Thursday, August 17, 2017

Are You Happy?

Ben is one of my favorite clients.  We’ve worked together for six months, and during that time he’s achieved many business and personal goals.  He has the vision to know what he wants and the determination and motivation to do what it takes to get there.  As a result his life is much different than when we began working together.

However, Ben is not happy.
During our last conversation Ben shared how bewildered he is that after achieving so many of his goals he’s not as happy as he had expected to be.  This led us to a discussion of happiness, and just what it is.

Ben assumed that happiness is something you achieve. He believed that if he accomplished his goals, grew his business and acquired more money and possessions, happiness would automatically follow.

However, happiness isn’t something you GET, it’s something you MAKE.
How often have you achieved a long-term goal, expecting it to make you happy, just to find that after a short period of feeling successful or proud, you then felt empty and lost?  This is because once you achieve a goal you set another goal, and continue to want more. Many people lead an “if only” life.  They say “I’d be happy if only I had__________________.”  However, when they get that thing or achieve that goal, they’re surprised and disappointed to discover they feel the same as they always did.

It’s also about self-esteem, and the ability to love and value yourself, even if you’re not perfect.  If you appreciate the incredible human being you are, and accept yourself even with all your imperfections, you will find inner happiness that’s based on who you are internally rather than external stuff.

Happiness is about attitude and choices, NOT STUFF!
We each have the option of focusing on the positive in our life, or on the negative.  We can look at all our blessings, or choose to only see what’s lacking. Along with that comes the choice to be happy and feel blessed, or feel miserable and incomplete.

Of course, this doesn’t mean you need to do away with your dreams and goals or stop striving to improve your professional or personal situation.  It simply means you can’t be disappointed if you don’t expect the achievement of your goals to alter how you feel about your life.

Choosing to be happy is something you can do, regardless of what you have.
Once Ben understood that growing his business and having more money to buy more toys wasn’t his path to happiness, he set about finding what would enrich his life. To recognize his path to happiness he:

Wrote in a Gratitude Journal.  Ben wrote every night about the things that had delighted him that day. He was pleased to discover that his life held many things that brought him joy.  He was also surprised to note that they were the things money couldn’t buy, such as reading to his son at bedtime, enjoying the beauty of nature, or cuddling with his wife on the couch.

Looked at his values and needs to determine what was most important to him.  Ben then found ways to incorporate those things into his daily life. He realized that his values reflect his personal needs.  He understood that when he was being true to his values he was happy.  When he acted in a way that went against his values, he was miserable. (for FREE worksheets to help you identify your values and needs, go to our website at www.insidejobscoach.com and click on Resources).

Reviewed his goals to find the personal motivation behind them. For example, Ben wanted to make more money so he could buy a boat and house at the lake.  However, when he really looked at this goal he realized that the boat and lake house represented fun things for his family to do together.  What will make him happy about achieving these goals is not having the things, but what they will bring, which is quality time with his loved ones.

Gave to others.  Ben realized that he was always happy when he was giving his time and money to his community.  He noticed that when he was doing something for others he felt lighthearted and carefree, so he found ways to do this more often.

As Ben looked at each of his wants he realized that they all stemmed from just a couple of his deep personal needs.  The needs he wanted to fill were those of connection to family and friends.  Realizing this gave him the option to choose to be happy with what he had, and find ways to meet his needs without accumulating more stuff.

So, What About You?
Are you choosing to be happy, or to focus on all you don’t have?  What is happiness to you?  What really makes your heart sing?  What deep needs are you trying to meet?  Once you know the answers to these questions it will be easy for you to choose to be happy, every day.


It’s something to think about.

Please comment so others can benefit from your wisdom and experience

For FREE worksheets on ways to empower yourself, see the Resources Page on our Inside Jobs Coach website.

If you'd like to bring positive changes into your life, we have the perfect thing for you.  Check out The Rapid Power Pack, and begin to create the life of your dreams.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Don't Push the River!

“Don’t push the river!”  This phrase jumped out at me from my morning newspaper, and I had to smile.  Of course, it’s exactly right, and is just what I need to think about this week. 

So often in my life I see things moving in the direction I want them to go, but they always seem to be going too slowly. Once I know the destination, I want to speed ahead at 100 miles an hour so I can get there quickly.  Forgetting that a very important part of the process is the journey, and all the things that will happen along the way that will prepare me to arrive at the destination.

I know that on a larger scale everything is under control and that things always unfold in their own way and their own time.  If I rush them or try to bypass any of the steps, the outcome won’t be the same.  It’s impossible to ‘push a river’ to make it go faster.  It flows at it’s own speed, sometimes slowly and sometimes roaring along, and reaches it’s destination when it’s ready. Trying to push it is totally ineffective and an exercise in frustration.

However, knowing this and being patient enough to live it are two different things. The quote in my newspaper was the reminder I needed to take a deep breath, step back, trust the process and once again allow things to unfold.


It’s something to think about.

Please comment so others may benefit from your wisdom and experience.

For FREE worksheets on ways to empower yourself, see the Resources Page on our Inside Jobs Coach website.

If you'd like to bring positive change into your life, we have the perfect thing for you.  Check out The Rapid Power Pack, and begin to create the life of your dreams.



Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Are You Afraid?

Michael was afraid.  Actually, he was terrified!

  A few years ago he had a thriving consulting business, so he assumed things would always be good.  He was so busy working with his clients that he decided he no longer needed to actively market his services.

However, when the recession hit, his clients disappeared, and soon he was struggling to pay his bills.  Because of this Michael was experiencing a paralyzing fear, and was having trouble thinking about what to do to move ahead.  His fear had stopped him in his tracks.  He knew there were several things he could do to start reaching his clients, but his fear had become so big that he was having trouble moving past it.

Michael is not alone.  Fear is something we all experience when facing a new situation or feeling threatened in some way.  It doesn’t matter if it’s a business fear like Michael’s, or a fear about something in your personal life, you can find it paralyzing.   If you allow it to, fear has the power to control your thoughts and behavior, and interfere with your ability to be effective, successful, happy, and healthy.

Fear is actually a thought process that results from negative self-talk about the situation and your ability to cope. When confronted with a challenge, people often focus on the worst that can happen, which then becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.  When we feel fear we often magnify our inadequacies, former failures, and inability to function or cope. It just builds from there.

Fear, and the resulting anxiety, can trigger physical symptoms and bodily responses. Common physical reactions to anxiety include shortness of breath, sweaty palms, inability to hear think or focus, increased heart rate, distractability, and depression.

The problem with fear is that it lurks in the back of your mind. Then, at unexpected times, when you are feeling vulnerable, it surfaces, grips your thoughts, and directs or dictates your behaviors.  Michael was having a difficult time looking at his fear because it brought up painful emotions and reminded him that he is vulnerable and not always in control. Things he didn’t want to look at.

The good news about fear is that you can confront it, and once you do, it will no longer control you. Fear only has power over you when you run from it. The faster you run and the more effort you put into ignoring whatever is frightening you, the stronger and more powerful it will become.  The goal is to turn down the intensity of the fear so you can begin to think clearly and see ways through it.

This often takes courage, self-awareness, strong self-esteem and creating a feeling of personal power.  Michael decided he could do this.

Together we looked at several things Michael could do to overcome his fear:

·        Look directly at and confront his fear. Be honest with himself about it all.
·        Pay attention to what he was telling himself (his self-talk) that fed the fear.
·         Be clear about what was so terrifying and what he thought would happen, and ask himself “how true is this?”
·        Ask himself what is the worst that could happen?  Could I physically survive this?
·        Change the focus from the negative, what he can’t do and the fear, to the positive, what he wants, and what he CAN do to achieve his goals.
·        Realize that when he changes the way he thinks and talks to himself, he will change the way he acts
·        Focus on what he wants to happen and develop a clear picture of this.
·        Get back into control by figuring out what he needs to do to move ahead.
·        Break it down into steps and take action.
·        Visualize himself moving ahead and seeing his end goal as accomplished.

Michael soon realized that what he had created with his imagination was much worse than the reality, and that even if the worst did happen and he lost his business, he is a smart, capable, competent person who will always be able to find ways to survive and rebuild.

Once Michael stopped running, changed his self-talk and faced his fear, it lost its power to intimidate and paralyze him.  This allowed him to clear his head and begin to strategize ways to ramp up his marketing and move ahead.

He began to create an action plan that included updating his old marketing plan; rejoining networking groups to renew former connections; contacting civic organizations about speaking engagements, and visualizing where he wants to be six months from now.

With this strategy in place he once again felt powerful and in control of his destiny, and his business began to grow.

Although this article is about business, the same thing applies to all aspects in your life.  What you tell yourself will create your reality!  If you believe you CAN, then you CAN, and if you tell yourself you can’t, then your fear will control you and you will be stopped in your tracks.

So, what do you do when you’re afraid?  Do you tell yourself this is the end of the world and you’re powerless to change it?  Do you let the fear stop and paralyze you, or do you confront it, tell yourself you can do it, take back your power and move through it, and move ahead?

It’s something to think about.


Please comment so others can benefit from your wisdom and experience

For FREE worksheets on ways to empower yourself, see the Resources Page on our Inside Jobs Coach website.

If you'd like to bring positive changes into your life, we have the perfect thing for you.  Check out The Rapid Power Pack, and begin to create the life of your dreams.


Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Do You Try?

My friend Sam is frustrated because he seldom accomplishes his goals.  When he talks about what he plans to do, he says, “I’ll try to get it done.”  When he talks about why something didn’t work out, he always says, “Well, I tried to make it happen, and it just didn’t.”

When Sam shared these thoughts he gave me the clue to why he is stuck.  He “tries”.

As Yoda said to Luke Skywalker in Star Wars, Do or do not.  There is no try.

When I brought this up with Sam he was not sure what I was talking about.  He always thought he was supposed to “try”.  Aren’t we supposed to try to get things done or make things happen?

Actually, no!  If you really want something, you don’t “try” to make it happen, you DO IT!  “Try” implies that it might not work out the way you want, and you will be OK with that.

When Sam says he’ll “try”, he has already given himself permission to slack off and fail.  “Try” implies he’ll make an effort, but that not achieving his goal is an acceptable possibility.

“Try” also implies a lack of commitment.  There is a reason that in most marriage ceremonies the bride and groom say vows that state a pledge to each other, followed by “I do.”  Would you want to marry someone who responded to a lifelong commitment with “I’ll try”?

Sam said that when he talks with potential clients he often uses the word “try”.  He now sees that his phrasing conveys a lack of confidence in himself, which then translates into a lack of confidence on the part of his client.  When he uses the word “try”, his clients interpret it to mean he’s not fully committed to a positive outcome for their project.  This is probably one of the reasons he’s having trouble signing new clients.

He realized that he would never want to go to a brain surgeon who said, “I’ll try”.  For him to place his confidence in her, she would have to show him she believes in herself, and knows she can create a successful outcome.  There is no room for “try” in brain surgery.

Now before Sam talks with people, he makes a commitment to himself and his ability to do the job.  He then conveys this commitment and confidence by saying, “I CAN” and  “I WILL”.  Very different than, “I’ll try.”

It’s something to think about.

Please comment so others can benefit from your wisdom and experience

For FREE worksheets on ways to empower yourself, see the Resources Page on our Inside Jobs Coach website.


If you'd like to bring positive changes into your life, we have the perfect thing for you.  Check out The Rapid Power Pack, and begin to create the life of your dreams.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Letting Go to Grow

 Last week I was talking with my friend Steven, who asked me to help him streamline his office procedures. One of the chores that requires much of his time is his bookkeeping, which he does by hand! He said that its time consuming, but works for him because he knows how to do it this way and feels comfortable with it.

Steven’s father initiated this accounting method when he opened the business 30 years ago, and since then they’ve ‘always done it this way’.  In the early days they were a small company with only 4 employees, and this was the best way available to keep track of finances.  When Steven took over 5 years ago, the firm employed 52 people, and they were still doing finances by hand!

Steven revealed that he’d thought about switching to a computer accounting program because he knows it will save time, give him access to all kinds of reports and tax information, and streamline his entire bookkeeping operation.  However, he was having trouble letting go of how it had always been done.

Is This You?
Does any of this sound familiar to you?  Are there areas in your business or personal life where you are still doing things as they’ve always been done, even though it’s no longer efficient?  Places where it’s probably time to make changes and grow, but for some reason you’re reluctant to actually do it?  If so, you are definitely not alone.  There are many reasons why people are hesitant to let go of doing things the way they have always done them.

Comfort Zone
One of the main reasons is that doing something the way you’ve always done it keeps you in your comfort zone.  Your comfort zone is a very nice place in which you are a capable, competent person who understands what is going on and feels in control of it all.  It’s a pleasant, cozy, safe place to be.  Why would you want to let go of that?

However, the down side of your comfort zone is that it keeps you stuck and stops your personal and professional growth.  It reinforces using procedures that may be outdated or inefficient, and makes your business vulnerable to your competition.  It is also a boring place to be, and robs you of the opportunity to grow, learn new things and become the best you can be.

Fear of Change
Another reason people stay in their comfort zone is the fear of change. Change often represents uncertainty, and the unknown is a scary place.  It’s a place where, for a time, you feel inadequate and confused instead of competent and capable.  There is also the fear that you may not be smart, good or clever enough to master the new thing.

Many people spend their lives doing everything they can to avoid fear.  However, the reality is that every change, anything new, will involve some fear.  The way to deal with fear is to confront and move through it.  Feel the fear and do it anyway.

From Master to Novice
Another part of change is that you go from being a master at something to being a novice.  When something is new you begin the learning curve all over again.  In this situation the fear of not being able to master the new thing is often very present and can be a huge deterrent to making a change.

When you look at your life you can see that you’ve already mastered this process many times. As a child you probably moved through the school system, which is set up so children reach a level of mastery and then become novices again. You started elementary school in kindergarten, new to the idea of school.  You learned and adapted to the process and place, to the point where you were comfortable and proficient in functioning within the system. Then you moved to junior high school, with a whole new set of rules and systems, and were suddenly a novice again. You learned and grew into junior high, and then repeated the process again when moving to high school, college, into a job, etc.  With each step you expanded your comfort zone. A process that was initially uncomfortable but eventually empowering.  Stretching your comfort zone is one way you learn you are a capable competent person.

In Steven’s case, in order to update his accounting he will have to go from being totally proficient with the system, to being new and temporarily confused.  From being the person who knows how to handle it all to being the person who has to rely on others while he’s in the learning process.  Growth always involves a period of being new, and new is always uncomfortable.

Why Have We Always Done it That Way?
Have you asked yourself why it’s always been done that way?  Often systems are implemented because they are the best available at the time.  However, as time passes and new ways of doing things are created, what was once state-of-the-art may become outdated and inefficient.

For example, when I was a child I would stand holding the refrigerator door open while deciding on a snack.  My mother would always tell me to close the door because all the cold air was escaping.  Since she did that with me, I did the same with my children (we’d always done it that way).  Until one day my son asked “why”?  He pointed out that the refrigerator was electric and constantly made more cold air, so it escaping wasn’t really a problem. Of course, he was right! I’d never thought about why I was delivering this message, so I asked my mother where it came from.  She said that her mother always said it to her, so she believed it and passed it along.  However, when my mother was a small child, refrigerators were actual ice boxes, which were cooled by large blocks of ice.  When the door was opened the ice melted faster and they really did run out of cold air.  When my grandmother told her children to close the door, it was the right message for the situation.  As the message was passed on from generation to generation, the situation changed and the fridge no longer ran out of cold air.  However, nobody looked at the reason for the message.  We just kept doing it as we’d always done it.

In Steven’s case the accounting system his father implemented was right for the time, but changes in technology have refined the most effective way to track finances.  It’s important to understand why the system was created, what need it was designed to fill.  Look at it and see if it is still the most efficient way to fill this need, or if a more effective way is now available.  This applies to how you run your personal as well as your business life.

How Do You Know You're Stuck?
Sometimes you may not consciously realize that you are stuck and that it’s time to make a change. When something becomes a struggle, takes too much time, or feels like a huge chore, it may be an indication that you are doing it the way it’s always been done rather than the most efficient and effective way.  You can often identify what may have outlived its usefulness by noting the things that are difficult, and asking yourself why you do them the way you do.

What to Do 
Once you have identified things that may need a change, ask yourself:
·        Where did this procedure originate?
·        What was its original purpose?
·        Does this still apply?
·        Is there an easier way to accomplish the same goal?
·        What are the consequences of continuing to do things the way we’ve always done them?
·        What will be the results of implementing a new process?
·        What is stopping me from implementing this new process?
·        What will I do about this?
(For a free worksheet on looking at WE’VE ALWAYS DONE IT THAT WAY go to our website at www.insidejobscoach.com and click on Resources.)

Once you've answered these questions it’s time to move. Change the procedure, buy and learn the new program, delegate to whomever can do the job, or completely let go of whatever no longer applies.

After going through this process Steven decided to take a leap of faith and implement a computer accounting program for his business.  He expanded his personal and business comfort zone by hiring a professional to help him become proficient in the new software.  He endured a brief period of feeling totally lost, and soon became as skilled with the new system as he was with the old.  The new system has accomplished his goal of streamlining his accounting and providing him with more time to focus on other aspects of his business. Steven has also renewed his sense of being even more empowered, capable and competent.


So I ask you, where in your life do you feel stuck or that you’re doing something just because it’s always been done that way?  What things might need to change, but you are hesitant because you’re fearful of where it will take you?  What would you like to do about it?

Please comment so others may benefit from your wisdom and experience

For FREE worksheets on ways to empower yourself, see the Resources Page on our Inside Jobs Coach website.

If you'd like to bring positive changes into your life, we have the perfect thing for you.  Check out The Rapid Power Pack, and begin to create the life of your dreams.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Are You Happy?

Ben is one of my favorite clients.  We’ve worked together for six months, and during that time he’s achieved many business and personal goals.  He has the vision to know what he wants and the determination and motivation to do what it takes to get there.  As a result his life is much different than when we began working together.

However, Ben is not happy.
During our last conversation Ben shared how bewildered he is that after achieving so many of his goals he’s not as happy as he had expected to be.  This led us to a discussion of happiness, and just what it is.

Ben assumed that happiness is something you achieve. He believed that if he accomplished his goals, grew his business and acquired more money and possessions, happiness would automatically follow.

However, happiness isn’t something you GET, it’s something you MAKE.
How often have you achieved a long-term goal, expecting it to make you happy, just to find that after a short period of feeling successful or proud, you then felt empty and lost?  This is because once you achieve a goal you set another goal, and continue to want more. Many people lead an “if only” life.  They say “I’d be happy if only I had__________________.”  However, when they get that thing or achieve that goal, they’re surprised and disappointed to discover they feel the same as they always did.

It’s also about self-esteem, and the ability to love and value yourself, even if you’re not perfect.  If you appreciate the incredible human being you are, and accept yourself even with all your imperfections, you will find inner happiness that’s based on who you are internally rather than external stuff.

Happiness is about attitude and choices, NOT STUFF!
We each have the option of focusing on the positive in our life, or on the negative.  We can look at all our blessings, or choose to only see what’s lacking. Along with that comes the choice to be happy and feel blessed, or feel miserable and incomplete.

Of course, this doesn’t mean you need to do away with your dreams and goals or stop striving to improve your professional or personal situation.  It simply means you can’t be disappointed if you don’t expect the achievement of your goals to alter how you feel about your life.

Choosing to be happy is something you can do, regardless of what you have.

Once Ben understood that growing his business and having more money to buy more toys wasn’t his path to happiness, he set about finding what would enrich his life. To recognize his path to happiness he:

  • Wrote in a Gratitude Journal.  Ben wrote every night about the things that had delighted him that day. He was pleased to discover that his life held many things that brought him joy.  He was also surprised to note that they were the things money couldn’t buy, such as reading to his son at bedtime, enjoying the beauty of nature, or cuddling with his wife on the couch.

  • Looked at his values and needs to determine what was most important to him.  Ben then found ways to incorporate those things into his daily life. He realized that his values reflect his personal needs.  He understood that when he was being true to his values he was happy.  When he acted in a way that went against his values, he was miserable. (for FREE worksheets to help you identify your values and needs, go to our website at www.insidejobscoach.com and click on Resources).

  • Reviewed his goals to find the personal motivation behind them. For example, Ben wanted to make more money so he could buy a boat and house at the lake.  However, when he really looked at this goal he realized that the boat and lake house represented fun things for his family to do together.  What will make him happy about achieving these goals is not having the things, but what they will bring, which is quality time with his loved ones.

  • Gave to others.  Ben realized that he was always happy when he was giving his time and money to his community.  He noticed that when he was doing something for others he felt lighthearted and carefree, so he found ways to do this more often.

As Ben looked at each of his wants he realized that they all stemmed from just a couple of his deep personal needs.  The needs he wanted to fill were those of connection to family and friends.  Realizing this gave him the option to choose to be happy with what he had, and find ways to meet his needs without accumulating more stuff.

So, What About You?

Are you choosing to be happy and appreciate all you have, or to focus on what you don’t have?  What is happiness to you?  What really makes your heart sing?  What deep needs are you trying to meet?  Once you know the answers to these questions it will be easy for you to choose to be happy, every day.

It’s something to think about.

Please comment so others can benefit from your wisdom and experience.

For FREE worksheets on ways to empower yourself and live your best life, see the Resources page on our Inside Jobs Coach website.

If' you'd like to bring positive changes into your life, we have the perfect thing for you.  Check out The Rapid Power Pack and begin to create the life of your dreams.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Are You Taking Care of Yourself?

Michelle is tired.  Actually, she is exhausted and feeling lonely.  All her life she’s been taking care of others, which she was taught as a child was her role in life. At an early age she was told that if she takes care of others, they will do the same for her.

Unfortunately, now that she’s an adult, it’s not working out that way.

She gives her time and energy, and often is ignored, taken for granted, or verbally abused for her trouble.  While focusing on what other people want she usually ignores herself and what is best for her.  She accepts it when people treat her with disrespect and allows them to abuse her time and take advantage of her good attitude.

For a long time Michelle wasn’t aware that she no longer has to live like this.  When she was a child she just gave more and tried harder. Now she’s an adult and has the right to expect people to treat her with respect. 

Recently Michelle realized that she is exhausted from focusing all her time and energy on doing what the people in her life want her to do.  She gives and gives and seldom gets anything back. 

Michelle knows something has to change, but is afraid that if she lets her family and friends know that she has needs too, they will become angry and leave.

However, she is draining herself physically and emotionally, and is beginning to feel sick.  She realizes that if she goes on this way she will become ill and then she won’t be able to be there for anyone.

Recently Michelle has decided to start taking care of herself as much as she takes care of the people in her life. She does it with love and respect for them, and she now needs to give herself that same love and respect.

This means she will start setting boundaries in all areas, to clarify the space between her and others. She will let them know when she is available and when she is NOT available to take care of and do things for them.  She will also put a stop to disrespectful words and attitudes.

It will be as if she’s drawn a line and put up a ‘No Trespassing’ sign between herself and behaviors she doesn’t want directed toward her.  Once she does this she will begin insuring that her physical, emotional and personal well being is protected.

In order to set boundaries Michelle will need to become clear about what she wants and needs, and then communicate this to her family and friends.  If they don’t like it she will have to let it be their problem, not hers

When you have strong boundaries you’re able to take care of yourself and be clear with others about what behaviors are and are not acceptable to you.

Unacceptable behaviors can encompass everything from disrespecting your time, unwanted touching, verbal aggression, private space violations, and a wide variety of behaviors that make you uncomfortable.

If you relate to Michelle’s situation, it’s important for you to know that you always have the right to protect yourself by setting and enforcing boundaries.  You have the right to stop anything that makes you uncomfortable or violates your values and your physical, emotional and personal space.

Michelle looked at several things she can do to set boundaries around herself.  She realized that she has the power to:

·        Look at the reasons she feels the need to sacrifice herself in order to take care of everyone else.
·        Look directly at and confront her fear of abandonment. Be honest with herself about it, and ask herself “how true is this?”
·        Pay attention to what she is telling herself (her self-talk) that encourages her to disrespect herself.
·        Ask herself what is the worst that could happen?  Could I physically survive this?  Would I be better off in the long run?
·        Change the focus from the negative, what she can’t do and the fear, to the positive, what she wants, and what she CAN do to take care of herself as well as others.
·        Realize that when she changes the way she thinks and talks to herself, she will change the way she acts
·        Focus on what she wants to happen and develop a clear picture of this.
·        Get back into control by figuring out what she needs to do to move ahead.
·        Break it down into steps and take action.
·        Visualize moving ahead and seeing herself with clear, well-defined boundaries.

To do this she needed to think about areas in which others mistreat her.  She became aware of when people ignore her, use language that offends her, disregard her needs and wants, expect her to be responsible for them when they’re capable of doing things for themselves, blame her for their failures, expect her to always say “yes” and go along with whatever they want, etc.?

She then made decisions about how she wants things to be different.

She gathered her courage and let the people in her life know that she would not always be available to meet their every need or tolerate disrespectful behavior.  She told them that she also has needs and wants, and that giving was a pleasure for her, so she would continue to be there for them in some ways, and would also be giving to herself as well.

She also let them know the attitudes and behaviors she will and will not accept from them.

Much to her surprise and delight, most of them understood, and even commented on how glad they were that she’s decided to take care of herself.  The couple of people who didn’t like it weren’t very good friends anyway, and Michelle realized it was time to let them drift away.

Some of the healthy boundaries Michelle set are:
·        Her time, talents and energy are hers to share if and when she wants to.
·        She will not tolerate abusive language or emotional blackmail.
·        Her body and physical space are private, and people aren’t allowed to touch them without her permission.
·        Her personal property (phone messages, emails, correspondence, vehicle, etc.) is off limits without her permission.
·        She deserves and expects to be treated with respect in all areas.
·        It is not her job to ‘fix’ everything for everyone.
·        She will treat herself with respect and expects everyone else to do the same.

Michelle still has to pay attention and note when she feels uncomfortable or disrespected, but with this strategy in place she feels powerful and in control of her destiny.  She says overall she’s amazed at how much better she feels and how much more energy she has now that she’s taking care of herself.

Are you like Michelle?  Is what you tell yourself about your value creating a depressing and negative reality?

You might want to ask yourself what you can do to change it, and then take back your power and move ahead

It’s something to think about.

Please comment so others can benefit from your wisdom and experience.

For FREE worksheets on ways to empower yourself, see the Resources page on our Inside Jobs Coach website.

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