Tag Archives: change thinking

Uncover the Confidence Opportunity in Hard Times

Confidence is gritty because a person has been sandpapered by life! You need to rub against life, be knocked down, and get up again. If you avoid challenges because you think you can’t handle them, you will reinforce those feelings of insecurity.

You can’t just read about confidence and become confident. Lean into life’s challenges and decide to do something different. Turn a new way of thinking into a new way of being.

In hard times and difficult situations, there is a confidence opportunity waiting to be uncovered. You find the opportunity when you begin to shift from feeling helpless to finding a way to challenge yourself. When you realize you can handle hard stuff, it changes how you think about yourself. If you can do it once, you can do something else hard too.

Uncovering A Confidence Opportunity:

I have many stories I could share with you about how people can do hard things even with doubt and fear. Listen to how this man found a growth opportunity a midst a hard time.

A man runs out of the prescription medication he has been over-using to check out when life gets hard. He begins to panic and feel more anxious than the situation warrants. He realizes that he has become more dependent on the medication than he wants to be. It is telling him what he needs instead of him directing his medication use.

He knows if he shares this with the doctor, he may be given more medication. He decides to lean into the panic and see how long he can function without the medication he is dependent on.

His family gets anxious and wants to send him to the emergency room for more medication, but he stays focused on his daily goals. He ends up going a week without the medication he had been overusing.

What started out as a man who wants to numb himself becomes a man who realizes he can manage himself in hard times.  Again and again, people can fall to the depths of despair only to tackle the challenges they face. 

4 Steps to Growing Confidence:

Using this example, what can you do to start shifting your own fears and insecurity?

Step 1 = Boost Awareness The first step is always becoming more aware of where you want to grow your confidence. Identify what blocks you from becoming more confident. For instance, if you rely heavily on what others think you can do, it may block your own discovery and growth.

Step 2 = Shift Your Thinking Once you identify your roadblocks to becoming more confident, how do you start to shift your thinking from helpless to grittiness? Look for evidence that you have done hard stuff before. Entice yourself to rise to the challenge again.

Step 3 = Thinking into Action: It’s not enough to think you can do it, you need to take the next step and test yourself. Imagine running yourself through an experiment and look for ways to act as if you can do hard stuff. Even though it’s uncomfortable, can you do it anyway?

Step 4 = Repeat Confidence Steps The more you repeat leaning into hard stuff, the more you will find you can handle more than you originally thought. But if you avoid the challenge that life brings, you will reinforce your fears. And who wants more fears?!

Life may be like sandpaper, but we can be just as gritty. Surprise yourself by grabbing the opportunity to grow in life’s challenges.

Please share in the comments how your confidence grew when you made it through a hard time.

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Find More Enjoyment in Your To Do List

happy-cleaning

Do you have a task you do weekly but dread it? For me, it’s grocery shopping. I would rather do anything other than go grocery shopping, even scrub toilets! On my grocery shopping day, I procrastinate getting this item done on my to do list.

I don’t want to dread this task anymore. I am choosing to find a new way to think about even the most mundane tasks.  If we change our thinking, we can find more enjoyment in our everyday to do lists.

6 Ways to Find Enjoyment in Mundane Tasks

Want to join me in this liberating exercise? First, identify a necessary task you want to enjoy more. Here are my ideas on liberating daily dread:

1. Make a list of likes/dislikes - Life is a mixed bag of positives and negatives, so work on seeing both sides even in mundane tasks. Uncover choices in how you think about your to do list by understanding why you do the task as well as why it bugs you.

2. Get real with yourself – The biggest thing I don’t like about my dreaded weekly chore is the time it takes. But when I am real with myself, I realize grocery shopping on a budget and making healthy food takes some planning. And planning means I invest time in the task.

3. Remember your values - Knowing the why behind why I dedicate the time to do the mundane chore helps me get aligned with my values. So gather positive energy for task completion by identifying what you value in your task.

4. Reward yourself – Children aren’t the only ones that like rewards. Give yourself something to look forward to. What could you give yourself after you get your to do list done?

5. Mix mundane with new - Try to do your dreaded task in a new way. Or add something new while doing the task. For instance, learn something new, listen to new music, or travel a new way.

6. Rethink mundane - Be grateful for routines so we don’t have to rethink how to accomplish the necessary tasks each week.

I know our to do lists aren’t the highlight of our week, but I think choosing how we think about even the mundane can have an impact on our overall outlook. It can also impact how available and open we are to our loved ones. And if we are happier, we are more fun to be around.

I would love to hear from my readers. What do you not like to do? Get it out and gripe about it. Then share how you do it even though you don’t want to. Or how you make your dreaded to do list more enjoyable.

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Photo Credit: “Cleaning” by S.P. Case

Grow Amazing Friendships with a Filter Change

girls-umbrella

Do you want to have better quality friendships like you did in the good ol’ days?

Remember when your biggest decision was who to play with after school. Eventually these friendships grow or change into who you are going to share your secrets with or cry on when you are broken hearted. Friendships become as important to you as your family.

“Many people will walk in and out of you life, but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart.” ~ Unknown

Our friendships peak and adulthood hits. People go away for school, get married, move for their job, and have kids. Friendships come and go and it becomes hard to keep up with your old friends. Yet you long for the friendships that last a lifetime.

While busyness and location may get in the way of growing great friendships as an adult, there is another culprit – having a negative focused mental filter. Often we have our mental filter set high to keep hurt out, yet we miss out on the opportunities for new and growing friendships. You can change your filter, letting the good in instead of keeping it all out.

Recognize Negative Filter

Recently I watch my daughter try to navigate through new friendship territory with a filter that needs an adjustment. She assumes that others don’t like her, leaves herself out of the activity, and then complains about being left out. As I coach her through the tears, I realize these friendship problems don’t end with adulthood.

Many adults walk around their world surrounded by people yet feeling lonely. Their negative thoughts leave them out. If you have your mental filter set so high that all you see are negatives, you are probably missing out on friendships and resources.

Take a moment to listen to the messages you are focusing on. Do you focus more on the negatives than the positives? If yes, you may recognize some of these negative assumptions:

  • What if they don’t like me or I don’t fit in
  • They want too much from me and I can’t say no
  • I feel left out when I know I’m not their best friend
  • We have too many differences that I can’t relate
  • I can’t handle feeling hurt or rejected again

I imagine these negative thoughts didn’t evaporate after middle school, and that some of you still battle with these negative assumptions now. We all want to be known and connected, but what does it take to make it happen?

Change Your Mental Filter

Imagine that your body is surrounded by a screen. The holes on the screen can be enlarged or shrunk. You can change the size of holes depending on how much you want to let in.

Focus less on the negatives, and you will increase the holes in your screen. Instead of filtering it all out, you will be able to let more in. You will also begin seeing things in a new way instead of assuming the worst.

My daughter is able to see that the girls she wants to play with have a different idea on what to play – it isn’t that they don’t want to play with her. When she focuses less on her negative thoughts, she is able to move toward the girls even if her way is different. The result is making memories instead of tears.

When you look through your screen with new eyes, you can see positives looking back at you. People that are interested in you, what you have to say and spending time with you. If you don’t see these people trying to look through your screen, it’s time to change your screen and stop filtering so much out.

Friendships as Exchange of Resources

I think of friendships as an exchange of resources, one in which both people have a say in what they exchange. The resources may be tangible such as swapping babysitting or tools. Or the exchange may be intangible such as sharing stories and reassurances. Having someone to confide in, to reassure you, and to celebrate life’s milestones is an amazing resource.

While friendships may change as we grow, they are still important. Discover what you do or say to yourself that keeps people out. Then decide to not let your screen be set to negative. Instead be determined to view the exchange in a new way. In this way, you are letting more into your life than you are turning away.

“The most beautiful discovery true friends make is that they can grow separately without growing apart. ” ~ Elisabeth Foley

How have your friendships changed over time?

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Photo Credit: Happy Girls Under Rainbow by Sharon Pruitt