Self-Responsibility Starts With an I

Self-Responsibility Starts With An I

Asking Questions and Making Choices

“Take your life into your own hands and what happens?

A terrible thing: no one to blame.”

—Erica Jong

 

 

In the following three scenarios what do the people have in common?

 

Josie is a woman in her twenties. She still lives at home with her mother who makes all Josie’s important decisions: how to spend her money, who to go out with, even what clothes to wear. Josie is anxious and depressed.

 

Matt ordered a new printer for his office. When it arrived he discovered it wasn’t compatible with his computer. “Those idiots,” he ranted, “why didn’t they tell me this was the wrong printer.”

 

Sally and Jerry had a big fight. Now Sally’s tossing and turning in the bedroom while Jerry beds down on the sofa. Neither one is getting any sleep and both think the other should make the first move to apologize.

 

If your answer was “Hey, no one is taking any personal responsibility here,” you’ve got a good eye for human behavior.

 

Because what Josie and Matt and Sally and Jerry all have in common is a lack of self-responsibility that leaves them dependent, impotent and victimized. They’re caught up in blaming others for their problems and waiting for somebody else to come along and make their life right. Unfortunately, they’re going to have a long wait because, in the words of self-esteem expert Nathaniel Branden, “No one is coming.”

 

This is the good news. Your life is in your hands. You get to make the choices, elect the options and take the actions that come with self-responsibility. It’s through the door of self-responsibility that personal power and independence enter, often hand-in-hand, bearing gifts of confidence and self-esteem.

 

Be clear though, self-responsibility is not the same as feeling responsible or accepting the blame for bad things that have happened or situations that are painful. We don’t all enter the world with the same trappings, and people, events or circumstances have wreaked trauma and caused wounds from which many are recovering. Self-responsibility means that when you have worked through your grief or anger or other issues, you can ask yourself: Now what am I going to do? What options do I have?

 

At the other end, self-responsibility doesn’t mean becoming so self-reliant you don’t ask for help when you need it or seek others’ opinions or points of view. And it certainly doesn’t mean you have to know everything, make every decision alone or take on the world single-handedly.

 

Rather than a heavy burden, self-responsibility can be a source of joy. Knowing you can create the life you want by accepting responsibility for yourself is a great freedom. Even saying the words aloud can produce a feeling of power and strength. Try it.

What are You Hoping For?

Hoping is Not a Hopeless Endeavor

“Hope sees the invisible, feels the intangible and achieves the impossible.” —Anonymous

Having a healthy dose of hope can be motivating and inspiring. It keeps people focused on what’s ahead instead of what’s in the past. It can also help keep the focus on possibilities, and reframe obstacles as opportunities.

For some, however, being hopeful goes hand-in-hand with feeling naïve or foolish when things don’t work out as planned. They would rather not have hope at all if it means later disappointment.

But for others, having hope doesn’t mean living in denial of life’s difficulties; it simply reminds them there are better times ahead.

The definition of Hope is the feeling of wanting something to happen and thinking that it could happen. Any person may hope for themselves or another in a multitude of situations concerning safety or compassion to success. The key is to how to have hope when one is not sure what type of future to think about. When one is motivated and inspired to have hope, one can focus on the future and not dwell in the past.

The cultivation of hope (a work in progress for some since it is a learned skill) brings the belief that change can happen for the better and one can better accept the present circumstances.

The Benefits of Hope
Research indicates that it’s more beneficial to have hope than not. Hopeful people tend to show more resilience when faced with difficulties. They have healthier lifestyle habits and, on the whole, are more successful, personally and professionally.
According to the Mayo Clinic, having a hopeful, positive attitude has health benefits as well. These include:
Increased life span
Reduced depression
Lowered levels of distress
Increased resistance to the common cold
Greater emotional and psychological well-being
Decreased risk of death from cardiovascular disease
Improved coping skills during difficulties/stress
In addition, people with hope typically have:
Meaningful long- and short-term goals
A plan to achieve those goals
Flexibility to find alternate ways to achieve goals when faced with obstacles
Positive self-talk

In other words, hope is good for well-being.

We humans are sometimes too inventive for our own good—we can envision a future course of action along with every potential catastrophe that could occur along the way. Don’t try to control the unknown. Being aware of everything that can go wrong often makes doing nothing—in an attempt to avoid failure or pain—seem like a viable option.
Cultivating hope, on the other hand, helps activate creativity and inventiveness and prompts us to solve the predicaments we face by taking action in spite of our fears.
Hope brings with it the belief that things can change for the better. Regardless of how dire things may seem, there is potential for a positive outcome.

An older definition of Hope is that of a feeling of trust. Trust that a hopeful presence will help yourself and  others be hopeful and be the best they can be. Learn to be in the present moment.
“Only love and the power of presence heals.” Jack Schwartz

Is It Possible to Be Too Hopeful?

It could be said that optimists have a healthy dose of hope while “extreme optimists” suffer from blinding hope. They want nothing to do with bad news.

Researchers at Duke University found that extreme optimists (you could call them “high-hopers”) don’t save money, don’t pay off credit cards and don’t make long-term plans, but they are more likely to remarry if divorced.

Moderation, as usual, is the key. The researchers also found that “moderate optimists” tend to:

Work harder
Work longer hours
Make more money
Save more money
Pay off credit cards

Being a moderate high-hoper doesn’t mean keeping your head in the sand when it comes to life’s occasional unpleasant circumstances. It just means keeping a positive attitude—believing the best will happen, not the worst. It is all about the mindset!

In other words, whether you expect the best or the worst from life, chances are that’s what you’ll get (P.S. Law of Attraction). Studies seem to suggest that being hopeful is a skill that can be learned. So whether you’re an extreme optimist, an extreme pessimist or somewhere in between, there is hope for us all.

People will understand that with hope they will gain Healing, be able to Overcome obstacles, see Possibilities and be Empowered! Having Hope is a human strength.

Mindset: How do You Keep a Positive Mindset?

Think Positively for Maximum Growth and Proper Mindset

Turn on the news and you’ll get an earful of how bad things are—not only in your community but around the world. Head to the coffee shop and conversations will battle for your attention as folks around you discuss their woes. It’s enough to make you want to bury your head in the sand. Not good for your mindset.

Yet, when you can harness a positive mindset, the sky is the limit. A positive mindset not only helps you get through the tough times, it helps you profit from them and continue to grow and succeed.

The trick, of course, is actually being able to think positively in tough times. Here are a few tips and ideas to help.

Gratitude

Gratitude is one of the most powerful emotions human beings are capable of. It’s right up there with love as a potent and significant emotion. It can transform the worst experience, erase a negative mindset and set you up on a path of continuous positivity.

One of the easiest ways to stay in a state of gratitude is to create a gratitude habit. Start or end each day by listing the things you’re grateful for. Also consider turning to gratitude when you feel negative emotions sneaking in and taking over.

Focus on What Is Working

If something is always going wrong, rest assured something is also going right. The trick is to focus on the things that are working. So make a list. Right now, make a list of the things that are going right in your life, in your business and in your relationships. Print the list and hang it in a place where you often feel overwhelmed. When negative thoughts begin to creep in, take a glance at your list. Read it aloud if it helps. Absorb it and change your thoughts.

Create Positive Surroundings

Surround yourself with things that you love and people that support you. Emotions are contagious. When the people around you are negative, it’s easy to become negative, too. However, the contrary is also true. When you’re surrounded by positive people, it’s much easier to feel positive.

When you’re surrounded by things you love and things that make you feel good, it’s easier to focus on the good. Make your home comfortable. Place personal pictures on your desk. Buy pillows and blankets in colors that you like. Paint your room or office a color that makes you smile. Change your surroundings and change your life.

Personal Care

Taking care of your mind and body makes a huge difference in your ability to stay positive. Exercise, eat well, get plenty of sleep and take time during the day to meditate. A little self-care goes a long way.

When it comes to maintaining a positive attitude, it can be a real challenge during the tough times. Small things matter and can make a big difference. Take care of yourself. Surround yourself with people and things that make you smile and remember to focus on what is good in your life. If you have to, make a list and keep it handy.

See previous newsletters for more reading: https://wandadavis.ca/newsletter/previous-newsletters/

 

How Do You Show Resiliency?

Bounce Back: Developing Emotional Resilience

Major disruptions are a “gotcha” we all experience at one time or another in our lives. We get fired, laid off or passed over; a loved one dies, leaves or gets in trouble; a project stalls or gets cancelled. The list, unfortunately, is endless.

For some, the impact of these hard times is overwhelming. Recovery, if it comes at all, can be painfully slow. Others show resilience and are admirably able to glide through these times fairly easily, bouncing back to a normal life again quickly. Resilience—the strength required to adapt to change—acts as our internal compass so we can resourcefully navigate an upset.

When unexpected events turn life upside down, it’s the degree to which our resiliency comes into play that makes these “make-or-break” situations an opportunity for growth. The good news is that each of us has the capacity to reorganize our life after a disruption and to achieve new levels of strength and meaningfulness. Though it’s easy to feel vulnerable in the midst of chaos and uncertainty, life disruptions are not necessarily a bad thing because they help us grow and meet future challenges in our lives. It’s a lot like a bone that was once fragile or broken, and is now strong from being used.

So how can you become more resilient? Here’s a look at seven key characteristics of people who demonstrate resilience during life’s curve balls.

A Sense of Hope and Trust in the World
Resilient people rely on their belief in the basic goodness of the world and trust that things will turn out all right in the end. This positive attitude allows them to weather times when everything seems bleak and to look for and accept the support that is out there. This approach toward the world gives them the ability to hope for a better future.

Interpreting Experiences in a New Light
The ability to look at a situation in a new way (a skill called “reframing”) can minimize the impact of a difficult situation. Resilient people take a creative approach toward solving a problem, and don’t always use an old definition for a new challenge.

A Meaningful System of Support
One of the best ways to endure a crisis is to have the support of another person who can listen and validate your feelings. Knowing that others care and will come to our support decreases the feeling of isolation, especially when tackling a problem alone. It’s important to choose people you trust. Don’t be surprised if it takes several friends, each of whom can provide different kinds of support. Resilient people aren’t stoic loners. They know the value of expressing their fears and frustrations, as well as receiving support, coaching or guidance from friends, family or a professional.

A Sense of Mastery and Control Over Your Destiny
You may not be able to predict the future, but you can tackle a problem instead of feeling at the mercy of forces outside of your control. Resilient people know that ultimately their survival and the integrity of their life values depend on their ability to take action rather than remain passive. Tough times call for you to tap into your own sense of personal responsibility.

Self-Reflection and Insight
Life’s experiences provide fertile ground for learning. Asking yourself questions that invite introspection can open a door to new understanding and appreciation of who you are and what you stand for. Giving voice to your thoughts and feelings leads to insight and helps transform the meaning of a problem into something useful. Resilient people learn from life situations and do not succumb to punishing themselves because of decisions made in the past.

A Wide Range of Interests
People who show resilience in the face of adversity are those who have a diversity of interests. They’re open to new experiences and ideas. Because their lives are rich and varied, it’s easier for them to find relief from the single mindedness and worry that often accompany a crisis.

Sense of Humor
Have you ever had a wry laugh during a difficult situation? The ability to see the absurdity, irony, or genuine humor in a situation stimulates our sense of hope and possibility. Humor has both psychological and physical benefits in relieving stress because it encourages a swift change in your perception of your circumstances—and when your thoughts change, your mood follows.

When you look to improve these seven areas now—rather than when adversity pays a visit—you’ll be able to bounce back more quickly.

Also, people who hire a coach are looking for change and if you are looking for big change, sometimes things will be quite different in your life. If you are resilient you are able to navigate the new waters with much more ease.

And as a teacher it is often observed that teens and children are not necessarily taught the skills of resiliency at home any longer. Too often parents are quick to solve any problems for their kids and give them anything they ask for. Technology has made it an instant gratification world. Kids today need more coaching in the skills of resiliency.

When life throws you a curve ball rely on your inner core strength to get you through things. Whether that curve ball is a small hiccup in your day or a bigger life event, you need to be flexible and adjust your sails so that you keep on sailing. More than likely, as you reconsider your plans and goals you will be presented with a lot more possibilities. You may need to let go of your original expectations, not resist and accept the new changes. But in the long run you may find that the new changes surpass your original expectations.

What is a Life Coach?

What is a Life Coach? A coach is a trained professional who has the skills that help individuals and organizations create positive changes and new possibilities. A coach helps the client define the steps that are needed to achieve both short term and long term goals. A coach listens and asks questions and the client asks him/herself more questions. And as we say in Access, asking questions is key to opening up your awareness to the possibilities.

A coach can help you define your goals, prioritize them and then set out action steps to reach those goals. But the most important part is a coach keeps you accountable. This creates the results. This goal can be a specific project or a big change in the client’s life. We help sort out the challenges and how to overcome them. Thus anyone could be working with a life coach. And those goals can be in any area: health, fitness, career, finances, relationships or spiritual, etc.

Reaching those goals does not have to be hard. Perhaps just having someone encouraging you and holding you accountable gets you moving forward. Things don’t have to be a struggle. Coaching is about empowering the individual to believe in him/herself and be in the mindset that the goal is easily obtainable. Life is all about ease and joy. Do you feel that way now?

Coaching is about reprogramming your subconscious mind to eliminate those limiting beliefs that are holding you back. Stay tuned for future workshops and talks explaining just how influential your subconscious mind is and you don’t even know how it is controlling your life. Using Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) to change the patterns of thinking and behaving creates permanent change and eliminates negative states.

With or Without Energy Work

And the bonus that I can offer is creating a coaching program with energy work to help further release of those limiting beliefs and thoughts and help keep your stress reduced and provide that feeling of well-being. How can it get any better than that? So Ignite the Possibilities with Wanda. https://wandadavis.ca/life-coaching/

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