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How and Why You Should Stop Changing Others

How and Why You Should Stop Changing Others

By trying or wanting to change others, you’re setting yourself up for failure. You were put into this world to make a mark for yourself, not for others. The key to resist the urge to change others is simply to focus upon yourself.

Here are some ways to do that:

1. You are the only one who can change.

You are here in this life to be the best you can be. Develop the mental strength to improve your own weaknesses and change your own self-sabotaging habits. You can only change yourself because you’re the only one who knows your heart, your thoughts, your past, your struggles and your fears. Working on these things are what promotes change. Therefore, when you try and change someone else, you set yourself up for failure because you don’t know the true thoughts and feelings of others as well as you know yourself. For this reason, it is impossible to change another person.

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2. You need to identify at least one thing that you love about you.

Start by identifying one thing about you that is an absolute strength. Cling to this every single day. Find ways in work and personal life to improve this quality. Use it to your advantage by finding ways to use it to improve your life situation. Some examples include being a good salesperson, a good writer, a good marketer, or whatever. Play to this one strength more than your other strengths and find ways to coordinate your business and personal life to fit this strength in.

3. You need to write down your dreams and passions.

What is your passion? When you wake up in the morning, what are some of the things that you want to accomplish? Write these down. As you go about your days, keep these things in the back of your mind and find little baby steps to take that will pave the way toward some of these things. Think about them every single morning and make a commitment to look for at least one tiny thing you can do each day to move you in the direction of these passions. Don’t think about others or what they’re doing wrong. Just focus on you and what you can do to improve your life.

4. You must accept people for who and where they are in life right now.

One of the worst things you can do to yourself is wish that the people in your life were different, or had made different choices. You cannot control the destiny of others. Whether you condone the choices of others or not, accept them exactly for who they are and where they’re at today.

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5. You should connect with the feeling of relief.

Instead of looking for ways to manipulate others to change, look at them with gratitude. Find their strengths and praise them. Be grateful that you don’t possess the weaknesses they do, and if you do possess them, find solace in the fact that you have the power to overcome those weaknesses…in your life, but not their lives.

6. You must accept your situation and circumstances as they are.

Acceptance brings peace. Peace suffocates resistance and resentment. When you’re finally able to accept your life circumstances, you’ll be able to dig deep and take the steps necessary to change those circumstances. Go easy on yourself. Come to terms with past mistakes and choices that weren’t very wise and use them to catapult you forward.

7. You must deflect drama.

The best way to deflect drama is to mind your own business. Don’t gossip about other people, or repeat their personal struggles. Using your energy in this manner drains you so that you’re not as apt to work on your own goals. In addition, never allow others to drag you into their problems or fight their battles for them. Most of all, avoid negative confrontation. All three of the aforementioned circumstances suck your energy and take the focus off of you.

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8. You should revise your goals often to stay on track.

Every so often go back and look at the list you made of your passions. Take stock. Are you actively taking baby steps to work toward these? If not, realign your focus so that each day you’re taking at least one tiny step in the direction of one or more of these.

9. You need to have patience with others.

Part of accepting others as they are, as well as accepting your own life situation is to have patience and empathy for others. Don’t waste energy getting angry or intolerant of others’ mistakes. At the same time, give yourself some approval and encouragement and be patient with yourself.

10. You must forgive.

In order to preserve your energy and keep a positive attitude, always remember to forgive as many times as you’re offended. If you can’t do this for the other person, do it for yourself. When you find it difficult to forgive, try and look at the admirable qualities in those that offend you. Compliment and encourage these qualities in them and you’ll fine that in time, it’s easier to forgive and all you will see are the positive attributes. By doing this, you’re deflecting negative thoughts and feelings. This leaves your subconscious with positive energy that you can then focus on yourself with.

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As you can see, the trick to stop changing others is to focus on you and you only. Take baby steps each day and gradually incorporate each one of these steps into your routine. Pretty soon, not only will your frustration and intolerance of others disintegrate, but you will find it much easier and more productive to just focus on your dreams and your passion. These are mental skills that you can easily develop over time and drastically change your path in life.

Featured photo credit: http://www.morguefile.com/creative/ecerroni via morguefile.com

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The Gentle Art of Saying No

The Gentle Art of Saying No

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

  1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
  2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
  3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
  4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
  5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
  6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
  7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
  8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
  9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
  10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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