Super HERO or Super DON’T?

boy-child-childhood-346796I’m not crazy about saying no.  When I think about saying no to a client it makes me feel that I’m rejecting them and of course THEN I feel they will reject me if I say no. That’s how I feel but the truth is a lot deeper than that.

Never saying no means I will jump whenever asked.  Doesn’t matter what I’m doing, where I am, or how stressed I might be at the time; when a client says JUMP, I do it. I recognize that this is actually unhealthy behavior not  only for myself, but for my clients as well.

I have a clause in my contract that says, “a lack of planning on your part does not equate to an emergency on my part”.  Still, I don’t like my clients to feel unsupported.  Whenever I hear a cry for help, I drop everything, run to the closet and grab my superhero cape and fly to the rescue.

What happens when we rush off and jump to every request to do so?  We fail ourselves because we are not being KIND to ourselves. We don’t allow ourselves the opportunity to prioritize. It IS possible to say, ‘no’ or at least, ‘not right now’.  I have gotten to the point that I can tell them not right now if I can’t jump and rescue them but that I WILL get to it. I find they appreciate the honesty and let’s face it – I appreciate my own honesty because I am not setting myself up for more anxiety and stress.

Infusing a sense of urgency in our day-to-day tasks and requests can actually be counter-productive.  We loose efficiency and accuracy and the end-product is typically less than what it would be had we had adequate time.

Take marketing, for example. We market for our clients in real estate and although they each want it to hit marketing forums immediately, the reality is that it takes a bit of time to make sure all the information is accurate.  Our marketing team will typically post real estate ads for our clients in a myriad of places online.  It is not a simple cut-and-paste job, either, because each site is unique and slightly different. They each have their own rules and process.  Our team typically has to slightly recreate each marketing piece up to 45 times!  So when we are pushed to get it out “yesterday”, the work for 45 different posts still has to take place.

My marketing director puts it this way:  “Do you want it done or do you want it done right so it produces results?  Your choice.”  I LOVE that.

I can jump whenever anyone requests me to do so but if the task needs to be done well, professionally, efficiently, and accurately – a bit more time isn’t going to end the world.

downloadYou know who is the worst at requesting our superhero personas?  WE ARE. We are typically the ones who demand of ourselves to put on that cape and prove to the world that we are faster than a speeding bullet.  Stop doing that.  No one deserves to be treated like a fast food drive-through.  Order it, then wait for perfection.  Or order it and run the risk of getting the wrong meal, cold fries, and no drink.

And put that superhero cape away.

 

Discover Your Purpose

questions-2245264_1920.jpgMost of us have, at one point or another, questioned our purpose in this life.  We hesitate in running towards our dreams, wondering if they are realistic and doubting there is life in them.  We question our existence and we begin to ask, “why?” and, “now what?”.  This self-defeating attitude can easily take over any of us, at any given time, sparked by a myriad of things.  It is important that we continually learn how to discover our purpose. Our purpose has mutliple levels and dimensions. There is a purpose for your life in the next 30 minutes, and for today, and a purpose for tomorow, for your past, and for the distant future. Discovering your purpose, I believe, is essential to your overall well being and happiness.

  1. Understand that you have a choice.  If you have been unhappy, you can actually CHOOSE to be happy.  You probably don’t believe that if you are in the midst of unhappiness right now, but I am speaking truth. Regardless of the outside powers that have been beating you down, YOU have the CHOICE of waking up every morning and being happy or not.  Are you scared?  Embrace courage. When you choose to be well – when you choose to be happy – you empower yoursef and your subconscious mind by a) granting permission to break free and b) declaring that you desire more than what you currently are experiencing. That desire is a critical spark that can start a fire withinn that will grow and empower you, helping you pursue those dreams and be the person you desire to be.
  2. volunteer-1326758_1280.pngPrinciples.  We all have them although if you asked ten people to write down their basic principles only about 3 people will be able to accomplish the task.  To accomplish this you need to write your own personal mission statement.  The mission statement comes before knowing your purpose.  Begin by asking questions about whatinfluences you and how you want to influence others.  Consider those in your immediate sphere of influence and then stretch beyond to the people you have still yet to meet.  Are there themes to your guiding principals or do they change according to circumstance?
  3. Pairing the Two.  Once you make the decision to change and you identify your key principles – your mission in life – only than will you be ready to take action. Knowing you have a choice but refusing to take action helps no one.  Understanding what drives you – what and who motivates you – what will light the spark deep within you to fuel your passion to be a better you will bring you purpose.

Shannon Kaiser, in an article written for Huffington Post in April of 2014, writes, “The two greatest days of your life are the day you were born, and the day you find what your purpose is…” (https://www.huffingtonpost.com/shannon-kaiser/3-unexpected-ways-to-find_b_5176511.html)

Here is a simple list of questions everyone should answer and revisit often.  It will change as we grow and mature and that’s why we need to revisit it frequently.

  • hands-1345059_1920.jpgFor what are you willing to sacrifice?
  • What drives you?
  • What makes your heart leap with joy?
  • What do you love to do?
  • To whom do you want to show kindness?
  • How will you show love and compassion?
  • Will you agree to disagree with your neighbor?
  • Will you make the conscious decision today to be better – happier – and more at peace version of yourself?
  • Will you continually strive to discover YOUR purpose?

 

Stress and Anxiety Coping Skills

Did you know that about 70% of Americans feel physical and mental symptoms of stress?  Of those, only around 37% believe they are actually managing it well (American Psychiatric Association, ‘Stress in America’).  When stress begins to show physical and mental signs of wear and tear, perhaps it is time to more closely examine your coping skills.

Effects of Stress ImageCoping or “dealing with it” is a task that some people will quickly jump to as the right way to ‘handle’ stress, anxiety and depression.  While there are remarkable coping skills we can all benefit from, what matters is getting to the root of the issue that is causing the stress in the first place and then working on fixing that issue/s.  But that’s for the professionals.  Let’s look first at some immediate-response-techniques to moments of crisis, anxiety and depression.

  • The Mental Picture:  often it is our own minds that are destroying us from the inside. We allow our minds to drift to scenarios and situations that do not alleviate our stress but actually add to it. We have to take time to purposely manage our thoughts and actively replace the poor ones with positive ones.  When you are in the deep throws of depression and anxiety it can be really hard to come up with positive thoughts but you owe it to yourself to work hard at this step.
  • Move It:  Take a walk, ride a bike, go for a swim – do SOMETHING physical. Your body deserves to be treated well and even though you may feel like it’s in complete rebellion against you, the fact is, its screaming out to you to take better care of it.
  • Mind Your Manners:  Nothing can add to your stress quicker than flying off the handle at those around you.  If you need to, take a few moments before talking or responding, take a deep breath, and speak in the manner that you would want to be  addressed.  Talking in a calm, rational manner is also good for your heart and anxiety, minimizing spikes in blood pressure and heart palpitations which often accompany stress and anxiety.
  • Eat Something: My grandmother used to be known as the ‘food pusher’. Had a bad day? Eat something. Feeling blue? Eat something.  She was always there with something but the difference (and I only see this looking back), she didn’t throw the standard stress-eating foods at us.  She would make us a salad, a fruit bowl, or a healthy sandwich or cup of soup.  Feeding our bodies is a great way to bring about a bit of satisfaction and it gives our brains a moment to focus on something else.
  • Meditate:  This one is hard because if you ARE in a moment of crisis you are far from being able to calm down, breath and “go to your happy place”. And let’s face it – if we experience depression along with this that usually means our happy place was destroyed a long time ago!  Take a few moments and breathe deeply, center on one object on the wall, sit up tall and allow your lungs to fill completely with air.  It only takes 3 deep breaths to completing refresh the air supply in our lungs.
  • Seriously, Though:  Take yourself seriously and if you don’t have people around you who are taking you seriously, go find people who will. Talk with someone or just have people around you so you are not always alone.  What you are feeling is REAL and IMPORTANT.  YOU are a person of great worth and you need to take issues seriously.  Tell people how you are doing and accept their support no matter what kind of support it is – suggestions, stories, hugs, “sorry’s” and even “holding you in prayer”.  Because it all matters and so do you.
  • Balance:meditation-2262835_1920
    Then there is balance. Allow yourself to grieve for your loss – allow yourself to curl up in a ball and sleep all day but don’t let these become your norm. Fight it with all you have.  You weren’t created to withdraw into obscurity. You weren’t designed to shut out the world.  You were designed for far more and to be far better than all your haunts, all your ghosts and all your demons combined. YOU ARE A PERSON OF WORTH and you deserve to treat YOURSELF as one.

Finally, make sure you seek help.  There are counselors all around us.  If you are having feelings of hurting yourself please call 800-273-8255 and talk with someone today.

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In Crisis?  Consider calling 1-800-273 TALK (8255) to reach a 24-hour crisis center.

Dial 911 for immediate assistance or emergencies.

 

 

 

ORCVirtual, Inc., it’s Officers, Directors, Employees, Contractors and Assigns are not licensed mental health experts. This is intended solely for informational purposes.  Seek proper physician care.

4 Steps that Will Change Your Life

Every single day that we are fortunate enough to wake up we are faced immediately with a question: how are we going to face the day.  We have to make a choice.  Here are 4 steps that will ground you every morning so that your day is strong, confident and productive.
530907415Step 1. Embrace the mindset that life is going to be a challenge.  Accept that there will be decisions during the day that need to be made.  Accept that there will be disappointments and set-backs.  From long red lights, to major health setbacks – life is full of them.  But life is also full of victories both small and large.  By accepting that life is an obstacle course you are less likely to get stuck in the mud. Instead, you’re going to get sweaty and dirty but you’ll come through it a winner!

Step 2.  Heart Connection.   Make sure that your heart and your mind are connected and on the same page. We all have the ability to succeed but if our mind isn’t on that page with our heart, we are already fighting ourselves.  When our mind and heart are in tune we set ourselves up for success.  Take a quick moment and breathe, listen to your heart, and pay attention to the rhythm in your head and then connect the two as one.BN-NZ368_OBSTAC_P_20160511184641

Step 3. Accountability.  Don’t do it alone. During the day as you face both challenges and successes you must have someone who is willing to stop running, turn around, reach down and pick you up.

Step 4. Finally – stop whining. Don’t start your day with negative statements.  The moment you rise start telling yourself positive statements, looking forward through the day at things that will be good from a simple great cup of coffee, to the refreshing ice water in your cup, to spending time with loved ones at the close of the day.  Gather those positive thoughts and use them to fuel you through the rough spots. Don’t focus on what might be – focus on what you know WILL be and if negative things happen, you are prepared for them.  They won’t catch you off guard and more importantly, you’ve set yourself up to face them head on and win.

So say to the day – bring me your best or bring me your worst – I’m ready.  Bring it.

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You Got This…Thanks, Sophie.

IMG_0652Whenever I sit at my desk and turn my chair around, this is the sign I see hanging on my wall.  It was a gift from my amazing Executive Assistant, Sophie. For those who work with us, you know how valuable of an asset she is to the company because she is also a tremendous asset to YOU.  She has been by my side (and my next door neighbor) for several years and she knows the ups and the downs the company has experienced. Sophie refuses to give up no matter how hard things get.   She and I have had our share of both laughs and cries – but we are there for one another and we make a great team!

During the past few months I have allowed myself to get beaten down a bit by some business failures.  Sophie is always there to remind me that the ONLY way we grow is by failing.  If we never failed, we would never know the struggle of getting back up and we would never understand how we need to adapt in order to keep growing.  She gifted this to me and my partner on our birthdays (our birthdays are two days a part!) and it made both of us tear up. It is the PERFECT gift and such a tremendous motivator for me.

I was sitting in my office trying to develop an answer to a tough question and it just was not coming to me.  My frustration level continued to grow and I slammed my mouse down on the desk (because we ALL know how helpful THAT is!) and spun my chair around and my eyes landed right on this.  It’s hanging right beneath a dry erase board on my office wall and it immediately reminded me that I DO have this.  I got this!  I know how to overcome diversity, to turn struggle into success, and turn sorrow into dancing.  She’s right – I got this!

When life beats you down, and it WILL beat you down, remember: You Got This.  You know how I know you got this? Because today you are still here which means you have overcome even the most difficult of days. You Got This! Thanks, Sophie!

 

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