Pay Attention

As a Mom, I feel like I’m always saying “pay attention!” With two toddlers who were born into a family that I swear is genetically predisposed to always knock things over, trip, whack our heads/elbows/knees on anything we walk by and just generally prove to the world that we fully comprehend what “klutz” means, “pay attention” is one of my go-to phrases.

I was thinking about this a lot over this past weekend, in particular. In addition to the normal reminders to pay attention as my almost 2-year old tried to step off a stool that was much higher than he realized and my 3-year old marched confidently into a parking lot without looking both ways, there were a few other moments. In fact, a few big things happened and honestly? None of it was a surprise.

I admit that I had a hard time wrapping my head around how such big news could have such little impact on me. Why didn’t I feel more upset? More hurt? More angry? More frustrated? More stressed?

That’s when I realized: it’s because I’m paying attention.

My 3-year old’s tantrums and selective hearing? It’s a developmental leap.

My husband’s grumpy behavior? He’s overtired as he approaches the end of his most recent busy season.

Another issue with the house? That’s just what comes with home ownership.

Gaining greater awareness is more than being aware of what you’re thinking and feeling. It’s about being both self- and world- aware, of watching and paying attention to what’s happening around you. It’s about being aware of what’s happening in yourself and in others. It’s being cognizant of changes.

When you learn how to be aware, you open yourself to getting more information about any situation. With greater information, you create the ability to use that information to make wiser, more intentional decisions. You create the ability to respond instead of react. The same stuff still happens, but now you are different and calmer when it happens.

So when you learn to stop and notice, then choose your response with intention, fewer things can rattle you and, as a result, you improve your responses.

Take Action
We often encourage our clients to start their self-discovery work by learning how to tune in to themselves. Once they’ve achieved this step, we move on to world-awareness, of paying attention to what’s happening around us. Take 10 minutes today to just observe. Observe you: your feelings, thoughts and actions. Observe your world: what is going on around you. Then take a moment to ask yourself, how can you bring your best to the situations, events and people in your world?

By Kristin Allaben

Consider reading Unhinged – How Do You Act When Things Don’t Go Your Way?

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Finding Your Fit: Don’t Forget You

The Forte Factor is focused on helping our clients discover, develop and live their strengths. This means equipping them with knowledge and tools to help them make informed decisions about what is the right fit for them. To do so requires intentional learning – learning who you are, understanding your strengths and passions and recognizing your liabilities. Having a better understanding of each of these pieces gives you the opportunity to get a more complete picture of yourself.

When you truly know who you are, what gets you excited, what you shy away from, what fires you up – that’s when you are fully capable of identifying the right fit for you in work and life. You’re better able to define happiness and success and work toward achieving it.

Kristin Allaben, Certified Greatness Zone Coach and COO, The Forte Factor

Kristin Allaben is an example of this approach to finding her fit. You may know her as a Certified Greatness Zone Coach and COO of The Forte Factor, but she followed an interesting path to get here.

Q: What did you go to school for?

I went to Bentley University and got my degree in Information Design and Corporate Communication with a minor in Psychology. I absolutely loved every class I took specific to my major and minor. I always looked forward to class, and never thought of homework or projects as work. I knew this is what I wanted to do, but I didn’t know what it could look like for a career until I stumbled on a PR internship and fell in love with the industry.

Q: What did you love about it?

The fast-paced days. The need to always be on and capable of thinking creatively and strategically. The need to be able to do things quickly and efficiently, to shift gears at a moment’s notice, if needed. The importance of being organized to ensure things always ran smoothly.

Q: What made you leave?

I worked at Schwartz Communications for the better part of my career and absolutely loved every moment of it. Sure, there were hard days – I certainly won’t pretend that’s not the case, just like at any job – but I was passionate about the work and was lucky enough to be able to take advantage of a number of opportunities there. I moved to a different agency shortly after the company was acquired and started to think about the future, beyond promotions and career status. My husband and I just bought a house and we were thinking family, dog, etc. I started to think the demanding role I was so passionate about might not allow for the future I had envisioned. So, I considered other options, including how I could keep doing PR but on a less demanding schedule. I took a job doing in-house PR, working for one company instead of managing multiple client engagements at a firm. It was perhaps the best move I made because it was most definitely a bad fit situation. It forced me to reflect on what it was that I loved about the PR world, and if it was something I really wanted to keep doing.

Q: How did you decide what to do next?

Believe it or not, I actually turned to The Forte Factor and took the Talent Assessment. I felt like I had been so focused on moving my career forward that I needed to reconnect with myself, to be sure I was staying true to what I really loved to do and what I was really good at. That last part played a big role in every decision I made from that point forward. I had forgotten to combine what I loved to do with what I was good at.

Q: When did you discover that your calling was doing something else? What did you do about it?

The work I did to reflect and reintroduce myself to me helped me realize something big. One of my greatest strengths is organization. Working in the PR world, organization was critical to ensure clients showed up to where they needed to be on time, and that you never forgot the key details from any conversation you had, among other things. But often, my organization became a joke. I was often told that my need to keep things organized kept me too bogged down, preventing me from being truly strategic or creative, and that it would hinder my opportunity to grow any further. And that’s when I realized that I needed to find something that combined my talents (being organized, being focused) with my passion (helping people, communication, telling stories).

And that’s when I discovered being a Coach was the right fit for me. This, combined with my role as the COO at The Forte Factor, brings together so many of my strengths, talents and passions.

Q: Who are your role models?

I have a variety of role models for different reasons. Though I know it’s cliché to highlight my parents as role models, they really are. My Mom is a huge role model; she raised my sisters and me as a single mother and somehow we all made it out alive (and each of us credit her for the independent women we have become). I look at my Dad as a role model who bravely followed his true self and made big decisions to be happy in work and life. I see my kids as role models because they remind me that feeling every emotion is ok and good, and they remind me that life goes by too fast to worry about the small things (all the time). And my husband because he consistently amazes me with the ability to balance an extremely high-demanding and stressful job with being an amazing husband and father, and making it look easy.

Q: What is one thing you are still working on that you know you can do better?

I’m quick to judge and quick to react. I’m working hard to remember to respond instead of react, and I’ll be the first to admit it’s a work in progress! Some days, it comes much easier than others.

Q: What’s one piece of advice you’d give to someone who may not feel like they’re in the right fit job or position in life? What can they do to find their right fit?

Take some time to get to know you. Reflect on the things that are working right now and the things that aren’t. Are there areas where you feel stuck? Why do you feel that way? Are there areas where you are genuinely happy? Why? Reintroduce yourself to you. You’ll be amazed what you can uncover.

Could you benefit from some life coaching? Contact us to get started with a free, 15-minute introductory call.

Consider reading Are You The Great Pretender?

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Here’s Your Permission Slip

What’s holding you back? What’s keeping you from doing what you want? From pursuing your dream(s)? From living your best life?

I’m here to tell you those obstacles don’t exist for you anymore. I’m wiping them away for you. In fact, here is your permission slip to be who you authentically are. To identify what makes you happy and go get it. To define what success is to you and to make it happen. To step out of the role you’ve been siloed into so you can redefine what you want your life to be.

Here is your permission slip to be yourself.

Our world is full of voices telling us what we should look like, who we can love, what we’re supposed to do with our lives. What’s considered acceptable for who we are, based on the world’s definition of us.

But what if, with this permission slip, you decide to take a stand? What if you decide that what the world dictates is not right for you? What if you decide to find your own happy? How will you change? And with that change, what can you now bring to the world?

Remember this quote from Buckminster Fuller, a 20th century inventor and visionary: “What is it on this planet that needs doing that I know something about that probably won’t happen unless I take responsibility for it?”

You are responsible for every decision you make. Your life is yours to live. Here’s your permission slip. Go live it.

Take Action
Take 10 minutes today to ask yourself these three questions:

  1. What makes a good day for me?
  2. What makes me happy?
  3. When do I feel successful?

Look at your answers. Do they align to the life you’re living? If not, take your permission slip, and make it happen.

By Kristin Allaben

Consider reading Unhinged – How Do You Act When Things Don’t Go Your Way

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Hindsight is 20/20

In just a few short months, it will be 2020. It’s pretty amazing considering so many of us can vividly remember the “Y2K scare” as we anxiously awaited what we thought would be the world shutting down. How is that already 20 years ago?

Time flies by. I remember my parents saying time only goes by faster as you get older and I completely get it now, especially as I watch my two little boys figuring our their world and we count down the weeks for baby boy #3 to join us. I swear I just blink and a year goes by.

But almost simultaneously, I wonder how it’s possible that so much has changed in such little time. My passions and talents still remain the same, but the things that matter most to me have varied and, as a result, the way I do things and the reason I do things have changed.

We talk a lot about how life likes to present us with both opportunities and challenges, and both are great teachers when you learn where to see the lesson. Next year, I think we’ll start to see and hear the phrase “hindsight is 20/20” a lot as people look to explain away a mistake or a poor decision they’ve made.

So, before the phrase becomes overused to a fault, I’m taking a stand: “hindsight is 20/20” should never be an excuse. It should never be the reason why you believe something could have been done better or differently.

As a coach, I guide my clients to learn from their past but to spend more time in their present. With greater awareness in this moment, more options become available and possibilities increase. Spending time dwelling on the past distracts you from today, the place and time where life is happening.

So, instead of “hindsight is 20/20,” I’m encouraging everyone to replace it with a more productive phrase: 20/20 vision. This is about seeing clearly, not looking back. Though there are lessons when we review our past, what is more valuable is to be fully tuned in and present in the moment – to have 20/20 vision today. That takes effort, intention and commitment. It requires getting past habits and routines and seeing things new and fresh.

So, as we approach 2020, don’t think to yourself, “well, hindsight is 20/20 and I should have done XYZ.” Instead, use it as a reminder to bring your best and clearest vision to your day. Have 20/20 vision as you look at where you are and what is possible. Use this to see things clearly and to get energized for all that life can offer.

Let’s get started.

Take Action
Challenge yourself to take 10 minutes out of your day to create three lists. On one list, write down everything you love to do. On the second list, write down everything you’re really good at. And on the last list, write down everything that really matters to you.

You’ll discover that the real challenge is not to find the time to do it, but instead to avoid using each list to create the next one. There may be some overlap, but the point of this exercise is to illustrate that, for example, you may have existing passions (what you love to do) and talents (what you’re really good at) that are aligned but you may never have considered exploring as a job, career or hobby.

Let the term 20/20 not make you focus on hindsight, but rather be an inspiration to see clearly today. See the real you. Define what makes you happy. Find your fit in today’s world. Then go make it happen.

By Kristin Allaben

Consider reading Managing Your Self-Talk

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When Too Much is Just Too Much

Overwhelmed. Stressed. Reaching your limit. Frustrated. About to explode. Need a break.

Sound familiar?

I’ll be honest: last week was not a great week for me. Every day, I found myself adding more items to my task list than I was crossing off, and each item seemed more challenging than the rest. It could have been because of the sheer magnitude of my growing list. It could have been because of how little was actually in my control. It could be that I only have so many waking hours to tackle these tasks.

By the end of the week, I felt extremely deflated. I felt like I brought by B-game to all of my tasks, whether it was at work, at home, to my kids, to my husband.

I was overwhelmed. I was tired. I was frustrated.

I felt like this was a good learning experience to share with you. Remember this: feeling these things is not right or wrong, good or bad. You’re allowed to feel and experience every emotion. One of my favorite things Jay says is that “it’s ok to visit these feelings, but don’t move in.”

You’re human and sometimes, life can present you with a slew of challenges that you’re not mentally ready to solve or handle. You can feel overwhelmed. You can feel angry. You can feel sad.

But like Jay says, visit but don’t move in. Let yourself feel and experience the emotion. Venting is not solving, but let yourself vent for a moment and set a timer for yourself if you think you need the extra reminder to stop after, say, 5 minutes. Vent, scream, cry, swear – do whatever you need to do in those 5 minutes. But when the timer goes off, no more venting. It’s time to solve. Refocus. Shift your energy and take control of what you can control.

In fact, all of the experiences of last week served as a good reminder for me to check-in with myself about not only my strengths and talents, but also my triggers and limits.

At 30-weeks pregnant in the thick of the summer with two toddlers who like to test their limits, my fuse is a little shorter (though I would like it to be different, for now it just isn’t). What I can realistically accomplish during the waking hours of the day isn’t the same as what it was even four weeks ago. The workouts and sleep patterns I was previously able to hold myself accountable to are no longer feasible. There. I said it out loud.

This was my stop and notice moment. This is when I realized that the reason I felt overwhelmed, tired and frustrated for most of the previous week was because I hit my task threshold long before I realized I did.

Your task threshold is what you can realistically achieve based on who you are in this exact moment and in this exact situation. It changes because you change and your situations change. One week, you may find yourself able to tackle significant items without batting an eye. Another week, you may find yourself saying “no” more than “yes” to keep your task threshold to the smallest number of items as possible.

When you are aware enough to notice when you need to adjust your task threshold to ensure your mental well-being, you’ll find you don’t spend as much time feeling frustrated, angry and sad, because you understand how to be in this moment. You can therefore move to a higher and more productive energy level.

Take Action
Remember to check-in with yourself when you’re feeling overwhelmed, tired or stressed. Sometimes it is just you. Sometimes you are over-committed – you’ve hit your task threshold without realizing it. Be committed to your own mental well-being by checking in and being kind with yourself. Remember, experiencing your emotions is great. Just limit how much time you spend with the negative emotions. They can wear you out and help you miss the many great things going on in this moment of life.

By Kristin Allaben

Consider reading When “I Quit” is the Best Thing to Do

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Know Your Limits (Guardrails)

We talk a lot about discovering, developing and using your unique strengths to have the life you want. It’s so ingrained in the way we coach that it’s written right into our title! And by making the effort to know yourself – your strengths and liabilities – you also create awareness of your limits, something we refer to as your guardrails. Your guardrails help you identify the edges of what you consider acceptable.

For example, if you value authenticity, you encourage yourself and others to be who they really are. So, when you see others being manipulated to be or act against their own values or beliefs, it challenges or triggers you.

Notice the word trigger. Though it typically has a negative connotation, when you have great self-awareness, it becomes an opportunity. You may be triggered to move toward action. Your opportunity exists in the action you choose: do you respond or do you react?

Responding is an intentional action. You’ve thought about the situation and your possible responses and picked the one that you think makes the most sense for the situation.

Reacting is immediate with little or no thought to how to make the situation better or any unintended consequences that may result.

I think your guardrails fall into three buckets:

  • Physical – you are aware of your health and physical condition and identify what is acceptable and not acceptable for you. You may want to run a marathon but until you are fully aware of your physical abilities, you won’t know how to wisely train or to recognize (read: admit) there may be another more appropriate activity.
  • Mental – you are aware of what you will put up with and not put up with in the way friends, family, colleagues and strangers treat you. Being aware of this helps you manage your response(s) so you can intentionally choose how to respond in any situation.
  • Personal – you are aware of who you are, and what you want and don’t want to have a happy, successful and responsible life. Being aware of this helps you to choose your response to any situation more intentionally and wisely.

Understanding your guardrails gives you clarity in a world that challenges you to make yourself fit, a world that sometimes pushes things on you that are different than what you want for yourself. But to successfully leverage the clarity your guardrails provide, to understand how to recognize your physical, mental and personal limits, you need to properly define your guardrails. Consider your values and beliefs as a starting point; they are there to help you maneuver through life.

Take Action
Make a list of your guardrails. Start by considering your values and beliefs – what you consider acceptable behavior for yourself and for others. Now make a list of your triggers. Ask yourself what’s happening in your world – whether on a large scale (national or global) or local scale (family, friends or work) – that makes you feel angry, frustrated or sad. Notice where those lists overlap. Where do you find your values and beliefs are challenged and how can you make a greater effort to intentionally choose your response to generate a more productive outcome?

By Kristin Allaben

Consider reading Learning How to Be Self-Managed

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Staying Connected by Being Accountable

I was talking to a friend of mine who told me that each day, she and her husband put time aside to share three big moments, two things they each want to improve on, and two things that didn’t get done that day. She explained that in doing so, it helps them stay focused on what they want to improve on while not losing sight of the good things that happened that day, things that can be easily forgotten or overlooked when life takes over. In short, this is how they stay aware and mindful.

Outstanding practical wisdom. I thought this was an amazing way to not only remain connected with your partner, but to also hold each other accountable for how you want your day, week, month or even your life to be. They embrace their roles as accountability partners.

I often find that not having an accountability partner is one of the reasons why people have a hard time achieving their goals.. It’s so easy to allow yourself to slip off course with a simple, “I’ll do it tomorrow” or the casual, “I will make it up.” Just think of the number of good-intentioned New Year’s resolutions that don’t make it to the end of January.

So, as you define new goals for yourself, however large or small they may be, consider identifying an accountability partner and sharing those goals with that partner. Whether it’s a spouse, a friend, a family member, a colleague or a coach, ask your accountability partner to check-in with you to help you stay on task and to live your commitments that will keep you moving in a productive direction.

Combine this with small, actionable and easy-to-measure goals and you’ll find even reaching your stretch goals becomes more manageable and easier to achieve.

Take Action
Consider how you can implement a 3-2-2 approach to your day, like the one I shared in the opening paragraph. Maybe it’s done in the morning as you set your intentions for the day, allowing you to reflect on the good things from the day before. Maybe it’s done right before bed so you can focus on the good before closing your eyes. Maybe it’s a standing lunch date to help you stop and notice what’s happening in and around you.

Whatever the approach, consider how your life could look when you add an accountability partner to help you stay on the right path toward achieving your goals.

By Kristin Allaben

Consider reading Be Someone’s Hero

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How to Make the Most of Tough Situations

So many times in life, we get irritated, aggravated or stuck by what is going on. It could be the back-up on the highway that has you sitting in traffic. It could be rain on a day you planned a family backyard outing. It could be the promotion that was given to another employee.

These are examples of life events that sometimes don’t go our way. And for many, this starts or continues the downward spiral of disappointment and knee-jerk reactions. With this mindset, you can only focus on what is lacking or disappointing about life or work.

Those who experience these frustrations, aggravations and disappointments in life can take it out on themselves with negative self-talk or negative behaviors (i.e. drinking, buying things to feel better), or they can take it out on others by being short, critical or downright mean.

I get it. You feel bad when things don’t go your way. We all do. It’s how you manage these feelings and behaviors that helps you both stay productive and be happy, regardless of what work or life sends.

As a coach, I see this situation a lot. Blocks, challenges and disappointments are frequent reasons people approach me for coaching. They want to develop ways to navigate around these challenges and blocks so they can feel more in control, better able to perform at their job or be more present in their relationships. They don’t want to be activated by the negative events that can sometimes be part of our days. They want to be responsive instead of reactive. These are all things coaching can help with.

To help yourself out of being frustrated, aggravated or irritated, and some of the negative feelings behviors like this can inspire, consider this one-two approach that I share with my clients.

  1. Stop and notice what you are feeling. Give it a name. Label the emotion and why you are feeling it. It could be I am frustrated because this traffic is going to add an additional 30 minutes to my commute. It could be I am disappointed in myself for not being more confident and enthusiastic in my interview, so I was passed over for the promotion. It could be I am aggravated that all the great work to create the fun backyard party will go unnoticed now that it is in the garage. With these, you become clear of what you feel and why you feel it.
  2. Ask “How can I turn this into something good?” This starts to shift the energy off the hurt, disappointment and other catabolic emotions and on to more positive outcomes. How else could I use my time in the car since I am stuck in this traffic back up? How can I be more prepared for the next promotion opportunity? How can we have fun together regardless if we are outside in the backyard or in a garage? Change the energy. Change the focus. See what’s possible with what you have instead of what you wanted.

There is always more right than wrong if we learn to focus on what’s possible or what else could be done to turn anything from down to up. How you show up to the events of life is up to you. You can be down when they don’t go your way, or you can say, since this is what is going on, what else could happen here? What good things are possible now?

Take Action
This week, stop and notice when you are frustrated, aggravated or irritated. Understand it. Then shift it. Ask, “how can I turn this to good?” Soon the frustrations and their negative cousins of aggravation and irritation will hang around less. They will be replaced with contentment, acceptance and even happiness. I see it happen all the time.

By Jay Forte

Consider reading Managing Your Self-Talk

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Stop Putting People in Boxes

You don’t like ___________ (insert group/person/identity) because they _____________ (fill in what aggravates you).

You may find that you fill in the first blank with terms like Republicans, gays, Mexicans, women, Jews, rich people – or any of the words you routinely add as you make a comment about someone else. The second blank may include things like they aren’t capable, they are bad, they are selfish, they are hypocrites. It’s like a bad game of MadLibs.

Try it out. How many of these phrases would you create?  How many people aggravate you and, therefore, you’ve grouped them into a category and decided you don’t like them? Moreover, where do these feelings come from?

Most of the time, we label people to help us see how different we are from others. Because if we are different, there is room for hate, judgment and critique. We decide that we are better, wiser, greater or something more than others. We use it to advance ourselves at the expense of others. In most of these situations, and I see this in my coaching, there is no foundation for the hatred or judgment other than an assumption (you saw a person act this way in the past and now all people like this act like this) or an interpretation (someone told you something and you now believe it to be true).

More hatred has been spread around by assumptions and interpretations than by any other methods. We fill in the stories to justify our perspectives to keep the hate, bias or bigotry going.

When we put people in boxes, we limit who they are. We group them with some attribute that limits their humanity, their intrinsic greatness, their ability to deliver their special abilities to the world. We think that the world should look and act as we think it should because our version is right and theirs is wrong.

Labels shortchange others and it shortchanges our world. If you don’t see what is possible in others, it oftentimes affects their ability to see what’s possible in themselves. The immigrant who was well accomplished in his own country but is now limited to menial roles. The woman who is an exceptional manager and leader but who is passed over for promotions because she is a woman. The avoided conversations that lead to a poor relationship with a friend who votes in one political party because you don’t share those beliefs.

We don’t encourage the best in ourselves and from others when we use labels on people. Labels are demeaning, limiting and unproductive. Instead, be on the lookout for others’ abilities, talents, strengths and passions. See what’s right with them instead of what you think is wrong with them. It takes practice because our habits are to judge, critique and find fault.

But since these unproductive behaviors are learned, is it also possible that we could learn that it is both better and more effective to understand, support and love? Not only will you feel better in your days, but you will help others do the same. And from that place, they are more willing and able to bring their best to all they do. The result is we have better lives and a better world.

Take Action
Review the first sentence of this blog. Fill in the blanks with as many as make sense for you to help you see what labels and judgments you make. Don’t justify them; just see them. Then consider how you will intentionally work to eliminate them, and to notice how you are changed when you do. Remember that the world will continue to remind you to keep your biases and judgment, so you will have to be more aware, more intentional and stronger to get rid of them. And you will build something bigger and better when you learn to keep people out of boxes and learn to see others’ intrinsic abilities and potential.    

By Jay Forte

Consider reading See the Bigger Picture

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Unhinged – How Do You Act When Things Don’t Go Your Way?

Your flight has been delayed. You have a meltdown in the airport and yell at an airline employee. Unhinged.

You and a fellow colleague have a disagreement about how to handle something in the workplace. It escalates into a screaming match, laced with profanities. Unhinged.

Stopped at a light, you look down to check your phone and the light changes from red to green. The driver behind you lays on the horn, flips you a gesture and screams at you. As you start to drive, he passes you, glares at you and mouths some profanities. Unhinged.

Your son was out with a group of his friends and was caught throwing apples from a local apple tree at cars as they drove by. You scream, rant and pace as you address this with your son. Your son yells back. Unhinged.

So many people let the little aggravations, irritations and frustrations of life bring them to a meltdown. They scream, yell, swear, blame, insult and a boatload of other bad behaviors. I call that being unhinged. They haven’t learned how to be calm, respectful, resilient and responsible in a world they have to share with others, a world that sometimes includes things that don’t go as planned. 

There has been much talk of mindfulness in recent years. Good. We need it. Mindfulness is the process of learning to be present to what is going on and then responding (vs reacting) calmly and with intention in a way that makes the next moment, interaction, conversation, response better.

We need mindfulness because most of us are in habit mode – simply reacting to the events of life – and unaware that we are stuck doing the same unproductive behaviors over and over. We can’t even see that we are unhinged. It is important for us to learn how to stop to notice what is going on to then assess what is an effective outcome and how it can be achieved.  

See, until you learn that your responses are always up to you (no one makes you do anything. Things happen and you react or, when things happen, you more mindfully, intentionally and wisely respond). Getting from one to the other is the key to living a happy, successful and responsible life.

So, how do you become more mindful and less unhinged?

First, develop your ability to be aware. You can’t manage what you can’t see. Take a breath in each situation, such as when your flight is delayed, you have a difference of opinion with a colleague, someone is slow to respond to a green light, your kid does something inappropriate. Then, look to understand the situation, your emotions and the outcome you want. In this exact moment, ask yourself this question (a question I ask all CEOs to consider in the situations of their days): Who do I have to be and how do I have to act in this moment to get the outcome I want? It helps you shift from habit to intention. In that moment, you become less reactive. You see you don’t need to lose your cool as it won’t improve the situation or give you the outcome you want. You don’t become unhinged.

Here is the best part. When you are less unhinged and more self-managed, people respond to you differently. Look at those who are routinely unhinged, out of control and self-unmanaged. They aggravate, intimidate and ruin the relationships with those around them. Unhinged parents limit their relationships with their kids. Unhinged managers create disengaged employees who leave when they can. Unhinged spouses and partners end up in dysfunctional relationships or divorces. How likely are you to stay in a relationship with someone who is out of control or continually unhinged?

We see it in life, in the workplace and certainly in the government. Until you take control of yourself to respond differently to the irritations, aggravations and frustrations of work, life and relationships, you will find yourself unhinged, melting down over little things and aggravating yourself and those around you.

Take Action
Stop and notice the last time something got you to scream, rant, yell or be unhinged. Don’t justify your actions, simply understand the situation that inspired your reaction. Now consider, what other responses you could have had in the moment where you focused on the outcome, not on the reaction. For you to get a better outcome, you will need to develop your self-management. See it to start to change it.

Life is as it is – it will always have its challenges. However, if you take the time to choose your response, you will limit the time you feel and act unhinged.

By Jay Forte

Consider reading This Can’t Be It, Right?

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