2016 was a very stressful and tumultuous year. With the crazy election and the bad blood that just won’t go away, it is easy to stay in a high-alert state for the remainder of 2017. Don’t fall into the same old bad habits, take control! Break the cycle and have a more positive year, despite what’s going on around you.
1. Ignoring Your Feelings
There is no doubt about it, the election is over but all of the conflict and controversy continues. Don’t let it rule your life. If you are feeling stress and it has nothing to do with what’s going on in your life, take a step back and pinpoint what the cause is. With today’s society of “in-your-face” journalism, it’s easy to get caught up in any drama playing out online, on the airwaves or on TV. The first step is to admit your feelings. Sometimes it’s as simple as that. There is no one in the world who is happy and carefree all the time. Having a range of emotions is normal after all. Even, the “negative” emotions serve a purpose.
Anger or fear can protect you from harm. Sadness enables you to relate to others or remember important relationships that are gone or have changed. It’s keeping them in check that is the challenge. You don’t want to fly off the handle at a moment’s notice, but you don’t want to be a “pushover” who allows others to walk all over you. When feelings are ignored (especially the negative ones like anxiety, anger, frustration etc.) they get pushed down deep and begin to fester. This is nothing but bad news.
So, break the habit of ignoring your feelings. Feel them, but also take steps to address them when they are the cause of stress and unhappiness. If something is going on that you are only an observer of and it makes you feel stress, walk away, close your app, change the channel or put down your electronics altogether. Even it it is only a moment, the break from the source of your stress can help turn the tide for your entire day.
2. Not Asking for Help
We’ve all heard inspiration quotes like the following:
“Teamwork Makes the Dream Work”
But what does that really mean? It means we are strong together than we are by ourselves! Bigger ideas can be uncovered during teamwork activities than can ever be uncovered by any one person.
Trying to do everything is not a good policy. You can get run down, make mistakes and isolate yourself unnecessarily from others. The most successful people in life depend on others. That’s not an opinion, that is a fact. We as humans are social creatures after all, learning from one another and growing as individuals as a result.
In our success driven society we’ve been told that asking for help is a sign of weakness. However, when you apply that philosophy to inventors and great minds throughout history “going it alone” is not how great success has been achieved. In a previous blog, Is Asking for Help a Sign of Weakness or Strength?, we explored how strength is actually gained when asking for help because the ego is taken out of the equation. When the ego is not clouding the creative or problem solving processes, much more can be achieved. In other words, the problem, issue or task becomes the focus, not the individual. This enables great things to be uncovered.
So when you get bogged down at work or in your personal life, ASK FOR HELP! Don’t struggle unnecessarily, reach out to a colleague, friend or partner and ask for assistance. After all, you can do anything, just not everything!
3. Being Unreliable
“There is not much we can count on today”. I don’t know how many times I hear that during a week, but I do and what a sad state of affairs to live under! Being late, not doing what you say, somewhere along the way, these became acceptable behaviors. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not going back on what I said about asking for help, on the contrary. Ask for help when needed, but always, always follow through on a promise. I’m talking about being personally accountable.
When you are personally accountable, you become reliable to others. It’s important to be considered reliable. Talk about the easiest way to set yourself apart, this is it! Why? Because not many people have personal honor codes anymore, that’s why. If you say you’ll be there at 8 am, be there at 8 am or follow up prior to that time if you aren’t able to make that promise. Yes, I said promise. When you state something that you’ll do, it’s a promise. Don’t give others a reason to doubt your promises. Follow through, no matter what.
4. Not Taking Time Out for Yourself
If you’ve ever flown on a commercial airline you’ve heard the part of the safety speech “in case of loss of air pressure to the cabin…”. During this part of the speech, the flight attendants say to “secure your oxygen mask FIRST, before helping others”. Basically the flight attendant is saying, if you pass out from lack of oxygen, you will not be able to help others. This can be applied to your everyday life.
Burnout is a dangerous thing if left unchecked. A sure road to burnout is not taking time out for yourself everyday. It doesn’t mean you have to meditate, uninterrupted for one hour everyday! But, to be physically and mentally healthy you must put yourself first from time to time. It can only be small moments within your hectic workday to reset and recharge yourself. For example, listen to soothing music in your car or sit in your favorite chair at home close your eyes for a minute before you help with homework or start dinner. Whatever moment you can make just for you, do it at least twice a day.
Another good personal rule to follow is to never leave a vacation day on the table. No one ever went to their grave saying “I wished I worked more!”. The world won’t end if you leave the office for a couple of days, I promise! Take time to recharge. Remember to “put your oxygen mask on first” and you’ll be in a better position to help others around you.
Take Your Team to New Heights with Fun Team Building
Larry Lipman has facilitated team building activities for educators, sales professionals, and management personnel through fun team building games like ropes course for team bonding for over 20 years! . Call Larry today at 770-333-3303 for your free 15-minute consultation.