7 Tips For Being Honest Without Negativity

7 Tips For Being Honest Without Negativity

Being honest and being kind can be tough to do simultaneously. There are times that it’s easy to be honest, while other times can require far more tact. There are even times when it’s best to keep your opinions to yourself. It’s not always easy to know when you should speak up and when you should keep your mouth shut.

Even when you’re trying to be helpful, your honesty can backfire. Proceed with caution.

If you’ve decided to speak the truth, there are several things to keep in mind:

1.  Be gentle. There are many ways to say something. For example, you could say to your spouse, “Of course it doesn’t fit. You’ve been eating a lot for the last three months. What did you expect would happen?”

–  You could also say, “Well, we haven’t been very healthy lately. Maybe we need to skip dessert and start taking a walk after dinner. It might be fun.”

–  Avoid the temptation to harm the other person. Focus on relaying the necessary information in a way that is kind to the other person. There are many ways to get your point across to someone. Consider your options before you speak.

2.  Ask yourself, “Does this help the other person?” Sometimes, the truth will be ignored even if you choose to share it. Sometimes, the truth only causes problems. If you’re quite certain that being honest isn’t going to be beneficial, it’s best to keep your comments, opinions, and advice to yourself.

3.  Start with the positive. Before you say something that might hurt the other person’s feelings, start with a few positive statements. Spend a moment talking about the positive before diving into the negative.

–  This can be a great way for dealing with an employee. “We love how you do xyz, and we’re grateful to have you as an employee. But it would be better for the company if you did abc this way instead.”

–  Leading with praise or compliments can greatly lessen the sting of constructive criticism. Make it a point to say something pleasant before delivering a harsh truth.

4.  Have your conversation in private. Some honest conversations are best done in private. Having the wrong conversation in front of others can create a lot of negativity. That same conversation might not be a big deal if done one on one.

5.  Focus on the behavior or situation instead of the person. If you’re addressing someone’s behavior, keep the honesty focused on the behavior instead of making it personal.

6.  Question your motivation. Before unleashing your honesty on the other person, ask yourself what your true motivation is. Are you trying to be helpful? Or, are you trying to even the score? Are you doing it because it will benefit the other person, or are you trying to make them feel bad?

7.  Think about the likely outcome. Be realistic and ask yourself what the likely outcome will be from your conversation. Do you expect things to go well or poorly?

Examine your true motivations for being honest in each situation. We’re often just doing it for ourselves or causing more harm than good to the other person. You might consider yourself an “honest” person, but there are times when you should consider keeping your comments to yourself.

Each situation is unique, so it’s impossible to have a single rule that always applies. Use your common sense before offering your two cents.

 

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Five Unique Ways to Deal With Procrastination

Five Unique Ways to Deal With Procrastination

If you didn’t procrastinate, you’d be one of the most powerful people in the world. You’d utilize your time effectively and get a lot of things done each day. Over time, that’s an incredibly powerful way to live.

Unfortunately, we all seem to have a villain inside that tries to thwart our plans at every turn. He makes every other activity seem so enjoyable and the thing we need to do so unenjoyable.

Procrastination can be an incredibly challenging obstacle to overcome.

Deal with your procrastination and beat the villain inside with these strategies:

1.  Do the task immediately. The longer you think about doing something, the more reasons your mind will invent to keep you from doing it. Have you ever noticed how you get a great idea, but then you talk yourself out of doing it? It’s the same idea.

–  Before you have a chance to think about it, just do it. The longer you linger, ponder, think, relax, or stall, the less likely you’ll be to do anything. You only have a few seconds to take action before your brain will start getting in your way. 1-2-3-GO!

2.  Set a time limit. This can be especially helpful when tackling a big task. Rather than trying to do it all at once, tell yourself that you’ll work for an hour, or 30 minutes, or whatever works for you. Knowing that you have a set ending point can ease the challenge of getting started.

–  Once you get busy, you might find that you just keep on working after the time has expired.

–  Using a timer is also a great way to focus your attention. It’s interesting how much more you can accomplish when you’re racing against the clock.

3.  Only do a tiny bit. Getting started is often the most difficult part. Make it so easy to get started that you can’t possibly fail. Need to write a history paper for school or a report for work? Tell yourself that you’re just going to do one paragraph. If that’s too hard, make it a single sentence.

–  Again, after you get started, you might decide to keep on going. It’s amazing what a little momentum can do.

4.  Start with the big items. We like to start the day with the easy things, the things that won’t take too much time. Unfortunately, the longer you put off doing the bigger stuff, the harder it is to get started on it. 

–  Avoid this situation by attacking those bigger, less pleasant tasks first thing in the morning. Save the easy stuff for later in the day. You’ll be able to have a more peaceful afternoon.

5.  Figure out your primary distractions at the moment and do them later. Those distractions can be so appealing. Whether it’s texting your friend about the weekend or playing a few more games of Candy Crush, distractions are more enjoyable than doing what actually needs to be done.

–  Use your distractions as rewards. Tell yourself you can do the thing you really want to do after you get a certain amount of work completed. You’ll get your work done and still have fun before the day is over.

How much do you procrastinate? How much does it impact your life? What could you accomplish if you could greatly reduce your procrastination?

There are many strategies for dealing with procrastination. The trick is to figure out which one works most effectively for you. Try the methods above and any other methods that appeal to you. Decide for yourself how to best manage your procrastination tendencies.

 

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How to be More Socially Confident

How to be More Socially Confident

Some people have social confidence to spare. It’s easy to see that some children are seemingly born with great social confidence, while others are not. Social confidence seems to come and go for most adults.

A serious lack of social confidence can lead to isolation and stifle career growth. If there’s one part of your life in which it pays to be confident, it’s in your social interactions.

Use these strategies to increase your social confidence and feel comfortable in all social situations:

1.  Practice. Every person that crosses your path is a practice partner for your social skills. The more practice you get, the better you’ll become at interacting with others. The better you become, the more confident you’ll feel. There are all kinds of things you can practice:

–  Eye contact
–  Small talk
–  Non-verbal communication
–  Telling jokes
–  And more

2.  Rehearse. Imagine yourself being successful socially. Before you head into a social situation, rehearse in your mind. See yourself being confident and competent. Imagine others responding to you in a positive way. In time, you’ll learn to feel the same way out in the real world.

3.  Adopt an effective attitude. It’s not a matter of life and death. No one is judging you or spending any of their time thinking about you. In fact, they’re probably wondering what you’re thinking about them.

–  Interacting with people in a social context should be fun and pleasant. Have a reasonable perspective on the situation.

4.  Focus on self-development. When you feel better about yourself, you’ll be more socially confident. Whether that means getting in shape, learning a new skill, or meditation, any enhancements you make will leave you feeling more confident.

5.  Learn. Learn about communication. Pick one area, such as nonverbal communication, and become an expert. Then, get out and practice. When you’ve mastered that, pick a new area to learn about. The more you know, the better you’ll become. That leads to real confidence.

6.  Avoid the need to be perfect. You don’t have to be perfect. You don’t have to be the funniest person at the party. You don’t have to be the most charming person in the bar. Perfection is an unreasonable goal that leads to anxiety and a lack of confidence.

7.  Join a social group. You know a group of people that hang out together. It might be at work. It might be a friend that has a separate group of friends. See if you can join, too. Finding the right group of people can boost your social confidence.

–  Perhaps you already have a group of friends. Spend more time with them. Or, you might form your own group and become the social director!

8.  Combine social events with activities you’re good at. Are you a great softball player? Join a softball league. Are you an expert at riding a motorcycle? Join a motorcycle club. Find an activity you excel at and turn it into a social activity.

–  Make a list of everything you do better than the average person. Now, find a way to do that in a group setting. You might join a band, a chess club, or a group that square dances on the weekend.

Think about how much your life would change if you were more socially confident. How would it impact your career? How would your social life be affected?

It’s hard to think of any potential downside to having greater social confidence. If you weren’t lucky enough to be born with perpetual confidence, you’ll want to grow and nurture this important attribute.

 

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Staying Positive When Youre Surrounded By Negative People

Staying Positive When Youre Surrounded By Negative People

You probably know more than your fair share of negative people! Since they’re everywhere, it’s important to know how to coexist with them.

Negative people can have an impact on your attitude and your day. But, that doesn’t have to be the case. There are ways to mitigate the effect that negative people have on you.

Practice these strategies to avoid allowing negative people to negatively impact your life:

1,  Understand that you can only control yourself, but you can influence others. You can’t snap your fingers and make the people around you take a more positive view of the world. But you can control yourself and how you choose to react to their negativity.

You might even be able to sway people over to your way of thinking a little bit. Set a good example and be a positive influence on those around you.

Accept people for who they are. It’s just easier that way

2.  Be grateful. One way to maintain a positive attitude is to remind yourself of the positive. When you’re feeling run down by the negativity around you, make a quick mental list of the things in your life that you’re thankful for. It will give your mood a quick boost.

3.  Remember that it’s not about you. Everyone has their challenges and issues. There’s no reason to be upset that someone has a negative attitude. It likely doesn’t have anything to do with you at all. It could be circumstances in their life or their basic nature. Just keep on doing what you’re doing.

4.  You have the choice to be positive or negative. You can choose to be affected or not by the people around you. Focus on yourself and keep your chin up. Take care of your business and let others view the world however they choose.

5.  Speak up. Sometimes it can be helpful to tell people to just cut it out. Many people will push until someone calls them on their behavior. Have a frank talk with someone that’s perpetually negative. Maybe they’re not aware of the impact they’re having on others.

6.  Spend time with positive people. Recharge your batteries with the positive energy of other positive people. Get away from those negative people and spend time with people full of positive attitude. It doesn’t take long to recenter yourself when you surround yourself with the right people.

7.  Make the most of your time alone. Make the most of the time you have to yourself. Do things you really enjoy doing. Read positive affirmations. Watch feel-good movies. Put your attention on positivity. It can be like armor against negative people.

8.  Headphone can be your friend. If the situation permits, put on some headphones or earbuds. What you can’t hear can’t bother you. Consider listening to a positive podcast or music that makes you feel good. If your work situation allows this, it would be silly not to take advantage of it.

 

9.  Stay away. There are plenty of people in your life that are optional. Stay away from negative people that you don’t have to associate with. You have some control over who is part of your life and who is not.

Negative people will drag you down if you let them. Take steps to minimize the impact they have on your life. Practice gratitude each day, and you can maintain a positive perspective. Block negative people out with headphones and stay away from as many negative people as possible.

Negative people will always be around, but you can deal with them and still be a positive person.

 

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A 7-Step Process for Dealing With Failure and Other Setbacks

A 7-Step Process for Dealing With Failure and Other Setbacks

You can accomplish anything if you’re willing to fail along the way. Failure is a consistent part of success. The most successful people fail far more often than the least successful people.

Life is full of setbacks. The question is whether you allow failure and other setbacks to derail your efforts. Everyone can learn to better deal with these common annoyances on the road to success.

Failure is a funny thing. It feels embarrassing and catastrophic, but that’s rarely the case. You fail every day. When you think your keys are in the kitchen drawer, but discover they are not, you failed. However, you don’t let it bother you. Instead, you just look somewhere else.

Dealing with failure can be that simple. If your first attempt doesn’t work, try something else.

The same can be said for your 30th failed attempt. Most people try a time or two and then give up. They decide it either can’t be done, or the stress of failing becomes too much to bear.

Use this process to overcome failure:

1.  Maintain your composure. Nothing will derail your progress like becoming emotionally distraught or quitting altogether. Undesirable results happen more often than not. It’s important to understand this fact.

When you expect that you’ll sometimes fail, it won’t bother you nearly as much. You simply keep going.

2.  Determine what went wrong. If possible, determine the error in your approach. Do your best to understand exactly what happened and why. If you don’t understand the issue, you can’t correct it.

3.  Maybe you just need to try again. Some things just naturally have high failure rates, like sales. For some products and services, you might face 100s of failures between successes. There’s no reason to fret, just try again. And again. And again.

4.  Alter your approach. It’s important to keep improving your method. No matter how great you are at something, it can always be better. Take a few minutes each day and adjust your approach.

5.  Look for alternatives. Maybe you need to try a completely new approach. There are often multiple ways around any obstacle. Maybe you can find a better alternative. For example, if you’ve been cold-calling for clients, maybe it would be better to:

–  Cold-email
–  Ask people you know for referrals
–  Show up in person
–  Attend meetups or conventions
–  Send postcards
–  Pass out flyers
–  Send lumpy mail
–  If you’ve thoroughly investigated one method, try another.

6.  Sharpen your axe. Sometimes it’s not about how hard you chop at the trees. It’s about how sharp your axe is. Develop yourself each day. Work on your general sales skills and charisma if those are useful. A chemist might brush up on his knowledge of synthetic organic chemistry.

7.  Work on your coping skills. Figure out the best ways to handle the stress and other negative emotions that commonly accompany failure and setbacks.

Keep your options healthy. Calling a friend, exercise, and meditation are examples of acceptable options.

Using drugs, alcohol, or food are examples of unhealthy coping strategies.

You can’t succeed if you can’t handle failure. Most of us are far more afraid of failure than we should be. A failed sales call or 30-foot putt isn’t a life and death matter. The most successful people fail more often than they succeed. It’s just part of the game.

One of the best ways to predict your success is to look at your ability to handle failure. Successful people handle failure without any undo fuss. Just learn and keep going.

 

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A Busy Persons Guide To Making Your Life More Fulfilling

A Busy Persons Guide To Making Your Life More Fulfilling

If your life isn’t as fulfilling as you’d like, you probably aren’t making fulfillment a high priority. To maximize anything in your life, whether it be your health, income, or fun, it has to be a priority.

You can restructure your life and make fulfillment one of your most important objectives. Fulfillment might be a lot closer than you realize!

Get more of what you want out of each day with these strategies:

1.  Identify the things that bring you fulfillment. It’s hard to have a life overflowing with fulfillment if you don’t even know what makes you feel fulfilled. What do you currently find fulfilling in your life? What have you found fulfilling in the past? What other things do you believe you would find fulfilling?

2.  Identify the things in your life that don’t bring fulfillment. What are you currently spending time on regularly that doesn’t really matter to you? Most of our days aren’t particularly fulfilling, so your list of things might be quite long.

Pay special attention to those things that are optional. If they aren’t fulfilling, ask yourself why you do them.

3.  Eliminate as many maintenance activities as possible. Most of our lives are filled with maintenance activities. These are things that are necessary to keep our lives on track, but don’t necessarily create positive change. These items take a lot of time and typically aren’t fulfilling to the vast majority of people.

Maintenance tasks include items like shopping for food and clothes, cooking, cleaning, laundry, and mowing the grass. These items need to be done, but they don’t necessarily need to be done by you.

As your finances allow, consider paying others to do these tasks for you. Use the extra time to find something more fulfilling to do. Unless, of course, you find trimming your hedges fulfilling.

4.  Scrap the unnecessary. Things you don’t need in your life take up time and space that could be better spent on other items and activities.

Go through your house and your schedule and eliminate as many things as you can that you either don’t need or don’t love.

5.  Make time each day for your passion. Everyone’s life gets shorter each day. Avoid believing that you’ll have time in the future to pursue your passions. Begin making time today for those meaningful activities and try to do them every single day.

6.  Have goals for each day. Each day can be made more fulfilling just by making yourself feel like you made the most of it. Most people merely survive each day and have little to show for their time and effort. Have a plan for each day and strive to complete it. You’ll feel great at the end of the day.

7.  Have longer term goals, too. Long-term goals are important, too. They provide an overall theme to your life. When your life is about something, and you’re diligently working toward it, you’ll feel more fulfilled. Most people lack short-term and long-term goals.

8.  Surround yourself with the best people and avoid the worst. You’ll feel inspired, energized, and supported when you have great people in your life. You become a better version of yourself when you have wonderful people around you. Cut away the dead weight and make room for more great people.

To have more fulfillment, you must prioritize fulfillment. This simple fact escapes many people.

Does your life have a primary objective? Most people prioritize surviving, which is important, but rarely leads to fulfillment. Have a higher purpose and make your sense of fulfillment a daily goal. Make the most of each day.

 

The Circle of Life

Reveal the “big picture” of your true dreams – and pave the road for a real, personalized action plan

I am a Board Certified Life Coach, a Board Certified Health Coach,  and a teacher of Mindfulness Living who helps people unlock their potential and live life on Purpose

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