Release the need to explain – when someone asks you to do something or to go somewhere and you can’t or don’t want to, simply saying “no, that doesn’t work for me” is enough. Or if you decide to do something and others don’t understand why you’re doing it, you don’t need to explain yourself.
When you feel the need to explain or justify why you are doing something or why you can’t do it you are giving your power away. You don’t need to try and make people feel better or understand your decisions.
We do this because we don’t want to upset people or we don’t want them to think badly of us. The truth is, they won’t – or if they do, then these are not people you want to be around anyway.
This week be aware of whenever you find yourself trying to explain yourself and your decisions. See if you can simply say no without the explanations and notice how it feels.Tweet
Some people find this extremely challenging – they find it easier to write a list of things they dislike about themselves.
This is an extremely powerful exercise, and the longer you do it, the more powerful it becomes. We all tend to put our focus and attention on what we don’t like about ourselves, try putting your attention on what you love about yourself for a while. See how this transforms you.Tweet
Has your boss, or another co-worker ever yelled at you? How did you feel? What did you do about it? Perhaps it made you feel angry, frustrated and upset and you kept it inside. Or perhaps you complained to Human Resources or some higher authority within your company. Or did you yell back, or walk away or even quit your job?
These may seem like the only options available to you and, if you’re anything like most of the people I work with, you will have felt powerless and kept everything to yourself, resulting in feelings of stress, anxiety and frustration that lead to physical pain.
This is a situation that has happened to most people – if not professionally, then personally. I can still remember a time that it happened to me, not from a boss or co-worker, but from a teacher I had about 18 years ago. She didn’t yell exactly, but she verbally attacked me and made me feel that I had done something terribly wrong – which in fact I hadn’t. Afterwards I felt sick to my stomach and the pain of that interaction stayed with me for months.
There is another way to deal with situations like this. It’s a much more effective way that has long-term results. It doesn’t require confrontation. It just requires a change in thinking.
The first step is to recognize that when someone yells at you or makes you feel bad, it’s because their own insecurities are coming up. They are feeling pressured, angry and frustrated and they are projecting those feelings onto you. It actually has nothing to do with you. You may (or may not) be the trigger for their reaction, or you may simply be in the wrong place at the wrong time, but the truth is, what they are feeling is their own fear and insecurity and it’s not about you.
This doesn’t make it right, and it doesn’t excuse the behavior. However, once you recognize this you realize that you don’t have to take it personally. I understand that it can be difficult not to take it personally when it’s aimed right at you, but if you can tell yourself that they are simply projecting their frustrations onto you and that it has nothing to do with you, it can really help.
It’s actually your choice whether or not to take on what they are projecting. If you do, and you take it personally, then it becomes yours. They will feel better for having vented their frustrations, and you will feel worse because you’ve taken on their frustrations and made them your own.
Knowing this can help you stay calm in the face of such a verbal attack. If you choose not to take it personally, you can simply let them say what they have to say, and then walk away. You can certainly let them know, if you want to (when they’ve finished venting) that you don’t appreciate the way they have spoken to you, but this must come not from an emotional state (you being upset), but from a place of calm (because you know that this is not about you).
If you find that it’s too hard not to take it personally and you become upset, anxious, fearful or angry, then you’ll want to proceed to the next step – and this is particularly important if this type of situation happens frequently for you.
The second step is to ask yourself some questions:
- What it is that you need to learn about yourself from this situation?
- Why have you attracted this particular situation into your life?
- How is this person making you feel?
- What insecurities and fears has this person triggered in you?
Turning the focus away from the other person and their behavior in this way helps you to take your power back and stop feeling like a victim. Try to let go of the thought that it isn’t fair and that this shouldn’t be happening to you, and turn it around to see what you can learn about yourself.
When you are willing to learn something about yourself from the situation and when you’re willing to see what’s really happening (that fears and insecurities have been triggered in the other person and possibly in you) you’ll transform yourself and the situation. You will find that the more you take this approach, the less this type of situation will arise for you – because you don’t need it any more.
I invite you to try this approach because it really does work. I used to have very low self-esteem and took everything personally, so whenever this type of thing happened it would make me feel ill and worthless. I’ve come a long way since then.
The last time this happened to me (just a few months ago) I was on a conference call with someone who questioned and/or disagreed with just about everything I said. Because I didn’t let her manipulate me, she became verbally abusive. I was able to listen to what she said and not take it personally. I told her I recognized that what she was feeling had nothing to do with me and that she was trying to project what she was feeling onto me (I felt she should understand this because she is a professional coach). I left the call feeling good because I had spoken my truth and not taken on her stuff. I didn’t feel responsible for making her feel better or the need to justify anything. I’ve come a long way – and if I can do it, you can too.Tweet
Don’t hold it all in – when someone or something has upset you and you feel upset, angry, frustrated or powerless, are you able to articulate how you feel? Do you let someone know when they’ve upset you or do you hold it all in?
If you hold in your feelings, then frustration, resentment and even anger will build up. The only person this affects is you.
If you can’t find a way to tell someone how you feel (in a calm way) because you don’t like conflict or you don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings, you must find another way to let go of what you’re feeling.
Writing can be a very helpful way to do this. You can write a letter to the person (which you won’t send) explaining exactly what happened and how you feel about it. You can then tear up or burn the letter. Or you can simply write in a journal or notebook about it. This helps you release it.
You could also vent your frustrations to a trusted friend, or coach. Someone who is able to listen and let you get it all out without taking it on themselves or adding to what you already feel – they’re there just to listen and let you talk, and perhaps to ask some guiding questions to help you move beyond what has happened.
The important thing is that you must release it or the pressure will build and it will impact every aspect of your life. This is important for everyone – and particularly so for those who are highly sensitive.Tweet
Transform your ‘what if’s’ – most of our fears come from thoughts of what ‘might’ happen. We often hold ourselves back and let anxiety take over when we let the ‘what if’s’ take over. ‘What if this happens?’ ‘What if this doesn’t happen?’ ‘What if I’m not good/smart enough?’ ‘What if I can’t do it?’ ‘What if I fail?’
I’m sure you’ve had these thoughts running through your mind many times. If you’re not careful they can take over until you find yourself consumed by fear and anxiety.
When the ‘what if’s’ show up, I like to turn them around by playing what I call the ‘what if game.’ It simply means that you turn your what if’s around like this:
What if I couldn’t fail?
What if I have all the skills, energy, talent, ability that I need?
What if people love what I’m doing?
What if it works out exactly as I want it to – or even better?
What if I’m good enough in every way?
You get the idea. When you turn your what if’s around in this way you will feel re-energized. It will help you do the things you are most afraid of doing. What if that’s all you need to do?Tweet
The truth is that these roles can change at any moment. Your roles are not who you really are.
Take some time this week to consider who you are without your various roles. Who are YOU really? The real you wants to be recognized and acknowledged. When you do this, you connect with your vitality – your real energy source.
Notice how you become more energized as you contemplate who you really are beyond the roles that you play in life.Tweet
Over the past ten years there has been significant research on the physiological, neurological and emotional benefits of singing by major universities and research institutions. This research reveals that “regular singing can help to elevate mood, increase immunity and provide a first rate cognitive workout among other benefits.”
In simple terms, singing helps you feel good and has health benefits – great reasons to do more of it. So this week, make a point of putting on your favorite songs and singing along. Notice how it changes your energy and your mood. Have fun with it.Tweet
Do you work for a difficult boss or manager? Most of us have at some time or another and in most cases, it’s a situation that makes you feel powerless. Bad bosses and managers can make your work life miserable, and it’s very difficult not to let that impact other areas of your life as well. It may seem hopeless, but there is another approach you can take.
In my work as a Breakthrough Energy Expert, I have found this is a problem that’s more prevalent than you might think. A recent article in Inc. Magazine reported that “3 out of every 4 employees report that their boss is the worst and most stressful part of their job.” They also mentioned it is estimated that “bad bosses cost the economy $360 billion per year in lost productivity.”
Even organizations that have Employee Engagement and Wellness programs are not immune. Here are just some examples that I’ve heard about recently:
- Taking credit for someone else’s work
You have a great idea or you do a great job, and instead of being acknowledged or rewarded for it, your boss takes all the credit. This makes him/her look good and leaves you frustrated and fuming.
- Criticizing in front of others
You’re in a meeting and your boss shoots down everything you say, or has a joke at your expense, or makes some kind of critical comment(s). It’s bad enough that they do this at all, but to do it in front of your co-workers makes you feel stupid and attacked.
- Not letting you do your job
You’re trying to get your job done but your boss keeps adding more and more work, making it impossible to complete anything. Or perhaps they consistently pull you away from what you’re doing or interrupt you regularly. It’s frustrating, overwhelming and once again, you may feel powerless.
- Changing your job
When you took on this position you were excited about what you were supposed to be doing, but now your boss has you doing different things – things you never signed up for. Perhaps you enjoy travelling and meeting with customers, but your boss has suspended travel and now has you cooped up in the office behind the computer every day. This isn’t what you signed up for.
These are just some examples, and everyone has a story to tell of a challenging situation with their boss. Whether it’s something that’s happening now or something that happened in the past, there is a lot you can learn and, despite appearances, there is something you can do.
You may take some training on how to handle difficult people, or you may just decide to leave and find another job, but you just might find yourself in a similar situation again.
The approach I’m recommending is quite different and you probably won’t find it in any Employee Engagement or Employee Relations program.
My recommendation is not to focus on the boss and what he/she is or is not doing. Rather, it’s to put the focus on you and your role in this situation. I would ask you to explore:
- How does the situation make you feel?
What emotions does it trigger in you? Does it make you feel disrespected? Do you feel unheard or unseen or are you made to feel that you are not important?
- Why did you attract this situation?
It’s much more empowering to think of the situation in this way, rather than thinking of it as something that is happening to you, which would make you the victim.
What if there was a different approach that gave you far more control? How would you like to discover how you can empower yourself (and your employees) in these situations to create positive changes in your workplace?
If you are an employee with a difficult boss situation, you can download a free special report with specific tips and strategies here: http://powerfulbreakthroughs.com/badbossreport
Or, if you are a small business owner or H.R. professional, you may want to start with a simple employee engagement assessment which you can find at: http://powerfulbreakthroughs.com/employeeengagementTweet
That really got me thinking, and as I was looking for the highlight I realized that there were actually many. These are things that I would not have thought about, had I not been asked about it.
I happen to know that in my friend’s family this is a question that is asked every night. “What was your highlight today?” I think that’s a great question to ask because it gets us focusing on what’s good and what’s working, rather than on what’s not working and what we don’t like.
It’s a real energy changer.
So now I’ll ask you – what has been the highlight of your year so far? And, I invite you to ask yourself at the end of each day what your highlight for that day is. It would also be helpful to write it down, because then, when you’re struggling to find something good about your day, you can go back and look at all your highlights – and that will shift your energy.Tweet
There is only one person you need approval from and that is yourself. When you seek approval from others, it’s usually because you feel insecure (not good enough) in some way and are looking for validation from others.
You cannot get what you need from anyone else, only from yourself. When you realize and embrace this, and are willing to love and approve of yourself you take back the energy that you were wasting on insecurity and self-doubt. Interestingly enough, that’s usually when you find that others will start noticing and approving of you – but it’s not because you need it, it’s because you are willing to give it to yourself.
If you are ready for a breakthrough and need help – consider a Powerful Breakthrough Session.Tweet