Do you often think about doing something different or implementing a new idea only to allow fear to stop you dead in your tracks without giving the opportunity a try? Do you frequently conjure up a list of reasons to be inactive, why you shouldn’t try or can’t accomplish something?
All too often we build roadblocks to personal and professional success because we allow fear to be a governing force in our life.
Recently, I had the privilege of interviewing for the second time, an incredibly inspiring man, Sean Swarner, who went beyond the bounds of being human and not only faced his fears, but conquered them!
In his teen years, Sean was diagnosed two times with different, unrelated end-stage cancers, and each time he was not expected to live for more than a few weeks. He underwent rigorous treatment, which included the removal of one lung. Throughout his ordeal, Sean wasn’t sure if he would live and he wondered about the future quality of his life. He astounded the medical community when he survived both diseases. But, he didn’t just survive, he emerged stronger than anyone could have imagined!
Developing mental strength was the topic of conversation that I recently had with Amy Morin, author of the 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do series. To be honest, up until a few years ago, I never thought about mental strength or the role it played in my life. I just lived, moment to moment, blindly existing. It wasn’t until my life literally imploded and I came out the other side that I started to wonder how I made it through those challenges, relatively unscathed.
“If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands, if you’re happy and you know it clap your hands, if you’re happy and you know it and you really want to show it if you’re happy and you know it clap your hands”
Thinking about this song brings back joyous memories of dancing around my family room singing it with my children and perhaps, even having it sung to me as a child. The lyrics are simple and yet so profound – if you’re happy and you know it, show it (feel it, live it, experience it).
This past weekend I tried something that I had never done before. One of my friends invited me to a Tarot card party where an expert would offer private readings. Intrigued, I agreed to attend. During my reading, the woman said something that really struck a nerve with me; she told me that I don’t know when I’m happy.
Interestingly, this thought has been on my mind ever since I interviewed Dr. Rick Hanson, the author of Hardwiring Happiness. As a result of our discussion, I have been contemplating whether or not I truly feel happiness.
Recently, a friend who was contemplating separating from her husband gave me a call and asked my advice. A few years ago when my emotions were spinning out of control and I was in the throes of my marriage breakdown, I would have shouted, “Divorce the bastard!”
Now, six years post-divorce, I have gotten off the emotional rollercoaster called relationship breakdown and a cooler head prevails. My advice to her: slow down, you move too fast!
Have you ever had the opportunity to meet someone and before you met had an expectation of what you thought would occur or how that person would behave? It’s natural to worry about how an encounter will play out, especially if it is with someone you admire. It’s easy to make judgements based on assumptions, but I have found that more often than not, assumptions are wrong.
How many times has someone told you that he or she was going to do something and then it never materialized? How many times have you promised something to another only to let that person down?
Promises are powerful. They are given to fulfill a need of another. When someone makes a promise it is usually made with the best of intentions and in that moment, the person believes that he or she will be able to complete the offer. Then the person goes off like a busy little bee, involved in the tasks of daily life, and his or her words become a distant memory.
The problem is that the recipient of a promise remembers every word said. Often, spoken words are a life jacket to a drowning person and that person clings to them for survival.
One of the questions that I am often asked by email, via Facebook, or during my lectures, is how to permanently end a relationship with someone that is a negative force in a person’s life. I have heard many terms to describe these types of people, but one of my favorites is energy vampire, because the person zaps the life out of you.
A relationship doesn’t have to be romantic to fall into the toxic category.
Ending a relationship can be one of life’s greatest challenges. We all have a few people in our lives that we allow to treat us in a manner less than we deserve. Cognitively we know that if we don’t change something, the result will be the same, but once that music starts, we jump right into the same old dance.
Communication is an important part, if not the most important part, of any relationship. The way you communicate has a major impact on your ability to get along with the various people in your life – spouses, children, coworkers, friends, and neighbors. When communication breaks down, relationships suffer. According to recent research, poor communication is the number one reason why couples (and friendships) break up.
Any relationship worth having experiences conflict at some point. The conflict isn’t the problem (conflict is a natural part of intimacy), how the situation is handled is the determining factor in whether the relationship will deepen or be torn apart.
I was watching television recently when it happened … I saw the first commercial for the Valentine’s Day diamond collection – you know, the gift that every woman will treasure. As I listened to the music and watched as the camera panned the romantic setting, waves of emotion overcame me like a tsunami. At that moment, in my mind, everyone in the world was in a loving, committed relationship and I was going to be the only person sitting home alone on February 14 (most likely eating ice cream).
Realistic assumption? Of course not. But for a few minutes the drama queen in me took over and my emotions ran wild. Fortunately, I was able to reign them in, but the feelings I experienced are very common.
I’m a control freak. There … I said it. I like everything to be in perfect order. I have a difficult time when there is a mess in my surroundings or in my life. Being a person who is addicted to certainty is manageable when everything goes as planned, but what happens when life throws a curve ball? That’s when things get interesting!
As a driven, type A personality, I made sure it was all in order. College … marriage … two kids … a house with a fence … money in the bank. I left nothing to chance. There was always a master plan.
Then, one day, without warning, it all began to unravel. At first it wasn’t anything major, a few issues here and there, but before long, piece by piece, my life fell apart. And when it did, I didn’t know how to cope. I was a person who was addicted to certainty and everything was out of my control. Fear of the unknown consumed me.