A few weeks ago, I was working with one of my private clients, and she was struggling to make a decision. She was struggling to be bold. (She gave me permission to share this, by the way.)
Over the summer she left a job of 20 years that was no longer fulfilling, and she left without another job lined up. She decided, I have had enough, and left.
Quite a leap, don’t you think?
But a few weeks ago, she was stuck. She took one bold step, but was unable to take another.
The bold move she wanted to make was to put the job search on hold, and do something she would really enjoy--a Road Trip.
The reason why she was so stuck was because she thought it was selfish.
At this point, I asked, “What does it mean to be selfish?”
She talked for awhile, but never answered the question, so I asked again, “What does it mean to be selfish?”
After a long pause she finally said, “I use the word all the time, but I can’t define it now.”
Finally we consulted Mr. Dictionary.
Here is what it says, “devoted to or caring only for oneself; concerned primarily with one's own interests, benefits, welfare, etc., regardless of others.”
So I asked her, “Do you only care about yourself, and not care for others?”
“No. Okay, so maybe it’s not selfish, but maybe it is frivolous?”
I am not going to keep recounting our entire coaching session, but here is why I bring it up.
YOU ARE NOT SELFISH! (And probably not frivolous either.)
Yes, I am yelling at you. You, the one reading this blog post.
Somewhere along the way, we have misinterpreted the word “selfish” to mean anything that we do for ourselves.
THAT IS A LIE. (Again, yelling…)
Selfishness is when we take actions without regard for others.
Selfishness is when we are devoted only to ourselves.
I am sure that you think about others 9 out of 10 times when you make a decision.
Am I right?
Here is a handy visual to illustrate my point:
And this is what I essentially told my client:
It is not selfish to take a vacation after quitting your job, especially when your financial house is in order, and you aren’t responsible for anyone else’s well-being (except your dog, who can go with you.)
Are we clear on what is selfish and what it is not?
Great, glad you are with me.
So, next time someone (even that crazy voice inside your head) says, “Stop being so damn selfish,” or “You only think about yourself,” please remind them what it really means to be selfish.
It's Your Life. Live It Boldly.
If you liked this post, please share. (Look left.)
If you want to be notified about the next post, you'll have to fork over your email below.
NO is a powerful word, but I wonder if we are saying it enough.
When we were whistled at on the street, did we say no?
When someone “accidentally” touched our breast or our ass, did we say no?
When our boss or colleague stared a little too long at our cleavage, did we say no?
When a stranger gave us an “up/down” and then finally a smile, did we say no?
I remained silent.
I let it slide.
I told myself, “It’s not a big deal.”
I chose not to rock the boat.
I chose comfort over courage.
Now, I fear that my silence was interpreted as permission.
I fear that I unknowingly “taught” men that it was okay.
Your silence has too.
Women have been trained to keep quiet. We have been trained to acquiesce our needs for the needs of others. We have been trained to look pretty, to not speak our mind, and to serve.
It was our way of survival for thousands of years, but it can’t be any longer.
We must stop the silence.
We are getting louder.
We are getting stronger.
We are becoming more courageous.
From Brock Turner’s barely-there conviction, to Trump’s “locker room talk”, we are gaining momentum.
We need to keep the momentum going.
Past the election, past the naysayers and the #repealthe19th tweeters, and into a future we are proud of creating for our daughters.
A future where men don’t think of just rape as being wrong, but know that all sexually implicit and explicit words and behavior are wrong.
Where all men treat all women with dignity and respect, no matter what they look like, or what they wear, or even if they drink too much.
To use the words of Michelle Obama, “This is not something that we can ignore. It’s not something we can just sweep under the rug.”
We must start with the basics.
We must address the cat-calls.
We must address the whistles.
We must address the stares.
We must address the "up/downs".
We must address the put-downs.
We must address it all.
We must address it together.
We must stop the silence.
We are worth it.
It's Your Life. Live It Boldly.
If you liked this post, please share.
If this is your first time here, let's connect.
Are you dreading an upcoming dinner because you know it will get political?
Are you avoiding your parents because you don’t want to talk Trump versus Hillary?
Have you taken yourself off Facebook because you can’t stand to see your friend’s posts?
Are you worried that your best-friend is becoming your worst enemy?
I have a solution.
Here are 4 steps for surviving the remainder of this political election without forever damaging your relationships.
STEP ONE: Set aside your Ego
When our political banter turns ugly, it’s like we become another human being. We lose sight of our values and our ego takes over.
We become argumentative and combative. We make up stories. We stretch the truth so that we can prove our point. We get so stuck in being right, that we forget that the person across the table is someone we care about.
It becomes our ego versus their ego, and neither person is willing to let go until their ego wins.
Agree to disagree.
The easiest way to do this is to play the question game. The game rules are simple: You can only ask questions. You cannot state a fact, your opinion, or make any other commentary. If you do, you lose. (See Step 4).
STEP TWO: Set an intention
Be intentional about who you want to be in each situation or with each person.
Make a choice.
Do you want to be combative? Do you want to be friendly? Do you want to be defensive? Do you want to be open-minded? Do you want to be argumentative? Do you want to be impartial?
Obviously, some of those intentions will get nasty, while others will open the door to connection and conversation. Which one will you choose?
And when you stray off course, which you will, remember your intention and reset.
The easiest way to reset is to find yourself an intention buddy. Tell the person sitting next to you what your intention is, and when they observe you straying off course, have them tap you, pinch your, or even kick if you if need be. (My husband does this to me all the time when I get overly passionate about a topic.)
Another way is to create a reminder in your phone of what your intention is. When your phone pings or beeps or whatever, you will remember your intention and reset automatically.
STEP THREE: Actively listen.
You know how when someone talks, the voice inside your head starts forming a response before they even finish?
It’s even worse when you don’t agree with the person speaking. Your mind is already whirling with rebuttals, so you can spring into action as soon as they close their mouth. (Or you interrupt because you just can’t wait that long.)
Instead, stop that voice and listen. Truly Listen.
Active listeners show they are engaged with their facial expressions and their body language, as well as with small nods and “uh-huhs.” They also summarize or parrot back what the speaker just said. They also ask questions. (Back to step 1 and on to 4)
STEP FOUR: Get Curious
The best way to open up dialogue is to get curious. Quit judging and critiquing their position (and their character) and ask questions.
Find out more about their fears and desires. Find out what really matters to them.
It’s best to avoid “Why” questions because their is usually a note of judgement in them. Instead focus on “How” and “What.” Some examples could be:
In the end, you might learn something.
Hell, you might actually agree on something.
Even if you think the other candidate is crazy, at the end of the day, we're not electing a new dictator, but a new democratic president.
Is it really worth ruining your dinner party, or your relationship?
It's Your Life. Live It Boldly. (And Kindly)
Did you like this post? If so, why not get the next one in your inbox...
Everyone complains and there is a wide spectrum of how often we complain. No matter how much you complain, your complaints benefit you.
Complaining is about validation and feeding the ego. When we complain we are looking to fill a void and hope to fill that void with acknowledgement, attention, or sympathy.
The problem with complaining is that it doesn’t get you anywhere. Your circumstances after you complain are the same, even if you feel a little lighter after getting it off your chest.
One thing you can do instead of complain, is to problem solve. Take action! Be bold!
Problem solvers try to take control of the situation through their actions. They shift out of pain, and into power.
Another way to approach your complaints is to practice gratitude. When we show gratitude, we shift our perspective with regard to negative situations in our lives.
Here is my challenge to you.
It's Your Life. Live It Boldly.
Did you like this post? How about getting the next one in your inbox?