Addiction To Blame
Allen consulted with me because his wife of 18 years had threatened to leave him if he didn't stop blaming her all the time. He admitted to frequently blaming her in a variety of situations. He blamed her if he thought she made a mistake, if he thought she was wrong about something, if he was feeling alone, or even if he had a bad day at work. He blamed her for asking him questions when he didn't know the answer. He would sometimes even blame her if his golf game was off. He always blamed her when he felt judged by her, or when he didn't get her approval. While he freely admitted that he blamed her, he couldn't seem to stop, and he had no idea why he blamed her.
As I explored various situations with Allen, it became apparent that he was not just blaming his wife. Allen was constantly blaming and judging himself. He would verbally beat himself up for mistakes, telling himself things like, "I'm such a jerk," and would often say very negative things to himself, such as, "Things will never get any better," or "I'm just a loser," or "I'm a big disappointment to myself." He would then feel angry and agitated as a result of abusing himself, but he never connected his anger with his self-judgment. Instead, he would dump his anger on his wife, or yell at other drivers on the freeway.
It became apparent to Allen that he would not be able to stop blaming his wife until he stopped blaming and judging himself. His addiction to blaming others was a direct result of his self-abuse.
The problem was that Allen had learned to be very self-indulgent regarding his thoughts. He let his thoughts run rampant, never stopping to discern whether or not what he was telling himself was the truth or was a lie. As a result, he was constantly allowing the wounded part of himself, his ego self, to be in charge. And this part of him was filled with all the lies he had learned in the 46 years of his life.
Allen was appalled when he realized that all his anger at others was really his anger at himself for abusing himself. He was projecting onto others what he was doing to himself. He saw that he was especially sensitive to others' judgment because he was so judgmental of himself.
As we explored why Allen was so self-abusive, he realized that he believed that if he judged himself enough, he could have control over getting himself to do it "right." He realized this wasn't true by an experience he had playing tennis.
"I played last Wednesday and I was in a really good mood. I was just playing for the fun of it, rather than to play well, and I played my best game ever! The very next day I played worse than I have for a long time. I realized that, having done so well on Wednesday, I now wanted control over doing as well on Thursday. As soon as I tried to control it, I lost it.
I want to stop doing this, but I've been doing it my while life. How do I stop?"
Stopping any addiction is always a challenge. Changing our thought process is especially challenging. However, there is a process available, but it will work only when you really want to change. Changing from being self-abusive to self-loving has to become more important to you than continuing to try to control yourself through your self-judgments.
1. Pay attention to your feelings. Learn to be aware of when you are feeling angry, anxious, hurt, scared, guilty, shamed, depressed, and so on.
2. Make a conscious decision to learn about what you are telling yourself that is causing your pain, rather than ignoring it, turning to substance or process addictions, or continuing to abuse yourself.
3. Ask yourself, "What am I telling myself that is causing me to feel badly?" Once you are aware of what you are telling yourself, ask yourself, "Am I certain that what I'm telling myself is the truth, or is it just something I've made up?" Then ask yourself, "What am I trying to control by telling myself this?"
4. Once you are aware that you are telling yourself a lie that is causing you to feel badly, and why you are telling it to yourself, ask the highest, wisest part of yourself, or ask an inner teacher or a spiritual source of guidance, "What is the truth?" When you sincerely want to know the truth, it will easily come to you.
5. Change your thinking, now telling yourself the truth.
6. Notice how you feel. Lies will always make you feel badly, while the truth brings inner peace. Any time you are not in peace, go through this process to discover what lie you are telling yourself. Eventually, with enough practice, you will be in truth and peace more and more of the time.
Be Confident Do Not Let Your Boss Drag You Down
People we meet and have to see on a regular basis can have a negative affect on your life and self-confidence, but only if you let them. I am a person who would get dragged down by any negative comment made from a friend or by my boss for example. This article is about how to deal with these situations and how to not let these people and their comments make you feel like a second class citizen.
A few years ago I met a client(Ian) who described a similar scenario to me. He had been very successful in business and had reached the level of director in the company where he worked. We were discussing this very subject and he admitted that he had an over-aggressive boss who I think was the chairman of the company. I can not remember the chairmans name, however for the purpose of this article I will call him John.
Ian thought that John played a kind of business game, where he wanted to be seen as the boss and where he wanted everyone to be scared of him.
This was the situation Ian described to me. John would e-mail him in the morning with a question asking why the north-west of the country had not been as profitable in the last quarter compared to its usual levels. He would ask Ian to meet him in the afternoon to discuss his findings. Ian would then contact his line managers and would then write a report before attending the meeting with the chairman.
Ian was a person who had a slight speech impediment, a stutter. He would be able to talk fluently most of the time, however if he felt nervous or if he felt under pressure, he would then start having problems getting his words out and would stutter. Ian also had words he thought of as difficult and would often avoid these type of words. He was very careful when writing his report only to include words he felt confident he would be able to say.
In the afternoon who would go and meet John and present his report to him. He stated that he would have no problem with his speech at this stage and that the presentation would be delivered smoothly and fluently.
On hearing the report, John would not make any comment and would instead basically just stare at Ian, slowly nodding his head up and down at the same time. Ian described this as making him feel very uncomfortable and was just praying for the silence to end and for his chairman to say something. The words from the chairman would not come and so to break the silence Ian would then continue speaking giving more reasons which were probably not correct and that were certainly not planned. These words were also not spoken fluently but with Ian struggling and stuttering.
I had a little think about what Ian had told me and felt angry at John.
I eventually came up with a suggestion. I advised Ian to end his presentation with a question, for example, this is what I believe are the reasons, however I would value your opinion as chairman of the company.
He can then nod and stare for as long as he likes, it is his turn to talk next and Ian can sit there comfortably and just be patient.
It is very important that we do not let people like John drag us down. It is time to be strong and to stand up to these people.
Phobia Of Speech
This article is about the fear and phobia of speech. Not everybody is able to talk fluently in all situations and for people who aren't, life can be quite tough. I hope you enjoy reading the article.
My name is Steve Hill from Birmingham in England. I developed a stutter or as some people call it a stammer in childhood. From what my parents tell me it started when I was four years of age.
Speaking phobia at school
Despite regular speech therapy over the next fourteen years the stutter became worse. I remember quite clearly the fear of having to read out from a book in class. Walking into the classroom, for example an English lesson, I would see that there was a book on each desk. I would start to panic straight away believing the teacher would make me read a paragraph. Just waiting my turn, knowing that it would result in yet another one of stuttering moments would be torture.
Socialising with friends was not exactly easy for me either. Most people look forward to their Friday or Saturday night outs with their mates. For me though this was not the case, I would be counting down the days as the week went on. Three days to go, two days to go, oh no, I have to go out tomorrow. You may be thinking why this would fill me with so much dread. Being unable to say certain words beginning with certain letters made it difficult to order a round of drinks and the whole conversation thing was something I was not at all confident about.
My worst area of speech was using the telephone. I certainly had a phobia to the phone and was quite lucky as my father would make a lot of my calls for me. Some people may say that this was not exactly helping me in the long run. This may be correct and I was very grateful at the time.
After leaving school, I started to attend interviews to try to find employment. I would normally stutter more when under pressure or when meeting new people and both of these situations are prevalent in an interview situation. I would normally arrive at the interview very tired after a lack of sleep through the stress of it all and I have to say found it very difficult to convince any employer to take me on.
At the age of twenty-two I managed to overcome the stutter and now run The How To Stop Stammering Centre in Birmingham.
Keeping In Touch Taking Emails A Step Further
There are many reasons why some people never move. This is a topic for later discussion, but for now lets focus on those individuals who do hop from country to country and make new homes in different countries and often on other continents. Are you one of those people whose address seems to be forever changing?
Luckily, for us expatriates we live in an era of technology when we do not have to rely on the regular mail any longer. Contact is at the tips of our fingers. E-mailing has become a favorite way of keeping in touch with friends and family for all peoples around the world, and specifically for expats. This tool has made the expat lifestyle so much more convenient, acceptable and viable. Family, friends and clients are just an email away.
However, emails are no longer enough. Hearing a voice is comforting and needed. It also puts the issue of distance into perspective. Yes, we may be on the other side of the world, but we are truly only a heartbeat or a phone call away. There is nothing better than surprising friends and family with a phone call just to chat or to wish them on special days. Also, in matter emergencies we need to be able to pick up the phone and make that connection without having to pay the earth for it.
Dear expats, we no longer need to worry about the expense of these calls. Can you imagine being able to call someone on the other side of the world and not have to pay for the call, not even a single cent? Believe it or not it is possible. Maybe some of you have heard about Skype and have been too wary to try it. Then again many of you may not have heard of these telephonic services that are readily available to us over the computer. Well, let me inform you that it works, it is cheap and it has changed the level of my communication with people around the world. I use Skype on a daily basis, sometimes three or four times a day. Because of Skype I am in regular phone contact with friends and family, I study internationally and I operate my business on a truly international level.
All you need is a computer. In fact you do not even need to have your own personal computer. Once you have an account set up, you can log into any and make your call. You will, however, need a need a fairly good headset and these do not cost an arm and a leg.
Go to Skype www.skype.com and download the program. It takes an easy 10 minutes. Set up your account and you are ready to make your calls. If the other person also has a Skype account, both parties involved do not pay a penny for the call. However, if you are calling to a regular landline or cell phone number you are charged for the call, but at an extremely low and very acceptable rate.
If you want to improve the quality of your communication as an expat, Skype or another such telephonic service, may just be your answer. Why not give it a try?
Quote of the week
" Communication is a skill that you can learn. It ' s like riding a bicycle or typing. If you ' re willing to work at it, you can rapidly improve the quality of every part of your life. " Brian Tracy
Are you experiencing communication difficulties in any one of the following areas? Your expat surroundings. Your job. Your family. If you would like to improve the quality of your communication in one of these areas, please take advantage of this week's free offer and sign up for a free coaching session. As a coach, I offer you my time and energy as a gift. I will help and support you in finding and putting into practice the tools that will enable you to improve this area of your life. Are you ready to explore?
Is Your Life A Do It Yourself Project
We all know life is full of choices. The most powerful choice you have to make is how you view your life.
Choice #1: Life happens, you react
Choice #2: You are the director of your life
The wonderful thing is that there is no "wrong" choice. Since it's your life, you decide which is best for you. However, each option produces extremely different results. Perhaps the best approach is not to choose which option you like, but choose the option that has the end result you believe is best for you.
End Result of Life Choice #1 - Unknown
It's impossible to determine the outcome here. Why? Because you're letting everyone and everything else determine your life's outcome. The one constant is that you will spend your life reacting to events around you.
But beware: many who choose this road end up considering themselves a victim of life. It's easy to spot a Life Choice #1 individual - they are full of excuses and are quick to blame others. Like why they're late every day to work ("traffic is horrible"), why they have no job ("nobody will hire me"), why they don't have supportive relationships ("my parents didn't teach me who to look for"), and in general, why they just can't seem to get ahead.
End Result of Life Choice #2 - Known
The outcome here is much better defined because you are in charge. Essentially, your life is a movie, full of main characters, supporting casts, dramatic events, and even a few twists in the plot. The exciting part about Life Choice #2 is that you are also the director in your own life. What do directors do? Edit. Review. Revise. Add comedy, love, action - whatever it is that makes the movie best.
It's easy to spot a person who's chosen Life Choice #2 - you take responsibility for your actions and accept the consequences, both negative and positive. The end result is that your life is yours.
Who's Your Life Director?
You...or everyone else? (Remember that not making a choice is not an option - it's a passive way of picking Life Choice #1 - letting life happen.)
Now is the time to actively take control of your life. What path do you choose?
Be A Storyteller Not Just A Speaker
Stories develop themes. The themes chosen to illustrate the possibility of stories are:
Relationships, Choice, Creativity, Making a Difference, Celebration.
Speakers are ordinarily people, from teachers to grandparents, from mountain climbers to cancer survivors. The platform provides them with a privilege and awesome responsibility to share their stories in a way that helps the audience to "wake up." Good stories make people say, "Wait a minute. I can think or act differently about everything than I did before." Stories are everywhere. Speakers learn to retrieve them and retell them to audiences as a way to show their humanness to show they care; to open people to possibility thinking and how making mistakes will lead to the courage to finally help them succeed. Because most of us delineate our thoughts visually, great stories help to enhance and even transform our lives.
Be unique. Think funny thoughts. Live and re-live your story when you are telling a story. Words are critical so be sure to pause when necessary and BE IN THE NOW. Your words need to create an image in the audience's mind so that they can remember your story. They may be a step away from their own story. This will strengthen the connection between you and them.
It's a good idea to use props to enhance your humor. Remember most people have an attention span of six to eight minutes.
The Coach asks... what is your story?
Training Why It Has To Be At The Top Of Your People Agenda
If you ever wonder why your organization should invest time and money in training, then these 7 reasons should convince you.
1. Integration. Integrating people into the organization was the original purpose of training. You trained employees so that they could continue the systems, purpose, and procedures of the organization. Take the Roman Empire, for instance. "The Roman Empire grew so large and survived so long because there was no car, no radio, no papers, and no phone. You appointed your governor to run a province, fully trained him at headquarters before he went, and then sent him off to run it." (Antony Jay). In many big organizations, integration is still the number one reason for training people.
2. Beating the Competition. Today, just knowing how the organization functions isn't enough to ensure its survival and that of the people in it. When faced by intense competition, employees who are well-informed, well-skilled, and highly committed become the chief reason for an organization's success. As former head of General Motors, Jack Welch, said, "An organisation's ability to learn, and to translate that learning into action rapidly, is the ultimate competitive advantage."
3. Developing Assets. It is only in the last few decades that people have woken up to the fact that their employees are their most valuable asset. When that asset is developed, it becomes more valuable to the organization as well as the employees. A study by Robert Zemsky and Susan Sharman of the University of Pennsylvania found that a 10% increase in training spend resulted in an 8.5% increase in productivity. A similar increase in capital expenditure resulted in only a 3.8% increase in productivity. In other words, training pays.
4. Performance. It is strange that, while we would never accept that a top-class athlete, doctor or circus performer could ever achieve high standards without training, we so often ignore training in the workplace. We argue that we don't have time to train, or the means to do it, or that nothing changes afterwards. But, if it can work in every other profession, why not in the workplace? After all, would you want to be operated on by an untrained surgeon?
5. Change. The rapid changes of recent years have transformed the way we view training at work. Where once it was something given to the unskilled and under-performing by specialist departments, now it is an essential for everyone.
"Whereas in former years an organisation could expect reasonable periods of technological stability between waves of change, today in more and more industries, one change rapidly follows another. The purpose of training is to help people develop skills not only for today's technology but for tomorrow's and the day after's. Learning has to be continuous for everyone because organisations face continual change in products, services, processes, markets, competition and technology." ("Training for new technology")
6. Practice. One of the most important aspects of training is that it allows people to get things right for when it really matters. In his book "Global Challenge", Humphrey Walters describes how his yacht crew prepared for the BT round-the-world race with an intensive period of training. When their yacht hit the Southern Indian Ocean, disaster struck: one of the crew went overboard. The rest of the crew had just 4 minutes to save him. Their pre-race training meant they knew exactly what to do. Without the training, he would have certainly drowned.
7. Developing Excellence. We are all born with talents and gifts which nobody else quite possesses as we do. Unfortunately, the vast majority of people either live in total ignorance of their potential or fail to develop it. When professional developers discover people's unique potential, nurture it, build on it, develop it, and release it, they do far more than help those people perform. They create excellence.
"Luciano Pavarotti, arguably the greatest tenor in the world, was an average singer in the boys' choir at school. But, by studying, practicing, and rigorous training, he became a peak performance of excellence." (Charles Garfield)
Without training and development, an organization today is likely to struggle to beat the competition, achieve high levels of productivity, or keep its best workers. Put training at the top of your people agenda, and your success is almost guaranteed.
The Power Of Vision In Coaching How To Create Your Own And Help Your Clients With Theirs
Having a strong, clear vision is the cornerstone of coaching success - both for coaches and their clients. A great coach must not only have a strong vision of their own; they must also be able to help their client or "PBC" (Person Being Coached) developing theirs.
The best visions are clear, useful, achievable and inseparable from who and what you (or your clients) are. As a coach, if you can master the skill of helping to create clear and authentic visions in yourself and others, you'll be light years ahead of your competition. . It helps both you and your clients with the foundation upon which they can build a successful and satisfying life - both personally and professionally.
FIRST, WORK ON YOUR OWN VISION
Without a clear vision of what you want to do, where you want to go, or what you, success will be much more difficult - even impossible - to achieve.. How can you know what to do - what actions to take - if you don't know where you're going?
Not having a vision is like sailing without a destination. You end up on the Sea of Destiny without a port, wandering the ocean aimlessly, getting blown in whatever direction the wind is headed. When a challenging storm bears down, the gale-force winds will likely capsize your latest plans immediately. You'll end up looking like you were aboard the Ship of Fools.
Having a clear vision and mission is what gives you that destination. Even though gale-force challenges may temporarily capsize your progress, you'll more easily be able to get back on course and reach your objectives.
Contrary to what many people think, visions do not usually magically appear. They can take time - requiring introspection, self-analysis, and journaling. It also helps to review your past successes and - just as important - your past disappointments and failures. Draw on your dream, talents and desire. Observe your calling to be a coach.
The first place to look when developing your vision is within - to that deeper inner self. You can draw upon your talent, dreams and desires, or whatever other avenues help you uncover those nuggets that will become your navigational beacons in life.
Unfortunately, there are usually no shortcuts in creating your vision. You can't just "make it up"; it takes WORK. But the rewards for doing this work can save you years - even a lifetime - of frustration by enabling you and your clients to live the life one is destined for.
SEVEN IDEAS TO HELP DEVELOP YOUR VISION
Idea 1: Listen and Look Within
Since vision starts within, it makes sense to listen and feel what your mind and soul really want. What stirs your heart? What is your greatest desire? What do you dream about?
Bottom line: Make sure your vision comes from within. If what you want to pursue does not truly come your inner depths, it will likely be impossible to achieve.
Idea 2: Seek the Help of Others; Make It a Team Sport
We do not live in a bubble. Utilize a team where you can. Heed the advice of a person who has more experiences in you - especially in coaching. Find a coach who works on vision. Seek help from friends who know you well. They can help you confirm or question your own observations and provide a reality check.
Creating a MasterMind Group of 4-6 people also working on their vision can be extremely powerful. Use weekly or semi-weekly calls to support each other and keep the momentum going.
Asking and using others for guidance not only helps you with your own vision; it also puts you on the receiving end of help. This experience will in turn help you when you become the coach helping others with their vision. You'll have done the proverbial "walk in their shoes".
Idea #2: Create a Sacred, Inner Space to Go Deeper
The vision you create for your practice begins in your mind and heart. It is something you can feel, taste, see, hear and touch with your soul.
Creating a supportive, inner environment is a powerful way to aid you in developing your vision. To access the inner depths of your mind and heart, find a way to retreat to a serene and tranquil place where your mind is free of the "outer noise".
In this sacred space, your heart, mind, and soul can more easily access what might be called Source. What you can find there is your most Authentic Self. Tap into this successfully, and your vision is likely to spring forth easily.
Though your mind may resist with every fiber of its being, try surrender into this emptiness. Check your brain out at the door. A Zen master once said, "You already are that which you seek." But you'll find it much easier to uncover that if you are relaxed and can get your mind out of the way.
Step 3: Ask (the Right) Questions
Ask the questions that provoke and encourage answers to the deeper questions. These might include:
Why Advice Giving Is Not Advisable
Often in our interactions with family and friends, problems being encountered would inevitably be brought up. Inevitably too, in trying to be helpful, we often react by giving advice on how to solve the problem.
However, this is generally not recommended, for the following reasons:
We assume we know what the problem is and forget to be a listener, to find out enough details about the problem and the other person's point of view.
We forget to extend empathy to the woes of the other person.
We get 'credit' for being the one to give the advice since the advice is likely to be something that the adviser has done or others have done that was successful. So if the listener does not succeed or had done it before but it was not successful, the implication is that it is not because the advice was not good, but the listener has not applied it well. This tends to make the advisee feel stupid and incompetent.
When we give advice, we're talking 'down' to the other person as we become the 'expert'. We're so eager to talk and show our knowledge and 'wisdom' that we do not interact at an 'equal' level with the other person. We take on the position of 'expert' and might tend to forget that the other person also has knowledge to share with us.
We are giving the message that we think the person cannot work out the solution himself. This is disempowering for the other person.
We belittle the efforts that have been taken by the person. We become the evaluator of what the person has done rather than helping him/her to self-evaluate.
Example of Advice Giving:
A: Jolyn and I are having problems. We have been having more quarrels lately.
B:Hmm... I'm always thought both of you were not suitable for each other. (B is getting credit for his prediction. B is not asking questions to find out more about A's problems)
A:Well, we were getting along pretty well. But I've been very busy with work recently and haven't had time to go out with her. She feels I'm spending too much time on work.
B:It shows she does not understand you (B is assuming he knows what the problem is). Maybe you should break up with her (advice giving, implying A cannot work out a solution). It could be a blessing in disguise.
A:I'd be miserable. Don't know what I'd do without her.
B:You'll get over it (B is not extending empathy to A). I did too when I broke up with Doris 2 years ago. (B is giving himself credit)
A:I sent her roses to make up but it doesn't seem to work.
B:I don't think that will work with her (evaluating what A has done). Since she wants time with you, just put aside your work and make time for her.
A:I have deadlines to meet.
B:Well, you have to decide what you want (this is not likely to be helpful to A's dilemma and might make him feel stupid and incompetent instead.)
Using Questions in conversations is generally more helpful as it helps the other person think through the issues that they have. Example is this conversation below:
A: Jolyn and I are having problems. We have been having more quarrels lately.
B:I'm sorry to hear that (extending empathy). Would you like to tell me more about it? (being a listener, to find out details of problem)
A:I've been really busy with my work and haven't had time to go out with her. She feels I'm spending too much time on work.
B:Has it always been this way with your work?
A:No, it's these recent two months because of a big project. Deadlines to meet and other work pressures....
B:Must be tough on you.... (extending empathy to A and indirectly giving credit to A for holding up)
A:Yah... but I do need to make time for Jolyn... I have been working too hard. I should ease up a bit (self evaluation). I think I'll send her some flowers afterward and then call her for a dinner date tomorrow. (coming up with his own solutions)
B:All the best ...
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