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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Acting with Grace Under Pressure



'When you're secure with yourself you have no need to lash out at others and you're able to act with grace under pressure.' Lightarted Sue

The Desire to Slap that Person 

Okay, I get it--as pressure mounts and deadlines loom you desperately want to slap that critical, judgmental person standing on the sidelines telling you (and others) what you're doing wrong while failing to help move things forward. It would be so easy and feel so good to match her bad behavior--tit for tat; stone for stone.

But just because she demonstrates bad behavior doesn't mean you should. It doesn't help you in the moment of pressure and it doesn't help you in the long-run.

Learning to Act with Grace under Pressure

We all imagine what we'd like to do to other people when we're under pressure. It's only natural to imagine a quick 'fight or flight' reaction when you feel threatened.  But you're always training yourself--and your brain--by your choices. When you succumb to reacting under pressure you train yourself to stay in the part of the brain that is reactive instead of moving to that part that allows you to take a more even, graceful approach under pressure.



 Think of it this way: bad, reactive, obnoxious behavior is a result of feeling out-of-control while thoughtful, measured, graceful behavior is a result of feeling secure and in-control. You need to ask yourself which path you want to take--in-control or out-of-control.

People who feel out-of-control are easy to spot. They're the ones trying to control the environment and everyone else. They throw tantrums and blame others. Controlling people are fearful things are going to fall apart unless they force the situation and berate others. The truth is it is the controlling person who feels most insecure and out-of-control.

"Choose to make life choices that result in you feeling more secure and in-control of your life."


You can learn to act with grace under pressure by making it a life choice that guides your daily actions.

"When you choose to act gracefully under pressure you commit to suspending judgment and practicing the pause whenever the urge to lash out comes over you"


Choose to act in a way you can look back in 20 years and be proud of yourself. When you make a life decision to take the path of feeling secure and in-control you'll slow down and pause to find your center when you're under pressure.


"You cannot restore others to their best selves by belittling them or by punishing them, or by being disgusted with them. It is only through love you can return anyone to love. And if you do not have a way of returning them to love, they will always be a problem to you."
Abraham (paraphrased)


Share the Love--Lightarted Heart-felt Gifts

Visit the Ashland Art Center in Ashland, Oregon for Lightarted Designs in the Main Gallery, or contact Susan for a personal viewing or custom-made gift. New cheerful designs are always available.

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For more than 25 years, Susan Meyerott has been helping people lighten up and step over invisible barriers to change one step at a time. She speaks to your heart, puts you at ease, and makes changing easier than ever before.

If you're interested in learning more about closing the gap between where you are now and where you want to be, join the Lightarted Living mailing list. Sign up for free e-mail updates from this blog in the top right-hand corner of the page.


Thursday, April 11, 2013

If Everything is so Good, Why do I Feel so Blah?



'People grow through experience if they meet life honestly and courageously. This is how character is built.' Eleanor Roosevelt
 
If Everything is so Good, Why Do I feel so Blah?

We've all been there.

There's nothing wrong. In fact things have been going pretty good. But work is stressful and you've been working too many hours to get to the end of that great project.

You pride yourself on doing outstanding work, so you put your all into each new project that comes your way. This focus on excellence has brought you praise from your boss and landed you a series of great projects you can really sink your teeth into. Everyone loves your work and sings your praises. You are smart, responsive, creative and productive.

So why are you now nursing a case of the blahs--feeling anti-social, wanting to take naps instead of going out, and turning inward when you finally take time off?

Burnout and the Blahs

When you feel you've lost that fire inside driving you to excel and enthusiastically jump into the next project--or you secretly fear you're in over your head and are soon to be discovered as incompetent--you've come down with a bad case of the Burnout Blahs.

Like so many other people who desire to make their mark on the world you have given your all without sufficiently replenishing your energy along the way. When we fail to adequately engage in non-productive play time to rebalance, our fire and drive can extinguish quickly.

When your emotions flat-line into a case of the blahs you know it's time to rebalance yourself with appropriate downtime.



How to Regain the Fire in Your Belly

You already know you want to excel and be the best you can be. So why is it so difficult for you to do what you already know you need to do to maintain that fire in your belly more often than not?

Times of drive must be balanced with times of idling, and you must give yourself equal time living as your private self as you do as your public persona. Staying 'on' 24/7 is crazy-making behavior that leads to burnout, self-doubts and the blahs.

The antidote is to practice doing nothing--regularly. You must consciously plan fun downtime into your week or you'll find the subtle ever-pervasive infiltration of work into your mindset.

Stop.
Do nothing.
Unplug.
Give in to that nap.
Unplan.
Have a dream-free day.
Lose the expectations.
Accomplish nothing.

"Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved." - Helen Keller



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For more than 25 years, Susan Meyerott has been helping people lighten up and step over invisible barriers to change one step at a time. She speaks to your heart, puts you at ease, and makes changing easier than ever before.

If you're interested in learning more about closing the gap between where you are now and where you want to be, join the Lightarted Living mailing list. Sign up for free e-mail updates from this blog in the top right-hand corner of the page.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

How to Deal with Workplace Bullies




'It is easy to dodge a spear that comes in front of you but hard to keep harms away from an arrow shot from behind.' Chinese Proverb

Bullies Can Be Passive-Aggressive or Outwardly Aggressive

 We all have them in our lives--those people who drive us nuts trying to run our lives although they're not very good at running their own.

In the workplace, bullies create mayhem through micromanaging and judging our every action or falsely attributing negative words and actions to us in their attempt to elevate themselves in the eyes of those in power.

Passive-Aggressive Bullies

For the passive-aggressive variety, their bullying is done behind closed doors--never in public where they could be called on for their false statements and actions. These hit and run communicators prefer to be the power well behind the throne--choosing to stay in the shadows whispering falsehoods in the ear of those in power.

These underhanded purveyors of negativity are masters at scattering misinformation, and turning one person against another through their whirlwind of chaos and drama. Under the cloak of secrecy, they pass on their own fears and biases to others to stroke their egos and make others look bad. These are the snipers who take the shots while all the time believing they are the true victims.

Aggressive Bullies

The outwardly aggressive bullies pick on people they perceive to be weak in situations they expect to get away with it.

Consider the case of Mike Rice, Rutgers's men's basketball coach. For two years he openly hurled basketballs from close range at his players' heads, legs and feet; shoved and grabbed his players; punched and kicked them; and yelled obscenities and homophobic slurs at them. No one called him on this bully behavior. Players just accepted this bad behavior as normal.

Like Mike Rice, outwardly aggressive bullies are just plain mean and believe in their power, their 'rightness' and your 'wrongness'. Verbally abusing you and threatening your livelihood is just a standard way of communicating for these meanies.

These power players have no problem making disparaging comments about you to others or straight to your face. Until someone calls them on their bad behavior, they don't give it a second thought--and even after being called on it they don't really believe they're wrong. They're right; you're wrong, end of story.



How to Deal with the Bullies

Bullies make all of us feel unsafe, unwanted, unwelcome, and unappreciated--and being the victim of a bully can result in anxiety, depression, lowered self esteem, and poor health.

Don't let the bullies get the better of you. It's not worth losing your mental or physical health to stay in a workplace that tolerates bullies. For your well-being, you must find a way to stop the bully behavior or look for another job before you are demoralized into believing the bully.

It wasn't until the media showed the video of Mike Rice's outrageous behavior that he was fired from his job. To get out from under bully behavior it must be named as such--and put out for public view--and sometimes that means going outside of the organization.

Rutgers Athletic Director, Tim Pernetti, viewed video footage of Rice's abusive behavior in December, resulting in suspending him for three games and a fine of $50,000--a mere slap on the wrist. But when the video was leaked to the media 3 months later Rice was finally fired.

When bad behavior is put out for all to see, it can be seen and named for what it is: bullying, abusive and inappropriate. For bullying to continue it must be accepted by everyone.

To deal with bullying in the workplace:
  • Start by accepting bully behavior is wrong under all conditions.
  • Shed light on the dark behavior--find a way to make it public.
  • Call bullies on their behavior. When you've had enough of their bad behavior, draw your line in the sand.
  • Get help from others.
  • If the bullying originates at the top consider other job options.
Bullies are chaos makers whose nasty energy creates negativity in the workplace and self doubt in others. It's so easy to get pulled in by their brow-beatings. Try focusing on something other than the chaos makers. Change the channel in your head and heart to gain your power back.

Minimize your contact and conversation with the bullies at work. Whether or not they consciously mean you harm, you are the one who must keep yourself out of harm's way.
Keep all conversation cordial and simple.


Theodore Roosevelt on Daring Greatly
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

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For more than 25 years, Susan Meyerott has been helping people lighten up and step over invisible barriers to change one step at a time. She speaks to your heart, puts you at ease, and makes changing easier than ever before.

If you're interested in learning more about closing the gap between where you are now and where you want to be, join the Lightarted Living mailing list. Sign up for free e-mail updates from this blog in the top right-hand corner of the page.