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25 Things To Let Go Of Before Your Next Birthday

25 Things To Let Go Of Before Your Next Birthday

Imagine what we’d all look like if we wore our worries on the outside. If there were some physical manifestation of our emotional baggage and hang-ups, we’d all be unrecognizable. If you find yourself thinking sometimes that you’re not who you should be, it’s time to explore ways to kick that feeling to the curb and look at how to change things in a healthy way. Here are 25 things to let go of that we could all stand to ditch by our next birthdays.

1. Let go of anything that doesn’t make you a better or happier person

We were built to pursue greatness and to perform to the best of our abilities. Anything that doesn’t serve our search for self-improvement needs to be swept aside – though not at the expense of our happiness.

2. Let go of other peoples’ burdens

We’re all our brother’s keepers in one way or another, but letting the burdens of others consume and rule over your own life isn’t healthy. Help others within reason, but also know when to let them help themselves.

3. Let go of what other people think about you

Most of us tend to think that other people judge us much more harshly than they actually do.

4. Let go of your pursuit of an unrealistic body image

body image

    It’s almost a cliché by now to point out how badly our body images have been warped by the media. We constantly see barely clothed models in advertisements, telling us on an unconscious level that we’ll never measure up. The only person your body needs to please is yourself.

    5. Let go of avoiding your problems

    You might think that your attempt to sweep your problems under the rug could be healthy, but nothing could be further from the truth. Nothing will improve if we don’t actively pursue practical solutions to our problems.

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    6. Let go of regret

    Regret is like a poison; left untreated, it can kill you. There are things in each of our lives that could have gone differently, but losing sleep over them isn’t healthy.

    7. Let go of lazy attitudes and unproductive days

    cat couch

      There’s something to be said for slowing down and enjoying a lazy day here and there, but when these days become the rule rather than the exception, you’ll fall into a pattern that’s tough to escape.

      8. Let go of your insecurities

      All you need to remember is this: we’re our own harshest critics.

      9. Let go of crying about life’s inherent unfairness

      Some of us learn as children that there will always be somebody better off than we are. If you’ve lost sight of that fact, it’s time to relearn it.

      10. Let go of setting your sights too high

      It’s good to have dreams and ambitions, but it’s important to keep them grounded as well. Expecting too much of ourselves is never healthy.

      11. Let go of the belief that everything arrives in its own time

      Maybe you believe in fate, destiny, or providence. That’s well and good, but it’s no substitute for taking charge of your life and making a positive change. If there’s something you want, it’s up to you to seek it out. Don’t wait for it to come to you.

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      12. Let go of your penchant for procrastination

      We all have responsibilities. Trying to shirk them or put them off until another day will do nothing for you except to pile the stress ever higher.

      13. Let go of dwelling on your mistakes

      Maybe you took a wrong turn somewhere. Maybe you chose not to pursue that career in the military, turning your back on the military scholarships that could have saved you tons of money. Instead of dwelling on your mistakes, resolve instead to make things right.

      14. Let go of stress

      man stressed out

        We all give in to stress from time to time, and the truth is that it can be a great motivator. The problem is this: there’s nothing worse than hanging on to the same sources of stress for months or years at a time.

        15. Let go of trying to change the people around you

        Maybe people can change, and maybe they can’t. If they can, they’re the only ones who can make that change happen. You can be a source of inspiration for the people you care about, but don’t try to become a direct instrument of change; they’ll only learn to resent you.

        16. Let go of your worries about money

        Most of us have worried about money at one time or another. Keeping our eyes open for new opportunities or better careers is one thing, but if you’ve got a roof over your head and food to eat, don’t let money rule over you.

        17. Let go of trying to become a different type of person

        To be clear: we all have room in our lives for improvement. We can become better people, but seeking to conform to somebody’s prescribed notion of who you ought to be isn’t a healthy pursuit.

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        18. Let go of obsessing over your schedule

        Planner

          Planning is great, but flexibility is even better. Don’t worry so much about adhering to a strict schedule. As long as you’re being productive, your to-do list will take care of itself.

          19. Let go of your obsession with “stuff”

          If you’ve ever stood outside in a line to get your hands on a new electronic gadget before everybody else, you probably need to reexamine your priorities. Don’t let the pursuit of “stuff” control your life.

          20. Let go of your fear of speaking your mind

          Life is too short for us to keep our feelings walled off from the world. Tell that person you have feelings for them, or talk to your significant other about what’s bothering you. You’ll feel so much better after you do.

          21. Let go of your anger

          The evolutionary purpose of anger, and its place in psychology, will probably always be under examination. In terms of our everyday lives, however, anger is a pointless distraction that’s not worth hanging on to for any length of time.

          22. Let go of excuses

          If you have trouble taking responsibility for your actions, it’s time to own up.

          23. Let go of your jealousy toward the people in your life

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          not jealous (2)

             

            Is there anything more pointless than jealousy? Don’t hate your ex for finding love elsewhere, and don’t begrudge your neighbors their new yacht. Instead, make the most of what you do have.

            24. Let go of your worries about the future

            The future will get here. All we can do is make sure we’re prepared for when it does. Worrying about what’s to come will only serve to distract you from the present.

            25. Let go of the belief that it’s too late to start over

            never too late

               

              Whether you’re leaving an unhealthy relationship or setting out to explore new opportunities, never let the passage of time interfere with the pursuit of your dreams.

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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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