Thursday, March 22, 2012

Faith vs. Fear - The Show Down

Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.
~Mark Twain

What do you fear the most?
Not being respected... not having love... not being listened to... not having financial success...? The list of things people fear is endless, as the things we fear are personal and unique.

The dream thief
I do know that fear is a dream thief. It keeps us shackled and imprisoned in worry, doubt, shame, and a host of nastiness. Fear is real, it is dark, and it is immobilizing. W
hat's the solution? How does one get rid of this evil called fear? How do we get our dreams and joy back? 

It ain't easy!
Believe me, I know it's not as easy as flipping a switch! I've heard those pie-in-the-sky types that claim it's easy to just throw off fear. I say it's not easy at all! It takes courage and resolve to acknowledge one's fear, look it straight in the eye, and say "you will not overcome!" 

Opportunity is knocking
I know that where there is fear there is opportunity. What? Yes! Opportunity to change a situation, change your life, change the world! In each of us we have gifts and a calling to make change for good. Our Creator equipped us individually with qualities and talents specifically for the challenges we face. Fear is the resistance to the glorious humans we were intended to be. 

The power of prayer
When faced with fear, God asks that we call in the big guns. He's there to shed light on His plans for us, to equip us anew with the tools and determination we need to fully and dynamically create the relationships, businesses, missions, and much more, that He planned for us. Know that He won't just step in without permission, you must ask for His powerful and amazing assistance.

Take fear head on 
Look at fear for what it is: an evil dream stealer. When you are equipped with courage and resolve, when you have faith that God is using you for powerful and good, fear recoils and slithers away. 

Let your faith be bigger than your fear! 

Monday, March 19, 2012

Making Your Wish a Goal!

Do you make lists of the things you want? Do you ever journal the dreams you have for a new or better life? Writing out what you intend is a powerful step to moving a thought into reality, be it the day-to-day achievements in the work place or when and when your want to retires.

You say you don't have time to journal or write out goals? Thinking in ink is a way to set where you want to go and to realistically track where you are in your progression. It's a powerful planning tool.

Need some help with this? SHINE is here to get you started. Drop me a note and together we'll set you on the way to making those wishes a reality! 

Monday, March 12, 2012

Having "that" conversation

Lately, I've been doing a lot of thinking about why key conversations are so hard for most people. We all know "that" talk you have with someone that you dread, those talks that seem confrontational or tend to be emotional. 

Here are a few tips to have in mind that will keep these difficult conversations manageable:
Steer clear of combat mode
When difficult conversations turn toxic, it's often because we've made a key mistake: we've fallen into a combat mindset. You set up a winner and a loser; who's going to win? Well, you hope it's you! In reality, when this happens, everyone loses. The real enemy is your combat approach.

Its complicated
Think about it, if what you need to talk about was easy, you probably wouldn’t even be worried about the conversation. It’s because there’s a lot going on that you need this chat. Don’t over simplify a bunch of things and ball them up into one little conversation. Remember that if it was simple you wouldn’t be having this conversation. Complicated is ok; just remind yourself of that!

Give a little respect
Respect the person you’re talking to. Respect the problem you're trying to resolve. And, respect yourself. Making sure that you respond in a way you can later be proud of will prevent you from being thrown off course if your counterpart isn't seeing the situation the same way you are.

State what your really want
Fear, anger, embarrassment, defensiveness – any number of unpleasant feelings can course through us during a conversation we'd rather not have. Some of us react by confronting more aggressively; others, by rushing to smooth things over. We might even see-saw between both counterproductive poles. Instead, move to the middle: state what you really want. The tough emotions won't evaporate. But with practice, you will learn to focus on the outcome you want in spite of them.

Avoid taking the bait
Every one has a weak spot. And when someone finds ours – whether inadvertently, with a stray arrow, or because he is hoping to hurt us – it becomes even harder to stay out of the combat mentality. Whatever it is, take the time to learn what hooks you. Just knowing where you're vulnerable will help you stay in control when someone pokes you there.

Get rid of the script
If we're sure a conversation is going to be tough, it's instinctive to rehearse what we'll say. But a difficult conversation is not a performance, with an actor and an audience. Once you've started the discussion, your counterpart could react in any number of ways – and having a "script" in mind will hamper your ability to listen effectively and react accordingly. Instead, prepare by asking yourself: 1. What is the problem? 2. What would my counterpart say the problem is? 3. What's my preferred outcome? 4. What's my preferred working relationship with my counterpart? 

You know what they say about assumptions
We tend to forget that we don't have access to anyone's intentions but our own. Remember that you and your counterpart are both dealing with this ambiguity. If you get stuck, a handy phrase to remember is, "I'm realizing as we talk that I don't fully understand how you see this problem." Admitting what you don't know can be a powerful way to get a conversation back on track.

Keep sight of the goal
Go into conversations with a clear, realistic preferred outcome. Remember how you want your relationship with your counterpart to be. Think carefully about any obstacles that could interfere with either the outcome or the relationship. Remember, "winning" is not a realistic outcome. By doing so, you'll be less likely to get thrown off course by either thwarting ploys or your own emotions.

When we're caught off-guard, we're more likely to fall back into old, ineffective habits like the combat mentality. If you're not the one initiating the tough conversation, or if a problem erupts out of nowhere, stick to these basics:

content clear
tone neutral

When disagreements flare, you'll be more likely to navigate to a productive outcome – and emerge with your reputation intact.

My thoughts were based on Failure to Communicate: How Conversations Go Wrong and What You Can Do to Right Them by Holly Weeks.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

When you settle, nobody wins

When you settle, nobody wins

What have you settled for because the economy seems to hold you back, your important people have expectations for you, or because your dream seems too big? 

Pay attention to how you feel come Sunday evening. Do you look forward to the new week with all of it's possibilities? Or, do you dread Sunday even coming because it means work the next day!

It's time to put a little thought and energy into what brings you joy. Take time this weekend to journal, discuss with your spouse or friends, or take it to your knees. Then... let's look for ways to make it happen.

Send me an email message with your thoughts and together we can work out a plan to make you SHINE!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Difficult Times?

It's the journey that tests the dream
Times difficult? Are you ready to jump ship? Setting sail is easy. Pulling into port is grand. It's the journey the proves how much you believe in yourself. If your dream is worthy, if you know the goal is good, then hold on with all you have!