Are You Holding on Too Tightly?

Did you ever just grab hold of something and hang on so tightly your hand hurt?   When you hold on physically, you can also hold on with your mind.  Say for example, you are waiting for a job offer and that wait dominates you.  You are holding on tightly as your mind keeps returning to the thought of the prospective job.  Tension builds inside you.  You may think holding on tightly is exactly what you have to do in order to receive the offer.

There is a more effective way.

When you let go of tension, you invite ease in helping you gain what you would like.  Tension keeps you focused on the strain.  Instead, release and focus on what you are after.   Take a step back and make room for what you would like.  Make room to look at the bigger picture of the whole situation rather than just the single detail.  The job offer will be made or you will be turned down all the while the rest of your life continues.

Here’s an example of how holding on too tightly has a big impact on a life.  In South America, monkeys are trapped by setting out a small-necked container filled with bananas.  The monkey wants a banana and reaches in and grabs one tightly.  Wanting the banana so badly, he is unable to pull his hand with the banana back out.  The bottle’s neck is only wide enough for the hand or the banana rather than both at the same time.  The trapper throws a bag over the monkey.  The monkey is trapped.  The monkey was holding the banana so tightly, he lost sight of everything but the banana.   Have you held onto what you were doing so tightly you lost your focus on the bigger picture?

One key to releasing tension is to let go of your tight grip.  First, do what it takes to soothe yourself, whether it is deep breathing, talking a quick break with a short walk or just inviting yourself to be calm.   As you relax, things will look different, leading to different and better outcomes.  You’ll notice:

  • a bigger picture
  • a greater readiness for whatever happens
  • an increased control of your attention
  • more specifics about your surroundings
  • details making it easier to find your solution and obtain what you want.
  • increased flexibility.

When you relax your body, it’s easier to relax your mind.  You think of more options when you’re calm and centered.  You think more thoroughly to find creative solutions.  For example, can the monkey turn the container upside down and just have the bananas fall out?

Step back to see the whole picture.  Is there an easier way to retrieve the banana?  Is it even the banana you want?  When attending to a small detail, you miss what else is going on that may provide answers.   There may be someone with a smaller hand than yours who can get in, and even out of the trap.  You can only see that if you expand your perspective.

When you hold something too tightly, it takes your focus.  Open your focus by relaxing your grip, calming your attention and broadening your perspective.  Be open to all possible solutions.

–Caron MacLane

You Can Have More Confidence When You Follow Through

According to www.dictionary.com, the definition of “confidence” is “full trust; … reliability of a person.”  For example, you say you will be at a specific place at a designated time. How often do you hit the mark? If you remember that number, you can identify opportunities for improvement and increased confidence.

That number indicates how often your actions match your words. You can call this your reliability score. Now you know if people can count on your word. Also, you know how much you can count on yourself.

Your score has a great impact on you and how you see yourself. When you see yourself as partially reliable, your confidence decreases. You can build your confidence by increasing your reliability and consistency.

You change your success rate with your decisions that lead your actions. At this point you may be saying, “yes, but things come up.” Update your word when things come up. Stuck in traffic? Call and update your arrival time to keep your word intact. The two main ways to increase your reliability score are to do more of what you say you are going to do and to commit to less. Either way you win.

Would you like increase your confidence and be counted on to follow through on your word?  Change your reliability score.  Follow through on what you say you are going to do and commit to less. People will count on you more. You will see yourself differently.

Five Steps to Move the World to More Harmony

Stories of terrorism, politics, guns, and feelings of despair drench us daily. These stories and feelings fill us while we are on and off line in the flow of the news and people’s conversations. The chaos in the national spectrum can be overwhelming and can leave us asking, “How can one person stand up for peace and harmony?” Some follow the slogan Nike has promoted “Just do it.”

If you start with you as the center point, what would just doing it look like for you? What could you do every day to change the world? How can you let your energy emanate and touch others, so others feel your positive energy? Here are five ways you can start influencing others into harmony.

  1. Find your own harmony. By taking care of yourself first, you have more to give. And you can give with an open heart and mind because you have plenty to offer. Take care of yourself so that you can feel you have energy to offer others.
  1. Smile. A smile is a communication that shows pleasure. When directed toward another, you share that pleasure with the other person. You open to the other person in an inviting, inclusive way. Without your smile, other experience you as closed and desiring separation. You convey your outgoingness as you send out your smile to another. Smiling increases the sense of harmony.
  1. Offer yourself. Offering allows you to be available to others. In the flow of negativity, you may have a tendency to put your head down and to ignore others, and to fend for yourself. Inadvertently those behaviors exclude others. Offering is holding your head up, keeping your arms wide and your heart open. You may find simple opportunities to offer a place in line, including in traffic. You may use an inclusive gesture, as people often wait for an invitation. Just a nod or a motion with your hand can let them in front of you.
  1. Give the gift of listening to people. You can take in what another is saying because that person would like to communicate to you. Take the time and silently acknowledge you are worth it and the other person is worth it. Listening offers acknowledgement and validation. In addition listening includes the speaker. By giving attention in this way, you increase connection and then harmony.
  1. Appreciate others. While listening, you can find little things to appreciate. One definition of appreciate is “to increase the value of” (merriam-webster.com). Appreciate small attributes and actions from people with words, a wave or a wink. Sometimes just appreciate who the person is. Appreciation results in connection and closer connection with all involved. That connection increases the feeling of harmony. Appreciating can lead to people feeling greater, feeling greater because you took the time to appreciate.

You set the tone for your life and your tone touches others. That tone is a place of connection. It allows you the opening to affect others. Affecting others is how you change the world. So find your own harmony, smile, offer yourself, listen, and appreciate others. The world can be different and you can help move the world into harmony. Start moving the world today.

©Caron MacLane 2016

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Are You Pushing Your Envelope?

Pushing the envelope is reaching beyond your normal reach. How do you push the envelope?

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Physically—do things with your body that go beyond your norms.
I am inspired by my friend, Harrison Laird, who is preparing to climb Mt. Everest. Something he has dreamed about, that seems to be part of who he is.

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Emotionally—connect with people through emotions in a more open way.
I am inspired by my Dad, who seems to be dealing more with his emotions at 90 years of age than I ever remember before.

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Authentically—show your true self in more public arenas.
I am inspired by my friend who becomes increasing open about her life and the challenges of her upbringing.

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I am always looking for new ways to push my own envelope to become more fully me. I notice myself opening new doors in dealing with clients to seek new learning and deeper wins. I seek to say who I am to more fully connect my essence to yours. I look for ways to push my envelope.

Do You Get What You Want on Valentine’s Day?

 

 

 

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The most heated discussions were on the day after Valentine’s Day. This happened every year in a peer coaching group I was in.

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The reason the discussions were heated?
• Expectations
• Fulfilling of expectations

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Some hoped their partner would do something in a certain way. The partner did it differently. Sometimes the person hoped. Sometimes the person made a request. Sometimes the person even thought the request was made with crystal clarity.

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The greater the emotional hope, the larger the emotional hook. The larger the hook, the greater the disappointment. These are strong marriages with people who are articulate and clearly love each other.

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To get what you want on Valentine’s Day or any other day for that matter, be certain you are clear enough so that the other person actually fully understands your message. That you have the amount of clarity equal to your expectation. And that expectation may be really big.  Ask carefully.