If you could do it all over again what would you do?

Imagine you are just getting ready to pass on and leave this earth forever. Right before your last breath you are given a beautiful gift. You are given the ability to go back several decades and talk to the person you are today. What would the old “you” say to the younger “you” about what you could do to have a better impact and lead a better life? The wise, older you would have some insights on what matters and what doesn’t.
  • Answer that question in your own mind.
  • Write it down.
  • Now do that.
What your older self would tell your younger self become your priorities. Life is about living with our priorities in mind. Those rare saints who spend their days tending to the needs of the dying remind us of the regrets they hear, with some common themes surfacing.

Here are a few.
1. I wish I would have had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me. If you have a dream – go for it. This was the most common regret of all. When people realize that their life is almost over and look back on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honored their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made. If you don’t do it when you are 45, you probably won’t when you are 55, or 75. Make moments. From the moment that you lose your health, it is too late. 

Health brings a freedom very few realize, until they no longer have it.

2. I wish I didn’t work so hard. This came from males far more than females, but the females are catching up. They missed their children’s youth and their partner’s companionship. When you get on that bed to leave this place, none of your coworkers will be there waving goodbye.

3. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends and family. We choose the first and inherit the second. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. Everyone misses their family and friends when they are dying. 

4. I wish that I had let myself be happier. This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realize until the end that happiness is a choice. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to themselves, that they were content. 

Don’t get so wrapped up chasing what you don’t have that you can’t see what you do have.

Life is a choice. It is YOUR life. Choose consciously, choose wisely, and choose honestly. Choose happiness. If you are lucky enough to be living where you are and having what you have—you are lucky enough.

Take some time — alone, to allow your old self to come back and give your present self some advice. Listen and write it down. What will you do differently? I would love to read your comments below.

As this day comes to an end……Take a minute to make a moment!

Achieve your potential and live the life you should today! Book a Complimentary Coaching Session to discuss your goals at Business and Life Management Coaching

Source: Leadershiptraq

Boost Your Self-Esteem

Self-esteem is a realistic, appreciative opinion of oneself. Realistic means that we are accurately aware of our strengths and weaknesses. Appreciative means that we have overall good feelings about the person that we see. It’s about feeling whole and secure in oneself.
The way you treat yourself sets the standard for others. The strongest single factor in acquiring abundance is self-esteem: believing you can do it, believing you deserve it, believing you will get it. People are motivated to have high self-esteem, and having it indicates positive self-regard. 

There is overwhelming evidence that the higher the level of self-esteem, the more likely one will treat others with respect, kindness, and generosity. People who do not experience self-love have little or no capacity to love others.

Do you like and accept yourself? Are you happy with whom you are? Do you have faith in yourself? Do you believe that you have what it takes to be able to lead a rich and fulfilling life? These questions are all related to your level of self-esteem.  Self-esteem is essential for success and happiness. It’s also essential in order to be able to achieve your goals. People with high self-esteem say the following about themselves:
  • I like myself as a person.
  • I’m as good as everyone else.
  • I like what I see in the mirror.
  • I am happy to be me.
  • I respect myself.
  • I’d rather be me than anyone else.
  • I’m not affected by what others say to me.
  • I have the skills and qualities to make myself a success.
  • I like taking risks.
  • I’m not afraid to make mistakes.
  • I can laugh at myself.

Here are a few ways to boost your self-esteem.

Recognize Your Intrinsic Self-Worth
The basic premise of self-esteem is that all people have intrinsic worth as a person which does not have to be earned. Intrinsic self worth is basically self love. When you feel intrinsic self worth, you are happy and satisfied with yourself as you are. Someone with intrinsic self worth does not require external awards, kudos, gold stars, or the acknowledgement of authority figures (parents, priests, teachers, etc.) in order to feel good about themselves. Someone with intrinsic self worth loves themselves unconditionally. This core human worth is not affected by external factors, this means that you don’t need to compete in order to establish your worth, or be constantly comparing yourself to others with money, looks or physical things. It means that your self-esteem is not something that is developed by any external factors.  One of the building blocks of self-esteem is recognizing your intrinsic self-worth. Seek respect mainly from thyself, for it comes first from within.

Thoughts Determine Self-Esteem
Self-esteem and circumstances are only indirectly related. Self-esteem is 100% determined by your thoughts.

One example to illustrate this point is what you say to yourself when you’re standing in front of a mirror. If you look in the mirror and think, “I’ve gained five pounds; I look fat”, you feel bad about yourself. If, instead, you think about something positive, “My hair looks nice like this”, you then feel good about yourself. The reflection in the mirror remains the same; only the thoughts change.

In addition, certain external circumstances can make it easier for you to feel good about yourself. However, external circumstances are never as powerful as your own thoughts. Here are two examples:
  • If you’re the vice-president of a major corporation and you say to yourself, “By my age I should be the President of this corporation”, you feel bad about yourself even though you hold an important position.
  • If, on the other hand, you hold a job that is not regarded by society with as much prestige but you say to yourself, “I do my job well and it allows me to pay my bills on time and spend quality time with my family which is my priority”, you feel good about yourself.
You can increase your self-esteem by changing the way in which you interpret your life, and by uncovering the negative self-statements you habitually make. You then need to create new, positive self-statements. They add that research indicates that it is more effective to stop telling yourself negative things, than to just tell yourself positive things.

In order to understand self-esteem, you need to be aware of the Pathological Inner Critic. This is the voice you hear in your head which is constantly reminding you of your failings and shortcomings. The inner critic destroys your self-esteem. In order to silence the inner critic, I recommend the following process:

1. Pay attention to your thoughts and learn to become aware of when your inner critic is doing the talking inside your head.

2. When you hear the inner critic, talk back. You can mentally say to yourself any of the following: “That’s a lie”; “Shut-up!”; “I don’t believe that”; or “That’s not so”. You can also wear a rubber band around your wrist and snap it when you hear the inner critic talking, in order to break your chain of thought.

3. Instead of being occupied with thoughts about past occurrences which may result in feelings of anxiety, sadness, regret, shame, or guilt, based on what your inner critic is saying, get up and go do something else. You can also shift your attention: look out the window, look at an object nearby and study it intently, think of something pleasant you’ve done lately, or think of someone you enjoy spending time with.

4. Schedule time to address the things you need to think about or figure out. If there’s something that’s not resolved, set aside a specific time to think about it. Then, only think about it during that designated time.  If you catch your inner critic trying to get you to think about things prematurely that interrupt your day, stop the thoughts and make it wait so it has a place and time instead of allowing it to rummage through your head the entire day. Worrying about things with no result in sight only disrupts your ability to focus on other things that are important.

5. Replace the inner critic with a positive voice. Compliment yourself or repeat a positive affirmation. Stop the thoughts that are negative and replace them with good thoughts to create a habit that will become second nature in time. 

Keep Your Self-Esteem Muscles Strong
Self-esteem is a mental muscle that must be developed and maintained through regular psychological workouts. Here are some of the “workouts” recommended.

1. Pursue something you’re passionate about each day, even if it’s just for fifteen minutes. This can be gardening, hitting golf balls, taking a walk at the beach, reading a chapter in a book or reading a bedtime story to your child over the phone if you have to work late. Actively seek out activities and projects that generate passion.

2. Instead of just giving yourself credit only when you achieve a goal, stop to recognize your efforts. Make a list of things that you give your 100% to.

3. Put up a self-esteem bulletin board in a place where you can see it often and fill it with things that make you feel good: an email from a client thanking you for your great work, a photo of yourself that you like, a painting your child made especially for you, and so on. Update your collection once a month. This is a visual aid that does wonders for your mental state of mind each day when you see it. It sets a positive path for you.

The reputation you have with yourself - your self-esteem - is the single most important factor for a fulfilling life. 

Get the tools you need to excel in your life by working with Denise Dema, a Business and Life Management Coach who has over 20 years experience empowering individuals, executives and business owners to attain self-defined success in their professional & personal lives. Book a complimentary session at http://www.denisedema.com to get started in reaching your personal and professional goals today!

You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love & affection. ~Buddha

Stop Bullying In The Workplace

Bullying isn't confined to childhood, it also happens in the workplace. The bully might have left the playground and moved to the cubicle next door.  Many of the behaviors resemble school-yard battles of old, but the stakes are much higher such as your health, well-being and employment status. There is no playground monitor to intervene.

However, employees, companies, researchers and even legislative bodies are becoming aware that this part of the culture of work that needs to change. There is increasing evidence to support that it's bad for your emotional and physical health, that certain factors breed it and that it CAN be deterred. But in order to stop the behavior, we first need to define it.

There are many different names for a relatively wide range of behaviors like incivility, verbal abuse, psychological aggression, mobbing to name a few.

Incivility is “low intensity, deviant behavior. It violates the norms of respect however; some bullying includes intent to harm, whereas incivility consists of merely discourteous behavior. Bullying has been defined as; repeated, health-harming mistreatment of an employee by one or more persons, manifested in one or more ways: verbal abuse, threatening and intimidating conduct (verbal or nonverbal, nonphysical) that interferes with work and undermines legitimate business interests.

Bullying is as much about what people don't do, such as excluding people from meetings, withholding information or leaving them off an important e-mail, as what they do, such as yelling, name-calling, making threatening statements, micromanaging or undermining somebody's reputation. Intent isn't necessary because sometimes bullies don't realize they are bullies, but the behavior is still harmful.  Even if the victims don't recognize that they are being bullied, their mental health is still affected.  A defining feature of bullying is negative behavior that people feel unable to defend against or control.
Some of the key components of bullying include behaviors that are: Verbal and nonverbal (excluding physical contact), repetitive or patterned, unwelcome and unsolicited, violate appropriate conduct toward others, harmful or cause psychological or physical injury, intended to harm. A real concern is that because bullying is so common, many people don't realize its harmful effects. Yelling and verbal abuse may be written off as tough-if unpleasant-management. Micromanaging may appear to others as an employee failing to meet expectations. And ostracism may seem like personality conflict.

Targets of bullying may even start to believe they are somehow at fault. Bystanders often dismiss the behavior or don't want-or dare-to get involved. In workplaces that allow bullying behavior to go on, management is unlikely to intervene. In many cases, employees are told to work it out for themselves which never really puts the issue to rest.

Targets often may be encouraged to think that the bullying is all "in your head," but the stakes are very real. Even when the effects are not that extreme, bullying is harmful to the health and well-being of victims, organizations and society, likening it to sexual or racial harassment. Unlike these forms of harassment, however, general bullying is not prohibited by law in many places.

Legal loopholes have allowed this to continue throughout the world. The province of Quebec in Canada and some countries such as France, Sweden and Norway have anti-psychological harassment laws, but there are none in the United States. Even members of classes protected by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act or by the Americans with Disabilities Act do not usually have legal recourse against general bullying. Unless the bullying is directly tied to a person's protected status, such as gender or race, it's not considered discrimination and tying bullying to sexual or racial discrimination can be very difficult.

There have been some small strides towards legislation being passed in various U.S. states called the “Healthy Workplace Bill.” It seeks to give severely bullied employees who have suffered concrete psychological, physical or economic effects the right to sue the bully or the company. Since a company would only be liable if it failed to stop the bullying, this would give employers a legal incentive to respond to employee abuse.

The bill would give severely bullied employees a legal claim without opening the floodgates to frivolous lawsuits. Although the bill is being considered in nine states-New York, Kansas, Missouri, Massachusetts, Hawaii, Washington, Oregon, Oklahoma and California. It may be years before a law is passed in any U.S. jurisdiction.

We're where we were with sexual harassment law 30 years ago. The term was just beginning to be used, but people didn't think in terms of legal protections until they understood how harmful it could be. The key is to see bullying as a kind of human rights issue. It's about dignity at work. We need to say that we're going to treat everyone decently. Period!

Get the support you need and work with a Business and Life Management Coach with over 20 years’ experience empowering individuals, executives and business owners to attain self-defined success in their professional & personal lives. Book a complimentary session at http://www.denisedema.com