I Talk to Myself

I Talk to Myself

Do you talk to yourself?

I hope so. If you don’t talk to yourself, you might wind up in trouble.

Let me explain…

My 9 year old grandson was having trouble focusing on an assignment that he thought was boring. So my daughter tried to help.

She said, “Think of your mind as being like a computer. When you have trouble focusing, you have too many tabs open. Just close those other tabs so you can think about this one thing.”

“O.K.” He said…

“But, Mom, sometimes I have all of these pop ups!”

He said it just right, didn’t he? All of us can relate to the “pop-ups.” And usually those pop-ups are not positive thoughts. They are negative ones.

The “what if’s”…

So what do we do? We close the tabs, of course. And we close the pop-ups. We take charge of our thought life.

David in the book of Psalms demonstrates some terrific lessons. He took charge of his thoughts by talking to himself.

He said, Bless the Lord, O my Soul. And all that is within me, bless His Holy Name. (Psalm 103:1)

Then another time he said, Why so downcast, O my soul? Put your trust in God.(Psalm 43:5)

Or what about this: My heart is steadfast, oh my God. My heart is steadfast. I will sing praises to my God. (Psalm 57:7)

If you look through Psalms, you will see many times when David said, I will praise Him. Not I want  to, but I will. He was acting from a spirit of determination. Not from his feelings. He knew how to close those tabs of negativity and replace those thoughts with faith and trust in God.

Right now, when there is so much anger, fear, and sadness in the world, we really need to learn how to do this. To take charge of our thought life, and put our trust in God. He is the answer for everything. Our shield. Our deliverer. Our Savior.

When we replace those negative thoughts with thankfulness, something powerful happens. What happens is that instead of fear and anxiety, true gratitude begins to rise up within us. We begin to thank Him, and even more gratitude rises.

Those negative emotions are replaced with hope.

Regardless of what we are going through, and sometimes it can be terrible… when we allow hope to rise within us, our outlook is different. We know that there will be a brighter future.

Now we are ready to pray. Our prayers won’t come from a heart of hopelessness and desperation. Our prayers will come from a place of faith.

We know that our God hears our prayers and we listen for direction. Then we do what He says. He has the answers, if we will do what He says…

We enter His gates with thanksgiving in our heart. We enter His courts with praise.

As we give thanks and praise God, let’s see ourselves entering His heavenly throne room. He has the answers.

Over the years I have had moments of great disappointment and injustice hurled at me. Just as you have. Everyone has had this happen to one degree or another.

When I would calm my soul through thanksgiving and go before Him, His love and grace would wash over me. There were times when I would just stay there and soak in His presence. There were other times when He would impress upon me some answers – some scriptures – and some steps I needed to take. Then I would take those steps.

One thing is for sure: God always has the answers.

So let’s do what David did. Let’s talk to ourselves and calm our souls.

Then with thankful hearts, let’s run to God for all that we need.

He’s always there waiting for us.

 

Do Your Emotions Rule You?

Do Your Emotions Rule You?

Daniel Goleman is recognized as being one of the foremost thought leaders on brain health and function. His biggest area of research has been in an area known as Emotional Intelligence.

Most of us realize that our emotions have a great deal of influence over us.

From the standpoint of marketing, we know that emotions sell. That’s why, in order to sell you a car, advertisers show you a beautiful woman wanting to ride with you. Or a healthy happy family you are going to keep safe. They may spend a little bit of time showing the engine, but not much time. Expert marketers  know that the emotional image you see will sell you.

The image makes you feel good, and you buy. It’s as simple as that.

But beyond the surface of marketing through your emotions,  I want to take this deeper. When Goleman uses the term: Emotional Intelligence, he identifies it as another aspect of your brain’s dynamic. Like your IQ. It’s another indicator of brain health.

According to Dr. Goleman, your emotions can sometimes be a more important indicator of your success in life than your IQ. Also, when you go through stressful situations – such as what the entire world has gone through recently – your degree of emotional intelligence can determine how well you cope with the crisis.

You can have an extremely high IQ and very low emotional intelligence. And vice versa.

Okay. So what is it exactly?

Continuing with Goleman’s research, there are five basic areas of our Emotional Intelligence. We’ll look quickly at these five.

Self-Awareness

This means you are aware of your emotions  as they happen. Sometimes we can
just feel bad” or sad without knowing why. If we are aware, we will start analyzing so that we can do something about it.

Emotional awareness and self-confidence are essential to being able to understand and control these emotions.

Self Regulation

This is a big one. Self regulation means that we are able to control strong emotions such as anger or anxiety.

When these strong emotions are trying to take over, it’s good to pray. Or take long walks. Or write in a journal, allowing those emotions to be expressed in a healthy way. Not with rages or excesses.

For self-regulation, one must be conscientious, trustworthy, innovative, and adaptable. All of these important elements can see you through tough times.

Motivation

When someone is highly motivated, they can more likely overcome difficulties.

We all know people who are usually  positive and those who are usually negative. Given the same set of circumstances, some people always see gloom – or not.

Through self-discipline, we can train ourselves to overcome those negative thoughts which bombard us. We can replace them with positive thoughts.

To have and keep motivation flowing in our lives we need commitment, the drive to achieve, initiative, and a positive mindset.

Empathy

So far we have been thinking inwardly. Now this one – empathy – looks outward.

Instead of self-awareness, empathy is other-awareness.

You’ve heard the phrase, Don’t judge a man until you have walked a mile in his shoes. That’s what empathy is all about. Understanding others. Their emotions. Their hurts. Their motivations.

This ability to understand and empathize with others is essential to a healthy emotional life.

Empathy helps you to be aware of how your words and actions are affecting others. When you see that you are negatively impacting others, you can change that behavior.

Social Skills

The fifth area of emotional intelligence is how well you work and relate to others.

You can build good quality relationships. You can even help others to grow in their emotional health.

For good social skills you will need to be able to communicate well, work as a team, build rapport, initiate change, and hep resolve conflict.

A good leader has to have good social skills.

So now that we have looked at an overview of what Emotional Intelligence is, let’s see how we can rate ourselves.

There are signs that someone suffers with low emotional intelligence.

  • They frequently complain
  • They show lots of fear and anxiety
  • When they are offended, they aren’t open with the offender, but they gossip and complain secretly.
  • They sulk.
  • They show mood swings.
  • Often they have fits of rage.

Emotionally healthy people act differently.

  • They are positive most of the time.
  • They look for ways to overcome problems.
  • They are open and honest with people.
  • If negative issues arise, they talk to the person – rather than gossip about them.
  • They are kind and understanding in their dealings.
  • They inspire others for greater goals.

Well. I’m sure that most of us can recognize some areas where we  excel – and others where we need to grow.

So how do we grow?

  • We Practice Awareness. We become more aware of our own emotions. We also make an attempt to understand others better. What are their emotional needs? How can we help them?
  • When we have negative emotions, we don’t just brush them aside. We deal with them. We spend some time thinking about why we feel this way, and how we can overcome it. (Hiding our emotions will lead to anger and anxiety).
  • We feed our spirits with good words. As a Christian, I recommend reading the Bible on a daily basis. If you haven’t been doing this, start with Psalms and Proverbs. You will find lots of motivational material there.
  • We take care of our physical health. Our bodies affect our emotions and our positivity. When we eat well, exercise, and get proper rest, it will pay off with our attitude.
  • We should surround ourselves with positive, like-minded people. Other people can pull us up or down. When we choose positive, growing people to surround us, our energy grows. So does our attitude.

On going through these items, I have realized that every area of someone’s life could be impacted by their emotional strength. Their career, their family, their social life, and their own quality of life all hinge on their ability to effectively handle their emotions and relate to others.

It will be worth the time and energy it takes to do a self-evaluation. Then to honestly look at themselves and make the changes needed to grow.

I’m doing this for sure!

 

 

No More Procrastination – Starting Next Monday

No More Procrastination – Starting Next Monday

“One of the greatest labor-saving inventions of today is tomorrow.”

— Vincent T. Foss

There are tons of jokes about procrastination, and for good reason: it’s such a common human frailty. We’ve all heard from our teachers and mentors how important it is not to procrastinate.

Start your work early.

When you see what to do, just do it!!

Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today.

Okay! Okay! You say. (And I do too).

So I have that tendency. What’s the big deal?

Well, if you and I want to live our lives with a low level “spinning our wheels” mentality, then it really isn’t such a big deal.

We can just put things off. Make sure that we pay our bills on time so nothing will get turned off or reclaimed. The rest is okay.

Of course, since nothing ever stays the same, there will be a steady decline in the things we are avoiding. If it’s healthy eating or exercise, the pounds will slide up – along with blood pressure.

If we are avoiding tackling those job skills which would bring some increase, then we will notice a downward trend.

If we put off getting with our friends and family, our relationships will suffer.

But it’s our life and it’s our choice.

Now when I think about procrastination in those terms, I realize that I do want to improve in that area. I just have this one life, and I want to live it to the absolute fullest.

So let’s do some digging…

Why Do we Procrastinate?

Confusion and Overwhelm

The number one reason is Confusion. Or overwhelm. We aren’t sure what to do, so we do nothing.

There are so many choices for diets – or business models – or ways to budget, we put off making a decision. How do we know which one is the right one?

My answer for this is to set aside some time and determine to make a decision. You may want to read some articles or books by people who are knowledgeable. Also you want to do some soul searching.

Think hard about what you really desire. What are your skills and how do they match your desires? What other commitments do you have – to family, church, etc? How do these commitments affect your decision?

Then it’s decision time. Make a decision and stick to it. Commit to yourself that you are going to hold firm to this commitment for maybe six months. You might make some adjustments, but don’t throw it out completely  during that time.

For the next six months, block off chunks of the big commitment, and work through those.

Each step will bring you closer to your goal.

Perfectionism

The second reason is perfectionism.

I really hate to be the one to break this news to you, but you are not perfect. That’s the bad news. The good news is that neither is anyone else. So you are not alone.

This is something which I have had to battle. When I am making plans and carrying them out, they never seem to be the perfect plans I envisioned.

My website isn’t perfect. Neither is my writing. Or my graphics. Or my email schedule.

So as I am busily trying to perfect these things, I notice someone to my left who is skidding past me as if they were on an electric sidewalk. And they aren’t perfect either!

As I began to take notice, I realized that the important thing was to start. If we will make a decision on our plans and then begin, we can make adjustments and corrections along the way.

There will be times when we will throw out the whole plan and redirect. But not right away. Give it six months.

Dread

The third reason is dread

Dread of what? Dread of failure…Maybe it’s too hard.

Dread of doing something you don’t enjoy.

Dread of possibly looking foolish.

List the things which you delay on a routine basis. Often those are the very things which are not comfortable.

Starting that eating plan. Cleaning out a closet. Going to the Doctor. Writing that email.

So How Do We Slay this Beast?

Well, just like anything else, your success starts with a decision.

  1. Decide that you won’t allow procrastination to stand in the way of you and success. You are going to subdue this beast.
  2. Then make a list of the things which you have delayed. Analyze why you avoid those particular actions. Was it Overwhelm? Confusion? Perfectionism? Dread?
  3. Whatever the cause, determine that you are going to face the giant. It might not be perfect, but that’s O.K. Remember: an item marked “Done,” is better than an item marked “in process-becoming perfect.”
  4. Put a big sign on your bulletin board that says, “No More Delay.”
  5. Then go down your list, checking off the items.

Oh, that feels good. Doesn’t it?

No more delay.

Let’s get started!

 

Face Your Obstacles

Face Your Obstacles

I am thinking back to a special August day in 2010. My husband and I had just celebrated the birth of a beautiful grandson, so I was already on an emotional high. And then as we arrived back home and saw the box on our porch, I could hardly contain the excitement.

My books had arrived! My very own books!

With trembling hands,  I opened the box and saw my name staring back at me. My beautiful books. All the work I had put into this masterpiece (at least to me, it was a masterpiece) – had paid off.

It was done. My very own book ready to give and to sell. Ready to bring encouragement to those who read it. Ready to open new doors for me since now I was a published author.

I began to reflect. I had wanted to write this book for a long time – mulling over ideas for many years. Why had I waited so long to actually do it?

Many things had held me back from experiencing this moment.

There had been confusion. And overwhelm. How could I write a whole book? What if I didn’t have enough to say? Who would really want to read it? Would it cost too much? And on and on…

Obstacles of thought and emotions. Fear, anxiety, and overwhelm.

I just wasn’t sure that I could do it.

Do you relate to what I’m saying? Do you have obstacles of mind and emotions which hinder you from accomplishing what you want?

Let’s face it. Each of us has obstacles in our life’s journey.

Some of these are because of our environment, our health, or our unique circumstances. We may be dealing with sickness in ourselves or a close family member. We might be going through a major life change – such as a  divorce or the death of someone close.

Sometimes demands are made on our time and energy by good seasons in our lives. We may have several small children who need an usual amount of attention. Or we may be getting married or starting an engaging career.

Yet when life is rolling along at a more even pace (if that ever really happens), we can still face obstacles in our minds. Our thoughts, our emotions, and our habits can cause us to stand still and not move forward.

We may occasionally dream about the “what if’s,” but we don’t take any steps toward accomplishing those dreams. We treat our lives as if we will either win the lottery – or not. The big moment will come, or it won’t.

And in the meantime, we remain idle without moving toward those dreams.

Well I have met many people who have a dream of writing a book. Maybe they have a great story concerning their own unique experiences. Perhaps they realize that a book would be just the thing to  introduce Jesus to those who don’t know Him. cement their credibility in their field. Maybe they want to make some extra money from the book sales.

There are many reasons for writing a book.

Yet here is the truth: Many talk about it, but very few ever really get it done. They dream and they talk, but they never actually do it.

I understand this dilemma, because that’s the way I was for many years. I would think about it. I would even occasionally jot down a few notes. But I just couldn’t get over that unidentifiable roadblock. It just seemed too hard. Out of reach. I would put it aside and forget about it for awhile.

Well my day finally came, and what made that switch for me?

I began studying about self-publishing. I read books, attended seminars, and online webinars. Somehow, during that process, I gained courage and began the journey. One step at a time, I completed the trip and published my first book.

I realized that those who were writing their books were just like me – like you. If they could do it, then so could I.

Now several years later, I have more than 20 books published in paperback and on Kindle. Once I started the process, each one became easier.

Now my goal is to help others who were just like I was.

Maybe you are one of them.

If you have been thinking about writing your book but haven’t done it yet, then maybe overwhelm or confusion is holding you back.

In my series of 12 On Demand Webinars, Audios, Transcripts, Action Step Sheets, and Bonuses, I take you step by step through the process. Your Planning, Writing, Pre-marketing, Designing, and Publishing can be accomplished by you – just as they were by me. One step at a time – and it’s done.

Please check out the opportunity. At https://OurCBI.com.  The world needs to hear from you.

And for a limited time, the entire course will be half price.

In the meantime, Keep on Soaring!

 

 

 

 

There’s Just Not Enough Time

There’s Just Not Enough Time

There’s just Not Enough Time!

I have to say, this has been my lament in many situations.

Of course, we know the adage that “everyone has the same 24 hours.” But that adage didn’t make any difference when I was attempting to get more done.

With a church to oversee. Children and grandchildren. Serving on City Council. Other community activities. And on and on.

Then I read Stephen Covey’s book again. 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

Do you remember the chapter about the rocks in a jar?

First, you have a pile of rocks of many different sizes and you fill the jar the best way you can. Many rocks get left out. They just won’t fit. There’s not enough room.

Then you try a different approach.

You put in the big rocks first. Then the middle sized ones. Finally you can fill in the crevices with the tiny rocks and pebbles.

Covey was linking this demonstration with time management. There are those big things, which require most of our time. The nine-to-five job. The running of the house. Childcare. Church work. Daily devotions.

Next come the middle sized time demands. Personal care. Doctor and dentist appointments. Volunteering at your child’s school carnival.

Then there are those little items. Leave dog at vet. Drop off cleaning. Write a quick note to teacher. You know those tiny time consumers which can overwhelm your day if you let them.

So Covey recommends that you take out your calendar and insert the large items first. Then the middle-sized. After those bigger plans are marked out on your calendar, it will be surprising how much vacant space you will see.

This Covey suggestion is what I like to use.

All those tiny time consumers can be put on a list. You have 10 minutes while you are waiting for your child? Pull out an item from your list and whip it off quickly. A phone call. A note. Paying a bill. Making a grocery list or planning a meal.

It’s amazing what can be done with proper planning.

But this is the best part: When you plan your time in this way, there will still be some blank spots on your calendar.

Those are the times you can use to take on some long term projects. Those things you don’t think you have time for right now.

That, in fact is how I wrote and published my first book.

After years of feeling inadequate and too busy to write, I marked my calendar and found some time. Maybe an hour here. Two hours there.

It’s amazing what concentration and commitment will do for us.

Those smaller moments add up, and soon the project is completed. That “wow” moment when it’s done!

The excitement of completing that first book was worth all of the effort I had put into finding the time. All of the organization and planning. That first book was worth whatever-it-took to do it! I was a published author!

Now I have to say that there are other ways of establishing time for a project. That’s why I devoted a whole webinar in my course “It’s Time For You To Write That Book, 2.0” to The Time Factor. I discuss the Big rock/little rock method. I also discuss some other approaches.

Everyone is different. Even though this Covey idea suits me, not everyone thinks or works in that fashion.

But there are other ways of getting the job done. Other plans for finding or making the time for long term projects you want to do.

Plans which will help you to write your book. To make that lasting impact you want to make.

Be blessed. And remember to Keep on Soaring!