Tag Archives: action

How To Be Brutally Honest With Yourself and Still Remain Positive

Guest post, especially for us, by Kiesha Easley from WeBlogBetter…  Thank you Kiesha.

I won’t lie, being completely and brutally honest with yourself is not the most pleasant activity.  In fact, it can get down right ugly.  Especially, if like most people, you’ve done some things in your past that you’re not too proud of.  No one likes to think of themself as the bad guy, but it happens.

What’s even worse is that while we’re doing hurtful things to people, it rarely bothers our conscious until the consequences slap us in the face.

When I think about how I used to treat my younger sisters when we were kids, my heart often aches with shame. I really neglected them and avoided spending time with them like the plague.  I’m nearly 10 years older than them and as a teenager, I just didn’t want to be bothered.

I’d yell at them and kick them out of the room without a second thought, and taking them to the playground was out of the question.

After we grew up, things got a little better, but nothing to receive awards over.  Yet, despite all of this, I was surprised and hurt when-

I overheard my sister tell someone that I wasn’t as nice as everybody thought I was.

Ouch! That hurt and my first response was sadness, as if I were the victim, when really what my sister was saying was totally true.  How nice could I really be if I could treat my sisters the way that I did?

I took some time to reflect on it and realized that the truth is that no matter how hard I try to be nice to others, sometimes I get grumpy. Most mornings I’m grumpy and unpleasant to be around.  I don’t like admitting it, but it’s true.  In order to be able to love and live with myself, I have to simply accept that fact.

The good news is that nobody has to be perfect; everybody is flawed in some way.  So why do we expect to be any different?

There are tons of things about myself that I don’t like, but I’ve learned that once I acknowledge the flaw, I can make a choice to try to improve the things that I can and learn to be at peace with things that I can’t.

That’s how I’m able to be brutally honest with myself and still keep a positive attitude.  That’s what keeps me from constantly blaming others; that’s what helps me accept responsibility for my actions.  Sometimes, I just have to apologize for being a jerk, and then do what I can to fix it and move on.

Have you ever been around someone who couldn’t accept responsibility for their actions to save their life? 

I know a few people who are always blaming others for their mistakes. They do this so much that even when there’s no one around to blame, they will still manage to find an excuse. If one night while driving alone, they ran a red light and crashed into another vehicle, when asked why they did it, they’d quickly blurt, “It wasn’t my fault! I was distracted because my girlfriend keeps stressing me out!” instead of accepting the brutal truth that they simply weren’t paying attention.

You don’t have to hate yourself for mistakes you’ve made. In fact, being able to accept the truth about yourself and still love yourself is a sign of maturity and integrity.

So what about you?

Do you ever have a hard time loving yourself when you think about the things you’ve done wrong over the years?

What do you need to accept about yourself?

 

Header image by cursedthing, post image byAnita Robicheau, on Flickr.

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And The Award For Most Boring Person Goes To..

Me, Me, Me!

One of my Face book friends commented after reading this recent  post

‘So many people are wrapped up in themselves, I often wonder what people know about me.  I’m a good listener but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t like people to show an  interest in me. People are often all about – Me Me Me !’

I decided to give this some thought and look for the Positive Spin:

Are you listening to me? 

Why do so many people think it’s always about them?

I’m sure you can relate to this….

I’m at a social gathering. I don’t know many people but I start to engage the guy next to me in conversation. He tells me his name, what he does (see this post), and off he goes…. He talks about his amazing job, his amazing family, his amazing holiday and after 15 minutes or so he’s asked absolutely nothing about me. I try to edge away to find someone to have an actual conversation with. 

A conversation!

That’s where more than one person talks and where people listen to one another.

So what’s the issue here?

  • What’s the point of a conversation?

We have conversations because we want to get to know one another. To do that we must share information, ask questions, listen to one another. We must pass the ball around.

  • Conversation is a skill.

It’s not an easy skill to learn. It’s a bit like a game of tennis: the two people take it in turns to ‘serve’. While the other person is ‘serving’ we must focus on them completely. Sit still, don’t fidget, and listen carefully to what they’re saying. Try to pick up some mutual subjects or threads that you can serve back to them later, when it’s your turn. But try not to interrupt.

  • What if it’s never ‘my turn’?

Sometimes the conversation never gets off the ground: it’s a monologue. Not easy. What I try to do is listen for a pause, however small, and perhaps ask a question, or pick up one of the topics they mentioned and add a remark or two. Perhaps change your sitting position or even fidget a bit to alert them that you’re still there! I’ve even resorted to saying, ‘Your holiday toSouth Africa/Barbados/Bournemouth sounds fun. I went to Edinburgh for a trip last month. Let me tell you about the highlights.’ If they still don’t let you ‘have the ball’ you have to make an excuse and find someone else to talk to.

  • It’s natural, even though it’s bad manners and rude.

It’s natural for some people to believe that they are the most important person in the room.

It’s just the way they are used to behaving. They assume that everyone wants to hear what they have to say. They have been allowed to get away with it. They seem oblivious of the problem because no-one has made it clear enough that it’s annoying.

They won’t change their behaviour because we’ve let them carry on ‘carrying on’ and they remain unaware of how selfish and boring they are.

We have to show them that we don’t like it. If they don’t listen to us at all, if they don’t have a conversation with us, we need to move on to someone who does. And there will be lots of people who are interested in listening as well as talking.

Next time you are introduced to someone new make sure that you:

  • Listen with real interest
  • Make eye contact, for a few seconds
  • Ask a question
  • Use their name, to help you remember it!
  • Don’t interrupt
  • When it’s your turn, don’t deliver a monologue!
  • Remember how it feels when the other person isn’t interested in you and do as much as you can to show that you’re interested in them. (Even when they’re not Angelina Jolie  or George Clooney…)

How do you deal with the ‘Me,me,me’ types?

What’s your Top Tip for my Facebook commenter?

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Beginners Guide to Solving The Problem of World Peace

It's our problem...

‘World Peace? Our problem? Stop it… now you’re being very silly…’

Errr, no. I’m not. Being silly, that is.

Every drop helps to fill an ocean…

Every Positive Action we take in our tiny ‘world’ will help to bring peace to the larger world, if we all join in.

We can do something to help.

All of us.

If we take the time to think it through.

 

I thought it through and I came up with:

The Beginners Guide to Solving the Problem of  World Peace.

1.   What if… we waited?

Not easy. Doesn’t come naturally. We tend to put ourselves first. 

  • What if we waited…. and let the car out in front? (What?)
  • What if we waited…. without moaning, in the queue? (No,I can’t…)
  • What if we waited…  for the other person to speak and not interrupt?(Impossible…)
  • What if we waited…  before jumping in with our opinion? (But….)

2.   What if …we took responsibility?

It’s easy to lay blame. I do it all the time. It’s not my fault.

  • What if …we admitted when we’re wrong? (Don’t be ridiculous…)
  • What if …we stood in the other person’s shoes? (Why should I?)
  • What if …we acknowledged when we’ve upset someone? (But that’s hard…)
  • What if … we… (good grief!) apologised? (But…)
  • What if …we stopped making excuses for our behaviour? (I can’t do that, because… well, just because…)

3.   What if… we took a back seat for a change?

Oh dear…

  • What if… we spent time listening to a friend’s problem, even when we’re really busy with our own stuff? (Not enough hours in my day!)
  • What if… we didn’t rush away when someone wants to chat and it’s not ‘convenient?’ (But I’ve so much to do.)
  • What if… we didn’t try to influence other people’s choices? (But they’ll get it so wrong!)
  • What if… we said ‘yes’ to a simple request, even when we ‘d rather not ‘because it’s too much trouble’? (Must I?)

4.   What if…we smiled rather than frowned?

It doesn’t seem to come naturally but people are surprised when you do!

  • What if… you smiled and waved at the driver who ‘cut you up’ on the motor way?  (He’d be very surprised! OK, or she would…)
  • What if… you smiled at the waitress when she brought you the wrong order, and just quietly pointed it out? (I suppose I could…)
  • What if… you smiled rather than exploded when you lost a document on the computer, because it was your mistake and no-one else’s? (OK, I get your point…)

5.   What if … we stopped  blaming?

I could write a lengthy list of all the people who’re responsible for everything that goes wrong for me. Starting with computer designers…

  • What if… it wasn’t the government’s fault that our schools don’t meet our children’s needs? (But it is, isn’t it?)
  • What if… it wasn’t the chocolate makers’ fault that you put on weight? (They shouldn’t make such tempting stuff…)
  • What if… it wasn’t your partner’s fault that the washing machine won’t work today? (It has to be his fault, I didn’t overload it…)
  • What if… it wasn’t your child’s fault that he missed the bus? (Of course it was.)

The more I think about it the more I realise that we could all do more to make – 

  • our everyday lives more peaceful,
  • our family’s lives more peaceful,
  • our friends’ lives more peaceful,
  • everyone we meet’s lives more peaceful,

(see where I’m going with this?)

What do you think?

  • Am I being too idealistic?
  • Am I being silly?
  • Or… can we help solve the enormous problem of world peace?

In a small way?

Join our World Peace Chain, mentioned in the comments!

What will YOU do?

 

Header image by cursedthing, post image by Cayusa, both on Flickr

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Ditch Your Addiction…And Help Solve A Huge Problem

‘Oh no! It’s absolutely pouring!’

‘I’ve just hung out my washing!’ (Yes, some of us in the UK still do that!)

‘I’ll get soaked, just walking to the car!’

Sound familiar?

It’s a UK habit.

We love to  moan about our weather, especially the rain.

I want to shout, ‘For goodness sake! It’s not life threatening! It’s only water!’

Wrong!

Lack of water, and lack of clean water is life-threatening.

I read this yesterday and I was shocked:

Please make the time to go over to this site and read more about the world’s water problem. You’ll be shocked too.

Today, Friday October 15th, is Blog Action Day.

The world’s bloggers from 125 countries are joining forces and blogging about the same issue on the same day, to promote discussion and action by as many people as possible.

This year’s issue is Water.

When I read about the world’s serious water problems I wondered how I could possibly help when the problem is so huge.

It’s easy to say, ‘How can I make a difference?’ and leave it to the ‘powers that be.’

But the more I thought about it, the more it dawned on me, that if everyone thought that way,  no major changes would ever happen.

By joining in with all the thousands of bloggers world-wide and posting about the water problem on the same day, at least I’m doing something, however small.

Tap water, in disguise…

In this ‘Positive Spin’ post for B.A.D. 2010, I will write about the problem of bottled water addiction.

I don’t understand why a bottle of water (the ‘correct’ brand, naturally, or should I say, un-naturally?) has become a fashion accessory.

Whatever next?

Bottled ‘fresh air’?

It’s become an addiction.

Why?

I wish someone would explain it to me…

 Every time I see someone carrying their wretched plastic icon, I want to go up to them and say,

‘Are you dehydrated? It’s not even warm today. Are you about to collapse from thirst?’

But of course I don’t, I simply glare and walk on by.

According to an article on the site above, one third of bottled water comes from exactly the same source as tap water. In fact, the ‘Big Three’ water bottlers in the US use municipal water as the basis for their product, selling it back to us at hundreds of times the cost.

And the majority of the plastic bottles cannot be re-cycled…

Silly, isn’t it.

Here’s How YOU Can Help Solve a Huge Problem.

  • Drink your water from the tap.
  • If you don’t like the taste, use a simple water filter.
  • I find tap water tastes much better with some lemon or lime slices in, and perhaps some ice.
  • If you must carry water with you, re-use a bottle and fill it with tap water or from your  jug in the fridge.
  • If you do buy water in a bottle, check the bottle can be  recycled.
  • Read about the world-wide water problem and look for simple ways that you can make a difference.
  • And finally…Ditch your addiction!

‘The jug fills, drop by drop.

The Buddha’

 

What will you do to help with this huge water problem?

There are lots of ideas on the site I linked to above.

What do you think about our addiction to bottled water?

Do tell us in the comments.

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Header image courtesy of cursedthing.

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What To Do When You Don’t Know What To Do

Any pianists amongst you Spinners?  

Imagine this:  

  • You’re ten years old.
  • You suffer a serious accident.
  • You have both arms amputated.

What do you do?  

You learn to play the piano with your toes.  

    

I read about Liu Wei, who learnt to play the piano this way.  

He recently appeared on ‘China’s Got Talent’ and got rave reviews.  

Take  a look at the video in the article at the end of this post and you’ll see what I mean…  

I think he should have rave reviews for even considering doing what he did, let alone achieving it.  

   

I started thinking about how we react to change in our lives.  

  • The kind of change we can do nothing about.
  • We winge, we wine, we stamp our feet, but we don’t deal with the change.
  • We don’t even accept it. We rail against it. Wait for it to go away. And when we’ve exhausted all our emotions…. it’s still happened….

  Here’s my Positive Spin on  

What To Do When You Don’t know What To Do  

There's always another way...

 

1.   Sit down and ask your self this:   

  • Is this change ‘life-threatening’?
  • If it is, there is a lot of professional help out there,
  • But if, most likely, it’s not, then breathe a sigh of relief.
  • It could be much worse. Liu Wei could have been left with only one foot….

2.   This as bad as it will feel.   

  • Tomorrow you’ll feel a little less afraid, and the next day too.
  • By then you’ll have distanced yourself from the issue a little, and be able to think more clearly.
  • Don’t rush into any decisions. There’s no need.

3.   What immediate, small, action can you take?  

  • Perhaps you failed some exams.
  • What do you want to do?
  • Retake?
  • Wait a year?
  • Choose a different course? Go with your gut feeling on this. 
  • Look at all your strengths and skills. How could you use them?

4.   Change your expectations.  

  • If one avenue is now closed to you, there are many others. Really! Oh yes…
  • Whatever your goal, there is more than one route to reach it.
  • If you have to wait to take the course of your dreams, what can you do meanwhile, to gain valuable experience? Travel? Voluntary work? Further study? Shadow someone in the role you hope for?

5.   You’re made redundant, out of the blue.  

  • It’s a shock, so do nothing until it fades a little.
  • Now get busy. Start updating your CV, (there’s free help out there for this), visit prospective employers and ask for an appointment with their HR person, scour the internet and press, talk to everyone and anyone who might have a lead. Work on this daily.
  • Look for support amongst fellow workers, friends, redundancy help lines and forums. You know you’re not alone!

Now look again at the article below and view the video of Liu Wei playing the piano.  

Will the sky fall in because you have to make this change?  

I don’t think so. 

Please pass the article and video on to anyone you know who is facing an unwelcome change in their life

 What advice would you give to someone who doesn’t know what to do?  

How have you dealt with sudden change in your life?  

   Related Articles  

 Header image by abyreed, post photo by Chris_Starscream, both from Flickr   

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How To Face Your Fears When You’re Too afraid To Try

‘I can’t…’

‘It’s all too much…’

‘I’ll never be able to…’

‘I’m so scared…’

Fear attacks us all.

It’s part of life.

Somehow it always seems far worse at night.

After writing about Night Fears yesterday, I’ve been thinking

and this is my Positive Spin on facing your fears.

Fear thrives in the dark.

It can be whatever it wants to be because we can’t see it.

It can take any form, any shape.

It can fill our minds with nightmarish imaginings and they multiply.

One fearful thought leads to another and before we know it we’re rigid, stuck, unable to face any of it.

Until…

we turn on the light.

As soon as we do that, fear cannot cope.

It shrinks, disappears, scuttles away into the corners where it thinks the light can’t go…

Light tells the truth.

It shows us how it is, not how we imagine it is. It makes everything clear, shows every detail. We can see the way we should go.

We’re no longer stuck.

In the darkness we say –

  • What if…
  • I can’t…
  • How can I…
  • I might not…
  • It might mean…

But when we ‘turn on the light’ we can say…

  • What’s the worst that can happen?
  • I can…
  • I might be able to…
  • Tell me more about…
  • All I need to do is…
  • Could you help me to…

 

Here’s my Positive Spin on the problem.

How to face your fears when you’re too afraid to try.

1.   Be clear about what fear is.

Fear is an emotional response to a perceived threat.

Notice the word perceived.

We all have different perceptions of fear.  I’m not afraid of clowns, others are!

What we need to do is reduce the perceived threat and the fear will reduce also.

2.      Take your head out of the sand.

Unless we accept that we’re afraid we can’t begin to face the fear.

Say it out loud. To the cat. To the dog.  You could even write it down.

3.   Turn on the light.

By this I mean, see it for what it actually is, not how you imagine it is. Stare your fear in the face. Decide to face it.

4.   Gather support.  Share the fear…shrink the fear.

There are many ways to do this –

  • google the problem,  
  • phone a friend/fellow sufferer,
  • talk to your GP/other half/mentor,
  • ask your family to help you.

5.   Take some action today, however small.

The longer we put it off the larger our fear grows.  You can say, ‘I don’t want to think about this right now. I’ll have another glass of wine…’

But tomorrow the fear will have morphed into a much larger fear.  It won’t simply ‘go away’. It’ll lurk in the dark corners of your mind.

With every ‘small’ action you will watch the fear start to shrink.

 As Dr Phil says,

‘If you want different you must do different.’

Dr Phil McGraw ‘Life Strategies.’

Last week I saw a challenge on Problogger.  As a newish blogger I immediately felt out of my depth, uncomfortable, incapable of taking the challenge. Others might be able to do it but not me.

Then, over on Jean’s Virgin Blogger Notes, I read her post about the challenge. Suddenly, I didn’t feel so alone. Gradually I began to face it, to at least try. The result was the post I wrote two days ago.

Jean read it and gave me the compliment of leaving a comment.

Wow!

I faced the fear, albeit a small one to some, but I perceived it as large.

I faced my fear when I was too afraid to try and learnt a great deal about myself in the process.

 It’s the same for you!

Whatever your fear is, small or large, just face it.

I know it works.

What fears have you faced?

What fears will you face, now that you’re not too afraid to try?

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Discover 5 Simple Strategies to Face Your Fears

 ‘Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.’

T.S. Eliot

 

Do you want to discover how to face your fears?

Today I will show you 

5 simple strategies that work.

  

For me it was roundabouts.

Very busy ones. Ones where I wasn’t sure which lane to be in, who had the right of way and how to swap lanes safely.

How I felt – worried about driving but highly motivated to do something about it

What actions I took – found a course of refresher driving lessons with a sympathetic teacher.

Result – I lost my fear of roundabouts.

Why did my action lessen my fear?

  • I was highly motivated
  • I took realistic action
  • I was prepared to learn and change.

We spend so much time worrying about what might happen that we stay stuck, unable to take any action.

 Perhaps you’re afraid of one of these-

  • going on holiday alone for the first time
  • joining a group of strangers at a party
  • asking for a pay rise
  • joining a Dating Site
  • asking your son/daughter to contribute to the household in some way.

I found this – ‘Fear only breeds fear’ and I believe it.

 

Here are 5 simple strategies that will help you face your fears.

1.   Don’t run before you can walk.

Work out one small step you can take today. For me it was, look up some driving instructors.  Take another step tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow… With each small step your fear will start to shrink.

2.   Work out an achievable deadline.

For me it was, by the end of this 10 session course I will be able to drive confidently around busy roundabouts.

What will your deadline be?

by the end of the week/month/ summer/year I will.

3.   Get information.

Talk to others who’ve been there, ask questions, ask for advice, google the problem. Information brings strength and helps you understand what you’re dealing with.

4.   Find some support.

You’re not the first to face this and you won’t be the last. Talk to people, e:mail them, find an expert.

5.   Don’t let ‘set backs’ set you back.

Set backs happen to everyone. They’re normal.

Just wait … 

for the dust to settle…

and then…

start again tomorrow.

What are you afraid of ?

How will you face your fear?

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