More and more, I am encountering discussions about anxiety in both my coaching and my personal life. What is going on? Are we changing in some way and adjusting to the change?
Are the speed and uncertainty of our world affecting many and inducing anxiety? We should stay aware of the presence of anxiety in both ourselves and in others. It is an indicator that something needs attention. When anxiety shows up, examine if you are living your life in alignment with your values, if time is getting the better of you or if something is wanting your attention.
Anxiety does not serve you or others. It may take time and effort to deal with, but will be totally worth your while. Best to face it and find your way through.
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Many organizations establish missions, core values and principles by which they operate. Good ones reinforce them frequently to make sure they become an integral part of their operations. Sometimes however, there are unstated values in an organization that may not be as obvious as stated ones. It is helpful to be aware if there are any unstated values in your organization, as expectations may exist that you follow them.
What can bring about unstated values in an organization? Here are a few reasons: leaders do not want to acknowledge the value exists, only top leaders know of and follow the value (exclusivity), leaders are not proud of the value or simply neglect. Here’s an example: an organization’s stated highest value is customer service; however, in reality, their highest value is profit which wins out over customer service when they come into conflict.
Know the values of your organization and others that you deal with. It can help you better understand the environment you are in, realistically assess your own performance and judge whether your own values are truly in alignment with your organization .
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What do you need to feel good about yourself and your career? By asking what makes you whole, I am referring to what makes you feel good and on top of your game.
There are plenty of things that can take parts of yourself away from you – disappointments, failures, difficult people. But these things do not have to have lasting effects. If you know what makes you whole, you can – in the face of losing a part of yourself or your confidence – do what you need to and make yourself whole again.
What makes you whole is being true to the essence of who you are and what you desire. Know what makes you whole and you can’t go wrong.
What are the things that make you whole and happy?
It is good every once in a while to bring your attention back to what really matters. In coaching, one of the first things established is what a person’s values are. Values – the essence of what makes you fulfilled and happy – are the foundation of coaching. By staying close to your values, your actions and choices reflect what is most important to you.
Values can get lost in the pressures and influences of everyday life. Your values need to stay front and center for you to be fulfilled and happy. Do you know what your values are? Do they reflect you or what others tell you? Are you honoring your values? Take some time to remind yourself what really matters to you and course-correct if you have to. Your values will always steer you in the right direction.
Fulfillment: satisfaction or happiness as a result of fully developing one’s abilities or character.
Do you connect being happy with fully developing your abilities and character? Or do you associate happiness with things external to you? If you do look outside yourself, you may feel that finding happiness is beyond your control. It is not. Finding happiness is all about you.
The above definition of fulfillment says a lot about the true nature of happiness. It is an individual and inside job. How much attention do you put to developing your abilities and character versus what you or others think you should do? By focusing within, fulfillment can be much closer than you think.
As you develop your abilities and character, you are using resources well within your reach. You can develop your talents and become more valuable in the work you are best at. Another take on developing your character is that you are being true to yourself. When you are, your fulfillment will increase.
Here’s hoping that your answer to the question “Are you fulfilled?” is “yes” or soon will be!
photo: Stuart Miles, FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Most likely, when you are alone and have some time to think, you have a clear handle on what is important to you. When you get to your workplace, interact with other people and encounter a myriad of situations, does what is important to you lose a little of its clarity? It is natural to be influenced by what is around you. The challenge lies in not letting your workplace turn you upside down. How do you get turned upside down?
Here are a few examples:
• The speed and intensity of the demands on you give you no time to think about what you are doing and deciding.
• Others are persuasive in their reasons why you must move away from what is important to you.
• You are pressured into actions that go against what is important to you and do not see a way out.
• The stress of your work has caused you to lose your center and what is important to you is no longer clear.
It is worthwhile, periodically, to remind yourself of what is important to you and assess whether you are honoring those things in all that you do. Don’t let your workplace turn you upside down. Stand upright and keep what’s important to you intact.
photo: Stuart Miles, FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Many times, you can find yourself living your life according to the dictates of others, yielding to unwanted circumstances or defaulting on your dreams. Here are some ways to start reclaiming your life for you.
1. Know your values and honor them.
2. Affirm that you can be happy in your life.
3. Surround yourself with people who treasure you.
4. Create positive experiences that boost your spirits.
5. Examine any negativity in your life and what its source is.
6. Create continuous improvement in your life.
7. Set some targets for attaining new heights.
8. Extend yourself beyond your comfort zone.
9. Practice kindness to yourself and others.
10. Create a clear picture of what it means to live your life, your way.
photo: Michael Elliott, FreeDigitalPhotos.net
So much can deter us from honoring our values and priorities. We have to keep them front and center. What are your values? What are your priorities for 2015? Identify them and keep them close, as you work and go through your day. With focus, you’ll honor your values and achieve your goals. Otherwise, they may end up upside down, doing no one any good.
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In life and work, sudden shocks can send you reeling. Gratefully, they are not everyday occurrences. Sudden shocks can take the form of an abrupt change of course, unexpected or startling developments in your organization, significant choices posed to you that you must respond to quickly, a key person leaving an organization or your position in the organization changing in big ways. What do you do when you encounter a sudden shock?
Initially, it is important that you regain your center after a sudden shock. You need to step away, calm yourself and see the situation from that place. Even if you think there is no time for this, create the time – it is essential to your making it through. Then, you can assess what you are going to do in response (not reaction) to the situation. As you deal with sudden shocks, be true to your values, maintain your balance and know that you have choice in every situation. You can deal with sudden shocks. They ask a lot of you, but they are a part of life.
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It’s a natural impulse to compare yourself with other managers and co-workers. It is also dangerous and seldom brings good results. Why? Because each person has unique skills, personality, values and intentions that do not support direct comparison. If you compare yourself with someone in a different circumstance than you are in, where does that get you? By comparing, you are creating a benchmark that may not represent where you want to be. For example, if you compare yourself to another manager who has had success in the organization, what if they used methods that do not honor your values? Or, what if they are aiming in another direction then you are?
What does work is to observe others, picking and choosing what you want to adopt or emulate because it fits your style, values and intentions and you think it will work for you. That way, you are CEO of your career and are not simply mimicking others who are succeeding.
photo: Suvro Datta, FreeDigitalPhotos.net