Change

How to Redefine Success After Life Throws You a Curveball

This is the story about one of the most humbling experiences of my life, and what I learned from it.

After you’ve lived through a tough time, it’s easy to want to get “back to normal.” But often after a difficult experience, your old goals are obsolete.

Here are 2 important considerations to help you redefine your relationship to success (and redefine success itself!) and start achieving again, no matter what you’ve been through!

How to Facilitate Change in the Workplace… No Matter WHAT Your Title Is

Anyone – at all levels of any company – can help make corporate transitions happen more smoothly if they know this one technique to facilitate change.

Whether you’re high up on the totem pole or smack dab in the middle, there’s one thing you can do that will make change a little easier for you AND your colleagues: talk about the purpose of change. Here’s how to do it, so you can stop feeling the discomfort of change and start moving forward.

What Healthy Relationships Reveal About the Nature of Change

“I can’t change who I am for you!”

If you’ve ever felt pressured to change yourself to be in a relationship with someone, you’ve experienced UNHEALTHY change. Do you know the difference between healthy change for a healthy relationship, and unhealthy change?

In relationships, some change is natural, normal, and good. But some change is bad, and a partner who requests certain kinds of change is a red flag. Learn the difference between the two kinds of change in a relationship, and what healthy, resilient couples know about the nature of change.

How To Avoid a Midlife Crisis

Worried about the dreaded midlife crisis?
 
You CAN have a birthday epiphany without losing your cool! Here’s what you need to know to make sure you avoid the mental traps that cause a midlife crisis.

What To Do With Colleagues Who Resist Change

Most of us don’t really like change, but some people are especially nervous when things are in transition. If one of your coworkers is change-resistant, but changes are imminent, you need to act fast to get everyone on board with change.

 

Why Is This Happening? Here’s Why

 

Have you ever had a rough day and found yourself wanting to shout at the universe “why is this happening to me?!?!” As humans, if we must be challenged, we want that challenge to at least have a purpose. I tell a story in one of my books, The Successful Struggle, about a woman who moves across the country after a divorce, to be closer to her family for help raising her child. The move is difficult, finding a new job is challenging, and getting everything settled in a new life is exhausting. The fuel that keeps her going is knowing all the difficulty has a reason, to have a better life for her daughter, and once she makes it through the transition things will ultimately be better.

 

The #1 thing we can do to help our coworkers get on board with change is to help them understand the purpose of change. Why is this happening? What is the benefit to them? Are there more opportunities for a promotion as the company grows? When they understand what the ultimate payoff might be, they’re naturally more willing to navigate through change.

 

Lean On Me

 

Another thing you can do to help your colleagues navigate change is to facilitate connections among the staff. Studies show that employees who feel stronger connections to one another report being happier about change in the workplace.

 

This strategy can be an easy option no matter where you fall on the workplace hierarchy, because building strong workplace relationships doesn’t need approval from a boss. Even actions as simple as eating lunch together, or talking about non-work activities in the breakroom, can foster feelings of connection. If you do have some decision-making power, activities like community volunteering can really solidify the sense of team connections. Remember: you don’t have to go off-site to volunteer – taking an extra-long lunch break one day and making cards for kids in the hospital works, too.

 

The Pied Piper

 

You can’t force your colleagues to get on board with change, but you can lay the groundwork to make change a lot easier to handle. If you have a colleague you know will struggle with change, make sure they understand the purpose behind then change. Then do whatever you can to build that person’s workplace bonds. Understanding “why” and having strong workplace connections make a measurable difference when it comes to navigating change with a good attitude.

 

5 Ways To Stay Calm When Getting Terrible News

“It’s cancer.”

 

“You’re fired.”

 

“I want a divorce.”

 

Some words cause your body to go numb. Your ears buzz. You start to float above yourself. In those moments, you’re experiencing so much stress, and your body is being flooded with so much adrenaline, it can be difficult to think straight.

 

As difficult as it may be, thinking straight is the #1 thing you can do to help yourself when you’re getting terrible news. It’s crucial, in those moments, to keep your wits about you, gather information, and maintain self-control.

 

So how do you stay calm when you’re in the middle of receiving terrible news?

 

Take a sip of water.

It’s a tiny action, but taking a sip of water can be a great move when you receive shocking information. First, it gives you a mental break from the tough conversation. You may feel like you need a split second to close your eyes and process the information, and taking a sip of water gives you an excuse for breaking eye contact without looking “weak.” Taking a sip of water also gives you something to do with your hands, to keep them from jittering. Especially if the conversation is with someone like a boss, you want to appear composed and stoic. Having a glass of water as a prop can cover up your nerves.

 

Stay present in the moment.

It’s human nature, when getting bad news, for your thoughts to start spinning out of control. You can’t help but think about the future, and how this news will shape your life for months or years to come. Instead, keep your thoughts in the moment at hand. When you keep you mind focused, you’ll be better able to process what’s actually happening than if you allow your mind to wander to all the worst case scenarios. As this Forbes article remarks, it’s definitely best to avoid heading down the spiral of “what if…?” When you stay in the moment, you’ll be a better participant in the conversation, and you’ll remember the important information more accurately. Which dovetails perfectly with the next step…

 

Ask questions.

When I found out I had cancer, there were so many questions I wished I had asked the doctor when I was right there in front of him. Because I was so flustered at the news, I sat there in shock instead of asking smart questions. I had to email my concerns to the nurse and wait several days for a response. If you get bad news, don’t hesitate to ask as many questions as you need, rather than assuming the worst. It also helps to take notes. Many times our adrenaline keeps us from recording good memories of these tough conversations, so taking notes will help you not only focus in the moment, but also give you something to jog your memory later.

 

Remind yourself all the ways it could be worse.

We’ve been taught to believe we should think positive when we get bad news. But last week I had the honor of hearing Sheryl Sandberg, the author and Facebook executive, participate in a Q&A, and she had a different perspective. She recalled that a friend told her, after her husband Dave died, that “it could have been worse. Dave could have been driving the children when his heart gave out.” She realized that she could have lost her entire family in a single moment. By remembering that things could, in fact, be worse, we put our struggles in perspective.

 

Take a single action.

Getting bad news makes us feel powerless. We can’t control the situation, but that doesn’t mean we can’t do anything. Figure out the first action you can take to regain control, no matter how small. Through a psychological construct called “self efficacy,” taking even the smallest action helps you feel more competent and powerful. If you’ve been diagnosed with an illness, your fist step could be finding a specialist. If you’re faced with divorced, your first step could be protecting your financial information. If you’ve been let go from your job, it could be brushing up your resume. By doing what you can do, even if it doesn’t feel like much, you’re building your self efficacy for the moments ahead.

 


 

Getting bad news can feel like life as you know it is over. But if you keep calm, stay present, gather information, and put the situation in perspective, you’ll be able to move forward as quickly as possible.

 

What’s So Great About Self-Improvement?

What’s so great about self-improvement? Society has an obsession with self help projects to aid us in our quest for happiness, peace, and low-stress lives. But are we searching for the right things? Here’s my take on what we’re REALLY looking for when we “improve” ourselves.

Why is Growth So Uncomfortable?

The process of change and growth is usually necessary, but it often feels uncomfortable. Learn from one huge commercial brand what they do to push through the pain in order to make progress, and why a little discomfort is good for you, too.

3 Signs You’re In Desperate Need of A Change

How do you know if you need a change? Despite the fact that transition can be uncomfortable and uncertain, many of us know what it feels like to crave something new, or feel a push toward a different path.

 

While all of us can benefit from breaking our of our rut every now and then, there are three clear signs that you absolutely NEED a change, stat.

 

I Just Can’t Take It Anymore!

 

It won’t surprise you to know that a major freak-out episode is usually a good sign that something’s gotta give. If you’re feeling like life stinks and everyone around you is conspiring to behave poorly, that’s a strong indicator that you need to change your circumstances.

 

When you find yourself lashing out in anger, ask yourself if your response is proportional to the immediate issue at hand. If it isn’t, you may have stayed too long in a situation that needs to be addressed, and your buried frustration is bubbling up. If your anger IS justified given the situation, then that can still a good cue to make a change, because there’s no use staying in a situation that makes you angry. Long-term anger doesn’t get better with time, it just turns into resentment.

 

I Could Really Go For a Nap Right Now

 

The flipside of the freak-out is feeling UNemotional. If you feel like you’re going through life feeling numb and hazy, you’ve completely checked out. The absence of strong feelings is a lesser-known – but still important – sign that you need to make a change.

 

Because there’s not a lot of drama associated with this feeling, you may not even realize you’ve fallen into this trap, at first. But if you’re always tired, detached, and you just don’t care about things as much as you used to, think back to the last time you were passionate about an issue. What was it? How can you recapture that excitement and engagement? If you find yourself just wanting to check out and take a nap instead of engaging in life, it’s time for an overhaul.

 

No Thank You, I Don’t Feel Like a Change

 

This may seem counterintuitive, but one of the main signs you need a change is that you don’t want change! If you’ve gotten so comfortable that the thought of transition makes you want to cringe, then you better sign yourself up for some, stat!

 

Why? Why would you willingly go through change if things are just fine? Because “just fine” doesn’t stay just fine for very long. Nothing in life stays the same, just because you’re enjoying it.

 

In fact, being too passive about your life isn’t the same as being low-key. “Just fine” probably isn’t good enough for you, anyway. All the best success are made by going outside of your comfort zone. So maybe things are smooth sailing now, but change is likely coming. So its best if you get used to it and prepare yourself by regularly engaging in small, transformational behaviors. Reading, learning, new hobbies… all of those things are little changes that take your life from fine to excellent.

 

How do I know if I need a change?

 

We all get handed change whether we need it or not. But if you find yourself in one of these three situations, it’s a red flag that change would be good for you. So jump on board and go along for the ride.

 

 

 

3 Mental Mantras for Dealing with Divorce

If you’re going through a divorce and struggling to regain your footing, these three mantras can help. Tell yourself these three short, memorable phrases to find emotional stability and hope for the future.