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How To Let Go Of Who You Thought You Were

How To Let Go Of Who You Thought You Were

Consciousness of being is a great and powerful gift. At first, our understanding and our learnings are somewhat superficial. As infants and children, they are related to our most basic needs. Yet, as we grow into adulthood, our minds expand with knowledge. Everybody’s story is different and everybody’s experiences shape who they are. Their choices shape who they will become. It is important, however, to stop and pause and ask yourself how your relationship is going.

What relationship? Your relationship with yourself, of course!

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We must ask “Am I happy? Do I like myself? Am I who I always thought I would be?”. Sometimes, we are stuck without realizing it. Whether by outside or internal influence, we may have become a person we are not entirely satisfied with. The beauty of this, however, is that we can always change things. Identifying the problem is the biggest step. So, if we do find ourselves in a place where we want things to change, either slightly or a lot, we can take considerable measures to do so.

Always be open to change

When we stay in a certain lifestyle or situation for a long time, we have a tendency to just continue on without thinking too much about it. But when we begin to ask the questions “Is this everything I wanted for myself? Could things possibly be different somehow?” we open ourselves to the possibility of something new. Things can, and always do, change. We just need to recognize it.

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Know that your thoughts can be malleable

We may be cemented in ideas that we absolutely believe to be true. They may have been passed down to us from our parents or families, or they may be things that we have experienced and are true to us. But if we can approach life with the idea that our thoughts can change, we are then opening ourselves to newness.

Understand that everyone and everything is teaching you (even when you don’t particularly like it)

We may not like everyone and everything that comes into our path, but sometimes the things we dislike are the things that will teach us the most about ourselves. Everything new that we come into contact with is teaching us something. We only have control over ourselves; where we are, how we react, and what we choose to learn from a situation. These are our choices. Don’t shy away from the things that are different or unusual or even unpleasant. Understand that diversity can be the very thing that heals you. Acceptance is paramount.

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Change it up

If you are beginning to recognize some unhappiness or malcontent, change things up. While this is not always easy, change things to the best of your ability. You will gain a new perspective on things that maybe you had no real idea about. You may end up walking a mile in another person’s shoes. You may end up walking a mile in no shoes at all. By simply putting yourself into newness, however, you are at the very least exposing yourself to possibility and new ideas. Change is as good as a holiday.

Never stop learning

It’s not a bad thing to say that you have sensibly changed your mind. In fact, it is a great thing. It means we are learning, it means we are looking up, at each other, and working with each other to understand each other’s lives better. It means we are loving and having experiences. Imagine if we always stayed the same?

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Never stop learning, never stop discussing, never stop peacefully exchanging thoughts and words and opinions. Your new self is constantly an amalgamation of all of your old selves combined with the greatness you continue to expose yourself to. And always remember that you are exactly where you are supposed to be, right now.

Featured photo credit: Albumarium via albumarium.com

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The Gentle Art of Saying No

The Gentle Art of Saying No

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

  1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
  2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
  3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
  4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
  5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
  6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
  7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
  8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
  9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
  10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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