to reach an all-time high at work. When you find yourself in this situation, here are a few tips to help you manage your frustration:

Take a moment and breath: While there is an entire scientific reason behind the power of this strategy, what you need to know is that this strategy is tied directly into your body's relaxation response. Taking a deep breath will slow you down and calm you down, so that you can decide how to proceed with a clear mind. 

Assess and evaluate: After you calm down, it's important to reflect on the cause of the frustration. Is your frustration stemming from a re-occurring pattern? Is this pattern something that should be addressed? Could it be that your patience is low because you're hungry or tired? Are you moving too quickly to blame others without looking at your role in the problem? These are some of the questions you can ask yourself to gain a clearer understanding of what is triggering your feelings of frustration.

Shift your perspective: When you change your story, you can manage the situation. So, it may be time to think about whether you are feeding yourself a story that is undermining your well-being at work. This is also a time to consider the bigger picture. Ask yourself if it's possible that you're getting caught up in the small stuff instead of holding onto your vision of what you want in your career. Take some time to also consider what is positive and right at work. 

Get yourself out of the situation: Sometimes, the best solution to a problem is the simplest. Before you blow your cool, go for a walk even if it's to the coffee machine or the water cooler. Find a way to get yourself out of a frustrating situation if you feel like you are going to lose control. In the best scenarios, you can escape to the restroom or step out of the building for a brief stroll. Like taking a deep breath, this strategy gives you some time to calm down, consider your options, and make a healthy choice. 

Advocate for yourself: You've tried breathing huge gusts of air and played at your greatest imitation of a Zen Monk, and still, you keep having the same grievance. While this may challenging at first and requires courage, this is a time to advocate for change. What other options lay at your disposal? Can you switch your role? Do you need to have a difficult conversation with a co-worker? Give some thought to what you need and then share those ideas with a positive approach.

- Cynthia Santiago, empowerment coach and founder of Latina Wellness

6 Ways to Leave a Bad Relationship

Submitted by WomenWorking on Wed, 07/27/2016 - 10:56

At some point in our lives, many of us have found ourselves stuck in a relationship that failed to meet our needs, and yet, we found it hard to walk away from the person who caused more drama than joy.  For any number of reasons including the delicate nature of our self-esteem, leaving a bad relationship can be quite challenging. Even so, there are ways to move on that can leave you feeling empowered with a sense of self-love, instead of feeling like you've just been run over by a truck. Here are some empowering ways you can walk out the door with your head held high:

Envision your dream relationship: We all have ideas about what we want in a relationship. Think about all of the hours you’ve spent daydreaming about your ideal partner, and all of the adventures you would share. Now compare that dream to what is currently happening in your relationship. Is your reality anywhere close to your dream? If not, then you need to consider getting on with your life, so that your dream person will find you single and ready to enjoy their company. 

Stop rationalizing the other person’s poor behavior: When we're in a relationship, it can be hard to face the truth about the other person's treatment towards us. Our natural tendency is to find excuses for their behavior. Stop justifying your partner's poor behavior. Get honest about what is occurring, and ask yourself if you want to continue in a relationship where you're being mistreated or where your desires are not being met. 

Create a plan for your exit: Once you have decided to leave the relationship, give some thought to how you want to leave and implement a strategy for your departure. Like all other areas of our lives, the better prepared we are, the more likely we are to succeed at our goal. 

Stand in your integrity: Nobody said leaving would feel good. In fact, saying goodbye to someone you care about or love is incredibly difficult. Nonetheless, you deserve to have the relationship you want, and that means you have to stand firm in your choice. Practice compassion and forgiveness, and establish your parameters of how you will behave and operate, even if the other person is angry or spiteful. 

Gather with your tribe: It can be easy to isolate yourself if you are sad or depressed about the break-up, but that is the worst thing you can do. Instead, gather with your entrusted friends, talk and spend time with them. Engage in activities that help you feel good and bring you joy, even if you feel like you're just going through the motions. This will benefit you during the painful transition time after the relationship has ended.

Give yourself time: Even when you leave a relationship empowered, knowing it was the right thing to do, you may still be heartbroken. Don't pretend you're not in pain and don't try to numb yourself. Instead, this an opportunity to take care of yourself, be compassionate and loving with yourself, and allow yourself the time you need to mourn your loss. Give yourself time.

- Cynthia Santiago, empowerment coach and founder of Latina Wellness

4 Ways to Deal with a Nasty Co-worker

Submitted by WomenWorking on Wed, 07/27/2016 - 10:24

Work can be stressful. Between deadlines, budgets, bosses, and projects, the last thing anyone needs is a nasty coworker. Follow these strategies to gain control of the situation and find some peace. 

1. Get an outside opinion. Talk to a neutral and removed source. Explain the situation, and troubleshoot your interactions with your coworker. Is there anything you said or did (or didn't say or do) to contribute to the problem? Having someone look at the situation who isn't connected to your workplace will provide needed insight and clarity. If necessary, own your part of the problem, and decide what can be done about it. 

2. Create space and stand up for yourself. Allow some time to pass before confronting your coworker. If possible, schedule a time to chat. If they refuse, you may need to catch them during one of their free moments. Calmly and professionally explain what you have noticed, how you want things to improve, and offer an apology if needed. 

3. Wish them well. Throughout the process, and especially if they remain hostile after confrontation, it is crucial for your peace of mind to wish them well. It only brings you down to harbor anger and hostility towards them. One practice you can implement whenever you are hurt by someone is to repeat the phrase "may I be safe, happy, and live with ease and peace" and then extend the same wishes to your offender, "may you be safe, happy, and live with ease and peace." Close your eyes and repeat the phrase a few times. Then let go. It's amazing what these words can do for your peace of mind. 

4. Be professional and respectful. In all your interactions, choose to stand on higher ground. Remember that you are in the workplace, and treat them with professionalism and respect even if you do not receive it in return. You want those around you including your boss to see your best self, not you giving your power away to someone angry and hurting. 

Finally, smile to yourself as you remember this quote by Eric Hoffer: "Rudeness is the weak person's imitation of strength." As for you, you are the one acting truly strong!

- Jennie Swenson, Parent Educator and Positive Youth Development Specialist

How to Deal with Someone Who’s Overly Needy

Submitted by WomenWorking on Tue, 07/26/2016 - 12:01

The biggest way we show our friends that we care is by being there for them in a crisis. To make yourself available for someone in their time of need is important. But we can’t always be a shoulder to cry on. After all, we have our own lives, jobs, and families to look after as well. Is what they’re asking of you too much? When you find yourself with someone who is overly needy, it’s tough to come up with a solution. You don’t want to hurt their feelings, but you need them to understand they can’t depend on you for everything. So what can you do?

Let them know you care. This might sound like a no-brainer, but it’s effective. Tell that person how much they mean to you and how you hate to see them upset. Be sure to remind them of all you’ve done for them in the past (even name specific incidences), so that they know you’ve really been a true friend. This way, you’ll have solid evidence that you’re supportive and truly care about their well-being. This is important for the next steps.

Recognize when it’s too much. Sometimes, even after you communicate clearly about what you can and can’t offer that person, there’s no change. Or, it changes for the worst, they are angry at you and break off the relationship. Recognize that you are helping them by being direct. If you aren’t, you become an enabler. Andrea Bonior, an adjunct psychology professor at Georgetown University and author of “The Friendship Fix” encourages you to ask, “Are you helping  the person sort of get on the path toward change, or are you just beating your head against a brick wall because they’re not doing anything about it? that point, it’s just a matter of being honest and setting boundaries.” You may not get positive feedback, but know that you have to do this for your (and even their) own good.

Set boundaries. If you are always trying to make that person feel better, you may start to feel isolated. Maybe you’re neglecting friends or your partner because you’re giving too much time to this one person. Before long, you will start to resent your friend. Figure out how much time you can actually give them and communicate that. Be honest and say that you simply can’t offer as much as they require. Suggest alternatives. If necessary, help them clarify what they need. Let them know you believe in them and have faith that they will work things out. 

- Barbara Bent

5 Signs Your Boss Isn’t Trustworthy (and what you can do about it)

Submitted by WomenWorking on Tue, 07/26/2016 - 11:14

We want to trust our bosses. They’re supposed to be the ones who guide us through our work — people we can turn to when things get tough and we don’t know what to do. Unfortunately, not all bosses are people that we can rely on. Here are five signs your boss isn’t a good one — and what you should do about it.

1. You hear them talking badly about other workers in the office. This means they’re probably talking behind your back, too. If your boss is willing to say stuff about other coworkers, either within your earshot or to your face, it means they probably won’t hesitate to do the same to you and others. This shows that they obviously don’t care about anything you’ve told them in confidence, or about the feelings of their workers.

At the very least, make sure you don’t tell your boss anything that you don’t want everyone in the office to know about yourself. Try to find other people to ask your work questions if you’re having trouble with something. You definitely want to avoid giving them anything that can be shared with someone else. Also, don’t indulge in his gossip. If they try to get you in on the badmouthing, switch the topic.

2. They take credit for work that you or other workers did. You want to feel honored when your boss assigns you to a special project. Then you get to the day of the presentation and the boss makes no mention of you or any of the other people who put work into it.

Unfortunately, there’s nothing you can do right then. But now you have to have a plan for the next time they try to do that. Keep a little bit of your extra facts and research to yourself and make sure you pipe up with those during the meeting or presentation. This way, people will look to you as an expert on the topic.

Also, be careful how you bring up new ideas and work with your boss. If you bring it up in front of a bigger group, they’re less likely to take credit for your ideas.

3. They leave out important information or outright lie. For example: you go into a meeting and your boss specifically says it isn’t a disciplinary one — only for you to later find out that it is. Or they don’t tell you that all of your higher-ups are going to be doing an audit of the store that day.

Make sure you have a paper trail documenting any of these instances — out of reach of your boss, of course. Some of these things could toe the line of being considered lying or just being sneaky (the latter is still within their rights), but if it’s something serious that happens often, you’ll want a log.

If things are bad enough and you’re willing to put your job on the line, take it to HR or your boss’ boss.

4. They make you feel uncomfortable. Sexual harassment in the workplace happens way more often than it should. And it might be difficult for you to establish if it’s really harassment. If you’re seriously uncomfortable being alone with your boss, it’s a problem.

Document everything you can and be as specific as possible. Your job may be on the line for reporting this to HR, but you don’t know how many other people have been affected. It’s important that this gets reported.

5. They keep promising promotions — and never give them. Nothing is worse than getting excited for a promotion and then never getting it. This is another thing you need to make a specific log of. Include dates, times and the exact wording they used. They may say things about changing your title and not actually mean a raise. Have a difficult meeting with them and say exactly what you expect from what they said to you. Don’t take this sitting down — stand up for yourself.

Dealing with an untrustworthy boss is hard, but you have to take action and make things right. If it gets bad enough, it’s time to switch jobs. No job is worth dealing with an absolutely horrible boss.

Sarah Landrum is the founder of Punched Clocks, a site dedicated tosharing advice on all things career. Follow her on Twitter @SarahLandrum for more great tips!