All posts by Phoenicia

How do you deal with discontentment?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is discontentment such a bad thing? I guess it depends on the way in which you deal with it.  Discontentment might be considered an advantage if you allow it to push you forward and it could be seen as a disadvantage if you become despondent and wallow in self pity. Sometimes we can spend far too much time looking at what we do not have or what our life is not and we miss what we do have.  I am unsure if this rings true to you but there have been definite moments in my life where I have realised I now have what I wanted,  say five or ten years ago. I realised I took this for granted and instead chose to focus on what I wanted in the present day.

The goal posts always move. There is always more to want, get and have. As we grow older our wants and needs change as well as our priorities. What was important to you a few years ago may not factor so high up on the scale today.

Discontentment as I stated earlier can propel us forward into stepping out and taking action rather than coasting through life. There comes a point when you realise you have to want it more than others want it for you. Some circumstances may mean you do not have the power to change life as it is today. You can only plan what you will do when an opportunity arises. This can be extremely frustrating and upsetting as nobody wants to remain in a situation where they are unhappy, unproductive or hindered. Other circumstances will mean you can make a change but may be fearful and uncertain about the outcome.

Discontentment can make you  bitter, resentful, envious, depressed, particularly if you can see no way out. Discontentment can affect marriages, friendships, working relationships if you allow it to eat you up. Discontentment is real and it can destroy.

Choose to re-examine your discontentment. Where does it truly derive from? Does it come to the surface when you are around a particular individual or is it always there lingering in the background? Identify areas of your life that you CAN change and choose to make a simple change today.

 

 

 

 

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The blame game!

How often do we place our focus on removing blame from ourselves rather than finding a solution? Whilst it is not great taking blame when we played no part, pointing the finger at someone else does not solve the problem.  If working on a project at work or in our own business, taking ourselves out of the equation still leaves a problem to be solved. When push comes to shove whose responsibility is it?

As a child I recall my sister and I blamed each other countless times for actions we know we had taken. When faced with my mother we wanted to avoid being scolded so we thought up all sorts of reasons why we were not to blame. More often than not, we were both scolded as my mother was unable to identify which of us was to blame. One or both of us ended up in tears and feeling sorry for ourselves. Fear plays a huge part in not wanting to take the blame. We fear the repercussions, the disappointment others may have in us, the disappointment we have in ourselves.

There is something about being blamed that leaves an element of discomfort, embarrassment, hopelessness so no wonder we make a stand when we are in the right. I have had issues with being blamed particularly during periods when I suffered with low self esteem. I saw it as rejection and perceived it as me being incompetent when I should have in fact accepted I made an error and endeavoured not to do the same again. We all make mistakes, albeit some have far greater consequences than others.

The more secure we become in ourselves the easier it will be to move away from the blame game.  The more we become less self conscious we will have the ability to look at the bigger picture rather than just at how we feel. The world needs solution finders, people who quickly identify problems and work to finding solutions.

How do you deal with blame?                         How did you manage being wrongly blamed?

Accept yourself just as you are

 

 

 

 

 

Self-acceptance does not come easy to all. Some struggle for years to accept themselves due to the negative words spoken over their lives, their experiences and their childhood. To accept yourself is to acknowledge that you are not perfect and never will be. It is acknowledging whilst you need to make particular changes in your life in order to advance and be a more rounded person, you can love yourself as you are right now.

The painful reality about self-acceptance is one can continue to set goals and expectations and once they are met you still feel no better than you did before. The goal posts move and you put greater pressure on yourself to tick the boxes or fulfil all you set out to do. It is an exhausting way to live, trying to outdo yourself in the hope you will believe you are somehow deserving of your life.

Self-rejection is damaging and will only go on to destroy a person.  A rejected person will believe they are not worth it and do not belong in particular settings. They are likely to turn down opportunities and lurk in the background believing ‘good things’ do not happen to people like them. They are likely to push others away, particularly those who love them.

Self-acceptance means you love and believe in yourself even when you make mistakes, fail at a task or activity or are having a bad day.  Self-acceptance means you do not base your worth and confidence on what you do but in who you are.  Self-acceptance means you easily accept love from others; friends, nuclear and extended families.

How can you learn to accept yourself?

1. Identify where your lack of acceptance derives from- only then can you begin to deal with it.

2. Identify if you need to forgive someone for their words or behaviour?

3. Identify if you need to forgive yourself for your own words or behaviour?

4. Write down five things you are good at, are recognised for within your social or work setting.

5. Treat yourself to something small daily or a few times a week. It can be running a bath with lots of salts and candles, reading a good book in a coffee shop or buying your favourite cake.

The journey to self-acceptance is a long one but choose to take a step forward today and break out of self-loathing and into self-loving. Though you may not know it now – you are worth it.

Have you struggled with self-acceptance? Did you find the root? What measures did you put in place to overcome it?

 

 

 

How much does your temperament impact on the way you relate to others?

 

 

 

 

 

On http://www.dictionary.com, temperament is described as ‘ the combination of mental, physical and emotional traits of a person, natural predisposition’.

Our temperament heavily impacts on the way we react and relate to others. Unlike personality we are born with a particular temperament, it is ingrained in us. For example we each gravitate towards being an introvert or extrovert and it is likely we had this trait from a young age.  If you quietly observe a group of young children, you should be able to identify their various temperaments. It cannot be hidden and seeps out of us.

Our temperament dictates the dynamics of our relationships with nuclear and extended family, friends, colleagues, acquaintances and complete strangers.

Whilst we cannot change our temperament we can become self-aware and endeavour to understand ourselves. The more we understand what we do and why we do it, the more we can find ‘our place’.

I believe the struggle and challenge many of us face is we lack understanding of themselves. This could be due to ignorance or naivety. It can prove difficult to accept and acknowledge our traits particularly when they present as negative. The majority of us want to be at our best and be perceived as so, therefore a word of advice or constructive criticism does not particularly go down well with our egos.

As a child I was quiet, inquisitive and rather cheeky.  I had a lot of energy but was often found in books. Though I was easily excited there was definitely a calmness.  As a teenager I was an extreme introvert, only having one or two friends at any one time. I steered clear of crowds/groups and much preferred the dynamics of one to one conversations.  I disliked having this trait and questioned why I was not more outgoing and fun.  I definitely felt invisible and overlooked throughout my teenage years and I despised my trait as oppose to embracing it.

25 years later, I understand myself far more and I embrace who I am.  At my place of work, I like to spend lunchtimes alone to reflect and enjoy just being with me – no obligation to speak or listen. It probably presents as strange but it is freeing to be who you are whether it fits well with others or not. Taking time out means when I am around others I am more tolerant and present.

To end I recall Joyce Meyer, the evangelist describing a situation where her children complained about her spending time in the bathroom.  She mentions in a number of her books that she would often shut herself in the bathroom to pray, read and think. She responded back “You should be thankful I shut myself away as I am a better mother for it!”

How would you describe your temperament?
At what point did you embrace this?

Embracing change

 

 

 

 

 

Change is inevitable yet for some reason we do not always welcome it.  Change is necessary for growth and progress. Change can bring us to a better place and it can bring us to a place of stress and strain.  Change will bring us into unfamiliar territory which in itself is worrying.  Often we fear what we do not know and may find ourselves opting to remain where we are because it is comfortable.  The thought of change is often far worse in our minds than change itself. Our imagination can run wild as we overthink and conjour up ideas on how life will be before we have even taken a step.

When I look back on my life I can recall various circumstances where I feared change.  The unknown seemed daunting and I imagined what the change would be like as oppose to stepping out and seeing in reality.  On occasions change did not benefit me but it was still a process I had to go through. On other occasions change did benefit me although it may not have initially presented itself as a positive.

Insecurities can hinder our decision to take action which will lead to change. We may worry a project, business, new job may not pan out as we had hoped and decide not to go for it.

Whether we embrace change or not, it will happen in our lives and we must be resilient.  We must expect that change will enhance our life, our career, our relationships. When disappointment comes our way, we should acknowledge our pain and try to move on. We must avoid the temptation of hanging onto past hurts and failures.  Each time change enters our lives it brings new opportunities.

I have listed three quotes on change;

“Everyone thinks of changing the world but no-one thinks of changing themselves” Lee Tosley

“The only way we can live is if we grow.   The only way we can grow is if we change. The only way that we can change is if we learn. The only way we can learn is if we are exposed. And the only way that we can become exposed is if we throw ourselves out into the open. Do it. Throw yourself.” C. Joybell

“If you change your thoughts, you can change the world” Norman Vincent Peale

Can you think of a circumstance when you embraced changed and when you were reluctant to? What was the outcome?

Show some compassion!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Compassion is reaching out in love to someone, acknowledging their need, their pain and caring as if it were your own.  We all have the ability to show compassion but we can choose not to for a multitude of reasons. When we lose compassion for others it means we have travelled down a path of selfishness and self seeking. Of course our first concern will be us, we are only human and our needs will always be a priority. However, if you only ever focus on yourself, your wants, your needs, your pain and struggles there is no room to accommodate others.

Compassion is coming alongside others and caring about the pain they are enduring. Whilst you may not have the ability to know exactly how a person feels you can try. I once read an article where a writer stated it is impossible to empathise if you yourself have not been through a similar situation as another.  If one has lost a child they will have the ability to understand how another feels when they lose a child. The pain, the heartache, the loss, the anger and resentment.  Do you believe this to be true?

Love allows us to care and to reach out. It pushes us to go the extra mile even when we are tired, hungry and irritated. Showing compassion will take something from us; our time, our listening ear, our money, our skills. Just being there for someone when they need you is enough. You may not know what to say or what to do but simply ‘showing up’ sends a message that you care.

The world we live in today can be lonely for some. People ask how you are but do they truly want to know or are they hoping you say you are fine so they can smile and move on swiftly? We must be sincere in our caring.  If we ask how people are we must be prepared to actively listen to them when they respond and help in any way we can.

Often we allow our personal circumstances to consume us and we are blinded to what others are going through. We see them but not their pain, we hear them but do not quite capture what they are saying.

An old saying comes to mind:
“If not me then who?”
“If not you then who?”

How do you show compassion?
How has compassion been shown to you?

Rest without guilt!

 

 

 

 

With our busy lifestyles, it is important now more than ever that we take time to rest.  Flexible working means we have the opportunity to work from home. Owning laptops and iPads means we have the opportunity to work and take calls on our commute. Owning mobile phones means we are contactable for pretty much all of our waking hours.

Some have no problem with resting whenever they need to whilst others work themselves into the ground. The work will still be there in the morning yet there seems to be a compulsion to do it now just because you can.

Take doing the laundry, no matter how much you try, you just cannot keep that basket empty. I have resigned myself to the fact that I will have to do on average one load a day and if I fail to, I will have to do two loads the next day.  There is no point in trying to race the laundry- it will beat me every time!

Housework is another ball game- it is tedious and repetitive but required for us to live in clean and orderly homes.  There is always something else that could be done but there comes a point when you decide that today will be Netflix binge day/snooze day/reading the bible day/ – basically anything but doing work day.

The world will not collapse if you decide to relax for a day. When we first married I remember my husband would tell me to relax on a Friday evening whilst I darted around the house doing “this and that”.  Looking back I cannot even tell you what I was busying myself with. We were childfree so no little people to clear up after. I am convinced it is a mindset – the inability to rest until you are satisfied everything is done. The question being “is work ever done?”

Even now I am more likely to rest when on a holiday or break as when I am home, my mind ponders on what I could/should be doing.

How much rest time do you have?
How flexible are you with this time?