The Art of Being Thankful

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Being thankful for all that we possess is essential to opening our hearts and minds, as it takes the focus off of all that we believe we don’t have and shows us that we do. This practice alone has been rated as the #2 way to raise happiness, for when we focus on our negatives we can’t ‘see’ any positives; and we will attract more negative in our lives.

 

You can blame your left brain for this; isn’t it time to get into the right where positivity and optimism live?

 

This is why gratitude and giving thanks is crucial. But it needs to be done consistently so it will become a good habit.

 

When we take the focus off of the negatives, and put it to seeing the positives, this is where the magic happens.

 

Being positive and optimistic creates good feelings to emerge and your focus will go towards now seeing only the good; the negatives won’t seem so catastrophic and you will do what it takes to handle them.

 

The Solution

One solution is  cheap and easy to do:  create a “Gratitude Jar.”

 

You might be asking, what this is and how will it lead me to being more positive; well, because we often tend to focus on the things we don’t want or don’t have in our lives we are actually attracting them.

 

This can lead to having a ‘victim’ mentality, as if life is unkind or throwing you lemons and not lemonade.

 

Creating a Gratitude Jar, that you fill daily, will show you that there is good in your life; you will now be more appreciative of them and work to keep them and/or improve upon them. Your brain chemicals will alter, leading to enhanced feelings of appreciation, happiness, and optimism.

 

It doesn’t matter if you use a jar, a box (my preferred method), a basket or other vessel to capture your thoughts.  The important thing is that you do.

 

To create your gratitude jar, here are some steps to begin – it is actually a fun activity (your kids might love this):

 

  1. Get a jar  and decorate it by using paints, markers, pictures or stickers.  Label it, either “My Gratitude Jar”, “My Daily Thanks” or “My Thankful Life” as suggestions.

 

  1. Have small slips of paper – I use post-it notes – and a marker; these are where you can write down your daily thanks.  It is important to remember to give thanks for all that you have, no matter how big or small; it could be as simple that you have life or that you ate the salad instead of that piece of cake.  The little things help to make you more aware of all good in your life. Be sure to also write down what you are thankful for about you – compliments you hear, strengths, skills, or natural abilities, or positive actions you take towards others – these will lead to increase self-love and confidence.

 

  1. Put these in a place that is accessible and visual to see; this will help to get you in the mode of filling the jar as well as enhancing your awareness of your great life.

 

The only other step is to commit to taking action on this and being consistent; I recommend writing at least three things daily or as you are more aware.  One thing that is in my box – I am thankful for all of you and feel blessed to have you as a part of my life.

 

 Action Plan

 

Make this week your official “Gratitude Week.”  Make your jar and begin filling it on a daily basis.  Pay it forward by passing the idea on to those in your circle so their lives are equally enhanced.  Be sure to pay attention to how your attitude and your life changes.

As a client of mine, who has been practicing her gratitude says: ‘Gratitude makes everything turn into a gift.”

I hope you have a successful week – If you need help gaining clarity on your business or career goals, or in developing your action plan, why not get some help – stop the struggle and call today to get started. I’d love to help you build the career and business of your dreams!

 

Are you Leading from the Front or Back?

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Leadership is so critical today. Poor leadership is one of the top reasons for employee disengagement and turnover. Many who get into leader roles often do so through attrition or are put into their roles in a quick manner. But are they truly prepared for the role?

I don’t think most who aspire for a leader role truly take the time to decide on the type of leader they want to be and determine the skills and traits they want to portray. Especially considering that people follow those who they identify with, i.e. traits, or characteristics. This means that those already in this role have a responsibility to self-assess and ensure they are portraying skills attributed to leadership, such as drive, determination, integrity, and sociability (Northouse, 2010).

 

Those who aspire, or are new in leader role, can also do the same and work to develop their skills. One other area is to know is if you are leading from the front or the back. I had a client who was fairly new in their role and discussed that they needed to lead from the back, feeling that leading from the front was a negative position. I’m not sure this person understood the meaning but it did give me pause and consideration.

The client felt that leading from the front means it’s all about them and their needs, and does not take individual workers into consideration, while leading from the back means that the leader takes a ‘back seat’ and let’s employees steer the ship. I don’t know if either of these is correct, although I think it depends on one’s point-of-view.

To lead from the front, in my opinion, is to be the guide for workers; leaders set work goals and then allow their people to work autonomously while providing support and encouragement. Daniel Pink, in his book Drive (2010), says that autonomy is one of three motivators that drive performance (the others being purpose and mastery). Front leaders don’t abdicate their power but they don’t use it to be oppressive (micromanaging).

Leading from the back, to me, means the leader allows their people to shine while being there to uplift and help to problem-solve, as needed. The best leaders I’ve worked for have led from both the front and the back – they’ve recognized the strengths and skills of their workers and allowed them to work in their own way, which got work done faster and with more quality; they were there to motivate through affirmations and recognition. These leaders are often comfortable being in the background but their presence is felt by all. Essentially, their ego does not get in the way but they know their position.

Whether you are in a formal leadership position or not, you are leading in some form or fashion, i.e. leader in your family, leader in a group you belong to, leader of yourself). Take time to be more aware of how you are leading in both your work and your life – these skills apply not just in one area so it means you need to recognize and use them to  be a leader. Keep developing your skills – read, work to master them, and look to inspire others to do their best; this is truly leading from the front!

Committed to Your Success Coaching & Consulting focuses on workplace happiness and organizational success. If you need help gaining clarity on your business or career goals, why not get some help – stop the struggle and call today to get started! https://www.cyscoaching.com or barbara@cyscoaching.com

How To be a Leader in Your Workplace: 5 Skills to Get You There

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How to Be a Leader in Your Workplace: 5 Skills to Get You There

Many jobs require that employees be “team players.” You may hear that so often that it becomes meaningless. But it isn’t – being a team player is a fairly broad term, and it can include an important attribute that employers appreciate: leadership.

Being a leader in the workplace does not necessarily mean being a boss, manager, supervisor, or other “official” position, although it can mean that. Being a leader in the workplace can also mean setting a good example for others and/or heading up office programs and projects. Assuming the role of a leader might come easily for some people, while for others not so much.

 

I’m sure you’ve seen them (perhaps you’ve been one) – the employee who things seem to come to easily; you pick up skills quickly, achieve daily tasks timely, and people gravitate to them. These individuals are the ones who get promoted quickly or get more notice by upper management. What is it about them? Sometimes they naturally possess the right aptitude and skills but they also continually work on their own development, both personally and professionally.

 

Here are some tips and ideas that you can begin to work on, to follow the example of these high achievers, and how to be a leader in the workplace, so you get noticed and have more job satisfaction and engagement in the work you do:

 

  1. Be Confident

 

There’s a saying that can serve you well in the workplace: “Never let them see you sweat.” Of course, no one is perfect; but appearing confident inspires others to trust you and take your advice. One way to ensure that you appear self-assured is not to talk too much about your fears and concerns. Talk to friends outside of the workplace about your uncertainties. Identifying and owning your strengths and values will lead to self-belief and more confident. As simple as it sounds, walk with confidence – pull your shoulders back, or put your hands on your hips and see how much more empowered you feel.

 

See the Good in Others

 

Being able to see the good traits in others is a useful leadership trait in the workplace. If you need to put certain people in charge of certain tasks, it pays to know who will do well with what task. You also may see potential in a co-worker and “stretch” him or her by requesting a task that might be a bit challenging. This improves the overall skill set of the workforce, and helps build self-esteem in your co-workers. It also can lead to forming better relationships among team members so more gets done, which is something good leaders do.

 

Don’t Be Afraid to Delegate

 

There’s a difference between being a people person and being a people pleaser. Being a people person means you have a genuine love for people, but you’re not afraid to ask people to do things. Being a leader doesn’t mean just doing everything yourself; it means you are comfortable giving up some control and delegating tasks to others. Confident leaders aren’t afraid to let go and allow their staff to take over and lead.

 

Appreciate Co-Workers

 

No one wants to work for or with someone who doesn’t appreciate them. If you let everyone know you appreciate what they’ve done and how they’ve given their time and talents, it can go a long way. It’s always good to remember that there would be no leaders if there weren’t any followers. People who are appreciated may be more likely to follow your lead next time. Being recognized is something we all desire and leads to more satisfaction and overall happiness.

 

Problem Solving

 

If you step up with ideas on how to solve dilemmas, problems, and so forth, and have resourceful ideas about how to accomplish something, then speak up. Employers value the ability to think through a problem and find a creative solution. This is a valuable leadership quality as it shows you are part of a team and thinking of how to meet the needs of both customers and the organization overall.

 

These traits are highly desired by organizations as it puts the one who displays them in the high performing category, something which organizations invest in.

 

 

8 Little Changes to Make You Feel More Energetic and Productive

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Here Are 8 Great Little Changes to Make You Instantly Feel Healthier,  More Energetic, and Productive

What does optimal performance feel like? How do you feel when you’re performing ‘at your best’?

For many of us the answer would be a combination of energy, focus and good mood. If you’re interested in being healthier then you should focus on these things because not only will you feel healthier immediately, but you’ll also then have more energy and drive to stick to whatever other health programs or objectives you’re setting yourself.

In fact, a new study by Rand and Vitality, a nonprofit research company, activity is correlated with productivity, which leads to higher performance; it reduces absenteeism from health issues, in addition to improving sleep and mental health.

To achieve these kinds of small improvements, the best strategy to take is to focus on making small, cumulative changes that will build up over time. By gradually improving yourself with smaller goals you will find each change is easier to make and that you experience less resistance. These small changes then add up and provide you with more large scale success.

So what are some little changes you can make to start enjoying more energy, drive and health right now? Here are just a few:

  • Swap your coffee for a health drink – Do you drink coffee every morning on the way to work? Not only is this likely to cause tolerance and dependence for caffeine (making you groggier in the mornings) but it also means you’ll be missing out on the opportunity to get some health drinks in you. Try swapping this for a vegetable juice and see how much better you feel for all those vitamins and minerals.
  • Remove the sugar from your tea – This will not only reduce your calories and carbohydrate intake, it will also help you to get rid of your sweet tooth.
  • Set the alarm forward 10 minutes – Ten minutes more sleep makes all the difference in the world. It’s hard to convince yourself to go to bed earlier, but giving yourself an extra ten minutes in the morning can make all the difference.
  • Sit at the table when you eat – Sit at the sofa when you eat and you’ll feel lethargic and not want to get up.
  • Swap your socks – It sounds funny, but swap your socks for fresh ones halfway through the day and you feel energized!
  • Take calls outside – If you’re on your mobile why not use this opportunity to pace around a little and get some fresh air? Just a little fresh air makes a huge difference.
  • Wear brighter colors – Bright colors make others see you as more energetic, which means they treat you as more energetic, which makes you more energetic. That’s the law of attraction in process…
  • Breathe – even taking small, deep breaths will give you an instant energy booster as it calms your mind and body

Taking time to implement some of these changes will change your life overall. Not only will you have more energy but will be more accomplished as you tick off tasks on that ‘to-do’ list. I would add in there an added benefit and that is living longer – what more do you need!

The Two Most Important Words You Can Ever Say

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The Most Powerful Two Words You Can Ever Say

Has anybody said something to you in your life that has really changed the direction of your life? Has that ever happened to you? I’m sure it has.

 

I’m sure that when somebody that you cared and respected in your life said “I love you,” that changed your life for the better. On the other hand, if somebody who you trusted ended up betraying you by saying hurtful things or, worse yet, stabbing you in the back by saying negative things about you, that can put your life in a tailspin as well.

 

Words matter. They can cut as much as they can heal. Of all the words that people can say to you that can have a tremendous life-changing impact, there are two words that you have to wrap your mind around. These two words can help you change your life for the better.

 

In fact, the impact of these two words are so powerful that they can continue to have reverberations or a cascading effect throughout the rest of your life. You just have to say these words very clearly, very intently, and very purposefully. If you’re able to do that, then these words will carry you through because they seek to reprogram your mind.

 

Too many of us are walking around with invisible shackles or handcuffs. Nobody’s pointing a gun to our heads and saying, “Be miserable. Say to yourself that you can’t do certain things. Assume that you can’t do certain things. Act like a victim.”

 

Nobody’s doing that. Nobody has that kind of power over you. You’re doing it to yourself. That’s what those invisible shackles are. These are assumptions that limit us and reduce us. We don’t live the kind of unlimited powerful life that we’re other waste capable of living. We all have this potential in us but the problem is it remains potential and, before we know it, we forget about it.

 

Instead, we define ourselves based on our limitations. We say to ourselves, “I was born poor. My parents were abusive and were addicts or alcoholics and this is what I deserve. This is who I am. This is what I am capable of. I am behind hope.”

 

Most people will not consciously say things this way. However, they’re doing it in their minds – the subconscious thoughts that live there that direct thoughts and beliefs. You can see it in their actions. You can see it in how they live their lives. It’s as if they’re walking around in this invisible prison. They will never step over the lines delineating their comfort zone. Pretty sad, right? It’s very easy to dismiss those types of people but you’re doing it yourself.

 

If you are in any way feeling stuck, weak, underappreciated, or somehow oppressed in any area of your life, this is what’s happening to you. So, do yourself a big favor and say the two most powerful words you ever say to yourself. Say “I am.” When you do that, you define yourself.

 

More importantly, you take ownership of yourself. When you say “I am,” you are defining your life. So, be careful what words you choose to put after “I am.” If you say, “I am dumb. I am weak. I am a loser. I am poor. I am done,” then you just have condemned yourself.

 

Nobody can say those words to yourself and make them produce reality except you. Take ownership of this power. Be conscious of this tremendous responsibility and choose a better reality for yourself and it all begins with the words after the two words “I am.”

 

When you repeat those words “I am, I am, I am,” you say to the universe that you exist. You reclaim your voice. You are already there by being born. You were born with power.

 

It doesn’t matter what you look like. It doesn’t matter how much money your parents have. It doesn’t matter what your physical abilities are. None of that matters because you have that tremendous potential locked within you yet to choose to live like an ant. That is the tragedy behind all of this. That’s why you need to reclaim your power by being more mindful about what you say after “I am.”

 

Changing your self-talk and story will help you live life in a different way. It will help you achieve your dreams, and it all begins with a simple proclamation of “I am.”