“The words you speak become the house you live in.” ~ Attributed to Hafiz
I speak a number of languages…English, Spanish, Italian, and Positivity. Yes, Positivity is a language. It’s the universal language of success. You have to speak it, if you want to go places in this world. Even if you’ve spoken Negativity your whole life, you can learn to speak Positivity into your life!
All languages have patterns that we practice in order to master them. When you finally become fluent in the language, the new way of thinking becomes automatic and you can form real and deep connections with others who speak it. The same is true when you practice speaking Positivity. You will create great success, when you make it a practice to speak positivity into your life every day. The words you speak become self-fulfilling prophecies, so speech is an extremely powerful tool. Once you’ve said it, your brain and body believe it.
We all have our own particular pattern of speech – some people are critical faultfinders, while others are known for always building others up. Of course, at times the most positive person can speak a negative comment. But overall, what pattern of speech do you have?
Over the course of the next week, I encourage you to pay attention to the words you use so you create greater awareness of your pattern of speech. Are you speaking Positivity into your life or is Negativity your mother tongue? You might even enlist a buddy to help you, because it’s difficult to be aware of this all the time.
We become more successful in life when we learn to use positive speech effectively. As you gain greater awareness, you’re going to notice how often the tendency to be judgmental is associated with negative speech. That’s why I encourage you to learn somatic practices and to practice suspending judgment and mindfulness.
Learn to avoid blanket statements or absolute statements, because they’re judgmental in nature and aren’t helpful in developing positive speech. They appear in thoughts such as, “total disaster, complete idiot, absolute wreak, always late, or never listens to me.”
Recognize words that limit you or label you. Notice when you’re speaking whether you’re creating unwanted boundaries in your mind. These words are usually followed by the word, “so”. And we often use them as excuses. For instance, you may say, “I’m a procrastinator, so…”
More often than not, we misuse the power of speech by unconsciously sabotaging our chances of success, by convincing ourselves that something is impossible; it can’t happen. Be mindful to avoid words that breed hopelessness, fear, anxiety or negativity.
On the other hand, when you use positive language about yourself and your abilities to meet challenges you will love the outcomes you achieve. When you speak Positivity, you use language that is precise, results-oriented and builds trust.
Neuroscience has proven that you can rewire your brain to replace destructive patterns of thought, speech and behavior with more positive ones. Once you’ve noticed a manner of speech that isn’t bringing positivity into your life, make a conscious decision to replace it. This applies to the words you speak about yourself and words you speak and choose to listen to about others.
When you want positivity to grow in your life, you won’t want to give your problems or stresses more power by talking about them. Instead, focus on the good that you want to grow. If you want more influence, self-confidence, connection or opportunities, pay attention to what you’re sending out into the world each time you speak.
Also, monitor your body language as well. How you hold yourself – your posture, facial expression, and demeanor – profoundly shapes your emotions and how you speak.
Are you ready to become proficient in the language of “Positivity”? It may seem like a foreign language to you, but you can master this powerful skill. It will attract more opportunities and give you the confidence to go after and get the success you crave. I’d love to partner with you as you speak positivity into your life. Please contact me and schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation (in-person, by phone or via Skype).
Entire business departments have been thrown into a panicked frenzy because of them. Bosses have come close to firing loyal employees because of them. Friendships have been ruined because of them. Reputations have been damaged because of them. What has so much power to cause so much misery? People are unintentionally sending messages that are perceived as rude emails because they come across as demanding, disrespectful or insubordinate.
In business, especially via email, we often sacrifice kindness and respect in an attempt to be concise and to the point. Just “wanting to be quick” can lead to communication that is impoverished and more likely to be misunderstood.
We understand words in conjunction with vocal pitch and tone, speed and cadence, pauses, gestures, poses, and facial expressions. For example, we know that a twinkle in the eye and a smile softens corrective feedback. But with email, it’s very easy to convey frustration and judgment, because an email misses those auditory and kinesthetic elements of in-person conversation.
As human beings, no matter the situation, we want to feel seen, acknowledged and respected. However, in today’s world of emails and text messaging, clear and concise communication becomes complicated. Email strips a conversation bare, leaving it open to the receiver’s interpretation, which is largely based on their own cultural background, knowledge, biases, or current emotional state.
Since it’s often not what you say, but how you say it, that is perceived by your audience, how can you ensure your emails aren’t perceived as “rude emails” but are well received and elicit the responses you desire?
I’ve created a Checklist to help you avoid some of the common pitfalls. Here are five ways to check yourself and ten ways to check your email, before hitting the Send button…
- Check your mood. If you’re rushed, frustrated or impatient, find your center and calm down before you write and send an email.
- Be deliberate. My favorite NLP presupposition says: “The meaning of my communication is the response that I get.” This means that in communication, I’m 100% responsible for what I communicate. If the other person misunderstands, I have to recheck how I communicated.
- Reflect on your tone. If you would hesitate to say something to someone’s face, don’t write it in an email.
- Be concise, but engage your heart. Always remember that on the other side of your email is a human being. Use all your interpersonal skills and make sure you convey care and respect.
- Continue to refine your communication skills. We’re always in the process of improving our skills that lead to deeper personal and professional relationships. And, since your success hinge highly on your connections, excellent communication is vital!
Check your email:
- CC, BCC, or Reply All carefully. Only loop in the people who need to see what you have to say.
- Limit negative feedback or correction via email. Negatives become especially negative in email form, so discern when in-person communication is more appropriate.
- Use exclamation points sparingly. Enough said.
- Remember the power in a name. Keep it personal by acknowledging the person by name; and sign off with either your name or at least your initial(s).
- Include niceties. At the beginning of the day, or if you haven’t had a contact for awhile, a few kind words keeps brief messages from sounding brusque.
- Give detailed, weighty messages the respect they deserve. “Got it” or “Fine!” will appear flippant and rude.
- Proofread. Improper grammar, spelling and punctuation convey the idea that you don’t care.
- Create a clear message in the subject line. If your message is time sensitive, include a date or time, instead of URGENT or ASAP.
- Write in an easy-to-read format. Use white space to visually separate thoughts. Bullet points or bold type can highlight important details. However, all capital letters or boldface is perceived as “shouting.”
- Read it out loud. Make sure all relevant information is included in a manner that is clearly understood.
Miscommunication occurs when people have different expectations about the messages they send and receive. Making assumptions about your audience’s expectations increases the risk that your message, or its tone, will be misinterpreted.
You’ll put your best foot forward, if you remember to ask yourself, “Who is my audience? How would I talk to them in person? What kind of impression do I want to make?”
Would you like to learn more about how NLP coaching can enhance your relationships through effective communication skills? Please contact me and schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation (in-person, by phone or via Skype).
Change… you want it desperately, but at the same time it overwhelms you. How can you overcome your resistance to change? Sometimes it has to do with the size of change. If you’re willing to mindfully make tiny changes every day, you’ll obtain and surpass your wildest dreams – that’s what microhabits (some people spell it micro habits or micro-habits) are all about!
In order to make big changes in life, there are two truths we accept:
- It takes time, perhaps even years, to obtain big goals. Is this a hard change for you? Then you’ve identified an area of thinking you can do some work on.
- You’ll be most successful, if you perform tiny changes or microhabits when you feel fresh and strong. For many people, morning is their best time.
To get you started, here are some examples of microhabits you can use to mindfully transform your life:
Embrace rejection. If you don’t try, you’ll miss out on so many wonderful opportunities. Try this microhabit: every day reach out to someone you’d like to work with, even if you’re certain they won’t respond. You have nothing to lose, if you don’t take rejection personally.
Start living your dream now. If you dream of being a writer, your microhabit might be writing one paragraph a day. If you dream of running a marathon, your microhabit could be running an extra 1/8th mile or 10 minutes each day. You’ll either find out that dream is not for you, or you’ll start building momentum toward living your dream.
Track your spending. Create a greater awareness of money in/money out and time in/time out. You spend a big chunk of your life acquiring money, so it’s important to spend it in a way that supports the needs and wants of your future self over current ones. A microhabit might be tracking how much you spend on takeout or coffee; or only allow yourself 1 hour of TV per week.
Conserve your resources. Rather than purchasing something new, use or repurpose something you have. A tiny change could be mix, match and accessorize your clothes in new ways, so you don’t have to buy a new outfit.
Delight in maintaining yourself. Your mind, body and spirit need to be nurtured. View these activities as delights, not as necessary evils! Healthful food (eat one more serving of veggies and drink one more glass of water), restorative sleep (go to bed ½ hour earlier), invigorating exercise (add 5 more minutes daily), continuous learning (read during lunch break) are microhabits to improving these life essentials. Why not take my 7-Point Wellness Assessment and see how you’re doing in these areas?
Control your emotions. Before reacting to a situation, a new tiny habit would be to pause and assess its affect on your emotions by asking: “Why do I feel this way?”
Create an energy-stimulating environment. Clutter causes distress to our brains. Say “No” to people and things that don’t attract good energy. A new microhabit might be unsubscribing from physical magazines or online newsletters you never read; unfollowing people on Facebook; or filing that pile of papers on your desk.
Read more – scroll less. Reading engages your brain in a way that watching TV never can. (Click here to find some of my favorite books.) When you’re tired, a new microhabit might be taking a nap or going for a walk instead of channel surfing or scrolling through social media feeds.
Push yourself. Too often, our minds hold us back. When I’m doing my CrossFit, my mind gives out before my body does. I never would have known this, if I hadn’t learned to push myself. A new microhabit could be that you force yourself to do five minutes of whatever activity you need to do, even if you don’t “feel like it!” Then five minutes more…
Act on your good ideas. There are a few seconds between coming up with a great idea and when your brain kicks in and shoots it down. Learn to assess your ideas and take action quickly. A new tiny habit could be writing all of your ideas down and finish this sentence: “This is a great idea because…”
As you review this list you probably noticed, there’s a big difference between “living for the moment” (like attacking a big bag of chips) and “living in the moment” (mindfully extracting joy from each moment, knowing it supports the change you want to make).
Why not start identifying microhabits that will make a huge difference in your life? If you’d like an accountability partner, I’d love to help! Please contact me and schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation (in-person, by phone or via Skype).
Across the media, you’ll see famous couples, the ones that stay together, saying they’re married to their “best friend.” I’ve even said it myself. But I think it would be beneficial to delve deeper into this present fad of labeling relationships and see how close, lasting relationships are made and maintained.
Perhaps the confusion stems from there being so many types of love or relationships that have a sexual element…marriage, living together, life partners, committed relationships, best friends with benefits, hooking up or one night stands. People are trying to describe their secure relationship as one that works. So they’ve hit upon the idea that being “best friends” is the highest form of praise. However, it wasn’t that many years ago when a dog was man’s “best friend.” Surely we can do better than that.
When you met your life partner, it was sexual attraction that brought down the barriers, so that you let this new person get close to you. However, relationships based solely on sexual attraction rarely stand the test of time. That expectation is unrealistic. There’s just nothing sexy about discussing bills or hanging out in the bathroom because you have the flu.
It’s only natural this highly charged sexual euphoria evolves. We should welcome this new phase in our lives. Because in its wake, (if you’ve been mindfully attending to yourself and your partner) you will discover a richer relationship based on trust that allows each of you to self-actualize.
One problem I see is that people become consumed by being what their partner wants them to be. Eventually you don’t know who you are any more. If you view your mate as your best friend, it may even make you think there’s no need to find friendships outside the marriage. Or you unrealistically expect your partner to fulfill ALL of your emotional and spiritual needs. Conversely, other people start to question what’s wrong because they have a happy marriage, but they consider someone else to be their best friend.
Another problem I see is that people think a best friend should accept you as you are unconditionally. In my mind, marriage is about bringing the best out of the person you marry. You push each other. You challenge each other. You encourage each other. You change each other.
Because not every spouse provides that kind of close relationship, you may not feel it’s enough to say “my husband” or “my wife”. You want the world to know that this person truly is the best, so you say, “He’s my best friend” in order to differentiate him from the deadbeats. I get it.
Rather than getting hung up on labeling your relationship as a “best friend marriage”, let’s focus on mindfully crafting a relationship that allows each to grow, explore, and become the best version of you possible.
A deep sense of security leads us to describe our life partners as our “best friend”. Yet this term “best friend” seems to be too limiting. There still needs to be a sexual component that maintains physical closeness and attachment. Yes, like friends you love doing things together; you love talking with each other intimately; you depend on each other. But there’s a closeness that transcends being friends. You have shared history, shared lives and shared dreams. You fill each other’s most intimate needs and desires.
Does that mean marriage, for you? I’ll leave that for you to decide. The key characteristics of any close relationship are mutual giving, mutual valuing, mutual respecting and mutual joy. Did you notice the word “mutual”? A close relationship has to be a two way-street. That’s how you get through life’s storms. You have each other’s back.
A lot of people don’t think they’re ready for the responsibilities of a long-term, loving relationship. The commitment of marriage scares them. This awareness means you’re open to achieving greater personal growth. I’d love to help you on this journey. Please contact me and schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation (in-person, by phone or via Skype).
You’d think with a headline that seems to criticize happiness in marriage that I don’t think much of marriage. You’d be mistaken. As my sweetie and I have recently celebrated our wedding anniversary, marriage is on my mind. What I am objecting to is the idea that the goal of marriage is happiness.
We’ve all read books or seen movies with the fairy tale promise of “And they lived happily ever after.” This creates the unrealistic expectation that finding the love of your life will make you happy forever. Not!
Let me just say that many of my clients are in committed relationships, without being married. I deeply respect their choice. The principles of marriage that I speak about today, can apply to all loving partnerships.
A successful, loving relationship, starts long before you ever meet your life partner. It begins with knowing and loving yourself. A practice of mindfulness will help you identify, acknowledge and accept your needs, desires, goals, values, and outcomes you want from life.
A loving relationship can’t be one-sided, focusing solely on your needs and wants. It takes a tremendous amount of time and effort to see your potential partner for who they really are, through the rosy glow of sexual attraction. It’s only when you know their needs, desires, goals, values and how best you can fulfill them, that you can be a good partner.
If you’re mismatched, you both will quickly become dissatisfied, frustrated and angry. It’s a terrible feeling to know you’re “alone,” while sharing the house with someone you thought was your soul mate. So how can you ensure that you’ll achieve the best outcome?
You can’t depend on, nor expect, someone else to make you happy. Happiness comes from within. Expecting a constant state of happiness in marriage is unrealistic, because it’s so dependent on changing circumstances. And contrary to popular belief, it’s not the real purpose of marriage. Marriage provides a secure union that promotes the growth of each partner individually, and as a couple. Therefore, rather than looking for happiness in marriage, I recommend you work on creating a growth-centered marriage.
Marriage exposes your limitations, weaknesses, and vulnerabilities. You’ll be confronted with uncomfortable truths, especially around the intimate topics of sex and money. And when your plans are thwarted, adjustments will need to be made, which can severely challenge your commitment to each other. Through the best and worst circumstances in life, you’ll be called on to support and satisfy another emotional human being. No easy task!
For me, married life is sometimes painful and difficult and absolutely wonderful. To have my sweetie by my side through all the ups and downs is a delight. He has my back and that makes me feel secure. Marriage stretches our comfort zones and pushes us to our limits. As a result, we have found happiness, not in marriage, but in being the best people we can be in our married state.
When you love your partner you work on supporting, not pleasing, your partner. Yes, there’s a time for making sure your partner is comfortable and worry-free. But there is a danger of becoming overly accommodating as this could cause you to shield your partner from challenging and uncomfortable opportunities for growth.
True lovers dedicate themselves to each other, holding the well-being of each other as a sacred trust. You work at bringing out the best in each other. And that’s what leads to happiness.
If that’s the kind of happiness you desire, look for ways to improve yourself first. When you create harmony between body, mind and spirit you have more to give to others. My free 7-Point Wellness Assessment is a great place to start in this self-exploration. And if you’re up for some 1:1 coaching, so am I! Please contact me and schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation (in-person, by phone or via Skype).