Posts tagged: Best Self

3 easy ways to stay optimistic


Stop me if you’ve heard this one: You finally manage to schedule dinner with a group of friends that you never get to see. The food is delicious and the service great — even during an awkward moment when you order your meal and loudly mispronounce the dish. (Coq au vin is a cruel mistress.) The embarrassing exchange happens in less than 15 seconds, but when you think back on it a few days later, you still cringe.

What gives? Overall, the dinner was fantastic and your faux pas was a momentary blip. Why does the one small part of a highly enjoyable, two-hour event get prime billing in your memory reel?

The spell of negative thinking

This all-too-familiar phenomenon is called the “negativity bias” and it’s pretty much universal. Our brains are hardwired to prioritize bad, difficult, or painful thoughts over positive ones.

Making matters worse, negative events quickly lodge themselves in our
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Why are mental health days such a big deal?


It all started with an email from Madalyn Parker, a web developer in Michigan. “I’m taking today and tomorrow to focus on my mental health,” Parker recently wrote to a few members of her office. “Hopefully I’ll be back next week refreshed and back to 100%.”

Here’s how Ben Congleton, her boss and the company’s CEO, replied:

 

Hey Madalyn, I just wanted to personally thank you for sending emails like this. Every time you do, I use it as a reminder of the importance of using sick days for mental health – I can’t believe this is not standard practice at all organizations. You are an example to us all, and help cut through the stigma so we can all bring our whole selves to work.

Depending on where you live or what you do, this correspondence might not seem like anything remarkable. However, after Parker tweeted
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8 great quotes for Nelson Mandela Day


Nelson Mandela Day, July 18, was designated by the UN General Assembly in 2008 as a call to action to make the world a better place. An unarguably worthy pursuit.

At Unstuck, we believe that pursuit starts with ourselves. As we each strive, individually, to be more patient, understanding, and open, as well as less critical, prideful, and resistant, we can’t help but contribute to a better world.  

In celebration of Mr. Mandela, and all of us who seek to be our best selves, we offer eight inspiring Mandela quotes, paired with some actionable Unstuck advice.

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.”

Read this: How to boost your stick-to-it-tiveness

 

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”

Read this: Are
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It’s high time to make a mid-year resolution


No matter how hard we try to make an effective resolution each new year, an estimated 80 percent(!) of them fail by the second week of February. There are plenty of reasons for this: Cold weather for some, the post-holiday blues for others. Some researchers believe that the most depressing day of the year is in late January, which hardly seems like the time to add the pressure of your loftiest ambitions to the equation.

But who says that a resolution has to be set in January? And who says that you can’t rededicate yourself again in the summer? Regardless of whether your old goals still loom or if they’ve been replaced by more pressing ones, we’ve made this handy printable guide with 10 tips to recharge your resolutions.

DOWNLOAD THE PRINTABLE: Stalled on your goal? 10 tips to get going again 

 

 

 

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What cultivating more self-awareness can do for you


Anyone who’s ever been stuck at brunch listening to someone bragging about a date they had the night before knows how important and elusive self-awareness can be.

The term itself is loaded and complicated. The Oxford English dictionary defines it simply as “conscious knowledge of one’s own character, feelings, motives, and desires.” But there is a lot more to self-awareness than being in touch with yourself.

The power and challenges of self-awareness

The power of being self-aware is that it helps you become conscious of your own habits and decide if you need to change them. It also helps you realize when you’ve told a joke that quite didn’t land or pushes you to speak louder when you sense that someone can’t quite hear you. But it’s a difficult balance; becoming too self-conscious can be just as dangerous as not being aware enough of your own tendencies.

Making matters worse, people are less self-aware than we think
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How to make yourself more resilient


 

How is it that some people try again and again, while others get perpetually stuck at the first roadblock? The difference is resilience — an adaptive trait that enables us to bounce back when faced with difficulties.

Resilience doesn’t mean we escape feelings of pain and hardship, but rather meet those uncomfortable feelings so we can work through stressful situations. Here are some attributes of a resilient spirit:

  • An ability to bounce back after setback
  • A more positive outlook on life
  • Heightened problem-solving abilities
  • Greater decisiveness in day-to-day actions
  • An ability to manage strong feelings and stress with a clear mind
  • The confidence to try new things without worrying about every little detail that could go wrong.

A recent study links  resilience with physical benefits like a stronger immune system  and better cardiovascular health.  In other words, the less time spent
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Say no in the best possible way


Do you say yes when you mean to say no?

Maybe you don’t want to hurt people’s feelings. You’re afraid no one else will do it (or as well as you will). Or there are so many good options for someone else doing it that you can’t choose between them. That last one is especially true for us Wafflers.

Then the inevitable happens. Right after saying yes — or not saying no — you get overwhelmed, exhausted, stretched too thin. Even more requests pile up, and suddenly you just want to hide.

Though hiding works wonders at curing overwhelm, it shouldn’t be the only way to avoid saying yes to things you really don’t want to do.

Instead, there’s a way to say no without uttering the word, and that, with any luck, makes everyone happier in the process.  

Two things.

First, say thank you. When someone asks you to do something, what they
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How to squeeze your favorite people back into your life


Why do we ignore people who matter the most to us? You know, the friend or cousin or former teammate who really gets us. Who we can say and do anything with. Who we haven’t connected with in a long time.

You might chalk it up to busyness, but it really comes down to bonds. We are comfortably certain that time out of touch will not fray our affection in the long run. And we’re usually right. Part of a superstrong relationship is that we don’t have to constantly nurture it. The love will always be there. And when we do connect, it is soulfully satisfying. And sustaining. Or is it?

For a minute, forget the people you need to please or impress. Forget your pile of responsibilities. Instead, remember those deep connections — both the memories and the vague plans for future connection.

Is it enough, these momentary touches? How much finer
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Does being humble get us anywhere?


Does being humble get us anywhere

In a world that seems to reward those who shout the loudest, humility can feel like an outdated virtue. In fact, it’s an essential quality to cultivate as we try to get (and stay) unstuck in all areas of our lives.

At its core, humility is the absence of arrogance. We like humble people. They’re not trying to impress anyone. They’re at ease with themselves. They can take a compliment without letting it go to their head. They think inclusively. They give people the benefit of the doubt. They share things rather than showing them off. They say thanks, and they mean it.

Humble people aren’t attached to being the best. They know what they’re good at, and what they aren’t so good at. Humility, then, is actually the truest form of confidence. And it’s liberating.

Humility doesn’t always come naturally. But it’s a skill we can practice and learn. Often, being humble
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Are you driven by love or fear?


love or fear

Life is complicated — but your motivation isn’t. Without exception, every action we take is motivated either by love or by fear. For example:

• Acting weird around someone we’re not sure about: Fear (What if we don’t get along? I don’t want to feel disliked by someone I don’t really connect with.)

• Offering constructive criticism, even though it makes you sweat: Love (I want this person to do well. I won’t withhold the information he needs to do that.)

• Telling someone it’s okay, even though you think it probably isn’t: Fear (I’m not sure how to tell him otherwise. He might react badly. I don’t want to feel bad about it.)

• Sharing the responsibility for a situation your partner created: Love (I care about improving this situation, for everyone involved. Blaming her for it won’t help change things.)

Whether it’s an everyday quibble (your boyfriend is being difficult) or a really big deal (your
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