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The Battle Of The Voices In My Head

The Battle Of The Voices In My Head

Like most people, I have goals. Goals that I want and need to achieve. Goals that I strive for every day. Goals that aren’t even dreams anymore, they are now my musts. I no longer find myself just wanting them to happen, I need them to happen, and there really isn’t any other option. They MUST happen.

I set my intentions to what I wanted to achieve. I wanted freedom. Freedom to work when and where I wanted. I wanted to travel and explore more of the world. I wanted financial stability. I was sick of living paycheck to paycheck. I was sick of having to struggle when unexpected expenses arose. I wanted to give back to the world. I felt I had a lot to offer and my talents weren’t being utilized. I wanted to do something that would feel rewarding and that I would be passionate about.

Realization

Last year, I came to a realization that there was more that I needed to achieve in life. I was good at my job, I had a great social life, and I was healthy and alive. However, there was this feeling of emptiness inside of me. Even though I had a stable job, a nice apartment, and great people around me, there was this feeling that something was missing. That something was passion.

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I no longer had the passion to keep being the best at my job. I no longer had the passion to spend most of my time making someone else’s dream a reality. It was hard to get out of bed to do the same thing day in and day out. It was time to change. It was time to figure out what I wanted and to start taking action towards it. Why was I dragging myself to a job that sucked the life out of my soul? Why was I forcing myself out of bed to just pay the bills?

Juggling Responsibilities

It has only been eight months since the day I decided to become a blogger. In that time, I have managed to juggle a full-time job, train for a fitness competition, create a YouTube channel, start my own business, write for some of the world’s largest motivational sites, and somehow maintain a social life. This may not seem like much to some, but for any fellow bloggers, YouTubers, athletes, writers, or entrepreneurs out there, I know they will understand the work that goes on behind closed doors.

Not too long ago, I was in the flow of things. Up at 4 am, kicking goals at the gym, kicking goals with business, and was on top of my writing and doing YouTube. It was like the universe was smiling down at me. Looking back, the reason I was in the flow and doing so well was because I didn’t even allow a negative thought to slip into my mind. My perspective was all about where I was headed and what I was achieving.

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It didn’t matter that I was up at 4 am every morning training for comp. It didn’t matter that I was making business calls for during my lunch breaks at my full-time job. It didn’t matter that I was up late every night writing, making videos, and working on my online business. Things just seemed to flow and I was excited to get out of bed every day. I only had time for positive people in my life. I let go of energy drainers. I looked at the positive side of everything and the universe seemed to be rewarding me for my efforts.

Road Blocks

Then one day, I hit a wall. The flow of positivity stopped and it was like everything I had worked so hard towards all came and smacked me in the face. Everything seemed so hard. Getting up at 4 am was more than difficult, being on top of my game at work and dealing with people were draining, and I started to fall behind in my writing and my business. What had happened? Everything was easy, everything was flowing, why did everything become so difficult to keep up with?

I have had some time to reflect and I have come to realize that the only thing that changed was my mindset and my perspective. I had a friend that was feeling low and, as much as I tried to be there, I just couldn’t do it every day. Not in the way they were wanting me to. I like to think that I am the person that my friends can rely on and at that moment, I started to feel like I didn’t have time for my friends when they needed me. I started to feel like I was failing and not as on top of things as I thought I was. I started to feel drained as I tried to give the little energy I had left to helping others.

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I was exhausted. Emotionally and physically. The 4 am wake up calls started to be something I dreaded, kicking goals at work, and trying to stay sharp when dealing with human interactions just seemed so tough. I didn’t realize just how much energy and time I was putting into chasing my goals. I started to question whether all of the effort I was putting in was even going to be worthwhile. Will I even achieve my goals? And to what expense? If I let my friend down because I couldn’t give the support they were wanting because I was busy chasing goals and working towards my dreams, is that the kind of person I want to be?

Mindset

I turned to one of my favorites, Tony Robbins, and started watching his videos on the daily. I needed a pick-me-up and I knew I needed support and encouragement. I needed to change my mindset. Instead of looking at my desperation of quitting my full-time job, I started to train my mind into looking at it as a blessing and a vehicle that was paying my rent for my gorgeous apartment and a vehicle that was funding me until I could achieve my dreams.

Instead of looking at my early wake up calls as a chore, I started looking at the extra time it gave me to work on my fitness goals. Instead of looking at all the phone calls, online time, writing, producing, and everything else I do to keep up with being a blogger and entrepreneur as extra work, I started to train my mind again to see that I was working towards my goals and the more effort I put in, the more I will get back. The goal will be inevitable as long as I am doing something every day to reach my desires.

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Instead of thinking of how I let my friend down, I started to realize that I had given what I could. I am only human and there is no way I could give any more energy and support to another if I needed that energy and support for myself. We cannot help others if we do not help ourselves first. If we don’t put ourselves first, we simply don’t have much to give someone else. People that really truly care for you will understand this. We all our going through our own journeys and those that are meant to be in your life will want to see you succeed. As long as we are not abandoning our loved ones, as long as we are coming from a place of love, then there really isn’t anything to worry about.

Battle of the Voices

There is a constant battle going on with the voices in my head. Am I good enough? Do I really think I have what it takes to get to where I want to be? And then the other voice argues back that I have been through enough and the things I have been through clearly states just how strong I am. I got this. Will the voice of doubt ever shut up? Most likely not, after all, we are human and the voice of fear and doubt will always be playing in the background.

I’ve just decided it is time to not listen to that voice of doubt and insecurity. Nothing good comes of it. I have come to accept that the voice of fear will always be there. I just choose to ignore it because if I listen to it and I don’t continue to chase my goals, I know that I will regret it for the rest of my life. I would rather do my best trying to achieve my goals and making the most of my time here on earth than to not try and always be left wondering what if.

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Last Updated on February 21, 2019

The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

In business, in social relationships, in family… In whatever context conflict is always inevitable, especially when you are in the leader role. This role equals “make decisions for the best of majority” and the remaining are not amused. Conflicts arise.

Conflicts arise when we want to push for a better quality work but some members want to take a break from work.

Conflicts arise when we as citizens want more recreational facilities but the Government has to balance the needs to maintain tourism growth.

Conflicts are literally everywhere.

Avoiding Conflicts a No-No and Resolving Conflicts a Win-Win

Avoiding conflicts seem to be a viable option for us. The cruel fact is, it isn’t. Conflicts won’t walk away by themselves. They will, instead, escalate and haunt you back even more when we finally realize that’s no way we can let it be.

Moreover, avoiding conflicts will eventually intensify the misunderstanding among the involved parties. And the misunderstanding severely hinders open communication which later on the parties tend to keep things secret. This is obviously detrimental to teamwork.

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Some may view conflicts as the last step before arguments. And they thus leave it aside as if they never happen. This is not true.

Conflicts are the intersect point between different individuals with different opinions. And this does not necessarily lead to argument.

Instead, proper handling of conflicts can actually result in a win-win situation – both parties are pleased and allies are gained. A better understanding between each other and future conflicts are less likely to happen.

The IBR Approach to Resolve Conflicts

Here, we introduce to you an effective approach to resolve conflicts – the Interest-Based Relational (IBR) approach. The IBR approach was developed by Roger Fisher and William Ury in their 1981 book Getting to Yes. It stresses the importance of the separation between people and their emotions from the problem. Another focus of the approach is to build mutual understanding and respect as they strengthen bonds among parties and can ultimately help resolve conflicts in a harmonious way. The approach suggests a 6-step procedure for conflict resolution:

Step 1: Prioritize Good Relationships

How? Before addressing the problem or even starting the discussion, make it clear the conflict can result in a mutual trouble and through subsequent respectful negotiation the conflict can be resolved peacefully. And that brings the best outcome to the whole team by working together.

Why? It is easy to overlook own cause of the conflict and point the finger to the members with different opinions. With such a mindset, it is likely to blame rather than to listen to the others and fail to acknowledge the problem completely. Such a discussion manner will undermine the good relationships among the members and aggravate the problem.

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Example: Before discussion, stress that the problem is never one’s complete fault. Everyone is responsible for it. Then, it is important to point out our own involvement in the problem and state clearly we are here to listen to everyone’s opinions rather than accusing others.

Step 2: People Are NOT the Cause of Problem

How? State clearly the problem is never one-sided. Collaborative effort is needed. More importantly, note the problem should not be taken personally. We are not making accusations on persons but addressing the problem itself.

Why? Once things taken personally, everything will go out of control. People will become irrational and neglect others’ opinions. We are then unable to address the problem properly because we cannot grasp a fuller and clearer picture of the problem due to presumption.

Example: In spite of the confronting opinions, we have to emphasize that the problem is not a result of the persons but probably the different perspectives to view it. So, if we try to look at the problem from the other’s perspective, we may understand why there are varied opinions.

Step 3: Listen From ALL Stances

How? Do NOT blame others. It is of utmost importance. Ask for everyone’s opinions. It is important to let everyone feel that they contribute to the discussion. Tell them their involvement is essential to solve the problem and their effort is very much appreciated.

Why? None wants to be ignored. If one feels neglected, it is very likely for he/she to be aggressive. It is definitely not what we hope to see in a discussion. Acknowledging and being acknowledged are equally important. So, make sure everyone has equal opportunity to express their views. Also, realizing their opinions are not neglected, they will be more receptive to other opinions.

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Example: A little trick can played here: Invite others to talk first. It is an easy way to let others feel involved and ,more importantly, know their voices are heard. Also, we can show that we are actively listening to them by giving direct eye-contact and nodding. One important to note is that never interrupt anyone. Always let them finish first beforeanother one begins.

Step 4: Listen Comes First, Talk Follows

How? Ensure everyone has listened to one another points of view. It can be done by taking turn to speak and leaving the discussion part at last. State once again the problem is nothing personal and no accusation should be made.

Why? By turn-taking, everyone can finish talking and voices of all sides can be heard indiscriminantly. This can promote willingness to listen to opposing opinions.

Example: We can prepare pieces of paper with different numbers written on them. Then, ask different members to pick one and talk according to the sequence of the number. After everyone’s finished, advise everyone to use “I” more than “You” in the discussion period to avoid others thinking that it is an accusation.

Step 5: Understand the Facts, Then Address the Problem

How? List out ALL the facts first. Ask everyone to tell what they know about the problems.

Why? Sometimes your facts are unknown to the others while they may know something we don’t. Missing out on these facts could possibly lead to inaccurate capture of the problem. Also, different known facts can lead to different perception of the matter. It also helps everyone better understand the problem and can eventually help reach a solution.

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Example: While everyone is expressing their own views, ask them to write down everything they know that is true to the problem. As soon as everyone has finished, all facts can be noted and everyone’s understanding of the problem is raised.

Step 6: Solve the Problem Together

How? Knowing what everyone’s thinking, it is now time to resolve the conflict. Up to this point, everyone should have understood the problem better. So, it is everyone’s time to suggest some solutions. It is important not to have one giving all the solutions.

Why? Having everyone suggesting their solutions is important as they will not feel excluded and their opinions are considered. Besides, it may also generate more solutions that can better resolve the conflicts. Everyone will more likely be satisfied with the result.

Example: After discussion, ask all members to suggest any possible solutions and stress that all solutions are welcomed. State clearly that we are looking for the best outcomes for everyone’s sake rather than battling to win over one another. Then, evaluate all the solutions and pick the one that is in favor of everyone.

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