Archive | June 2012

How to get what you want

There are two things to aim at in life: first, to get what you want; and, after that, to enjoy it. Only the wisest of mankind achieve the second. Logan Pearsall Smith

Have you ever noticed that a lot of people seem to go about asking for something in the wrong way? Complaints turn people off and build resistance – so how do you ask for something without sounding as though you’re complaining? The key to getting what you want is all in the way you approach the person.
Instead of focusing on the reasons why you are acting or feeling a certain way as a result of not having what you want (which this person can help you achieve), focus on putting your request forward as simply and straight forward as possible. For example, I recently had a dispute with my boyfriend (my favourite person on earth, by the way!) and it was all over the fact that he wouldn’t plan, therefore I felt that he wasn’t thinking of me and therefore he didn’t care about me. We sat down and had a long-winded conversation, and all it came down to was that I needed to say: “Sweety, once a month, can you plan a date for us, please?”
While my initial intention was to state facts to justify asking him to do something for me, I was sending out the wrong message, but by asking directly for what I wanted, he was more willing to oblige.
Timing is also very important because while selecting a good time to ask for what you want won’t necessarily guarantee success, choosing a bad time will guarantee failure.

Quick Tips: Getting what you want
1. Ask for it. Overcome your fear of rejection and say what you mean.
2. Focus your thoughts on what you want so your actions follow.
3. Set goals and take action, be proactive in working towards them. Write it down.
4. Depend on reciprocation – it’s satisfying. Be the first to give and give generously because sooner or later it will come back to you.
5. Be passionate and enthusiastic. Don’t give up! If you’re passionate it will come across in your enthusiasm and will influence others to more readily help you. If you share your passion and demonstrate a high level of enthusiasm for what you want, you are also more likely to get what you want.

How to persuade people effectively
Learning to persuade people to do what you want is a skill. Here are some quick tips on how to do it effectively to get what you want:
* Stand in their shoes. Look at the issue from their perspective. Ask what they’re looking for and discuss how your request will benefit them and their goals.
* Ensure your request is consistent with that person’s feelings, beliefs and actions. Frame your request into something that interests them and is in line with their values and goals.
* Make the person like you, because if they like you, they’ll trust you and are more likely to give you what you want. Having said that, other ways you can earn trust is to show your credentials and highlight your experience, be consistent, and act with integrity. Let them in on some private information – this is a subtle trick to earning trust. Always be honest with the person.
* Give examples of how others have agreed to your proposal and the outcome, and you will be more likely to persuade them. Make sure you’re comparing apples to apples when you do, the person in your example needs to be someone that person can relate to.
* Work as a team and play to win – together! Successful persuasion occurs when both sides are happy. Look for the win-win outcomes and work towards that.

How to feel emotionally secure

Insecurity is an ugly thing. It makes you hate people that you don’t even know. Unknown

Feeling secure with your job, your body, your decisions, your relationships – it can seem like something hard to come by – but it is certainly worth working on.

Feeling “safe” can be generated from opposing dynamics which create conflict – which means just because you feel secure in one aspect of your life at the moment, doesn’t mean you will feel that way all the time. The problem with this uncertainty is that people try to change things so they are secure again and do feel safe, and this can often look as though you don’t know what you want – and ultimately get confusing for you and the people around you. To avoid this, we need to make ourselves aware of the conflict before it erupts.

How can you help your partner to feel more secure?
– Be emotionally available, honest, trustworthy and authentic. Act with integrity
– Spend time doing things as simple as cooking and cleaning the house together, because it sends a message that you are committed to being with her and the relationship is going somewhere
– Avoid being distant emotionally or physically, because it will invite feelings of loneliness, isolation and put the fear of a break up in your partner.

What you can do as a partnership to encourage feelings of security?
– Give up limiting fear-based beliefs. If we are to find true happiness in a relationship, it requires dissolving the beliefs and assumptions that create painful fears and controlling behaviours
– Figure out what makes you and your partner feel safe and secure, and go out of your way to ensure both of you have that as often as possible.

What YOU can do to feel more secure!
– Dress nicely. When you look good, you feel good
– Take care of your hygiene. A trip to the beautician may even help to make you feel better
– Sit up straight. People with slumped shoulder and lethargic movements display a lack of self-confidence
– Exercise regularly – I will improve your physical appearance and helps you spend time constructively. Power walk, people with confidence walk faster
– Volunteer – concentrate on the contribution you can make to the rest of the world
– Compliment others and break the cycle of negativity
– Make yourself win: let go of the past, ignore hurtful negativity and make yourself happy
– Create daily affirmations. Make a list of things you like about yourself
– Start with small steps to gain confidence in your decision making ability
– Be yourself. Stop trying to please others and think before you sacrifice your own needs
– Avoid negative people
– Face your fears and learn from your failures
– Reward yourself when you succeed with your goals
– Practice letting go
– Concentrate on what’s right with the relationship and build on that
– Learn how to realistically view your relationship
– Find assurance within yourself. No one else can make you happy.

Forgiveness: the choice that sets you free

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To forgive is the highest, most beautiful form of love. In return, you will receive peace and happiness. Robert Muller

Someone very close to me recently pointed out that the majority of movies we watch are mostly about revenge. In reality, when we hold onto a grudge and take revenge, we are only damaging ourselves as it entices anger and other negative emotions, which unnecessarily uses a lot of energy. As Buddah says: “Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned”. Or this one by an anonymous (but wise!) source: “Hating someone is drinking poison and expecting the other person to die from it.”

But how do we let go and forgive someone after we have been wronged?

Remember, your life and your emotions are made up of a series of decisions. You can choose to be angry and hold resentment or you can choose to forgive and move forward. Holding onto resentment initially is there as a coping mechanism, to protect us from further pain – short term it is healthy, but when it continues for a long period of time, it’s a problem.

Forgiveness is often hard to give because there is a big misconception in the world that if you forgive something then you condone what has happened, and has obviously hurt you. This isn’t the case and it doesn’t mean you need to forget what happened either. True forgiveness shows that your relationship with that person is more valuable than your ego. It means you have moved beyond the action and your mind is now clear so you can move forward.

The biggest changes generally have to come from within, so why not start by forgiving yourself before you move to forgive others.

Some benefits of forgiveness – it:
* Invokes love
* Releases stress and tension
* Rebalances your body chemistry
* Decreases use of medication
* Improves sleep quality and decreases fatigue
* Decreases aches and pains
* Strengthens spirituality
* Encourages better conflict management
* Improves relationships
* Is good for your heart: a study from the Journal of Behavioral Medicine found forgiveness to be associated with lower heart rate and blood pressure as well as stress relief.
* Restores positive thoughts, feelings and behaviours toward the offender
* Is associated with more volunteerism, donating to charity, and other altruistic behaviours.

How to forgive:
– Accept that your grudge doesn’t hurt the offender in the slightest
– Choose to use your negative emotions for positive and strive to move forward
– Make a list of all the good things that have happened as a result of this negative experience
– Turn to your friends for support
– Keep focussing on the bigger picture
– Be compassionate, everybody makes mistakes
– Identify an opportunity to demonstrate true forgiveness: retrain your thinking and wish the offender well
– Work out how you will undertake it, in your mind or with the person involved
– Follow through: forgive the person, but maintain perspective – you don’t need to become their best friend either
– Assess changes in your feelings over the next few days.

How to encourage, motivate and inspire others

Treat a man as he appears to be, and you make him worse. But treat a man as if he already were what he potentially could be, and you make him what he should be. Von Goethe

In a world where there is so much choice and people are extremely conscious of their decisions and the consequences of them, it is very hard to motivate, influence, encourage or inspire a group of people with a single motivational technique.

What motivates people?
Different things motivate different people. Some say the call to action simply needs to appeal to people’s values – but that’s pretty broad. Some suggest that it’s more 50/50 – all it takes is a simple call-to-action and a willingness to do them. Then there are the step solutions:
Step 1 – Clearly articulate the call to action and why
Step 2 – Involve people in finding the solutions
Step 3 – Explain the rules
Step 4 – Link personal goals to organisational goals
Step 5 – Eliminate the weakest links (aka negative people).

There isn’t really a single one-stop-shop to motivating people – it’s a simple fact that different things will motivate different people. There is never any one thing that can motivate a whole crowd of unfamiliar strangers to do the same call to action. It will always appeal to some and not to others. However, generally if there is a need – there’s a motivation, so if you want to motivate someone to change or to do something then you must first understand his needs and wants, then tie the change to these needs. Ultimately, the more you understand a person or the audience you wish to motivate, the easier it will be to access their triggers and get them to do as you ask.

How to motivate people and encourage them to do what you want to do?
Accessing triggers is easy. Show them a picture to remind them of something, play a song that will take them back to a moment in time… whatever key you use doesn’t matter as long as it opens the doors to the target person’s mind.
Once you have motivated your target audience, you need to:
– Follow up with a call to action – tell people exactly what you want them to do
– Keep your request simple – limit the time or effort that people need to put in to do your call to action and set a date so people have something to work towards
– Set the example and share in the sacrifice. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander
– What’s in it for them? Appeal to people’s positive emotions and highlight the thrill of achievement with little extras that cause excitement, pride and a sense of belonging (being part of a team)
– List multiple reasons WHY you want them to do what you’re asking
– Challenge your target audience. Inspire them by being creative and challenge them to reach slightly beyond their limits

How to encourage people
– Show genuine interest. Ask open-ended questions. Listen actively
– Acknowledge what’s important to them. Affirm and validate what they are saying and believe
– Congratulate them. Worthwhile things take time and effort, acknowledge that you have seen what they have done and say “well done”. These words of encouragement at the right time can make a big difference to someone’s motivation
– Be grateful for the small things. Use your manners, it lets your friends know they’ve done something worthwhile and meaningful
– Reciprocate the favour. Show your appreciation by reciprocating – it’s like a pendulum
– Be spontaneous. This delivers maximum impact. Such acts can reach them at an emotional level and we are hard-wired to respond to emotional things
– Confide in them. It’s a form of flattery!
– Offer to help. If someone sees that you are willing to commit your time and energy in their interests, they will be more committed to seeing it through.

Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be. Ralph Waldo Emerson

How to inspire people to be their best
– Be a courageous role model – take risks and lead by example
– Have a strong vision on how things should be, be forward thinking and share your perspective
– Reject politics – spend your energy on positive things
– Value other people’s input, perspective and encourage collaboration
– Set goals and work to exceed them before starting on the next challenge
– Show empathy – try to understand their world and how it feels and help them move ahead to be their best
– Be inspired by others and share your role models with people, explain what it is that they’re doing that inspires you
– Express your enthusiasm as often as possible. People are drawn to positive people
– Make people feel good about themselves. People will rarely remember what you did, but they will always remember how you made them feel
– Share lessons from your successes and failures
– Focus on the positive. Everything that happens in life is neither good nor bad: it just depends on your perspective.

How to silence your negative thoughts

Those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind. Bernard Baruch

Everyone has their internal rules and thoughts which guides them to act in a certain way and sometimes it’s what makes us act impulsively … or compulsively. Thoughts are generated based on your memories of past experiences, future projections and interpretations of present situations. So how do we stop that negative voice from talking to us and start creating a positive future?

Listen to what it has to say and then send it on its way
Listen to what your negative thoughts have to say, thank it for its input and then send those thoughts on their way. Don’t try to suppress your thoughts because it will build up a lot of negative energy inside you. Simply listen to them, consider them and then send them on their way. It’s like you’re making an informed decision before you act.

Detach from your mind
Let your mind have its say without influencing your actions – this is learning to control your thoughts. You don’t generate your thoughts, your mind does. Step out of your mind to observe your thoughts objectively.

Show your thoughts your disinterest
Who cares about your thoughts? Only you! Avoid giving power to your negative thoughts by acting disinterested towards them. Take a step back and observe your thoughts. You can’t control what you think but you can control how you react to your thoughts. Thoughts die when they are deprived of interest – it’s all that fuels them.

Why negative thoughts are bad
When we have negative thoughts (ie anxiety, worry, stress, resentment, guilt…) they produce resistance to the movement of your life which can feel like suffering. When you give attention to negative thoughts, you unconsciously fuel them, and thus attract more momentum for this negative mind-set. Focus instead on the positive thoughts generated in the mind, and start developing a positive momentum.

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