How Do You Build Relationships?


Today I work up with the realization I suffer from “self-centeredness” on any given day.  SMACK!  When I walked back into recovery, I was unaware of how often I actually did this.  I rationalized and justified everything I did.  I thought I was being responsible.  I thought I was hard working (in other words a workaholic).  Slowly but surely I have found out what the true meaning of “self-centeredness” is and how selfish I truly was (or can be).

Self-centered is defined as “concerned solely with one’s own desires, needs, or interests”I used to say this wasn’t me!  Then I looked at some other words for self-centeredness and they included egotistical, narcissistic, self-absorbed, selfish, self-involved, and I didn’t think I was any of those either.  Yes, I was an only-child.  Yes, I was spoiled – I was an only child, an only grandchild and an only niece BUT….. You know what they say “everything that comes after the word “but” is BS!  When I thought of egotistical or narcissistic, I thought of people who were so full of themselves, I mean they actually loved themselves.  Most days I don’t love myself and there are even the occasional days when I don’t like myself so how could I be self-centered?

My first time around in recovery, I didn’t grasp this concept.  I became a workaholic and as I was recently told – “I thought your clients came before us, even though you were there for the important things”.  SMACK!  So, this is a concept I am trying hard to understand.

“I choose relationships wisely and nurture them intentionally.”

Okay, so I may choose relationships wisely but I definitely didn’t nurture them.  WHY?  Because I didn’t know how.  YIKES!  Think about it. When there is turmoil in your relationships, it impacts your whole life.  As a result, my relapse and road to being totally self-centered has effected my business, and my personal life.  It has ruined friendships, it has left me sitting on a “pity pot” and struggling to figure out the difference between being self-centered and being responsible.  You would think at the ripe old age of 61, I would know the difference.

The truth is I struggle with building strong relationships and maintaining them. Even in the relationships I didn’t  choose – family members or coworkers – I mean they need to be nurtured in order to be strong and healthy too.  So, I went from people pleasing (pre-recovery), to workaholic (recovery) to self-centeredness (relapse) to relearning the things I learned in kindergarten about making friends.  Talk about a roller coaster.  Along the way has been filled with a lack of confidence and fear which causes me to become (or at least appear to be) self-involved.  I may not always say “ME, ME, ME” although I am grateful for people in my life who lovingly point out to me when I am being “self-centered”.  It is always like a lightbulb going off.

I know this is totally a ramble and for some they will tune out because they have healthy relationships.  They are able to make the best of those relationships by setting strong boundaries, building trust where they can, and expressing gratitude when others are a blessing to them. For those few people who may relate, take it from one who has learned the hard way….. self-centeredness doesn’t always mean we say “me” or “I”, it can come out through our actions.  Do you justify and rationalize everything you do to make sure your plans stay in take?

So, for today I challenge you to ask yourself this powerful question:

What one gesture could I make today to strengthen one of my important relationships?

Are you already feeling the panic?  What if if you made a simple phone call of support to encourage someone?  What if you wrote a thank you note to someone for something that touched your heart?  What if you put your phone away and gave your undivided attention to the person you are sitting next to?  My simple gesture lately has been to put my phone away and be present in the moment.  Is it tough, without a doubt!

Believe it or not these small gestures strengthen the bonds of a relationship, any relationship. We can’t achieve our goals or meet our needs alone –  we need people. And people need us.  So, if you think any of these may be you…. step out of your comfort zone and make a gesture – no matter how small.

Wonder why you are struggling in your business?  Wonder why you scroll through social media thinking the grass is always greener? The truth is those who are most resilient and successful have strong relationships.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Key to Help Lower Your Daily Stress

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The school year is winding down.  The kids are already complaining that there is nothing to do.  Work is crazy.  You are juggling more balls than you ever did.  STRESS!

Did you know that “Stress is your resistance to what’s happening”?  That’s right, you are refusing to accept the what is happening.  Instead, you worry and think what shoulda, coulda or woulda happen.  Some would say that stress is just a mindset which can be changed.

The truth is you can conquer daily stress by simply living in the present – just BE here now.  Let go of what you think your life is supposed to look, and simply appreciate it for everything that it is.  I know, easier said then done, right?

Here are some tips on how to reduce your stress from the book “1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently”:

  • Trust your intuition. You don’t need to explain or justify your feelings to everyone, just trust your own inner guidance, it often knows best.
  • Firmly decide what matters and what doesn’t.  Stress comes from the way you react, not the way life is.  Inner peace begins the moment you choose to be mindful by not allowing another person or event to dominate your emotions.
  • Take a deep breath when you need one. You don’t have to solve every problem in your life before you can enjoy being at peace.
  • Keep sanity in your schedule. Say “no” sometimes to good things so you can say “yes” to important things. We can’t do it all so choose wisely.
  • Practice gratitude. Here is that Law of Attraction thing again.  Look for reasons to be grateful, and see them everywhere. Remind yourself how fortunate you are at this moment. The more you appreciate it, the better it’ll be.
  • Detach yourself from the habit of taking things personally.  This has been the hardest thing for me to learn.  Did you know that if you take everything personally, you’ll remain offended for the rest of your life? The truth is that what other people do is often because of them, not you.  As I was once told, “it isn’t all about you”!
  • Focus on the positive. Positive thinking isn’t about expecting the best to happen every time – it’s about accepting what happens every time, and making the best of it. In other words, a sincerely positive attitude is an expression of the way you choose for things to be.
  • Practice patience as you work for your desires.  In a world filled with instant gratification, we must learn the value of patience and perseverance.
  • Spend time with supportive, loving people. Being happy is directly related to the quality of people who you surround yourself with every single day. Yup, the Law of Attraction again.

Whatever is happening in your life right now… The key it NOT to beat yourself up! No matter what!

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Are you struggling with life and has stress got the best of you?  That’s okay.  Be patient with yourself. It years to form these habits, routines and life situations that are creating stress in your life.  There is NO magic wand that will wipe it all away.  It will take some time to make changes.

But I promise you: Even the smallest step in the right direction today will bring you some peace. Take that step. And then take another one tomorrow.

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In what way do you need to lower your daily stress? What is creating needless stress in your life? Share your thoughts with us.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Dreams and Desires

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Happy Monday morning!  No, I did not develop a desire or a dream to jump out of a plane!

I am part of a program called “31 Days & 31 Ways to Jumpstart My Abundance” with Eryka Peskin.  With memory issues, I have struggled connecting to my emotional why and had trouble dreaming about the future.  Crazy, right?

A desire is that which moves you forward. There is no forward movement or growth without a desire. (Think about it!)

A desire is your motivator, your reason for getting out of bed in the morning, for making the coffee or standing on line at your coffee place, and for Making. Things. Happen.

The truth is that many of us feel like we need permission to dream or we need validation for them from family and friends.  We keep them tucked away, not sharing for FEAR of being judged.  We let our inner gremlins nibble away until those dreams become just a distant memory.

Your  dreams and desires are the underlying thing that brings a smile to your face and energizes you.  They can change during different seasons in our lives.  That was a new concept for me!

When was the last time that you thought about your dreams and desires?  If you thought about them, did you write them down?   I know, you probably dismissed your dreams as silly, right?  Something that will never happen – a dream.

Say this to yourself: “I, (insert your name), give myself permission to dream and to live an abundant life!”

How did that feel?  I know for me it was energizing.  If you still are hesitant, keep repeating it with more conviction each time!

 

I’m sharing some of  my dreams:

I dream of coaching other women who are struggling and getting paid for it.  I dream of having my blog produce income.  I dream of quitting my part-time JOB and having my business generate enough income to pay the bills.  I desire having someone come clean my house regularly.  I dream of paying off my credit card debt and having money in the bank.  I desire to bring a smile to others with random acts of kindness on a regular basis.  I dream of taking a vacation twice a year with hubby without worrying about finances.  

Dreams and desires should not come with “ifs” or “buts”.  They are YOURS and no one else’s.  My dreams center  around making a difference – helping other people everyday.

To regain focus on my dreams, once a month I:

1. Take a break.

I know, no time in your busy schedule for a break.  Schedule it on your calendar – some time that works for YOU.  A chance for you to get a fresh perspective on where you are and where you want to be.  My best ideas come when I take some time off whether it be an outing or a fun get-together with friends.

2. Reflect.

With your dreams and desires in mind, ask yourself these questions about the last month:

What excited you the most?

What did you learn?

Did the things that happened help to reach the kind of future I envision?

 

3. Be willing to make changes.

After reflecting, I need to be willing to make changes  – tweak things all with the goal of reaching my desires.  Thinking your dreams will materialize “when you retire”,  or “when the kids grow up” is no way to lead a happy and fulfilling life.  Complaining or feeling sorry for yourself brings more negative energy.  It is all about the Law of Attraction – positive thoughts bring positive things.  Are you looking for the magic wand that will give you your dreams?

Share your dreams with us.  Let’s help each other to fulfill our dreams and desires.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!