I received a very interesting question today and I thought I would share it with you along with the answer I gave. We all have learned behaviors that at the time we adopted them served some sort of purpose. Now that the situation has changed those learned behaviors might not be supporting who we have become. It would be wise to see what behaviors you have adopted that no longer serve you in a positive way and begin to change them. The good news is any behavior learned can be unlearned.
How do you deal with the effects of learned helplessness?
That is a difficult one for me to answer because I didn’t learn helplessness. Just the opposite. I learned extreme self sufficiency. I learned that no one was going to help me and if I didn’t take care of it myself it wouldn’t get taken care of. I have had to work through this because this causes severe control issues, not trusting anyone and looking for opportunities to be disappointed when people do try to help me and of course it doesn’t work out.
I think overcoming anything that we have adopted is a process. The first step is awareness. I have always been a proponent of choices however most recently have come to realize that there is no choice without awareness. Until you are aware that you have adopted learned helplessness, you can’t change it. Now that you are aware you can begin to make different choices.
First start noticing where the learned helplessness shows up. For me when I was looking at my extreme self sufficiency I began to notice where in my life I wasn’t allowing others to help me, which was in just about every area. Once I realized that I began to let go of the control and let others help. It started out with small things first and then I gradually have built up to larger things.
Keep in mind that the behavior has been learned over time. You are not going to change it overnight. I would also suggest keeping a journal and making notes in it each day of what you noticed and how you will do things differently in the future. Or even a win you had around changing the behavior. This will provide you with increased awareness and feedback.
At times we need to get support when we are changing behaviors. My current coach is working specially on changing my old learned behavior patterns and beliefs. He calls them “the old stories” in our lives. We adopted these old stories, mine being “I can do it myself.” It helps to have a different perspective and someone that can point out things I don’t notice.
The good news is that anything learned can be unlearned. Indeed you can learn new behaviors that are more positive and reflective of who you have become.
I hope this was helpful.
This week several of my 365 Days of Coaching have been inspired by my new favorite movie, The Last Holiday. The movie stars Queen Latifah as Georgia Byrd. Georgia lives a simple, conservative and predictable life. Georgia keeps a book with pictures in it that she calls Possibilities. The possibilities range from where she will travel, famous chefs she would like to meet, the man she would like to marry and the food she hopes to serve in a restaurant she hopes to own someday.
When Georgia is told she has three, maybe four weeks to live, she decides to turn at least some of her possibilities into realities.
The concept Georgia is using is what I would call a prosperity board, vision board or treasure map. Georgia uses a book to put her pictures in. You could use a poster board, a cork board, which is what I use, or a photo album. Really anything you can attach pictures to. Whatever would work for you. The idea is to put pictures and words that express what you most want. You might put pictures of places you want to travel, people you want to meet, Rachel Ray and Ellen are on my board. You might put symbols of things you want that represent abundance, peace, love… You get the idea. Just like Georgia, when you create the possibility you might just end up living the reality.
This is a picture of my board. It isn’t a work of art, I have seen some Prosperity Boards that could hang in a museum. My board conveys the energy and feelings of what I want in my life.
I am going to be launching a class on how to create a Prosperity Board. More on that in a week or so. I have more information soon.
Make it a great week
Here’s to taking action
I received an interesting email from John Di Lemme on*The tiniest 1/1000th of a second* In the ezine John discussed how an Olympic Athlete can lose by a fraction of a second. I witnessed that myself when watching the Olympics and was amazed at how close the competition could be. And life is much that way too. There are times when just a little extra effort will make the biggest difference.
John provided a comparison between winners and losers that I found intriguing.
W – The winner is always part of the answer;
I – The loser is always part of the problem;
N – The winner always has a program;
N – The loser always has an excuse;
E – The winner says, ‘Let me do it for you;’
E – The loser says, ‘That’s not my job;’
R – The winner sees an answer for every problem;
VS. – The loser sees a problem for every answer;
L – The winner sees a green near every sand trap;
O – The loser sees two or three sand traps near every
S – The winner says, ‘It may be difficult, but it’s
E – The loser says, ‘It may be possible, but it’s too
R – BE A WINNER
I would add to Winner – they never give up.
I received another interesting email about the concept of abandoning your car at a red light. Something most of us would not do. However how many times have you hit a red light in life and you simply give up. Things like getting a no from a perspective customer or when you ask for a date. The red lights in life tend to trip us up and tempt one to give up. Don’t. Just keep going. Keep in mind that no just means “Next Opportunity.” Like the red light, it doesn’t mean give up, it just means stop for a moment.
Here’s to taking action
One of my favorite ezines comes from Rebecca Fine. She publishes the Certain Way which is based on the teaching of Wallace Wattles, author of The Science of Getting Rich. In this months issue Rebecca talked about creating a “Yes” list. All those things in life we want to say yes to. I love the idea and of course immediately created one. To find out more about the “Yes” list and how to get a free copy of the little “Yes” list booklet go to SOGR updates (the post is entitled “Prepare to be Amazed”)
Here’s to taking action
I recently received an email with the question “How do you define your dream?” this is a question that I often get and something I work with my clients on. I thought I would share the answer with you.
Defining a dream can be challenging, and they change. When I was twenty five I had a chance encounter with a person that changed my life. She convinced me I could go to college. Up until then I thought only smart rich people went to college, and since I was neither of those I didn’t believe I could go. Because of this stranger I went the next day and enrolled at my local junior college. While standing in line I said to myself, “By the time I am 28 I will have my associates, by the time I am 30 I will have my bachelors, by the time I am 35 I will have my masters and by the time I am 40 I will have my PhD.” To be honest I really wasn’t sure what a Masters or PhD were, but in that moment a 20 year dream was conceived.
I made the dream come true and actually struggled to find another compelling dream that would engage me like obtaining my education did. So I looked at what my purpose in life is and discovered I am here “to have a powerful and positive impact on the world.” What I realized is I can do that by creating a successful business that promotes my writing, speaking and coaching. So my new dream is to have an incredibility successful business that helps others reach their full potential.
You might start with looking at what you purpose in life is and see how your dream could support that. Also look back to when you were young, what did you love to do, what was fun and interesting to you. I realized that as a young person I loved helping others and other people seemed to get a lot out of talking to me. I have always been a curious person and like to ask a lot of questions. I have always been a good listener. I also like to talk! When I looked at all of that I realize that what I am doing right now is what I was born to do.
Give yourself some time to do some soul searching, ask yourself if you could do anything you wanted to do without any restraints (time, money, energy) what would you do?
I had a client that was miserable in her job. As time went by what we discovered is that what she loved to do is sew, design and work with fabric. She wanted to go to college for textile design but was talked out of it by her parents who said there was no money in it. So at forty she rediscovered her dream and opened up a sewing lounge. She cut her hours down at work so she would still have an income and insurance while she was building her business. Her goal is to make the sewing lounge a full time endeavor in the next couple of years.
So when you discover your dream don’t think it is all or nothing. You can ease into it.
I would love to hear how you define your dream and how you have made your dreams come true.
Here’s to taking action
Saturday my family and I celebrated my newphew’s 18th birthday. Wow, can’t even believe he turned 18. It was great to be reminded of how exciting it is to turn another year older. He is looking forward to all the exciting adventures ahead of him. I remember when I looked forward to my birthday, getting older, and the great things ahead of me. Of course as time goes by getting older doesn’t hold the charm it once did. I for one and going to focus on enjoying the years and stop obessing about how fast time is flying by. Getting older is a priveldge, something I am going to start looking forward to.
I heard a great song on the way to the Brad Paisley concert, which by the way was amazing. One of the reframes of the song is, “Everyone wants to go to heaven but no one wants to go right now.”
Start enjoying the time you have. The adventure is just getting started.
How do you celebrate your birthday and the fact that you are a year older?
Me at my table at the Expo with Ali the organizer of the event
Had a great time at the K-12 Expo. It was a lot of fun and I met so many great people. I gave two presentations that were well attended and lots of great energy. I just love giving talks because you just never know who you will touch with what you say. The first thing Ali, the organizer of the event, said to me was that I had inspired her to do the expo. She had been at a talk I did in March at another expo and what I said about taking action inspired her to go out and do it! I love that.
Ali did a great job getting amazing people to present at the conference. The keynote speaker was Dr. Jeffrey Brown. Dr. Jeffrey wrote the book “The Competitive Edge” and I am happy to say I am a proud owner of a copy of the book. I took so many notes during his talk. Here are just a few nuggets of wisdom that I picked up.
According to Dr. Jeffrey -
Legacy is the perfect family heirloom
Know the Rules of the game (I always say if you know the rules you can play the game)
Strategies for knowing the rules – Know the details. Know the value of your own integrity – what would you sale out for?
Use growing knowledge to guard your integrity
Be prepared for the rules to change
Search out good role models
Recognize the right decision – and make it
Correct bad decisions before they get worse
Be right minded not just right
When you have made a poor decision don’t deny, rationalize, minimize or project.
I would highly recommend getting a copy of The Competitve Edge. This is the handbook we need in today’s complicated and confusing world.
Me with Dr. Jeffrey Brown
I am heading back to Denver in a couple of days. Love visiting family and meeting new people and love going home.
Here’s to taking action.
Having a great time in Florida. Will be presenting at the Conference Saturday but taking some time to have fun for a couple of days. Last night we watched the movie The Bucket List. You have to see the movie. One of the lessons I learned was about finding joy in life. The Eyptians have a therory that when you go to heaven you are stopped at the gate and asked two questions. The questions are:
Did you find Joy in your life?
Did you bring joy to others?
What great questions to ask yourself now. Don’t wait to die to figure out what brings you joy or bring joy to others.
I will warn you the movie is a box of kleenex!
Today we went to Tarpon Springs. A wonderful Greek community on the bay. One of our favorite places. My sister and I had a great lunch with Hummus and a wonderful Greek salad. In this area a Greek salad includes Potato Salad. Yummo.
Tomorrow we are going to go down memory lane – we are going to our favorite resturant and visit my mom and dad’s home. And we are going to attend the Brad Paisley concert in the evening.
Vacations are a great time to take a break, recharge, renew and connect with family and friends. I didn’t even check my email today!
When was the last time you took a much needed break?
Here’s to taking action
One thing I learned is that you don’t always have to tell everyone everything you think. Yes it is nice to be honest, but honesty is just an opinion. I make a distinction between truth and honesty. The truth is factual and can be proven by scientific methods. Honesty is simply an opinion about what someone thinks is the truth and if you asked the same question to a dozen people you would get a dozen different answers.
In an article by Vicky De Coster on The Spirited Woman’s Blog she poses the question “Is honesty really the best policy?” I would say not really. It depends on what you are trying to accomplish and what difference your opinion will really make. Vicky’s article is around the question “Do I look fat in this?” I remember I once asked my husband as we were walking out the door to attend an event, “Does this outfit make me look fat?” His answer was really powerful. He said, “If it does what will you do about it?” The answer was nothing but feel bad, there was no time to change and I have no magical skinny clothes in my closet.
I shop with a friend that has the opposite taste as I do in clothing. Whenever I ask her about an outfit I am trying on she replies, “It is you.” To this I reply, “You hate it don’t you?” And she replies, “I wouldn’t be caught dead in it, but on you it looks great.” The fact that she doesn’t like it doesn’t stop her from supporting me in expressing who I am. She doesn’t look at the outfit from her point of view, she looks at it from mine.
Honestly, opinions are great but really don’t matter all that much. Instead of being honest with your opinion, try coming from the other person’s point of view. See things from how they might see them and give your opinion from that point of view. Not always easy but much more supportive.
Here’s to taking action
This week in 365 Days of Coaching one of the days was Commit Random Acts of Appreciation. It was all about letting the people in our lives know how much we appreciate them. This could be from the bus driver to your spouse. It is so amazing what a little bit of appreciation will do.
Did you know that the majority of employees would rather receive direct appreciation from their boss than any other type of recognition, including a raise! In fact one of the biggest complaints from employees is the lack of appreciation they receive for the job they do. When I was in corporate I was working on a recognition program for my region. I suggested to one Director that he get involved. His reply? “Why do I have to show them I appreciate them, they get a check every week don’t they?” Needless to say he had the lowest satisfaction rating of any unit in the region.
It doesn’t take a lot to show appreciation but it sure means a lot. People love to be appreciated. Even just saying “thank you” can make such a big difference.
And Jack Canfield agrees with me. Jack’s ezine this week was on of all things Appreciation. (wonder if he got the idea from me ) Most likely not however I found it interesting that this was a theme of the week. According to Jack, “appreciation is such a powerful tool, and when people are appreciated, it brings about a huge sense of accomplishment, value, power, and happiness to their life.”
According to me, “You have the power to make someone’s day simply by appreciating him or her for what they are doing. People thrive with positive support and compliments. Begin the chain of positive reaction by committing random acts of appreciation today.”
Who can you appreciate today? Leave a comment on the blog on how appreciation has made a difference to you or someone you appreciated.
Here’s to taking action