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10 Ways To Stop Focusing On The Obstacles And Move On

10 Ways To Stop Focusing On The Obstacles And Move On

When we encounter obstacles in our daily lives, it’s difficult to determine how and when to overcome them and move on. It’s easy to tell someone to stop thinking about things and get over it, but, like most things in life, doing is much more complicated than saying. If you’re looking to stop focusing on the obstacles and move on in life, here are a few tips to get you started in the right direction.

1. Accept What You Can’t Change…

There’s that which we can change and that which we can’t, and the majority of life’s obstacles are strictly in our heads. The first step to removing obstacles is accepting what’s happened, who you are, and where you’re at. You can’t change any of the external factors, but you can accept them and decide how you want to interact with them to change your scenario. When imagining the change you could have in your life, it’s important to focus on what you have and not on what you don’t have.

2. Size Matters Not, Young Padawan…

Everyone thinks their problems are worse than anyone else’s; if that were true, we’d be racing toward an inevitable doom as a human race. It doesn’t matter how many people are involved or what’s at stake – those factors are clouding the real issue, and considering them only holds you back. Regardless of how big the obstacles are, they need to be overcome one way or another, so stop psyching yourself out. If you don’t believe in yourself, nobody else will.

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3. Detach from the Results…

Yoga is one of my favorite ways to free my mind from unhealthy thought patterns. Ally Ford, an Ashtangi and one of my first instructors, helped guide me through the process of resetting my brain to remove the obstacles in my life. I reached out to Ally to discuss this piece, and she offered a great gem about how yoga helps us remove obstacles.

“Rather than be blinded by the smoke of the roaring flames,” says Ally. “This practice helps us maintain a certain inner peace and groundedness, have better discernment, and make better choices for how to respond accurately.”

Through yoga and meditation, you learn to stop attaching your self-value to your achievements. Ally always reminded me during our practices that if I fail, I’m still me; my identity doesn’t hinge on success, and I’ll still be experiencing life one way or another. It’s better to walk with your head high than to advertise your every scar to the world. Remember that every winner loses, but not every loser wins.

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4. Free Your Mind, and the Rest Will Follow…

Once you’ve removed the mental blocks and look at the world with a fresh perspective, you’ll find you’re more productive. Now instead of looking at your computer as a way to escape reality, you can view at it as a way to move toward a better one. You’re connected to the internet; stop viewing it as a consumer, and start viewing it as an entrepreneur. It’s the key to moving on, regardless of your physical circumstances (assuming you have the internet, otherwise how are you reading this?).

5. Shed Your Anxiety…

Stop fearing the future, because time moves on whether you’re ready or not. If it’s going to happen anyway, you may as well start controlling the way you experience it. Look at it this way: when you’re on your deathbed, would you rather look back on your life and regret all the things you didn’t do, or would you rather look back with a smile about all the things you did? It doesn’t matter who else is watching – do it for yourself.

6. Be Brave like Merida…

Bravery has nothing to do with a lack of fear. Anyone can act when there’s no consequence; it takes true bravery to participate against all odds. People may not agree with your choices, but they will eventually, so long as you’re working at it. Dedicating your life to a purpose is the only way you’ll ever find this strength, because if you’re only working for yourself, you’ll be too afraid to take a chance.

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7. Rewrite History…

Many times, the obstacles in our present are thoughts about past events. It’s ok to take time to deal with your own problems, but you don’t have to wear them on your sleeve at all times. You don’t need to walk around surly all the time simply because you have problems – it’s simply not necessary that everyone view you as “tough” just because you’ve had tough times.

Guess what? I’ve had some really tough times in my life, and have experienced and survived some truly horrible things. Even with those experiences under my belt, I make an effort to smile when I interact with other people. Just because I had a bad day is no reason to drag everyone else’s down.

8. Stick to the Script…

Practice makes perfect – even if you can’t see the progress you’re making, it’s happening. You’re improving every time you try, and one day you’ll wake up and realize you’re a stronger and better person. Kino offers these tips on reframing your obstacles and working on them through a daily practice.

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“Within the context of yoga, I’ve experienced almost every difficult emotional reaction that I carry within myself. Since these have arisen during the laboratory of my yoga practice, when they arise in ‘real’ life I’ve practiced a more conscious response and am better able to deal with those challenging situations.”

9. Imagine That…

Imagine yourself as a winner, and you’ll become that winner. Don’t worry about what other people think about you daydreaming; those people aren’t going anywhere you want to be. It doesn’t matter who you are in your imagination, because at the end of the day, it makes you feel better and doesn’t affect anyone else in the real world. Remember – it’s all in your head.

10. Never Give Up…

Every path has bumpy roads, and every sky has dark times. It’s ok; just keep your head up, pick yourself back up, and keep going. At the end of the day, you’re the one in charge of your life, and you’re the only one who will ever experience it. It’s also the only life you’ll ever experience, and we don’t get a second chance or any re-dos. Don’t give up – be a winner.

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    Published on May 18, 2021

    How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication

    How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication

    We have two ears and one mouth for a reason—effective communication is dependent on using them in proportion, and this involves having good listening skills.

    The workplace of the 21st century may not look the same as it did before COVID-19 spread throughout the world like wildfire, but that doesn’t mean you can relax your standards at work. If anything, Zoom meetings, conference calls, and the continuous time spent behind a screen have created a higher level of expectations for meeting etiquette and communication. And this goes further than simply muting your microphone during a meeting.

    Effective workplace communication has been a topic of discussion for decades, yet, it is rarely addressed or implemented due to a lack of awareness and personal ownership by all parties.

    Effective communication isn’t just about speaking clearly or finding the appropriate choice of words. It starts with intentional listening and being present. Here’s how to improve your listening skills for effective workplace communication.

    Listen to Understand, Not to Speak

    There are stark differences between listening and hearing. Listening involves intention, focused effort, and concentration, whereas hearing simply involves low-level awareness that someone else is speaking. Listening is a voluntary activity that allows one to be present and in the moment while hearing is passive and effortless.[1]

    Which one would you prefer your colleagues to implement during your company-wide presentation? It’s a no-brainer.

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    Listening can be one of the most powerful tools in your communication arsenal because one must listen to understand the message being told to them. As a result of this deeper understanding, communication can be streamlined because there is a higher level of comprehension that will facilitate practical follow-up questions, conversations, and problem-solving. And just because you heard something doesn’t mean you actually understood it.

    We take this for granted daily, but that doesn’t mean we can use that as an excuse.

    Your brain is constantly scanning your environment for threats, opportunities, and situations to advance your ability to promote your survival. And yet, while we are long past the days of worrying about being eaten by wildlife, the neurocircuitry responsible for these mechanisms is still hard-wired into our psychology and neural processing.

    A classic example of this is the formation of memories. Case in point: where were you on June 3rd, 2014? For most of you reading this article, your mind will go completely blank, which isn’t necessarily bad.

    The brain is far too efficient to retain every detail about every event that happens in your life, mainly because many events that occur aren’t always that important. The brain doesn’t—and shouldn’t—care what you ate for lunch three weeks ago or what color shirt you wore golfing last month. But for those of you who remember where you were on June 3rd, 2014, this date probably holds some sort of significance to you. Maybe it was a birthday or an anniversary. Perhaps it was the day your child was born. It could have even been a day where you lost someone special in your life.

    Regardless of the circumstance, the brain is highly stimulated through emotion and engagement, which is why memories are usually stored in these situations. When the brain’s emotional centers become activated, the brain is far more likely to remember an event.[2] And this is also true when intention and focus are applied to listening to a conversation.

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    Utilizing these hard-wired primitive pathways of survival to optimize your communication in the workplace is a no-brainer—literally and figuratively.

    Intentional focus and concentrated efforts will pay off in the long run because you will retain more information and have an easier time recalling it down the road, making you look like a superstar in front of your colleagues and co-workers. Time to kiss those note-taking days away!

    Effective Communication Isn’t Always Through Words

    While we typically associate communication with words and verbal affirmations, communication can come in all shapes and forms. In the Zoom meeting era we live in, it has become far more challenging to utilize and understand these other forms of language. And this is because they are typically easier to see when we are sitting face to face with the person we speak to.[3]

    Body language can play a significant role in how our words and communication are interpreted, especially when there is a disconnection involved.[4] When someone tells you one thing, yet their body language screams something completely different, it’s challenging to let that go. Our brain immediately starts to search for more information and inevitably prompts us to follow up with questions that will provide greater clarity to the situation at hand. And in all reality, not saying something might be just as important as actually saying something.

    These commonly overlooked non-verbal communication choices can provide a plethora of information about the intentions, emotions, and motivations. We do this unconsciously, and it happens with every confrontation, conversation, and interaction we engage in. The magic lies in the utilization and active interpretation of these signals to improve your listening skills and your communication skills.

    Our brains were designed for interpreting our world, which is why we are so good at recognizing subtle nuances and underlying disconnect within our casual encounters. So, when we begin to notice conflicting messages between verbal and non-verbal communication, our brain takes us down a path of troubleshooting.

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    Which messages are consistent with this theme over time? Which statements aren’t aligning with what they’re really trying to tell me? How should I interpret their words and body language?

    Suppose we want to break things down even further. In that case, one must understand that body language is usually a subconscious event, meaning that we rarely think about our body language. This happens because our brain’s primary focus is to string together words and phrases for verbal communication, which usually requires a higher level of processing. This doesn’t mean that body language will always tell the truth, but it does provide clues to help us weigh information, which can be pretty beneficial in the long run.

    Actively interpreting body language can provide you with an edge in your communication skills. It can also be used as a tool to connect with the individual you are speaking to. This process is deeply ingrained into our human fabric and utilizes similar methods babies use while learning new skills from their parents’ traits during the early years of development.

    Mirroring a person’s posture or stance can create a subtle bond, facilitating a sense of feeling like one another. This process is triggered via the activation of specific brain regions through the stimulation of specialized neurons called mirror neurons.[5] These particular neurons become activated while watching an individual engage in an activity or task, facilitating learning, queuing, and understanding. They also allow the person watching an action to become more efficient at physically executing the action, creating changes in the brain, and altering the overall structure of the brain to enhance output for that chosen activity.

    Listening with intention can make you understand your colleague, and when paired together with mirroring body language, you can make your colleague feel like you two are alike. This simple trick can facilitate a greater bond of understanding and communication within all aspects of the conversation.

    Eliminate All Distractions, Once and for All

    As Jim Rohn says, “What is easy to do is also easy not to do.” And this is an underlying principle that will carry through in all aspects of communication. Distractions are a surefire way to ensure a lack of understanding or interpretation of a conversation, which in turn, will create inefficiencies and a poor foundation for communication.

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    This should come as no surprise, especially in this day in age where people are constantly distracted by social media, text messaging, and endlessly checking their emails. We’re stuck in a cultural norm that has hijacked our love for the addictive dopamine rush and altered our ability to truly focus our efforts on the task at hand. And these distractions aren’t just distractions for the time they’re being used. They use up coveted brainpower and central processes that secondarily delay our ability to get back on track.

    Gloria Mark, a researcher at UC Irvine, discovered that it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds for our brains to reach their peak state of focus after an interruption.[6] Yes, you read that correctly—distractions are costly, error-prone, and yield little to no benefit outside of a bump to the ego when receiving a new like on your social media profile.

    Meetings should implement a no-phone policy, video conference calls should be set on their own browser with no other tabs open, and all updates, notifications, and email prompt should be immediately turned off, if possible, to eliminate all distractions during a meeting.

    These are just a few examples of how we can optimize our environment to facilitate the highest levels of communication within the workplace.

    Actions Speak Louder Than Words

    Effective communication in the workplace doesn’t have to be challenging, but it does have to be intentional. Knowledge can only take us so far, but once again, knowing something is very different than putting it into action.

    Just like riding a bike, the more often you do it, the easier it becomes. Master communicators are phenomenal listeners, which allows them to be effective communicators in the workplace and in life. If you genuinely want to own your communication, you must implement this information today and learn how to improve your listening skills.

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    Choose your words carefully, listen intently, and most of all, be present in the moment—because that’s what master communicators do, and you can do it, too!

    More Tips Improving Listening Skills

    Featured photo credit: Mailchimp via unsplash.com

    Reference

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