All posts by Phoenicia

How do you manage change?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Change is inevitable, we can make changes or they can take place without our input. At times it feels as though very little change occurs in our lives and at other times we just cannot keep up!

Change can be challenging if you are a creature of comfort and familiarity.  You grow used to living your life in a particular way however boring or strange it may appear to others. It becomes your norm.  Years ago in my first full-time job after graduating, a colleague bought the same lunch daily and I mean daily. I wondered did he never grow tired of the same flavours as I would have done. In his case he did not feel the need to make his lunch more interesting by adding variety. I must admit there were far less coffee shops and trendy cafes plunked on every road in the early noughties but there were still a lot of options.

I have noticed that some people adapt to change with ease and others struggle greatly. Change can be as small as being relocated to a different floor at your place of work to adjusting from having one child to two. Each of these circumstances will matter to the person experiencing them.

Personally I would much prefer making decisions that lead to change rather than doing little and watching change happen to me. If we procrastinate too often we can miss the opportunity and the chance to contribute to our change.

I am working on being more flexible, giving room for life when it does not go as expected. The perfectionist in me has to be somewhat suppressed in the process! Being adaptable brings many benefits. It allows you to think rationally when situations arise rather than getting tied up with how you feel.  Running on emotions is not helpful but often the first thing one does.

How can you embrace change:
1. Accept that change is a part and parcel of life – it is going to happen whether you are ready or not.
2. Identify what you would like to be changed in your life
3. Make changes before they make you – it is  far easier to initiate changes and have an element of control
4. Look back at your life and the changes that have occurred over the years. I presume some were positive and others painful but you are still standing (or sitting) here today.

How do you react to change?
What impact does your reaction have?

 

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What are your plans for 2019?

Now we are in 2019, what are your plans for this year? Some will use the term New Year’s resolutions and others will call it planning.  Whatever title we give it, action is required if we would like to see the results.

The quote “everyone wants the results but no-one wants to put in the work” springs to mind.  There is no way of seeing results if you do not change your approach. We can observe and admire others who have put plans in place and achieved their desired outcome but do we know what sacrifices they made along the way?

I have often wondered how extremly successful people have achieved what they have, given we are all granted the same 24 hours.  I realised it is what they have done with their 24 hours which has brought them to where they are today. They have put strategic plans in place, some of which have probably fallen through along the way.  Failure is a part of life and it should serve to push us nearer to our goal as oppose to wallowing in self pity and wondering “why me?”.

In my opinion, extreme changes do not work long term. For example if you wish to become healthier/slimmer, cutting out a whole food type or booking five evenings a week at the gym is unlikely to work. If you wish to read books more regularly, starting with two books a week from none is too much of a jump.  Introducing small gradual changes is often recommended as it takes at least 30 days for habits to stick.

In order to be consistent with your plans you need to know your “why”. Your why will keep you focused when you would rather be watching Netflix, socialising with friends, browsing the Internet. Your why will keep you focused on reaching your goal even when you face obstacles. Your why will remind you why you are making the sacrifices.

What are your plans for 2019?
What will you do differently?
What did you learn in 2018?

The issue of trust……

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trusting someone is not an easy task. It takes years to build up trust and only a minute for it to come crumbling down.  Our past experiences shape us to who we are today. Those who are closed, defensive and rarely ‘let anyone in’ have valid reasons for doing so. Betrayal and disappointment can lead you to keeping people at arms length. It may be a lonely place but it is also becomes a safe place.

When we choose to trust we are laying our cards on the table and saying ‘this is me’.  We are choosing to let our guard down and reveal our true selves, some good and some ugly. There is no guarantee that we will not be hurt or betrayed in the future, in fact I can almost guarantee we will be. Does this mean we must live a closed life in order to preserve our heart? No, we should live openly and love one another using wisdom. It does not hurt one to observe others and identify who you can trust. There is no rush with such things. Jumping in head first can cause problems later on when you realise who you thought was a confidant was only someone interested in hearing about your downfalls.  Not all who show interest have your best interests at heart. Wisdom means you can decipher between those who just want to know and those who truly care.

I have struggled with trust and my nature is to suss people out before revealing much about myself. This has in some way served as protection and prevented me from getting myself involved in sticky situations. In other ways it has meant I take a rather long time to get to know people. I have been told I appear aloof on first meeting people which at first I perceived as a negative trait. Now I see it as just a part of me.

To round up, trusting requires an element of vulnerability. It means taking a chance on someone knowing they are only human and make mistakes just as I do.  It means picking yourself up and moving forward when the trust is broken.

What does trust mean to you?

People are not interested in how much you know until they know how much you care

 

 

 

 

I have heard this saying many a time and it continues to resonate with me. You first need to show an interest in someone before they take an interest in what you have to share. With the fast paced world we live in today, we appear to have such little time. People tend to race to get to the point and miss ‘it’ completely. I know because I have been a culprit.

Information is so widely available today; on the internet, books, from person to person, via one to one conversation or seminars/teachimgs/workshops. However, deep down people still desire the personal touch; the one to one deep conversations on subjects that matter to them.  Nobody wants to be lectured or over informed, they have a multitude of people and places to go to for that. As humans no matter what we portray on the outer, we desire to be listened to, to be accepted and loved.  When this need is not met we feel overlooked, shunned and out of place.

It helps to bring our personal experiences to the table, to remind others we too have had and still have challenges. It helps others to relate to us and not develop a “them and us” mentality. It helps to bridge the gap between their struggles and our struggles which is often not apparant. Whilst some carry their  hearts on their sleeves, others have mastered hiding their pain and their challenges.

Ways in which we can show we care:

1. Actively listening
2. Refrain from over speaking unless you are clear it is welcomed
3. Refrain from trying to find a solution. At times there is no solution and over analysing will only will only serve to frustrate you and the other person.
4. Providing practical support if required
5. ‘Checking in’ with the person frequently if they are open to this

How do you show others you care?
How do you stay in tune with how others are feeling?

What are you truly capable of?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whilst we may view ourselves (the majority of us) as honourable citizens, are we truly aware of what we are capable of?  It is all too easy to judge others for their life choices and situations they have found themselves in.  We can separate ourselves from others due to their “bad” nature and I truly believe some people are “bad”.  I would like to think they are unwell or deranged because it would then give reason for their inexplicable behaviour, however I am learning people often do because they can. It is as simple as that. The opportunity presents itself and they take it.

We have a point at which we can be pushed too far. After that point, there is no telling what you could do: scream out, throw objects, run away (as in go A.W.O.L), have a breakdown. Situations can bring out a part of us that we did not need even know existed.  A part that has a need to protect oneself and our loved ones.  The fact that we do not know ourselves as much as we think, can be rather frightening and intriguing at the same time.

Whilst at college, in the late 1990’s a man walked by and muttered something so I responded then he spat at me.  However, at that point I lost all sense of who I was, where I was, what I was carrying. I ran after the man (to do what you may ask) and two passers by stopped me and held me down. I recall shouting for them to “let me go” but they held me until the man had long gone. Looking back they were a godsend as who knows what I would have done or indeed the man I ran after.

Naturally I am introverted and constantly aware of my surroundings and not making a scene. In the situation above I allowed my emotions to rule and all logic thinking went right out of the window. When a person is highly emotional, angry and hurt it is difficult to reason with them as at that moment they are completely consumed by the circumstances.

I conclude that we are capable of far more than we think we are.  It is only love and grace that refrains us from being the person that we choose to judge for their way of life.

What have you said/done that is out of character? How did this make you feel?

How much do you think you know yourself?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Walk with confidence!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Confidence is not ‘in your face’ but subtle. Confidence is knowing who you are and having the ability to be up front or at the back.  When you are self assured you do not regularly question or doubt yourself. You acknowledge you are not perfect and do not beat yourself up when you make mistakes (who doesn’t?)

There is a well known saying; “A person who lacks confidence walks into a room and wonders who will approach them to talk. Whereas a confident person walks into a room and wonders who THEY will choose to approach”.  Same scenario but a completely different outlook.

Our confidence or lack of it is shown by the way we speak, how we relate to others and our body language.  We give away much about ourselves often without even knowing.  I am sure we have all seen characteristics in people and wondered what is truly going on behind the scenes. I learn more about myself daily and am surprised/disheartened on seeing the same issues resurfacing.

Our confidence can be enhanced or diminished when going through childhood and teenage years. Our experiences certainly help to shape the way in which we perceive ourselves.  Someone lacking in confidence is likely to struggle in friendships, relationships and in social and professional situations. They may choose to withdraw and build up a wall in order to protect themselves.

As a teenager I seriously lacked in confidence and was also shy.  I would walk slightly slouched with my head down to avoid eye contact with others. It took years (I mean years) of training myself to look people in the eye and to walk tall.  My husband has been a huge encouragement over the years. He made me come out of my shell and to see myself in a new light. I am no longer that awkward looking teenager who struggled in social settings.

How to work towards improving your confidence:

1. Look at the root. Does your lack of confidence relate to hurtful words from family, peers or supposed friends? You need to know what the cause of your lack of confidence is.

2. Treat yourself – a manicure, pedicure, a good book, a soak in the bath with candles and soft music. The list can go on.

3. Can you do anything practical to improve in an area that impacts your confidence? For example cutting down on sugar/portion sizes if you would like to be slimmer. Doing online courses to enhance your IT skills, taking up a hobby to meet like-minded people.

4. Speak to a friend or counsellor. Being listened to can be hugely beneficial.

Are you a confident person? Was this nurtured over time?
What advice would you give to others?

Building your resilience

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The majority of us have one challenge or another. Whether it is a small or life changing challenge, it matters and is real to us.  From the outside it may appear some have little to worry about or fear whilst the challenges of others are far more visible. As we go through life our experiences affect us. We can either build up a stronger resilience to our challenges or become defeated by them.  In my opinion neither make us a stronger or weaker person; it is simply the way in which we deal with life in general.

Very few people addicted to drugs or alcohol do so just for the fun of it. There are deep rooted issues that need to be addressed and in order to cope the person has turned to a vice. Though damaging this somehow brings respite from their challenges. It allows a level of escapism for those who want to forget the situations they find themselves in.  Whenever I see a homeless person (sadly, numbers are rapidly increasing in London), I wonder what their story is. What they endured and why they ended up on the streets.

Life can be difficult and unfortunately not all of us possess the necessary grounding, skills and fight to deal with whatever is thrown at us.  I have often heard the saying “Can life get any worse?” Yes, it probably can.

As a teenager and young adult I perceived myself to be weak with very little ‘fight’ in me. I had no quick comebacks when negative words were spoken over me. I thought about situations long after they had happened and fantasised about what I would have liked to have said. I wished I was quick off the mark and dealt with the issue there and then. I now know I  was strong but it was an internal strength that allowed me to endure, that allowed me to laugh and smile even when I was unhappy.  In my opinion, once you still have the ability to genuinely love and care about others despite your experiences, then you have overcome.

How have you dealt with challenges?
Has your resilience grown as you mature or is it stagnant?
What advice or pearls of wisdom would you offer?