Sometimes we have unnecessary battles with others because we want to make a point that we are right. In some cases we are but does this mean we should continue to push? Depending on the circumstances there may be a need to push as we are facing injustice. In other cases it is simply our ego coming into play. I do not like being wrong and I doubt many others do either however I have no qualms in holding my hands up whenever I have made an error. I am less willing to accept the blame when I am not in the wrong.
I have had many encounters where I have fought to prove I am in fact right. I am passionate particularly if this falls into my working world as I take my responsibilities seriously. Also reputation is important to me.
As a child and teenager, though quiet and very much an introvert, I could not stand being wronged. I would argue my case and feel nothing but anger when the person ‘shut me down’. I would want to close the conversation at a place where I felt both parties had their point taken but unfortunately this was not always the case.
Even today I will make my point and I have realised that sometimes seeking peace is preferable to being right. I know what I know – does it matter if they do not know what I know? I am a person who tends to over explain and this derives from times in my life when I have felt completely misunderstood by others. I have come from one angle and the person has come from another, therefore they misjudged what I had said.
I have learnt there is a time to take a stand and a time to let “it”go. We require wisdom to determine which we do and when. Wisdom certainly comes through experience and understanding what is truly important in life. What matters today may not matter in six months time.
Do you lean towards peace or proving you are right?
What are the reasons for this?
We put boundaries in place to protect ourselves and others. Boundaries define how far we can go and what is reasonable. Boundaries ensure there are no blurred lines, misunderstandings, stepping over the mark. Boundaries reduce the likelihood of over familiarity between friends and family members. Boundaries ensure we respect the wishes of others though we may not always agree with them.
Babies and toddlers have no understanding of boundaries, they cry whenever they need feeding, a nappy change, attention or just a cuddle. They have no consideration of their parents who may be tired and frustrated. They want it and they want it now. However we pardon them time and time again because they are young and know no better.
As a child and teenager I had boundaries and routine and am thankful to my mother for them. Boundaries meant I had a stable upbringing. I knew when my mum said no, she meant no. I knew what time I had to arrive home when out and about with friends – usually several hours before I actually wanted to arrive home. Though I did not like the rules, I respected them and they in turn gave me an element of security. Boundaries reminded me that I was loved and cared for, that my safety was my mother’s priority. It did not stop me from being envious of my friends who had far more leeway than me.
As adults we have the responsibility of putting boundaries in place with family, friends and in the workplace. At first it may be uncomfortable for those who are less assertive. If you are naturally passive you may struggle to say what you mean and be open about what you want and do not want. People will expect you to do as you have always done. It is your prerogative to change the rules at any time. If you feel pressured to make a decision, you can advise the person you will confirm with them at a later date. This will provide time for you to give it some thought and return with an answer you are happy with.
To conclude, setting boundaries are a part of life. At times they do not require an introduction, it is simply your way of living. I know a couple who do not answer their phone when eating or having family time. They did not inform anyone of this rule, instead people learnt they were uncontactable between 6 and 9pm in the evening and had no choice but to honour this.
Are you confident in setting boundaries?
Have you seen the advantage in doing so?
What advice would you give to those who struggle to do so?
Though it is called our comfort zone, is it really comfortable in the long run? Staying in our comfort zone means we will rarely progress, enhance or develop. It means our situation is unlikely to improve in the future. Choosing to push out today means you will reap the fruit of your works tomorrow. It will not feel comfortable, in fact at times it will feel downright terrifying. However those who can visualise their future and are focused will put in what is required in order to reap the rewards. There is no “cheaters guide” or “quick fix” otherwise everyone and their uncle would have joined the bandwagon.
Those who stay in their comfort zone miss opportunities to use their skills and talents. They miss out on living a life of purpose.
The reasons for this may include:
1. Fear of failure- the thought of trying and failing is worse than not trying at all
2. Lack of self belief – choosing to believe the lies that you cannot achieve
3. Lack of support from those around – little or no interest from friends and family, the very people you expect to care.
Where possible I have aimed to live outside of my comfort zone as I know it will bring great prospects. It has been challenging as I have signed up to participate in activities and projects where I have certainly felt out of my depth. Naturally I am an introvert and was shy as a child. By the time I had reached my late teens I saw no benefit to being shy at all and instead recognised the hindrance it brought. As the years went on I forced myself out of my shyness. I signed up for public speaking and joined a worship team. The nerves are still present but not to the extent that I feel nauseous – just a few butterflies in my stomach which keep me on my toes.
What small steps can you take to move away from your comfort zone:
1. Step out and do something you have never done before – go to the cinema alone, eat out alone – you could start with sitting in a coffee shop (I have done both)
2. Write down your goals and vision and identify the hindrance – you may notice a pattern
To round up, we all have fears and challenges. Some step out despite their fears and others allow their fears to dictate what they do and do not do. Which category do you fall into?
What did it take to move you out of your comfort zone?
Perhaps you are still in your comfort zone and are quite happy here.
Either way I look forward to reading your comments.
Many employees and business owners are signing up to having career coaches, from junior level right up to CEO level. Coaches will more often than not be senior to the individual. They are not required to work in the same business area/department as the individual.
Career coaches assist with the following;
1. Give you an understanding of yourself
2. Assist with helping to identify the right role you will thrive in
3. Help you stay clear and focused on where to go next in your career
4. Provide an external perspective on you and your situation
I have had a career coach for just over a year. Initially I had my doubts; how much preparation would I be expected to do before each session, how long would I need to commit, what value would it truly add to my personal development? I have a heavy workload as well as line manage a team of officers and wondered how I would also accommodate this.
Fast forward a year and I am benefiting greatly from having a career coach.
I have covered;
1. Where I currently am and where I would like to be
2. Finding practical solutions to short term challenges
3. Identifying opportunities to progress in my current role and beyond
4. Identifying my skill set
In my coaching sessions I find solutions to my challenges. My coach asks me a series of questions in order for me to explore further. More often than not the answer sat with me all along. I am learning about myself more and more. I take responsibility for my growth rather than resorting to laying the blame elsewhere. Without thinking, we can make excuses for our lack of progress and hide behind it. The truth is nobody wants us to progress more than we do therefore we need to decide to follow the right steps in order to achieve the required outcome.
If you are considering taking on a career coach, reflect on what you hope to achieve. You should have key goals, objectives and a defined purpose. You are responsible for ensuring regular coach sessions take place as this is your space, your learning, your development. Always attend coaching sessions with a laptop and/or a notepad to take notes. Ideas will come to mind whilst you are in mid flow.
Do you have a coach?
What have you gained from the coaching sessions?
What advice would you give?
In order to move forward we MUST let go of the past. Our hurts, our challenges, our pain. We MUST acknowledge that though we experienced pain, rejection, confusion we have a right to move on and enjoy life to the full. Holding onto the past gives an element of familiarity and comfort even though it is not in any way productive. It is what we know and the thought of stepping away from the old us can be frightening. Some would rather cling to a life and people that are damaging for them in every possible way. We become our past experiences. We tell ourselves that this is our life, this is our portion when the truth is at one period it WAS our portion but no longer has to be.
Regardless of what you have endured (I am fully aware some have endured much), you can slowly rebuild a new life for yourself. You can decide that you want rid of the old you, that you want to have joy and peace, that you want to live a full life not half a life. It always starts with us. We need to want the change more than anything and we need to stand firm even when the negative thoughts come, even when those around us try to put us back into the box they believe we must stay in.
Our confidence often takes a hit and it is difficult to arrive at the stage where we believe we are worth more than what we have received so far.
I have struggled greatly in the area of letting go of the past. I allowed others to define me by their words and refused to see myself as I was but how they perceived me. I had a lot of pent up anger and resentment at the power I allowed others to have over me, particularly when a teenager. The majority of the time I projected the anger and frustration at myself because I did nothing and said nothing when looking back I could have. I have had to learn to forgive myself otherwise the thoughts and feelings would have destroyed me mentally. I could not allow this.
What steps can you take to let go?
1. Identify what you want from life. What have you always wanted to do but made excuses due to a lack of self-belief?
2. Think about the people you spend time with. Are your relationships/friendships healthy on both sides? Do you add value to people and vice versa?
3. Speak to a close friend in confidence or approach a counsellor. You can go privately or on the NHS (if the latter you may have a long wait)
What are your experiences of ‘letting go?’
Do you struggle in this area?