Say what you mean…

 

Communication Breakdown, originally uploaded by Stéfan.

… and mean what you say

Recently I had the pleasure of speaking to a receptionist and upon asking the question, “Will she be in tomorrow?” met by the reply, “She should be in tomorrow”.

“Hmmm”, I thought, “This needs further clarification.”  “Are you saying she may not be in tomorrow or will she definitely be in tomorrow?”   Again I was met with, a rather more curt version this time, “As I said, she should be in tomorrow.”

At this, I realised that we could go on like this all day.  I smiled to myself aware that I was trying to train someone in communication skills over the phone who hadn’t asked for or wanted my training and I was probably starting to irritate her.

Sometimes, I notice that things I learn I easily forget and I’m blessed to know and be surrounded by many people who are involved in the personal development or inter-personal skills industry.

This, however, has become a bit of a “2 edged sword” as I’m so used to communicating with people who say what they mean and mean what they say, or if not, they’re attending a workshop or 121 to learn how to communicate more effectively.

This receptionist, I realised was giving an answer which she saw as a polite and courteous way to respond.

For me the word, “should” equals “maybe, possibly, might do and I’m uncertain”.  A word, that since I began my own communication skills journey and especially in training others to be more assertive, my ears prick up at.

This situation, with the receptionist, also made me aware of how I’ve changed in the way I speak and the language I use.

I remember, very clearly being brought up to remember my “pleases and thank yous” and that, “I want doesn’t get” and “manners make-eth man”.  This was drummed in so sufficiently that I when I used to ask for something, I’d quietly state, “please can I have a ….. please”.  2 “pleases” just to make sure I was remembering my manners!

So when I attended an Assertion Training course for women in 2001 and was introduced to the idea of making a request utilizing the phrase “I want”, well this really threw me.  I was so shocked, that my jaw almost hit the floor!  (Only joking, but I was very surprised).

Over the next few years I learnt to identify and acknowledge my wants, amongst other things.  And as for the word, “Should”, I learnt very quickly that

a) “Should” often bears little resemblance to and effect on the reality of what actually is

b) That the use of it is often guilt inducing for the listener

c) It can signal what the speakers expectations are

I’ve found that over the years I’ve become fascinated by people’s use of language and more specifically how people, myself included, tell others about who we are, how and what they think and believe as well as their capabilities and attitudes.

Choosing the words I use, thus how I express myself, carefully, has become more and more important to me over the years, until it’s now practically second nature.  For me, it’s part of expressing my inner value of integrity, desire to live more authentically and something that I vowed to do at the end of the first Assertiveness course I attended.

The ability to “Say what you mean and mean what you say” is a key component in assertive behaviour.  And not only did I vow to do this more in my own life, I also vowed to teach these skills to others.  Which, I’m glad to say I do.

(c) Prosperity X

Published in: on November 10, 2010 at 4:55 am  Leave a Comment  
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Autumn of change….

 

Autumn circles, originally uploaded by Eric Flexyourhead.

…Change is in the air. As autumn winds begin to blow, you can begin to let go of what was, release what is not relevant and make way for what will be. Autumn is also your time to harvest your creations, to make plans and to create new dreams. Slowly but surely the cycle turns.

Every once in a while, I encounter something which comes at just the right time and puts me back in touch with a deeper truth inside me, helping me “back on my path”. For me, the statement above, came at just this time.

I’d just come out of the doctors, having dealt with an ongoing matter and getting the result I’d hoped for, checked my phone and saw the text message waiting there for me.

As soon as I read it, it hit me profoundly.

It put me in touch with something I’d forgotten, with deeper beliefs which I’ve been frantically questioning lately due to a sudden and unexpected family bereavement.

Sometimes I get so caught up in my mind, and my belief that I can create and make things happen if I focus enough, want it enough and goal set enough. However, there’s a deeper truth. And that is, that underneath all this, there are certain principles, “Laws of Nature” operating regardless of what I’m doing or wanting and they have their own patterns, cycles and destinations.

At times in my life, I become separated from that “truth”. Battling and “fighting up-stream” to get what I want, without the awareness of myself as part of something bigger and not being in-touch with the more subtle, wider truths and vibrations of the “outside world”. Sometimes I think, “It’s just me, by myself and I have to create this or make that happen”. That I’m “all powerful” and at the centre of the Universe! Sometimes I do!

Regardless of whether I believe this at times, the reality is that I am impacted by, operate within and am a part of these “Laws” whether I like it or not. Purely by being on this Earth, psychologically/mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually, I’m a part of the greater whole.

I find that when I’m aligned with this knowledge, I’m at ease with my life and I accomplish more things. Best of all, the things I achieve are aligned with a sense of my purpose, so I feel happy and assured that I’m “going in the right direction”.

It’s been a year since I began writing this blog, with my first post also drawing on the theme of autumn.

So much has happened and changed. My granddaughter, now a year old, is beginning to walk and talk. I’ve branched out in my life running a “personal development” themed book club, in person and on-line, and I’ve also noticed a change in myself of being more committed to the things I’m doing in my life and not being “thrown off balance” as much as I used to be.

Reflecting on the quote above, I ask myself, “What am I letting go of?” “What am I creating plans and making room for?” “What am I harvesting?”

I’m letting go of: Struggling with myself and my life and the loneliness of believing I’m creating it all by myself.

I’m creating plans and making room for: A more harmonious way to live my life, one where I live in alignment with the deeper and profound truths that reside within me – that I’m a co-creator and work in conjunction with the bigger and greater “Laws of Nature”.

I’m harvesting: The growth and development of my intuition, so I can utilize it even more when making decisions and taking action regarding my life and behaviour.

What about you?

(c) Prosperity X

Published in: on October 20, 2010 at 7:32 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“There’s nothing wrong with blowing your own trumpet…

Jazz mood, originally uploaded by Mirko Macari.

…after all, blowing someone else’s is unhygienic.” – Shortlist magazine

Being able to “sell myself” to potential employers has been something I’ve struggled with.  Often landing a job without really knowing why – even landing one of my last jobs after having what I consider to be the “worst interview of my life”, and coming away wanting to beat myself up for not performing well and presenting myself really badly…. or so I thought.

Well, let’s put the interview aside.  What about getting invited for an interview in the first place, via the initial application process?  Writing and sending in the CV and/or application form – showing how well you and your skills fit with what they’re looking for.

Well, at this, I had and have various CVs geared towards different fields of work, but over the past few weeks I’ve felt a need to update and improve them.  To go over them, rewording, restructuring parts to make the possibility of employing me more appealing.

So I decided to start off by writing down all the skills, tasks and knowledge I have gained in past 18months in this particular field of work.  It was a lot.  I’ve produces a list of 115 things to date and know there’s more to add.

Doing this, in itself, changed my professional perception of myself from “Someone who does a job” to “A valuable asset to the company”.  So that was great.

My next task was to incorporate some of this into the “Award winning CV” I planned to write.  How did that go?  As of yet, I still haven’t typed it.

What’s stopped me?  Well, when I asked myself that question, the answer was my inability to “Sell myself”, to “Blow my own trumpet” when it comes to my employability.

I felt uncomfortable at the thought of using words such as “exceptional, outstanding, expertise and impressive”.  Partly because in this particular field of work I judged my skills to be average to good and not “exceptional” as employers and companies were looking for and I imagined the nightmare of writing so leading to squirming in an interview where I’d have to prove these, so called, “exceptional” skills and talents.

The other thing was all the past messages I’ve heard warning against blowing your own trumpet, appearing big-headed, no one likes a show off etc.

Now this, for me, is where it becomes really interesting…

As I turned on the computer to begin some kind of self-development exercise to challenge what I labelled as my “mis-thinking about my skills and inaccurate view of my self”, I decided to have a quick look to see the latest job adverts and one caught my eye.

The next thing I knew 3 hours had passed in which I’d restructured, partly rewritten one of my CV’s, composed an in depth cover letter and emailed them both to this prospective employer.  And as for the content, throughout both were words and phrases such as “Excellent…”; “Someone such as myself who has extensive knowledge and experience…; “As my area of expertise….” all traces of the pre-mentioned fears and baggage about blowing my own trumpet or being someone who down-plays their skills went out the window and were no where to be seen.

What this taught me was when I want something enough, the ability to “sell my skills to the max” happens without effort.  It doesn’t have to be forced, encouraged or cajoled, it happens as if it’s second nature.  Because it is second nature.

Blowing ones own trumpet happens naturally when working towards what one really and truly desires.

As for the job application, only time will tell if I succeeded in being offered it and whether they agree that I have what their looking for.  Either way whatever happens, it’s been an eye opener of a lesson for me, which is worthwhile in itself.

So the message is simple.  Blow your own trumpet and blow it loud and clear for the world to hear.  And as for the type of job that had me trumpeting to the hilt, all I can say is, “It’s what I want, what I really, really want” 🙂

(c) Prosperity X


How…… Part 1


 


I thought I’d do things a little different this time. Where you, the reader, can actively join in.

I invite you to follow the link below and do the exercise:

http://www.sicklesinsight.com/experimental-psychology-human-perception/

It’s best if you really get into it.  After that, please let me know if you got on as well as I did :). I’ll tell you how I got on, in part 2…..

How….. Part 2

Published in: on July 6, 2010 at 7:05 am  Leave a Comment  
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How…… Part 2



… on Earth did I miss that?!

Recently speaking with a woman, I’d just met at a “meet up” group, we got onto the subject of “The Law of Attraction”, which sparked a lively debate about how we create our own reality. This reminded me of the psychology experiment.

The first time I came across it, I didn’t see the Gorilla either!!!

Even though I was aware of the theory behind it, I was surprised that I, who thinks of myself as “very observant” and “highly perceptive”, completely missed it!

It got me thinking about “Goal setting”. That well mentioned tool, used in business and general life, to get the job/task done. Whether they’re S.M.A.R.T. or otherwise, I wonder about the pros and cons of focusing, so exclusively, on what you want.

On one hand, I’ve found that when I’m exceptionally focused, I get things done and things that would normally distract, don’t seem to bother me at all. But with all this super pin-point focus, just as doing the experiment illustrated, I think I may have missed out on some really important things.

On the other hand, there have been times in my life, when I’ve been open to whatever happens, often with interesting results and really welcomed opportunities popping up that I wouldn’t have consciously searched for. But being too open has had its drawbacks, when I been so “open” that I’ve ended up “drifting aimlessly”, lost, without a sense of purpose or direction.

I wonder if there’s a way to have the benefits of both. Of being able to be focused enough on what I want to achieve, that I’m not distracted, but also have my perception “open” enough to see other things and opportunities. A way to be “Openly focused”, if there is such a thing, so that I don’t miss something so blinking obvious and wonder, “How on earth did I manage to miss that?”

(C) Prosperity x

Published in: on July 6, 2010 at 7:04 am  Leave a Comment  
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Sorting out What from What (Your feelings or mine?)

Don’t cry, my friend . . ., originally uploaded by Java Cafe.

Recently I had an experience where a close friend of mine was going through a challenging patch in their life.

I tried to offer advice and suggestions, but was met with, “I know all that” and a disgruntled friend.

As a very intelligent and sensible individual, they did already know what I was saying to them. And I knew that they knew. So why was I saying it?

After giving it some thought, I realized that whilst it’s natural for me to want to comfort those close to me when they’re upset, this was only a small part of what was motivating my responses. My “helpful” advice and suggestions were mainly coming from my own fears about what may happen to them if the situation wasn’t resolved quickly.

Ah, a familiar pattern. One I thought I’d stopped doing.

Once recognised though, I put into practice what I knew would be of most use –
a) Acknowledging my fears and imaginings of what I thought what happen if the situation continues.
b) Acknowledging and accepting my feelings of sadness I felt that someone I cared about deeply, was going through a distressing and painful experience and I was powerless to change it.

Thus, I took some time doing something that nurtured and nourished me. This way, the next time we speak, we can talk about what’s happening in our lives, both happy and sad, without me trying to force them into certain action due to my own fears and concerns. I can then show I care by listening to their experience and be of support that way, whilst they find their own solutions.

That very same evening, I came across the following paragraph, in a handout from a course I’m attending and thought it very apt to add it here:

“For none of us ever really walks in another’s shoes or knows the innermost rooms of a person’s heart. None of us truly knows the lonely places of another’s journey or the causes of the lines around another’s eyes. Therefore, let us be gentle with one another. Let us listen more than we speak and accept more than we judge. Let our open, outstretched hands reach and touch that we may walk along together for a little while in friendship and in trust.”
– Elizabeth Tarbox

(c) Prosperity X

Published in: on June 18, 2010 at 6:45 am  Leave a Comment  
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An Hour Well Spent

Time goes by, originally uploaded by Peters nik.

I wrote this post a couple of days ago:

I’ve just finished facilitating my first “Personal Development/ Self-Help” Book Club meeting and I feel so “right”, congruent, alive!

Having earlier debated on whether to postpone until next month, due to low attendance responses, I eventually decided to go, telling myself, “This is what you said you want to do, so go and do it, no matter if 1 or 10 people turn up, it’s a worthwhile venture”

So, off I went and facilitated a first book club meet, discussing “Feel the Fear And Do It Anyway”, by Susan Jeffers. Sharing opinions on the book and its impact on our lives, I found really invigorating.

After tonight, I definitely feel inspired, motivated to keep plugging away at it, advertising, spreading the word and encouraging people to come.

So, I’m glad that when deciding whether to continue with it or cancel it, I used Susan Jeffers “No Lose Model” and came up with the idea that do the Book Club this month was definitely something I did want to spend an hour going. And, my gosh, was I right! It was one of the best hours I’ve spent in ages!

(c) Prosperity x

List of Life

List of Future Plans 26/365, originally uploaded by Jearvi.

Sometimes you can go into a relationship wanting one thing, but getting something else.

I went into a new relationship wanting to be looked after – to have someone to “do it all for me” (yes, very naive I know!) and here, 6 months later, I feel inspired to further establish my own career.

In theory, I’d expect myself to feel disgruntled and short-changed in some way, but on the contrary. What I feel is a growing sense of accomplishment and achievement, that I’m building and creating something.

This person is a very creative individual and often we, as human beings, rub our qualities off on each other.

Interestingly enough, the thing that attracted me to him in the first place, was a tag signature line at the bottom of his initial correspondence, “… create a great day”

I had a list in my mind, at the time, of what I wanted in a partner. Creativity wasn’t there at all. Or so I thought! But unconsciously, that’s something I desired.

My whole level of creativity is something that’s expanded. I used to draw, write poetry years ago as an expression of this, as a way to channel my feelings. I stopped doing that a couple of years back.

Now, I write. I put pen to paper and just let it flow. And I find that I really enjoy it. I really enjoy creating!

So, I guess, as always, what I’m saying is that sometimes, (maybe even more than sometimes) we think we want one thing, yet really want another, or alternatively, we leave off the “list of life” the one quality, person or experience, that will make our life even more incredible.

(c) Prosperity X

Published in: on May 12, 2010 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment  
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Let me “Upgrade” me!

Reading in the round, originally uploaded by Let Ideas Compete.

I think “Self Help” books are a great thing, as long as I remember that they’re only books and aren’t going to change me or my life for me.

I’ve been reading various “Self Help” books for over a decade, from ones that tell me how to have better and more harmonious relationships, or ones that direct me to get in touch with my “inner self”, to books that  teach me how to create  financial wealth. I’ve read a whole array of them and am still constantly amazed at just how many new ones there are still out there!

There is some controversy around them though, that some people believe that the whole “Self Help” Movement has made people “Helpless” and has done more harm than good.

I look at it this way, I read the books which catch my eye and apply the ideas and techniques which I think may benefit me. If they work for me, I put them in my “Life Skills Toolbox” to use them with the next thing that Life throws at me (as long as I remeber I’ve got them!).  What I don’t find of benefit, I simply discard.

For me, reading “Self Help” books, as well as attending trainings and courses throughout the years has helped not only give me ideas and tools to use when life throws me a curve ball, but helped me develop some of my own strategies I use at different times.

So now many things that happen which used to, “Floor me”, don’t. I utilize the skills I’ve learnt and either work around what’s happened or recover more quickly.

I’m still me, but an “upgraded” version! And aside from this, on the whole, I enjoy my life even more now, which in itself makes all the reading and sometimes feeling silly when trying out new things, worthwhile.

(c) Prosperity X

Published in: on May 1, 2010 at 8:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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Fitness Frenzy!

Pilates:dicas de exercícios para trabalho abdominal, originally uploaded by metalifepilates.

For some reason recently the urge to get fit, to tone and sculpt my body, has got stronger and stronger for me, almost as if I’m on the edge of being swept into some kind of fitness frenzy!

“Maybe”, I thought, “it’s because of the fact that summer’s just around the corner, so it’s a time when many people want to ‘shape the body beautiful’”. However, upon reflection, I think there’s more to it than this.

I’ve never been one to be interested in the body or in physical things as a whole, but now I’m becoming more and more interested.

Money, material possessions and physical health, things that I’ve not shown much interest in, in the past, instead choosing to put my focus into spiritual and emotional development, are becoming increasingly more and more important to me.

For many years I’ve heard about the importance of living a “balanced” life. That we are “Whole” beings – mind, body, spirit and emotion and I guess in some way, I’ve tried to live that, theoretically, but not in actuality.

In theory, if I strive to be mentally, emotionally and spiritually healthy, wealthy and fulfilled, then it would stand to reason that, by default, being physically, materially and financially healthy, wealthy and fulfilled, would be a natural part of the course to living a balance life and honouring myself as a complete and “whole” individual.

I think my new found drive to “define my abs and tone these-ceps and those-ceps” make sense to me when looked at this way – as a part of my bigger journey to fine tune, sculpt and create myself and my life to reflect all parts of who I am.

(c) Prosperity X

Published in: on April 19, 2010 at 6:17 pm  Leave a Comment  
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