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You’ve Been Tolerating These 20 Stressful Things Too Many times, Even Though You Don’t Feel like You Are

You’ve Been Tolerating These 20 Stressful Things Too Many times, Even Though You Don’t Feel like You Are

We all go through our day-to-day lives tolerating things that stress us out. To make things worse, we have been doing this for so long, that we don’t even notice anymore. Stress is man-made, and we can make changes in our lives to live a more stress-free life, and a happier one at that. Here is a list of 20 things you’ve been tolerating for too long, and some helpful solutions to take away the stress they have been causing.

1. Tolerating comparing yourself to others.

It’s in our nature to look at what others have and compare it to what we have. This causes unneeded stress and can even make you feel like you aren’t as good as the other person. This is simply not true, and the sooner you can stop doing this the better. Instead, compare yourself to you. Look at who you were just a few years ago, and then look at where you are now. Use yourself as both motivation and inspiration to achieve the goals you have set for yourself.

2. Tolerating an unhealthy lifestyle.

It looks as though the healthy kick is here to stay, so jump on it! Being unhealthy leads to a shorter lifespan, and can lead to serious health risks. An unhealthy lifestyle can also cause extreme stress and lowered self confidence. Instead of continuing with an unhealthy lifestyle, take the jump and start now. If you keep waiting to get healthy it will only get harder. Making a serious lifestyle change can be intimidating and challenging, but it’s okay to take small steps and ask for help. As long as you are taking steps forward you are heading in the right direction.

3. Tolerating dwelling on the past.

It’s hard not to think about things that happened in the past, and what you could have done differently. Which is why you haven’t noticed that you have been tolerating this stressful act for far too long. Dwelling on the past can end up holding you back from current experiences. Instead, let go of your past, and stop living there. Focus on the now and the future. These are the things that you still have control over. What’s done is done, and you can’t go back and change it. Learn from your past experiences, but don’t dwell on them.

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4. Tolerating keeping people around who aren’t real friends.

Friends are the ones we turn to in times of joy and trouble. That’s why it’s important to have true friends in your life. At some point you will have to end a friendship because it doesn’t contribute anything to your life anymore. Sometimes we keep people around us for longer than we should. Don’t tolerate people who cause more stress than relief in your life. Instead, get rid of the drama in your circle. Focus on spending more time with those who make you a better person, and who contribute to your life in positive ways. You don’t need a million friends, as long as you have two or three true ones. Keeping only those around that make you happy will rid you of unnecessary stress.

5. Tolerating dishonesty.

Life is too short to put up with anything other than the truth. Knowing someone is being dishonest with you is one of the worst feelings in the world. It’s also important to stop tolerating dishonesty from yourself. Why bother lying to yourself anyways? Instead, tell the truth and only accept the truth from others. It might cause more conflict than telling a lie, but in the end your conscience will be clear. Relieving you from stress you put on yourself. Don’t just accept someones dishonesty either, hold others to your standards as well.

6. Tolerating negativity.

Whether it’s personally, or those around you—do not tolerate negative vibes. Negativity can change your overall mood, ruin experiences and opportunities, and hurt relationships. Instead, stay positive. Easier said than done, right? Wrong. When you start to focus on the positive side of things it becomes more of a normal habit. Forming this habit will help you stop being negative, and get rid of the negativity in your life. This will lead to a happier, less stressful lifestyle.

7. Tolerating not appreciating what you have.

Sometimes we forget to cherish what’s in front of us. We get caught up in what’s going to happen, that we forget to live in the moment. It’s easy to think about how things could be, or how we want things to be. We forget to stop and smell the roses. Instead of always rushing for more, take some time each day to focus on what you have now. When you take time to step back and appreciate everything that’s in your life, it’s a good feeling.

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8. Tolerating being focused on your future for happiness.

Life can be stressful when you are constantly telling yourself that everything will be better tomorrow. You miss out on being happy today when you push that happiness off in hopes of tomorrow. Some days are long and stressful, and we just want them to end. But hoping tomorrow will be better takes so much away from today. Instead, think about what you can do today to make things better. It’s not always an easy fix, but putting it off until tomorrow doesn’t help either. We all strive to be happy, so don’t push making yourself happier off until tomorrow.

9. Tolerating procrastination.

Oh how well some of us know procrastination. Myself included. There’s nothing more stressful than having a deadline come up and not being 100% sure you will make it. Instead of putting things off until the last second, as crazy as it sounds, give yourself more time to accomplish a task. When you procrastinate you tend to set aside a certain amount of time to complete a project. It’s usually the exact amount of time you believe you will need—no more—no less. Old habits die hard, but when you start to give yourself more time, you will start to wonder how you ever though procrastination was a good idea.

10. Tolerating letting your previous failures define you.

Everyone has gone through rejection or failure at one point or another in life. It can be difficult to move forward once that happens. Sometimes you can get stuck and focus too much on your failures, that you forget to look at your success. Instead, don’t let your failures define who you are. Take your failures and really learn from them. Use them as a guide to better yourself, or to succeed in something you once failed at.

11. Tolerating not being true to yourself.

Who knows you better than yourself? No one, so don’t stray from who you are and what you believe in. When you tolerate doing things or acting in ways that aren’t true to you it can cause extreme stress. Instead, when situations arise that could put you in a position to change who you are, don’t follow along. Stand up for who you are and respect yourself. Staying true to yourself will take a world of stress off of you. You won’t have to wonder if what you are doing is right or wrong, because you will already know the answer.

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12. Tolerating holding onto grudges.

It takes a lot of negative energy to hold onto a grudge. A grudge will get you worked up and stressed out before anyone else. You might not always be able to forget an incident, but you have full control over how it affects you. Instead of holding onto a grudge, forgive the feelings you have about the grudge. We can’t always forgive and forget, but we can move on. Move forward in your life and leave that negative energy behind you. You will feel a weight lifted from you, and acceptance is easier to handle than grudge.

13. Tolerating excuses.

But I can’t… Yes you can. When we don’t want to do something or want to get out of a situation we make excuses. What you have stopped noticing is how much stress coming up with an excuse can cause. Instead of coming up with an excuse, just be honest. Say what’s real. Own up to your choices, actions, or feelings and cut out the excuses. You will find that life is so much easier without excuses.

14. Tolerating believing in perfect.

Perfect doesn’t exist. Putting too much emphasis on wanting something or someone to be perfect can not only be stressful, but it can take away from your experiences in life. It’s ok for things not to be perfect, that’s what makes life so beautiful. Instead, accept things for what they are, and people for who they are. You might just find that perfect wasn’t what you were looking for after all.

15. Tolerating self-loathing thoughts.

You are the one who has to live with who you are. Sometimes we aren’t always happy with the choices we have made, or the things we have done. However, putting ourself down only hurts us, and prevents us from moving forward. Instead of allowing yourself to have these kinds of thoughts, focus on the vision of who you are. Focus on the good in yourself, and leave out the negative. Build yourself up instead of putting yourself down.

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16. Tolerating keeping a job you hate.

Waking up every morning and dreading going to work puts unnecessary stress on you. Each and every day. We spend more time at work than anywhere else, so you shouldn’t hate what you do. Instead, figure out something that you truly enjoy doing. Keep searching for a job you can see yourself at until you find one. Times are tight, so you might have to stay at your current job longer than you would like. That should be your driver to find a new job in which you would enjoy.

17. Tolerating being financially uneducated.

Money makes the world go round, and it can make your head spin too. Stressing out about money is one of the top problems that keep people up at night. A lot of the headache with your finances can come from not understanding your situation. Instead of continuing down the same path, get yourself educated. Do some of your own research, get your credit score figured out, talk to a financial planner, do whatever you have to do to get financially educated. Put yourself on a new path.

18. Tolerating empty complaints.

There’s a difference between venting and complaining. Empty complains get absolutely nothing accomplished, and bring out negativity. Complaining about something wont make it better. Instead, do something about it. Take action and change whatever it is you are currently complaining about. Being annoyed won’t get you far, but doing something it will.

19. Tolerating feeling guilty for not being able to complete everything.

We all have enough pressure in our lives as it is. Putting more pressure on yourself because you feel guilty won’t help get things done. Sometimes we commit to too much, and end up making things worse on ourselves. Instead, understand that everyone, even you, has their limits. You can’t possibly be in three places at the same time—and that’s okay! Don’t commit to something that you know is a stretch for you to fit in. Either say no, and maybe suggest who else could be counted on, or ask for help. Either way, don’t feel guilty for only being one person.

20. Tolerating other people’s opinion of you.

How many times have you second guessed something you were wearing or doing or saying, all because you were worried about someone else’s opinion of you? If you are like most people, at some point in your life you probably did this more times than you can remember. Instead of caring so much about other people’s opinion of you, just be you! No second guessing, no overthinking, no changing into something you don’t like- just going with what you feel is right. Take control of your own life and make decisions for yourself.

Featured photo credit: Teenage girl depression – lost love via shutterstock.com

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Published on September 23, 2020

6 Effective Negotiation Skills to Master

6 Effective Negotiation Skills to Master

I don’t know about you, but many times when I hear the word negotiate I think of lawyers working out a business deal or having to do battle with a car salesman to try to get a lower price. Since I am in recruiting, the term “negotiation” comes up when someone is attempting to get a higher compensation package.

If we think about it, we tend to negotiate almost every day in a wide variety of things we do. Getting a handle on the important negotiation skills can be incredibly beneficial in many parts of our lives. Let’s take a look at 6 effective negotiation skills to master.

What is Negotiation?

First, let’s take a look at what negotiation is. Put simply, negotiation is a method by which people settle their differences. It is a process in which compromise or agreement can be reached without argument or dispute.

Anytime two people or sides disagree on something, they are almost always looking for the best possible outcome for their side. This could be from an individual’s perspective or someone representing an organization.

In reality, it’s rare that one side gets everything they want and the other side gets nothing that they are seeking. Seeking to reach a common ground of sorts where both sides feel like they are getting most of what they want is the key to being successful and maintaining the relationship.

Places We Negotiate

I’ve mentioned that we negotiate in just about all phases of our life. For those of you who are shaking your head no, I invite you to think about the following:

1. Work/Business

This one is the most obvious and it’s what naturally comes to mind when we think of the word “negotiate”.

When you first started at your current job, you might have asked for a higher salary. It could be that you delivered a huge new client to your company and used this as leverage in your most recent evaluation for more compensation. If you work with vendors (and just about every company does), maybe you worked them to a lower price or better contract terms.

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In recruiting, I negotiate with candidates and hiring managers all the time to land the best talent I can find. It’s very common to accept additional work with the (sometimes spoken, sometimes unspoken) agreement that it will benefit your career in the future.

Recently, I took over a project that was my boss was working on so that I would be able to attend a conference later in the year. And so it goes, we do this all day long at work.

2. Personal

I don’t know about you, but I negotiate with my spouse all the time. I’ll cook dinner with the understanding that she does the dishes. Who wants to mow the lawn and who wants to vacuum and dust the house?

I think we should save 10% for retirement, but she thinks 5% is plenty. Therefore, we save 8%. And don’t even get me started with my kids. My older daughter can borrow my car as soon as she finishes her chores. My younger daughter can go hang out with her friends when her homework is done.

Then, there are all those interactions in our personal lives outside our homes. The carpenter wants to charge me $12,000 to build a new deck. I think $10,000 is plenty so we agree on $11,000. I ask my neighbor if I can borrow his snowblower in the winter if I invite him over the next time I grill steak. And so on.

3. Ourselves

You didn’t expect this one, did you? We negotiate with ourselves all day long.

I’ll make sure I don’t skip my workout tomorrow since I’m going to have that extra piece of pizza. My spouse has been quiet the last few days, is it worth me asking her about, or should I leave it alone? I think the car place charged me for some repairs that weren’t needed, should I say something or just let it go? I know my friend has been having some personal challenges, should I check in with him? We’ve been friends for a long time, I’m sure he’d come to me if he needed help. I’ve got the #4 pick in this year’s Fantasy Football draft, should I choose a running back or a wide receiver?

Think about that non-stop voice inside your head. It always seems to be chattering away about something and many times, it’s us negotiating with ourselves. I’ll finish up that report that the boss needs before I turn on the football game.

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Why Negotiation Skills Are So Important

Put simply, negotiation skills are important because we all interact with other people, and not only other people but other organizations and groups of people as well.

We all rarely want the same thing or outcome. Most of the time a vendor is looking at getting you to pay a higher price for something than you want to spend. Therefore, it’s important to negotiate to some middle ground that works well for both sides.

My wife and I disagree on how much to save for retirement. If we weren’t married it wouldn’t be an issue. We’d each contribute how much we wanted to on our retirement funds. We choose to be married, so we have to come to some agreement that we both feel comfortable with. We have to compromise. Therefore, we have to negotiate.

If we each lived on a planet by ourselves, we would be free to do just about anything we wanted to. We wouldn’t have to compromise with anyone because we wouldn’t interact with anyone. We would make every choice unilaterally the way we wanted to.

As we all know, this isn’t how things are. We are constantly interacting with other people and organizations, each one with their own agenda’s, viewpoints, and opinions. Therefore, we have to be able to work together.

6 Negotiation Skills to Master

Having strong negotiation skills helps us create win-win situations with others, allowing us to get most of what we want in conjunction with others around us.

Now, let’s look at 6 effective negotiation skills to master.

1. Preparation

Preparation is a key place to start with when getting ready to negotiate. Being prepared means having a clear vision of what you want and how you’d go about achieving it. It means knowing what the end goal looks like and also what you are willing to give to get it.

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It also means knowing who you are negotiating with and what areas they might be willing to compromise on. You should also know what your “bottom line” is. By “bottom line” I mean what is the most you are willing to give up to get what you want.

For instance, several years ago, I decided it was time to get a newer car. I say newer because I wanted a “new to me” car, not a brand new car. I did my research and figured out what type of car I wanted. I decided on what must-have items on the car I wanted, the highest amount of miles that would already be on it, the colors I was willing to get it in, and the highest amount of money I was willing to pay.

After visiting numerous car dealerships I was able to negotiate buying a car. I knew what I was willing to give up (amount of money) and what I was willing to accept, things like the color, amount of miles, etc. I came prepared. This is critical.

2. Clear Communication

The next key skill you need to be an effective negotiator is clear communication. You have to be able to clearly articulate what you want to the other party. This means both clear verbal and written communication.

If you can’t clearly tell the other person what you want, how do you expect to get it? Have you ever worked through something with a vendor or someone else only to learn of a surprise right at the end that wasn’t talked about before? This is not what you would call clear communication. It’s essential to be able to share a coherent and logical vision with the person you are working with.

3. Active Listening

Let’s do a quick review of active listening. This is when you are completely focused on the speaker, understand their message, comprehend the information, and respond appropriately. This is a necessary ingredient to be able to negotiate successfully. You must be able to fully focus on the other person’s wants to completely understand them.

If you aren’t giving them your full attention, you may miss some major points or details. This leads to frustration down the road on both sides. Ensure you are employing your active listening skills when in arbitration mode.

4. Teamwork and Collaboration

To be able to get to a place of common ground and a win-win scenario, you have to have a sense of teamwork and collaboration.

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If you are only thinking about yourself and what you want without giving much care to what the other person is wanting, you are bound to wind up without a solution. The other person may get frustrated and give up if they see you are unwilling to meet them halfway or care little for what they want.

When you collaborate, you are working together to help each other get what is most important to you. The other upside to negotiating with a sense of teamwork and collaboration is that it helps create a sense of trust, which, in turn, helps provide positive energy for working to a successful conclusion.

5. Problem Solving

Problem-solving is another key negotiation skill. When you are working with the other person to get the deal done many times you’ll face new challenges along the way.

Maybe you want a new vendor to provide training on the software they are selling you but they say it’s going to cost an additional $20,000 to provide this service. If you don’t have the additional $20,000 in the budget to spend on the software but you feel the training is critical, how are you going to solve that problem?

From what I’ve seen, most vendors aren’t willing to provide additional services without getting paid for them. This is where problem-solving skills will help continue the discussions. You might suggest to the vendor that your company will also be looking to replace their financial software next year, and you’d be happy to ensure they get one of the first seats at the table when the time comes if they could perhaps lower the pricing on their training.

There’s a solution to most challenges, but it takes problem-solving skills to work through them effectively.

6. Decision-Making Ability

Finally, having strong decision-making ability will help you seal the deal when you get to a place where everyone feels like they are getting what works for them. Each step of the way you can cross off the list when you get what you are looking for and decide to move onto the next item. Then, once you have all of your must-have boxes checked and the other side feels good about things, it’s time to shake hands and sign on the dotted line. Powerful decision-making ability will help you get to the finish line together.

Conclusion

There you have it, 6 effective negotiation skills to master to lead a more fulfilling life. Once we realize that we negotiate in one form or another almost every day in every phase of our lives, we realize how critical a skill it is.

Possessing strong negotiation skills will help you in nearly every one of your relationships at both the workplace and in your personal life. If you feel your arbitration tools could use some sharpening, try some of the 6 effective negotiation skills to master that we’ve talked about.

More Tips to Improve Your Negotiation Skills

Featured photo credit: Windows via unsplash.com

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