Communicating with Clarity and Confidence

Last week, there was a common theme running through the majority of my sessions with clients, and it was about clear, confident, and effective communication. Good communication is the gateway to healthy relationships so it is a worthwhile skill to cultivate.

The best way to go about seeking connection with others is to practice being thoughtful and clear with your words and the motivation behind them. Why are you saying what you are saying, and what are you trying to get across? Once you are clear on these things, if someone misinterprets your words or intentions, take time to say what you mean as specifically and honestly as possible. A good way to ensure that you have been heard accurately is to ask, "Tell me what you heard me say and what you are making it mean?" If what comes back to you is not what you were going for, try try try again. Risk being misinterpreted so that you can ultimately be heard and experience connection with others. 

The most effective communication occurs when you clean up you own emotional thoughts and opinions about things, and take responsibility for the end result. Speak your truth, and do so in a kind and respectful way. And instead of dwelling on what someone did or didn't say or do in response, focus on what needs to happen to improve the situation. Don't walk away. Connection is always possible, the delivery just might need an extra dose of clarity and confidence to be heard. x

This Is Me

I am brave, I am bruised
I am who I'm meant to be, this is me
Look out 'cause here I come
And I'm marching on to the beat I drum
I'm not scared to be seen
I make no apologies, this is me

Adapted from the song This Is Me, The Greatest Showman

How much would your life change if you gently let go of what people said about you? What about letting go of what you believe people think of you? Imagine not welcoming those things into your being, and instead marching to your own drummer and choosing to be seen and making no apologies. Kinda revolutionary. Certainly counter-cultural. Definitely do-able.

Instead of the thought that you are not enough, why not consider a new and more empowering thought? What about the thought that it is okay for people to be wrong about you? Some people are going to accept and love you, and others are not. And that is okay. Whose opinion matters the most? Your parents? Your coach? Your girlfriend? Your boyfriend? Your peers? Society in general? Here's a novel concept: What about your opinion of yourself? 

Since you are going to be judged by others regardless of what you say or do, why not be judged on being authentic you? Risk being misinterpreted. Go all in. Show up. Those who don't like you are going to not like you. That's okay. Know that those that love you are going to love YOU! These are your people. As you cultivate this authenticity, you will grow in confidence and happiness. Guaranteed. As Brene Brown says, 

"However afraid we are of change, the question that we must ultimately answer is this: What's the greater risk? Letting go of what people think or letting go of how I feel, what I believe, and who I am?" 

Tomorrow, when you are choosing to post something, choose to post something that is most authentic to you. How'd it feel? What were the reactions? Experiment. Try it out. Practice. Reduce its scariness by actually doing it. Report back. 

My coach, Brooke, encapsulates this concept in a refreshing way: Some people love peaches, some hate them. Who is right?!! It doesn't matter to the peach. Don't stop being a peach just because some people don't like peaches. Be juicy. Be sweet. Be round. Be delicious. Those that love peaches will love you. Those who don't like peaches aren't going to be into you. It's all good. Go live your life around people who dig peaches, and know that in the end, your opinion of you is truly the only opinion that matters. #bethebestdamnpeachintheworld

Happy Thursday, dear ones! ox






Cultivating Happiness

According to the Ancient Greeks, happiness is "the joy that we feel striving for our potential.

I believe that the elevated rates of depression and general malaise in our young adults has a lot to do with chasing happiness the wrong way. Instead of believing that happiness is an outcome to be achieved, an award to be won, or a checklist to be completed, why not consider shifting the paradigm to focusing on the golden nuggets which are all baked into the process? The way you perceive the world, the commitment to the learnings along the way, and the way you engage with yourself and others are much greater predictors of your happiness than a sparkly resume and a specific outcome. 

As my clients attest, It can be a bit disillusioning when you work hard and do all the things that you are supposed to do and happiness remains elusive. But, seeking this kind of happiness is a moving target. You never actually arrive because the bar keeps on shifting. Interestingly, your happiness quotient grows when you become more positive, and choose to see every experience as a progression, an experiment, and a path to getting closer to self. 

Research tells us that 90% of our happiness is how our brain processes everything while 10% of our long-term happiness is what happens in the outside world. In light of this, cultivate more happiness in your day to day by assimilating healthy and productive habits that create a positive ripple effect in your life and the life of others. Here are some daily practices to start weaving in doses of gratitude which create more of that feel-good chemical dopamine:

1) Think of one meaningful experience in last 24 hours. Not anything huge, but something that stands out. In 2 minutes, write down every detail of what happened. Get your brain to remember it. By doing so, it creates connection and meaning in your life. 

2) Write a 2-minute email or text, or place a phone call or have a face to face interaction, praising or thanking someone you know. Do this EVERY day! Research tells us that social support and relationships are huge predictors of our happiness. What are you waiting for?

3) Exercise - move your body at least 30 minutes a day. This routine trains the brain to believe that your behavior matters which paves the way for optimism, and this creates a constellation of positivity. 

4) Meditation - the more time you can spend in silence/stillness and shut off the constant shallow and incessant chatter of social media and the outside world, the more you will have exponential benefits. Try the Calm or MindSpace apps. By quieting the noise around you and shifting your focus to the mind/body connection, you will experience more serenity and clarity. 

Cheers, dear ones! Here's to cultivating happiness on the journey. #lifeisanexperiment #learnasyougo #growasyoulearn #processtrumpsoutcome #gratitudecultivateshappiness