Jumping is great. But terrifying. When you jump a horse, there are many things that have to take place in order to properly prepare and then overcome a jump in the arena. Horse and rider must have a certain level of trust between them to leave the ground together, pass over an obstacle and land on the other side. In a similar way, sometimes in life we have to set ourselves up as best as we can then trust that we have what we need to make it through.
Leadership is something that we often talk about but what exactly makes someone a leader? And a Good Leader? For those of us who are more shy we may not think about ourselves as a leader, but odds are that there is a Leader in you. 🙂
A Leader is an interesting concept as for someone to be a leader, it will not only involve your personal and/or professional characteristics or your job title or responsibilities, but must also involve the buy-in of others that allows us to influence and guide them towards a common goal. According to Forbes (2013): “Leadership is a process of social influence, which maximizes the efforts of others, towards the achievement of a goal.”
We all know that it is good to help others but, aside from the social pressures to assist those in need, there are also surprising benefits to us and the persons around us as we grow from these good deeds. Some of the benefits to look forward to with volunteering and giving back to your community include:
- It Feels Good: when we are feeling sad, down or helpless, helping others helps us to feel more confident that we are able to assist and support others. Volunteering can combat stress and increase happiness through meaningful interactions with others.
- You Get What You Read more
This post builds from my previous one on Fair Fighting but now we look more explicitly at our role in conflicts and social situations in general. As social creatures, humans tend to spend a lot of time interacting with other persons so making sure that we get our point across well is important. By “Well” I mean that we express what we would like in a way that is clear and concise, does not compromise our values or self-respect and is done in a way that builds the relationship by allowing the other person to respond in the most helpful way. If we get more of what we want from a relationship, whatever that may be, eg: love, attention, connections, assistance, then we are more likely to hang around. Likewise, if the other person gets more of what he/she wants then they are more likely to stay around too. This Win-Win situation is established through a communication style known as “Assertiveness.” Read more
New Year, New You! At the beginning of the year we often feel like it’s important to make changes, once and for all. If you find yourself setting the same goals year after year, you may need to implement new tactics to get where you want to be.
Goals give us a sense of purpose in life and to accomplish things that need to be done or that we want to do. A goal that is unclear or unimportant can be difficult to achieve. Any of these situations will interfere with not only your success but also your motivation to even begin a project. Here are some suggestions that can help stick to your goals this time.
- Look at the Big Picture. What are your long term goals? What is most important to you? When you are successful, how will your life be different? These questions can help you define what success means to you. Are you dreaming of owning your own business, getting a significant promotion, or running a marathon? These ideas will guide the goals you set and reflect the values and hopes that you have for your future life. Being able to envision a goal can make it feel real. Read more
Halloween is a time when many of us dress up to go out and it is often a highly anticipated holiday. What is it about a mask that is so liberating that many people look forward to Halloween all year? There are many theories as to where this tradition comes from but what I think is more interesting is the masks that we all wear the rest of the year. We all do it, but why? And is it a bad thing?
Sounds simple enough, doesn’t it? “Just think happy thoughts” and everything will be better, right? The essence of Cognitive Therapy is changing your thoughts (cognitions) to help you feel more happy, or at least not as (sad/worried/angry/other difficult emotion). When we become emotional, our thoughts become skewed to emphasize whatever we are focusing on, thus exacerbating the emotions. The process of recognizing these biases and adjusting them for a more balanced perspective is called “Cognitive Restructuring.” By taking a more balanced approach we will respond to situations more effectively and have a greater chance of enjoying whatever comes. So how exactly do we do that? Read more
What are you grateful for today?
Being increasingly connected these days, the bar of how much we expect (and are expected) to get done is an ever moving target. With so much to be working on all of the time, many of us get caught up focusing on what we didn’t get done or what we still have to do later. While it is important to be aware of what needs to be done, and often helpful to have a plan, it is also important for us to stop and reflect on what went well, what we were able to accomplish and how far we have come.
The practice of Gratitude is one that has been around for many years, likely because of the peace, contentment, confidence and hope that it brings. Stop right now and consider what 3 things are you most grateful for right now? Today? This week? This year? Hopefully the things that you thought about brought a smile to your face. This is something that many of us don’t take the time to do, or maybe feel that we don’t have time to do, but it is a simple strategy that helps us to build our resources for confidence and resilience by acknowledging successes, simple pleasures, good fortune and the kind deeds of others. Read more
In today’s fast-paced world people are more connected to each other, work and activities than ever before. While good for business and efficiency, many people experience higher levels of stress than in the past due to this need to be accountable at all times (to work, friends and family).
Sometimes we need time to ourselves, downtime to allow us to recharge before we go again. This allows us to feel more at peace, more stable and will actually help us be more productive in the long-run. One of the most simple ways to slow down and begin to relax your mind and body is through deep breathing. Here are a few ideas that can help you make the most of deep breathing practice:
Contributed to Youth Services Unit by Dr. Alexandra Bodden
Graduation is an exciting and terrifying time as you step foot into the “real world” and many of us for the first time have some very big decisions to make. But where do you start? Below are some ideas to help you make the most of your first “real world” experience and to help you get to where you want to be:
- Aim High – “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you will land among the stars” is a favourite quote at graduations. The essence of this idea is to set the bar high, this way even if we don’t quite make it, we are likely to get further than we would have if we had set lower expectations. The difficulty is to find the confidence to set our sights high. We want to aim high but also give ourselves the greatest likelihood of success so take into consideration your strengths, personal goals and past experiences (good and bad) to develop measurable, achievable goals that inspire you and encourage you to continue to grow personally and professionally. And it is okay to be scared, this is a sign that we are growing, use that energy to take your performance to the next level!