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Effortless Ways to End Stressed-Out Mania

March 11, 2014

AReduce Stressre you busy – perhaps so busy those looking in would say you’re over-functioning?  To nearly any request that comes your way, do you say, “Yes?”  Do you take care of others to the point they regularly look to you to do what they really could do themselves?  Overwhelmed and stressed, at the end of your 18-hour day you are spent, exhausted, and, too often, feel under-appreciated.

Do any of these descriptions capture the essence of your daily experience?  Here area few nuggets of advice to help you regain control.

Relax your standards, at least a little.  Unrealistically high expectations are, ultimately, unsustainable and can damage your physical and emotional health.  Perfectionism can be a wicked trap, an ideal that is unattainable.

When your plate is too full, say “No” or negotiate.  Not sure how?   Consider putting off the answer until you can form your comfortable “no” response.  Or maybe you don’t know the right words to use to say “no” without feeling guilty.  Real Simple’s “10 Guilt-Free Strategies for Saying No,” is a great place to start.

Stop doing for others what they can do for themselves.  Instead, coach and encourage to build their confidence to act independently.  Struggling with the notion that no one will do it as well as you?  Will they do it well enough?  In most cases, done is better than perfect.

If you’re busy, busy, busy, but you don’t feel productive, your real issue might be that you’re disorganized, or you’re not tackling your highest priorities when you’re at your best.  Identify an organizing system that works for you, one that focus on how to make sure you’re getting the important things done.

So, the next time a request for your precious time and energy arrives on your threshold, before saying yes, step back and consider whether saying yes best serves you.  If it doesn’t, honor yourself by kindly saying “no” or delegating to someone who will benefit from the experience.

How To Stop Feeling Like A Fraud

March 4, 2014

How to Stop Feeling Like A FraudDo you ever feel like you’re not really competent, but everyone else is?  Do you sometimes feel like you’re acting as if you belong, but you don’t.  Figure that it won’t be long until you’re found out?  When others praise your work or compliment you, do you doubt their sincerity or feel like the recognition is undeserved?  Well, here’s a news flash:  that makes you like a lot of other people.

Dr. Valerie Young calls it the Impostor Syndrome.  According to Dr. Young, if you’re one of the first or among the few women or minorities in your field or work place, it’s natural to sometimes feel like you don’t totally fit in.

Here are several things you can do to confront and shift insidious self-doubt:

End self-sabotaging thoughts and unleash your true potential.  Pick up a copy of my book, “LIES That Limit: Uncover the Truth of Who You Really Are.”  Available on Amazon for only $5.95 for your Kindle or other e-reader.  Just $11.96 for hard copies.

Need A Little Attitude Adjustment At Work?

February 25, 2014

Workplace Attitude AdjustmentDo you have the same mindset as Earvin “Magic” Johnson?  He says, “I am a businessman. This is what I do each and every day. I love it. I love coming to work. I never have a bad day.”

Do you feel the same way?  Do you love your work?  Daily, do you get up and go at it with passion, enthusiasm, and excitement?  If not, you may need an infusion of optimism.

Beginning now, no more complaints.  Complaining gives power to the negative.  Talking about the aspects of your work that you don’t like fills your mind with thoughts that can snowball.  Just like thinking positive can lift your spirits, negative thinking and negative talking can drag you down and make a challenging situation worse.

Find the good and make that your focus. You may be pleased to have a role that uses your skills, or appreciative for flexible work arrangements.  The people with whom you interact might stimulate you, or you may simply be grateful for a job that pays the bills or supports your child’s education.  These are all good reasons to show up and do a good job.  Your list of positives may be different, but there’s always something that makes going to work worth your while.

If you can’t find anything good to focus on about your job, maybe it’s time to make a move.  Examine the things you’re whining about with an eye toward growth.  Your whining may hold the key to identifying the things you can get excited about in a new job opportunity.

But for now, to start on the path to feeling more like Magic Johnson – loving going to work and never a bad day, let go of complaints and annoyances.  Give your full attention to the positives in your work life and you’ll succeed in spite of circumstances.

DNA-AnimatedLet Me Help You Live Stress-Free.

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Resolution Check Point: Let Yourself Off the Hook

February 18, 2014

Resolution Check PointIn the UK, they dubbed it “Fail Friday.”  Friday, January 24th was the day they predicted the Brit’s collective willpower would wain and resolutions would be broken.  Only 3 percent, the “Independent” article says, are likely to keep their resolutions for the entire year.

In Canada, CTV’s story “Making, Breaking New Year’s Resolutions an Annual Tradition,” experts say that the best way to keep your resolution is to make sure they’re attainable.  They’re on to something.

If you’re a resolutions maker who makes them but doesn’t keep them, here’s an important tip.  This year, let yourself off the hook entirely or keep it simple.

Many times, the goals we set are like climbing Mt. Everest.  On January 1st, we stand at the base of the mountain looking up the top, feeling good about what we can achieve.  Then we start the climb, rarely seeing the kind of progress that would motivate us to continue.  Taking on any super large task or lots of them often leads to failure.  Keeping the goals small, few and within your reach is the better plan.  Give yourself some small milestones to celebrate.  These “wins” will keep your moving forward.

The New Year also represents an artificial and external reason for change.  That’s why now is just as good a time as any to revisit your resolution, revamp it and make a plan for achieving some or all of it.

It’s never too late to start, or start over.  If you do, choose goals you really care about, not just items that you should do or ought to do.  “Shoulds” and “oughts” suggest trying to live up to external expectations and pressures.  It’s not a goal that’s truly aligned with who you are or want to be.

Instead, opt for the one or two things you really want to do…items where your motivation is internally derived.  If you really want to do it – whatever the goals is – because it matters to you, you’re more likely to go for it with gusto and stick with it longer.

It’s February.  Forget the large or long list of resolutions.  Let yourself off the hook.  Commit to the one or two things you really want to achieve in 2014.  Write it down. Review it daily.  Commit to it and give it your full focus.

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Struggling with issues at home or at work and need advice from a life coach who has helped hundreds of corporate execs?  Dear Teressa Tuesdays is your place for FREE, life-changing guidance.   Share your questions and help yourself while helping others live their authentic truth.

Dear Teressa: I’m Caught Between My Boss and A Colleague. HELP!

February 11, 2014

Dear Teressa TuesdayDear Teressa,

My boss is an excellent manager and a very inspirational leader.  However, I have a colleague, who I think is a good person, but who seems to very much resent this boss. This colleague is also very good friends with my boss’s boss. The colleague is now making life very difficult and taking great advantage of the situation. My boss’s boss cannot see this due to the friendship. Can anything be done?   

~Tina

Dear Tina,

Lucky you to have a boss who manages and leads well.  Excellence in both realms is a real and rare asset.

You’re also lucky to be faced with this challenge.  This unhappy situation provides you with an opportunity to stand in the power of your personal truth – to differentiate your point of view from that of others.  For you, your boss is an excellent manager and inspirational leader.  Period.  You don’t have to slide into the middle of what sounds like a potential political squeeze.

Being in the middle of other people’s tensions and antagonism can be uncomfortable, and, ultimately, untenable.  You know you’re in the middle when you feel unclear about what to do, torn about whom to align with, tempted to defend one person to the other, or you slide into the middle, feeling like it’s your job to step in and solve their problem.

Your question seems to indicate that your boss is the target of your colleague’s behavior.  Given that, here’s my suggestion: stay out of the middle of this potentially messy situation.  Barry Oshry’s Seeing Systems provides deeper exploration of ways to be effective when caught in the middle.

To support you as you stand in the power of YOUR authentic truth, here are a several tips.

  • Remain true to your point of view.  Your assessment of your boss’ effectiveness as a manager and leader is based on your experience of her/him. Don’t let the negativity of others contaminate your opinion.
  • Don’t let their problem with your boss become your problem.  You’re not responsible for your colleague’s opinion or behavior, or that of your boss’ boss.  If they express concerns to you, a helpful response might be to ask, “Have you talked to [name] about that?”
  • Empathize, but don’t agree.  If you’re stuck in a situation where you can’t easily escape, listen respectfully and empathize with the other person’s feelings or experience.  You don’t have to agree, just hear and understand.
  • Don’t believe toxic talk and spread gossip.  If your colleague, or your boss’s boss, speaks badly of the manager and leader you value and admire, just listen.  You don’t have to respond.  Or, without debating the point, you could simply say, “That surprises me.   My experience of [name] is different.  I see [name] as…”

Almost always, when one person has a complaint about another, a good strategy is to encourage them to have a constructive conversation in an effort to resolve the issue.  If they don’t want to work at finding a solution, their talk is a waste of time and energy – yours and theirs.

Tina, I hope this is helpful.  I wish you well as you work your way out of the middle.

Teressa Moore Griffin

Dear Teressa Tuesday

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Life Coach Lesson: What Triggers You?

February 4, 2014

What Triggers You?Are you in tune with yourself – your thoughts and feelings?  Do you know what triggers a positive reaction from you?  Do you know what makes you smile or offer an affirming nod?  How about what elicits feelings of compassion, or what compels you to make eye contact that expresses warmth and encouragement?

Can you identify what tends to stimulate a negative reaction from you?  What makes you sad or generates feelings of hopelessness.  What angers, frustrates or scares you? What brings on anxiety?

If you pay attention to how you feel emotionally, you can identify your triggers and become more capable of effective self-regulation, an important component of emotional intelligence.

Knowing what triggers negative emotion in you allows you to recognize your go-to reaction and devise ways to diffuse any undesirable impact.  You can train yourself to consciously choose how you’ll keep emotional flare-ups from derailing you.

Triggers also hold the key to what motivates you.  Armed with that important information, you can set yourself up for success by seeking opportunities that make you feel good about yourself and your potential.  It’s within the scenarios that trigger positive emotion that you’ll most likely uncover your unique purpose.

Starting the work of becoming more self-aware through identifying your triggers can be simple.  Throughout the day, notice how you feel in connection with what’s happening around you.  Pay attention to your thoughts and the emotions that follow.  When you feel good, what’s happening?  When you feel tense or irritable, what is going on in your internal dialogue?

Dr. Marcia Reynolds, author of “Outsmart Your Brain,” offers a list of common emotional triggers as well as a deeper understanding of how we react to situations that threaten our basic needs.

The more you notice, the clearer your pattern of triggers and reactions will become.  You’ll move closer to conscious choice driving your decisions and behaviors, and success will follow as you align your emotional energy and intentions.

Tackling Tantrums At Work

January 27, 2014

Adult TantrumsExperts say the reason people throw temper tantrums into adulthood is because they work.  This frightening behavior gets the tantrum thrower exactly what they want – even if it is at the cost of co-workers or workplace civility.

The first step to taking the sting out of another’s workplace tantrum – whether it’s your employee, co-worker or boss – is to show them that is not an acceptable way to approach problems at work.

Often, it’s hard not to give in to cool down the environment, but taking these seemingly easy, but tough in-the-moment steps will help the next time you’re faced with another person’s angry meltdown in the office or in your personal life.

First, remain calm.  Breathe to put some time and space between you and the heightened emotions of the moment.  If you also get upset, the situation is sure to escalate and spiral in the wrong direction.

Don’t argue.  Within your own mind, be firmly committed to not going back at them, tit for tat.  Again, that will only serve to escalate things and moving you further away from any positive rational outcome.

Validate the person’s feelings.  It’s important to note here that you’re not agreeing with them.  You are merely respecting their reality.  Make brief statements that indicate you understand the reason for

their upset. If circumstances permit, agree on a specific time to talk, LATER.  Suggest the person jot down their specific concerns and bring them to the meeting. Then, be prepared to listen actively and ask open-ended to understand fully.

If you’re the one throwing the tantrums, write out your rage.  This will give you a chance to calm yourself, see other’s points of view and avoid embarrassing behavior that will follow you long after the episode ends.

Practicing these steps should lead to fewer and fewer outbursts.  But, as in the Money Watch article by Evil HR Lady Suzanne Lucas, “When An Employee Throws A Temper Tantrum,” you or the person’s manager may need to execute the more drastic measure of termination, if these steps along with a corrective action plan don’t do the trick.

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