Archive: Balance

When I shame you, I shame everyone

I was at an event a few weeks back. I’d been learning something new, and during the feedback period, the teacher shamed me publicly for failing to “get” something she had reminded me of previously. Her words were to the effect: “I’ve told you about this before and you did it again”.

I did what I always do when I get criticized in this way: I put on a brave face, swallow my pride, and take in what she is saying.  I also stuff down any feelings I might have of not being seen, and of being treated like a 12-year-old. It’s an old story for me – a seeming lack of justice. And I could have easily fallen into that particular self-pity hole.

There are 2 important things I learned from this experience:

Even while feeling the warmth of shame, I noticed that I wasn’t alone in feeling this. Everyone else in the room was feeling it too. The sudden silence and lowering of eyes indicated to me that we were all feeling the impact as shame.

That’s the first point: when I shame you in public, I shame everyone else in the room.

The person who shamed me is nice, good, smart, and caring. She’s someone I like and admire. Her intention wasn’t to shame me, but to give me honest feedback. Her mistake was in the way she delivered it.

The second point is that I’ve done the same to others.  I’ve unintentionally shamed another person in front of others, with the same effect – the room goes quiet, eyes turned down.

There are other better ways of delivering a critique. Asking what was going on for the person, providing feedback on how that impacted other participants, followed by a query on what that person believes they can do next time.

Public shaming is rarely justified. It’s painful and leaves people feeling under-empowered.  Far better to learn how to deliver criticism in a way that leaves the other person – and everyone else in the room – energized.

 

Announcements

If you like this blog, you’ll also like my newsletters. It’s written only for my insiders who sign up, and provides weekly insights, not only from me, but from others I admire.

To sign up  for my insider newsletter, click here.  If you find it doesn’t work for you, all you have to do to unsubscribe is click on the link at the bottom of the newsletter.

Looking forward to welcoming you to my growing list of insiders!

Maryanne

 

Maryanne Nicholls is a Registered Psychotherapist.  To find out more, gain access to her weekly newsletter, meditations and programmes, sign up at www.thejoyofliving.co .

Human crabbing

This term – human crabbing – comes from an aeronautical term that refers to the need to deliberately aim above your target destination in order to compensate for the force of wind.  If you aimed directly for your target in a high wind, you would actually end up many degrees off.

Human crabbing is about aiming for the best you can possibly imagine in your life, so that what you end up reaching is at the least pretty good.

It isn’t he same thing as expecting things to turn out perfectly: there’s so much about life that can change along the way. The point is that if you don’t aim for the best, then what you will probably end up with will be way below what you desire.

So, aim high. Higher than you even think possible.

Viktor Frankel

Quote of the Week

“When we treat man as he is we make him worse than he is.
When we treat him as if he already was what he potentially could be
We make him what he should be.”
― Goethe

Announcement

Blog: In case you missed it, here’s my latest blog.

Need more? At times we need more  – we know the logic, know what to do. And yet something is still blocking us.  I offer both one-on-one consultations and coaching packages.  For more information, visit my website www.thejoyofliving.co/services-and-programs or contact me directly at maryanne@thejoyofliving.co . Maryanne Nicholls is a Registered Psychotherapist and Life Coach.  To find out more, gain access to her weekly newsletter, meditations and programmes, sign up at www.thejoyofliving.co.

Moving forward

 

Paulo Coelho said “When you can’t go back, you have to worry only about the best way of moving forward.”  Like most – if not all – of us, he has a story. In his personal story, his parents committed him to a mental institution when he was 17 for 3 years. There were most likely many times where he felt powerless and let the fact that he was victimized overwhelm him. But he ultimately found his own way out of that mire and was able to move in the only direction open to him: forward.

I have a story. It’s different from Paulo Coelho’s. I could have let the pain I suffered overwhelm me. Sometimes I made bad choices because of that pain. Ultimately, though, I moved in the same direction – the only direction – open to me. Forward.

It’s possible to rewrite your story that way, moving forward.

 

Announcements

If you like this blog, you’ll also like my newsletters [link to latest newsletter that’s published in website ] for an sample]. It’s written only for my insiders who sign up, and provides weekly insights, not only from me, but from others I admire.

To sign up for my insider newsletter, click here.  If you find it doesn’t work for you, all you have to do to unsubscribe is click on the link at the bottom of the newsletter.

Looking forward to welcoming you to my growing list of insiders!

Maryanne

 

Maryanne Nicholls is a Registered Psychotherapist.  To find out more, gain access to her weekly newsletter, meditations and programmes, sign up at www.thejoyofliving.co .

Tiny vs Large

I was sitting one recent Sunday morning fretting over something I’ve been involved in, wondering – as I often do – about which possibilities were worth pursuing.  Then, to give my brain a rest, I spent time puzzling over a Suduko game instead.  In Suduko, the objective is to position numbers in such a way that they don’t repeat in any row, column, or square. It really soothes my mind when my mind is worked up. Each to their own!

My strategy when playing this game is to place possibilities in the top corners of individual squares, and certainties for that square in the middle. Inevitably, I would accidentally switch numbers, so that what should have been a 2 beside a 4, for instance, I’d write down as a 4 beside a 2. Then I’d spend time tracing back what I’d done to figure out where that happened.

That particular morning, I did something different. A very small change: I made the possibilities really tiny and the certainties really big. And for once, I didn’t do any accidental switcheroos. So simple a solution, and so powerful a result!

Then I wondered: How could this help me in other ways? You see, I spend much of my time musing over possibilities. In fact, I can get so caught up in them that they are as real as whatever is actual at the time.

What if, instead, I added a degree of separation between possibilities and actualities?
I’m going to try it out, and report back.

What reality?

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Quote of the Week

“Who you are tomorrow begins with what you do today.
― Tim Fargo

Announcement

Blog: In case you missed it, here’s my latest blog.

Need more? At times we need more  – we know the logic, know what to do. And yet something is still blocking us.  I offer both one-on-one consultations and coaching packages.  For more information, visit my website www.thejoyofliving.co/services-and-programs or contact me directly at maryanne@thejoyofliving.co . Maryanne Nicholls is a Registered Psychotherapist and Life Coach.  To find out more, gain access to her weekly newsletter, meditations and programmes, sign up at www.thejoyofliving.co.

Make it Real!

real

I’m a dreamer. I have a vision that is powerful enough to move me in the direction I’m on, and keep me there even when things are tough. I want to make a positive difference in my world, and live what I teach. I want to live happy and teach others to live that way. I also have smaller dreams that propel me forward – every-day dreams that are more like plans, and that go towards feeding my big dream.

When I first tried to articulate my dream, I was surprised to discover that it was vague – so vague that is was almost meaningless.  It took me a while of getting inspiration from different sources – my heroes, writers, spiritual leaders – then writing and trying it out, then rewriting and trying it out again and again, before I felt that what I was saying matched my dream.

Before I was a therapist and coach, I was a project manager, working on big projects with a lot of layers and people. I loved putting it all together, beginning with what was wanted at the end, and moving backwards. Filling in the details – first in broad strokes, then in increasingly finer details.

Even today, I have a daily To Do list. Each item on that list, no matter how mundane, moves me towards my big dream. It’s thrilling to me to watch myself make progress and to write “done” beside each task. It actually adds to my daily and overall joy.

Kelly Corrigan said “You have to speak your dream out loud.”  She’s right! By writing it down or speaking it out loud, you begin to make your dream concrete and real.

What’s your dream?

Announcements

If you like this blog, you’ll also like my newsletters. It’s written only for my insiders who sign up, and provides weekly insights, not only from me, but from others I admire.

To sign up for my insider newsletter, click here.  If you find it doesn’t work for you, all you have to do to unsubscribe is click on the link at the bottom of the newsletter.

Looking forward to welcoming you to my growing list of insiders!

Maryanne

 

Maryanne Nicholls is a Registered Psychotherapist.  To find out more, gain access to her weekly newsletter, meditations and programmes, sign up at www.thejoyofliving.co .

The certainty of change

 change

Some people always have their eyes on some future or present vision. Others are moved more by people and their community – wanting to help those people in some way. Still others are practical, having their eye on what works and doesn’t work.  You’d think that those moved by vision would be less fearful of change.

If you thought so, you’d be wrong.  All of us fear change, even if it also excites us.  Change always involves stepping into the unfamiliar, and that can be dangerous.  For sure, there will be mistakes, errors of judgment and unexpected roadblocks. It will be loaded with uncertainty.

But change is inevitable. It’s the definition of life. It’s movement and process, growth and discovery.

From Robert Redford – “One of the things that will always be inevitable is change, full of both vague uncertainty and brilliant promise.”

 

Announcements

If you like this blog, you’ll also like my newsletters. It’s written only for my insiders who sign up, and provides weekly insights, not only from me, but from others I admire.

To sign up  for my insider newsletter, click here.  If you find it doesn’t work for you, all you have to do to unsubscribe is click on the link at the bottom of the newsletter.

Looking forward to welcoming you to my growing list of insiders!

Maryanne

 

Maryanne Nicholls is a Registered Psychotherapist.  To find out more, gain access to her weekly newsletter, meditations and programmes, sign up at www.thejoyofliving.co .

Pas de deux

Pas de deux

Pas de deux. This dance of life, always between two beings. Making it possible to change and grow.

The charming image of the junior egret learning from its parent … learning, perhaps, how to show off and impress others. How to spread its wings and begin to taste freedom.

We live in a world where growth and life isn’t even possible without this dance. Even if we believe we’ve done it all ourselves, we haven’t. Each one of us have had opportunities provided by others and the world around us.

I’m grateful for the opportunities I’ve been given, and grateful for the chance to provide that for others.

 

Burning the Candle at Both Ends

Opportunities that come our way are only good if we’re ready and open for them.  This means being focused and relaxed – and happy. The opposite of relaxed focus is being anxious or burnt-out.  If you’re experiencing this, you may find my online course Burning the Candle at Both Ends worthwhile.

It’s starting now.  Click here if you’re interested in learning about it.

Grit – the key to Future success

Some fortunate people have loving and mature parents, go to great schools, and get initiated into the adult world with the support of amazing mentors.  Some – not all – of those lucky few make a terrific life for themselves and, hopefully, others.

The rest of us aren’t so fortunate. And yet, more of us end up succeeding in spite of the odds against us than anyone would expect.

But predictors of future success provide statistical odds only.  The real predictor is youYourcommitment to your own future, your self-regard, and your ability to see what’s real and possible.

Mostly though, it’s your conviction: your conviction that what you seek is possible for you to achieve, and worth staying with. In the end, it might not turn out the way you imagined, but it will happen.  That kind of stick-with-it-ness is sometimes called resilience, and sometimes called grit.

Angela Duckworth distinguishes resilience from grit (view the video below).  She’s discovered that a key predictor to future success is gritGrit is consistent effort, combined with passion, for a particular goal, that is strong enough to overcome obstacles or challenges that are in the way to the realization of that goal.

In other words, the goal has to be worthy to the person trying to achieve it. And the person trying to achieve it has to feel worthy of achieving that goal

A person with grit is in it for the long-term and knows that to achieve her goal involves a marathon, not a sprint.

So the bottom line is to hang in there, sometimes putting one foot in front of the other, and keep faith in yourself and your abilities.

The Power of Passion and Preservation

My online program begins Oct 8th, but you can still register until October 14th! It’s a program for addressing stress and anxiety with plenty of support …


Click here to register.

 
Quote of the Week

“…there are no shortcuts to excellence. Developing real expertise, figuring out really hard problems, it all takes time―longer than most people imagine….you’ve got to apply those skills and produce goods or services that are valuable to people….Grit is about working on something you care about so much that you’re willing to stay loyal to it…it’s doing what you love, but not just falling in love―staying in love.
― Angela Duckworth

Announcement

Blog: In case you missed it, here’s my latest blog.

Need more? At times we need more  – we know the logic, know what to do. And yet something is still blocking us.  I offer both one-on-one consultations and coaching packages.  For more information, visit my website www.thejoyofliving.co/services-and-programs or contact me directly at maryanne@thejoyofliving.co . Maryanne Nicholls is a Registered Psychotherapist and Life Coach.  To find out more, gain access to her weekly newsletter, meditations and programmes, sign up at www.thejoyofliving.co.

Crazy-Making

Imagine this: you’ve leant your best friend your cherished slow cooker; she knows how much you value it. Even so, it eventually comes back broken.  When confronted with the obvious, she either denies anything happened at her end, or swears it was already broken. If she’s really in a bad way, she might deny borrowing it altogether and that she happened to find it at her place.

Sadly, my mother was notorious for doing this. Happily, not my friends. Mom would go one step further: next time she asked to borrow something, and I said no because of what happened the time before, she would deny denying she’d done anything the first time.

It drove me crazy. Especially because I’d be like Charlie Brown with Lucy: I’d fall for it as any insane person would, believing in my heart that this time would be different.

Seth Godin calls this Kettle logic. He suggests that the person using it is really reacting emotionally instead of logically.

I can’t be sure of that, but I do know that it’s useless to try and reason with them.  Instead, what I really need to do is understand why I keep falling for it and do something about that!

You see, it is emotional on my side. And once I can come to terms with what’s going on with me, then I can deal with what’s going on with my friend.

With my Mom, I wanted her to be accountable in a way she couldn’t be. It wasn’t until I understood who she was that I was able to stop putting us both into that particular dance. You see, it wasn’t just her. It was both of us, playing out a familiar song that had, long ago, run its course.

Declaring someone else insane

It’s not your mind that’s letting you down. It’s your spirit …

Are you starting to feel you’re loosing it, that you’re alone in this. And the deeper you dig and the harder you try to get things right, it only makes things worse. Well, you aren’t alone. At least a third of us are with you.

You know you need to do something differently, and you’re on it. But the real problem isn’t what you do and don’t know – you’re pretty good at working through things intellectually.
It isn’t your brain that’s letting you down. It’s your spirit.

In my program Burning the Candle at Both Endswe go on a spiritual journey together, looking at what’s really at the heart of perfectionism and stress in your life, and discovering ways that truly help to turn it around for you.

Registration is now open for October. Register now!

 
Quote of the Week

“A question that sometimes drives me hazy: am I or are the others crazy?” ― Albert Einstein

Announcement

Blog: In case you missed it, here’s my latest blog.

Need more? At times we need more  – we know the logic, know what to do. And yet something is still blocking us.  I offer both one-on-one consultations and coaching packages.  For more information, visit my website www.thejoyofliving.co/services-and-programs or contact me directly at maryanne@thejoyofliving.co . Maryanne Nicholls is a Registered Psychotherapist and Life Coach.  To find out more, gain access to her weekly newsletter, meditations and programmes, sign up at www.thejoyofliving.co.

Excitement without oxygen

 

Dr. Margherita Lobb, in a recent talk on Anxiety, defined anxiety as “excitement without oxygen”.  In a visceral way, we can all relate to this: if you’ve experienced anxiety, it’s hard to breathe.  In fact, when anxious, a person either stops breathing, or begins to breath fast and shallow, filling only the upper part of their lungs.

We are excited, and we aren’t filling our lungs with oxygen.

Ms. Lobb then goes on to lay out what happens to our body when we’re in this state: when we deprive our body of oxygen, we must necessarily disconnect. This means we detach our bodies from our brains. To understand this, remember when you were last anxious and what it felt like. The rapid heart-beat, sweaty palms, shallow breathing; but also the mental preoccupation that begins to take over and spirals out of control if we let it.  This is what disconnection feels like. The mental take-over.

Knowing and understanding this is power, because this knowledge is key to reversing the effects of anxiety.

Here’s how:

  • Slow and deep: If we detach through shallow breathing, we can counter it by breathing deeply and slowly.
  • Bra-strap breathing. A “trick” I learned a few years ago and now share with my clients is to do what one client dubbed “bra-strap breathing”: imagine breathing into that area of your back where a woman’s bra strap usually sits, just below the shoulder blades; then breathe out slowly, pushing the sensation down to your belly button. If you take more time breathing out than you did breathing in, then you will also activate your parasympathetic nervous system, responsible for calming and relaxing.
  • Ground yourself… by focusing on your feet connecting with the ground beneath you. This will literally lower your centre of gravity and provide stability.

The next time you experience anxiety, try these three things – slow and deep breaths, bra strap breathing, and grounding your feet – and feel the difference.

 

Announcements

If you like this blog, you’ll also like my newsletters. It’s written only for my insiders who sign up, and provides weekly insights, not only from me, but from others I admire.

To sign up for my insider newsletter, click here.  If you find it doesn’t work for you, all you have to do to unsubscribe is click on the link at the bottom of the newsletter.

Looking forward to welcoming you to my growing list of insiders!

Maryanne

 

Maryanne Nicholls is a Registered Psychotherapist.  To find out more, gain access to her weekly newsletter, meditations and programmes, sign up at www.thejoyofliving.co .