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How To Always Be Yourself And Make Your Life More Fulfilling

How To Always Be Yourself And Make Your Life More Fulfilling

In a world that wants you to conform, follow the rules, and keep up with the Joneses, it can be really hard to always be yourself. And yet, it is completely necessary if you want to make your life more fulfilling.

Frustration, resentment, and unhappiness are just a few of the feelings that can come from trying to be someone else’s ideal version of you. On the other hand, contentment, joy, and peace are a few of the feelings that can come from being true to yourself.

It’s not always an easy path to take because it takes courage and vulnerability, but with a few key practices you can hold true to you and create a fulfilling life.

Take 5.

As a solo entrepreneur, being true to myself and taking a stand for what I believe in are integral pieces of building a business I really want to have. But there are days when all of the items on my to do list plus the distractions of social media, email, and kids running through the house can leave me feeling overwhelmed and questioning what I’m really doing… and who I really am.

So I take a break. Sometimes for just 5 minutes. And during that break, I turn off all electronics, walk away from my to do list, and find a quiet spot. This is an opportunity to breathe and reconnect to myself.

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After taking five, I feel centered and grounded. Like I’ve landed again. And from here, I can move forward again.

Action: Take a five minute break from everything. Breathe, meditate, go for a walk, or dance it out. But whatever you do, make sure it is something that brings you back to you.

Be kind to yourself.

I have days when nothing feels right. My jeans don’t fit, my energy is low, and I just don’t want to be around anyone. Least of all myself.

But rather than fight this feeling and force myself to smile and call a friend and be around people, I have learned to be gentle with myself. I let myself sleep in. I read a book. I eat what sounds good… without judgment.

Giving myself time to expand into the “not-right” feelings, allows it to pass sooner, and I find myself back on my path way faster than when I’ve tried to fight it.

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Action: When your inner bully is calling you names and when you feel “off”, do something kind for yourself. Take a bubble bath, take a nap, watch your favorite movie… but do it with love and without judgment.

Celebrate the small stuff.

We all celebrate the big stuff: you get a promotion, graduate from college, get married, have a baby, etc. But these events don’t happen very often.

When I first left my corporate job to start my own business, I had a constant sense of failure and dread. Nothing felt like it was going well.

But after a while, I realized that I wasn’t giving myself enough credit, and I was measuring success by outdated standards (aka getting the bonus checks and launching the multimillion dollar products).

So I started a practice of celebrating the small stuff. And by celebrate I don’t mean going out to a 5-star restaurant, sometimes it’s enough to just get a high five from my husband.

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Celebrating the small stuff is about acknowledging the good stuff that you make happen every day, whether that’s “I got one new subscriber” or “I made my first video” or “I landed my first speaking gig”.

And by celebrating the small stuff, you reinforce the good work you are doing every day. The little things that happen because you are being you.

No matter how big or small, every day there is something to celebrate.

Action: Take five minutes at the end of each day to list what went well (or your accomplishments).. at least 3.

Think about someone else.

No matter who you are, you have people in your life: family, friends, coworkers, neighbors. And you have someone who relies on you for something, whether it is for keeping a roof over their heads and food in the fridge or a smile, a helping hand, a friendly reminder.

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On those days when everything is overwhelming and frustrated, I think about my husband. Or my best friend. Or my stepsons. And I remember not just how important they are in my life, but what I add to theirs. This isn’t a conceited line of thinking. This is taking credit for what I bring to the table.

Whether that’s my sense of humor, supportiveness, uncanny ability to pick just the right gift, or the example I set. I add to their lives. This reminder helps me be more of who I am because I know that it’s important to someone else.

You are important to others. Remember that.

Action: When you get overwhelmed in your daily life, take a few minutes to think about who you impact by being you and doing the things you do.

Your life is what you make it.

How you show up, how happy you are, and how fulfilling your life is, are all up to you. You get to make the choices every day to step into courage and own who you are — or not. It’s not always easy to choose courage, but it is completely worth it.

Love yourself first, and the rest will follow.

Featured photo credit: Brandon Warren via farm5.staticflickr.com

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Last Updated on February 11, 2021

Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

How often have you said something simple, only to have the person who you said this to misunderstand it or twist the meaning completely around? Nodding your head in affirmative? Then this means that you are being unclear in your communication.

Communication should be simple, right? It’s all about two people or more talking and explaining something to the other. The problem lies in the talking itself, somehow we end up being unclear, and our words, attitude or even the way of talking becomes a barrier in communication, most of the times unknowingly. We give you six common barriers to communication, and how to get past them; for you to actually say what you mean, and or the other person to understand it as well…

The 6 Walls You Need to Break Down to Make Communication Effective

Think about it this way, a simple phrase like “what do you mean” can be said in many different ways and each different way would end up “communicating” something else entirely. Scream it at the other person, and the perception would be anger. Whisper this is someone’s ear and others may take it as if you were plotting something. Say it in another language, and no one gets what you mean at all, if they don’t speak it… This is what we mean when we say that talking or saying something that’s clear in your head, many not mean that you have successfully communicated it across to your intended audience – thus what you say and how, where and why you said it – at times become barriers to communication.[1]

Perceptual Barrier

The moment you say something in a confrontational, sarcastic, angry or emotional tone, you have set up perceptual barriers to communication. The other person or people to whom you are trying to communicate your point get the message that you are disinterested in what you are saying and sort of turn a deaf ear. In effect, you are yelling your point across to person who might as well be deaf![2]

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The problem: When you have a tone that’s not particularly positive, a body language that denotes your own disinterest in the situation and let your own stereotypes and misgivings enter the conversation via the way you talk and gesture, the other person perceives what you saying an entirely different manner than say if you said the same while smiling and catching their gaze.

The solution: Start the conversation on a positive note, and don’t let what you think color your tone, gestures of body language. Maintain eye contact with your audience, and smile openly and wholeheartedly…

Attitudinal Barrier

Some people, if you would excuse the language, are simply badass and in general are unable to form relationships or even a common point of communication with others, due to their habit of thinking to highly or too lowly of them. They basically have an attitude problem – since they hold themselves in high esteem, they are unable to form genuine lines of communication with anyone. The same is true if they think too little of themselves as well.[3]

The problem: If anyone at work, or even in your family, tends to roam around with a superior air – anything they say is likely to be taken by you and the others with a pinch, or even a bag of salt. Simply because whenever they talk, the first thing to come out of it is their condescending attitude. And in case there’s someone with an inferiority complex, their incessant self-pity forms barriers to communication.

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The solution: Use simple words and an encouraging smile to communicate effectively – and stick to constructive criticism, and not criticism because you are a perfectionist. If you see someone doing a good job, let them know, and disregard the thought that you could have done it better. It’s their job so measure them by industry standards and not your own.

Language Barrier

This is perhaps the commonest and the most inadvertent of barriers to communication. Using big words, too much of technical jargon or even using just the wrong language at the incorrect or inopportune time can lead to a loss or misinterpretation of communication. It may have sounded right in your head and to your ears as well, but if sounded gobbledygook to the others, the purpose is lost.

The problem: Say you are trying to explain a process to the newbies and end up using every technical word and industry jargon that you knew – your communication has failed if the newbie understood zilch. You have to, without sounding patronizing, explain things to someone in the simplest language they understand instead of the most complex that you do.

The solution: Simplify things for the other person to understand you, and understand it well. Think about it this way: if you are trying to explain something scientific to a child, you tone it down to their thinking capacity, without “dumbing” anything down in the process.[4]

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Emotional Barrier

Sometimes, we hesitate in opening our mouths, for fear of putting our foot in it! Other times, our emotional state is so fragile that we keep it and our lips zipped tightly together lest we explode. This is the time that our emotions become barriers to communication.[5]

The problem: Say you had a fight at home and are on a slow boil, muttering, in your head, about the injustice of it all. At this time, you have to give someone a dressing down over their work performance. You are likely to transfer at least part of your angst to the conversation then, and talk about unfairness in general, leaving the other person stymied about what you actually meant!

The solution: Remove your emotions and feelings to a personal space, and talk to the other person as you normally would. Treat any phobias or fears that you have and nip them in the bud so that they don’t become a problem. And remember, no one is perfect.

Cultural Barrier

Sometimes, being in an ever-shrinking world means that inadvertently, rules can make cultures clash and cultural clashes can turn into barriers to communication. The idea is to make your point across without hurting anyone’s cultural or religious sentiments.

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The problem: There are so many ways culture clashes can happen during communication and with cultural clashes; it’s not always about ethnicity. A non-smoker may have problems with smokers taking breaks; an older boss may have issues with younger staff using the Internet too much.

The solution: Communicate only what is necessary to get the point across – and eave your personal sentiments or feelings out of it. Try to be accommodative of the other’s viewpoint, and in case you still need to work it out, do it one to one, to avoid making a spectacle of the other person’s beliefs.[6]

Gender Barrier

Finally, it’s about Men from Mars and Women from Venus. Sometimes, men don’t understand women and women don’t get men – and this gender gap throws barriers in communication. Women tend to take conflict to their graves, literally, while men can move on instantly. Women rely on intuition, men on logic – so inherently, gender becomes a big block in successful communication.[7]

The problem: A male boss may inadvertently rub his female subordinates the wrong way with anti-feminism innuendoes, or even have problems with women taking too many family leaves. Similarly, women sometimes let their emotions get the better of them, something a male audience can’t relate to.

The solution: Talk to people like people – don’t think or classify them into genders and then talk accordingly. Don’t make comments or innuendos that are gender biased – you don’t have to come across as an MCP or as a bra-burning feminist either. Keep gender out of it.

And remember, the key to successful communication is simply being open, making eye contact and smiling intermittently. The battle is usually half won when you say what you mean in simple, straightforward words and keep your emotions out of it.

Reference

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