4 posts from June 2013

June 29, 2013

Are You Invisible or Are You Hiding?

IStock_000008250965_ExtraSmallI’ve heard various women (and teens) say that they feel invisible and that no one ever notices or listens to them. The closer we look at the issue though what shows up is the countless ways they practically make themselves invisible and/or muddle their message so much that it’s difficult for anyone to “hear” them.

Below are several signs that you are doing things to keep yourself from being seen and/or heard. 

  1. You barely speak in meetings or social gatherings.
  2. You wait to be spoken to before you speak.
  3. You give mixed messages rather than saying what you truly mean.
  4. You shrug your shoulders or say, “I don’t know” when asked what you think or want.
  5. You “let things go” that bother you. 
  6. You sit at the back of the room/class/meeting.
  7. You keep your opinions to yourself—especially if they differ from others.
  8. You fail to set limits because you don’t want to be mean or cause conflict.
  9. People repeatedly comment on how quiet you are.
  10. You say, share and ask for what you think others want to hear, or are willing to give rather than saying what you want to say, sharing what you want to share and asking for what you want to get.
  11. You constantly “tone” yourself down in an effort to not draw too much attention to yourself.
  12. You’re constantly “sizing” yourself up to see if you’re enough (pretty enough, smart enough, thin enough etc.).
  13. You can sit with a group of people for hours and barely say two sentences.
  14. You try to please others,
  15. You try to do everything that is asked of you even if it is unrealistic.

When it comes to feeling invisible, the first thing you want to ask yourself is, “Am I making myself invisible?” If you’re frequently self conscious about what you say, what people will think, how people will interpret what you’re saying and how you come across when you say it, you will be nearly paralyzed around people.  If you don’t want to be invisible, then you have to show up. This doesn’t mean you have to be loud and outgoing, it simply means you have to be you and allow others to see who that is. Stop worrying about what everyone will think or feel and instead start paying attention to what you think and feel… and share that. The more able you are to get out of their heads and stop worrying about what they’re thinking, the better able you will be to relax into being you. 

Add your thoughts, your quirkiness and your true self to the world and see what happens. We need more originals in our world trust me. We have enough carbon copies and could use a lot more genuine, authentic, daring individuals. Dare to be you…I, for one, welcome your voice, ideas and your humanity. Get out of hiding, let go of what others think, how you look/sound and step into the world in a whole new way.

Challenge: Start paying attention to all the ways you hide and why. Begin to choose “safe” people in your life to start to show up with in a more real way. Expand out from there. Remember to stop worrying about what others think and start paying attention to what feels true to you…then dare to share, be or do that. 

Good-luck and I look forward to our world finally meeting you.

June 21, 2013

You Can't Find Your Soul Mate if You Show a Fake Soul

IStock_000014629447XSmallThere are countless people dating today. Many of them are looking to find their "soul mate" and are doing everything in their power to look good, act "right", present themselves in the best light possible and to win over the heart of another. In an effort to win someone's heart, they dress nicer than usual, answer questions the way they believe the other person would want them to answer and they act on their best behavior. They figure that when they "win" over the other person, then they can let their guard down and be themselves. 

I cannot begin to tell you how off this thinking is. Trying to look, talk and act like someone you're not, is deceptive at best and a recipe for disaster at worst. The purpose of dating is to meet someone who you like to spend your time with, feel comfortable hanging out with and who you can be yourself with. Why work like a dog to become someone else so a stranger can like...a stranger? You're not representing you when you talk different, dress different and act different than you do in your day-to-day life.  You're representing some illusion of a person you think this other person would like. Why have that person fall in love with a stranger instead of you?

Continue reading "You Can't Find Your Soul Mate if You Show a Fake Soul" »

June 10, 2013

Ten Reasons to Stop Avoiding Conflict and Start Dealing with Issues

IStock_000010586566_ExtraSmallThere are countless people who believe that the best way to handle conflict is to not have any. When things get tough, their choice is to duck, avoid, distract or disengage, in the hope that the issue will resolve itself. If the issue doesn’t resolve itself, they feel a sense of relief that at least they succeeded in avoiding conflict. 

The unfortunate truth about conflict, though, is that not talking about conflict often creates more conflict—either internally, externally or both. 

Stop fooling yourself into thinking that avoiding difficult conversations is doing you any favors. If anything, ducking is causing you more problems then you realize. Below are ten reasons to stop avoiding -- and start having -- adult conversations.

  1. Avoiding difficult conversations makes solutions almost impossible. It’s very difficult to solve a problem if you’re not willing to talk about it.
  2. When you stay silent in response to conflict, inherent in your silence is acceptance. If you don’t like the behavior, stop silently acting as if you do.
  3. The more you ignore issues, the bigger they grow. The issues you ignore today will likely drive you crazy and harm your life tomorrow. Tomorrow may be a day from now, a week from now or even five years from now…and, tomorrow will come. 
  4. The bigger the issues grow, the bigger your resentment is likely to get. It’s almost impossible to continually avoid addressing poor treatment or upsets without getting resentful. Avoiding conflict with others externally doesn’t mean you won’t feel the turmoil internally. 
  5. You teach others how to treat you. In your effort to avoid conflict, you often teach a very warped lesson to others about how you like to be treated.
  6. The more you duck and avoid, the more others get away with their behavior and the worse they treat you.
  7. The worse others treat you, the worse you feel about yourself and your relationship. Your attempt to avoid conflict at all cost, in an effort to save a relationship, ironically ends up rotting out the relationship. 
  8. The more others treat you poorly, the more angry and resentful you’re likely to become. The angrier you become, the more likely you are to oscillate between silence and blowing up--neither of which are effective.
  9. Your anger is, in part, at yourself. You can only take so much poor treatment before the wisest part of you gets angry at your lack of self-care.
  10. If you avoid conflict in one relationship, you are likely to avoid conflict in all relationships. Your avoidance is about your edge, not about the other person’s behavior.

Avoiding conflict is a seductive pull for many people. On the surface, it looks like doing anything to keep the peace is the smartest choice. When you look beyond the surface, however, the reality is that this tactic seldom keeps the peace for long. 

Stop ducking. Trust that you are mature enough to handle an honest conversation about a difficult issue and then step in and respectfully have the conversation. Handle a moment of discomfort now and avoid years of anger and resentment later.

Challenge: Notice all the things you do and say to avoid conflict. What impact does your avoidance have on your life and your relationship? Start to take baby steps to stop avoiding and start dealing.



June 06, 2013

Is Fear Stopping You?

IStock_0fearmallFear is our body’s instinctual response to potential danger and is a natural part of life. In the best of circumstances, our fears can save our lives, spur us into action and even energize us. In the worst of circumstances, fears can make us sick, cause mental health issues and even physically harm us. In other words, fear can be a blessing or a curse. 

When we’re walking down a dark alley and hear the sounds of footsteps behind us, fear is gift that can keep us alive. It alerts us to danger and prepares our bodies for emergencies so we can save ourselves (or others). Fear is vital for our survival as a species. It kicks our bodies into high gear and at times allows us to do superhuman feats to keep us safe. Fear can also be a gift in less threatening situations such as exams, public speaking or project deadlines. If the fear is moderate rather than debilitating, then the fear of failing a test, bombing a speech or missing a deadline can motivate us into action and help us to do a good job.

Continue reading "Is Fear Stopping You?" »

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