Embrace the Positive Side of Compromise
The ability to compromise makes our lives and relationships run more smoothly, even if the concept sometimes seems challenging to implement. Here are some of the advantages of compromising as well as some techniques for finding middle ground.
Good Reasons to Compromise
1. Advance the greater good. Making reasonable concessions paves the way for finding solutions to difficult conflicts. For example, if you’re a parent with physical custody, be generous about accommodating your ex-spouse’s schedule so your kids grow up with two loving parents.
2. Facilitate cooperation. Teamwork flourishes in an atmosphere of trust and respect. By demonstrating your commitment to the common good, you make it easier to work together at the office and at home.
3. Strengthen your relationships. Cultivating our relationships is usually far more valuable than coming out ahead on any particular decision. Build good will by welcoming your mother-in-law’s help in the kitchen even if you think it would be faster to do a task yourself.
4. Feel happier. Our happiness depends more on the way we view events than on the events themselves. As you practice accommodating others, you’ll find that becoming more flexible and generous feels good.
Techniques for Making Constructive Compromises
1. Uphold your core values and needs. Distinguish between compromising and copping out. Bullying is destructive for both parties, so preserve your own integrity and set healthy boundaries. Be firm and respectful about communicating your rights and desires.
2. Prioritize issues. Save your energy for the stuff that really matters. As long as your son is getting good grades and staying out of trouble, maybe you can live with him coming home from college with an eyebrow piercing.
3. Gather facts. Try bolstering your position by doing the research to back it up. If your boss tends to resist change, he may be more receptive to approving a new employee benefit if you document how it saves money and improves employee retention.
4. Empathize with the other person’s position. When you’re asking someone to meet you halfway, try to put yourself in their shoes. Listen closely to their concerns and goals so that you can address them.
5. Consider all your options. We all attach different values to the same things. If you and your partner have different standards for house cleaning, you may be able to work things out by hiring a cleaning service.
6. Express appreciation. Thank people for being willing to make trade-offs. Acknowledge the concessions they make and their contribution to creating more positive outcomes. For example, if your employees work through the weekend to meet a production deadline, ensure it gets noted in their annual review and encourage them to take compensating time off.
7. Stick to your word. Think carefully before making a serious compromise so you’ll feel confident that you can live with it. Proceeding slowly is better than making promises you may later regret. On the other hand, your loved ones will usually be willing to rethink an arrangement if it’s undermining your wellbeing.
8. Take accountability for your decision. Once you spell out the terms you can abide by, assume responsibility for the choices you’ve made. This will help you to avoid becoming resentful.
9. Wield power wisely. Even if you have the upper hand in an interaction, it’s usually best to seek an agreement that’s acceptable to everyone involved. Future situations are likely to run more smoothly and you’ll enjoy more peace of mind.
Learning to give and take helps everyone to wind up with more in the end. Stay true to yourself while being open to making accommodations that create better solutions in our private and public lives.
7 Strategies to Embrace Change at Work
Learning to accept change at work is critical to being successful in your career. Dealing with alterations to your normal work procedures can be frustrating, unwanted, and even scary, but change can bring many positive elements to an active working environment.
What can you do to welcome change at your job with confidence and an adventuresome spirit?
Consider these suggestions to guide you towards embracing workplace changes with optimism:
1. Why do you feel negatively about the change? Ask yourself what scares you or makes you angry about a recent change at work. Explore all the possibilities.
* List your concerns. Maybe you think your job or paycheck is threatened. Perhaps you think the company might close because of the change. Think through these concerns.
* If you find that your concerns are legitimate, create a Plan B that you can implement in your worst-case scenarios.
* Once you make an action plan, let go of anxieties about situations you can’t control and optimistically expect the best results that could happen from the change.
2. Remind yourself those in charge have good reasons for the change. You must trust that the people running the company are making the choice to change for a reason that will benefit the company.
* Recognize that people in power have a picture of the entire situation. They have information that you might not have.
3. Help reduce workplace negativity about the change. Avoid lengthy discussions with co-workers about changes in the workplace, especially if your peers are focusing on negativity related to the changes.
* Some co-workers might be especially antagonistic about upcoming changes due to their own fears and insecurities. Realizing their less-than-positive comments spring from fear will help you refrain from participating in such conversations.
* Make an effort to be understanding, but decline to share any thoughts that might be interpreted as negative about the changes.
* Share thoughts about the positive results the change should bring.
4. Accept the change as part of your job. Recognize that an important aspect of your work is to support the management and carry out your leaders’ directives.
* Simplify the situation for yourself by pledging to respect the changes and perform your duties as required.
5. Consider the new plans a challenge. Make a decision to face the change head-on and do whatever it takes to glean positive results from the new plans.
* Show yourself that you can roll with the punches. The changes may even result in your adding some very important career experiences to your resume for the future.
6. Have confidence that you can handle any change. Remind yourself that you strive for excellence in your work, regardless of the situation.
7. Embrace the positive possibilities. Your work situation might actually improve because of the new changes. Even though it might take some time to experience, you’ll most likely see some positive results emerge from the adjustments in your work environment.
* This could be a time of rejuvenation, renewal and newfound efficiency.
* Be patient throughout the implementation process.
* Allow yourself to expect your work situation to improve because of the changes.
Although changes at work might be scary and unwanted, open your mind to the possibilities of change. Put some of these strategies into practice if changes occur where you work. Yes, you can embrace change at work with positivity, confidence, and patience!
Once we believe in ourselves,
we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight,
or any experience that reveals the human spirit.
Every one of us has faced challenges with our self-confidence that’s left us feeling a bit intimidated. But these challenges do not have to destroy our ability to pursue opportunities. In fact, by embracing our primary strengths, we can develop the self-belief we have always been captivated by in others.
Here are four strategies for embracing your strengths and leave some of your confidence issues behind:
1. Emphasize and Record the good stuff!
Regardless of your challenge with self-confidence, you can always find things you like about yourself. Make the time to take note of those things. To help you remember, consider journaling your achievements of starting a new journal highlighting one or all of the following:
- wins for the day/ week/ month
- stuff you got done, jdis (just-do-its)
Highlighting your excellence is a wonderful way to boost your confidence.
- Likes can be physical things.
- or character traits you possess.
- Whatever they are, embrace them and remind yourself that you are a beautiful, talented, and beloved person!
- Schedule a time each day to honor yourself.
- Treat yourself to something nice just because you are satisfied and even proud of the person you are.
- Consider small treats daily, with a bigger bang at the end of the month.
- Take note when others compliment you.
- You are probably predisposed to pushing the compliment aside; most of us have been trained that this is the correct way to handle them.
- Learn to take them at face value.
- It means that others are seeing positive qualities that you might be taking for granted!
- Write that down!!!
2. Flip difficulties into celebrations.
- Use your strongest skills to help turn challenges around.
- You can lean on your other skill sets to provide reinforcement during difficult times.
- For example, say you need to make a presentation. You’re an absolute wreck because you feel inadequate. Try leaning on your sense of humor to break the ice?
- There are many different ways to use personality and character strengths to your advantage.
- Be creative
- STOP looking at obstacles as insurmountable
- Take a breath and find a way through
3. Sharpen the saw.
- There will always be room for you to grow!
- Good solid growth also involves improving on existing strengths.
- As you work towards sharpening the strengths you already have, you’ll find that your self-confidence increases naturally.
- For example, maybe you are a quick thinker. You can usually identify ways around most challenges quickly and easily. But, have you mastered the art? Can you find ways to get better?
4. Align your new goals with your strengths.
- There is another way around your self-confidence issues.
- Take a break from setting goals that require self-confidence. Try setting a few that use your natural strengths. As you experience success regularly, it will bring out a new confidence in you.
- It is not cheating!!
- Setting goals that are “easier” to accomplish is not cheating your way to self-confidence.
- You are laying down stepping stones towards achieving your final goals. A path of continual improvement as you continue to prove to yourself that you can overcome.
- You deserve the joy of feeling that you are achieving your goals. It really does a lot for your dignity and self-esteem.
- It helps bolster the belief that tougher goals, though intimidating, are indeed achievable.
As you begin your work towards developing self-confidence, remember that you are your only hindrance.
Remember to challenge yourself. Intentionally step a little outside your comfort zone (more often) to prove your grit to yourself. In time, as each challenge melts away, you will start to feel your confidence building. And soon, there won’t be a door you feel intimidated to open!
Sooner or later we all discover that the important moments in life are not the advertised ones, not the birthdays, the graduations, the weddings, not the great goals achieved. The real milestones are less prepossessing.
They come to the door of memory unannounced, stray dogs that amble in, sniff around a bit and simply never leave.
Our lives are measured by these.
My birthday, which is today, gives me a chance to focus on what is important in my life.
I shy away from taking life for granted. Life is a blessing. Being able to see another year fills me with gratitude.
Time moves quickly, so I am deliberate in using it in a meaningful way. I spend as much time as possible with those whom I love the most.
Each year gives me a chance to reflect on issues in my relationships and put new plans in place to try to resolve them. Healing is an important part of moving forward in a positive light.
It is hardly worth the effort in being upset with others because the future is uncertain for us all. I choose to spend my moments with others honoring their goodness and meaning in my life.
Although I get older with each birthday, I am rarely concerned about aging. I know that it is a blessing to be able to say that I am older. Actually, to have lived longer than I had anticipted at a tender age. There are many people who miss out on that chance, so I fully embrace it.
I give my attention to the state of my heart and soul. Each birthday reminds me that I have another opportunity to align my actions with my values.
Having integrity is more important than having physical beauty and perfection. I prefer to be remembered by the content of my soul. It always shines through.
Today, it is a blessing to have another year of life ahead of me. I am committed to living according to my system of beliefs. My focus is on continuing to have a good quality of life.
is the beginning of all wisdom.
Would it not be delicious
To walk the earth
Free-er, simpler, differently
Not weighed down
By the peculiar appetites
As if we’re constantly in training
But it is a choice we make
Or do not make
Consciously or unconsciously
To remain hitched
To old ways of thinking, acting
Walking ancient paths
Allowing others to hold us
By leash to their whims
While neglecting our own desires
Choosing to fly free
A simple no
A single step over lines drawn
Push back against the norm
Allow the wind
To unfurl your wings
Live your life
You only have one
In any case
Change is the choice
We make, or we do not
©Copyright 2021 Martina Green McGowan, MD
This is written as a followup to last week’s post about simplifying life, and fresh, new choices for the future…
“It is not a daily increase, but a daily decrease.
Hack away at the inessentials.”
Confucius once said, “Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.”
If we make life complicated and fill it up with things, happening, and doings, how can we ever figure out how to focus on what matters most to us?
We are all running about trying to squeeze everything we can into the few “free” hours we have when, in fact, we would likely be a lot happier and healthier if we embraced the beauty of simplicity!
Here are few suggestions you can try today to simplify your life, and maybe find more joy:
When was the last time I read anything from your TBR stack of books piled up on the floor next to your bed or your favorite chair?
When did I last wear my favorite hat or that scarf hanging on the closet floor?
Give that stuff to someone who needs it!
De-cluttering will give you an opportunity to enjoy the things that truly matter. Plus you’ll feel a sense of relief with a more organized working and living space.
When we choose to eliminate the clutter around us, we gain a deeper appreciation for the things we really care about.
Food is another aspect of our lives that can be simplified in many ways.
First, instead of worrying about the next bite, or the next meal, enjoy the taste of the food that’s already in your mouth. Savor it. Let it all sink in and try to taste each flavor.
Consider the ingredients in your food. Take your time and use quality ingredients when you cook. The end result will taste better, and more to your liking!
3. Electronics and Connection.
Think of all the gadgets in your life. Do you use them all? Do you even use half of them anymore?
The more stuff we have to “connect” us to the “outside world,” the more we tend to feel disconnected!
Take out the earbuds, turn off your car radio, and put down your cell phone. Instead of trying to be always connected to people you don’t know, or to people to who you are connected only because they can “help” you, try communicating with those around you. Nothing is more satisfying than a rewarding conversation with a family member or close friend! Granted, that may require the use of your cell phone, but you get the point.
A cluttered mind steers us away from what’s most important. Simple ideas are almost always better. By simplifying our thinking, we open our minds to new possibilities.
A simplified mind does not mean we aren’t thinking, it just means that we are choosing to focus on a thing with greater clarity.
When our attention is split into several directions, it is difficult, at best, to make rational decisions. And if we are dwelling in the past or worrying about the future, how can we live in this moment?
If we are trying to jam a week into a single day, we will feel a tension that will pull us away from where we want to be and are meant to be. Instead of wondering what’s next, savor the here and now.
Be. Here. Now.
Release the useless distractions and minutiae from your mind, and you will feel better, and clearer. You will also regain a sense of peace and harmony within yourself.
As with all the other clutter we have mentioned above, begin eliminating some of the clutter in your hectic schedule and do what’s best for you and your family, not everyone else.
Obviously, you cannot do all of these things at once. Take time for yourself. Sit in a quiet space and think about what is important to you. Once you know what it is in terms of time or family, or whatever you choose as your primary target, you can build a plan to move toward your goals. If something doesn’t work well, don’t waste a lot of time on it, move on or make a new plan for a life that has more joy and less “doing” in it.
Living life simply is extremely rewarding. When you do so, you eliminate many of the useless cares and are able to focus on what’s really important to you. Give it a try!
We must always change, renew, rejuvenate ourselves;
otherwise, we harden.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Last week we talked about our mid-year checkin. I hope you looked into at least a few of the things you are juggling in your life. It is good to reassess and shake up our thinking and being periodically.
Today, I will share an affirmation on renewal. Near the end of this post, you will also find some prompts for writing or journaling.
I take time for renewal.
I pause during my daily life to take time for renewal.
Closing my eyes, I feel the waters of rejuvenation wash over me like a dip in a cool, clear spring.
Breathing in deeply, I inhale the bountiful air. Oxygen infuses every cell in my body.
I feel the spray of water dance across my skin. I am standing underneath a healing waterfall. Water gently cascades all around me.
I feel the cool waters bathe my brain, wash through my ears, and cleanse my tired eyes.
My mind is calm, clean, and brimming with new possibilities.
My ears hear the joy in the voices of others.
My eyes see with a fresh, new perspective.
The soothing waters wash over my neck, shoulders, and back, relaxing and loosening any stiff muscles.
I feel the invigorating water rush over me from head to toe, filling and energizing my entire being.
Any tension I feel flows out of my body in gentle waves and leaves through my hands and my feet.
Breathing in deeply, I feel the healing effects of the waterfall. I am energized.
It is a new, fresh moment and the possibilities for my growth are endless.
I am rejuvenated, refreshed, and renewed.
Today, I pause and take time for renewal.
I give my mind, body, and spirit the precious gift of time to renew and recharge.
I send thoughts of love to all parts of my body.
I am renewed and grateful.
Thoughts for journaling:
1. When do I most feel in need of renewal?
2. How can I make the time to take the time to renew myself?
3. How might it benefit others if I take the time to practice a self-renewal affirmation?
They know your face, but not your mind.
They understand your words, but not your heart.
They hear your name, but not your soul.
They grasp your past, but not your future.
Do you find it difficult to accept the person you are? Maybe you feel discomfort about being so different from everyone else. Or perhaps you find yourself similar to others to the point that you believe you’re boring.
Either way, it’s time to recognize that your special variety of character traits combine to create a one and only, very unique you.
Although there are many ways to accept and embrace who you are, check out these strategies to open your arms to the amazing individual you are:
1. Take note of your habits.
- What kind of habits do you practice? Do you floss your teeth every night and consistently wash dishes as soon as you dirty them? Is your bedtime and time for arising always the same?
- * Understand what’s important to you by noticing the behaviors you routinely do. In a sense, your habits are your “trademark.”
2. Describe your personality in detail.
- A wonderful tool for embracing your individuality is to consider deeply the type of person you are.
- If you had to describe yourself, in detail, to someone else, what words would you use?
- Maybe you always in a rush
- or, you like keeping an immacculate household
- or, you have tons of friends and are very outgoing
- If you had to describe yourself, in detail, to someone else, what words would you use?
- Write down your description of yourself, being as thoughtful and thorough about your personality characteristics as you can.
- You’re worth the time this procedure will take.
3. What is absolutely great about you?
- Of course, you have your own special blend of positive qualities:
- Are you an exceptional listener?
- Do you have a good sense of humor?
- Does everyone rely on you because you are super-dependable?
- Write that stuff down!
4. What are your biggest struggles?
- What challenges you?
- If you find yourself stumped about how to handle a situation, write those situations and potential solutions out on paper.
- Getting a real handle on what takes its toll on us helps build our self-awareness.
- Work to improve how you handle your biggest struggles.
- Yes, identification is great but commit to actually tackling the challenges one at a time to experience success in those areas is very important to do for yourself.
- Why? Because you will, in time, see that you can overcome almost any obstacle you focus your mind and skills on it.
5. Remind yourself that you are a worthy human.
- In order to embrace our individuality, we must fully accept who we are.
- Learning to love ourselves and take us as we are is a great aid to loving and encouraging others. Yes, we have flaws, but who doesn’t?
- But, bear in mind that recognizing that we are okay does not mean that we can’t work to improve.
- Accepting our shortcomings and quirks and our less-than-perfect features can help us improve.
6. Embrace who you are each morning.
- It is a brand new day!
- We have new opportunities to make discoveries about ourselves and who you are.
- Consider the evolving day as a setting to keep learning more and more about yourself.
Actively work each day to love yourself and your individuality.
Learn what is great about you, what kinds of things vex you, and how to handle them.
Embracing our individuality and accepting ourselves for exactly who we are can enrich our lives in ways we have yet to imagine!
We have made it trhough June. And, whether you do resolutions, promises, statements, affirmations, 1, 2, or 3 words, or some other scheme, you probably told yourself that this year would be better than last year. On the surface, that wouldn’t be hard. Last year was filled with pandemic fears, vaccine woes, the seemingly interminable, lockdown, racial unrest and political turmoil.
Many people lost their jobs, or their jobs changed. We all learned how to do more from home, and entered more zoom rooms than we care to remember. But, it was also an opportunity to meet people around the world, albeit in a little box, and share our lives.
So, think back to January, when you thought the world would be back to normal by now. How has that been going for you? Have you been able to maintain your focus? Or have you drifted a bit from where you thought you’d be by now.
This isn’t about shaming or blaming. It has been a another tough-ish 6 months for many of us. You have survived and hopefully thrived in some areas during our slow rise from the pandemic.
It’s mid-year, and we are checking in with ourselves and each other.
Mind / Mood
How is your head doing? Pretty clear? Happy with what you’re able to get done? Or are you lost in a fog? Stuck in a funk? Having trouble rising to life’s challenges?
Concerns about needing to speak with someone outside of this forum? Here is a resource: 1-800-662-HELP (4357). Reach out if you need more.
If you’ve found a way to beat the blues, please share.
- Weight-wise, last year was like the first year of college. Pretty inactive, with even less motivation to try to get moving. Most of us have packed on a few extra pounds, the pandemic-freshman 15. Remember that? I can feel it in the clothes that don’t fit the same any more- either tighter or looser, or any of these combinations in unusual places. I tossed my scale a few years ago, so I can’t give you a concrete number.
- Tai Chi
- Not gym-ready. The pandemic is still upon us. The jury remains out on wehther we should be wearing masks or not. I still wear mine most of the time; but that is my decision. Anyway, between age, several shoulder surgeries, etc., I don’t think I’ll be getting back into serious or heavy weight ifting. So I’ve switched my focus to Tai Chi. Something gentler on the mind and body. Plus a little work on strenth, balance, coordination, and complex movements (also good for battling cognitive decline). Dr Adam Potts has a nice online (FB) Tai Chi flow class I am currently enjoying. He also has a free 21-day flow class starting next week. If you are interested. please let me know.
- The point is that you should do what worksfor you in the present. Not what you may have been hooked on in the past, or that your friends think is a great think to try. Be realistic. Yu will be hapier and make much more progress.
- Intermittent fasting – because I am not burning many calories with movement, I started intermittent fasting. This has been a success so far. It has stabilized my weight (as far as I can tell), and has improved my labwork; which makes my physician happy. Don’t know much about this? I will blog about it in the near future.
- I know you were expecting spirit here; mind-body-spirit. We will get to that in another post…
- Check your subscriptions, and any other unconscious spending. Are these things that are still important to you? Things like:
- Television streaming – are you watching all the channels? Or have you narrowed it down to 4 or 5? Cancel the subscriptions and remove the apps that no longer apply.
- Your checkup should include internet connections, phone services, utilities, gym memberships, etc. These things often get lost in our busyness and forgotten over time.
- Make it a habit to check in periodically, even if you’ve gone paperless.
- Paypal – do you have ongoing subscriptions through Paypal? When was the last time you checked? After checking, remove the useless ones, especially if they are costing you
- Personal Note: A few months ago, I was checking my paper, yes, paper bank statements, and there were some (many and frequent) small amounts of fraudulent withdrawals. I checked in with Paypal, and that was a dead end. The problem was not on their end. I Googled the company making the withdrawals. I was one of thousands being defrauded in this way. I followed up with the bank, and got monetary reimbursement for the most recent 90 days. It is amazing how quickly small dollars amounts, withdrawn daily, can really add up.
The continued joy of life is finding and doing what works for us, accepting what canot be changed, changing what we can, and understanding the difference between discipline and deprivation.
Seize the day. Absolutely!! But, keep focus on your end-game, the prize, as well.
Find your balance.