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12 Common Beliefs That Keep You Stuck in Life

12 Common Beliefs That Keep You Stuck in Life

Being stuck can be one of the worst feelings. It’s frustrating and it can leave you feeling hopeless. However, it can almost always get turned around. If you’ve been feeling stuck in your life recently, one of these twelve things might be to blame. After all, knowing the source of the problem is the first step to correcting it.

1. You feel like you need to be perfect. 

No one is perfect, and that’s a simple fact. While it’s commendable to give something your all, it’s another thing entirely to expect perfection from yourself. Whether it’s at work, in your love life or in another situation entirely, it’s important to keep yourself from getting overwhelmed by unattainable perfection.

2. You think your dreams are unreachable. 

Feeling stuck in a job you don’t like, or worse, being unemployed, can make you feel like your dreams are completely out of your reach. It’s important to remember that your dreams are attainable no matter your circumstances. It might require a lot of work on your part, but reaching your goal is not something that should make you feel stuck in any way — rather, it should make you feel excited at the prospect of finally reaching it.

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3. You feel obligated to spend time with certain people. 

If someone in your life is unhealthy for you, then they should not be a part of your life any longer. It’s as simple as that. If that person is a family member, or someone that you can’t easily remove from your life, try to limit the amount of time you spend with that person. It’s only going to make you feel worse to keep someone in your life who makes you feel badly about yourself.

4. You think you stick out. 

The feeling of not fitting in is something that everyone has experienced. It’s just a matter of finding people who understand you and make you feel good about yourself. There’s no such thing as being cool or popular if you just let yourself believe that. Being yourself is the best possible thing you can do.

5. You play too many parts. 

It can be very frustrating to have to be too many people at once: spouse, parent, boss, employee — the list goes on and on. It’s important to balance these roles by remembering that you’re still you. While it can be overwhelming, it can be incredibly helpful to just take a deep breath and go in knowing that whatever role you’re fulfilling, you’re still you.

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6. You have too many five-year plans. 

Plans for the future need to reflect real goals and aspirations. If you make too many five-year plans and hold yourself to unrealistic expectations, it can take a toll on your mental health. Keep yourself in check and don’t write anything down that you don’t really want to set as a goal. Waffling can make you feel very stuck.

7. You have to make too many people happy. 

It’s one thing to try to make others happy because you enjoy it and find it rewarding, but it’s another thing entirely to find it a chore. If you’re always putting others’ happiness before your own, try to take some time for yourself. Even twenty minutes of time alone can do wonders.

8. You have too much routine in your life. 

Nothing makes you feel more stuck than simply doing the same things over and over again. Routine can be great at keeping you on track, but too much of it can become monotonous and boring. Shake things up a bit.

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9. You don’t cut yourself any slack. 

It’s important to remember that you’re only human, and that sometimes it’s okay to give yourself a break. Holding yourself too accountable to things can be too much to handle.

10. You feel like you have to keep up appearances. 

Lying to others about your feelings is only going to make things worse. It’s okay to feel vulnerable. Don’t try to put on a mask and hope things will work themselves out.

11. You don’t let others help you. 

Letting other people in and sharing your feelings and fears with them can be very helpful. Sometimes a listener is all you need, while other times it’s a dose of good advice.

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12. You forget that you’re only human. 

There’s only so much you can deal with at any given time. Let yourself relax and be happy. Sometimes feeling stuck in your life can be remedied by a deep breath. Just slow down and be optimistic about the future.

Featured photo credit: net_efekt via photopin.com

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Last Updated on April 11, 2019

How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

Possessing strong communication skills will help you in every phase of your life. This is especially true in the workplace.

I have personally worked with several leaders who were masters of communication. A few were wonderful speakers who could tell a great story and get everyone in the room engaged. Those of us in attendance would walk away feeling inspired and eager to help with what came next. Others were very skilled at sharing a clear direction and job expectations.

I knew exactly what was expected of me and how to achieve my goals. This was the foundation of an energized and vibrant role I was in. What I have found is strong communication skills are incredibly helpful and sometimes critical in how well we perform at work.

Here we will take a look at how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

How Communication Skills Help Your Success

Strong communication skills pave the way for success in many ways. Let’s look at a few of the big ones.

Create a Positive Experience

Here are two examples of how well developed communication skills helps create a positive experience:

When I first moved to the city I now live in, I began a job search. Prior to my first live interview, I was told an address to go to. Upon arriving at the address provided, I drove around and around attempting to find the location. After 15 minutes of circling and looking for the address, I finally grabbed a parking spot and set out on foot.

What I discovered was the address was actually down an alley and only had the number over the door. No sign for the actual company. The person that gave me those very unclear directions provided a bad experience for me.

Had they communicated the directions to get there in a clear manner, my experience would have been much better. Instead the entire experience started off poorly and colored the entire meeting.

As a recruiter, I frequently provide potential candidates with information about a job I’m speaking to them about. In order to do this, I also provide a picture of the overall company, the group they might be joining, and how their role fits in and impacts the entire company.

Time and time again I have been told by candidates that I have provided the clearest picture of a company and role they have ever heard. They have a positive experience when I clearly communicate to them. Even when the position does not work out for them, often times they will want to stay in touch with me due to the open communication and beneficial experience they had during the interviewing process.

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Strong communication skills will provide a positive experience in virtually any interaction you have with someone.

Help Leadership Skills

It’s certainly a skill all its own to be able to lead others.

Being a mentor and guiding others towards success is a major hallmark of great leaders. Another characteristic of effective leaders is the ability to communicate clearly.

As I referenced above, having a leader who can plainly articulate the company’s mission and direction goes a really long way towards being the Captain of the boat that others want to follow. It’s like saying “here’s our destination and this is how we are going to get there” in a way that everyone can get on board with.

Another critical component of everyone helping to sail the boat in the right direction is knowing what your portion is all about. How are you helping the boat move towards its destination in the manner than is consistent with the leaders’ vision?

If you have a boss or a manager that can show you what it takes for not only you to be successful, but also how your performance helps the company’s success then you’ve got a winner. A boss with superior communication skills.

Build Better Teams

Most of us work in teams of some sort or another. During the course of my career, I have led teams up to 80 and also been an individual contributor.

In my individual contributor roles, I have been part of a larger team. Even if you are in business for yourself, you have to interact with others in one manner or another.

If you have strong communication skills, it helps to build better teams. This is true whether you are in an IT department with 100 other fellow programmers or if you own your own business and have customers or vendors you communicate with.

When you showcase your robust ability to communicate well with others while interacting with them, you are building a better team.

Now let’s jump in to how to improve communication skills to help you pave the way for your workplace success.

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How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

There are many tips, tricks, and techniques to improve communication skills. I don’t want to overwhelm you with too much information, so let’s focus on the things that will provide the biggest return on your time investment.

Most of these tips will be fairly easy to become aware of but will take time and effort to implement. So let’s go!

1. Listen

Ever heard the saying you have two ears and one mouth for a reason? If you haven’t, then here’s the reason:

Being a good listener is half the equation to being a good communicator.

People who have the ability to really listen to someone can then actually answer questions in a meaningful way. If you don’t make the effort to actively listen, then you are really doing yourself and the other person a disservice in the communication department.

Know that person who is chomping at the bit to open his or her mouth the second you stop talking? Don’t be that person. They haven’t listened to at least 1/2 of what you’ve said. Therefore the words that spill out of their mouth are going to be about 1/2 relevant to what you just said.

Listen to someone completely and be comfortable with short periods of silence. Work on your listening skills first and foremost.

2. Know Your Audience

Knowing your audience is another critical component to having strong communication skills. The way you interact with your manager should be different than how you interact with your kids. This isn’t to say you need to be a different person with everyone you interact with. Far from it.

Here is a good way to think about it:

Imagine using your the same choice of words and body language you use with your spouse while interacting with your boss. That puts things in a graphic light!

You want to ensure you are using the type of communication most relevant to your audience.

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3. Minimize

I have lunch with a business associate about 3 times a year. We’ve been talking for several years now about putting a business deal together.

He is one of those people that simply overwhelms others with a lot of words. Sometimes when I ask him a question, I get buried beneath such an avalanche of words that I’m more confused than when I asked the question. Needless to say this is most likely a large portion of why we never put the deal together.

Don’t be like my lunch business associate. The goal of talking to or communicating with someone is to share actual information. The goal is not to confuse someone, it’s to provide clarity in many cases.

State what needs to be stated as succinctly as possible. That doesn’t mean you can’t have some pleasant conversation about the weather too.

The point is to not create such an onslaught of words and information that the other person walks away more confused than when they started.

4. Over Communicate

So this probably sounds completely counter intuitive to what I just wrote about minimizing your communication. It seems like it might be but it’s not.

What I mean by over communicating is ensuring that the other person understands the important parts of what you are sharing with them. This can be done simply yet effectively. Here’s a good example:

Most companies have open enrollment for benefits for the employees in the fall. The company I work for has open enrollment from November 1 to 15. The benefits department will send out a communication to all employees around October 1st, letting them know open enrollment is right around the corner and any major changes that year. There’s also a phone number and email for people to contact them with any questions.

Two weeks later, we all get a follow up email with basically the same information. We get a 3rd communication the week before open enrollment and another one 1 day before it starts.

Finally we get 2 emails during enrollment reminding us when open enrollment ends.

There’s minimal information, it’s more of a reminder. This is effective over communication.

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5. Body Language

The final critical component to how to improve communication skills for workplace success is body language. This is something most of us have heard about before but, a reminder is probably a good idea.

When I am in a meeting with someone I am comfortable with, I tend to kind of slouch down in my chair and cross my arms. When I catch myself doing this, I sit up straight and uncross my arms. I remember that crossing arms can many times be interpreted as a sign of disagreement or conflict.

In general, the best rule of thumb is to work towards having open body language whenever possible at work. This means relaxing your posture, not crossing your arms, and looking people in the eye when speaking with them.

When you are speaking in front of others, stand up straight and speak in a clear voice. This will convey confidence in your words.

Conclusion

Possessing strong communication skills will help you in many facets of your life and most certainly in the workplace.

Good communication helps create better teams, positive experiences with those we interact with, and are critical for leadership.

There are numerous tactics and techniques to be used to improve communication skills. Here we’ve reviewed how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

Now go communicate your way to success.

More Resources About Effective Communication

Featured photo credit: HIVAN ARVIZU via unsplash.com

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