Posts tagged: Fresh perspective

Making decisions in pencil

September 26, 2016
making decisions in pencil

A few years back, I was at a career crossroads and fortunately had an insightful coach to guide me.

I’d always imagined my life as a chess game where I could see multiple moves out — if I do this, it puts me in position for that, which will ultimately land me at my goal. My crisis was that I no longer saw the chess board and I couldn’t tell how the opportunity I was considering would play out in the long
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How to feel better in your bathing suit — and enjoy your summer

July 4, 2016

It’s summer. Finally. So we start to fantasize about a trip to the beach, only to interrupt our reverie with fear or loathing about how we’ll look in a bathing suit. Or we go to the beach, but when our friends peel off their extra layers to jump in the water, we hang back. We don’t want to expose the parts of us that are too big, too small, too lumpy — too imperfect.

If this resonates, you’re not alone. One survey found that 89 percent of American women are unhappy with their weight. And men are hardly immune from the pressures to look a certain way. As Shape recently reported, the implications of a negative body image strongly affect our happiness:

Researchers from Chapman University in California surveyed over 12,000 participants about their body image and attitudes about their overall happiness and satisfaction with life while
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Does being humble get us anywhere?

June 6, 2016

In a world that seems to reward those who shout the loudest, humility can feel like an outdated virtue.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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How to get past rejection

May 23, 2016

Getting rejected stinks, plain and simple. We wanted something — a job, a fresh opportunity, a relationship with someone — and we didn’t get it. What’s to like about that?

Nothing — right?

Even worse than the initial sting of rejection is the ripple effect it can have on our lives. We start to doubt ourselves. Our motivation plummets. We’re afraid to put ourselves out there again.

Here are three strategies for getting past the awful feelings that rejection brings with
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Why don’t I take my own advice?

May 5, 2016

Giving advice can be easy.

— If it’s really bothering you, just talk to him about it.
— You should make sure to negotiate your salary.
— Definitely get a second opinion.

So why don’t we listen to our own words of wisdom?

— My situation’s more complicated, we think.
— I don’t want to give the wrong impression, we reason.
— I don’t have the time, we explain.

Beneath all this rationalizing is a fear of some sort, and it blocks us from embracing what we know, in our gut, to be the right path forward.

Here are 5 ways to take your own best
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3 ways to conquer money worries

April 6, 2016

Stuck moment: I didn’t skip her party because I don’t care. I’m just trying to be responsible about how I spend my money. That means pulling back on the fun stuff. But she doesn’t understand — she doesn’t know what it’s like to struggle.

* * *

Money is important. It’s hard to get by without it. We do our best to earn more, save well, and spend wisely so we can do the things we want to do. But sometimes it feels like it’s never enough.

That’s when we start worrying about the things we can’t afford. We don’t take that vacation. We bail on an outing with friends. We can become so frugal that we get stingy with ourselves — and lose sight of why we’re saving money in the first place. We might even get resentful.

When financial discipline turns into self-denial, we need to check our attitude. Take a look
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How to be better at anything you do

February 24, 2016

Deep down you know that things could be better. That promotion keeps slipping through your fingers, or a relationship’s feeling stale. You’re doing your part — what more is there?

Here’s an idea so simple that we often overlook it: Pay attention to how you’re paying attention. Because it’s when we think we know what’s going on that we’re likely to overlook things.

Consciously paying attention means we:

1. Make smart choices about where we focus our attention.2. Recognize what we may not be able to give much attention to.3. Keep adjusting as needed.

When we do all three, we remember the big picture and act accordingly. We notice more. We become more considerate. People are more responsive to us. We’re less frustrated, more engaged, and less likely to be caught off guard. Doing better gets easier.

To check your state of attention, use our 5 Ws (and 1 H) to see what really is
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How to have a better day

February 10, 2016

Pop quiz: When is the last time you were none of these things?

  • Worried
  • Anxious
  • Distracted
  • Scattered
  • Forgetful
  • Regretful
  • Overwhelmed
  • Stressed
  • Tired

Can’t recall, right? We’ve all got a lot on our minds. Ruminating on old mistakes. Avoiding new ones. Planning what we need to do. Anticipating what we’ll forget. It’s a constant scramble.

But what if we could clear up our jumbled thoughts?

What if we could leave the past in the past, the future to the future?

If we could give our whole attention to what we’re doing as we’re doing it?

Then we’d be fully present. Whatever we’re doing, we’d likely do it better. Conversations would become more fruitful. Tasks could become less tedious. Trust, empathy, adaptability — all would deepen and grow. We’d be engaged in each moment, so each moment would count.

Being present is an attitude shift. It doesn’t change the world, but it changes how we experience it — what we notice, how we respond. It’s a commitment
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Make your fear work for you

October 22, 2015

You’ve cut through the excuses — I don’t have enough time, I don’t know what to do — and now you’re standing face to face with your fear. And you’re paralyzed.

Your mind is in a tailspin of what-ifs and worst-case scenarios. Your breathing gets faster, palms sweat, mouth goes dry. Everything feels shaky and insecure. You wish you could tackle the challenge…but you also want to run and hide and face your fear another day. You are classically stuck.

But what if you could harness your fear and turn it into a power source, one that would propel you forward and build your confidence in unexpected ways? Yes, we thought you’d be interested, so we tapped into the collective wisdom of our colleagues at SYPartners (the creator of Unstuck). Inspired by their knowledge, experience, and courage, here is a four-step process to transform fear into fuel (with follow-ups for good
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Attitude check: Are your good intentions out of whack?

October 9, 2015

Everyone makes mistakes. And we all make excuses for them from time to time. We know what we should have done instead, but we bend our beliefs — just a little — to justify our actions.

It happens. But, like anything else, if it happens enough, it becomes habit. Our excuses make us lose sight of our original intentions, and then our actions and expectations fall out of sync. We stop holding ourselves accountable. We get focused on the things we want and need, what’s convenient and comfortable, and we forget about the bigger picture, the people around us, the world at large. Without realizing it, we’ve crossed a line.

That shift in mindset can really sneak up, turning minor excuses into major attitudes. The four common adages below show how even words of wisdom can get a bit twisted — and offer some fresh thoughts to air out your original intentions
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