As a coach, people often come to me when they feel they need to change. They feel stagnate in some way shape or form. Either it’s a pattern of behaviour, a plateau they can’t jump off or the everyday routine of life that makes them feel like they’re stuck in a groove. As Deepak Chopra says “The worst curse to befall anyone is stagnation, a banal existence, the quiet desperation that comes out of need for conformity.”
It’s fine to operate within your comfort zone, but before you get too cosy, remember change is often a good thing. Don’t conform to complacency. To make positive changes in life, you have to evolve. Don’t be ruled by fear. Step out of your comfort zone and take on things you find challenging.
Try something that you always wanted to do but were afraid to attempt for fear of failure. Go for that job that you may not be perfect for on paper but know you’d succeed in if you had the opportunity. Fake it ‘till you make it! Invite someone out that you’ve been admiring from a distance but were scared to ask. You never know what impact they may have on your life. Enlighten and empower yourself with knowledge. This will inspire you to move forward. Remind yourself of those less fortunate than you so that you don’t take life’s blessings for granted.
There’s comfort in routine and it plays an important part in a stable existence. However, routine shouldn’t stop you from achieving your dreams. Don’t stagnate. Life is too short for a long stall. Life is for living. Feeling like you didn’t live up to your potential can nag you for a lifetime. Keep on Moving.
Good life advice powered by emotional intelligence.
Photo by Daniel Hermy
Not long ago my husband asked me to write about something my male clients could identify with. His suggestion was:
What happens when your children leave home and you realise that they were the glue holding you and your wife together?
It’s a natural to marry people you think have good maternal/paternal instincts. After all, one of the main reasons people get married is to procreate. However, a good mother/father does not necessarily make a good lifetime companion something which dawns on people when they find themselves with an empty nest. My husband and I are rapidly approaching this stage in life and we are still relatively young and healthy. I wondered if his topic suggestion was a not so subtle hint?!? Hmmm.
Naturally, that transition from family life to me and you life is a major adjustment. It requires gradual and persistent preparation. Yes, sometimes when the children leave it becomes obvious to both parties that the fire is not on slow burn but no burn. Then it is time to part ways. No good comes from staying with someone you may respect but don’t love. “Till death do you part” is a hell of a long time. However, if you want to keep your love alive once the nest is empty, have a long-term game plan and start early.
Here are a few suggestions to help you keep your marriage foundation solid:
- It’s great to be independent but remember to regularly share your troubles and triumphs with your partner. Love is the foundation of a good marriage, but friendship and compromise will carry you a long way.
- Be an active listener and engage with your partner. How often do you actually listen to what your partner says? It’s easy to skim the surface of a conversation, but if you actually listen, you may head off trouble before it grows. Put the iPad down and look them in the eyes when you talk!
- Find mutual interests and engage in them. If you have faith, embrace it together.
- Don’t be afraid to seek counselling. Sage advice from an unbiased party can make cloudy skies clear.
- Let go of anger. It’s not easy to forgive and forget but a long-term undercurrent of anger will poison your partnership.
- Finally, sometimes you just have to embrace the madness that comes with marriage. If you thought about ‘til death do you part’ every time you hit a bump in the road, you’d go surely lose your mind!
Anyone who’s been in a long-term relationship knows that each one is different. If you’re sexing it up after a quarter of a century with your partner, more power to you. If you’re happy with the comfort of a cuddle and a kiss to keep you going – great. In the long run, we all want someone who will make a good life companion. You don’t have to speak for them to know what’s going on, they’re there for the ups and downs in life and every once in a while you might get a lucky. May all you lifers have a Happy Valentine’s Day.
Let’s say you’re eager to make your mark on the job and impress your boss. When the opportunity arises for you to get noticed, you go for it. However, before you turn into a ‘yes, I can’ person, remember to manage your bosses expectations by being realistic about your own. So many of us get caught out making promises that we can’t deliver and no boss will be impressed with that. “Let’s revisit this is six months” is not what you want to hear when you’re sitting in your annual review. If you want to hear the words promotion and rise instead, here are a few fundamentals to help you keep reality in check.
- Clarity: Don’t assume anything. Make sure you know exactly what is expected of you when you take on a project. Be smart, take responsibility for getting the details right and making sure you and your boss are on the same page.
- Don’t make any assumptions. If you’re not sure about something, don’t hesitate to ask questions.
- Know what your key objectives are and if it’s a big project set goals. If you are a manager, delegate some work to your team and monitor their progress up to the final stages of delivery. Remember, the buck stops with you.
- Don’t go overboard. Do what’s asked of you and do it well. You can take the initiative to go above and beyond the call of duty, but run it by the boss first and only when you know you have the original task well and truly in hand.
- Communicate your progress, concerns and successes. Keep your boss in the loop via emails, phone calls, meetings – whatever is preferred. As long as you keep the lines of communication open you won’t get caught out.
- Be flexible: Being able to manage sudden change is a critical skill. Sometimes things don’t go according to plan and problems arise out of the blue. Being flexible will help you take it all in stride and find solutions through inspiration or collaboration.
- Plan B: Know what risks can stand in the way of your success. Always have a contingency plan. If you see things going wrong voice your concerns straight away while you have the opportunity to get back on track.
- Quiet confidence is a virtue. It’s great to be ambitious but no one likes a show off. Speak less and do more. Actions always speak louder than words.
Not living up to what we expect of ourselves can lead to stress, disappointment and sometimes depression as well. That is why it is so important to have realistic, well-considered goals and plans. If you keep it real, time measured and let go of excuses you will live up to your expectations . Don’t be discouraged when things don’t go as planned. Everything happens for a reason, and if you believe in yourself, you will end up where you’re supposed to be on your journey through life. Besides, you can learn a lot from a detour. Sometimes you have to go with the flow.
Great expectations are not realised over night. They need nurturing, cultivating and steely determination. You may even find your expectations and destinations change along the way, because that’s life.