18 Signs You Have High Emotional Intelligence A Guest Post by Travis Bradberry

Diagram of emotional intelligence
Diagram of emotional intelligence

 

When emotional intelligence (EQ) first appeared to the masses, it served as the missing link in a peculiar finding: People with average IQs outperform those with the highest IQs 70 percent of the time. This anomaly threw a massive wrench into the broadly-held assumption that IQ was the sole source of success.

Decades of research now point to emotional intelligence as being the critical factor that sets star performers apart from the rest of the pack. The connection is so strong that we know 90 percent of top performers have high emotional intelligence.

Emotional intelligence is the “something” in each of us that is a bit intangible. It affects how we manage behavior, navigate social complexities and make personal decisions to achieve positive results.

Despite the significance of EQ, its intangible nature makes it very difficult to know how much you have and what you can do to improve if you’re lacking. You can always take a scientifically validated test, such as the one that comes with the Emotional Intelligence 2.0 book.

Unfortunately, quality (scientifically valid) EQ tests aren’t free. So, I’ve analyzed the data from the million-plus people that TalentSmart has tested in order to identify the behaviors that are the hallmarks of a high EQ. What follows are sure signs that you have a high EQ.

1. You have a robust emotional vocabulary.

All people experience emotions, but it is a select few who can accurately identify them as they occur. Our research shows that only 36 percent of people can do this, which is problematic because unlabeled emotions often go misunderstood, which leads to irrational choices and counterproductive actions.

People with high EQs master their emotions because they understand them, and they use an extensive vocabulary of feelings to do so. While many people might describe themselves as simply feeling “bad,” emotionally intelligent people can pinpoint whether they feel “irritable,” “frustrated,” “downtrodden,” or “anxious.” The more specific your word choice, the better insight you have into exactly how you are feeling, what caused it and what you should do about it.

2. You’re curious about people.

It doesn’t matter if they’re introverted or extroverted, emotionally intelligent people are curious about everyone around them. This curiosity is the product of empathy, one of the most significant gateways to a high EQ. The more you care about other people and what they’re going through, the more curiosity you’re going to have about them.

3. You embrace change.

Emotionally intelligent people are flexible and are constantly adapting. They know that fear of change is paralyzing and a major threat to their success and happiness. They look for change that is lurking just around the corner, and they form a plan of action should these changes occur.

4. You know your strengths and weaknesses.

Emotionally intelligent people don’t just understand emotions; they know what they’re good at and what they’re terrible at. They also know who pushes their buttons and the environments (both situations and people) that enable them to succeed. Having a high EQ means you know your strengths and you know how to lean into them and use them to your full advantage while keeping your weaknesses from holding you back.

5. You’re a good judge of character.

Much of emotional intelligence comes down to social awareness; the ability to read other people, know what they’re about, and understand what they’re going through. Over time, this skill makes you an exceptional judge of character. People are no mystery to you. You know what they’re all about and understand their motivations, even those that lie hidden beneath the surface.

6. You are difficult to offend.

If you have a firm grasp of whom you are, it’s difficult for someone to say or do something that gets your goat. Emotionally intelligent people are self-confident and open-minded, which creates a pretty thick skin. You may even poke fun at yourself or let other people make jokes about you because you are able to mentally draw the line between humor and degradation.

7. You know how to say no (to yourself and others).

Emotional intelligence means knowing how to exert self-control. You delay gratification, and you avoid impulsive action. Research conducted at the University of California, San Francisco, shows that the more difficulty that you have saying no, the more likely you are to experience stress, burnout and even depression. Saying no is indeed a major self-control challenge for many people. “No” is a powerful word that you should not be afraid to wield. When it’s time to say no, emotionally intelligent people avoid phrases such as “I don’t think I can” or “I’m not certain.” Saying no to a new commitment honors your existing commitments and gives you the opportunity to successfully fulfill them.

8. You let go of mistakes.

Emotionally intelligent people distance themselves from their mistakes, but do so without forgetting them. By keeping their mistakes at a safe distance, yet still handy enough to refer to, they are able to adapt and adjust for future success. It takes refined self-awareness to walk this tightrope between dwelling and remembering. Dwelling too long on your mistakes makes you anxious and gun shy, while forgetting about them completely makes you bound to repeat them. The key to balance lies in your ability to transform failures into nuggets of improvement. This creates the tendency to get right back up every time you fall down.

9. You give and expect nothing in return.

When someone gives you something spontaneously, without expecting anything in return, this leaves a powerful impression. For example, you might have an interesting conversation with someone about a book, and when you see them again a month later, you show up with the book in hand. Emotionally intelligent people build strong relationships because they are constantly thinking about others.

10. You don’t hold grudges.

The negative emotions that come with holding onto a grudge are actually a stress  response. Just thinking about the event sends your body into fight-or-flight mode, a survival mechanism that forces you to stand up and fight or run for the hills when faced with a threat. When the threat is imminent, this reaction is essential to your survival, but when the threat is ancient history, holding onto that stress wreaks havoc on your body and can have devastating health consequences over time. In fact, researchers at Emory University have shown that holding onto stress contributes to high blood pressure and heart disease. Holding onto a grudge means you’re holding onto stress, and emotionally intelligent people know to avoid this at all costs. Letting go of a grudge not only makes you feel better now but can also improve your health.

11. You neutralize toxic people.

Dealing with difficult people is frustrating and exhausting for most. High EQ individuals control their interactions with toxic people by keeping their feelings in check. When they need to confront a toxic person, they approach the situation rationally. They identify their own emotions and don’t allow anger or frustration to fuel the chaos. They also consider the difficult person’s standpoint and are able to find solutions and common ground. Even when things completely derail, emotionally intelligent people are able to take the toxic person with a grain of salt to avoid letting him or her bring them down.

12. You don’t seek perfection.

Emotionally intelligent people won’t set perfection as their target because they know that it doesn’t exist. Human beings, by our very nature, are fallible. When perfection is your goal, you’re always left with a nagging sense of failure that makes you want to give up or reduce your effort. You end up spending your time lamenting what you failed to accomplish and what you should have done differently instead of moving forward, excited about what you’ve achieved and what you will accomplish in the future.

13. You appreciate what you have.

Taking time to contemplate what you’re grateful for isn’t merely the right thing to do; it also improves your mood because it reduces the stress hormone cortisol by 23 percent. Research conducted at the University of California, Davis, found that people who worked daily to cultivate an attitude of gratitude experienced improved mood, energy and physical well-being. It’s likely that lower levels of cortisol played a major role in this.

14. You disconnect.

Taking regular time off the grid is a sign of a high EQ because it helps you to live in the moment. When you make yourself available to your work 24/7, you expose yourself to a constant barrage of stressors. Forcing yourself offline and even—gulp!—turning off your phone gives your body and mind a break. Studies have shown that something as simple as an email break can lower stress levels. Technology enables constant communication and the expectation that you should be available 24/7. It is extremely difficult to enjoy a stress-free moment outside of work when an email that will change your train of thought and get you thinking (read: stressing) about work can drop onto your phone at any moment.

15. You limit your caffeine intake.

Drinking excessive amounts of caffeine triggers the release of adrenaline, and adrenaline is the source of the fight-or-flight response. The fight-or-flight mechanism sidesteps rational thinking in favor of a faster response to ensure survival. This is great when a bear is chasing you, but not so great when you’re responding to a curt email. When caffeine puts your brain and body into this hyper-aroused state of stress, your emotions overrun your behavior. Caffeine’s long half-life ensures you stay this way as it takes its sweet time working its way out of your body. High-EQ individuals know that caffeine is trouble, and they don’t let it get the better of them.

16. You get enough sleep.

It’s difficult to overstate the importance of sleep to increasing your emotional intelligence and managing your stress levels. When you sleep, your brain literally recharges, shuffling through the day’s memories and storing or discarding them (which causes dreams) so that you wake up alert and clearheaded. High-EQ individuals know that their self-control, attention, and memory are all reduced when they don’t get enough—or the right kind—of sleep. So, they make sleep a top priority.

17. You stop negative self-talk in its tracks.

The more you ruminate on negative thoughts, the more power you give them. Most of our negative thoughts are just that—thoughts, not facts. When it feels like something always or never happens, this is just your brain’s natural tendency to perceive threats (inflating the frequency or severity of an event). Emotionally intelligent people separate their thoughts from the facts in order to escape the cycle of negativity and move toward a positive, new outlook.

18. You won’t let anyone limit your joy.

When your sense of pleasure and satisfaction are derived from the opinions of other people, you are no longer the master of your own happiness. When emotionally intelligent people feel good about something that they’ve done, they won’t let anyone’s opinions or snide remarks take that away from them. While it’s impossible to turn off your reactions to what others think of you, you don’t have to compare yourself to others, and you can always take people’s opinions with a grain of salt. That way, no matter what other people are thinking or doing, your self-worth comes from within.

 

Originally posted in Success: http://www.success.com/article/18-signs-you-have-high-emotional-intelligence? trk_msg=NQCN05UQ0KQKL11SNQLDK3DCS4&trk_contact=U1IIDO2SRHPR980ID0266PD08K&utm_source=Listrak&utm_medium=Email&utm_term=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.success.com%2Farticle%2F18-signs-you-have-high-emotional-intelligence&utm_campaign=18+Signs+You+Have+High+Emotional+Intelligence

Incivility & Bullying Within the Profession of Nursing: Is Peace In Our Time Possible?

wooden numbers forming the number 2016 and a heart-shaped chalkb
wooden numbers forming the number 2016 and a heart-shaped chalkboard with some wishes for the new year, such as peace, love and happiness, on a rustic wooden surface

 

I find it frustrating to acknowledge that despite all the work of recent years to implement initiatives aimed at creating healthy and safe workplace environments, that lateral and horizontal hostility still remains within the nursing profession. I think we all hoped that when the idea of Zero Tolerance bloomed into an actual Human Resource policy the darkest days were behind us. Disappointingly, this is not what I hear from my private coaching clients and other professional caregivers across the country. The elephant remains in the room and the reluctance to talk openly about it continues as well.

I do not feel the need to define bullying behavior or outline the toll such shadow behavior takes on individuals. You are all too familiar with it most likely because you have been on the receiving end of it. What I want to shed some light on is the nature and makeup of someone who engages in bullying tactics. Having insight into the mindset of the enemy goes a long way to taking the power away from them and empowering yourself.

First I want to point out that we often use the term Bully to describe a coworker or leader that exhibits uncivil conduct but is not a true bully. Unfortunately, we live in a time where uncivil behavior is celebrated. Just consider some of the popular reality TV programs currently enjoying high ratings let alone the antics demonstrated along the campaign trail of 2016. Engaging in uncivil behavior is the consequence of a low emotional intelligence and an unrefined ability to manage one’s emotions under stress in the workplace. Keep in mind that we are all capable of giving into the needier side of our neurotic selves under pressure.

People who are, at times, uncivil usually have the ability to step outside themselves and reflect on a disagreeable interpersonal exchange and take ownership of their behavior when they cool off or are held responsible and accountable by others. They are also capable of expressing genuine remorse and of taking steps to improve in the future. Bullies do not have that capacity.

Consider the following characteristics of an individual with the neurotic personality disorder known as narcissism. They include but are not limited to:

  • Authoritarian
  • Having a strong need for control
  • A desire to dominate people and situations
  • Perceiving themselves as a special, elite individuals that are deserving of VIP treatment
  • Lacking in empathy toward others
  • Having a tendency to be exploitative of others

 

Now think of someone you work with that is knowingly intimidating and/or cruel; someone who has no desire to consider how their words or behaviors affect others. That’s right! Bullies are narcissists. Investing time and efforts into trying to appeal to their higher nature and grow from coaching sessions or disciplinary actions will prove very frustrating. An individual must first be capable of acknowledging that there is an issue before they can buy into their responsibility to remedy the issue. Narcissists lack the ability to grow from insight and introspection.

Addressing both uncivil and bullying behavior requires a true collaboration between administration, the human resources department and in organizations with collective bargaining agreements, labor. All stakeholders must agree on a unified definition of bullying behavior and a unified approach to bullying conduct. The finish line for tolerating this type of misconduct must be fixed and unaffected by the manipulating skills of the bully.

Managing someone who is given to uncivil behavior is very different than addressing someone with a true bullying mentality. The person given to regular demonstrations of low emotional intelligence must understand that we are now in a time in the industry of healthcare and the profession of nursing when skills and knowledge are not enough to secure your professional future.

The literature demonstrates that the level of one’s emotional intelligence directly correlates with that person’s ability to demonstrate a consistent caring behavior to patients and families as well as own their responsibility to maintain a healthy work environment (McQueen 2004). If these individuals are not willing to grow from in-the-moment feedback, coaching and in-depth discussions during the performance evaluation process then; the conversation must move onto asking if they are in the right working environment.

Unfortunately, the personality of a narcissist does not make them amenable to demonstrating sustained improvement with conventional managerial interventions. In these instances, clear performance improvement plans must be crafted and immediate and sustained improvement demonstrated. The push-back will be relentless but there are very few options.

So my question becomes, if we are not willing to put an end to abusive conduct in the workplace now, when will we be willing? Let us resist getting caught up in finger pointing and complaining about how our inter-professional colleagues may mistreat us. Let us decisively address the issues in our own house first. We must commit now, not later, to peace in our time.

Resources:

  • Bakr M, Safaan S (2012) Emotional intelligence: a key for nurses’ performance. Journal of American Science. 8, 11, 385-393.
  • Benson G, Martin L, Ploeg J et al (2012) Longitudinal study of emotional intelligence, leadership, and caring in undergraduate nursing students. Journal of Nursing Education. 51, 2, 95-101
  • Codier E, Codier D (2015) A model for emotional intelligence and patient safety. Asia Pacific Journal of Oncology Nursing. In Press
  • Codier E, Kooker B, Shoultz J (2008) Measuring the emotional intelligence of clinical staff nurses: an approach for improving the clinical care environment. Nursing Administration Quarterly. 32, 1, 8-14.
  • Holbery N (2015) Emotional intelligence: essential for trauma nursing. International Emergency Nursing. 23, 1, 13-16.
  • McQueen A.C.H. (2004) Emotional intelligence in nursing work: Journal of Advanced Nursing 47(1), 101–108

 

9 Phrases That Will Sabotage Your Confidence A Guest Post by Lolly Daskal

the best vision is insight phrase  on a vintage slate blackboard
the best vision is insight phrase on a vintage slate blackboard

 

Confidence is crucial. If yours is in short supply, maybe it’s time to change the things you’re saying. Are any of these confidence-killing phrases familiar?

 

Confidence comes easily to some–but for most of us, it involves some degree of struggle at least once in a while.

When you’re not feeling confident, your mind goes in directions that will feed that uncertainty if left alone. These phrases are signs pointing toward those bad directions.

If any of these sound like something you can hear yourself saying, make a point of replacing it with something more assured. You’ll sound more confident right away–and in time, you’ll feel it as well.

1. “Why me?”

We’ve all said this, or at least felt it, occasionally. But it’s a damaging thought. Aside from how whiny it sounds, its underlying message is that you should be exempt from the same laws of the universe that apply to everyone else. When you’re feeling confidant, you have faith in your ability to overcome, and you can take a longer perspective and know this trouble won’t last forever. Try saying “I’ll get through this.”

2. “I can’t.”

Nothing sounds more fatalistic. One of the best steps you can take toward confidence is to ban the word can’t from your vocabulary completely. It says you’re not even willing to try.  Try saying, “I’ll give it my best”–or, if you’re really stuck, “I could use some help with this.”

3. “I suppose.”

Unless you want to be seen as halfhearted and timid, stay away from I suppose and its synonym I guess. Be straightforward with your response, even if you have to qualify it. Instead, say “I know”–or “I think or I believe or I am certain.”

4. “I won’t.”

When you say “I won’t,” you leave no room for growth, no room for learning, no room for doing better. It is filled with negativity. Instead, say “I will.”

5. “I never.”

Used to describe something in the past (“I never saw the memo”) it sounds defensive; used as a general statement (“I never stay late”) it sounds inflexible. Either way, there’ s not much room for confidence. Instead, say I don’t remember or I try not to.”

6. “I might.”

If some words undermine us with inflexibility, might does it by being too passive and noncommittal. Instead, use a phrase that demonstrates a thoughtful approach and an open mind: I’m considering or I’m deciding.

7. “I failed.”

Dwelling on failure–and especially on the negative aspects of failure–is the surest path to lost confidence. We know failure is the greatest teacher and a necessary component of success. Instead say “I tried or I have learned. ”

8. “I give up.”

Are there any words that sound more despairing? These words brand you as a quitter. Instead, say “I’ve done everything I know to do for now or I’ll try again.”

9. “Good enough.”

Settling. Mediocrity. The status quo. This shrug of a phrase communicates not only a lack of confidence but lowered standards and a willingness to cut corners. Instead, say Let’s make this great.”

The things you say to others help determine how you’re perceived, and the things you say to yourself help determine how you feel. Listen to yourself and make the adjustments you need to sound, and to be, wonderfully confident.

How to Help Yourself by Owning Your “Bad” Qualities A Guest Post by Amita Patel

Hand writing Time to Reinvent Yourself with white chalk on blackboard.
Hand writing Time to Reinvent Yourself with white chalk on blackboard.

“Nothing is either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” ~William Shakespeare

Like many women, I feared my own voice.

I feared what would happen if I acknowledged my feelings and I feared what would happen if I expressed them.

Above all, I feared that people would leave me if I ever communicated as my true self.

In my family and culture, feelings are things that are best when denied. I was taught they are a liability that, if embraced, would lead to fights, pain, and loneliness. I was encouraged to ignore, avoid, and push them down into the recesses of my mind.

Not surprisingly, by thirteen I developed severe depression, resulting in poor coping mechanisms, a reliance on medication, and a suicide attempt.

The need to express myself was natural and necessary, but my belief that it was wrong prevented me from ever owning my voice. Instead, I communicated in unhealthy ways:

  • I had angry outbursts.
  • I played the martyr.

And while I tried to suppress and control this side of me, it came out in waves of anger and hurt. Through decades of transformation, I now understand that many of my behaviors were based on my belief that things are either all good or all bad.

So how did I unlearn this belief and learn to express my true voice?

By learning how I played the game of black and white.

When we’re young, we’re taught that certain aspects of our personality are bad or wrong, while others are good and useful. And like most things we learned as kids, we need to unlearn them.

In order to fit in, feel loved, and gain acceptance we disown the “bad” qualities we believe we have and try to express ones that are seen as “good.”

This polarized thinking forces us to see the world in terms of black and white, right and wrong, or good and evil. And in this game of black and white, the only rule is that white must always win.

Unfortunately, the world isn’t that simple. Most things exist on a frustrating spectrum of grey.

Fortunately, we can learn to re-own these repressed qualities and transform them into qualities that benefit us and others.

For example:

  • Owning our anger can lead to self-love, if this enables us to set boundaries to take better care of ourselves.
  • Owning our self-expression can lead to genuine connection, if this enables us to get in touch with and communicate our true wants and needs.
  • Owning our apathy can lead us to a passionate career, if this enables us to redirect our energy and quiet our fear of failure.

Here’s How:

The first step to seeing how you play the game of black and white is to determine which traits you’ve put into each category.

What qualities in others make you angry? Often the aspects of others that trigger us are the things we don’t like about ourselves. These are frequently the areas that we need to work on the most.

For example, when other people stated their boundaries, I previously felt threatened because I wasn’t comfortable setting my own. This taught me that I needed to address this issue in my own life in order to feel whole and attract other people with healthy boundaries.

To begin, list several “bad” qualities. These are the traits that go in your “black” pile (i.e.: lazy, late, disorganized, loud).

What qualities do you think of as good, desirable, and appropriate? These are the qualities that we are praised for or that we value in ourselves or others. List several “positive” qualities. These are the traits that go in your “white” pile (i.e.: honest, flexible, driven).

Next, determine how the game manifests in your life.

In what ways do you play the game so that “white” must win? What have been the consequences? For example, in believing that silencing my voice is good, I’ve been in unhealthy relationships, had angry outbursts, and felt depressed.

If you were to give the disowned trait a voice, what would it say? For example: mine would tell me that it’s safe to be the real me.

Finally, embrace the trait as neither good, nor bad, simply a part of you.

If you were to re-own that trait, how could it benefit you? Often, qualities we view as “bad” are harsh criticisms or expressions of our own fears.

For example, I often find that I am frustrated when I perceive someone to be lazy. This, however, is merely triggering my own fear that I am not doing enough. Owning this trait allows me to see that there are times when I should relax.

Owning it taught me that I don’t need to overwork in order to prove that I am worthy. Owning my lazy side would allow me to live a more balanced life and cultivate self-love.

Creating awareness around how you play the game of black and white will give you the freedom to consciously choose your behaviors instead of going on autopilot.

It will allow you to stop stumbling through life and begin navigating it on your own terms. You don’t need to accept your false beliefs when you have the power to change them.

Isn’t it time you mastered your life?

 

10 Phrases Successful People Avoid (But Losers Use) A Guest Post by Bernard Marr

Winning and losing are about your frame of mind more than anything else. You can be a successful go-getter working in a mail room just as easily as you can be a loser CEO. By cultivating a winner’s mindset, you’ll set yourself up for greatest success.

Check out the list of phrases below and note any that pop up in your daily lexicon. Eliminating them from your speech will go a long way to eliminating the negative thoughts that go along with them and help you believe that you can succeed.

  1. That won’t work.
    How do you know it won’t work? Even if it’s something that’s been tried before that doesn’t necessarily mean it won’t work this time. Shutting down ideas without trying them is definitely not the mark of a winner.
  2. I can’t do it.
    OK, negative Nancy, but guess what? If you can’t do it, chances are they’ll find someone else who can. Instead, approach this from the perspective of what you’ll need to accomplish the task. Do you need more training, more support, more supplies, more time?
  3. Impossible
    Things are rarely impossible, so be very careful throwing this word around. In my experience, it often indicates someone closed-minded who can’t see another person’s vision. Rather than declaring it impossible, open your mind to how it might be possible. Brainstorm. Look at the problem from different angles. Nothing amazing was ever created by declaring it impossible.
  4. That’s not fair.
    What are we, four-year-olds? Real life isn’t set up to always be fair, and if you find these words coming out of your mouth, you are almost certainly feeling mistreated.  Instead of playing the fair card, however, try looking for opportunities to improve the situation. And, understand that sometimes you’renever going to change a situation to make it fair — you might have to go out and create your own, more fair, situation yourself.
  5. It’s not my fault.
    It may very well not be your fault, but this phrase assumes that you’re laying the blame somewhere else. And nobody wins the blame game. Instead of focusing on blame, focus on solving the problem. How can you step in and make things right — even if you weren’t the one in the wrong?
  6. I might be able to…
    Might is another one of those words like try that set you up to fail. When people use words like this, it’s because they’re expecting not to be able to do whatever is being asked of them. Or, sometimes it’s used grudgingly. A client asks you to go above and beyond your original agreement, and to placate them, you say you “might” be able to add something. In either case, don’t hedge. Stand your ground and say what you mean.
  7. That’s not my job.
    One of the things managers loathe to hear. Sometimes, in order to help the team or move up the ladder, you need to step up and do things that might not ordinarily be in your job description. Don’t let yourself be taken advantage of, but try to look at working outside your comfort zone as an opportunity for experience and growth.
  8. Need
    Need is a funny word.  You need food, water, and shelter. You don’t need that report on time, your team to come in for the weekend, or really anything else at work. You want it. Perhaps you even require it for things to function and flow properly. But do you need it?
  9. I think…
    Which sounds more powerful: I think, I believe, or I know?  I think can be wishy-washy. Leaders and other successful people are decisive. Go with what you know.
  10. I’ll try.
    Take a page from Yoda’s book of wisdom: Do, or do not. There is no try. People tend to use the word try when they want to leave themselves an out, because they consciously or subconsciously don’t believe they can or will accomplish the task.

Obviously, it is not black or white with any of these phrases and there are of course times when you would use them. The point I am trying to make here is more about the mindset and the words we use (as well as the way we say them) are a reflection of that.

These are my top 10, but what are yours? Leave your favorite “loser mindset” phrases in the comments below so that we can add to the list.

—————-

Thank you for reading my post. I regularly write about performance management
as well as the mega-trend that is Big Data for LinkedIn and Forbes. If you would like to read my regular posts then please click ‘Follow‘ and feel free to also connect viaTwitterFacebook and The Advanced Performance Institute.

Here are some other recent posts I have written:

READ MORE: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/10-phrases-successful-people-avoid-losers-use-bernard-marr

The Delicate Balance: Flow with Life

 

feather and stone balance

Inspired by the ancient book of wisdom; The Tao Te Ching: Verse Two

When the world knows beauty as beauty, ugliness arises.  When it knows good as good, evil arises. Thus being and non-being produce each other. Difficult and easy bring about each other. Long and short reveal each other, high and low support each other. Music and voice harmonize each other, front and back follow each other

Therefore the sages: Manage the work of detached actions. Conduct the teaching of no words they work with myriad things but do not control. They create but do not possess, they act but do not presume. They succeed but do not dwell on success .It is because they do not dwell on success that it never goes away

Lao Tzu

 

Through the words contained in verse two, Lao Tzu instructs that in our efforts to explain what cannot be explained, the human experience can be a journey along a continuum of emotions. He shares that we feel joy because we have experienced sadness.

The completeness that comes with knowing that you belong to someone can only be truly embraced when you have known the void of being alone. Our belief systems define our experiences as good or bad, bitter or sweet, beautiful or ugly and so on. It is in this struggle to get a handle on something; to find an explanation for why things are the way they are that is the basis for dissatisfaction with one’s life.

However, Lao Tzu goes on to write that there is an alternative to the dualistic battle that we create for ourselves. The option lies in the insight that the Universe is ever changing and that our assignment is not to rage against the tide of change but to flow with it. In reality, all is as it should be even if it is not obvious or easily understood. Caregivers can find accepting this a challenge. We set up a dualistic continuum of our very own, fixed versus broken. After all, isn’t it our job to fix things? Fixing things, turning negatives into positives is what we do best, right? Here is where we can get ourselves into trouble if we are not continuously in touch with our true motivation for caring and how being a caregiver can serve us.

It can really feel good to be needed by someone and to be able to meet that someone’s needs. It feeds our compassionate nature. It can give us a sense of purpose and competency. The caring can very subtly start to become about us. When things work out, that is, the desired outcome is the outcome achieved; we can delude ourselves into thinking that we have control or at least a strong influence over those results. It can be a bit addicting so we begin to give more, care more. Before we realize it, caring becomes a socially acceptable substitute for doing one’s own work, walking one’s path and addressing all our personal life lessons along the way.

Some of the dangers signs we tend to ignore include the inability to put our needs such as pursuing our own interests first. We deny the need for help when a lifeline is offered. We can find it challenging, even irritating to seek or accept assistance from any resource for a respite citing any number of plausible reasons. We tend to allow our compassionate nature or work ethic to be used against us. Finding ourselves in the role of the go-to-person on a constant base is not always a complement. The added stress can deplete us of valuable energy and lead to resentment.

The common denominator for all of these behaviors is our tendency to make judgments and the need for control. It seems almost cruel to assign such labels to a person’s commitment to service. However, it is necessary to shed some light on this dark side of a one’s good nature. Caring too much enables us to write and tell our story in the context of another’s rather than let the meaning of our own life, scary as it may be, unfold. When we think we’ve been successful in fixing something, that feeling fills in some of the places in our personality where we are wanting and vulnerable.

Caring too much has a paradoxical effect on our life. You would think it would build relationships but in reality, it ultimately causes us to become increasing isolated from others. Our propensity for judging begins to alienate us from friends and colleagues. The increasing need for control causes individuals to push back and the frustration that this drives can become the foundation of mistrust and anger.

So where does the answer lie? It should be no surprise to discover that in all struggles with duality, the answer lies in the middle. The middle way gives us perspective and feedback. This is a great start to creating balance. The challenge is to blend compassion for others into your life and not allow that wonderful capacity to dominate and impede your ability to live your life fully.

Develop a personal spiritual practice that offers you quiet time. Not just free time to fill up with doing other things; but real quiet time that allows you to strengthen your ability to slowly access your intuitive knowledge and higher-self. The support and guidance you can gain will begin to transmute your need to cling to the duality of your emotions into an ability to peacefully coexist in the world without the need for judgment or conflict.

Your ego will slowly let go of the need for the allusion of having control and relax into the reality that all is well and all are safe. The answer truly is in the silence. Taking the time to put your own oxygen on first lets you come to know and embrace this truth. Moving away from the habit of defining your life in dualistic terms lets you step closer to understanding that developing a trilistic relationship between yourself, your life lessons, and that god-like nature inside each one of us provides us with the inner fortitude and skills to walk our own path, feel compassion for another and flow with life

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 Signs You’re in the Wrong Job Guest Post by Jo Davidson

So you don’t like your job, but hey, who does? And, it pays the bills, so you can’t complain, right?

But what if your job is making you miserable, negatively impacting your health, wellbeing, relationships and more? Maybe it’s time for a rethink. Here’s ten signs that indicate you should consider a change…

1. You have a burning desire to do something else
You might know exactly what you’d what you want to do, but just don’t know how to turn it into a reality.
It could be that you feel you don’t have the qualifications or the experience to go after it. Or maybe you’ve decided that you’re not ready, or the risks are too great. Alternatively, you may have some ideas about what you want, perhaps to work in a particular field, or to run your own business, for instance, but haven’t figured out the specifics of what you’d do.

2. You’re not challenged enough
You don’t feel like your skills are properly utilised or that you’re given enough autonomy. Or perhaps, the things that you’re doing are just plain boring, and don’t inspire any of your passions. You spend 8 hours a day doing things that mean nothing to you, just so you can pick up a paycheck.

3. You feel uncomfortable with the tasks you’re asked to complete
Your boss demands you handle things in ways that you disagree with, or you’re asked to operate in ways that don’t meet your standards of integrity. You feel like you’re being used as a pawn, or perhaps you question the ethical practices within the organisation or even the products or services you provide.

4. You take things really personally
If your boss makes a suggestion you get defensive. You feel she’s attacking your capabilities or your judgement. Every email you read seems to have an offensive tone, and you might even type rapid fire responses which end in tit for tat email tennis. It almost seems as if everybody is out to make your life difficult.

5. You feel like you’re stuck on a treadmill
Life just feels like a never ending hamster wheel of putting one foot in front of the other. You feel like you never have any time for you, as you fit in the needs of your family and friends, around the demands of your work. You’ve already spent 8 or more hours of your day stuck in a job you hate, and now you begrudge the time you have to spend sorting things out for everyone else, when all you want to do is rest. Every day feels like groundhog day.

[grabpress_video guid=”006f32e946fd286481262e5e1dff3ec222dd8e10″]

 

6. Sunday night blues are like a black cloud of overwhelm

You’ve managed to relax a bit during Friday evening and Saturday, but the dread of Monday is already looming when you open your eyes on Sunday morning. You push it aside and get through the day trying to be chirpy for your loved ones, but you’re becoming irritable and withdrawn. By teatime, you’re checking emails and worrying over the week ahead, and all the chores that need doing before Monday morning become a huge headache. You might even turn into Mumzilla!

7. You long for illness or accident
In the mornings, you find your mind is transfixed on circumstances that might give you the opportunity to not go to work. You hope the nausea you feel will turn into a full on bout of salmonella, or wonder if you might pass out. Perhaps your child will be sent home from school poorly, or maybe your car will breakdown, or you’ll be in an accident. At least, if nothing else, you hope the building will be a smoking pile of ashes when you get there.

8. You don’t look after your health 
You rely on vending machine coffees, crisps and sweets to get you through the day. You struggle to motivate yourself to cook dinner or to go to the gym or even out for a walk. Perhaps you’ll have a glass or two of wine, and it might be becoming a 7 night a week habit. You stay up far too late, trying to make your evenings last as long as possible, even though you know you’ll be shattered in the morning. The things you spend those last precious minutes on are meaningless, as you surf social media or flick channels on TV in an attempt to shut off your mind.

9. You don’t sleep well
When you finally do hit the sack, you’re over-tired. Your brain doesn’t want to pipe-down and you lie awake dreading tomorrow. Things you forgot to do suddenly show up to point out where you’ve failed today. Any situations that didn’t play out as you’d have liked, are re-enacted in your mind as you slowly torture yourself for not handling things better. When you finally do get off, you find yourself plagued by dreams about work, or sleep fitfully, waking up every couple of hours. The only time you seem to hit deep sleep is the last 10 minutes before your alarm sounds, at which point you are completely exhausted.

10. You’re always tired
From the minute you get up you’re knackered. You regularly hear yourself saying, or thinking, I’m tired. The workday feels like one long, hard slog, as your tired body and mind aches to curl up and sleep. You go home and exhaustedly make food, spend time with your family, get chores done, and so on. In fact, the only point at which you can go and lie down and get your rest, is the only time you don’t want to.

How many of these apply to your situation? How is your work impacting you emotionally and physically? What is it doing to your ability to be a good mum, a good partner, a good friend, a good daughter or sister? How long can you keep going before you burn out? Eventually, you’ll realise that it has to stop, but for many that happens to late, when their hand is forced by circumstance. But, what if you decided to take control now, before you’re at rock bottom, and designed your route out? It’s a challenge, but it can be done, and I can teach you the easy way to do it. My fantastic programme, Quit Your Job and Get a Life is a four week coaching programme that will take you, step by step, from the job you hate, to the life you’ve only dreamed of.

It’s only available until the 13th of November, and there’s a special half price offer on right now, so sign up quick, and make this Christmas, the last you ever spend in the wrong job.

 

My name is Jo Davidson, and I’m the GET A LIFE coach, helping women to create incredible lives for themselves, by shedding their fears and limiting beliefs, breaking the mould, and taking consistent, determined action in the direction of their dreams. Subscribe to my free newsletter and get a fab free cheat sheet as a thank you.

Share your time saving tips, blogs, recipes, and ideas for better living with Getting Balance’s community of women seeking happiness and wellbeingtoday.

http://gettingbalance.com/add-a-blog/

The Uncomfortable Truth Of What Is Keeping You From Success Guest Post by Linda Coussement

1. You’re Not Clear On What Success Really Is

I’ve been interviewed for a popular magazine in the Netherlands when I was a student and it was all about what we wanted out of life after our studies. I’m caught on print that all I wanted was to have an amazing, well-paid job, a big house and a car to go with it. 6 Years later I find myself in a big fancy office filled with highly achieving consultants where I drove to in my big fancy car from my big fancy house being incredibly jealous of the guy who waters the plants because he’s obviously a lot more HAPPY with his life and work than I am.

Having a clear vision on what success is to you is a basic necessity; how else are you going to know that you’re heading in the right direction and if you indeed ARE successful?

But make sure your vision grows and evolves along with you in life.

2. You’re Not Listening To Your Gut

Us human beings are a fascinating bunch; instinctively we almost always know what’s right or wrong for us but we hardly ever listen to those instincts and do the wrong things anyway. The reasons for this could fill an entire library but the effect of it is that we waste our time and energy on things that are not in line with our core vision and are therefore keeping us from success.

Listening to your gut and acting on it demands you to be very brave. It means that you’ll have to say no to opportunities and people even when that puts you at risk of being unpopular or even not profitable in the short-term. But it’s authentic, and in the end, that’s the only way to success.

And not listening…that will keep you nice and safe in your comfort zone. You know, the place where you’ll very likely NOT achieve the things you want to.

3. Your Ambition Is In The Way

Who is your big hero, entrepreneurial or otherwise? Do you just look up to them and learn from them or do you want to be exactly like them?

There’s a big difference! It’s great to have people to look up to and learn from, especially in this day and age where so many inspirational stories are shared. We learn that we’re not alone in our struggles on the path to success and we learn how to recognize and not fall in to the pitfalls these people have.

But what if you want to be exactly like them? What if you’re not happy until you’ve achieved the same as they have?

Personally, I can’t seem to shake the ambition of being a combination of Nelson Mandela, the Dalai Lama and Angelina Jolie and am not happy until I get the same recognition they get…

Yeah, that’s never gonna happen!

Not because I don’t deserve that recognition or am anything less than they are but simply because I’M NOT THEM.

But it does limit my behavior and level of courage at times…

We all have our own lives, paths and characters and can be extremely successful in our own rights, but we’re keeping ourselves small if we keep comparing ourselves to others.

4. You Can’t See What You’ve Already Achieved

At what point will you be able to look at yourself and your business and be happy with what you’ve achieved?

Most of us can’t. Most of us have this continuously lingering thought in the back of our heads that tells us that it (and we) are still ‘not good enough’…

It’s both the comparison of ourselves to others and an ancient imprint in our brain that compels us to always be something bigger and better than we are. It’s evolution and simply in our DNA.

But it’s not really useful is it? What’s the point of working this hard and actually achieving all this success but not enjoying it for what it is?

Rand Fishkin, founder of Moz wrote this beautiful post about his depression. He says that he feels guilty for the mistakes he’s made and that he has put his company at risk. But facts are that they’ve never been at any real risk, at least not more than any other business. Another fact is that pretty much everyone responding in the comments, including his colleagues, disagrees with him and tells him there’s no guilt necessary.

I think Rand is a superhero for sharing his story but it goes to show how deep these self-deprecating thoughts go even when someone clearly IS successful.

Sometimes…there’s nothing keeping us from success. Sometimes, we’re already there but just not able to see it.

Not sure if you’re holding yourself back in any way? Answer these questions:

–       Do you really know what success looks like for YOU?

–       Do you always listen to – and act on – your instincts?

–       Does the awesomeness of [insert name] keep you from even trying?

–       Could it be that you’re already there? Hint: listen to the people close to you!

Dreaming big, having huge ambitions and always aiming for growth and improvement are all essential for success and great characteristics for anyone that thinks of themselves as a personal leader.

But don’t let them become their own pitfalls.

 READ MORE: http://addicted2success.com/success-advice/the-uncomfortable-truth-of-what-is-keeping-you-from-success/

A Lesson On How To Cultivate Peace Within Yourself from Pema Chodron

A question that has intrigued me for years is this: how can we start exactly where we are, with all our entanglements, and still develop unconditional acceptance of ourselves instead of guilt and depression?

One of the most helpful methods I’ve found is the practice of compassionate abiding. This is a way of bringing warmth to unwanted feelings. It is a direct method of embracing our experience rather than rejecting it. So the next time you realize that you’re hooked, you could experiment with this approach.

Contacting the experience of being hooked you breath in, allowing the feeling completely and opening to it. The in-breath can be deep and relaxed – anything that helps you to let the feeling be there, anything that helps you not to push it away. Then still abiding with the urge and edginess of feelings such as craving or aggression, as you breathe out you relax and give the feeling space. The out-breath is not a way of sending the discomfort away but of ventilating it, or loosening the tension around it, of becoming aware of the space in which the discomfort is occurring.

The practice helps us to develop maitri because we willingly touch the parts of ourselves that we are not proud of [maitri is defined previously as “unconditional friendliness towards oneself”]. We touch feelings we think we shouldn’t be having – feelings of failure, of shame, of murderous rage, all those politically incorrect feelings like racial prejudice, disdain we feel for people we consider ugly or inferior, sexual addictions and phobias. We contact whatever we are experiencing and go beyond liking or disliking by breathing in and opening. Then we breathe out and relax. We continue for a few moments, or as long as we wish, synchronizing it with the breath. This process has a leaning-in quality. Breathing in and leaning in are very much the same. We touch the experience, feeling it in the body if that helps, and we breathe it in.

In the process of doing this, we are transmuting hard, reactive, rejecting energy into basic warmth and openness. It sounds dramatic, but really it is very simple and direct. All we are doing is breathing in and experiencing what’s happening, then breathing out as we continue to experience what’s happening. It’s a way of working with our negativity that appreciates that the negative energy per se is not the problem. Confusion only begins when we can’t abide with the intensity of the energy and therefore spin off. Staying present with our own energy allows it to keep flowing and move on. Abiding with our own energy is the ultimate non-aggression, the ultimate maitri.

Excerpted from the chapter “Unlimited Friendliness”  “Taking The Leap: Freeing Ourselves from Old Habits and Fears”, © Shambhala Publications 2009

FREE FAMILY CAREGIVING SUMMIT: “NAME IT; KNOW ITS MANY FACES”

Wednesday, April 30, 2014 | 8:30 am – 5 pm
Hosted by: New York Academy of Medicine
1216 Fifth Avenue (use the 103rd Street entrance)
New York, NY 10029
Sponsored and EmblemHealth’s NYC Partnership for Family Caregiving Corps
Created by: with Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service:
Be the Evidence Project
Sponsoring William A. Gillespie, MD, Chief Medical Officer, EmblemHealth
NYAM Beth Finkel, State Director, AARP
Fellows: Dr. Tina Maschi, Associate Professor, Fordham University
Rev. Gregory Johnson, Director, Care for the Family Caregiver, EmblemHealth

Who Should Medical professionals, social workers, clergy, health care ministries,
Attend: family caregivers, students, government leaders and the general public.
We are all in this together!
ALL ARE WELCOME! YOU ARE NOT ALONE!
There is no charge to attend. However, an RSVP IS REQUIRED, so register online today at
http://www.nyam.org/2014familycaregivingsummit. To register by phone or if you have questions, please contact Tina Maschi at 1-212-636-6640.
Join us for this great opportunity to learn about the tools and resources available to you.
Continental breakfast, lunch and a wine reception will be served.

http://www.nyam.org/events/2014/2014-04-30.html