Time To Clean House??

Time To Clean House??

How To Deal With Challenging Relationships 

“I have a ‘friend.” 

She’s combative. Cutting. Once we had commonality but now… She’s the kind of friend that walking away from the party you feel kinda… sober.

Or driving home—you don’t even realize it—but find yourself thinking… ‘Why don’t I feel so great?’

And then it clicks. ‘Ohhh. She was being an asshole.’ 

Hmmm.   

Maybe this resonates with you?

Because truth be told this is a HUGE topic of conversation in my coaching world. And it doesn’t matter whether you’re single or married—Ladies, at our time of life, we’re thinking about cleaning house…

We ALL want to be surrounded by real, authentic human beings who aren’t pretentious, don’t expect us to be Superwoman—but do boost us up…

Yet, we’ve tolerated certain relationships for far too long.

So, what can you do about it? 

Well, there are 5 methods for managing draining relationships. 

(But the truth is, most people retreat to #1…)

  1. Remain a victim to it
  2. Change it
  3. Change perspective of it
  4. Accept it 
  5. Leave it

Let’s unpack these a little…

1. Remain a Victim To The Relationship

In other words, continue to allow this relationship to drain you. This most likely includes a feeling of loss of control, powerlessness, uncontrolled anger, grief and depression. Worst case scenario? It’ll keep draining us till nothing is left.

Ask yourself…

  • What is blocking my willingness to change this relationship?
  • If I’m not willing to change the relationship at this point, what’s my target timeline for re-evaluation?                                                                                               

2. Change The Relationship

Here we recognize that you can take proactive action to change the relationship (or some aspect of it) so that you can remain in it and benefit from it. 

For example, you may find a common point of agreement that enables the relationship to continue—at least at a neutral level—releasing and reconciling differences, developing coping mechanisms, or taking action from higher levels of energy in order to shift the energy of others and yourself.

 Ways you can do this:

  • Resolve/repair conflict 
  • Create opportunities to grow and experience life together
  • Connect with the bigger picture of the relationship

Ask yourself, why is this relationship important? What’s your common ground? And how can you both benefit from being in the relationship?

3. Change Perspective of It

Rather than changing the relationship with actions and new behaviors, a relationship can also be changed through modifying and shifting how we look at it. The bottomline here? Different ‘lenses’ bring different experiences.

Ask yourself, how can you look at this draining and/or challenging relationship with a fresh pair of eyes? 

And consider this…

  • What qualities do you appreciate in the other person—and how can you stay connected to this?
  • How can you see the other person from a new vantage point?
  • How can you experience the relationship from a different position?

*This strategy can also be very effective with past relationships that are still emotionally charged within you, despite the relationship being over or currently non-existent. 

(Think a painful divorce or even a deceased individual. In either case you could be so wracked by pain and guilt that you’re having a hard time moving forward.) 

4.Accept The Relationship

Here, you suspend judgment, stress and burden associated with the relationship. You are accepting it just as it is… and ‘as it is’ is okay. The relationship requires nothing but acceptance of peace for this moment in time.

3 Strategies to Consider:

  • The use of centering techniques
  • Daily mantras 
  • Other self-help techniques to enhance your ability to remain stress free when engaged in this challenging relationship (i.e. physical reminders, knowing your limits, or minimizing duration of time spent alone with the person in question)

The key is to find whatever it takes to help you remain in the relationship—and not feel drained by it. 

5. Leave The Relationship

If you don’t like the relationship and you cannot/will not remain in it…

Or you’ve tried to change the way you look at it (and can’t) then your remaining option is to leave. Or terminate it. Respect the other person, and yourself as human beings and know that sometimes we cannot co-exist. 

There is no judgment necessary. This is not good or bad—it simply is.

Ask yourself…

  • How ready are you to leave?
  • What is your plan to transition out of the relationship?

* If you are less than 100% ready to leave, develop plans to shift your readiness, or reconsider your strategy.

And finally, here’s a simple truth that might help you to visualize…

There are 3 types of friends. The ones you keep in the kitchen, the ones on the front porch, and the ones you keep out on the street. 

So, what’s the difference?

Well, your kitchen is the heart of the house. They’re your nearest and dearest…

Those on the front porch—we’ll keep them at arm’s length. But if nurtured and cultivated, maybe they too could be welcomed with open arms…

And those on the street? We’ll keep it lighthearted. ‘Hey how are you?’ (No need for anything more…)

But why am I telling you this? 

Because if you’re reading this, I’d wager at this point in your life… you’re seeing things differently.

Maybe what once seemed to work for you—isn’t. Perhaps even back then you didn’t realize this wasn’t an ideal relationship, but you just kinda sucked it up…

And now you’re tired of sucking it up.

And finally, how did I resolve my difficult friendship?

I’ve accepted it. I keep her on the street. It’s not gonna get any better than this—that’s not who she is. 

And I use the presence of others as buffers… 

XO

Holly

P.S. Consider taking some time this month to examine your relationships more closely… 

Ask yourself, how do key relationships in your life affect your spirits? Are they raising you up or dragging you down? What can you do to foster ‘healthier’ relationships?

Contact me today for a complimentary session, and together we can strategize on how to maximize ALL your relationships…

The Myth Of Having It All

The Myth Of Having It All

Hey ladies, remember these…?

Those delightfully damaging Enjoli advertisements from the ‘80s?

*Gulp.* (Imagine that making the Superbowl break nowadays?!)

That’s right. As Gen X-ers we REALLY were spoon fed that we could ‘have it all.’ The children. The career. The husband…

And of course we’d ‘never NEVER let him forget he’s a man.’

Yikes.

The thing is, whether it was our well intentioned mothers cheering us on — from a generation where women’s rights were little more than a novelty — or the subliminal craziness of ads like these popping up every 30 minutes…

Where has this internal dialogue left us?

>> Burnt out

>> Exhausted

>> Leaving our own wellbeing limping in last place

And deep down you know that’s not serving anybody…

So, this month I’m examining the psychology behind letting our purses (and our minds) constantly overflow with this baggage…

I’m looking at why we ALL fall into one of 2 camps when it comes to aspiring for more in our lives…

AND why we’re all still suffering from a bad case of comparisonitis. (And yes, what the heck we can do about it!)

So ladies, let’s dive in!

You may have heard of Tal Ben-Shahar? He’s a leading light in the world of positive psychology and one of my absolute heroes…

Tal’s the author of 3 books including Happier, and taught the largest class in Harvard’s history: ‘Positive Psychology 101.’ He also founded the HSA (Happiness Studies Academy) where I studied for over a year — gaining coaching certification in the science behind happiness.

Tal believes there are 2 distinct forms of perfectionism:

  1. The ‘Perfectionist.’ This individual who’s gotta be SO on point they’re suffering from anxiety, depression — even addictions.
  2. The ‘Optimalist.’ A healthy, striving individual who uses high standards to fuel their growth.

And here’s the big difference: the Perfectionist fails to embrace reality. They’ll work 16 hours a day… AND stay super-healthy/be a model spouse/the perfect parent/be super active in the community/BFF to millions…

BUT, they’re failing to embrace the constraints of reality. They simply can’t do all those things. And when they inevitably fall short of their own expectations, they beat themselves up and… it all comes crashing down. Perfectionism for them, has become a great source of misery.

On the flip side, the Optimalist has equally high standards. But they rub their vision up against reality. They aspire to be their best — within reason. They understand there are only so many hours in the day, and healthily construct an OPTIMAL life within these boundaries.

So, be honest now. Which one are you?

If you’ve ever felt exhausted or burnt out, I think you’ll agree unhealthy perfectionist tendencies come with some serious consequences…

But, the truth is, decades on from the Enjoli woman, we’re now a helluva lot wiser…

And we are DONE playing by the rules that no longer serve us. 

So, if we’ve been dealt a bad dose of the unhealthy perfectionist syndrome (as I call it) how can we still hold to a strong commitment AND evolve into the best version of ourselves? How can we embrace the constraints of reality just a little more today?

In other words, how can we move our mindset from Perfectionist to Optimalist?

Well, we can start by remembering ladies, life is not about perfection —

Progress, yes.

We can have it all. Just not all at once. 

Be gentle on yourself. Remember, frying that bacon up in a pan after a hard day at work for your man is probably in your DNA! It’s gonna take a little rewiring to let that past conditioning go.

But, now you’re aware of the difference. Which means you can actively bring your best self forward…

So, next time you feel the pang of perfectionism, be realistic. Look at life through a different lens — and flip that script from Perfectionist to Optimalist.

XO

Holly

P.S. If you’re a recovering perfectionist (and let’s face it, who isn’t?) how does it manifest in your life? When do you feel the wheels coming off? Hit me back and let’s talk about it.

P.P.S. And if you want to read more about this topic Ben-Shahar’s book ‘Pursuit of Perfect’ is an ahem, perfect place to start.

Where And Who You Are Now

Where And Who You Are Now

The Power In Acceptance

For many, December is a month of reflection.  As we end the year and begin to contemplate new year resolutions,  it’s a perfect time to surrender to the discipline of acceptance. Without acceptance we are only fighting or denying what is, making it almost impossible to behave proactively and move forward to create the change we seek in the coming year. 

It’s important not to confuse acceptance with resignation. Resignation is an act of giving up of our control, quitting, or succumbing to less than desirable outcomes. Whereas acceptance is more about gaining control and increasing the likelihood for more optimal results through embracing what actually is, in order to better assist ourselves with the understanding of what really needs to be addressed.

So before we can create the change we desire for the coming year we must first accept where we are now. Grab some paper and pen and start considering how you spent this past year, what did you accomplish that you are proud of and where may have you fallen short. Let’s explore the highs and lows, celebrations and shortcomings to find the lessons to be learned from all our experiences, positive and negative and move forward with a renewed conviction in this new coming year.

Ask Yourself:

  • What were the most significant events (good or ugly) of the year past? (List the top 3)
  • What did you accomplish? (List wins and achievements)
  • What were your disappointments? ( Regarding yourself )
  • What were your biggest challenges/roadblocks/difficulties?
  • What did you learn? (skills, knowledge, awareness, etc)
  • What would you do differently? Why?
  • What do you feel especially good about? What was your greatest contribution?
  • What were the fun things you did? What were the not-so-fun?
  • How are you different this year than last?

Let these reflections inform your plans for the new year. Say good-bye to 2019. Give thanks for the learning and usefulness this year has brought and welcome in 2020 with your eyes wide open and ready to move forward!

Happy Holidays Everyone!

-Holly-

 

 

 

What’s Your EQ…not your IQ?

What’s Your EQ…not your IQ?

Components To A Strong EI

March 2017 Insights

You’ve heard me make references to the term EQ before…more commonly I use the abbreviation EI, Emotional Intelligence. For years, a person’s “Intelligence Quotient” or IQ, was thought to determine how successful they would be. But it turns out, not so much! In todays fast paced, overloaded, challenging world, it seems our ability to manage our emotions and get along with others is the single biggest predictor to greater success than anything else. So naturally as a women’s empowerment coach I’m all about increasing one’s EI for two reason’s…enhancing one’s wellbeing and goal achievement. (more…)