Your Life – Are You In the Audience or On the Stage?

Life plays out differently for different people, but there are generally two places to interact from: The Audience or The Stage. There are those who observe life from the audience perspective. They tend to see life happening to them. Those who are on the stage are active performers. They tend to see life as very much in their control. Where you choose to be greatly determines how you feel about your life. Let’s take a closer look at these perspectives.

Audience Member

  • Often a victim of life’s circumstances
  • Feels as though everyone else’s needs come before their own
  • Has many “reasons” to explain why their life is the way it is
  • When things go right, they often feel “lucky”
  • They often see others as smarter, better, or better positioned than them
  • They feel powerless
  • They may have moments of wanting to take control of their life, but ultimately talk themselves out of it
  • They tend to complain
  • They think they fall short compared to others
  • Tend to be “people pleasers”
  • Often deal with issues as they arise, as opposed to planning for them or taking preventative measures
  • May wish for things to be different, but just don’t see how it could work for them

Stage Performer

  • Excited at all the possibilities
  • Sets goals and achieves many of them
  • Has many stories of overcoming obstacles
  • When things go right, they often feel proud
  • They don’t regularly compare themselves to others – they embrace their own uniqueness
  • Even when faced with unexpected challenges, they recognize that they get to choose how to handle them
  • They often try new things and aren’t afraid of failure
  • Instead of complaining about others, they self-reflect and control what they can control
  • Failure does not define or deter them
  • They balance their self-care and taking care of others
  • They plan and goal set to avoid obstacles
  • When they desire change, they take action and make it happen

So which one sounds most like you? I can honestly say I’ve spent significant time at various stages of my life as an audience member.  I was guilty of all of those things. I also left my “seat” and approached the stage, but got scared and returned to my seat. Maybe I chose a seat a little closer to the stage, but I still sat. Other times, I approached the stage, owned it and then gradually backed away to the comfort zone of sitting. There were times in my life where I actively chose to be an audience member. Maybe because I was just too tired to do anything else. Still other times, I sat in order to observe and learn from others who were excelling on their stage. There is no judgement here. There is no right or wrong. It’s up to you. Where do you want to be most of the time? Is it where you are now? If it isn’t, then you know what you need to do – you need to take action.

Tell me in the comments section one area within the Stage Performer list that you’d like to strengthen, and why.

If you would like to work together and find the strength to get up on your stage, then an Empowerment Session is for you! Take advantage of the complimentary strategy session!

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Why Courage is Crucial to Personal and Professional Development

When we are working on developing ourselves personally or professionally, this starts with courage. Developing means change, and change takes bravery. But it’s not just the courage to face change. You have to be willing to look in the mirror. I mean REALLY look in the mirror. There are many “mirrors” available that will show our reflection. How we look through our own eyes will only give us one perception. There are many.

Looking back on my personal and professional growth, there were aspects about myself that I just couldn’t see. Some, I just didn’t WANT to see. It was only when I truly considered the perspectives of others that I realized how I was self-sabotaging myself at times. This included qualities that were seemingly positive. I have a very strong sense of fairness and I tend to be very protective of the underdog. Both of these sound pretty good, but if I felt someone was behaving unfairly, or mistreating an underdog, I would get all salty about it. This translated to others that I was judgmental, as they could feel my disdain for their actions.  None of us like to be judged and giving this perception was something I needed to be aware of if I wanted to connect personally and advance professionally.

Having immersed myself in the personal and professional development sphere for over 25 years, I’ve seen how courage is a game-changer for those looking to improve. I’ve also seen how the lack of it delays development. I can’t count how many times someone has said, “That’s just the way I am.” These are dangerous words and an even more hazardous mindset. We all have the ability to change any aspect of our behavior that we wish.

When we look in the mirror, we have the benefit of knowing exactly what our intentions are. We KNOW we’re coming from a good and logical place in everything we do. Other people, however, do not have access to our intentions. They know what we say those intentions are, but they can only really view us based on our actions. It takes courage for people to share those perceptions with us. Feedback like this can be delivered really tactfully or in a way that seems really hurtful to us. But if you take feedback as “data points” and try to let go of the delivery method, there is much to be discovered here.

Take for example various feedback a person, I’ll call her “Jane,” may hear. Jane beats herself up for always waiting until the last minute and stressing herself out. Her friends jokingly complain she is always late. Jane’s boss asks that she work on prioritizing better to meet deadlines. A co-worker is overheard asking that he NOT be partnered with her on a project because he knows he’ll have to do all the lead work. It’s only when Jane has the courage to face all this feedback and address it that she will improve.

I can’t stress enough the importance of considering each of these criticisms as data points. Just the facts. First, the more we can remove any drama around this, the better. If Jane starts thinking that Sylvia made the comment about her always being late because Sylvia is a control-freak, then she has lost the valuable data point for herself. Secondly, when you are collecting data like this, you are ultimately looking for clusters of the same data. The example of Jane shows that planning or time management may be a challenge for her. There were 4 data points on this topic alone (hers, her friends, her boss’s, and her co-worker’s). But if some random comment is made by a person saying she’s selfish, but she has not heard that before, that one data point is likely just that individual’s perception and not a repeating data point for her to worry about.

The problem with feedback is not everyone is comfortable giving it. That means we have to be willing to use that same courage to ask for feedback. You can ask friends, family, supervisors, co-workers, etc. one question to start the ball rolling: “Can you share something I do or don’t do that could be perceived as negative by others.”  This question is genius in that it’s not asking the person what they think, which makes it safer for them to answer. Take the feedback with a smile, and give a sincere “thanks” to them for sharing it. Don’t try to justify it or explain it. Just take the data point and start plotting your responses. Don’t forget to include your own perspective, too.

The point of personal and professional development is not to bend to the expectations of others. Rather, it’s about being clear about how you are perceived and taking control to make sure you are viewed only the way YOU want to be.

Share in the comments section a time being courageous helped you grow personally or professionally.

If you would like to partner up and get some support on your personal and professional journey, then an Empowerment Session is for you! Take advantage of the complimentary strategy session!

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Spring Cleaning Your Life

Well, it’s officially Spring! That may mean you’ll start some Spring cleaning. Maybe you’ll pack up the Winter stuff and pull out the Spring stuff. Maybe this is when you’ll clean out a closet, a basement, or a shed. The new growth of Spring can cause us to reflect on clutter, baggage, and stuff that may block the way to new and improved change. And I don’t just mean physical stuff. This can apply to everything in your life.

Spring offers us a new beginning. If you live in a colder climate, then you may have been cooped up all winter and you envision Spring being the start of a new you. Maybe you’ll get more physical, eat healthier, or try something new. But whether it’s a closet or a lifestyle, your vision may not include everything that’s in it now. That’s not to compare an old coat to an old friend. Things are different than people. However, just like it may be time to donate that old coat, it may be time to let some relationships go. These may be relationships you have at work or in your personal life, or they may be relationships you have with yourself, like attitudes, limiting beliefs, and unhealthy behaviors.

Cleaning out the closets of your life can make space to enjoy what you really want to keep and make room for new additions. Taking an inventory of all the spaces in your life can help you determine what to keep and what to let go of.

Consider your vision for all the “closets” of your life:

  • Work/Business
  • Personal Relationships
  • Hobbies/Activities
  • Physical Possessions
  • Health/Wellness
  • Religious/Spiritual
  • Intellectual

How do you want these areas of your life to look and feel? What do you want to change? Which ones need a refresh or reorganization? Getting crystal clear on what you want, will help you determine what needs to stay and what needs to go. As you consider each aspect of your life spaces, what would you need to add to it, to achieve that vision? Is there anything currently in that space that is keeping you from reaching that vision?

Using the Work/Business space as an example, you may realize you need more confidence or maybe you need to build a relationship with someone you respect in that professional circle. You also may realize that your Negative Nellie co-worker is only bringing you down. The additions can seem a little easier to work on. There are plenty of materials and professionals that can help build your confidence. There are also many ways you could start building a relationship with that respected professional. Tossing out the co-worker is much more difficult. You may truly like your Negative Nellie, but you know she isn’t helping your mindset or your vision to advance in your professional sphere. The beauty of dealing with people is there are many more options. You could have a conversation with this co-worker, for example, stating you are working on changing your mindset, and you could use their help by focusing only on the positive or actionable steps you could take. They may need a refresh, too. The point is there are plenty of options.

I’m certainly over-simplifying a complex part of life. These actions aren’t easy and there are many nuances to our relationships and lifestyles. However, if you have visions of change and growth, you’ll need to get clear on that vision in some area of your life, know what’s in your “closets,” and what you need and don’t need to reach that vision.

A great place to start that vision is by sharing it in the comments section! Tell me one area of your life you’d like to improve on this Spring.

Don’t you think it’s time to start cleaning out those closets and living to your fullest potential? Are you ready to develop a plan for living a life by YOUR design? Get Un-Stuck and schedule an Empowerment Session! Take advantage of a complimentary strategy session!

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Are You Using Your Superpowers?

Yes, you have superpowers. You have strengths and passions that because of their unique combination, make them special. Sure, there are likely plenty of people that are great at the same thing, but they don’t have the same combination of skills that you do. That makes you pretty freakin’ special!

When life gets busy, it can be easy to take these strengths for granted. In fact, we can get so busy focusing on our weaknesses or just trying to survive each day, that we may forget about our strengths and how far they’ve brought us.

I’m reading What Alice Forgot, by Liane Moriarty. The character Alice falls at the gym and hits her head. After speaking to others, she realizes that she has no memory of the past ten years. (You’ll get that book review in an upcoming monthly newsletter that only VIP subscribers get – so subscribe if you’d like in on that.) Anyway, that made me reflect on how much I’ve changed over the past ten years. It’s kind of startling when I think about it. This also caused me to realize something important – it was my strengths that brought every good change I’ve experienced.

Interestingly, it wasn’t always the strengths I recognized that brought about important change. I have often relied heavily on my sense of humor, my love of people, and my optimism to help me get where I was going. But when I look back on the last ten years, there were different strengths that propelled me forward. My willingness to be honest with myself about my shortcomings, my willingness to change, and my willingness to work hard were the ones that showed up the most for me. And I hadn’t really given those strengths any credit before realizing this.

I’m going to take a shot in the dark here and suggest that maybe you’ve done the same thing. Maybe you’ve forgotten that you possess many great qualities, strengths and passions. Maybe there are others you haven’t really paid much attention to. Try that exercise. Think about who you were ten years ago and compare that to who you are today. I’ll bet you’ve grown and learned lots of lessons. I’ll wager that you’ve overcome hardships and difficulties in large part because of your strengths. I bet many of those strengths will help you grow and evolve even more over the next ten years.

Knowing that, are there any strengths you can identify that will help you get where you want to be ten years from now? What aspects of your life would you like to be different and how could your strengths help you get there? These introspective questions can help you achieve your goals. Work on taking an inventory of your many strengths and passions. Bringing these superpowers to the front of your mind will make them that much more accessible to you when you need them. These are “tools” that are at your disposal whenever you face a challenging situation.

A great way to honor these superpowers is to share them, so tell me in the comments section a superpower you possess and how it has helped you in the past. Don’t be shy. Remember, your individual strength may be shared by others, but yours is in a unique combination of others you possess so shine some light on it by sharing in the comments!

Don’t you think it’s time to start using those strengths to their fullest potential? Are you ready to develop a plan for living a life by YOUR design? Get Un-Stuck and schedule an Empowerment Session! Take advantage of a complimentary strategy session!

If you’d like special offers, updates, and insider-only goodies (like the monthly newsletter with book reviews), SUBSCRIBE to be a VIP! (It’s free and I won’t blow up your in-box!)

email April@AuthenticLifeChronicles.com 

How Our Beliefs Can Limit Us

We all have belief systems. There are things we believe to be true. Mechanically, our brains help us to hold onto beliefs by “proving” them to be valid. For example, if you believe most people are good, you will find plenty of examples in life to prove this to be true. Likewise, if you believe most people are shady, you will find evidence of this as well.

The challenge with beliefs is that they are often limiting. This is true for both negative and positive beliefs. For example, if you believe that everyone is just out for themselves, you may be missing out on connecting with someone who truly wants to offer you support because your beliefs will convince you that they must have an ulterior motive for wanting to help you. Likewise, if you believe that you are so skilled and confident that you really don’t need anyone else’s help, you may face the same problem as the negative belief. You will not accept help. In both of these examples, your beliefs limited your results.

Beliefs, in and of themselves, are not “bad.” It’s up to you to determine which beliefs you’re willing to part with or consider alternatives to. Consider any that may be holding you back. These can often be identified as “reasons” you can’t escape a difficult situation. For example, you may believe if you leave your job, you’ll never find a better one or make the same rate of pay. There are plenty of examples of people leaving a job, struggling a bit, and then catapulting to a whole new level in their career. You may believe that being vulnerable in a relationship makes you appear weak, but if you look, you’ll find plenty of evidence suggesting the opposite is true.

So how can we alter our beliefs or at least be more open to others?

  • Question your beliefs – When you catch yourself, you can ask, how did this belief come into existence? Was it childhood or a bad experience or a scary event? Are you even sure you actually believe it?
  • Avoid totality statements – Words like, ‘always,’ ‘never,’ and ‘every’ should serve as red flags to you. Challenge those totality beliefs.
  • Think of times a belief has been untrue – If your inner critic keeps telling you it takes a long time to learn new things, try to think of times when you picked up on something quickly. Our brains like to make connections, so change the direction to finding examples that disprove our beliefs.
  • Try starting a belief statement with “sometimes” – Instead of making a belief so permanent, like “I’m awkward when meeting new people,” change it to, “Sometimes I’m awkward when meeting new people, and sometimes I’m very comfortable.” This opens up dual beliefs that can open up new perspectives.

When we loosen our grip on our beliefs, we will naturally open up to other possibilities. We no longer need to be confined and limited by what we believe. This opens our minds to new ideas, solutions, and approaches to life. We can be more creative, innovative, and flexible when we can look at the world with alternate views. This can also be very beneficial to our inner world and the beliefs we hold about ourselves.

In the comments section, share a limiting belief you once held and how changing it opened up new possibilities for you.

If you would like to work together and develop a plan for living a life by YOUR design, then an Empowerment Session is for you! Take advantage of the complimentary strategy session!

If you’d like special offers, updates, and insider-only goodies, SUBSCRIBE to be a VIP! (It’s free and I won’t blow up your in-box!)

email April@AuthenticLifeChronicles.com 

The Trouble with Goal Setting

I’m a fan of goal setting. I love setting goals and planning how I’m going to achieve them. I find the whole process exciting. Sometimes, though, the goal doesn’t get achieved. Not because I didn’t really want it, but because along the way I fizzled out. Or the goal happens, like in weight loss, but it doesn’t stick. I don’t maintain that ideal number. That’s the trouble with goal setting sometimes. It starts off being a motivator, but can end up being a de-motivator. That, my friends, is unfun. But does this suggest that we shouldn’t set goals?

There is absolutely a time and place for goals, so I’m not suggesting you get rid of them altogether. However, sometimes that can stifle our progress. So what’s an alternative? Setting a direction. Direction is broader, less defined, than goals. It’s the difference between losing 20lbs and living a healthier lifestyle. The goal of losing 20lbs is very specific, whereas the direction of living a healthier lifestyle is broad and open to lots of possibilities. It can lead to a feeling of success more easily than the weight-specific goal. You can feel successful if you added more fruits or veggies to your diet one day or walked for 20 minutes another day.

Another great feature of setting direction, is it allows you to be more curious. With goals, you have a clear path with milestones along the way. A goal of traveling cross-country will have a clear path on how you’ll get there, and what towns you’ll stop in along the way. With direction, you don’t need to plan everything ahead of time. You can choose your path as you go. It may not even be a straight path – you can zig zag as you find what feels best for you.

What’s wonderful about both goals and direction is they both lead you forward. They both require action. This means you should not feel any guilt about focusing on a direction instead of a goal. If you’re exploring something new, sometimes it’s best to start with direction first and then as you get more certain about specifics, you can start developing some goals. For example, if you want to increase your physical activity after years of being a couch potato, it may serve you better to set the direction of being more physically active in general. Then, as you explore different ways of doing this, you may find that you enjoy being outside more than inside and you can develop goals around this realization.

If goal setting has been something you’ve avoided, or has frustrated you in the past, give direction setting a try instead. I think you’ll find many benefits to this more general, flexible approach.

Share in the comments section a direction you set for yourself in the past and where it ultimately led you.

If you would like to work together and develop a plan for living a life by YOUR design, then an Empowerment Session is for you! Take advantage of the complimentary strategy session!

If you’d like special offers, updates, and insider-only goodies, SUBSCRIBE to be a VIP! (It’s free and I won’t blow up your in-box!)

email April@AuthenticLifeChronicles.com 

Five Love Languages – Touch

Some people just need a hug, a high-five, or a pat on the back to truly feel understood and appreciated. This post is the last segment of the 5-part series featuring a new “language” each month. These are based on Gary Chapman’s book series, Five Love Languages. Each post highlighted a particular language and some suggestions on ways to meet that need for yourself and others.  In October, I shared Words of Affirmation. In November, I shared Quality Time. December was all about Acts of Service and January covered Gifts.  This month will wrap up to discuss the language of touch, those physical gestures that some people need. Let’s review what’s been covered so far:
These are the Five Languages:

• Words of Affirmation
• Quality Time
• Acts of Service
• Gifts
• Touch

October’s Words of Affirmation shared how these language speakers want you to tell them they rock and why. November’s Quality Time shared how these people prefer focused attention on, or with, them. December’s Acts of Service shared how action and doing something the recipient would greatly appreciate is what tugs these heart strings. And in January we went over Gifts, which are those tangible “things” that let a person know they are loved and appreciated. Now we will close out the series with Touch.

These language speakers are all about touch. Nothing communicates like person to person connection. Touch rewards, soothes and, of course, loves.

Personally, this language speaker likes the obvious like hugging and holding hands. But more subtle signs include when they are listening to a heartfelt story, they may touch the hand of the speaker to soothe or to soften a difficult, yet honest discussion. These lovers are often eye-gazers as well. Touching with their eyes, so to speak. They also tend to be very comfortable being up close and personal with others they know and like, possibly as in ‘intruding-on-their-personal-space’ comfortable. So identifying these language speakers is relatively easy. Some find this a difficult and uncomfortable method of communicating. To the recipient however, this is as necessary as oxygen. Find your most bearable level of comfort and lay it on ‘em. Like the other languages though, remember not just any touch will do. You have to determine their preferences. As they are often so sensitive to touch, doing it “wrong” can have a negative effect. When in doubt, ask.

Professionally, there is not a lot of room for these language speakers, as most touch acceptable in the personal arena, is not appropriate in the workplace. Likewise, even those who prefer the language of touch in their personal lives to feel loved, may not prefer it in the workplace where the required personal connection is missing. Although you’ll see snippets of them as they tend to be the high-fiving, fist-bumping, pat on the back, handshaking folk. Those are pretty much the only acceptable forms of touch in the workplace and even the pat on the back can be annoying to some, so use with caution, always considering how the other person may perceive it, regardless of how you intend it.

Generally, these touchy-feely types love affection and being affectionate. If you identify with this language, remember it can also be off-putting to others at times, so pay attention to the signs others are giving to you. If you’re approaching someone and they take a step back, you likely just barged into their personal space, so be respectful of other’s needs.

Hopefully, you’ve identified your own primary “language” and those that play a significant part in your life, both personally and professionally. Understanding your own languages in those environments can help you communicate your needs better and be aware of how this differs from others. Understanding the language of others will help you show love and appreciation to them in a way that’s meaningful for them. As always, I hope this, and all preceding posts, gave you a new perspective to consider. Perhaps that person who frequently doles out compliments at work would like to receive some Words of Affirmation themselves. Maybe Mom’s complaints about how you never visit, is a sign that she needs Quality Time with you. Seeing your spouse’s face light up because you surprised them with a five-course homemade meal will indicate their need for Acts of Service. The employee who tears up after you present them with a small engraved plaque thanking them for being the Official Morale Booster of 2018 appreciates Gifts like nothing else. And of course, the ever-ready-with-a-hug, lover of Touch, who gets as much as she gives, in every embrace.

All of us need love and appreciation. We may need varying levels of it, but we all need it. Understanding how you need to receive it and how others need you to give it, and acting on that knowledge, will guarantee improved relationships. If you’re still unsure of your language or would like to invite someone else to learn theirs, here are the sites and info to take the online assessments: For the free personal assessment, go to www.5lovelanguages.com/profile . For the professional version, there is a $15 charge, but can be found at www.mbainventory.com .

You are now empowered to make a difference and communicate more effectively with someone. So go Love on that person you love and get Appreciating those people you work with. Watch how it will ripple through every aspect of your life.

You’re up…if touch is your preferred language, or that of someone you know, what’s a great way to use this appropriately? Also, now is a great time to share your thoughts on any of the “languages,” so head to the comments section to share yours.

If you would like to work together and develop a plan for living a life by YOUR design, then an Empowerment Session is for you! Take advantage of the complimentary strategy session!

If you’d like special offers, updates, and insider-only goodies, SUBSCRIBE to be a VIP! (It’s free and I won’t blow up your in-box!)

email April@AuthenticLifeChronicles.com 

(The Five Languages are based on “The Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman and “The Five Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace” (co-written by Paul White))

Being Your Best Self Every Day

Obviously, we all try to be our best selves every day. But then someone annoying comes along, or a challenging situation presents itself, and VOILA, we are living on a lower frequency. Stuff happens, and striving for perfection is wholly unhealthy. But there are some techniques to help you deal with annoyances and difficulties while still maintaining that ideal version of yourself.

When people or situations come our way, we tend to put our focus on them. We may analyze why someone is behaving a certain way (like the obnoxious tailgater) or figure out how we are going to resolve a problem (like a demanding boss). While there are most certainly times when these tactics may be useful, if your focus is on being your best self, there’s another way.

Let’s say you have an issue that you need to resolve with the electric company. You call and the customer service person gives you serious attitude. In fact, he’s being downright rude. Maybe situations like this in the past have wound you up and resulted in a battle that raised your blood pressure, made the call last longer, and left you feeling exhausted even if you came out victorious in the end. While you may justify your behavior, you likely don’t feel like your best self.

When faced with tough people or times, focus on asking what kind of person would take this situation in stride. What qualities might this person possess?  In the above example, the moment you sensed attitude from the service person, you would recognize your rising blood pressure. This is the point to ask the questions: what kind of person would take this in stride? What qualities would they possess? Perhaps you think a patient person would let the attitude go. So you focus on increasing your patience. Perhaps you think an important quality in this situation would be empathy. You consider the possibility that this person may have just gotten off the phone with an angry, insulting customer and they haven’t pulled themselves together yet. So you start working on showing them empathy. Or maybe the other person is just being a jerk. It doesn’t matter – this is about being the best version of yourself for YOU. The benefits others get out of that is just a bonus. You will feel proud in how you maintained your cool and lived in a higher frequency.

In the book, The Untethered Soul, by Michael A. Singer, he makes this genius reference about having a thorn in your arm. The way he tells it, you think of a sensitivity you have – let’s say you’re sensitive to other people using tone and having a bad attitude. Maybe this makes you feel disrespected. Whatever, it’s your sensitivity. Now imagine this sensitivity is actually a thorn in your arm. Every time someone or something comes in contact with it, it causes you pain and discomfort. You have two choices: You can live life doing everything you can to avoid having the thorn touched and reacting in a predictable way when it is; OR, you can remove the thorn.

It’s not all that easy to just remove a thorn. However, by identifying what your sensitivities are, then imagining what kind of person would be unaffected by them, and the qualities they would need to possess, you will be well on your way to removing the thorn.

What do you think? What’s a quality your ideal self possesses that helps you the most? Share in the comments section.

If you would like to work together and develop a plan for living as your BEST self, then an Empowerment Session is for you! Take advantage of the complimentary strategy session!

If you’d like special offers, updates, and insider-only goodies, SUBSCRIBE to be a VIP! (It’s free and I won’t blow up your in-box!)

email April@AuthenticLifeChronicles.com 

Questions to Ask Yourself During Challenging Times

When we are faced with challenging times, we may find ourselves pondering questions. Questions like, “why me?” “why does this always happen to me?” “how am I going to move on from this?” While it’s natural to do this, spending too much time on these questions likely won’t lead you to the path of recovery.

Questions like those are too big for you to answer. Take for example what could happen if you were to get in a car accident. It wasn’t your fault and your car was totaled. The value placed on your car is much less than the value you placed on it, so now you have a significant financial strain. The “why me?” and “how will I recover?” questions are not only universally big and far reaching, their answers may not be specific enough to help you in this moment.

So then, you may be wondering what questions WILL lead you to a healthier path and a happier resolution. Try these on for size:

  • What’s one small step I can take today that would ease my discomfort? – Sometimes no one thing is going to clear up your situation, but one small step can help a little. For example, if you’re struggling emotionally, a walk or workout can help alleviate some of your discomfort.
  • What’s one small action I can take that will lead me one step closer to a better future? – Maybe there isn’t much you can do today to change your circumstances, but what could make a small difference for your future. For example, if you’re in severe debt, could you find a small way to save or make money that will contribute a drop in the bucket of your future?
  • Who could help me in this situation? – People like helping other people. Think of others who can help or who have experienced a similar challenge.

Once you’ve answered these “Triage Questions,” you can start exploring how you got here and how you can prevent it in the future by considering these questions:

  • Is there a pattern that I’m unconsciously creating? If so, why might that be happening? – For example, some of us feel significant and important when we behave as victims. We don’t think of it this way consciously, but sometimes personal reflection will reveal this. This could relate back to childhood, or uncover a need to be cared for and paid attention to.
  • What behaviors of mine contributed to this situation? – For example, are you in yet another relationship that has you feeling resentful? Could you be holding in your feelings and not sharing your needs clearly?
  • How could I look at this situation differently? – Sometimes the situation isn’t the problem as much as our attitude around it is. How might this situation look to someone on the opposite side of it? Are there any truths to that perspective? Try to get a full 360-degree perspective on the problem.

It’s tough to truly explore questions like this when we are experiencing physical, emotional, or financial pain. This is why starting with the Triage Questions is recommended. You have to try to ease your pain in order to think more clearly. It may take days, weeks, or even months before you’re ready to explore the greater perspective questions. There’s no wrong way here. Nothing you do or discover is “wrong,” so don’t turn these exercises into an opportunity to beat yourself up. Reflect and change course as needed. Do not fault yourself for the path that led you here, just work on becoming aware and preventing a similar situation in the future.

I’m sure there are other questions that could be beneficial to ask yourself during challenging times. Share in the comments section a question you think is important.

If you would like to work together and develop a plan for living a life by YOUR design, then an Empowerment Session is for you! Take advantage of the complimentary strategy session!

If you’d like special offers, updates, and insider-only goodies, SUBSCRIBE to be a VIP! (It’s free and I won’t blow up your in-box!)

email April@AuthenticLifeChronicles.com 

Five Love Languages – Gifts

A thoughtful gift can make a significant difference to someone. This 5-part series has a new “language” discussed once a month. These are based on Gary Chapman’s book series, Five Love Languages. Each post will highlight a particular language and some suggestions on ways to meet that need for yourself and others.  In October, I shared Words of Affirmation. In November, I shared Quality Time. December was all about Acts of Service.  This month will discuss the language of gifts, those hand-picked goodies that brighten a person’s day. Let’s review what’s been covered so far:

These are the Five Languages:

• Words of Affirmation
• Quality Time
• Acts of Service
• Gifts
• Touch

If you would like a more detailed overview of each language, revisit October’s post. As a reminder, your primary and secondary languages may differ between your personal and business life, so view all the languages from those two perspectives. Now, if the idea of a little something special topped with a bow sounds like something someone you know would appreciate, read on.

Gift lovers are all about the tangible. Price isn’t (always) important. Often, it’s just getting a thoughtful “thing”.
On a personal level, this could be the newest BMW or a six month cruise around the world. But often, this is simply a bunch of handpicked wildflowers, a box of chocolates or the latest suspense novel. Those child drawings and driveway stones that have a little sparkle? Yeah, those too! These language speakers love to look at and touch these expressions of love. Like all the other languages, pay attention to clues that would help you determine just the right gift.

On a professional level, while the BMW or cruise would be great, these aren’t likely. Gift lovers get excited over the certificates, awards, pins and prizes. A bottle of their favorite wine for a special assignment that had the added bonus of making you look good too, is sure to score! A mall gift certificate, Cabela’s gift card or even an instant scratch ticket…any of these are likely to elicit pure joy. Remember though, thoughtful counts here too. Don’t assume Dave would automatically like tickets to the Patriot’s game any more than Carol would like tickets to the ballet. You should know enough about these people that if you’re going to give a personalized gift, you have a good idea what interests them.

Being thoughtful and sincere in your gift giving is sure to be a success to the gift-loving recipient. It’s especially enjoyable if they know why you’re giving it, even if it’s “just because”. Gifts make them feel special, so tell them why they are. Now is the time to get creative and get giving for these language speakers. They’re sure to repay you in your language…if they read this string of posts anyway. If not, give them the gift of this site! Otherwise, give all the wonderful readers here some ideas by commenting on creative ways to ‘gift’ those we love and work with, so they feel loved and appreciated. Watch for the final post in this series in February!

If you would like to work together and develop a plan for living a life by YOUR design, then an Empowerment Session is for you! Take advantage of the complimentary strategy session!

If you’d like special offers, updates, and insider-only goodies, SUBSCRIBE to be a VIP! (It’s free and I won’t blow up your in-box!)

email April@AuthenticLifeChronicles.com 

(The Five Languages are based on “The Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman and “The Five Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace” (co-written by Paul White))