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Posts Tagged ‘how to balance life’

To Succeed You Gotta Get Gritty

Monday, June 15th, 2015

Good morning Achievers!

You know grit is quite a hot topic these days (check out Angela Duckworth’s research here). Grit means you go through a hellacious experience and you do more than just survive, you thrive. Or perhaps you are the Energizer bunny and no matter what happens, you just keep going and going and going. My own gritty experience (I think the actual word I used to describe it at the time only rhymed with gritty) involved getting a cancer diagnosis, having three little kids, knowing my husband was in a combat zone, and deciding to start a Ph.D. program and a new counseling practice. So what are the five traits of Grit? They are courage, achievement, follow-through, resilience, and excellence (rather than perfection).

 

Courage, or your ability to manage fear of failure, can only be cultivated through hardship. That’s a tough sell to entrepreneurs. We want to succeed because we have a mortgage to pay, student loans to pay back, or food to buy. Achievement might seem like an easier virtue to swallow, but it’s important to note that this is NOT meticulous conscientious completion. It is a ‘do your best-finish it up-get on to the next task whether it looks pretty or not’ virtue. Follow-through is akin to Malcom Gladwell’s ‘10,000 hours to mastery’ theory. It tells us that practice with purpose is the driver behind accomplishing long term goals. Resilience can be descried as the belief that “everything will be alright in the end, and if it’s not alright, it’s not the end.” Excellence-not perfection is a gritty trait because it is an attitude. Perfection, on the other hand, relies on the opinions of others and is impossible to reach.

 

To see Angela Duckworth’s TED talk about grit click here.

 

Have a Gritty Day! – Kate

How to Improve Communication and Listening Skills

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

Sometimes I think listening is a lost art. I had the following experience: Hurricane Sandy was just a few hours away from landfall, and my 21-year-old son lives in Manhattan. Naturally I was a bit worried. In light of the impending storm, many people asked, “Do you have anyone in the storm’s path?” I answered affirmatively, hoping to talk a bit about my son and my worry. However, the other person immediately began to tell me about all of the people she knew who were also somewhere in the storm’s path.

Her heart was in the right place and she probably thought she was being supportive by indicating that she was in the same boat. However, what it felt like was that she really didn’t care about me, or my son, and it was all about her.

Listening is not thinking about what you are going to say once the other person has finished speaking. Listening is not waiting for the other person to stop speaking so that you can say something about yourself. If you want to improve listening skills, it is important to know the listening definition: listening is doing the sometimes difficult work of really understanding what the speaker is saying and then verbalizing what you have understood.

When we listen, there are several things we can do to show the speaker we are really listening. First, let the speaker know you heard him by responding with a statement like, “It must be really scary having family in a storm when you can’t help.” Next, ask a question such as, “Does he have enough supplies to get through the storm?” This indicates to the speaker that you are trying to understand and hear him.

This process is called Reflective Listening, and it really does work as a way of how to improve communication! The process ensures that the person who is speaking feels heard and understood. To be listened to and understood feels like being loved. Love the people in your life today. Listen.

The Very Best You

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

Everyone has buddies and relatives whom we love. Not only do we care deeply about them, we think a lot about what we will be able to give them. These emotions and thoughts are crucial! There’s a point, nevertheless, when giving might be negative.

The best thing you can give your loved ones is the very best you. What does that suggest? It means that you learn about yourself, how you are feeling in different situations, how your family of origin affected you for good (or not so good), how you deal with conflict, and what your wishes are. When you find out about yourself you begin to change. You can discover you are becoming as important as your mother or father. Maybe you never learned to request what you need and now you’re getting depressed due to resentment. You might even discover your intense wrath is a cover-up for your hurt. The result is that you may be good at going through the motions of giving, but the internal attitude is not so charitable because it consequently diminishes the value of your good works, thus leaving you feeling sad and alone inside. But it does not have to stay that way.

Consider Wayne* and Sandy*. Wayne and Sandy came to see me because Sandy was depressed and Wayne didn’t think he could handle it any more. As we conversed, Sandy discovered that in 27 years of marriage, she never asked for what she needed. She thought that her role as wife and mom was to only do for others!

Wayne spotted that, while he was fond of having Sandy take care of him and the children, he had become self-absorbed and disconnected from Sandy. As they gained understanding of themselves and one another, Sandy started listening to her feelings and wishes and Wayne started listening and responding. Sandy’s depression lifted and Wayne found out he was married to an interesting woman!

This is what I mean by becoming the very best you. Start today: invest in yourself, learn to love yourself, and begin making the changes you need so you can love yourself more. When you learn to love yourself more and love yourself first, everything falls into place. So the gift you can give is the gift of loving yourself. Everybody will be happy with that as a gift!

 

* Wayne and Sandy are pseudonyms and represent a host of couples who have received solutions in their marriage for matters surrounding this kind of issue.

Sue Watkins is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Sue can be found at www.SueWatkins.net.

 

How Classroom Routines for Children Provide Security in their Daily Education

Sunday, October 7th, 2012

This is the first of a four-part series that examines the importance of rituals in our lives. This article will examine the daily rituals that we all take for granted, as we often fail to recognize their role in keeping us grounded. It is important to know “routine” definition. A routine is a sequence of actions regularly followed, or a fixed program. These daily rituals are particularly significant as children start school, when parents adjust schedules to accommodate the changes from a more flexible summer routine to the more demanding requirements of a daily education program.

Our schools are very rich in the usage of rituals. The day begins with morning announcements, the children have certain times and routines for classes, recess, lunch, etc. Have you ever observed routines for children throughout their day at school, including the classroom routines? They know exactly what to anticipate the moment they walk in the door. There is a place for their backpacks, jackets, supplies. They know when they are supposed to take out materials from their desks, open books, etc. In order for rituals to be effective, they have to be meaningful, so the rituals in the schools and classrooms provide a security for the children as they become comfortable knowing what to expect. Have you ever listened to a child explain that they had a substitute teacher? You can tell from the child’s voice that the routine was different. Have you ever heard a child explain that they had music that day rather than PE? It is significant for them, because it is a change in what they expected.

As schools create daily rituals for children, it is also crucial for parents to use rituals in the home to provide that same sense of “grounding.’ Getting up at the same time, going to bed at the same time, reading books together, doing homework at specified times, etc. Children want and need that security that rituals provide them.
Surprise yourself and make a list of all the daily rituals that you have provided for your family.

Next month we will examine those rituals that families create for special occasions such as birthdays.

Achieve Balance: Balancing Life and Work

Friday, September 28th, 2012

In today’s fast paced world, at times it may seem impossible to balance your life. Many people feel they must wake up with their feet on the ground running in order to meet the demands of the day.

Whether it is taking care of the household duties, meeting the needs of a demanding job, or pleasing the spouse and children, balancing your life without being struck down by physical or emotional issues can be challenging at times. When an event, task, relationship, or thought is overpowering, it is normal to feel overwhelmed and out of control.

Managing tasks, emotions, relationships, and retain self-respect is essential to a healthy and balanced life. It is important to not be too one sided about anything, and balancing life and work is key. In fact, combining opposites is the key to staying in balance. For example, all work and no play is just as unhealthy as all play and no work. Being too invested in self-interests and having no interest in others will cause an imbalance just as too much time invested in others and not enough time in self.

While it is important to strive to enhance and make ourselves better, self-acceptance is essential to balance. Know the difference between dieting to combat obesity or diabetes and dieting to look like the swimsuit models you saw in last month’s People Magazine. Accept your body shape and your genetic makeup while dedicating yourself to a healthy lifestyle.

Do you feel like your life is out of balance? A therapist utilizing Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) can help you move away from extremes and attain balance again by helping you learn mindfulness, distress tolerance skills, emotional regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness skills. Finding balance in life and achieving balance can lead to healthier relationships, greater self-confidence, and a more fulfilling life. If you are struggling, why not call a therapist today?

Tia Parsley, MEd, LPC, LCDC has experience assisting adolescents and their families with issues such as addiction, anger management, depression, anxiety, communication, parenting, and stress management.

 

Balance

Friday, October 7th, 2011

Achieve Balance Today!
Sounds great, but how?
Welcome to my Blog. I’m Kate Walker and in addition to founding and owning achievebalance.org (http://achievebalance.org) and our new non profit Ann’s Place (http://annsplacetexas.org) I am a licensed professional counselor supervisor and a licensed marriage and family therapist supervisor. Every day I’m going to give you hints and tidbits of information about achieving balance in your relationships, your work, and within yourself. I don’t presume to have all the answers, so I plan to direct you to resources written by experts in the field of health, nutrition, exercise, spirituality, recreation, communication; you name it. My ambitious goal is to be your one-stop-shop for topics related to achieving balance.

To do what I do for a living, I must have faith in my client’s ability to help him or herself. To that end I am asking for your help. Your comments to my posts will help your fellow man/woman who may need help today. There are some rules to the game, however.

• Posts that use profanity, vulgarity, mean-spirited comments and general nastiness will not see the light of day (or your computer screen).
• Although I enjoy a good debate/product placement/soap box pontification as much as the next person, those types of comments probably won’t make the cut either.
• Be helpful, be short, and be nice.

Thanks for joining me. Now, let’s go make a difference!

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