Archive for the ‘Caregivers’ category

You Can Read Minds

September 4th, 2012

Here’s a bit of information about yourself you may not have known.  It can support your professional development, up your Emotional Intelligence – and boost your self-esteem.

You can read minds!  Did you know that?  And, in all fairness, you need to know that others can read your mind, too – your thoughts, feelings and intentions.  According to Giacomo Rizzolatti, we’re born with the ability.

In a New York Times article, “Cells That Read Minds,” Rizzolatti and other neuroscientists describe a special class of brain cells responsible for this ability.  They’re called mirror neurons.  Their discovery provides insight into how you learn to walk, talk, smile; why you can understand how others feel and empathize with them; why you like sports and the arts; the intangible way culture gets passed on from generation to generation; and why the kind of media you watch and interact with really does matter.

Dr. Rizzolatti points out what most of us know at a gut level:  understanding the actions, intentions and emotions of others is central to our survival and sense of safety.  We have the ability to understand what others are thinking, feeling and what they may do based not on rational thought, but on feelings.  This fascinates me because, intuitively, I’ve always known this to be true.  In fact, LIES That Limit discusses the constructive and destructive aspects of being tuned in to what others are thinking and feeling, and the impact it can have on the choices we make.    Now, science provides additional evidence to prove the point.

Pay close attention; your psychic ability may just be the by-product of active mirror neurons.  Given your natural ability to anticipate what others are thinking, feeling and are about to do, you can work at better understanding where they’re coming from and why.  Here’s an example:  on a recent flight, squeezing into the seats next to me were two people who I assume to be a mother and her thirteen to fourteen year old son.  From their conversation, it seemed they were coming home from a trip abroad…so lots of time together, in close quarters – airplanes, hotels, restaurants, etc.

As they fell into the seats, the mother began speaking to her son in a way that felt like yelling, to me.

“You always do that.  I told you to stop.  You’re rude and embarrassing.  I told you not to behave that way.  It’s not nice.  I don’t want to have to tell you again.  Don’t push people or push your way through crowds.  Wait your turn.  Have I not told you this before?!  I’m tired of telling you about your behavior.”

On and on, she went.  I felt badly for the young man.  Having been the child of a mother who, out of a sense of responsibility for raising a well-behaved child, had no qualms about public chastisement, I felt for him.  I looked deeply into the pages of my book to avoid his eyes.  I imagined, or sensed, he was feeling humiliated at the public dress-down he was receiving.  Sitting next to me, I was aware of his breathing and, peripherally, his icy, frozen stare, eyes locked straight ahead.  He was doing so to control himself – to not yell back or strike out.

After she quieted down, I thought about the mother and wondered why she felt the need to speak to her son so harshly, and with many strangers bearing witness.  I went into my “Why is she doing this!?!”  The more I pondered the question/judgment, the more I could sense her thoughts and feelings, too.  The awareness that came floored me.  This woman was TERRIFIED that her beautiful son, whom she loved and saw great promise in, would not grow up to be a fine, respectful, courteous man.  She was afraid that he would become another pushy, ill-mannered person who doesn’t know how to live well in the world with others.

Suddenly, I felt empathy for her.  I could clearly relate to the way she was feeling.  It was an anxiety many Moms carry; myself included.  While you and I may not have spoken to our child in that way, and in front of others, the terror would be quite the same.

I believe my mirror neurons helped me empathize with both parties in this situation. At a feeling level, I understood what was going on in each of them.  With that, judgmental thoughts about the mother subsided.  They were replaced by empathy and respect for her genuine concern for the son she loved, and her intentions to raise him well.

Could mirror neurons help you to be more empathic – more emotional intelligence?  Try it and then decide.  Instead of judging them, tune in to the people around you and, even if you don’t agree with them, notice how much of their thoughts, feelings and intentions you can discern.  You’re bound to surprise yourself with how much information you’ll receive.  You really can read minds, thanks to the mirror neurons in your brain!

Learn more at GoCognitive.net and in the American Psychological Association article “The Mind’s Mirror.”

 

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How to Connect With You Inner Wisdom

April 24th, 2012

In this month’s O Magazine, Oprah asked a number of readers, “What do you appreciate most about getting older?”  While I enjoyed each woman’s response, Azadeh Reza Mercado said, “Finding, hearing and listening to my inner voice.”

Her response reminded me of last week’s blog about hearing your true voice, not the myriad of voices in your head – your mother’s, your 1st grade teacher’s, your older sister’s, the minister or rabbi’s, your girlfriends’, or the thing you read most recently – but the truth that comes from the deepest part of who you really are.  Like Ms. Mercado, I am thankful for the ever-present voice within that communicates with me.

In a recent conversation with a client, I said, “I treasure the clarity and peace I receive from hearing from the wise one within me.”

She then asked, “How do you know it’s your inner voice and not just some other voice in your head?”  Her question made me think.

I told her that the voice of my inner self – my guide and counselor, my higher self – always leaves me feeling calm, clear and certain.

Truly, for me, it’s that simple.  When I connect with my inner guide, I shift from unrest to feeling at ease.  I morph from confusion about what I feel, think or need to do or say into clear confident being.  All the tension in my shoulders disappears.  The dull ache in my head evaporates.  The tightness and churn in my gut settles down.  I breathe a full, deep, unrestricted breath.  In this way, my body is a good barometer.  It recognizes and accepts the powerful truth and wisdom of my higher self.

Maybe you’ve experienced this after turning down an invitation to something that you just didn’t want to attend, or you found a creative solution to a nagging problem.  Or maybe the calm came after you stood your ground where you’d normally give in.  The result – you got just what you wanted, what you needed.

The wise one within you is continually trying to connect with you, to serve you.  She wants to ease your burdens, answer your questions, guide you through tough decisions and help you find the easiest path to your next destination.

Like Azadeh Reza Mercado do you value and trust what you hear from within?  If you don’t have a solid relationship with your inner self, if you aren’t sure you’d know her if she came to your front door or if you’ve never considered this question, there are easy steps you can take to test the waters.

The first critical step is acknowledging that you want to.  Then, once a day, or once a week, take the time to interact and engage.  Ask questions to which you’d like answers.  Start with a simple question like, “How should I approach my co-worker/friend/mother-in-law about an issue I’m having.”  Then, look and listen for a response.  The answer may come through a book, another person, a dream, a sudden knowing, etc.  Or say to your higher self, “I’m here to listen.  Speak to me.”

Then, sit and wait patiently.  Words, images, feelings, ideas, thoughts will come into your awareness.  The more you listen for and accept the messages that come to you, the easier it is to hear her whispers.

Listening and hearing takes practice.  In order to trust what you hear and receive, a leap of faith may be required, particularly early on.  You may find that you have to decide to suspend disbelief and, through an act of faith, accept that what you’re hearing is credible and trustworthy.

Ask, listen and trust what you receive. Consciously choose to connect with your inner voice, your internal and eternal wisdom.

 

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Guest Blog: “I” Will Always Be the Center Of Your Universe

March 27th, 2012

By Guest Blogger Kyle Ruffin

“Self.”  The center of your universe.  No matter how selfless you are or how controlled by others you feel, “I” am at the center of everything you know, love, hate, experience.  There’s no denying it.

Some times I find myself wondering if the world is passing me by.  So many others seem to be out enjoying life, making a difference, making millions, getting ahead, being happy.  I read somewhere that we tend to compare our entire selves to other people’s highlight reels.  That sentiment has helped me put life in perspective.

Just because I’m not skydiving at this very moment doesn’t mean I’m not experiencing something that is valuable – valuable to me.  Writing this right now is who I am – I love to write.  Even when I’m giving myself to others, I’m doing it because of what I get out of it – fulfilling a selfish need to contribute to a better world.  A better universe beyond what I can see.

My struggle comes with accepting a new identity – one of caregiver.  I never had the desire to be a caregiver.  People who want and have kids – in my mind, those are loving caregivers.  They live to care for others and it shows.  Since I never wanted to have or never had children, I didn’t see myself as a person with the skills and nature to care for others.  But, that all changed with my mother’s stroke.  Suddenly, I went from independent agent with a thriving career – the person I always saw myself becoming – to having someone depend on me for every basic need.  At 48, I became a parent – a caregiver for someone who could no longer live without being constantly attended to by others.  And the identity I worked on, nurtured, sacrificed for was no longer my primary self-image.  That made me sad.

The struggle with my new role still rages inside of me.  Some days I’m resentful.  Some days I’m frustrated.  Some days I’m angry.  And some days I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished – especially when I make my mother laugh, even though what we’re going through is far from amusing.

The strange thing to me is when others say – you’re amazing for what you do for your mother.  Particularly since I spend every day beating myself up for all the things I don’t do for her rather than taking pride in all the things I do.  Sabatoging my happiness because it doesn’t look like I thought it would.

“I need to be a better daughter,” I recently said to my husband as we were walking down the boardwalk in Atlantic City searching for the place that as a child we ALWAYS bought fudge so I could bring some home to my mother.  He looked at me curiously and said, “You’re not serious, are you?”  Oh yeah…he only sees my highlight reel – not the dialogue in my head or even the many, many moments of great angst that come with this new territory.  And this is the person who most closely witnesses me in my new role.

My ongoing homework is to refrain from denying my “self” – the “self” that is always evolving and that at its core is good.  I have a choice.  I can feel sorry for my latest “self” or I can be proud of my “self” even in roles that I never imagined my “self” in.  “I” am still the center of my universe – no matter what or who orbits around me.

The same goes for the “I” in YOU.

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Perfect or Excellent? Which Do You Shoot For?

November 15th, 2011

I was listening to Arthur Joseph discuss Vocal Awareness, a powerful concept he founded. He and his work are powerful.

Arthur asked, “Do you strive to be perfect or excellent?”

Hearing the question, I felt surprised by it. Clearly, the way he posed the question suggested there was a difference between the two, but it wasn’t a distinction I’d ever considered. Yet, the moment I heard the question, simultaneous to my surprise, I got it.

Intuitively, I understood – or at least I had a handle on my own interpretation of his message. And, I’m sure Arthur could add far more dimension and depth to the distinction between perfect and excellent than I was able to grasp in the moment. Yet, the question provided me with a gift.

From Arthur’s question, “Do you strive to be perfect or excellent,” several thoughts occurred to me.

  • Perfection is illusive and fleeting. It never lasts.
  • Perfection is a fantasy that fuels LIES That Limit and is usually based on a narrow, impossible to achieve image or idea.
  • Excellence is a way of being.
  • Excellence is birthed when you live up to your intention to simply be your best, moment-to-moment, day-to-day.

As I listened to Arthur, I thought to myself, “I will never be perfect, yet I can be excellent every day of my life. I can string together moments of excellence – moments of me doing my best at whatever I’m engaged in. In so doing, I’ll create an extraordinary life – a life that pleases me and represents me well. ”

I won’t delude myself with fantasies of being perfect, in thought, word or deed. As a Spirit of Purpose, I’ll simply shoot for excellence. Day-to-day, moment-to-moment, being excellent means that I’ll do my best to take another step towards making the unique contribution that I was born to make. That’s my work. Consider making it yours, too.

LIES That Limit will help you let go of the voices in your head that hold you back.  Order your copy today!

 

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A Food Fight In A Nursing Home?

September 13th, 2011

Lessons about limiting LIES are everywhere. Here’s a story about being attached to a definition – a labels that defines what a thing is for.

My Lovely Mother Cora Moore

Did you know you’re never too old for a food fight? No, I don’t mean the kind you remember from junior high. The food fight I’m referencing occurred between my mother, one of the wonderful caregivers where she lives, and me.

Recently, I showed up during breakfast. Rachel was in Mom’s room. I stood outside the door listening, learning, and trying to not interfere with their routine and relationship. Mom and Rachel get along well.

“Mrs. Moore, time for breakfast. Ready to eat?” I hear no response from my mother.

Rachel tries again, “Are you going to eat for me today, Mrs. Moore.”

This time, Mom responds. “No.”

“Please Mrs. Moore, just a little.”

“I don’t feel like it.”

“But it’s breakfast. You need breakfast so you’ll have a good start to your day.”

I heard Mom say, “I don’t want any.”

I stepped through the door as Rachel continued the negotiation. This time, she divided the food on the plate and pointed to the smallest of the piles, “Okay, Mrs. Moore, eat just this much.”

Mom looked at me and said, “I don’t know why she’s trying to get me to eat. I told her, I don’t feel like eating.”

I smiled empathically and wondered about Mom’s continued loss of interest in food. What did it mean? Did she not want to eat? Was it too early in the day for her to feel hungry? Did she not want what they were serving? This had become an ongoing problem. Several staff members had mentioned Mom’s lack of interest in food. A slight weight loss underscored the story.

I decided to give her a try. “Mom, this oatmeal looks good and it’s still hot. I can add the raisins and honey. Want to try some?”

“No.” Then she made a characteristic move: she changed the subject. “How’s Bill?” Since I was a kid, I’ve known a change in subject means Mom is finished with the topic and any further conversation is a waste of breath. Today, I decided to persevere.

I thought about the contrast between the kinds of foods Mom enjoyed before her illness and the relatively bland diet she now eats. Deciding to test her interest in food versus her interest in the food presented, I reached into my bag, grabbed the small snack baggie I had packed earlier that morning.

“I have some peanuts, Mom. Would you like some?”

“Yes,” she said with a smile.

Got her! Success! On her tray, I spread out a napkin and poured a nice-sized serving of peanuts. She began eating with apparent, deep pleasure. Rachel walked in.

“Are those peanuts, Mrs. Moore?” She spoke Mom’s name but her eyes were on me. Mom didn’t answer; she kept eating, one peanut at a time, eyes straight ahead.

I spoke up, “Yes, they’re peanuts.”

Rachel said, “That’s not breakfast food. Peanuts are a snack.”

“Not traditionally. But, she’s eating and enjoying them. Plus, they’re nutritious.”

“But, peanuts aren’t a real breakfast,” Rachel insisted.

It’s funny, the way we conceive of everyday things, and the labels [link] we apply, seem so real and defining until they become confining and limiting. Rachel’s response to me giving Mom peanuts for breakfast stayed with me; I was struck by it. I thought of the number of times I, and a lot of others I know, have had peanut butter on toast for breakfast. It’s both delicious and nutritious. Certainly, in this case, I was happy to find something Mom was willing to eat.

Getting back to my conversation with Rachel. In responding to her, I used a lesson I learned from my dear mother: I smiled and changed the subject. She and I talked a bit longer while Mom ate the rest of her peanuts and drank all of her orange juice. Then, Mom announced, “I’m full. That was soooo good.” With that, she put her head on the pillow and dozed off.

Limiting labels aside – “That’s not breakfast food. Peanuts are a snack,” – the food fight was over.

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It’s Never Too Late to Forgive

September 6th, 2011

JoAnn Dearden shares her very powerful story of unconditional love and forgiveness.  I thank her for telling this very personal and deeply moving story of her relationship with her brother so that each of us can grow. 

Jo Ann Dearden

Growing up with my older brother Rich was difficult. When he became a teenager his personality changed. He became mean and arrogant and completely disowned me as a sister. When Rich went off to college, the whole family would go to move him in or out of his dorm. We would go up to his dorm room, he would introduce my parents and younger brother to his friends but he never introduced me. My Dad would say what about your sister? His answer was, “I don’t have a sister.”

When he was in his early 20’s he bought himself a Corvette. He pulled it up in my parent’s driveway and we all admired it. My Dad asked him to let me drive it up the cul-de-sac and back into the driveway so I can get a little bit of a thrill. He adamantly said “No.” Dad pleaded with him but Rich’s final answer was, “Jo Ann will never drive my car.”

To this day, I still don’t know why he hated me so much. He was a bitter, angry man and no one ever knew why.

When I got married, he suddenly became my best friend. Why? I didn’t trust this new attitude of Rich’s, and my husband and I felt it would be best if we moved to a different part of the state so that I wouldn’t be subjected to any more abuse.

This past spring, life took a very bad toll on Rich. April 28th, my mother and younger brother found him on the floor in his home in renal failure. He was rushed to the hospital where I visited him one to two times a week. His condition fluctuated and eventually was admitted to intensive care. On May 18th, I was with him in his room and he started complaining about back pain. As the pain got worse, he asked for the nurse and a doctor. His breathing intensified and respiratory was called to help him breathe. He was crashing right in front of me. I was asked to wait in the waiting room while they worked on him. A few minutes later, a nurse told me they were going to intubate him. I asked them to please let me see him before they made him unconscious.

I went back in the room. He was breathing so hard the mask was blowing off his face. I said to him that since they were going to put him in “la-la land” I was going to go home because I had a 2 hour drive ahead of me. He nodded his head then pulled the mask off his face and said, “Jo Ann…thank you…thank you.” And then his head dropped. Rich never woke up and died 6:15 the next morning.

Rich knew right then I loved him no matter what. Whatever it was that kept us apart all our life, it was in those final moments we were able to forgive and share our love. God’s hands were on us in those final moments. It’s never too late to forgive.

JoAnn Dearden is the founder of Copywriting For A Cause.


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Guest Blog: For My Girls, To Be or Not To Be “Alike.” That is The Question.

August 9th, 2011

Pam Thomas

Pam Thomas, Spirit of Purpose VP of Operations, shares an important Aha! Moment for her and her adorable daughters.

We all have LIES in our lives – those Labels, Illusions, Excuses and Stories that dictate how we live, make decisions and interact with others. My dilemma focused on Excuses.

My love for fashion began years ago in junior high school – wearing the latest designs in shoes, jeans, jackets, and fashion accessories. It’s still strong today, which is why it’s no mystery that my two daughters also have a love of fashion. Funny though, they are only 5 and 6, but definitely know what they like.

Getting them ready for school in the morning had been a fairly easy task. I’d lay out their outfits the night before so that it would be a ‘no brainer’ in the rush of the morning. However, selfishly I tended to always lay out identical outfits for my girls, and nine out of ten times they agreed to my choice. I say “selfish” because it was an Excuse and didn’t require more thought and energy than necessary. It was easy.

Then one day, their teacher pulled me aside and stated “you might want to consider letting them wear different outfits to allow them to build their own identity.” Hmmm, I thought to myself. Wouldn’t that create chaos? Would they like looking different? How would they feel?

So, always striving to be the best parent possible, I took the teacher’s counsel and advice to heart, and began dressing them in identical outfits, but in different colors. It seemed to work okay for a while, but still wasn’t addressing the “identity” matter.

I then had an aha! moment where I began to allow my girls to select their own outfits and much to my surprise, not only did they enjoy doing it because it made them feel like “big girls.”  I actually enjoyed watching them revel in making their own decisions. They do a great job at making their selections – with input from mommy when asked. And, I’ve noticed on occasions, their voicing opinions on one another’s choice of outfits. “You should wear pink socks with that skirt,” or “here’s your green headband, wear it!” My, how they grow so fast!

The lesson learned for me is two-fold:

1. I shouldn’t make Excuses when it comes to my children. Easy isn’t always best, especially when it comes to exploring and celebrating their individuality.

2. I shouldn’t have assumed that a 5- and 6-year-old weren’t capable of making choices, relative to their ages. They do – albeit candy corn print pants and floral printed shirts don’t match – but their rationale is that “the shirt has orange in it just like the pants.”

Okay, who am I to judge?? NO Excuses necessary.

It’s back to school time!  The perfect time to uncover and conquer the LIES that affect you and your children.

Get your copy of “LIES That Limit”  –  now available for KINDLE and other e-Readers!

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The Difference Between Truth And Fake Fact

August 2nd, 2011

The skilled nursing facility where Mom lives these days has the slowest elevators I have ever experienced. They are s—l—o—w.  I mean really, really, really slow.  They’re slow to arrive when called.   The doors are slow to open and even slower to close.

During a recent visit, as I waited for the elevator down, I noticed a woman I don’t recall seeing before.   She moved with the aid of a walker, her posture erect, her gait steady.  She was beautifully dressed, wearing white pants, a black and white top, earrings and just the right shade of pink/red lipstick. She looked lovely. I told her so, as she arrived at the elevator bank. “You look beautiful today.”

She smiled and shrugged her shoulders, laughing lightly. “Oh, thank you. You know, I’m 99 years old.”

I could hardly believe my ears and eyes. She looked great for 80, but at 99 she was fabulous. “I don’t know what I expect 99 to look like, but you look great to me.”

Just then, the elevator doors opened. I scurried in quickly, moving to the back wall, out of her way. She said, “Be careful honey. These elevators doors close very fast. They’re dangerous.”

I laughed to myself, fascinated by her experience of the doors, contrasting it against my own.

My brief encounter with this beautiful 99-year-old woman had reminded me that there are so few objective, solid facts in life. Reality is subjective, and most things we call facts are really fake facts. They’re Illusions, a personal story born out of a perspective at a given point in time and subject to change as points of reference change.

I want to remember this lesson the next time I’m convinced that how I see things is the right way – the only way.  In so doing, I believe I’ll be less inclined to make others wrong, discount or diminish their experience. In moments of conflict and tension – those times when there is great temptation to “prove” I’m right, they’re wrong – remembering this lesson will enable me to offer an olive branch. This lesson will help me extend peace and respect for the experiences of others…even that which, from my perspective, I don’t understand.

What fake facts are you living with?

Before you can open your mind to your unique Truth, you must clear out everyone else’s story of who you are.   Start today with a copy of LIES That Limit!

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What Uplifts You?

June 14th, 2011

The elevator ride from the ground floor to the 2nd floor where my mother lives didn’t take very long – maybe 40 seconds.

The door was slow to open.  I stepped in, greeted a woman I had not seen before — at least not that I recall. She was wearing the uniform of a worker in this skilled nursing facility. As we said hello and made eye contact, I noticed something different. Donning full make-up, from foundation and blush to long eyelashes and lipstick perfectly applied. She looked beautiful and I told her so. She smiled brightly and said, “Thank you.”

As we continued the ride up, I noticed that she was wearing long, dangly, sparkling earrings with a matching necklace; the kind of jewelry most of us save for that rare evening out when formal attire is suggested.

I commented further, acknowledging her with, “Wow! You are looking glamorous.”

She laughed and said, “I love to dress up; it makes me happy. I like to wear things I think are pretty. It makes me feel good.” Then, she went on to say, “I don’t let my job define me, I define myself. I like to look pretty and it doesn’t matter to me whether other people expect to see me in this uniform wearing rhinestone earrings and necklace or not. I enjoy it.”

As I exited the elevator, I said, “I’m glad you do. It’s certainly a pleasure to see you and to hear about the good feeling you get from dressing up for work.”

As I walked to Mom’s room, I reflected on a conversation I had with a friend the previous day. Sharon told me, “I have to experience something beautiful everyday. It could be a picture on my wall, wearing a pretty scarf, reading a beautiful card, seeing a flower or shrub, sunrise or sunset, a well-manicured lawn, a beautiful cathedral, a smiling face, or hearing the laughter of children. My soul needs it. It uplifts me.”

Turns out, the same is true for me. I’m uplifted by beauty too. It only took the 40-second ride from the ground floor to the 2nd floor to be uplifted by the Patient Care Technician’s expression of beauty. My friend’s comment about her soul-deep need for beauty reminded me of the lift I get when take in that which is lovely.

What uplifts you? For most of us, it’s the simple things – things like those mentioned above. Do you get enough beauty and pleasures to satisfy your soul’s longing? Could you boost your happiness quotient by adding just one thing each day that makes you feel good – one thing that adds more beauty and pleasure to your life? Remember, the happier you are, the healthier and more productive you are. Now that’s an outcome worth reaching for.

Sign up for the Spirit of Purpose Newsletter and get a FREE chapter of “LIES That Limit.”


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Who’s Calling The Shots In Your Life?

June 7th, 2011

The answer may surprise you.

For many of us, it feels like someone else is in the driver’s seat of our lives. Our jobs. Our families. Our previous commitments that seem to have taken on lives of their own.

The feeling of having lost control of our lives has reached epidemic proportions. How many parents reel off their kid’s extra-curricular activities when you ask them what they’re doing this weekend? They spend hours on, or traveling to, the soccer field, baseball diamond or back-to-back of birthday parties?

To succeed in business today, you’ve got to network, connect, deliver, think outside the box and beat the competition to the finish line. The truth is, there is no finish line. The “once this project is done, I can finally take time to focus on me,” is a mere illusion. To devote the necessary time to one project, you have to put other projects off. So once that project is done, you’re playing “catch up” and racing toward the next deadline.

If you really want to know who’s calling the shots in your life, the answer is YOU ARE. You’re making decisions every minute of every day that drive your activity and anxiety levels. Fear that you won’t be a good parent if you don’t allow your child to participate in all the things his or her friends are doing is behind the wheel. Or fear that if you don’t say yes to yet another project, you’ll be punished in some way.

As social beings, we want and need to feel appreciated, loved and like we’re contributing to the happiness and well-being of the people we care about – especially if you’re of the female persuasion. In the judeo-christian faiths that dominate our collective psyche, putting others first is what we’ve been taught is “the way.” But is there such a thing as taking it too far?

Disconnecting from “doing” is like trying living without a cellphone or a computer these days. Consider this. Because people can reach us everywhere we are – in the supermarket, while on vacation, while at the doctor’s office – the same level of urgency has been attached to things our parent’s generation could wait a few hours or a few days for. But today, few can stomach the thought of being left behind or left out of the action. That might be the biggest fear that drives our need to “do.” It’s a hold over based on fear of being the last kid picked for dodge ball – a powerful pivot point during many of our childhoods.

In “LIES That Limit,” I offer a “4 Step Test For Truth.”  It’s one of the LIE DETECTORS that helps when you need to get to the root cause of your actions and decisions. This test can also help you avoid overcommitting out of fear, anxiety or LIES (Labels, Illusions, Excuses and Stories) that only live in your head, but they propel you toward self-destructive over-committing and over-doing.

As you face a situation and need to respond, ask yourself: Is what I’m about to say or do:

  1. based on fear or any other negative emotion? If so, your response is not aligned with truth. It’s based on LIES and limits.
  2. going to disrespect or diminish me, or others involved? If so, it is a distortion based on LIES and limits.
  3. creating or sustaining unnecessary limitations for me or others? If so, it is a LIES-based myth.
  4. inhibiting healthy Self-expression – mine or others? If so, it is a false idea based on LIES and designed to limit.

Also keep in mind that negative responses are often driven by fear. For example at work, a response like, “I can’t do that project because I don’t have what it takes,” might really be about fear of failure. If that’s something that plagues you, I strongly recommend reading last month’s blog “Failure is the New Success: 8 Ways to Embrace Failure.”

An answer to whether your child can join another team sport, might be “yes, but we’ll have to work together to arrange transportation to and from practice and games.” Saying “yes” to that project at work doesn’t mean you have to take it all on. It’s a good opportunity to bring in others to help while you hone your delegation skills. Being creative with your solutions rather than putting yourself squarely in the middle of everything can be a win-win for you and your ego. Not to mention, it gives you the necessary defensive driving skills to do a better job behind the wheel of your life!

Uncover your unique Truth and find the joy you seek.

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