Wednesday, November 19th, 2014

ten ways to let go of what others think

Being free to be you – your authentic, wonderful self – often  means  letting go of what others think. It sounds easy but it’s often hard to do in practice. By nature we are social beings, and we often care about other people’s opinions.

This can be both our strength and also our Achilles heel. Taking on board the opinions of people we respect and value can be a fantastic catalyst to positive change, allowing us to utilise strengths and chase dreams we may not have thought ourselves capable.

But the opposite  is also true.  Taking  to heart  critical feedback from others,  or trying to please  narcissists and other damaging people can lock you in a perpetual circle of striving to achieve the unobtainable. As Mark Twain so sagely said: ” Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.”

This is where you come in. Unleash your greatness, take your foot off the brakes and start driving your own ‘thought bus.’ Being your own wise counsel and tapping into you higher self is one of the many vehicles to creating self-esteem – a wonder magic carpet of self-valuing and love for you – imperfections and all.

One of my clients, a wonderful creative, caring and intelligent woman struggled with repetitive negative thoughts which kept her stuck. Many of these thought patterns originated in negative conditioning from her childhood, which followed her like a wet blanket into the future, suffocating her true essence. One of many strategies I tasked her with was to generate a list of ten ways to let go of what others think. Here’s what she shared:

  • Don’t compare myself to others
  • Remind myself I am not a mind reader
  • Be myself – it is enough
  • What other people think is none of my business
  • Be aware if it goes badly – don’t let it consume me
  • Fall in love with myself
  • Don’t always assume the worst
  • Distance myself from those that don’t make me feel fantastic
  • Be confident and certain of my choices and actions
  • Focus on what I can control
  • Don’t fixate on the past – move on quickly when it doesn’t go so good
  • Surround myself with things that remind me of the above i.e. great people, books, pictures, journals etc.Lot’s of fantastic  strategies that I’m sure many can identify with. I’ve always liked the quote: “I cannot give you the formula for success, but I can give you the formula for failure, which is, try to please everybody” ~ Herbert Bayard Swope.

Keep this in mind next time  your tempted to worry about what others think. Care more about how you feel,what your dreams are, and follow your path with heart. What you let go of will no longer control you, and what you say ‘yes’ to will put wind in your sails, and inject fresh energy into your life.


Monday, November 10th, 2014

Overcoming your fatal flaw

“You don’t finish anything,” my daughter said to me today when I told her I was going to be a romance writer. No doubt she is referring to the 20 or so half-completed manuscripts buried in my computer; Or perhaps to the various works in progress still to be completed.

Yes, she is right. But this is only half the truth. I have finished many, many things. Some of these are small and some wondrous even to me now. Like the architecturally designed house I commissioned and project managed – all the more miraculous because I was a single mother with no savings. I’ve also completed many things to further my professional education. Many years ago, returning to study at age 27, and as a single parent of an energetic three year old, a Bachelor of Commerce. Most recently, spurred on by my own frustration at leaving so many things unfinished I dusted off my psychology books and, after a 10-year hiatus, completed the final four papers needed to finish my psychology degree.

What’s my fatal flaw? One of my greatest strengths is that I love so many things. Some call me the Renaissance woman – committing with joyful abandon to many, varied projects – fired up by the diversity and wonder of life and all the things that inspire me. On the flip side, my greatest strength is also, at times, my greatest weakness. Starting many things can rob me of the focus needed to complete – especially when time is a finite resource. My fatal flaw combines taking on too many things and then not finishing them prior to taking on new things!

Overcoming your fatal flaw

So often we’re busy looking to confirm what our strengths are that we forget to acknowledge our weaknesses, which, if left unaddressed, could prove to be our fatal flaw – the quality that prevents us achieving our goals and dreams.

In the world of romance writing the fatal flaw is the personality trait the hero or heroine must overcome in order to achieve their heart’s desire. In doing so they journey inward along their character arc – walking over what can feel at times to be a perilous tightrope where they are at their most vulnerable. But the rewards are great. It’s the world of happily ever after. And isn’t that what we all want?

To be the hero or heroine of our own lives requires embarking on the mythic hero’s journey – overcoming obstacles, and pushing forward courageously in spite of any lingering fears, arrogance or stubbornness.

The perfection in imperfection

Overcoming your fatal flaw and acknowledging your weaknesses isn’t about attaining a state of perfection. That’s way too much pressure to put on yourself – and quite frankly, quite boring. Imperfection can contain its own sparkle of beauty.

Many artists purposely instil a smidgeon of imperfection in their greatest works. Persian-rug makers, for example, weave in an imperfection, barely discernable to the eye, in their carpets. These traditional, hand-made Persian rugs have intentional flaws because the Muslim artists feel that only Allah is perfect and has the right to create perfectly. Note the emphasis on ‘intentional’ – it’s a rational choice not a blind, non-conscious default or habit.

One of the paintings by my favourite artists Max Gimblett has a bubble in the surface, which other artists may have tried to even out. Appropriately, the quatrefoil is called ‘Choice.’

We all have choices in life. To remain as we are or to embark on a process of continual improvement through self-development.

This year I’ve made a commitment to finishing projects. I’ve nailed my psychology degree, and am well on track with my commitment to update all the Worklife Solutions workbooks, including coach training resources. No mean feat with over 40 workbooks across the life coaching, career coaching and coach training certification programmes. Then I’ll turn my attention to my romance writing and Mona Lisa’s Secret– and I’ll finish one book this year for sure.

Your turn!

 Here’s a few questions which might help you leverage off your strengths and minimise your weaknesses. Take some time to reflect and jot some thoughts on paper:

What’s your greatest strength? How could this be a weakness?

What parts of your personality are you unhappy with?

Are you a perfectionist? Do you feel you must hide your weaknesses to avoid being criticised or keeping people from getting too close?

Are you taking any steps to confront those parts of your nature or personality that need improvement?

Have you ever thought about or received mentoring, coaching or counselling to help you grow and overcome your weaknesses?

As spiritual teacher and intuitive Sonia Choquette says, “True power lies in our ability to accept ourselves – the good, the bad, and the ‘ugly’ – and not to project our shadow side onto those around us. It allows us to embrace and accept the private ‘I’ behind our public personas. This is not to indulge or make excuses for those sabotaging aspects of ourselves, but rather to acknowledge that they exist and need to be overcome. We cannot overcome those disabling parts of own nature, which in fact steal our power away, if we do not acknowledge they exist. Until we do, we are not fully in charge of our destiny.”

 

Helpful tools: boost your self-awareness. Schedule a personality profile

Many times it can be difficult to accurately and objectively assess ourselves. This is where a good personality profiling tool can help.

 About Personality Profiling

Personality Profiling contributes to a more accurate and objective self-assessment and hence improved effectiveness in many areas of peoples lives, including personal relationships, workplace relationships, personal development and conflict resolution. It’s also a great way to highlight areas of strength and weakness and to use this increased awareness to development a plan of success.

I’ve long been a fan of the Myers Briggs Personality Indicator (MBTI) and use the latest expanded, interpretative report when working with clients. The Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is a world-renowned and powerful personality inventory used extensively to help people build greater self-awareness.

I love the way it is ‘preference’ based not ‘trait’ based – they key difference being that by looking at our own preferences we are free to make changes if these preferences no longer serves us – given who we are and what we wish to achieve.

How does it work?

This questionnaire has 144 questions, is completed on-line, and takes about 20-30 minutes to complete. These questions have been designed to help uncover your preferences.  There are no “right” or “wrong” answers to these questions.  It is not a personality test!  Your answers will help show you how you like to look at things and how you like to go about deciding things.  Knowing your own preferences and learning about other people’s can help you understand what your special strengths are, what your potential weaknesses or “blind spots” may be, what kinds of work you might enjoy and be successful doing, and how people with different preferences can relate to each other and be valuable to society.

This questionnaire will then be complied into an extensive report.  This report is an invaluable personal and professional development tool, which provides insight into your personality preferences including:

Characteristics of your personality type

  • Strengths and weaknesses
    Natural gifts and talents
  • Careers and work environments suited to your personality type
  • Areas for development
  • Communication preferences and relationship management skills
  • How other people see you
  • How you react under pressure and stress
  • Conflict management

Take a look at the sample and see how detailed the report is: http://www.cpp.com/images/reports/smp267149.pdf

Spring special – save 60%

Take advantage of my Myers Briggs Spring Special available to my subscribers – just $495 + GST (in New Zealand).

Includes access to online questionnaire, initial assessment, personal report, career planning case studies and one-hour feedback session.

Hurry, this great spring special deal ends midnight 30 November

Call today! +6421873833 or send us an email coaches@worklifesolutions.co.nz to book your sessions.

 

Quotes to inspire

“A Persian rug is perfectly imperfect, and precisely imprecise.” ~ Anon

“When you struggle with your partner, you are struggling with yourself. Every fault you see in them touches a denied weakness in yourself.”  ~ Deepak Chopra

“Accept yourself, your strengths, your weaknesses, your truths, and know what tools you have to fulfill your purpose.” ~ Steven Maraboli

“Weakness of attitude becomes weakness of character.” ~ Albert Einstein

“Where there is no struggle there is no strength.” ~ Anon

“The best thing in life is finding someone who knows all your flaws, mistakes, and weaknesses and still thinks you’re amazing.” ~ Anon

 

Stay in touch

I hope this newsletter has inspired you to do whatever it is that you need to succeed. Whether this is to unleash your talents and strengths or work out some strategies to tackle your ‘fatal flaw.’

Don’t forget to check out our Pinterest page http://www.pinterest.com/worklifenz/ and other social media hubs for more inspiration and tip to help you succeed – you’ll see the links in the side bar.

So looking forward to staying in touch and celebrating past, present and future successes as we prepare to bid farewell to 2014 and celebrate a fresh, juicy new year. I for one, can’t wait!

Passionately yours

Cassandra

 

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